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  #1  
Old 02-26-2009, 06:00 PM
facelessnumber facelessnumber is offline
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E150 transmission questions...

Hey guys. New to this site, and I don't own a Ford truck (do have a nice '71 Maverick Grabber though) but I thought I'd run these questions by you folks since I always get my best information and advice from automotive forums...


This weekend I'm going to replace the transmission in a 1997 Econoline with a 4.6 liter engine. Research tells me this this is a 4R70W transmisison. Further research tells me this is nearly identical to the AODE except for lower gear ratios and 7/8" in length...

Here's the story. It's a delivery van for a flower shop. It has 320,000 miles and doesn't smoke or leak a drop. Really a great van, but they will be replacing it soon with a new one. The transmission died this week. They don't want to spend the money on a full rebuild as they only need the van to last them about another 8 months, so I'm going to get a trans from Pull-A-Part this Saturday and install it for them Sunday. I just need some info for my hunting...

First, I'm going to look for a donor vehicle that's either been in an obvious wreck or has detectable engine damage, blown head gasket, etc. and something that doesn't have insanely high miles. Basically I want to improve my odds by finding a vehicle that wasn't scrapped because of a bad transmission. When I find a likely candidate, I'll drop the pan and look for shrapnel, see if it smells burnt, and if not, that's my transmission.

I know the 4R70W came in E150's, F150's and even a few cars. I'm hoping to find a van simply because it will be so much easier (I think) to pull, but I'm open to other ideas. Where else should I look? There are a bunch of pickups, Cougars, Vic's and Thunderbirds at the yard... Is there any reason why I might run into trouble getting a trans from something besides a van? Different tail housings, wiring, anything like that?

And what about an AODE? Is there any reason an AODE wouldn't be a plug-and-play swap, other than maybe driveshaft length? I am under the impression that they have all the same mechanical and electrical connections and are no different except for gear ratios and length. Am I right? Flowers aren't very heavy, so I don't see the gearing being a problem...

Finally... I assume it's mandatory to find a donor vehicle with a 4.6 liter or other mod motor, because the bolt pattern is not the same as a Windsor. Correct?

Thanks for any help you can provide...
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:33 PM
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The bolt pattern is different between a 4.6L and a Windsor. The AODE might have a different pin out than the 4R70W, I'm not certain. If so you can rearrange the pins to make it work.
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:52 PM
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The 97 Econoline will have the same pinout on the transmission as the AODE, but if you put an AODE in vehicle that came with a 4R70W the EEC will have a fit because the gear ratios are different. Which will end with another burnt up transmission.

Darrin
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Old 02-28-2009, 11:05 PM
facelessnumber facelessnumber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarrinBC View Post
The 97 Econoline will have the same pinout on the transmission as the AODE, but if you put an AODE in vehicle that came with a 4R70W the EEC will have a fit because the gear ratios are different. Which will end with another burnt up transmission.

Darrin
Makes sense. It could shift too early... So what about replacing the EEC with the one from the donor vehicle? I got a '94 Town Car AODE, couldn't find any 4R70W's... Think the computers are compatible?
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:43 AM
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Or, would it make more sense for me to just swap out the solenoids, internal wiring, and maybe the valve body from the '97 trans into the '94?
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:33 AM
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The problem is the gearsets are different. The parts you listed aren't gong to change that. It will fix an issue with the TCC solenoids, but not the main problem.

On the computer end, WAAAYYYYYYY too much work and expense because they are very different computers.

Honestly you need to find the right transmission or have the one for the 97 rebuilt. It's going to cost you a bunch more money and labor to try and put the wrong thing in place than it would to use the right one.

Darrin
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:38 AM
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Update: Last weekend I did go ahead and put the AODE in there. I swapped the valve body, solenoids and wiring from the 4R70W into it.

You may now commence the chorus of "I told ya so." :slap:

I don't know if the junkyard AODE was bad, or if the (meticulously compared, seemingly identical) valve bodies were incompatible, but whatever it was, I didn't get the chance to see it throw codes, 'cause it didn't move an inch. I had theorized that although going from AODE to 4R70W throws ratio codes because the output is moving at a lower RPM than the PCM expects, going the other direction might not throw codes, because the output shaft moving faster than (engine RPM x gears) happens all the time in normal conditions. I mean the PCM doesn't freak out when you're driving downhill, does it?

Anyway... I will never know, and I don't care. I went and got a '97 4R70W, spent about 5 hours installing it, then drove all over the place today. Job done, lesson learned...

Thanks for the advice, I should have followed it!
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Old 03-08-2009, 10:32 AM
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What would have happened is not only that it would have thrown codes. Because of what the computer would do trying to make the wrong transmission work would have burnt it up.

You don't know how many guys with Mujstangs and AODE transmissions made this mistake going the other direction. Without tuning, the swap works very poorly for a while, never shifts right, slips all the time and finally burns completely up. The bigger problem is that they guys don't understand what's happening until it's too late.

Glad you got it fixed the right way. Congrats!

Darrin
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Old 03-08-2009, 04:26 PM
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I have learned some things though... Makes me wonder about putting 4R70W gears in an AOD.
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:32 PM
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Resurrecting my old thread!

Here's an update. The flower shop van has been retired from its former duties, and I have bought it.

The junkyard transmission did last the prescribed 8 months. It lasted a year and a half and 30,000 miles in fact, until one of the shift solenoids went bad. I replaced them both and it drove great for about a day, then third gear started slipping a bit. A couple of miles later it lost all forward gears, but reverse still works.

I don't know if I can fix the trans easily. If you guys have any suggestions I'd love to hear them, but I expect it needs a rebuild. I'm likely to opt for another junkyard transmission though, because with 350,000 miles on the clock I think it would be foolish to put any serious money into this vehicle.

As I mentioned before I'm into Mavericks, so I posted a thread about this van over on the Maverick Message Boards. Of course I think I'll have better luck here. I include that link only because it might have some useful information in it.

What I want to know this time is:

1: Is there anything other then fried clutches that can cause this? Bad or unseated O-rings on the solenoids, something electrical, anything I can try before I start ripping out the trans?

And

2: What other vehicles have a transmission that's compatible with my PCM? (Or a PCM that swaps directly into my van)

My options at this point are:

Crown Vic '95-'97, '99, '03
Grand Marquis '94, '95, '97
Town Car '94-'96
Thunderbird '93, '94, '96
Cougar '94-'95
Mark VIII '94
Explorer '96-'99
Mountaineer '97, '00

Are any of these likely to have a transmission I can use?

I seem to remember '97 being an odd year for these things but I don't remember why. I know some of the vehicles listed above have 4.6's with two coil packs like mine, nearly identical engines, so I wonder if I might be able to swap computers and make the trans compatible.

I just don't know. I need to fix this van as cheaply as possible because although the engine runs great, its mega miles mean it could get expensive fast at any time, and I'm not going to let this van become a money pit. If it looks like I'm going to have to put a few hundred more into it I will probably start looking for an old carbed engine and a C4/C6, just to reduce the number of ways this thing can leave me on the side of the road...

Thanks for any information you can provide!
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Old 07-26-2010, 04:33 PM
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Did some research.

For any trans newer than '97 I'll need to change the wiring.

Anything newer than '02 I'll need to verify that the gears for the VSS are on the output shaft.

Verify number of teeth on the output shaft.

Verify the overall length is the same, and the slip yoke size.

Keep my old shifter lever and its sensor.

Keep my old output shaft sensor and speed sensor.

Possibly keep my old TCC solenoid?


...If I follow all that, I should be able to use any 4R70W from about '95 up, with '99-'02 being the best choice. Right?
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:08 AM
Alice Vandrove Alice Vandrove is offline
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Smile Help

My boyfriend is looking for a transmission for a Ford E 150. He has a van. It was made in 2000, V8, and 309 cubic inches. If you have anything like that, please help me.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:12 AM
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There are two possible transmissions that might be in the truck. To find out which one you need open the driver's door and look for the data tag in the door opening. Under TR will be either an E or a U. E means 4R100 and U means 4R70W. They are not interchangeable so you have to get the right one.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:12 AM
 
 
 
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