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Cruise o matic swap

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Wolf Handsomepants View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wolf Handsomepants Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Cruise o matic swap
    Posted: 10-June-2022 at 2:39AM
I have a '74 Torino Elite with a 351 H code Windsor and im thinking of swapping the Cruise o matic with a C4 or an AOD.
Anyone have any advice or direction ?



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mkshelton View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mkshelton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-June-2022 at 7:21PM
By "Cruise O Matic" do you mean the FMX transmission? 
"Sometimes I wonder if I'm actually UNinventing the wheel"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-June-2022 at 7:56AM
"Cruise O Matic" is an advertising phrase rather than an actual transmission model and has been used to describe several different transmissions over the years. it's generally understood to describe one of the transmissions of the FM / FX / FMX family but may have been used for other transmission models as well. maybe all of them IDK ?

so WTH do you want to dig yourself into a transmission swap anyway?

the C4 is a lighter duty unit than the FMX and offers nothing as an upgrade, at least the AOD comes with overdrive. the reason i ask WTH is because doing the job right involves everything connected to the transmission from the dip / filler tube, shifter & linkage to the rear U joint. each transmission has it's own shifter throw, if you don't correct the throw distance it'll never line up the ranges properly. it can be a big project given the age of these cars and the availability of original parts if you don't have a stash or complete donor swap source


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-June-2022 at 8:24AM
Well...
The C4 has aftermarket/performance parts support. Not so muck for the FMX.
On the other hand, the FMX is the basis for the AOD/4R70 family, so somebody thought it was a good transmission.
But Rock is right, nothing interchanges between the two, including linkages, yokes, driveshafts, flexplates... A lot of work to change, and a lot of work just chasing the parts.
"What we do in full frontal view, is more honest than your cleaned-up mind."
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How the Heck does a REGULAR CAB SHORTBED weigh over 5200 pounds?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-June-2022 at 9:27AM
any builder worth his Dexron can upgrade, update & recalibrate an FMX to provide an exciting driving experience and years of service

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pyntre Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-June-2022 at 12:40PM
Can anyone suggest a REALLY good rebuilder for the FMX 
in Minnesota / western Wisconsin? 
Going down that path soon as I don’t want to reinvent the wheel as is being described in this post by swapping from my factory FMX to something else !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kychevyguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-June-2022 at 2:15AM
I have had several FMX transmissions over the years, ALL trouble free. That being said, the idea of a AOD swap is intriguing.
JT, USAF Ret./Architect
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72 RS 351 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-June-2022 at 5:47AM
I like the AOD from the several cars I've had with them(7), but the 4R70W is a significant upgrade above an AOD. The 4R70W requires a controller that runs about $700 from Quick 4. But after that, everything is better. The AOD requires a special TV cable, unlike a kick down cable, it has to have a range of adjustment that provides a critical pressure which is fed internally to the line pressure. If that cable isn't properly set up and adjusted, the transmission will die fast.

The 1998+ 4R70W are newer than AOD's, more common now, less wore out, and much stronger throughout. The AOD needs internal upgrades to be more reliable behind anything but a low powered engine. Those upgrades all come from the 4R70W's, which are fairly easy to come by on eBay. You should be able to find a decent 4R70W from a 2001-2004 Mustang V6, or a 98-01 Explorer V8, or a few similar year 4.2 trucks. They just have to have a two bolt starter, all of those will bolt to a SBF. With a decent rebuild if the mileage is not low, plus a fairly easy to do Jerry's Mod(Ford engineer who designed the 4R), they can handle about 500hp without much trouble.

The 4R controller is the big rub, I don't like the idea of having to spend $700 to operate the trans. But it's simpler than swapping an entire Explorer 302 PCM and the wiring, plus engine control, injectors etc.

I'd suggest carefully looking at the budget for the trans. If the budget is $3k, maybe the 4R might be feasible with the luck of a local builder who can bench build it for much less. Then the controller isn't as big of a factor. I've seen those controllers sell 2nd hand on the Mustang forum for $400, but not in a couple of years(not that I need one).
Don
73 Ranchero Sport "72 front end", floor shift/console, planning EFI 7000rpm 351-4V &4R70W
73 Ranchero GT 351C-4V 3.70 gears for sale later.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-June-2022 at 11:40AM
Originally posted by Rockatansky Rockatansky wrote:

any builder worth his Dexron can upgrade, update & recalibrate an FMX to provide an exciting driving experience and years of service

And I hope that builder knows to use type "F"...

"What we do in full frontal view, is more honest than your cleaned-up mind."
Randy
1979 T-Bird
2005 F-150 STX RCSB 4.6, 3.55 LSD
How the Heck does a REGULAR CAB SHORTBED weigh over 5200 pounds?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72 RS 351 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-June-2022 at 12:16PM
I have a little Trick Shift left over from a case I bought ages ago for my last AOD car. You need blue fluid to be a diehard Ford guy.Wink
Don
73 Ranchero Sport "72 front end", floor shift/console, planning EFI 7000rpm 351-4V &4R70W
73 Ranchero GT 351C-4V 3.70 gears for sale later.
92 Lincoln Mark VII SE, OBDII 347/4R70W
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-June-2022 at 1:23PM
And Trickshift didn't do much for the older Fords, as it was basically ATF without the friction modifiers to soften the shifts. GM and Chrysler used the fluid to smooth/soften the shifts, Ford did it mechanically.
Not a huge difference between Trickshift and Type F, except color/price.
AOD used Mercon, though, so it might matter more there.
Fun tidbit, a quart or two of type F can make a 4R70W/E with a slip/flare between shifts work correctly again.
"What we do in full frontal view, is more honest than your cleaned-up mind."
Randy
1979 T-Bird
2005 F-150 STX RCSB 4.6, 3.55 LSD
How the Heck does a REGULAR CAB SHORTBED weigh over 5200 pounds?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72 RS 351 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-June-2022 at 3:36PM
Yes there's a delicate balance with the different ATF's and changing generations of transmissions. The Mercon for the AOD fell into the group that Ford said should use Mercon V when they obsoleted the Mercon I. I never used the slicker Mercon V, but I only needed fluid that last time since the Mercon was discontinued. I used the Trick Shift I had left, with a bottle of Lubegard, a favorite additive. It's getting harder to deal with ATF as they keep altering the newer transmissions, and the fluid.
Don
73 Ranchero Sport "72 front end", floor shift/console, planning EFI 7000rpm 351-4V &4R70W
73 Ranchero GT 351C-4V 3.70 gears for sale later.
92 Lincoln Mark VII SE, OBDII 347/4R70W
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