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5/15/2018 10:36 PM  #1


Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

Ok, so I have never re done a transmission before. But I had never changed so much as oil before on a car till I got my mustang 6 years or so ago. I am mechanically inclined and pretty deep into RC helicopters building and flying professionally, so I have the confidence I can do this . And to the testament of people who know me here and have seen me grow kicking and screaming

This AOD was off craigslist as I have said in another post. I didn’t know what I was buying , till after I bought it only to find out it was off a bronco 4x4. Year I was told 1990+. I was also told it was rebuilt at one point .

This thread is going to be about my ongoing progress, questions , finds and generally what I am learning.

I have had the chance of borrowing Bullet Bob’s transmission rebuild tools . They are on their way to me today. He included in there a book on how to rebuild a transmission with tons of photographs to follow along

I did add a little spice of my own already as I went ahead and purchased a set of videos made by “Badshoe Productions” .  Cost me 30 bucks , and basically is a video manual step by step bolt by bolt disassembly , cleanup, inspection, part buildup, and then reassembly of the AOD. I can use any visual help I can get

I watched his disassembly videos and learnt a whole ton about how to recognize the year of make , and if the transmission has been rebuilt or not at some point .

Couldn’t wait for the tools to Get here from BoB so I went ahead and just opened the transmission pan so I could solve some mysteries and either prove or disprove what I had been told about this transmission

So here is the inside of the oil pan: squeaky clean!! No residue at all no metal shavings , no tar. The tiny bit (2 tblsp ) of tranny fluid that was left in it (yes the transmission fluid was drained through somewhere already) was dark pinking with some blackishness.. but that says nothing

http://i64.tinypic.com/wtjdec.jpg



Here is the filter off ..
http://i63.tinypic.com/2lu88qg.jpg




and here I can tell now that ::


1) this is a 87 transmission not 90+ (7 stamped inside that circle on the valve body )

2 ) also there is a 3-4 shift accumulator on the bottom left hand corner of the pic with my filter ON (that circular dealeo) that is , which was eliminated in 89+ and accommodated by an updated valve body.

3) the output tail shaft clutch drum is looking like its cast iron not stamped steel. (Info gained from that video series), and just peaking in that small hole here by the valve body where I can see the outside of the drum



So... that’s all I know . But here is my questions now : 87 transmission, it’s not a 89+.. 89+ had some parts that were drilled with bigger holes for oil passages and cooled a bit better . And also that accumulator difference . Would you keep this transmission and rebuild it , or would you go through disassembly , learn what you can , keep the parts, chunk the body, and wait to find another tranny which is 89...????

Last edited by Gaba (5/15/2018 11:01 PM)


If it aint broke, I have'nt tried to "Fix" it yet!
 

5/16/2018 1:57 AM  #2


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

Learning gained by having the box to play with .... Priceless.
You already know more about them, than I do.
I'd hold out for the later box. Or better yet, a 4R70W (cos Corkys unavailable). http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


"Those telephone poles were like a picket fence"
 

5/16/2018 4:33 AM  #3


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

I would research the build thoroughly.  Typically when rebuilding automatics you will upgrade the earlier transmissions to the latest/best spec.  Manufacturers always made running changes to automatics over the production life to address various issues.  This could include adding clutches to some of the clutch packs, revised valvebody calibrations, etc. 

Another thing is to use a shift kit, and research which one.  From my experience, which is limited to GM transmissions, TransGo made the best kits.  Sometimes there were further modifications that could be done as well, so really do your research.  The same goes for the rebuild kit/parts to use.  There are different manufacturers for clutches and steels and some work better in certain transmissions (usually the trans they were designed on).  The Alto Red/Koleen combination is considered by many the gold standard, but on some transmissions they are overly harsh and the Borg Warner High Energy frictions/steels work much better. 

There may also be different servos or other parts that improve holding power or reliability in other areas.  The AOD is still a mechanical trans, so everything to do with the shift feel, firmness, etc. is done by modifications.  The computer controlled transmissions are modified with tuning mostly.  The AOD is still old school.  It was a popular trans, used for a long time, so I'm sure its well sorted out by now.  I would spend considerable time checking out the various forums and learning what works, what doesn't, and what people rave about and what they hate.  Then use the consensus on which parts to use in your build. 

As far as buying a later trans, I don't see the point.  You seem to have found a solid trans to work with, and any of the year to year variations can be addressed in the build.  I would just build what you have. 

 

5/16/2018 7:02 AM  #4


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

When I did mine I read somewhere that the 89+ was the one to start with and, as luck would have it, I found an 89 Town Car donor.  I would recommend that you do the research to find out EXACTLY what the difference is between the earlier and later trans.  If it relates to hard service, strength to handle high HP, etc., I wouldn't worry about it...you ain't going racing and you ain't layin' down 500 HP.  If there is a valid reason why YOU should up grade you can ask the guy at PATC if your's can be upgraded and what will it cost.  If it's cheaper to find an 89+ then that's the way to go.  If the problem is case weakness then you probably should look for the later one.

I have the Alto Red...something clutches and steels and the upgraded OD band in mine.  I also was able to add two clutches/steels to the "direct" (third gear) drum (I think...it's been ten years.  I got everything from PATC and so far it works just fine.  I did not install a "shift kit" as I didn't want harsh shifting and every one I'd ever ridden behind seemed harsh to me for "normal" driving.  I did ride in Terry's FB with AOD and he has a Kit in his and it would shift hard enough to bark the tires in second but I don't recall how it was on just easy driving.

You should have the tool kit by Monday according to UPS.

Update:  Just checked, should be there late Friday.

BB
 

Last edited by Bullet Bob (5/16/2018 7:10 AM)


I have found the true secret of life....keep waking up!
 

5/16/2018 8:03 AM  #5


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

I guess I must have been lucky when  got my aod many years ago. I just went to a local salvage yard and bought a core for a hundred bucks, did not know if it was long tail shaft, short tail shaft or what it came out of.
  I took the core and a stack of information from Baumann's web site to  friend who owned his own transmission business, second generation.
 We discussed my requirements along with the cars specifications. He did most of the mods that were  Baumann recommended. He also sourced parts from aode and other cores that he had laying around, steel clutch drum, wide od band, supercoupe  "A" servo etc. I also had a custom  converter made from a converter specialty shop in Buffalo NY.
  We talked about a shift kit but at the end did not use one, I did decide at one time to do the "Silverfoxbody epoxy mod" to eliminate the dreaded 1-2-1 shift debacle, but, at this point in my life I can't be bothered.
 The aod mod is one of the best mods I have done with my car and I am sure you will be happy with one in your car

Last edited by Rudi (5/16/2018 8:35 AM)


Good work ain't cheap, Cheap work ain't good!   “My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best"
 

5/16/2018 8:12 AM  #6


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

Rudi wrote:

I guess I must have been lucky when  got my aod many years ago. I just went to a local salvage yard and bought a core for a hundred bucks, did not know if it was long tail shaft, short tail shaft or what it came out of.
  I took the core and a stack of information from Baumann's web site to  friend who was in the transmission business, second generation.
 We discussed my requirements along with the cars specifications. He did most of the mods that were  Baumann recommended. He also sourced parts from aode and other cores that he had laying around, steel clutch drum, wide od band, supercoupe  "A" servo etc. I also had a custom  converter made from a converter specialty shop in Buffalo NY.
  We talked about a shift kit but at the end did not use one, I did decide at one time to do the "Silverfoxbody epoxy mod" to eliminate the dreaded 1-2-1 shift debacle, but, at this point in my life I can't be bothered.
 The aod mod is one of the best mods I have done with my car and I am sure you will be happy with one in your car

What gear ratio is your rear end ? With what tire height?
 


If it aint broke, I have'nt tried to "Fix" it yet!
     Thread Starter
 

5/16/2018 8:38 AM  #7


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

I have 3.25 rear end gears and the tires are 25"  dia, I think, that gets me 1950 RPM at 70 MPH. On a straight run I get 22-24 MPUSG, engine is a carbed 331.
 I chose the 3.25 gears because at the time I was doing many long haul trips, since those days are done I'd  now go with 3.55's

Last edited by Rudi (5/16/2018 8:49 AM)


Good work ain't cheap, Cheap work ain't good!   “My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best"
 

5/16/2018 10:17 AM  #8


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

Rudi wrote:

I have 3.25 rear end gears and the tires are 25"  dia, I think, that gets me 1950 RPM at 70 MPH. On a straight run I get 22-24 MPUSG, engine is a carbed 331.
 I chose the 3.25 gears because at the time I was doing many long haul trips, since those days are done I'd  now go with 3.55's

would you recommend 3.25 on a 26inch tire 302 engine.. ? 3.55 is a bit much as with AOD , 3.55 brings the rpm closer to the 1:1 2.8 with my C4. not exaclty.. but you know what I am saying. will 3.25 be a good balance between some off the line power and highway driving.. ? I am going to keep my 2.80 for now, till I get it in, drive it  and feel the power (or the lack of, if any ) 

 


If it aint broke, I have'nt tried to "Fix" it yet!
     Thread Starter
 

5/16/2018 10:32 AM  #9


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

Alright back the transmission:

I have some direction right now, its hazy but its all good. I will know about the transmission once I open it up fully to see what size OD band is in it, is any of the drums upgraded to the steel stamped version? what servo is being used for the OD selector. etc

Talking to PATC, they recommended a Shift kit : Superior AOD HP. I will do more research about that, and see if I really need that or not.

If the OD band is 1.5 inch stock, I will want to probably go wit hthe 2inch upgrade which requires a 1/2 inch smaller planetary gear set.

I will be doing the A servo upgrade to get more positive OD engagement if it has the B servo in it ( i doubt it having a C, as it was in a 4X4 truck ) but who knows. We will find out.

Again the clutch stack counts and stuff are something that I will only find once I am in it.

As y'all have recommended , I am going to make a list of all the upgrades that the 89+ had. Remember steel stamped drums were only in 91+ i think .. may be 90+ in some vehicles. not a given.. and not needed for a mild car
Mechanical diodes were introduced instead of the one way bearings, about 92-93 right before the AODE came out, or with it. Again a performance upgrade .. not needed. I could even just got with a 14 roller one way bearing instead of the stock 7 roller, if I am feeling generous with the money LOL, and still be a good enough performance upgrade.
I will list all the things I learn are different in a 89 + tranny, in one post , and then figure out what is absolutely needed , and what is a nice thing to have.

Now on a seperate note, I have a lead on a " rebuilt never been ran 89 crown vic AOD" close to here in DFW, Has had the "stock rebuild" with no shift kits. Looks of the transmission dont look like a new build. It seems like has seen some miles, but the owner says no miles. He is asking 500 for the transmission with the torque converter.. I am tempted but I dont know if I want to buy one that expensive. I may be able to throw it straight in and run, or.... I may not. .lol its a risk

I also POSSIBLY , have a lead on two cores of AOD locally. I am waiting for a reply now (person contact me a couple weeks ago, and i somehow missed his messages) , he said they are cores, so means they could be cheap ... I dont know..

What would you do .. ? Anyway. hope y'all dont mind me rambling.

here is a pic of the "rebuilt one with no miles"
http://i66.tinypic.com/15cod40.jpg



http://i68.tinypic.com/j93kwo.jpg

 


If it aint broke, I have'nt tried to "Fix" it yet!
     Thread Starter
 

5/16/2018 10:47 AM  #10


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

Would have thought it be a little cleaner with no miles

 

5/16/2018 11:21 AM  #11


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

red351 wrote:

Would have thought it be a little cleaner with no miles

Ditto that! My buddy has a transmission case cleaning machine that is used before every major rebuild, the case comes out spotless.
 The tranny had a wierd shifter arm that needed an interesting adaptor to syncronize it with the shifter in the console,
https://i.imgur.com/iEFc4u6l.jpg

 This is what mine looked like when I put it in. I clear coated the tranny case to prevent any oxidization and make it easier to keep clean.
 Thats a Lokar TVI cable, can't believe they want 125 bucks for one now, I think I paid about 55 back in the day.
https://i.imgur.com/l0Ky8qzl.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/bDZA5ekl.jpg

Last edited by Rudi (5/16/2018 12:01 PM)


Good work ain't cheap, Cheap work ain't good!   “My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best"
 

5/16/2018 2:59 PM  #12


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

If a shift kit makes the trans shift hard under anything but WOT its junk.  A proper shift kit should not do that.  The kits that do block the accumulators solid and that's why every shift it harsh.  That's an old B&M trick.  The Transgo kit in my 700R4 shifts like a Mercedes all the time, except at WOT.  Its Jekyll and Hyde.  Foot on the mat its a tire barking beast.  Part throttle you can barely even tell when it shifts, other than the exhaust note changes with the RPM. 

BUT, a shift kit is worthwhile for those times you do run at WOT, because otherwise there's too much overlap in the shifts and you're just burning away the frictions.  Just, like I said, do your research and find a quality one. 

Upgrading the sprag from a 7 to a 14 element should be more than sufficient.  In truth I've only ever heard of sprag failure when doing a burnout in 1st gear instead of 2nd with a full manual valvebody. 

Upgraded servos are worthwhile.  I used Corvette servos in my 700R4 for maximum apply area.  I also used the Corvette 3/4 valve that allows a WOT 4th gear upshift.  Little tricks like that make all the difference.  Not too expensive, and mostly stock parts, just using the right ones. 

 

5/16/2018 4:47 PM  #13


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

I did the shift thing that was for street performance, not full race. I'm glad I didn't go race. It hits hard enough. Sometimes It hits to hard if we back off the gas pedal completely as it shifting up. It gets a little worst after everything warmed up. The 3.70 gears don't help either.

 

5/16/2018 5:53 PM  #14


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

Ok , that tells me shift kit isn’t something I really need ..

I now definitely have a confirmed lead on a 90 Mustang AOD, that the guy is keeeping for me . Another 50 bucks but it’ll have a tail extension housing , and output shaft that in itself is 120 bucks of used parts that I get , not to mention the fact that it’s post 89 is a big plus!

Once I get that transmission, I will take both these apart , and see which one has the best parts ;)

Hey this is turning out better than I thought. Lol ;)


If it aint broke, I have'nt tried to "Fix" it yet!
     Thread Starter
 

5/16/2018 7:31 PM  #15


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

Its all about how the kit is done.  If all they're doing is increasing the bypass spring pressure in the pump to increase line pressure, blocking the accumulators solid with spacers, and drilling a couple holes larger in the separator plate to increase apply volume; that's not really a shift kit IMO. 

A shift kit needs to address shift feel and firmness under ALL conditions.  Clunking shifts, harsh part throttle shifts, etc. is a sign of an improperly designed kit that only really aims to make the trans shift hard.  That doesn't take any real knowledge or skill.  $75 for a box with three springs, two drill bits, and some spacer stock in it.  What's that really about?  Its not about making your car shift right, so I must conclude its about making money suckering the unsuspecting. 

 

5/22/2018 1:24 AM  #16


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

Ok!! Bob’s kit with tools arrived Friday! And I’ve cannot wait to start.

Yesterday I picked my 90 Mustang AOD that looked in great external condition , needs a rebuild as the OD band is slipping , and transmission would come off OD too soon. Has the right tail shaft, and dip stick, and right side shifting lever. Etc :D

I’ll get it on the engine stand soon, and start working on it , thinking of doing a time lapse video, but I’ll have to see :D


If it aint broke, I have'nt tried to "Fix" it yet!
     Thread Starter
 

5/22/2018 7:01 AM  #17


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

Gaba wrote:

would you recommend 3.25 on a 26inch tire 302 engine.. ? 3.55 is a bit much as with AOD , 3.55 brings the rpm closer to the 1:1 2.8 with my C4. not exaclty.. but you know what I am saying. will 3.25 be a good balance between some off the line power and highway driving.. ? I am going to keep my 2.80 for now, till I get it in, drive it  and feel the power (or the lack of, if any )  

Ya might want to reconsider that. A 2.80 rear gear x's the .67 AOD OD gear = 1.88 final gear ratio. A 3.55 gear = 2.38. Heck, a 4.11 gear puts you at a nice 2.75 in over drive. Unless I'm missing something...
 


Bob    69 Mach 351w, fmx Build-:http://1969stang.com/forum/index.php?/topic/44555-the--oh no I used a word I shouldn't have--is-back/
 

5/22/2018 8:33 AM  #18


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

Outside having the engine bog if I want to accelerate in OD, what are other negative effects ?

Please do educate


If it aint broke, I have'nt tried to "Fix" it yet!
     Thread Starter
 

5/22/2018 8:57 AM  #19


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

I ran my T-5 with .68 overdrive with 2.79 rear gears for years before upgrading to 3.25 gears.  I had no issues other than needing to be going about 60mph before overdrive became usable... and occasionally needing to downshift to 4th to pull steep hills or pass.

I definitely like th 3.25 gears better but the 2.79 gears weren't a problem.

Last edited by Michael H. (5/22/2018 8:58 AM)

 

5/22/2018 9:10 AM  #20


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

2.80 gearing could be a little hard on the TC (heat) cruising around town in slow traffic

 

5/22/2018 9:11 AM  #21


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

Michael H. wrote:

I ran my T-5 with .68 overdrive with 2.79 rear gears for years before upgrading to 3.25 gears ( a third member and may be a locking 3.25 for cheap, for my 8" rear end) .  I had no issues other than needing to be going about 60mph before overdrive became usable... and occasionally needing to downshift to 4th to pull steep hills or pass.

I definitely like th 3.25 gears better but the 2.79 gears weren't a problem.

and thats my thought. I will run with a 2.80 till i can find a 3.25 .. I am definitely not going 3.55 in this car. I know just a change to 3.25 from 2.80 is a BIG change to give this car a big pep in its step on first 3 gears and get real comfortable on the highway..

But yeah this is not a rubber burning machine, while at 3.25 in first gear I can burn some rubber and put a good big smile on my face, but after that, its a cruis machine to cruise to bashes and take long rides in with the wife and kids

Last edited by Gaba (5/22/2018 9:12 AM)


If it aint broke, I have'nt tried to "Fix" it yet!
     Thread Starter
 

5/22/2018 9:44 AM  #22


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

I have to disagree with the notions about the 3.55 with an AOD.  I have been running 3.55 since I first did the mechanical mods in 07 and I find it to be perfect.  It lives at 6000 feet and has been from here to sea level many times and also to the top of Pikes Peak (14115 feet).  It runs at 2150 rpm at true 70 mph (my normal cruise speed) and is very happy at 75 or 80 running in the 2300 to 2400 range.  Street driving is very comfortable and OD at anything over 40 is not lugging.  You need to remember that the AOD has a slightly higher OD than the normal T5... .67 vs .68.  Not much difference  but higher none the less.

BB


I have found the true secret of life....keep waking up!
 

5/22/2018 9:51 AM  #23


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

Bullet Bob wrote:

I have to disagree with the notions about the 3.55 with an AOD.  I have been running 3.55 since I first did the mechanical mods in 07 and I find it to be perfect.  It lives at 6000 feet and has been from here to sea level many times and also to the top of Pikes Peak (14115 feet).  It runs at 2150 rpm at true 70 mph (my normal cruise speed) and is very happy at 75 or 80 running in the 2300 to 2400 range.  Street driving is very comfortable and OD at anything over 40 is not lugging.  You need to remember that the AOD has a slightly higher OD than the normal T5... .67 vs .68.  Not much difference  but higher none the less.

BB

I agree.  I like my 3.25 gears with my T5, but if I had it to do over again I'd probably go with 3.55 gears.

 

5/22/2018 10:21 AM  #24


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

OK here is the Break down for engine rpm with my tire size 26"

C4
               60mph      70mph
2.80          2229        2601
3.25          2588        3019
3.55          2826        3297

AOD
            60mph     70mph
2.80      1520        1773
3.25      1764        2058
3.55      1927        2248

Is 3.25 not good enough to put the engine in power band.. ? or do i have to be over 2000?
 


If it aint broke, I have'nt tried to "Fix" it yet!
     Thread Starter
 

5/22/2018 10:30 AM  #25


Re: Gaba’s AOD rebuild project

what I want is a big difference in the cruising rpm on the highway.. I dont feel comfortable in the car at 2600 rpm at 70 mph.. its about comfort and but also doing whats best for the car and not straining parts..

going AOD and chanign to 3.55 only drops my running rpm by max 400 rpm (max 15%) .. is that a big enough difference? but going to 3.25 I am running at 2058 means about a 600 rpm difference (23%) ..

I could be worng. I have been before, I am able to learn, understand that I am wrong..  and change my mind..

Bob you changed my mind from buying a 1100 dollar rebuilt transmission to getting into it myself and rebuilding it, when I said I never will do this kind of a job .. LOL 
 


If it aint broke, I have'nt tried to "Fix" it yet!
     Thread Starter
 

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