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Topic: C4/AOD Question (Read 1725 times) previous topic - next topic

C4/AOD Question

I've been following a C5 for my '86 3.8 GS on Craigslist for a while that was pretty close to me, but haven't had the money to buy it.  He was only asking $100 for it, but now I have to assume it's gone.  So I may have to explore other trans options for the car.  While I hope that maybe this one will come back around, I might need to consider a C4 or an AOD, which seem more plentiful.  What issues am I looking at for either of these, especially considering that I'm on a very limited budget?  Thanks.

C4/AOD Question

Reply #1
Either of those stock rebuilt will handle a 3.8 fine. Finding a good one that doesn't need to be rebuilt (AOD has been out of production for about 25 years) is going to be the hard part.
88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, bunch of other stuff.

C4/AOD Question

Reply #2
Aod and be the best swap in my honest opinion. If it were me I'd go aod and not look back or you could always throw a t 5 in it. I did my swap for about $400 behind a V8. V6 T5 stuff is dirt cheap and plenty of available.

Aod driveshaft will be shorter.
Quote from: jcassity
I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
Hooligans! 
1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
1986 cougar.
lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

C4/AOD Question

Reply #3
Well, I was able to reach the seller yesterday, and the C5 is in fact sold.  I'm kicking myself for not getting it, but the seller did say that there was no guarantee on it anyway.  While I would love to go the T5 route (love 3-pedal cars), I don't think I have the skills to install one, if I could find one I could afford.  So I'd be paying someone else to do it for me.  I've never installed a transmission in anything, so even an automatic is going to be a first-time challenge.  Assuming I install an AOD; my car has 2.73 gearing, which I'm assuming works together with a non-OD trans for better mileage.  So do the AOD cars also have 2.73 gearing, or something a little steeper?  I'm thinking a 2.73 rear coupled to an OD will probably be at an idle at 70mph.  Is that anything to be concerned about?

On the T5 suggestion:  I've seen on CoolCats where it's not recommended to put the T5 behind the 3.8 in our cars.  Anybody know why that is?  If I tackled it, with my limited experience, I'd feel better if it was a sure-fire process with no big complications.

Thanks again for everybody's help.

C4/AOD Question

Reply #4
T5 would be dirt cheap like less than $500 start to finish. In my opinion it's the only way to go unless you need an automatic. There are some things that are hard to get or people aren't sure of I'll put together a list
Quote from: jcassity
I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
Hooligans! 
1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
1986 cougar.
lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

C4/AOD Question

Reply #5
Thanks, Haystack!

C4/AOD Question

Reply #6
Pretty much the only hard part would be finding a flywheel. The 3.8 uses the 28oz imbalance. The only thing I'm not 100% sure on is what clutch set up you would end up with, mainly because that is what the flywheel would dictate.

For a stock driver, order a 3.8 flywheel. Most aftermarket (non parts store) flywheel have removable weights. Then it should be the same as any 94-98 v-6 stang but with fox pedals and a fox clutch pedal.

The offset of the flywheel will dictate starter. You would need a 164t flywheel if you wanted to use the sn-95 stuff, as it uses a larger 11" clutch compared to the gt 10.5" stuff.

If they make a 157t flywheel in 28oz imbalance, then you could just get a 87-93 stang t-5 and it would be the same as a gt aod to t-5 swap.

The 94-04 stang v-6 stuff is supposedly longer, but I reused my stock aod driveshaft with no issues at all.
Quote from: jcassity
I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
Hooligans! 
1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
1986 cougar.
lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

C4/AOD Question

Reply #7
Haystack,
Wow!  My head is still spinning.  I only thought I was halfway mechanically-minded.  Are you available for a little road trip and an extended stay in KY, ha ha??  The only part of that list I've ever had my hands on was a starter, which I've changed several of in various vehicles.  Since I don't know exactly what direction I'm going to go in yet (and/or how much money I'm really going to be able to come up with), would you mind if I threw another idea your way?  I've found a '98 V6 parts Mustang in my general area.  I think the motor is shot, but he says the trans is good.  he's only asking $400 for the whole car.  It's a 4R70W.  I've never seen a reference to this trans on this page.  I've had a couple of these in F150's, etc, and never had an issue that I recall.  I know it's an electronic transmission, but I don't know what other aspects about it would or wouldn't jive with my car.  Would you mind sharing your knowledge on this suggestion?  I'm afraid that between my knowledge base, parts availability in my area, and what they'll cost when I find them, I'm in for a big challenge.  Thanks so much again.

C4/AOD Question

Reply #8
Those transmissions do indeed bolt up. They are similar, but stronger to an aod and you are correct, they are computer controlled.

There is a kit for a stand alone computer for the trans. The Mustang that uses those actually have the trans controller built Into the ecu.

Honestly, a trans swap isn't that hard. If you like three pedals, hit a pick and pull. I can find decent sn-95 t-5's for $150 all day long.

Most of the parts you would need would be from an sn-95 or fox stang. With the proper tools, I could probably do an aod to t-5 swap in about 8 hour's, start to finish.
Quote from: jcassity
I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
Hooligans! 
1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
1986 cougar.
lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

C4/AOD Question

Reply #9
Haystack,
You're hired!!  Besides the trans itself, what else from a donor sn95 car would I need?  Where I'm going with that is, if I were to find a complete parts car, would it be worthwhile to buy the whole car for all the parts I'd need to rob off of it?  When I saw this '98 Mustang on CL, I was sure hoping it was a T5 car.  For $400, I'd have probably brought the whole car home, took what I wanted, and scrapped the rest and got half my money back.  Does the donor T5 car need to be a V6?  I'm just very limited on the tools I have and where I can work, and of course never tackling a trans job before.  I don't have a garage, just a gravel driveway to work on and a set of ramps.  I would say I was a shade-tree mechanic at best, but I don't even have a good tree!!  I've already started checking CL and some pick-a-parts close by and searching for the parts you've listed.  As much as I love manuals, it won't hurt my feelings if I end up going back with an auto, if I hit a wall on $$ or parts.  You mentioned a Fox donor; would the Fox car have to be a V6?  Those Mustangs had nothing but 2.3's and 5.0's there for the last several years, then the sn95's started and back came the 3.8V6.  Sorry I'm slamming you with so many questions, but you seem very knowledgeable about the subject (as well as lots of others here).  I'm more of a fan of the cars instead of a capable mechanic on them.  Later.

C4/AOD Question

Reply #10
94-98 for the trans from a v-6 stang. Flywheel is the only real unknown. Most after market flywheel and clutches have both a 11" and 10.5" bolt pattern. The v-6 used the larger 164t flywheel. That woyls dictate what starter and stuff you used.

5.0 would also work, bit would be a "shorter" trans. This would limit you to 85ish to 95 and would require the 157t flywheel.

Which flywheel will tell you what starter.

84 or so to 93 stang, 4 banger or 5.0 pedal box will wor. From a stang or 83-86 turbo coupr/XR7 Only. I used a fox clutch cable. Then you need to cut a hole in the floor and decide if you want a console or not.

Consoles from 83-84 cougar or thunderbird, or optional (usually sport / xr7 or turbo coupe) but only the 5 speed console plate would look correct. I used an auto one, ot worked but was a bit tight.

Fox gt t-5's usually go for $4-500 beat to crap out here. A decent 94-04 sn-95 v-6 is easily to find and plentiful. I paid $125 when I did my swap and had no issues.
Quote from: jcassity
I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
Hooligans! 
1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
1986 cougar.
lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

C4/AOD Question

Reply #11
A trans swap is no big deal. I think the average shade tree mechanic could easily do it in a weekend once parts were sourcrd.
Quote from: jcassity
I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
Hooligans! 
1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
1986 cougar.
lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

C4/AOD Question

Reply #12
http://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com/showthread.php?35400-sn-95-v-6-t-5-behind-a-5-0&highlight=

Here's my swap thread behind a 5.0 . I was the first person to do this that I was aware of. Ive learned of a few other people that did it before since, but not many. Maybe two that documented it online.
Quote from: jcassity
I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
Hooligans! 
1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
1986 cougar.
lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

C4/AOD Question

Reply #13
Haystack,
Awesome info!  So did you do the conversion on the 86 Cougar as well as the 87 T-bird?  If I didn't go the console route, I can just go with a generic shifter boot, can't I?  I get a feeling I'll never find a taupe console, since they only made that interior color in 86.  To me a simple boot would be fine.  How do you know where to cut the floor?  You've probably answered some of these questions already in your attached thread.  I just haven't had time to look at it yet.  Thanks again, again.

C4/AOD Question

Reply #14
Haystack,
Just read your old thread.  Holy crap!  I feel REALLY stupid now.  You lost me before the end of page 1.  This may make me decide to keep it a 2-pedal car.  What you did was very impressive.  I won't rule out the T5 route, but I may not go at it as enthusiastically as before.  What you went through would drive me nuts, and probably get me divorced.  I really don't even have the money to even have a play car, I just kinda faked it and made it happen because I love Cougars so much.  I only paid $375 for the car with the bad tranny, and it freakin' runs great.  Before I bought it, it had just passed an emissions test in Nashville, TN, then the trans went down on the previous owner.  I'm keeping all your info anyway, and will just see what comes available for the next little while.  Gotta save up the $$ anyway.

P.S. there are several FMX's on CL in my area going cheap.  Thoughts?