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Discussion Starter #1
I've been trying to find information on putting a 4R70W transmission in a 1971 Mach 1 with a 4 barrel Cleveland. Everything I'm looking at seems to suggest that it's probably going to cost at least $3000 to get everything put together correctly. What I want to know is what was your experience swapping in a 4R70W into a classic Mustang. What did the swap end up costing you? I really don't want to put a 3 speed C4 back in the car. I currently have a rebuilt C4 that already has a shift kit, and is ready to simply be put back in place.

Is there anything particularly annoying that I should look out for when attempting to do a swap like this. I'm also going to admit that I don't really know what my options are for finding a used 4R70W is. I assume V6 Mustangs, and Ford Explorers have the same bolt pattern as a 351 Cleveland. Is a stock 4R70W going to be safe behind a modified 351 Cleveland making 475 flywheel horsepower???

The biggest thing that is scaring me away from a 4R70W swap is that I don't really have the skills or knowledge to put all the electronics in place so that they function correctly. I really am not sure exactly what all the electronic parts I need are.

Any help on this would be fantastic!
 

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I installed a 4R70W in my Lincoln Mark VII several years ago. Long enough ago that the now obsolete Baumannator was the hot ticket.
Now, the best option for controlling your 4R70W is the U.S. Shift Quick 4. Still the same guys (Baumann), different name.
Quick 4 Stand-Alone Transmission Control
It is super easy to program, and the wiring is not that complicated.
A friend of mine has a 64 Fairlane wagon with a late model 302 and a 4R70W that I programmed for him (Quick 4). Drives fantastic.

When looking for the 4R70W, you want the ones from the earlier V6 that has the same bell housing pattern as the Windsor. You can also sometimes find an F150 or E150 that has a 5.0/5.8 and a 4R70W. You want these because they still have a speedo gear provision.

The shifter is going to be a bit complicated. I personally wanted to keep the Lincoln shifter, so I spend a load of time hammering and Dremeling on the AOD bracket, making it fit the 4R.

From personal experience, replace your motor mounts before starting the project. I put mine together, hammering the trans tunnel to make room for the shift linkage and making the exhaust work with the wider transmission. A year later I needed new motor mounts, and when I installed the Energy Suspension mounts I had to hammer some more, and goof with the exhaust as well.
 

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The 70 in 4R70W means it's rated for 700Nm which is roughly equal to 516 lb-ft of input torque. There are some tricks you can do to the 4R70W that make it even more capable. But your power level is almost certainly doable as is.
 

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I have a gently used Quick 4 controller and wiring harness for sale cheap if you do got that route. The Quick 4 is very easy to install and configure. The only reason I am parting with it is I went with a Holley Standalone for my setup.
 

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The controller part will be little trouble if you get the complete system of parts and instructions, put that on your priority list.

The 4R70W is strongest in the 1998+ versions. You have to have the 97 and down output shaft and tail housing, for the speedometer output. You can buy those separately if you can find a nice 98-04 two bolt starter 4R70W. The 2003 or 2004 had the last 3.8 V6's, those were the last V6 that matched the SBF block pattern.

If your Cleveland isn't greatly stronger than a typical build, the stock parts might be just fine. There are a couple of Sonnax drums available now that are desirable when the power gets beyond 500 or so.

You need the 98+ mechanical diode, which also can be bought separately($150ish if you settle for a 97 or older 4R). Find a good trans builder locally, one who will do bench builds, and work with aftermarket parts. You can then source the several upgrade Sonnax valve body parts, solenoids etc, and take it all to them to assemble.

Hunt a 4R by the mileage if you can know that, car if possible like the Mustang V6's. If you get the trans built this way, the parts cost might be under $750 total, then figure the build and install labor. The torque converter will be expensive and tough to select the stall speed. That is hard to do for any automatic, so find a source that will work with you on the stall speed if it isn't perfect the first time.
 

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Another thing to add to a 4R70W build is auxiliary forced oiling for the tail shaft housing. The stock splash system isn't the greatest for longevity.
 

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Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

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This is all great info At a perfect time. I am also swapping to a 4R70W and was wondering if you could just swap the shifter from a 98-04 new edge mustang and use that cable? Maybe you could retro fit it into the ‘70? I was also looking into the TCI outlaw shifter and the Hurst quarter stick. Not sure which model you would need but i think they will work. As far as Torque converters, its been mentioned that the stock replacement V6 TC will stall between 2200-2500RPM. Anything higher of a stall speed will require an aftermarket converter. I have used Roadrunner before and had good luck for mild builds. I have a 2800 in my dads street rod and i just had a 3000 in an AOD. I will most likely be buying another one from them for my 4R70 transplant.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have a gently used Quick 4 controller and wiring harness for sale cheap if you do got that route. The Quick 4 is very easy to install and configure. The only reason I am parting with it is I went with a Holley Standalone for my setup.
Nice, I am actually very interested in this.

The controller part will be little trouble if you get the complete system of parts and instructions, put that on your priority list.

The 4R70W is strongest in the 1998+ versions. You have to have the 97 and down output shaft and tail housing, for the speedometer output. You can buy those separately if you can find a nice 98-04 two bolt starter 4R70W. The 2003 or 2004 had the last 3.8 V6's, those were the last V6 that matched the SBF block pattern.

If your Cleveland isn't greatly stronger than a typical build, the stock parts might be just fine. There are a couple of Sonnax drums available now that are desirable when the power gets beyond 500 or so.

You need the 98+ mechanical diode, which also can be bought separately($150ish if you settle for a 97 or older 4R). Find a good trans builder locally, one who will do bench builds, and work with aftermarket parts. You can then source the several upgrade Sonnax valve body parts, solenoids etc, and take it all to them to assemble.

Hunt a 4R by the mileage if you can know that, car if possible like the Mustang V6's. If you get the trans built this way, the parts cost might be under $750 total, then figure the build and install labor. The torque converter will be expensive and tough to select the stall speed. That is hard to do for any automatic, so find a source that will work with you on the stall speed if it isn't perfect the first time.
So,

I for sure need:

97-down out put shaft and tail housing
98+ mechanical diode
Quick 4 controller.

I found a 4R70W for sale out of a 1999 V6 Mustang for $150. The whole car is for sale. I can probably get it for $300 to $500.

Is there anything else off the V6 Mustang that I absolutely must have?

Thanks everyone in this thread for providing so much useful information, this forum is a life saver.
 

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Why do you think you need the older output shaft and housing? The shafts had the speedo gear interface up to '00 and after is a check it kind of deal. Tailhousing has the hole on mine from a '99. Make sure you use the 4R70W output yoke.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Why do you think you need the older output shaft and housing? The shafts had the speedo gear interface up to '00 and after is a check it kind of deal. Tailhousing has the hole on mine from a '99. Make sure you use the 4R70W output yoke.
I don't know, I'm just going off what other users are posting. If I don't need the output shaft and housing then I won't get it. So the 1999 transmission for sure had the speedo gear interface?
 

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I'm like 99.9% sure on the one I have in my barn and if you spend some time at clickclick racing it says the same. BTW, if you havn't been to clickclick racing it's a wealth of knowledge about AODs and 4R70Ws.
 

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Sorry, the speedometer output provisions began to phase out in 1998. I forgot other models like the Mustang had it later on. You just need to find the shaft and tail housing that has it, but they can be bought alone by eBay etc. You just don't want many pre-97 parts, there were upgrades along the years and the bigger improvements came earlier on. The 04 Mustang V6 trans for example has the Jerry's Mod already in the VB, I was told.

Make priority to get a two bolt starter trans, the three bolt version is for modular engines only.
 

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Random note:
When using the Quick 4 controller, there is zero need to have the valve body "upgraded" or reworked.
Shift firmness is a function of line pressure, and the pressure is completely programmable as a function of throttle position. As in you can program it to shift nice and smooth as you are cruising around, but shift firmer as you lay into the throttle.
 

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Look over at the Vintage Mustang Forum. There are several threads on installing the 4R70 into classic Mustangs.
 
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