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Will a Ford AOD Trans fit behind a 70 351 Cleveland?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Sep 30, 2003.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 2,917


    I'd love the Overdrive action in my Lincoln.
    I currently have a 70 351 C with a stinky FMX behind it.
    1. Will the AOD bolt up? What years are the good ones?
    2. What else do I need to rig? Kick down, etc.?
    3. I'm guessing a driveshaft lenght change too?


  2. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,390

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    While I've never done it, in theory it should be fine. The only unknown from my perspective is the converter-to-flexplate bolt pattern - as long as the AOD converter bolt pattern is the same as the FMX/C6/C4 bolt pattern, you should be OK. You can't use a flexplate from a late-model 302/351 because of the balance differences (50oz v 28oz if memory serves correctly).

    As for which one, I think early 90s was the end of the non-computer AOD (when they really started being called AOD-E), but unsure of exact year.

    'fraid I haven't helped a lot, but like I said - in theory you should be fine. The Mustang boys have these things built up to handle high HP too, so durability shouldn't be an issue and shift-kits/hi-stall converters/manual valve bodies/etc are avail in the aftermarket. Might want to check with some of the Mustang sites like or

  3. crclebrner
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 30


    If you have a 351C or 351W it will work. 351M will not. The kickdown controls the shift points on an AOD so you will have to rig it to move with the throttle for the full throw, otherwise it will stack the shifts and be in overdrive at about 17 MPH.I don't know if there are any driveshaft changes required, but I bet someone on here will know.
  4. Yes

    I had a 351C in Deuce roadster with an AOD and it was fantastic!
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  5. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,842

    El Caballo

    I believe that they will fit Windsors and Limas, 'cuz that is what Ford had for engines the time the AOD came out. If I recall, there is a date like 1988 or so where they became computerized so you want one of the early trannys. I'll have to dig through a bunch of my Mustang magazines to get an answer. To be honest, I don't know if the C and M engines had different tranny bellhousing patterns from the W and Lima engines.
  6. Molloy
    Joined: Mar 11, 2002
    Posts: 17

    from Asotin,WA

    As mentioned above the throttle to tranny cable controls
    shifts. If you use a AOD make sure the cable is set correctly. Use a good manual or someone who knows what they are doing. Tranny can be damaged if the throttle cable is not set according to spec.Have a friend who had to rebuild
    his tranny because of this adjustment being wrong after a trans R&R .
  7. Fat Hack
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 7,707

    Fat Hack
    from Detroit

    Works great behind a Cleveland!

    On the subject of the throttle valve (TV) cable, set it up so that it is in the middle of it's travel at an idle, and that'll work well enough to drive it somewhere to get it set perfectly. I did it that way on an old swap of mine and when I had my trans guy buddy check it, it was dead-on!

    (Just got lucky, I suppose...but don't overlook that others have said, it'll waste your tranny in nothing flat if it's wrong!)

  8. MichaelDorman
    Joined: Apr 27, 2001
    Posts: 850


    I ran an AOD in my 55 and it was great. For the trhotle kick down I used a kickdown bar from a (87 or 88 I belive) Lincoln Town Car. I had to have a small bushing machined to fit the bar to the trans valve body, but that took no time at all and was the perfect length. I had to run with the bar because the valve body opens with a top to bottom sweep, meening that you have to push it down, not pull it up. I don't know of any cables that could do that, so the bar seemed the only and best bet. And as stated before, stay away from the AOD-E, The AOD metric should also work fine. Hope that helps.
  9. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,390

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    [ QUOTE ]
    To be honest, I don't know if the C and M engines had different tranny bellhousing patterns from the W and Lima engines.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Cleveland, while not a Windsor, is not quite a Lima either. Block layout is more similar to Lima, but it has Windsor head layout, size & bellhousing. Limas are bigger...

    351M (as in Modified) IS a Lima series engine (just like 400M & 429/460).

    Lima series gets different (read bigger) bellhousing pattern and pilot hole for converter.

  10. AnimalAin
    Joined: Jul 20, 2002
    Posts: 3,413


    Lokar has a kickdown setup that installs without much hassle and works fine. Neat, compact, effective, and not too expensive.
  11. D Picasso
    Joined: Mar 6, 2001
    Posts: 727

    D Picasso

    how about FE?

    I'd love to run one in the Galaxie.
  12. Fat Hack
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 7,707

    Fat Hack
    from Detroit

    The FE engine pre-dates the AOD tranny, so there aren't any out there that will simply bolt up to one. It may be possible to use an adapter, or to try a radical bellhousing swap to get the job done, but it won't be a simple bolt-in deal, for sure!

    I would look into using an E4OD tranny from behind a 90s era 7.3 diesel or 7.5 gas engine from Ford. It would require some one-off custom fabrication, but having personally spent one year torturing one of these trannys, I can say with confidence that they are bulletproof! (At least mine was...we blew up C6 trannys about once every two months, but the E4OD lasted a full one-year ride with a few psycho throttle stompers doing their best to try and kill it!).

  13. Downunder Rob
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1

    Downunder Rob

    Gday I'm a new member from Melbourne Australia. In answer to your question I have just recently finished fitting an 1980's AOD to my 1970 Cougar 351c FMX.
    No major problems at all. The standard parts I used include
    1----Tail shaft.
    2----Mount block.
    3----Cross Member,,(Slightly modified)
    4----Flex Plate/Drive Plate
    5----Floor Shift (Modified lower Selector Arm,shorter)
    6----Speedo Cable with 17 tooth drive gear
    New parts
    1----Throttle sensor rod or cable, your choice (I made my own rod)extremely important. Don't get it wrong you can fry your new trans.
    2----Longer bolts to block
    3----Yoke and universal joint
    4----Bottom dust plate. Modify or make it. Not hard.
    5----Trans fluid lines. Mod or Make new.
    6----Good quality after market cooler. (very important)
    Now I can't comment about other model cars, but for my 1970 Cougar this swap was made for it
    I'm happy to answer any questions. By the way at 60 mph with a 3.0 Diff = 1595 rpm
    64grand likes this.
  14. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 5,535

    from Phoenix,AZ

    I have a 302 and AOD in my '54 Ford,the best AOD's are 1987-91 they are pre-computer and have all the upgrades,Lincoln MK's and Mustang GT's or Crown Vic police cars are good donors' they have a few xtras.For the TV cable I give 2 thumbs up to the Lokar kit,had mine on in less than 30 minutes and even had Miller Time,just had to set pressure on TV, pm me and I'll send you to some good websites, this one should be on the top of your list they are #1 when it comes to AOD's and can probably hook you up with your swap parts,a call to their tech line would be a good idea to answer all your questions.:cool:
  15. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,738


    TCI has a throttle body replacement that gives constant pressure eliminating the gnats ass tolerancer or you burn it up problem. You still have to run a rod or cable, but it won't be critical on adjustment.
  16. Kramer
    Joined: Mar 19, 2007
    Posts: 906


    Wow, this is an old thread. Very informative non the less. If anyone is interested, this site,, has the Lokar cable and adapters that attach to either a holley or edelbrock carb so the cable will work right. I have not ordered anything from them so I don't know anything about them other than what their web site says. I am putting a AOD behind a 289 for my T. I have the cable already but not the adapter, can't tell you how well it will work. They also have different speedo gears to get your speed reading right. Plus a lot of other AOD stuff.
  17. 57 shaker
    Joined: Aug 2, 2008
    Posts: 253

    57 shaker

    I have a 72 351C with a AOD trans behind it and it fit perfectly.In the early days of the AOD trans (1980 being the first)they were still using the 351W engine in the crown vics,lincolns,etc.then they started to faze out the 351 and built most AODs for the 5.0 engine.I got an early AOD for a 351W which was a little beefer but I think the 351w and 5.0 are the same bellhousing bolt pattern so your good to go.If you rebuild the trans before you put it together you can put in truck drums and just a lot of stuff to make it quite bullet proof.You can make a throttle rod(controls throttle pressure)and theres a kit to adapt it to a carb that has a kickdown feature say for a C6,C4,fmx they all use a kickdown rod for passing gear,it can be done,good luck with it.
  18. 57 shaker
    Joined: Aug 2, 2008
    Posts: 253

    57 shaker

    Also if your speedo is off just go down the road with someone in their car with a known acurate speedo and say have them go 40mph stedy then you look at your speedo and say yours says 45 well you go under and take out your speedo cable and count the teeth on yours and say you count 15 teeth try a 16 or 17 tooth and it will get you there.The rule is 1 tooth change will change your speedo 3 to 5 mph.I always looked at like if your speedo is reading too fast give it more teeth (more work)and slow it down.Sorry for the long answer but thats how it works:)

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