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December 2021

3 Types of Ford AOD Transmission Identification

Ford AOD Transmission Identification

The oil crisis of 1973 was a jarring reality for many American motorists as fuel became more expensive than it used to be. The only way out of this quandary was to use automobiles that consume less fuel without compromising power.

By the time another oil crisis came on the scene within that decade, i.e., 1979, many motorists were ready. This is where the Ford AOD transmission came into the picture.

A Brief History of The AOD Transmission

Ford introduced the automatic overdrive (AOD) in 1980, and it was the first domestic AOD transmission. Chrysler and General Motors soon followed suit. General Motors developed the 200 into a 200-4R with overdrive while Chrysler added more overdrive units to the existing 3-speed automatics: the 904 and 727. General Motors derived the all-new 700-R4 purpose-built AOD from the 200-4R.

The AOD may seem intimidating when placed with older FMX 3-speed, C4, and C6 automatics. The only difference is the direct overdrive lockup – to do away with wasteful slippage – and add-on hydro-mechanicals. The automatic overdrive came in a fresh-cast aluminum case with an overdrive unit as well as a trustworthy planetary gearset.

Ford’s all-new automatic overdrive is in full-size Mercurys, Fords, and Lincolns as a fresh design. However, it notably incorporated the existing tried-and-tested Ravigneaux geartrain components, conveniently borrowed from the BorgWarner FMX parts bin, i.e., the older and time-proven FX, MX, and FMX transmission family. The AOD is constructed mainly for small engine blocks.

The automatic overdrive is highly dependable, thanks majorly to the use of numerous time-proven components. It took several years before Ford could dial in the automatic overdrive as a pretty solid performer. But this only occurred with the assistance of off-road and aftermarket racers.

The Challenges with the Ford AOD Transmission

The Ford automatic overdrive was said to have durability issues, especially within the clunky overdrive unit known for its constant failure. The transmission’s third gear lacks clutches and additional steel, while its input shaft snaps easily when subjected to too much power.

The shift pattern is also a pain in the neck as it takes a bit to get used to if you want to shift to second gear. Moreover, if you shift into overdrive at full throttle, it wastes the clutch pack completely. 

Even the stock cooler leaves a lot to be desired by racing enthusiasts who would love to wring lots of power out of their automobile.

However, the arrival of the 1993 Lincoln Mark VIII AODE (AOD Electronic) Control/4R70W’s wider band and overdrive drum solved this problematic issue.

The 3 Types of Ford AOD Transmissions Identification

The following are the 3 types of upgraded, finely tuned Ford automatic overdrive transmissions and their different price points:

Each of these automatic overdrive transmissions is custom built from start to finish with the primary goal of making the Ford AOD transmission much better than it was. 

For instance, the Ford AOD transmission (Level 4) is an extensive block-compatible gear system that is available along with a master overhaul kit. It also has the following features:

  • A brand-new reverse band
  • A high-capacity 3-plate intermediate clutch
  • A 30,000 GVW cooler
  • A carbon fiber overdrive band
  • An updated overdrive servo pins and piston, etc.

This includes a much-wider reverse drum complete with a mechanical diode. On the whole, that is up to 700 horsepower with approximately 600 ft./lbs. torque. If there is room for additional modifications, you can talk to a professional or an experienced/certified technician or mechanic.

They are retrofit transmissions carefully and expertly remade with aftermarket parts to fit any performance enthusiast’s needs.

These Ford AOD transmissions come fully equipped with up to 20,000 GVW coolers, as well as several customizations geared towards high-performance driving.

Each Ford AOD transmission undergoes rigorous testing and is tested with a converter for the equivalent of up to 100 miles, just to ensure ideal operating conditions.

Fuel efficiency and performance make these Ford AOD transmissions sought-after as they are essentially horsepower transferring systems. 

All Ford AOD transmission identification share similar gear ratios:

  • First gear: 2.40:1
  • Second gear: 1.47:1
  • Third gear: 1:1
  • Fourth gear: 0.67:1

Successors of the Ford AOD Transmission

The successors to the Ford automatic transmission are the electronically-controlled AODE and 4R7XX transmissions. Circuitry and computer parts play significant roles in the overall functions of these exceptional transmissions. This makes them markedly different from the mechanically-regulated automatic overdrive and old-school technology.

The manual shift mechanism of the AODE/4R70W transmissions is basically the same as the Ford AOD, except that it has no neutral safety/linear backup switch. Instead, this specific function is right outside the case.

This large, heavy electro-magnet component is the pressure control solenoid that pulses in order to control system pressure. If this component malfunctions, you will experience severe transmission damage.

The valve body of the AODE/4R70W is very much different from – and not interchangeable – with the original AOD. It lacks the throttle valve that comes with the AOD. 

The shift-points and system pressure programming are not mechanically modulated but computer-controlled. The manual shifter valve comes with a bolt-on detent to lock shift positions.

The AODE initially came with a raw wiring harness that connects the multiplex system plug to the converter lockup solenoid and shift control solenoids. 

The AODE and 4R70W transmissions come with a press-in filter that requires no installation and removal tools. You must take extra care in order to ensure the filter and rubber seal are highly secure before buttoning up. Do not reuse a filter.

You can find Ford casting numbers on all AODE, 4R70W, and even 4R75 castings. These numbers are crucial and play a significant role in revealing the type of transmission you have as well as which parts should be used.


There’s much more to your vehicle than transportation, and that is pushing machinery to its very brink and wringing maximum potential out of a custom-built power generator.

This is why you need nothing else but the custom Ford AOD performance transmissions explicitly tuned to keep you fully satisfied. Each Ford automatic overdrive transmission build is fine-tuned to make the most of the old AOD and bring it into the modern era of remarkable performance.

The Benefits of a High Performance Transmission

high performance transmission

Do you want to upgrade to a high-performance transmission? Most car owners know that the primary role of a vehicle’s transmission is to apply power from the car engine to its wheels efficiently. As the driver shifts the gear – as the case is for manual transmission – or as the transmission shifts the gear, it powers the vehicle to the speed you want it to reach.

This is where performance transmissions come in. Transmissions are among the most complex vehicle components alongside the computer system. A clean and functional transmission will significantly improve the lifespan of your vehicle.

But high-performance transmissions put an exclusive spin on this conventional concept.

What is a High-Performance Transmission?

A high-performance transmission refers to the type of transmissions used in equipping vehicles built for speed and excellent road performance, i.e., vehicles used for racing on the drag strip or street racing.

However, high-performance transmissions are no longer limited to cars built for speed. Many vehicle owners nowadays outfit their daily drivers with a high-performance transmission. The purpose of this is to make their vehicles versatile enough to fulfill a wide variety of roles.

This often implies restomodding – ‘restoration’ and ‘modification’ – existing muscle vehicles in order to meet both objectives. The hybrid vehicle works as a highly reliable daily driver during the day and tears up the street or track at night or on weekends.

The Benefits of High-Performance Transmissions

  • Upgrading your transmission lowers overall costs and entails paying upfront. However, you will make back this money when your vehicle starts operating more smoothly and requires less power to function.
  • Upgrading to a high-performance transmission results in an overall increase in car value.
  • Enhancing your transmission boosts reliability since its components – which are crucial for optimal health and performance – control so much. This means there is almost a zero chance of breaking down suddenly on the road, negatively impacting the vehicle’s functioning.
  • Investing in your vehicle’s transmission is equal to investing in your safety. If you like traveling long distances/trips or using the highway a lot, upgrading to a high-performance transmission minimizes the chance of breaking down right in the middle of nowhere. It guarantees optimal performance at all times.
  • A high-performance transmission shaves several seconds of your time while bringing your vehicle to another level.

High-performance transmissions and clutches allow axles to spin faster. They provide precision control and performance precisely when you need it most. Your vehicle would redline and die without a sound transmission.

Smooth gear transitions enable you to accelerate faster. This is why high-performance transmissions must be machined with the highest quality parts or components. They must also be carefully inspected before leaving the workshop or factory to take on severe challenges.

Every part of a high-performance transmission must be high capacity, flexible, and heavy-duty. This is why it provides smooth and consistent power on and off the track.

What Should You Look for When Purchasing a High-Performance Transmission?

You need to consider precisely what you want before you start thinking of getting a high-performance transmission for your vehicle. Putting as much money as you desire into your car is excellent. But everything goes down the drain if your transmission fails unexpectedly.

Mainstream transmissions are so standard that nearly all garages in your locality will have them in stock. The alternative solution is to invest in a custom high-performance transmission.

You can purchase a high-performance transmission that will be designed, developed, and built to meet the precise specifications of your own vehicle. This ensures everything fits together and works seamlessly in perfect harmony.

Upgrading to a high-performance transmission is more cost-effective than replacing an entire transmission. As you already know, it would be practically impossible for your car engine to generate the power required to move your vehicle. 

This is why transmissions are really important and must be maintained regularly for optimal performance.

Matching Your Vehicle’s Transmission to the Engine

If your objective is to match your vehicle’s transmission to its engine, then be careful about spending your mod budget when beefing up the engine. This is why you need a high-performance transmission.

Getting the most out of your vehicle’s engine requires a transmission and converter to back it up. A high-performance transmission can provide that extra power – and speed – required. This gives you that peak performance you expect from that car’s racing engine or any other type of high-performance engine.

Therefore, the best way to go about this is to ensure the transmission builder and the engine builder are on the same page from the beginning to the end of the project.

You also need to be upfront and crystal-clear about what you expect from your vehicle, especially regarding durability, speed, power, etc. What is your primary objective for your vehicle’s performance? Let it be known that this information will help the professional builders work hand-in-hand to meet your demands or expectations.

Is Horsepower Everything?

There’s currently a myth that puts ‘horsepower’ in a position of great esteem. But you should bear in mind that your vehicle’s engine, just like every finely-tuned machine in the world today, does not work in isolation.

You should consider pairing a high-performance transmission with that high horsepower engine for maximum benefits. The former will be capable of handling the latter’s output without any stress.

For several applications, this implies taking high-performance transmissions designed and built to deliver into consideration.

To make this happen or bring your dream to reality, consult with a dependable transmission company with lots of experience, expertise, and drive in the field.


A high-performance transmission is an ideal solution for anyone looking to win. This is why it provides smooth power on and off the track.

Therefore, before installing a high-performance transmission in your muscle car, make sure you consult with a reliable transmission company that has been around for some time and knows its onions. 

The company should also be in tune with the regular improvements in the quality of transmissions these days, thanks to technology. They should have the expertise, experience, and drive to meet your expectations when building and developing your vehicle.

GM Turbo 350 Transmission Options

gm turbo 350 transmission

The GM Turbo 350 transmission is a 3-speed, automatic shift transmission and one of the greatest automatic transmissions ever built. It was introduced in the model year – i.e., 1969 – as the successor to the Powerglide automatic transmission from GM.

Buick and Chevy jointly developed the Turbo 350 transmission, otherwise known as Chevrolet-Buick Combined Transmission or the CBC 350. This automatic transmission became popular almost immediately due to its compactness, strength, and versatility. It has a pretty solid balance of size and power and easily fits in smaller automobiles.

The Turbo 350 transmission is one of the strongest – and shortest – automatics installed into a Jeep due to its power. This transmission could be found in almost all rear-wheel-drive cars and trucks produced by GM until the 700R4 debuted in 1982. But it works exceptionally well in vehicles with V6 and V8 small block engines.

The Turbo 350 transmission was heavily produced for about 15 years but was eventually phased out as the 700R4 became the preferred transmission in 1984. In 1980, a lockup torque converter was finally added to the Turbo 350 transmission. But it was pulled 4 years later due to its inconsistent acceleration and downshifting. The production of the venerable Turbo 350 transmission stopped entirely after 1984.

The torque converter that the Turbo 350 transmission has was eventually carried over to the TH400. But in all appearances, it looks like the original 1962 Super Turbine Powerglide manufactured by Chevrolet since they shared several components, which include the torque converter. The only significant difference is that a variable pitch stator is absent from the torque converter.

Defining Characteristics of the GM Turbo 350 Transmission

The determining characteristic of the Turbo 350 transmission is that it has an almost non-existent central support, especially when compared to the 400. This seems like a disadvantage, but it allowed the automatic transmission to be installed in the Corvair model. The 2 ends are practically the same, and this wouldn’t have been so if the Turbo 350 transmission had come with central support.

From 1972, the Turbo 350 transmission received an air baffle and air intakes on the torque converter, which gave room for air cooling. But air intakes are an avenue for debris to get right into the internal workings unless they are adequately cleaned and maintained occasionally. 

The Vega and Nova 6 were the prominent models equipped with air-cooled transmissions for Chevrolet.

Features of the GM Turbo 350 Transmission

The Turbo 350 transmission may vary in-band specs and clutch. Motors and transmissions are often paired together, just as computer processors and motherboards are. The stronger the engine, the stronger the TH350. Light-duty transmission can be upgraded if you get your hands on affordable components.

One particular upgrade is the new shift improver kit. They help minimize wear on the clutch, reduce the buildup of heat, and provide smoother and faster shifts. If the power requirements of your vehicle are high, you can easily refit a much stronger torque converter.

Turbo 350 Transmission Specs/Options

When the Turbo 350 transmission was launched, General Motors wasted no time replacing the much-respected Powerglide 2-speed automatics in the ‘60s. 

Here are the gear ratios the Turbo 350 transmission features:

  • First gear: 2.52 to 1
  • Second gear: 1.52 to 1
  • Third gear: 1.0 to 1, i.e., direct drive
  • Reverse: 2.07 to 1

This automatic transmission has no overdrive gear. But it powers the ever-popular classic American muscle, thanks to the following specs:

  • Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4 performance
  • Ability to control up to 400 lb./ft. of torque
  • Capacity to take on up to 700 horsepower

The power of a classic American muscle typically determines how much horsepower will be required. This is because better engines require at least Level 3 transmission

The Turbo 350 transmission options are available at different price points:

The Construction of the Turbo 350 Transmission

The Turbo 350 transmission is a single-piece or complete unit with a bell housing incorporated into its body. The casing of the transmission is manufactured from cast aluminum.

What makes the Turbo 350 transmission distinct is its short length and lightness. It can take up to 4 quarts in a pan but will require some more, based primarily on the torque converter in operation. The Turbo 350 transmission can take 10 quarts if combined with a 9.5-inch torque converter.

Moreover, another great advantage the Turbo 350 transmission had over its predecessor was the additional gear it came with. This was the primary reason General Motors employed this remarkable automatic transmission in nearly every rear-wheel vehicle is manufactured at the time.

The Turbo 350 transmission versatility, compactness, and overall strength have made it possible for several vintage vehicle owners to retain its use, even today. Many of the classic automobiles on the market today have the Turbo 350 transmission installed, though with a few alterations here and there.

Uses of the Turbo 350 Transmission

The Turbo 350 transmission was widely utilized in several vehicles, including GMC trucks, the Caprice, Pontiac Firebirds, Monte Carlo, Chevrolet Camaro, etc. It was so impressive that an offshoot version – i.e., the Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac (BOP) – was manufactured. This version was designed to work seamlessly with the Pontiac V8.

But you can quickly tell the difference between the standard Turbo 350 transmission and its offshoot version by checking out the block flange. The standard TH350 from Chevrolet comes with a peak, while the Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac off-shoot version showcases a valley.


Many modestly-powered vehicles operate smoothly, thanks to the revered Turbo 350 transmission. It was highly versatile during the ’60s because it had zero center support. This particular feature – or lack of it – made it possible for the transmission to be used in many experimental cars.

Although its parent companies no longer produce the Turbo 350 transmission, it is still primarily utilized by several vintage automobiles. The compact and robust transmission comes with an additional gear which gave it a considerable advantage over the preceding transmission.

What is an Aftermarket Torque Converter?

what is an aftermarket torque converter

What is an aftermarket torque converter? The torque converter is a vital component of many auto transmission vehicles. It plays a crucial role in starting a vehicle and takes the part of the conventional clutch by readily connecting – and separating – the transmission and engine. 

It is the seamless interaction between the torque converter, the hydraulic energy (generated by special fluid), and the engine (with its mechanical kinetic energy) that powers the transmission for automatic driving. 

In other words, a torque converter efficiently transfers rotating power from a prime mover right to a rotating driven load. It is the latter that helps in connecting the power source to the load within an automatic transmission. 

Therefore, in simple words, the torque converter functions primarily as a mechanical clutch in manual transmission vehicles. 

The torque converter is set between the engine flexplate and the transmission. It is responsible for enabling engines to run while the vehicle is stationary. But as soon as the vehicle starts moving, the torque converter transmits power hydraulically via the transmission fluid. 

An aftermarket torque converter is a spare part designed to work like the factory-fitted torque converter. Many specialists consider aftermarket torque converters the best option whenever there is a need to replace the defective factory-fitted torque converter. 

The major components of a torque converter include: 

  • Brake lining 
  • Stator 
  • Turbine wheel 
  • Torsional damper 
  • Impeller 
  • Lock-up clutch, etc. 

How Does a Torque Converter Work? 

To understand how a torque converter works, highlighting the 3 stages of operation it undergoes is essential. The 3 stages – i.e., stall, acceleration, coupling – are discussed separately. 


This refers to a situation in which the turbine can no longer rotate, despite the application of power – by the prime mover – to the impeller. Moreover, the application of enough input power assists the torque converter to generate maximum torque multiplication. The ensuing multiplication is known as the ‘stall ratio.’ 

The ‘stall’ stage of the torque converter’s operation lasts briefly, especially when the load starts moving initially because there will be a considerable difference between the turbine speed and pump. 


Coupling gives rise to fuel economy when the lock-up clutch is applied. This is the point at which the turbine achieves up to 90 percent of the impeller’s (an internal component of the torque converter) speed. 

At this point, one can liken the operation of the torque converter to that of a simple fluid coupling since torque is no more apparent. 


A situation where the load accelerates, but there is a significant difference between the turbine speed, and impeller causes the torque converter to produce torque multiplication that is far lesser than what is available under stall conditions. 

However, what determines the amount of multiplication generated is the real difference between the turbine speed and the pump. 

What are the Internal Components of a Torque Converter? 

The torque converter has 3 major internal components that, without them, the unit cannot operate effectively.  

The internal components are the stator, turbine, and pump. Another vital component is the transmission fluid that works by moving through these significant internal components. 

Let’s take a closer – but brief – look at each of these significant internal components of a torque converter: 


Stators can be found right in the middle of torque converters. Its primary duty is to redirect the transmission fluid just before it gets into the pump again. 

The stator comes with an internal one-way clutch that enables it to freewheel at specific operating speeds. Nevertheless, this internal component is situated on a fixed shaft. 


The output shaft connects the turbine to the transmission. When the turbine spins, its operation causes the transmission to set the vehicle in motion. As soon as the transmission fluid exits the turbine, the latter moves opposite to that of the pump and the engine. 


A torque converter’s housing is connected to the engine’s flywheel while, on the contrary, the fins of the pump link to the housing. The pump spins and then pushes the fluid in an outward motion, operating like a centrifugal pump. 

When the pump operates, it helps in creating a vacuum that conveniently attracts even more transmission fluid toward the torque’s center, and then it enters the turbine straightaway. 

What Sets an Aftermarket Torque Converter Apart? 

An aftermarket torque converter has several benefits that many other spare parts don’t bring to the table. 

Two notable benefits of aftermarket torque converters are: 


A few aftermarket torque converters come equipped with what is referred to as a ‘lockup’ contraption. The primary job of this mechanism is to readily bind the vehicle engine to the transmission in a rigid manner when their speeds are nearly equivalent. 

This is the operation that prevents loss of efficiency and incredibly high levels of slippage. 

The lockup mechanism’s action also helps to significantly boost fuel efficiency – even up to 65 percent – while simultaneously eliminating wasted power. 

However, uninterrupted high levels of slippage could make it somewhat tricky for the torque converter to readily disperse heat. 

When a torque converter cannot dissipate heat, it damages the elastomer seals. These seals are primarily responsible for retaining or sustaining fluid within the torque converter. 

Over time, the fluid within the torque converter starts leaking, and when there is no more fluid within it, the machine stops working altogether. 

Torque multiplication 

A regular fluid coupling and an aftermarket torque converter do not perform the same way. The former’s primary responsibility involves matching the rotational speed but cannot multiply torque. 

On the other hand, an aftermarket torque converter quickly multiplies torque, especially in situations in which output rotational speed is meager. In such cases, fluid from the turbine’s curved vanes deflects off the stator. 

Furthermore, fluid deflection can only occur when the stator is temporarily locked against its one-way clutch. This results in something equivalent to a reduction gear. 

Torque multiplication can also come about when there is a significant difference between both input and output speeds. 


If the torque converter in your vehicle fails, the vehicle transmission will suffer from it. Faulty torque converters lead to loss of power and can even cause transmission gears to slip unceremoniously because of a reduction in the seamless flow of the transmission fluid. 

Using an aftermarket torque converter has several benefits, thanks to the operation of some components like the stator, impeller, turbine, etc. This is why the aftermarket torque converter is the perfect option if you need to replace your vehicle’s faulty, factory-fitted torque converter.