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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are the "must do" items for upgrading an AOD?

A friend of mine recently did an Explorer top end with a B cam. As you might imagine, it is pretty dead off the line now so we are going to be putting in a 3k RPM stall and SilverFox VB in the near future.

Down the road, the car will likely see some form of power adder so the converter going in will also have an anti-balloon plate. Otherwise this is a stock bottom end car so that pretty much dictates max power levels.

What are the other must-do items that need to be done at the same time? Bear in mind that this is a budget build and we want to keep the budget in check, but not at the cost of the trans being a ticking time-bomb. The other items that I am pretty certain should be upgraded as well are the input shaft, trans cooler, OD servo, and flex plate. Am i correct in thinking these are "must-do" items? Can I safely omit any of them? Am I forgetting anything else?

Thanks.
 

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What are the "must do" items for upgrading an AOD?

A friend of mine recently did an Explorer top end with a B cam. As you might imagine, it is pretty dead off the line now so we are going to be putting in a 3k RPM stall and SilverFox VB in the near future.

Down the road, the car will likely see some form of power adder so the converter going in will also have an anti-balloon plate. Otherwise this is a stock bottom end car so that pretty much dictates max power levels.

What are the other must-do items that need to be done at the same time? Bear in mind that this is a budget build and we want to keep the budget in check, but not at the cost of the trans being a ticking time-bomb. The other items that I am pretty certain should be upgraded as well are the input shaft, trans cooler, OD servo, and flex plate. Am i correct in thinking these are "must-do" items? Can I safely omit any of them? Am I forgetting anything else?

Thanks.
items i would address would be the OD band, upgrade to a 2" and input shaft... personally i would get a 300M one piece shaft and the converter for it, but if you feel you MUST retain direct drive, AT LEAST get a 300M inner shaft (talk to Dan silverfox about this, he will convince you that DD is really of little benefit and can be ALOT of trouble).
 

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you can also use the geartrain from a 4R and gain some advantage, by being able to use a little less diff gear, this can counteract the loss of DD.
 

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items i would address would be the OD band, upgrade to a 2" and input shaft... personally i would get a 300M one piece shaft and the converter for it, but if you feel you MUST retain direct drive, AT LEAST get a 300M inner shaft (talk to Dan silverfox about this, he will convince you that DD is really of little benefit and can be ALOT of trouble).
The big down side to using the 2" band is that it tends to "hang over" the stock narrow reverse drum. Updating the trans with a AODE drum and sun shell will solve this issue. Combine the shell/drum with the band and then adding the proper A+ Sonnax servo will make the band last a LOT longer. That is one of the major problems in building the AOD. Addressing the OD band issue with the proper drum and sun shell will add to the build cost. Then you're looking at addressing the roller clutch at the front of the trans which is weak, and it's known to let the snap ring fly off at higher RPM. Fixing it involves installing a mechanical diode drum and then using the right spiral retaining ring which doesn't come off. This too adds to the overall cost. Then figure your valve body, one-piece input shaft (if desired) and the trans clutch parts. I put $1200 worth of parts in mine, in those items alone (and I didn't go with the one-piece shaft)-so if you were paying someone else to do it all, they're going to get their markup + labor. Could easily be a $2000 build. Makes one wonder if the stronger and more driver friendly 4R70W wouldn't be roughly the same build cost? I've never done a 4R so I can't say.
 

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The big down side to using the 2" band is that it tends to "hang over" the stock narrow reverse drum. Updating the trans with a AODE drum and sun shell will solve this issue. Combine the shell/drum with the band and then adding the proper A+ Sonnax servo will make the band last a LOT longer. That is one of the major problems in building the AOD. Addressing the OD band issue with the proper drum and sun shell will add to the build cost. Then you're looking at addressing the roller clutch at the front of the trans which is weak, and it's known to let the snap ring fly off at higher RPM. Fixing it involves installing a mechanical diode drum and then using the right spiral retaining ring which doesn't come off. This too adds to the overall cost. Then figure your valve body, one-piece input shaft (if desired) and the trans clutch parts. I put $1200 worth of parts in mine, in those items alone (and I didn't go with the one-piece shaft)-so if you were paying someone else to do it all, they're going to get their markup + labor. Could easily be a $2000 build. Makes one wonder if the stronger and more driver friendly 4R70W wouldn't be roughly the same build cost? I've never done a 4R so I can't say.
exactly, without having the rev drum, the extra .5" width on the band would be pointless. the 98+ 4R have all the hard parts he would need including the mech diode. the downside to just using a 4R is having to have the electronics to run it or a MVB...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you guys for the replies. I think (hope) we are getting a little carried away with the mod path.

I'm mostly worried about the other must have items to accompany a basic 3k stall converter upgrade. (Car also has a 3.73 rear end) Ideally we like to do it all but that is not affordable right now.

If the car were a T5 it would put down between 275-300whp like all the other explorer combos do. For now, the transmission needs to be able to safely handle that. We can work on further strengthening it later.

*Converter and valvebody basis for this and are must haves.

*Input shaft? - I keep hearing this is the weak link so i assume it needs done now too?

*Billet OD servo? Is this needed? Does it do any good with out swapping to the 2" band?

*Flexplate? Is this something that is problematic on these cars? (Every fox ive had has been a stick)

Is there anything else? I'm talking bare bones build for now, it just needs to handle sunny day street torment.
 

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Thank you guys for the replies. I think (hope) we are getting a little carried away with the mod path.

I'm mostly worried about the other must have items to accompany a basic 3k stall converter upgrade. (Car also has a 3.73 rear end) Ideally we like to do it all but that is not affordable right now.

If the car were a T5 it would put down between 275-300whp like all the other explorer combos do. For now, the transmission needs to be able to safely handle that. We can work on further strengthening it later.

*Converter and valvebody basis for this and are must haves.
yes and your on the right track with silverfox, i would look into an Edge converter

*Input shaft? - I keep hearing this is the weak link so i assume it needs done now too?
money well spent, yes, put this on the must list, even if its just the inner shaft.

*Billet OD servo? Is this needed? Does it do any good with out swapping to the 2" band?
i would pass until later.

*Flexplate? Is this something that is problematic on these cars? (Every fox ive had has been a stick)
a stock replacement will be fine for this.

Is there anything else? I'm talking bare bones build for now, it just needs to handle sunny day street torment.
the converter is the plays a key role with automatics, DONT SKIMP! spend the bulk of the budget here, they are NOT be cheap for ford OD's.

the best piece of advice i can give is... NEVER, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES shift into OD under heavy load! it will toast even the best OD bands. if the race isnt over by the time your at the top of 3rd gear, you shouldnt be racing that dude!
 

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one more thing to be prepared for... understand that AOD's have a two piece input shaft (inner and outer), the outer is what supplys power for 1st and 2nd gears, the inner supplys power for 3rd and OD. the outer is coupled into the fluid coupling of the converter, the inner is splined directly into the front cover of the converter (no slip). what im trying to explain is, when you go from 2nd to 3rd, two things are happening. 1-your obviously changing gears, 2-(not so obvious) your going from a fluid coupling to "direct drive", essentially the input shaft is directly linked to the crankshaft, so expect a big drop in engine RPM's when shifting from 2nd to 3rd. this is why i suggested a one piece input and eliminating DD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you boostedcoupe & toddturbo for the pointers and helping me understand a little more about how the parts work.

Boostedcoupe, I took your advise and sent silverfox an email outlining the build and asking what he suggested.

Something else I wanted to ask, what are the benefits/drawbacks to a constant pressure valve body?
 

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a constant pressure VB, doesnt rely on TV cable settings for pressure regulation, which eliminates another problematic setting. IIRC the CP VB's silverfox sells still use the TV cable for kickdown features. and Dan will setup the pressure custom to your liking, if you like the neck snaping stuff or if your just cruising and want it to shift a little easier.
 

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not to thread jack, but when looking at the Direct Drive 300m input shafts, they are mono-diametrical and splined at both ends. does this mean they can be installed without tearing the trans apart by just pulling the stock one out and inserting the new one?
 

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not to thread jack, but when looking at the Direct Drive 300m input shafts, they are mono-diametrical and splined at both ends. does this mean they can be installed without tearing the trans apart by just pulling the stock one out and inserting the new one?
i think that term actually means they are the same dimensions on both ends, so it cannot be installed backwards. but i do also believe they can be swapped without a teardown.
 

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i dont know if this converter is a good fit for you, but the cool part is, its an "open" or "non-direct drive" converter thats a drop in... no internal changes needed (shafts, ect.).
http://forums.corral.net/forums/dri...000-4r70w-converter-shifter.html#post16947049

IIRC, it still drives the inner shaft, but its fluid coupled as well, so you tak the "shock" away when going to 3rd gear and the inner shafts are less prone to failure. plus you dont get that big RPM drop i mentioned earlier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wanted to throw a quick update in here for anyone else that might be considering this. Thanks to all who helped answer questions and point us in the right direction.

We ended up installing a Silverfox VB, Sonnax A+ OD servo, and a big Hayden cooler all sourced from Dan @ Silverfox. To go with it, we added a TCI 3k stall converter (p/n:432801) with matching TCI flex plate and TCI 300m input shaft.

I am a stick guy and really did not know what to expect but, the results are night and day, it really woke the car up. It is able to come off the line similar to a stick car yet is very mild mannered when you aren't hooning on it. The setup is very DD/Streetable. Very happy with the results, the only down side is tire expenses are going to go up.

Ultimately it was well worth it, and it is nice no longer having to worry about the AOD. If anyone has been considering something similar, I say do it.
 

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Thanks for the support
I love upsetting gear jammer's worlds :)
 

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A follow up to your follow up... I am currently putting my 393 windsor in a 1977 f150 and decided to use a used AOD in it... I ordered the SPT-MAC-TB valvebody from Dan and i ordered a non-lock Pro Edge converter from Andre... I figured eliminating lockup and a quality valvebody should help the trans last for me. Best wishes on your build!
 

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For AOD build info, I always suggest start here
CCR's Event Gallery

Its free info, and I see my competition logging into it and advertising some of the mods as their own...so....just saying.
 
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