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Classic Mustangs Tech Forum

Technical discussions specific to 1964-1967, 1968-1970, and 1971-1973 Classic Mustang. Discuss all tech related to in-line six cylinder and V8 powered Vintage Mustangs here.

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Unread 08-17-2010   #1 (permalink)
65FBTang is offline Rookie

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Default 1965 Mustang C4 to AOD Swap

Just completed an AOD swap on a 1965 Mustang.

If you are planning on doing this I thought I 'd share my experience.

First. I thought that this would be something I would tackle myself. You need an experienced person assisting you, unless you are an accomplished mechanic. I am glad that I didn't go this alone.

Second, or maybe first - Ride in a car similar to yours that has had this upgrade performed. Make sure this is what you want. The AOD has specific characteristics. There are many options for upgrading an AOD depending on your application. I had a C4 that was leaking, so I felt that if the tranny had to be pulled again (because the mechanic I paid who had the unit out of the car twice didn't fix the leak), then I might as well give the AOD a try. The AOD does not leak :kooky:

Do I like the upgrade? For me it's very different from the C4. I'm getting use to it. I do have a passing gear now (the c4 linkage wasn't there when I got the car). You will need the Lokar kit for the AOD TV (throttle valve) and a gauge to measure the pressure for adjusting the TV cable that is attached to the carburetor linkage. This gives you passing gear.

On the highway the ride is smooth and the engine is running at a lower rpm when the overdrive kicks in. Do some homework if you want more performance than a driver car.

Located an AOD from a 1990 5.0L Mustang for $150.00. My guy (a friend that is ASE certified Master Mechanic) and I rebuilt the tranny over a period of several weeks. Replaced all seals and clutches, reverse servo piston. Total parts cost around $180. Total cost in the tranny, approximately $330. Purchased a rebuilt torque converter for $55.00, wholesale. Yes there are large markups on auto parts. I was able to buy direct from a local company that specializes in transmissions.

Sourced all the other parts (flex plate, transmission mount, transmission bracket, shift linkage, transmission lines, lokar tv cable, engine cover and inspection plate, aod dipstick and tube, speedo gear) I needed from various dealers, all from the internet, over a period of months. As a result of purchasing from reputable dealers that sell quality parts, there were no issues with getting everything to work, and I saved some money, versus buying a kit ( at least $1200)

Don't forget the speedometer gear. There are websites with formulas to calculate the right one for your tire size.

Read all the posts you can about swaps. There are nuggets in each of them. Don't believe everything you read. And remember that some things aren't highlighted that can be a show stopper, like the exhaust mentioned below.

Was able to reuse the C4 tailpiece that comes out the back of the tranny that attaches to the driveshaft.

You will need to measure and have your driveshaft shorted. 2.5 inches had to be removed for this installation. A local shop shortened and balanced the unit for $45. Previous owner had installed new U joints, so that was something I didn't need to do. The driveshaft shop can tell you if the U joints are bad, because they won't be able to balance the shaft if that's the case. The shaft gets balanced much like a tire does. A weight is welded to the shaft.

The neutral safety switch and back up lights are controlled by internal mechanisms on the AOD. The switch on the C4 that did control these gets cut out and you splice these wires to the harness on the AOD. Diagrams are on the web for the correct wiring pattern. Make sure you get the harness when you locate a transmission.
At first we thought that the backup lights weren't working (had installed new lights previously that never worked. Probably was a faulty switch on the C4). This turned out to be a shifter linkage adjustment problem. The car was in park, but when shifted to reverse, it was then in park. When shifted to neutral the backup lights worked. You'll have to play with the shifter linkage adjustment to get it right.

Get all the parts you can from the AOD as it is pulled from the donor car, especially the bolts that go through the bell housing to the engine. They are a little longer than the C4 bolts.

A word about exhaust. The exhaust system will probably need to be modified. The cross over pipe had to be cut so that we could spread the dual exhaust to clear the tranny. The AOD is bigger than the C4. We hammered the ends where the cross over pipe was cut and welded them shut, so that the car could be driven to the muffler shop. Another $150.00 put the exhaust right, with a crossover pipe and adjustments as needed.

Get the car up in the air as far as you can, being safe. We used 4 - 3 ton jack stands, which got the car up high enough for us to use creepers to get around. It was still tight at first for me, but I got use to it. We did everything under the car over a period of several weeks. We did not get in a hurry.

While the drive shaft was out we replaced a seal on the chunk in the rear that was leaking. Discovered I had a 9 inch rear. While the car is in the air, it's a good time to do additional work, if you have anything in mind.

It's an interesting project to tackle. I now feel that I understand the driveline of this car and several other components better than I did before. And I have two less leaks than I did before the upgrade. And if you're like me, you hate a leaky car.

Next projects on the horizon. Replace the steering gear with a 16:1 ratio box and upgrading to power disc brakes on the front.
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Unread 08-18-2010   #2 (permalink)
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I would talk to Early Mustang AOD Conversion Kit, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973 are you sure its a 9 inch the 8 inch looks just like it but smaller.
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Unread 08-18-2010   #3 (permalink)
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That's a good write up that you did on the AOD swap. I also rebuilt my 1990 AOD in my shop with a video from Badshoe production. He does a really great job on tearing down and rebuilding the AOD. One thing that I had to do on my 66 stang is to go from a 2.80 rear gear to a 3.50. The AOD felt somewhat anemic on the 2.80 gears. The 3.50 gears really woke up the 5.0 HO engine that I installed with the AOD. Much more fun to drive now.
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Unread 08-19-2010   #4 (permalink)
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Default AOD swap and rear gears upgrade

That's for confirming what I felt. That the rear gears need to go to a range you indicated. That is why I suggested that someone ride or drive an AOD equipped vintage Mustang.
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Unread 08-19-2010   #5 (permalink)
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As someone who builds C4s and AODs for swaps I can tell you that having lower gears when swapping a carbureted engine to an AOD is the only way to get the power you want and the mileage you expect from an OD transmission. Most of the successful swaps are made to drag racing cars with 4.11 gears. This gives the same overall ratio as the stock car had and the acceleration remains fast. The cars can cruise at under 3000 rpm on the freeway and get the mileage that makes these cars economical and fun to drive.
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Unread 08-19-2010   #6 (permalink)
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That was a great write up, but I think some blanket statements were used. You don't have to use a Lokar TV cable. I used a transmission from a 90 Grand Maurquis and used the TV cable from that vehicle.
You also don't have to get your driveshaft shortened. When I did my EFI/AOD swap, I reused my 66 driveshaft, stock length. I did cut one inch off of the front yoke, smoothed the rough edges, and drove it like that for 3 years.

Again, your write up was great, but there are several ways to accomplish this task. I had 2.80 gears out back and the mileage was great, but swapping to 3.55 a few months back made the car a lot more fun.
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Unread 08-19-2010   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing real experience - this should help a lot of people.
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Unread 08-20-2010   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcroix View Post
That was a great write up, but I think some blanket statements were used. You don't have to use a Lokar TV cable. I used a transmission from a 90 Grand Maurquis and used the TV cable from that vehicle.
You also don't have to get your driveshaft shortened. When I did my EFI/AOD swap, I reused my 66 driveshaft, stock length. I did cut one inch off of the front yoke, smoothed the rough edges, and drove it like that for 3 years.

Again, your write up was great, but there are several ways to accomplish this task. I had 2.80 gears out back and the mileage was great, but swapping to 3.55 a few months back made the car a lot more fun.
Gcroix,
There are two different lengths for the AOD. If you use the longer version the driveshaft must be shortened.
Paul
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Unread 08-21-2010   #9 (permalink)
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Paul, I stand humbled; I didn't know about the different lengths.

That being said, I still think that blanket statements were used, and the OP could be taken that you 'have' to do things that way, and you don't. Many paths to the same destination.
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