94 Lincoln town car 4R70W transmission

I have a chance to upgrade my FMX to a 4R70W out of a Lincoln town car with a 302.
I put 3:50 gear in the rear end last winter and ready for an overdrive transmission. I really would want a transmission from 88-92 OAD. But this is kind of falling into my lap. Is it a good fit? Will my Speedo cable work, will in need a computer to run it?

'98-01 are the best years for 4R70W, as they got upgrades like the mechanical diode and other revisions - but all of them have a mechanical speedo provision until after that. Your '94 will be just fine, and it’s a great transmission! Far better than an AOD in a lot of ways. You do need a computer to run it, or a manual valve body that will cost you just as much as a controller, but will be a lot harsher shifting.

I would look at Baumann Engineering’s controllers. They have several tiers of them ranging from “plug it in and go” to “you can tinker with every dang setting”.

In my own '67, I picked up a '98 4R70W out of a V6 Mustang, and since I needed an engine management system for the 8 stack EFI I’m installing, I bought a Holley Terminator X Max setup (which comes with a built in transmission controller too).

For standalone setups, Baumann’s the way to go.

If you were to go with an AOD, as they come from the factory they have very soft shift quality that tends to burn up the friction materials. They also shear the lockup torque converter components if you do full throttle shifts into 3rd and 4th. They also have a TV cable that must be very carefully adjusted, or it will burn up the transmission due to lack of lubrication in just a few miles.

All of those shortcomings can be dealt with, but by the time you replace all the parts and make it a decent transmission, you’ll have around $2500 into it, and probably lose the locking torque converter feature.

4R70W also has a lower first and second gear than AOD, which means it’s a bit more fun and fuel efficient in town/low speeds.

So just to break it down very simply: AOD has 4 gears and overdrive, uses a TV cable to sense throttle position, and relies on hydraulic circuits and reservoirs that push on servos to shift the gears. Very soft, gentle shifts. Prone to destroying itself if used in ‘spirited driving’. Can handle about 250 horsepower in stock form, if not driven too vigorously.

4R70W is the direct descendant of AOD, but has lower first and second gears. Uses an electronic sensor to see throttle position. Uses a computer to actuate solenoids that shift the gears any way you tell it to - firm or gentle. Handles around 350 horsepower in stock form, easily upgraded to handle any power level you want.

How would one bolt up with a 351W in a 69? I am guessing that driveshaft would have to be changed too, and crossmember.

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Likely it would be a bit longer than what you’ve got in there. You may be able to modify your existing crossmember, or just use an aftermarket crossmember designed to put a T5/AOD/4R70W in a '69.

If you need a new driveshaft, I would see if you can get an aluminum driveshaft out of a salvage yard (that hasn’t been crushed by a forklift) and see if you can use that. You may need to get it shortened. Or not!

That’s for the detailed information.
I looked up the controllers and the price. Plus I would want my factory speedometer to work. There is an added cost for that. I’m struggling to decide the best way to go for price wise and appreciation (transmission). AOD or 4R70W.
I’m thinking the easier and more affordable way would be the 88-92 AOD. Please correct me if I’m wrong

You are wrong. :rofl:

No, honestly, and without teasing - AOD is okay if you really just want a cruiser without much power in it. But to make it actually shift all right and not burn itself up will cost you FAR more than going to a 4R70W.

I spent more on having a custom driveshaft made than I did on my 4R70W transmission and having the “J Mod” done to it so it would handle more power reliably. My engine should be making north of 400 horsepower, and I just wanted to make sure I didn’t run into any problems, long-term.

The guy that worked on it happened to be a Ford engineer that was directly involved with the design of these transmissions to begin with. He said that mine looked “brand new” inside, and I know it was at least 100k miles of use in a V6 Mustang.

So long as you get a pre-2002 4R70W, there’s no “cost” for your speedometer, beyond selecting the right gear for it so your speedo reads right. There’s a hole in the side of it, exactly like your existing transmission. Later ones went to an electronic output only, and lost the mechanical speedo provision.

OH! If you do go that route- make sure you get one that came off a Windsor or V6! Not a mod motor! The bellhousing is integral, so if you get a 4.6 version, there’s no way it would ever bolt up without a lot of crazy work and adapters.

I’ve seen folks attempt to use a AOD and also a 4R70W in early Cougars. None have been successful despite unlimited (seemingly) dollars spent. I wonder if ultimately it would be not only cheaper but also better to simply install a C6 with a Gear Vendors overdrive? Should be fairly stout and reliable.

Gear Vendors website

Well, if my machinist ever gets done with my engine, I’ll put mine in and see if I can prove you wrong, Royce! (not that you’d be impressed with the rest of my poor old Cougar - I know some of your cars!) lol

Hopefully it goes well. =)

I wish you the best of luck however what I have seen has been dreadfully expensive and ultimately a fail.

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You two have just confused me more! Thanks!!!
My car is a Cleveland and hp is low. 220. So an AOD would hold up. But it is nice to know what year 4R70W will work to have a stock speedometer. Thanks guys

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Oh and the Lincoln has a 302. That will fit the Cleveland correct?

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Sure, all the engine mounts and bellhousing patterns for 351C are the same as any 6 bolt 289, 302 or 351W.

The AOD in the Art Hopkins G worked fantastic. The only drawback was the 2.79 rear axle ratio. I’ve ridden in several early Cougars converted to AOD in the AZCC and all of them were great. None of these were race cars but great cruising on the interstate or around town. Maybe the one consideration was that the rear axle ratio was 3.50 or higher

And that’s what I’m running

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Well so much for that transmission! My friend said I’d have to pry it out of her dead cold hands before she gives it up! Hahaha. She said her husband will get the car fixed and back on the road one day.
I have a buddy that has a ford truck. He thinks it around a 90-94 2 wheel drive F250 with a 5L. If it is 92 or older. Would that transmission be a good fit for my transmission upgrade?

I have installed an AOD transmission in both my 69 Cougars without any issues. If you are replacing the FMX transmission, it is a simple swap. The AOD is 3/8" longer than the FMX and doesn’t require shortening the driveshaft. You will need to modify the following: Install an AOD slip yoke on the driveshaft, modify the transmission cross member to clear the AOD transmission pan, shorten one trans cooler line, modify the drivers side exhaust down pipe, install a Lokar shift selector [https://www.summitracing.com/parts/lok-ata-1001] or modify the existing AOD shift selector, and install the Lokar AOD TV pressure cable https://www.summitracing.com/parts/lok-kd2aodht . This is all very doable as a weekend project.

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The problem is finding one in my small city in the middle of no where!
I went out to my co-workers fathers place. He has a 91 F150 2x4 with a transmission code of “E” which it sounds like a E40D.
Is that any good for my swap?

The E40D has a few improvements over the AOD, but does lack most of the improvements that the 4R70W has, like the mechanical diode, and lower first/second gears. It is a decent transmission, if not worn out!

I read it had major issues. 1. Hard shifting 2. Pops out of overdrive and into neutral

The 4R70W I’ll need a computer and I can’t use my stock speedometer cable from what I’ve read. Although the updates are inviting. I don’t want the other issues