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is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

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Positively Ralf
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is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #1 by Positively Ralf » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:07 am

I know that the T-5 swap is one of the best swaps done for the 200, but I would like to know if the C4 is the best tranny for us automatic 200 drivers. Or is there a better auto tranny/rear gears combo that would be better suited for the 200?
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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #2 by JackFish » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:27 am

There aren't really a lot of options. I don't know that I've heard of anyone running anything different than a C4.
You'd think someone here would have an AOD on one by now. If I had a low mount starter block I would certainly be looking into it. But the C4 can be built to very stout specifications and the only shortcoming might be the lack of overdrive.
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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #3 by MustangSix » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:25 pm

I think you could use a bell housing from a C3 bolted to an A4LD to get a 4spd non-electronic OD transmission for a 200. Finding a 200/C3 bell has been a hunt and not exactly high priority for me right now.
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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #4 by Thad » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:31 pm

Would the performance advantages of a AOD behind a 200 be negated by the added weight and increase in parasitic internal operating power loss compared to a 200 w/ C-4?
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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #5 by JackFish » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:41 pm

My opinion is that if you have a modified engine it should handle the extra weight without any problem.
But opinions are like, well you know...
Mine is built as a highway runner and could really use that OD.
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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #6 by early ford fan » Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:07 pm

MustangSix wrote:I think you could use a bell housing from a C3 bolted to an A4LD to get a 4spd non-electronic OD transmission for a 200. Finding a 200/C3 bell has been a hunt and not exactly high priority for me right now.

ive read this but ive never seen anybody confirm it.it would be great.btw the a4lds were later converted to five speed

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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #7 by Positively Ralf » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:39 am

I don't know a lot about transmissions but what exactly kind of cars did a a4lds come in? And if a C3 Bellhousing does bolt onto a a4lds, how hard would it be to find a C3 bell? What kind of improvements would this tranny bring btw?

Sorry for all the questions. It's just like I said, I'm more of an auto tranny person who is looking for any answers to trying to find the best auto tranny for us 200 auto drivers.
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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #8 by MustangSix » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:32 pm

AODs are direct drive in 4th gear. No great losses.
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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #9 by Lazy JW » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:39 pm

MustangSix wrote:AODs are direct drive in 4th gear. No great losses.

Mmmmmm....... is that a typo there, Jack? I always thought that the letters "AOD" stand for Automatic Over Drive.
Joe
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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #10 by 61Futura » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:00 pm

A4LD's were used in Rangers, Bronco II's, & Explorers to name a few. The early versions didn't have electric control of a lockup converter. I only have experience with them in my 86 Bronco II and an 88 Ranger I used as a parts car. The A4LD was built by using the C3 design and lengthening them for the 4th gear overdrive. They have a poor reputation in the 4WD light trucks, but that is from people that burn them up 4 wheeling with them. If you don't overheat them, they are good. The A4LD was also in the 2WD light trucks which is what you would need if you find a C3 bellhousing.
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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #11 by Positively Ralf » Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:35 pm

Well, I'm not going to be doing any super racing or four wheel driving with my Mav so I doubt I would burn it out :)

This is some good news to hear that that combo could possibly work. I'm going to keep an eye out for this C3 bellhousing since this sounds like a great idea. Anyone know what other parts I would need to make it happen? Anyone know if a column shift car will pose any sort of probs when doing the swap?

Thanks guys!
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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #12 by MustangSix » Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:18 pm

Lazy JW wrote:
MustangSix wrote:AODs are direct drive in 4th gear. No great losses.

Mmmmmm....... is that a typo there, Jack? I always thought that the letters "AOD" stand for Automatic Over Drive.
Joe


No typo. The AOD is direct mechanical drive in fourth. No clutch.
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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #13 by early ford fan » Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:38 pm

MustangSix wrote:
Lazy JW wrote:
MustangSix wrote:AODs are direct drive in 4th gear. No great losses.

Mmmmmm....... is that a typo there, Jack? I always thought that the letters "AOD" stand for Automatic Over Drive.
Joe


No typo. The AOD is direct mechanical drive in fourth. No clutch.

i think he means lock up torque converter.

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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #14 by early ford fan » Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:50 pm

imo the best trans for a 200 is a chevy 700r4 from behind a 2.8 v6.3.06 first gear plus .70 overdrive,can be rebuilt for 500 horsepower if needed.same basic trans from the 305/350 chevy.i bought one to compare with the 200 c4 i have.the torque converter is about the same size.the 700r4 converter snout sticks is smaller and sticks out more than the c4 which would be good for a spacer.the bellhousing pattern is about the same size as the larger 66 up 200 pattern.they are dirt cheep because they won't bolt to a 350.but i don't know a tallented machinist to make an adapter plate.btw the 2.8 700r4 camaros are pretty peppy.

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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #15 by Lazy JW » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:29 pm

early ford fan wrote:....

i think he means lock up torque converter.

Ahhh...... I misunderstood; I was just now looking at pictures of the OD unit.
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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #16 by MustangSix » Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:54 pm

The AOD doesn't have a lockup converter. It uses a two piece input shaft. The inner shaft is direct drive and by locking up the OD drum, it transmits power directly from the flexplate thru the transmission OD gearset. In third gear, 67% of the torque is sent thru the direct drive shaft. There is no torque converter clutch on an AOD.
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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #17 by Crosley » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:36 am

The AOD has only one planetary set inside that performs double duty with it's design coming from the Cast Iron cruise-O line of transmissions. Purty smart design actually.

Inner shaft is direct drive to the direct clutch drum

When over drive shift happens , the forward clutch pack releases and the OD band applies
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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #18 by dilbert » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:59 pm

Has anybody looked into what torque convertor to use with a A4LD with the c3 bellhousing?

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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #19 by MustangSix » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:55 am

Probably the one that comes with the 2300 engine. I was thinking that I could adapt the 2300 flexplate as well, but I'm not sue what the starter spacing would be like.

This won't be a bolt on affair because I don't think there's a combination of parts that will get you there. Need to compare the tooth count on the C3 to the A4ld to see how far off it would be.
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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #20 by early ford fan » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:49 pm

MustangSix wrote:Probably the one that comes with the 2300 engine. I was thinking that I could adapt the 2300 flexplate as well, but I'm not sue what the starter spacing would be like.

This won't be a bolt on affair because I don't think there's a combination of parts that will get you there. Need to compare the tooth count on the C3 to the A4ld to see how far off it would be.


i assumed you'd use the 200 c3 flexplate and torque converter.

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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #21 by dilbert » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:07 pm

With a 0.75 4th gear this is pretty close to the 5th gear of a T5. Do you T5 guys feel the motor bogs down to much in 5th?
Did the Rpm drop give you a big increase in highway mileage?

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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #22 by early ford fan » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:02 pm

dilbert wrote:With a 0.75 4th gear this is pretty close to the 5th gear of a T5. Do you T5 guys feel the motor bogs down to much in 5th?
Did the Rpm drop give you a big increase in highway mileage?

true,but with an automatic you can downshift just by pressing down the gas pedal if you need more power.

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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #23 by dr. Dan » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:26 pm

I don't know a lot about transmissions but what exactly kind of cars did a a4lds come in? And if a C3 Bellhousing does bolt onto a a4lds, how hard would it be to find a C3 bell? What kind of improvements would this tranny bring btw?

Sorry for all the questions. It's just like I said, I'm more of an auto tranny person who is looking for any answers to trying to find the best auto tranny for us 200 auto drivers.


I have a C3 bellhousing from a 200 off an '81 Granada, with TC and various peripherals. I'm looking for an A4LD to rebuild. C3s and A4LDs were used in various Fox chassis models, so for my '80 Fairmont it shouldn't be too hard to do once I have the stuff and accomplish a rebuild. Somewhere on the forum is a link to an article called Project Frankentranny which has much information. For highway cruising it should be a winner.

Has anybody looked into what torque convertor to use with a A4LD with the c3 bellhousing?


I'm expecting to use the C3 flexplate with an A4LD TC, which has lockup. There are various iterations of the basic A4LD.
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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #24 by MustangSix » Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:21 am

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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #25 by early ford fan » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:27 pm

MustangSix wrote:Found some more info here:
http://www.scimitarweb.co.uk/sgwrs/view ... 21a3f19d2d

i read through that.i don't see anything there that confirms they are talking about a engine that is the same as an american 200.btw i see a lot of a4lds on craigslist.

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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #26 by MustangSix » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:40 am

No, but the details on the differences between the C3 and the A4LD bell were relevant.

I have to say, I think that it might be easier, more cost effective, and give you more options to simply make an adapter plate to use an AOD.
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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #27 by early ford fan » Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:38 pm

MustangSix wrote:No, but the details on the differences between the C3 and the A4LD bell were relevant.

I have to say, I think that it might be easier, more cost effective, and give you more options to simply make an adapter plate to use an AOD.

thats one of the reasons i mentioned the 2.8 700r4.its bellhousing is much smaller than the aods.at least the aods im familier with.

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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #28 by bubba22349 » Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:26 am

There aren't really a lot of options. I don't know that I've heard of anyone running anything different than a C4.
You'd think someone here would have an AOD on one by now. If I had a low mount starter block I would certainly be looking into it. But the C4 can be built to very stout specifications and the only shortcoming might be the lack of overdrive.


Would the performance advantages of a AOD behind a 200 be negated by the added weight and increase in parasitic internal operating power loss compared to a 200 w/ C-4?


How about the so called poor mans version of a OD :thumbup: A C4 with low gear set and a higher geared rear axle ratio :?: Equals no added weight or increase in parasitic losses in theory at least, with the built motor's extra torque should be a good combo. :hmmm:
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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #29 by early ford fan » Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:58 am

i looked into the low gear sets a while ago.it seems like they were pretty expensive plus the cost of rebuilding the c4 to install it.

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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #30 by bubba22349 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:59 pm

i looked into the low gear sets a while ago.it seems like they were pretty expensive plus the cost of rebuilding the c4 to install it.


Maybe be so but how much when compared to swapping it an AOD or other OD type trans? :hmmm: Rebuilding a C4 is way cheaper than most auto trans. :nod:
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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #31 by steveg » Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:34 pm

Interesting info here. I've owned many vehicles with the A4LD and have had good luck with them. They are a notoriously weak trans but when not abused or when kept cool when abused they hold up just fine. A couple of the Explorers I've owned were built for prerunning (high-speed desert off-roading) and I never had a problem with them. I did put large coolers on them and kept the fluid clean.

The A4LD works really well behind Fords 4.0L V6 which has lots of low end torque like the six... I think it would be a good combo especially with a lock-up converter.

I need to do some more research on this C3 bellhousing. My car currently has a C4 with 3.50(or is it 3.55?) gears. Overdrive and lock-up would be great additions.

Did the A4LD ever have a removable bell housing?

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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #32 by early ford fan » Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:34 pm

it would be hard to change the a4ld bellhousing to a c3 bellhousing if they aren't removable. :duh: they are removable.i understand the passages in the bellhousing need to be modified.

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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #33 by steveg » Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:56 pm

early ford fan wrote:it would be hard to change the a4ld bellhousing to a c3 bellhousing if they aren't removable. :duh: they are removable.

Haha, Thank you, Mr. Obvious. I've heard and read mention of swapping the bell housing on an A4LD but have never talked to or heard of anyone that has actually done it. Maybe I'm remembering wrong, but I thought all my A4LD equipped vehicles had a one-piece case....

Maybe a more specific question would have been better... Anyone know which Fords came with an A4LD and removable bell housing?

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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #34 by early ford fan » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:42 am

wikapedia has a list.google a4ld.the hard part is finding a c3 bellhousing for a 200.

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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #35 by steveg » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:40 am

MustangSix wrote:Found some more info here:
http://www.scimitarweb.co.uk/sgwrs/view ... 21a3f19d2d


I just did some reading in the above thread... great info there. Thanks for the link!

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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #36 by early ford fan » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:23 pm

steveg wrote:
MustangSix wrote:Found some more info here:
http://www.scimitarweb.co.uk/sgwrs/view ... 21a3f19d2d


I just did some reading in the above thread... great info there. Thanks for the link!

i wikipediaed that car.it came with a v6 ford engine so im not sure how much of that info will work for a straight six.

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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #37 by steveg » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:56 pm

early ford fan wrote:i wikipediaed that car.it came with a v6 ford engine so im not sure how much of that info will work for a straight six.

They are different engines but I thought the differences between the C3 and A4LD bell housings and oil circuits were good bits of info. It gives a head start on the swap and an idea of the modifications that will possibly be required. It appears that one or two members on that board have completed the swap with a non-lockup converter. I'd really prefer to have lockup but it would probably be fine without.

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Re: is the C4 the best auto tranny for the 200?

Post #38 by seanrace » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:09 pm

I have a C3 from a 79 Fairmont that came with the 200 I6 I am currently rebuilding as a turbocharged motor. I was considering using a C4 but I may try ot locate an A4LD and do a comparison/buildup. What kind of power do you think a c3 could handle?? I am looking at about 300-350 HP out of my 6 and everyhting I have read/heard was the c3 would not survive long with that kind of power. If I could use the c3 then I could put my money into a rearend that will handle the power (7.25" rear wont handle it).

What years/makes/models of A4LD should I look for?

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