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Technical AOD to FE

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Xman, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. Xman
    Joined: Nov 17, 2011
    Posts: 426

    Xman
    Member

    I don't know squat about 390-428 FE motors but thinking about running one. Can an AOD trans be adapted to them? Are there any other overdrive transmissions that can be adapted?
    Thanks
     
  2. Elcohaulic and Jalopy Joker like this.
  3. RMR&C
    Joined: Dec 26, 2009
    Posts: 3,153

    RMR&C
    Member
    from NW Montana

    Have a friend with a 390FE running a GM 700r4 trans behind it...seems to work great.
     
  4. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 4,646

    jimmy six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Check with the adapter makers. Wilco, Bendsten, Flat-O etc: They do the Y-Blocks so I'm sure they have somthin for the FE's
     
    Boneyard51 likes this.
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  5. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,260

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

  6. Be very careful with the Quicktime / Holley Bellhousing. I bought one a number of years ago, after being told by Holley Tech Support that it would accept the original 12" Diameter AOD Torque converter. The biggest problem with FE's is the shape of the Cruis-O-Matic bellhousing and engine bolt pattern limits you to a 11" or smaller converter. Most stock AOD converters are 12" or 13" in diameter. The Quicktime / Holly FE-to-AOD Bellhousing will NOT fit a 12" converter. This means you are going to have to get a custom built torque converter ($1000, or more) to fit the Quicktime housing. Most torque converter builders can not build a low stall speed converter in a 11" or smaller housing that will stand up to the torque of a healthy FE. So if you are building a relatively heavy car, plan on doing a bunch of highway cruising or towing with a healthy FE, the required low stall torque converter is going to be a tough find.

    The 2nd problem with the Quicktime bell is you may have to spot face the outside surface of the AOD's pump housing so that the Quicktime bell will go deep enough into the case so that it index's properly on the transmission case and aligns the bellhousing with the input shaft.

    Beware: The weak point of the AOD is the 2 piece input shaft that is a result of the lockup feature. Any healthy FE with 400+ ft-lbs of torque (I.E. all of the FE's...) will snap the inner shaft. The fix is to eliminate the lockup feature and replace it with a C6 style one piece input shaft. This is not difficult to do, and should be part of any AOD performance build. Internet rumors abound that you can also use a stock C6 converter after the swap, but I am skeptical given the variations in bell-housing depth.

    On my 352 FE powered '62 Merc Monterey Wagon, I had Broader Transmission build an AOD, and they used the original Cruis-O-Matic bellhousing. That AOD had the lock-up feature removed and the one piece input shaft installed. This build also required a custom torque converter, due to the adaptor plate that bolts the Cruis-O bell to the AOD's pump. Stall is right around 2000 rpms with this engine and car combination. This setup works great. That car cruises down the highway at 70 to 75 mph all day, never heats the tranny fluid, and shifts well. With the 3.6:1 rear and 29" tires, 70 is about 2100 rpms. The 352 peaked at 375 ft-lbs of torque on the dyno, but has a very flat torque curve and makes as much as 300 ft-lbs as early as 2500 rpms. Broader's ready to go, bolt-in (bellhousing adaptor, (re)built trans, flex plate and torque convertor) price was very competitive with the other options. Which for me included Bendstens/WilCap + a rebuilt trans or a GearVendors Overdrive.

    My 2nd go around was with the 390 in my '76 F-250 Camper Special. On this truck I used the Quicktime Bell under the mis-information from Holley that it would take a larger torque converter which I knew would be necessary behind a rowdy 390 (425 Hp, 475 ft-lbs torque). Of course that didn't work, and I ended up trying 3 different custom built 11" torque converters and none of them could get the stall low enough such that it wouldn't cook the fluid at interstate speeds. Nearly all the converters ended up with stall speeds in the 2500 to 2800 rpm range. Fine in a race car, not so much in a 3/4 Ton truck that gets used to pull heavy things and were the goal is to keep rpms down as much as possible. This trans also had the lock-up feature removed. In the end, a C6 ended up back in the truck before it was sold. In the end, I should have used a Bendsten's / Wilcap Adaptor, a stock 12" or 13" convertor, and dealt with the firewall clearance issues.

    AOD with the Cruis-O bell that ended up in the '62.

    https://www.broaderperformance.com/
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  7. Bendsten's and Wilcap both have adapter plates that go between the engine and the bellhousing. These will shift the trans towards the rear about 1.5". Sometimes there is room to do that, sometimes there isn't. A friend of mine used the Bendsten AOD adaptor in his '64 Merc Marauder behind a 428. He ended up having to "adjust" his firewall in a couple of locations. The upside of the Bendsten / Wilcap adaptor is the ability to use the AOD's factory bellhousing and a big 12" or 13" converter.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
    williebill likes this.
  8. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,062

    Beanscoot
    Member

    Great information in this thread that could save someone a lot of money and heartache.

    This one seems to be the best setup to me, but I couldn't find information about it in the link. Do you have any pictures of the inside, without the torque convertor?

    [​IMG]
     
    54 ford coupe likes this.
  9. PotvinV8
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 13

    PotvinV8
    Member

  10. Xman
    Joined: Nov 17, 2011
    Posts: 426

    Xman
    Member

    I love the idea of the 4L60E trans. I'll be going that way, Thanks a lot for a great article.
     
  11. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,062

    Beanscoot
    Member

    Keep in mind that the 4L60E transmission does need a controller for it, which some hot rodders might not like.
     
  12. Broader is re-vamping their website, so information is sparse on it right now. You will have to pick up the phone and give them a call.

    I don't have a picture inside the bell on my setup. But the input shaft conversion looks like the pictures below.

    Stock AOD:
    [​IMG]

    After the Input Shaft Conversion:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  13. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,701

    Boneyard51
    Member

    Excellent article and fills a need lacking in the FE transmissions......but like most articles they leave out, or at least I didn’t see it...... what is the cost of Transmission and adapter kit and starter. I guessing by the time you buy all three, most of us are going to need a co-signer!
    And how well does this transmission adapt to a carb engine?
    I know you didn’t write the article, PotvinV8, just thought maybe someone here might know?
    A FE is in my future , so I’m interested in this. I love overdrives, but not real keen on putting a Chevy transmission in my Ford! Lol






    Bones
     

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