How to Identify Ford Transmissions

by Russell Wood

Building a custom car or truck includes putting together a drivetrain that's suited for your application, and one of those key aspects is the transmission. Finding that transmission is as easy as going to a junkyard or searching online, but determining what type of Ford transmission it is—and what gearing comes with it, what vehicle it was from and what application it's best for—takes a few steps.


Take a picture of the transmission. Take several shots of all angles, including the pan, the bellhousing and all the mounting points.


Measure the distance from the bellhousing to the rear of the transmission.


Look at the transmission pan and note the shape and the number of bolts. Here's how the transmissions break down:

C3: 13 to 15 bolts, rectangular pan C4: 10-by-9-inch pan with 11 bolts. There is also a bulge in the front passenger corner. C5: Similar pan to C4 but has a hump in the middle. C6: Rectangular pan that has 17 bolts. Longer on the front and rear than on the sides. AOD: Similar pan to C4 with corners angled slightly; 14 bolts secure the pan. 4R70W: Pan measures 15 inches long. E40D: Pan measures 20.5 by 13.5 inches and has 20 bolts. There is also a notch in the passenger side front corner.


Find the year of the vehicle the transmission came from.

C3: 1973 to 1984 C4: 1964 to 1986 C5: 1973 to 1986 C6: 1965 to 1991 A4LD: 1984 to 1995 AOD: 1981 to 1993 AODE: 1993 to 1996 4R70W: 1993 to present E40D: 1989 to present 4R100: 1998 to 2002 4R44E: 1995 to 2001 4R55E: 1995 to 2001 5R55E: 1996 to 2001


Find the model of the vehicle the transmission came from.

C3: Capri, Bobcat, Mustang, Mustang II, Pinto, Maverick, Granada, Fairmont, 200E, Bronco II, LTD, Ranger C4: Mustang, Maverick, Pinto, Bronco, Fairlane, Torino, LTD II, Falcons, 2000E, F100, F150, F250, Fairmont, Granada, LTD, E Series vans C5: F100, Ranger, F250, Fairmont, LTD, LTD II, Maverick, Mustang, E Series vans C6: F150, F250, F350, E Series vans, Fairlane, Torino, Mustang, Thunderbird, Bronco, F100, Falcon, LTD II, Ranger A4LD: Ranger, Turbo Coupe, Explorer, Aerostar, Bronco II, Granada, Mustang AOD: Mustang, Thunderbird, Crown Victoria, Lincoln Grand Marquis, Lincoln Towncar, Lincoln Mark series, Bronco, F100, F150, F250, LTD, E series vans AODE: F150, Mustang, Lincoln Grand Marquis, Lincoln Towncar, Lincoln Mark series, Crown Victoria 4R70W: F150, F250, Mustang, Thunderbird, Explorer, Lincoln Continental, Lincoln Mountaineer, Lincoln Grand Marquis, Lincoln Towncar, Crown Victoria, E Series vans E40D: F150, F250, F350, F450, Bronco, E Series vans 4R100: F150, F250, F350, F450, Excursion, Expedition 4R44E: Ranger, Explorer 4R55E: Ranger, Explorer 5R55E: Ranger, Explorer, Sportrac

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About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.

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