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  1. #1
    FEP Senior Member Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Default Help selecting auto transmission

    I'm really undecided about what auto transmission to go with on the 86 coupe. I have a fresh 408w sitting on the stand. The original car (different 86 coupe) needed a lot of work and a nicer 86 coupe sorta fell in my lap. So I need to make my decision soon.

    I have a fresh rebuilt c4 that was leftover from another car, when I decided to swap in a t5. It's basically a stock c4 with upgraded servos for firmer shifts. Plans for the 408w include a dose of nitrous, and I'm hoping to eventually make 600whp or so. I don't know a lot about the autos, so here's my dilemma.

    I can't afford to spend a fortune on it. What would the c4 need to hold this kind of power? And what is the cost involved?

    I really want overdrive, since the closest track is over an hour away. I would keep the c4 if it means big savings. Otherwise, I'm better off with an aod or 4r70w. My thought is that the 4r70w will hold up ok with a few upgrades (jmod, good cooler). The expense would come from the controller and converter. But if I destroy it, the 4r70w is cheap and plentiful. On the other hand, an aod is also cheap. Save a grand right off the top, from not requiring the controller... but a rebuild for that power level will be more as well as replacement cost.

    Sorry for the long post. I'm just looking for ideas here and wanted to see what you guys were using. I'm open to any suggestions.

  2. #2
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    I am no Automatic transmission expert, but to my knowledge the 4R70W only came fitted to the Modular motors. So I would have to assume you are using an adapter?

    I don't know the costs, but my understanding was the AOD rebuilt with some of the parts and pieces from the AODE and the 4R70W was one of the better setups behind a powerful SBF. Sorry I don't have any better information than that! Good Luck with your options!
    ​Trey

    "I Don't build it hoping for your approval! I built it because it meets mine!"

    "I've spent most of my money on Mustangs, racing, and women... the rest I just wasted."

    Mustangs Past: Too many to remember!
    Current Mustangs:
    1969 Mach 1
    1979 Pace Car now 5.0/5 speed
    1982 GT Ongoing RestoModification
    1984 SVO Awaiting Restoration
    1986 GT Wrecked by PO, but still want to save!

    Current Capris:
    1981 Capri Roller
    1981 Capri Black Magic Roller Basket Case
    1982 Capri RS 5.0/4spd T-top Full Restoration Underway
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  3. #3
    FEP Senior Member Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Trey,
    The 4r70w also came in the later (99-04?) v6 Mustangs. Same bolt pattern, so no adapter needed.

    I did forget about the aod and 4r70w gearset, though. That would be possibly another route. I remember reading up on it last year and it seems like I recall going that route wasn't as good as using a complete 4r, but still a good upgrade from aod internals. I don't recall exactly why, but it made sense at the time. The lower 1st and 2nd gears were a big plus. Also, I can probably save some $ vs having to buy the controller. But im afraid the savings would be offset by having to pay for the work. I suppose my best bet would be to teach myself how to do it. I learned to build t5's, so maybe it won't be too bad.

  4. #4
    FEP Senior Member Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    If I thought the stock c4 would hold up with minor upgrades, i may just run it for a while and then build an o/d tranny for when I add the nitrous. If I can get this car together by this summer, it will be all motor for at least this season. Any idea what kind of punishment they'll take before crapping out? I was thinking a good cooler and maybe a shift kit of some sort? Like I said... this is a learning experience for me right now.

  5. #5
    FEP Member Mgino757's Avatar
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    A well built 4R70W with a locking, high stall torque converter is a hard setup to beat. In the mean time, I'd run the C4. What ear will you be running in the axle?
    Last edited by Mgino757; 04-11-2019 at 08:48 PM.
    1985 Mustang GT conv. modified 4180C, Weiand Street Warrior intake, equal length headers, true dual exhaust, 3.55:1 8.8'' rear end, 2003 V6 T5, Ford Racing 10.5" clutch.

    1998 Mustang GT auto. PI swapped. Daily beater

  6. #6
    FEP Senior Member Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mgino757 View Post
    A well built 4R70W with a locking, high stall torque converter is a hard setup to beat. In the mean time, I'd run the C4. What ear will you be running in the axle?
    I have 3.73 and 4.10 lying around. And yes, all my research keeps pushing me back to the 4r70w. I should suck it up and just buy the controller.

  7. #7
    FEP Senior Member Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    The controller, harness, and tps are around $1200. I can pick up a 4r for $200-500. By doing the jmod, it should hold the kind of power I'll be expecting to make, if I'm understanding correctly. And if I do tear one up, I can replace it and use the same controller. If I dump $2-3k in building an aod or c4 and destroy it, then I'll pretty much have to start over. The only other expense would be a shifter and torque converter (which are also pretty spendy).

  8. #8
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broncojunkie View Post
    Trey,
    The 4r70w also came in the later (99-04?) v6 Mustangs. Same bolt pattern, so no adapter needed.

    I did forget about the aod and 4r70w gearset, though. That would be possibly another route. I remember reading up on it last year and it seems like I recall going that route wasn't as good as using a complete 4r, but still a good upgrade from aod internals. I don't recall exactly why, but it made sense at the time. The lower 1st and 2nd gears were a big plus. Also, I can probably save some $ vs having to buy the controller. But im afraid the savings would be offset by having to pay for the work. I suppose my best bet would be to teach myself how to do it. I learned to build t5's, so maybe it won't be too bad.
    Didn't think about the V6 setup.

    Heck just cut the trans tunnel for clearance and run the E4OD! Controller for it is only about $600.
    ​Trey

    "I Don't build it hoping for your approval! I built it because it meets mine!"

    "I've spent most of my money on Mustangs, racing, and women... the rest I just wasted."

    Mustangs Past: Too many to remember!
    Current Mustangs:
    1969 Mach 1
    1979 Pace Car now 5.0/5 speed
    1982 GT Ongoing RestoModification
    1984 SVO Awaiting Restoration
    1986 GT Wrecked by PO, but still want to save!

    Current Capris:
    1981 Capri Roller
    1981 Capri Black Magic Roller Basket Case
    1982 Capri RS 5.0/4spd T-top Full Restoration Underway
    1984 Capri RS T-top Roller
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts

  9. #9
    FEP Senior Member Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wraithracing View Post
    Didn't think about the V6 setup.

    Heck just cut the trans tunnel for clearance and run the E4OD! Controller for it is only about $600.
    The controller for the 4r is actually $600. Another $350ish for the tps and harness. So it's a little less than what I thought. Probably the same as e4od. And I'm not entirely sure if you were joking about the e4od lol! It's a big unit and made for a truck, but then again, I do like thinking outside the box!

    I've located a 4r70w pretty cheap. It's out of a 2000 v6 mustang. I will probably go through it and at least replace the clutches. The 4r75w, from my understanding (trucks/vans, I believe) had extra clutches which are a plus. But the same number of clutches and steels can but installed in the 4r. To be honest, though, I don't really think it needs it for my power level in a much lighter car. In fact, I'd like to see if I can push the limits with a stock junkyard 4r70w. They're supposed to be very sturdy. In stock form, the valve body is programmed for soft shifts and the factory cooler was crap. Doing the jmod will firm up the shifts, which is healthier for the internals. Also keeps it cooler. Add a good aftermarket cooler and it's even better.

  10. #10
    FEP Member Mgino757's Avatar
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    I'd save up then, it'll be well worth it. I've seen quite a few 4r70w's take big power and hold up pass after pass after pass. I'll tell you though, for 600 rwhp, it may take a little more than the J-mod to make it take the abuse reliably. You typically need to go in and rearrange the guts a little. When you do go searching for your 4r, make sure to get a 1998 and newer, as it'll have a mechanical diode instead of the failure prone one way roller clutch. At the very least, get a 1996 and up. The 95 and below had junk valve bodies and the cases weren't quite as good.
    1985 Mustang GT conv. modified 4180C, Weiand Street Warrior intake, equal length headers, true dual exhaust, 3.55:1 8.8'' rear end, 2003 V6 T5, Ford Racing 10.5" clutch.

    1998 Mustang GT auto. PI swapped. Daily beater

  11. #11
    FEP Senior Member Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mgino757 View Post
    I'd save up then, it'll be well worth it. I've seen quite a few 4r70w's take big power and hold up pass after pass after pass. I'll tell you though, for 600 rwhp, it may take a little more than the J-mod to make it take the abuse reliably. You typically need to go in and rearrange the guts a little. When you do go searching for your 4r, make sure to get a 1998 and newer, as it'll have a mechanical diode instead of the failure prone one way roller clutch. At the very least, get a 1996 and up. The 95 and below had junk valve bodies and the cases weren't quite as good.
    Thanks for the info. I'll definitely do plenty of research before it goes in the car.

  12. #12
    FEP Member Mgino757's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broncojunkie View Post
    The controller for the 4r is actually $600. Another $350ish for the tps and harness. So it's a little less than what I thought. Probably the same as e4od. And I'm not entirely sure if you were joking about the e4od lol! It's a big unit and made for a truck, but then again, I do like thinking outside the box!

    I've located a 4r70w pretty cheap. It's out of a 2000 v6 mustang. I will probably go through it and at least replace the clutches. The 4r75w, from my understanding (trucks/vans, I believe) had extra clutches which are a plus. But the same number of clutches and steels can but installed in the 4r. To be honest, though, I don't really think it needs it for my power level in a much lighter car. In fact, I'd like to see if I can push the limits with a stock junkyard 4r70w. They're supposed to be very sturdy. In stock form, the valve body is programmed for soft shifts and the factory cooler was crap. Doing the jmod will firm up the shifts, which is healthier for the internals. Also keeps it cooler. Add a good aftermarket cooler and it's even better.
    The Mercury Marauder came with a 4R75W as well. The 2000 4R70W should take a good beating before failure. Even with a J-mod alone, you can get it to handle up to around 400 rwhp.

    Helpful article if/when you build the 4r70w.
    https://www.tccoa.com/articles/trann...on/page1.shtml
    1985 Mustang GT conv. modified 4180C, Weiand Street Warrior intake, equal length headers, true dual exhaust, 3.55:1 8.8'' rear end, 2003 V6 T5, Ford Racing 10.5" clutch.

    1998 Mustang GT auto. PI swapped. Daily beater

  13. #13
    FEP Senior Member Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mgino757 View Post
    The Mercury Marauder came with a 4R75W as well. The 2000 4R70W should take a good beating before failure. Even with a J-mod alone, you can get it to handle up to around 400 rwhp.

    Helpful article if/when you build the 4r70w.
    https://www.tccoa.com/articles/trann...on/page1.shtml
    It looks like most of the info is missing from these tech articles, which is a shame. I'm pretty sure this is the one I was reading a while back. I just ordered a book for Ford aod transmissions, which has info on rebuilding, identifying, and performance mods for a few transmissions, which includes the 4r70w. Hopefully, it has a lot of the same info.
    Last edited by Broncojunkie; 04-12-2019 at 10:02 AM.

  14. #14
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broncojunkie View Post
    The controller for the 4r is actually $600. Another $350ish for the tps and harness. So it's a little less than what I thought. Probably the same as e4od. And I'm not entirely sure if you were joking about the e4od lol! It's a big unit and made for a truck, but then again, I do like thinking outside the box!

    I've located a 4r70w pretty cheap. It's out of a 2000 v6 mustang. I will probably go through it and at least replace the clutches. The 4r75w, from my understanding (trucks/vans, I believe) had extra clutches which are a plus. But the same number of clutches and steels can but installed in the 4r. To be honest, though, I don't really think it needs it for my power level in a much lighter car. In fact, I'd like to see if I can push the limits with a stock junkyard 4r70w. They're supposed to be very sturdy. In stock form, the valve body is programmed for soft shifts and the factory cooler was crap. Doing the jmod will firm up the shifts, which is healthier for the internals. Also keeps it cooler. Add a good aftermarket cooler and it's even better.
    I was joking. The E4OD is a great transmission, basically a C6 with overdrive and electronic control. I will be using one behind a 460 in my Dad's 64 F100 Restomod. Unfortunately the transmission is a beast a bit too big IMHO for the average Mustang or even smaller vehicle. Good luck with your transmission.
    ​Trey

    "I Don't build it hoping for your approval! I built it because it meets mine!"

    "I've spent most of my money on Mustangs, racing, and women... the rest I just wasted."

    Mustangs Past: Too many to remember!
    Current Mustangs:
    1969 Mach 1
    1979 Pace Car now 5.0/5 speed
    1982 GT Ongoing RestoModification
    1984 SVO Awaiting Restoration
    1986 GT Wrecked by PO, but still want to save!

    Current Capris:
    1981 Capri Roller
    1981 Capri Black Magic Roller Basket Case
    1982 Capri RS 5.0/4spd T-top Full Restoration Underway
    1984 Capri RS T-top Roller
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts

  15. #15
    FEP Member Mgino757's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broncojunkie View Post
    It looks like most of the info is missing from these tech articles, which is a shame. I'm pretty sure this is the one I was reading a while back. I just ordered a book for Ford aod transmissions, which has info on rebuilding, identifying, and performance mods for a few transmissions, which includes the 4r70w. Hopefully, it has a lot of the same info.
    You have to enable flash player. It came up fine for me.
    1985 Mustang GT conv. modified 4180C, Weiand Street Warrior intake, equal length headers, true dual exhaust, 3.55:1 8.8'' rear end, 2003 V6 T5, Ford Racing 10.5" clutch.

    1998 Mustang GT auto. PI swapped. Daily beater

  16. #16

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    C4 handled all my pretty stout 351W could throw at it. 360 degree high rise offenhauser, 4 barrel, D0OE fuelie heads, Torino cam, 1.7 rockers, and decent flowing exhaust was the build. It ran high 13’s in a galaxie so it was no slouch. Cold blooded as hell in the winter with that tall intake but it did well for itself

    trans just worked

    could always go to an external OD

  17. #17
    FEP Senior Member Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erratic50 View Post
    C4 handled all my pretty stout 351W could throw at it. 360 degree high rise offenhauser, 4 barrel, D0OE fuelie heads, Torino cam, 1.7 rockers, and decent flowing exhaust was the build. It ran high 13’s in a galaxie so it was no slouch. Cold blooded as hell in the winter with that tall intake but it did well for itself

    trans just worked

    could always go to an external OD
    Was it just a stock c4 or what?

  18. #18
    FEP Senior Member Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mgino757 View Post
    You have to enable flash player. It came up fine for me.
    Ok good. I was afraid it was gone. I'll have to try it on my laptop when I get home. My phone won't do it. I tried messing with the settings and even downloaded another browser app that supports Flash.

  19. #19

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    I went the V6 4r70w in my 79. I was a just a basic rebuild. I went the Transgo manual valve body route, was about $200 verses the $500 plus of controllers. Biggest issue I had with the manual valve body is remembering to turn off the OD and trans lockup when I came to a stop, I had them on the same switch. Trans never let me down, nor after I sold it when the next owner beat on the car mercilessly. You will need an upgraded converter though, especially if you want the converter lockup to be functional. Lockup clutch is in the converter. You can reuse a C-4 shifter.

    Jess
    Previously owned;
    1979 Mustang, v6 swapped to EFI 393, custom installed m122 blower, 4r70w trans, Megasquirt II, T-top swaped in.
    1990 Mustang, 545 BBF, C-4 with brake, ladder bars.
    1983 Mustang, 1984 SVO Mustang
    1984 Mustang convertible, v6 swapped to 351
    1986 Mustang GT, 1989 Mustang GT convertible
    1992 Mustang coupe, 4 swapped to 302

  20. #20
    FEP Senior Member Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustang-junky View Post
    I went the V6 4r70w in my 79. I was a just a basic rebuild. I went the Transgo manual valve body route, was about $200 verses the $500 plus of controllers. Biggest issue I had with the manual valve body is remembering to turn off the OD and trans lockup when I came to a stop, I had them on the same switch. Trans never let me down, nor after I sold it when the next owner beat on the car mercilessly. You will need an upgraded converter though, especially if you want the converter lockup to be functional. Lockup clutch is in the converter. You can reuse a C-4 shifter.

    Jess
    Jess,
    This is the exact info I was missing. I didn't know this Transgo kit existed. It's the Transgo AODE-3 full-manual shift kit. I was under the understanding that a new manual valve body was the only way to do this. The only one I could find was over $500. This one is $179 at Summit.

    This is what I'm going to go with. If I knew of it sooner, this thread wouldn't exist. But I did learn a lot from you guys! Thanks for bringing this up!

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