How To Identify A Ford Transmission?


How To Identify A Ford Transmission?

Most people, unless they are into customizing their cars or unless they are interested in cars in general, then they will not know the importance of a transmission. Knowing what type of transmission you have is not only good information to have but it is crucial if you ever run into any engine problems.

There are many types of transmission and this rule applies to Ford as well. If you have been having trouble identifying the transmission in your Ford, then you have come to the right place. Let’s get started!

What is a Transmission? | Why is it Important?

Most people confuse their car’s transmission with their car’s engine and while the two do have some correlation, they are not the same. Your car’s transmission is the same as your car’s gearbox, however.

Although transmission is more commonly used, if a mechanic ever asks you about your gearbox then you will know what he or she is referring to.

So what is a transmission? A transmission is responsible for increasing torque to acceleration and it is the component that turns your engine’s power into something it can use. It also prevents your engine from overworking itself when you drive on highways or just drive fast, period.

An automatic transmission uses sensors to determine when it should change or shift gears. Your transmission does this by using internal oil pressure. Whenever you are going, stopping, or turning, it is all thanks to your transmission.

An experienced driver knows that when his or her car has trouble maneuvering smoothly then the problem is more than likely connected to their transmission or gearbox.

Your transmission is important because, without it, your engine can purr as loudly as it wants, but you will not be able to go anywhere without it.

Most mechanics will be able to find out what kind of transmission you have without asking but it is good to know for conversation purposes.

For example, if you call in and talk about your transmission problem, the mechanic will most likely want to know what type of engine you have.

Or if you are looking to put in a new engine, then the mechanic will need to know what type of engine you currently have so he or she can check inventory to see if it is in stock.

Or if it is not, then he or she can order it for you. Of course, if you do not know, then you can bring your car in and the mechanic can check for you but knowing beforehand will save you a lot of trouble.

How to Identify A Ford Transmission?

Here are some quick and easy steps to figure out what Ford transmission you have:

1.    Step 1: What Shape is the Pan?

  • The first step here would be to examine the shape of the pan that lays beneath your transmission. This is the quickest way to determine what kind of transmission you have.
  • For example, the Ford C-series transmission has square pans.
  • While the C-3 has a bay at the back on its left side.
  • The C-4’s front left side will have a bump on it.
  • If you have the C-6 then you will be able to determine it by looking at its back left side. There will be a cut-out bay there. If you are not able to find it, it is the side that looks towards the back of the vehicle.
  • If you have the Ford-O-Matic, then you will see a simple square pan.

2.    Step 2: Count Your Bolts

  • The next step is as simple as it seems. You now will count how many bolts there are on the transmission pan.
  • For example, if you count 14 bolts then it is a C-6.
  • If there are 11 then you have a C-4.
  • If you count 13 bolts then it is a C-3.
  • If there are 15 bolts in total then you have a Ford-O-Matic.

What if You Have an Automatic Overdrive Transmission?

If you have a Ford automatic overdrive transmission then the process is a bit different.

The four speed-speed transmissions come in four types and each of them has a unique pan shape. This means it will take counting the bolts and seeing the shape of the pan for you to see which one is in your vehicle. Let’s get started!

Part 1: Check out the Shape

1.     Pan Shape:

  • If you see a pan shape transmission then you most likely have a: A4LD, AR44E, or a 4R55E.
  • All of these are pan shapes with a small bump on the top left side, they also have an indentation on the right side.

2.     Slashes:

  • If you see a slash coming out of both front corners then you most likely have an AOD.
  • However, if you see two slashes on the front corners and a circular indentation on the top left corner, then you have an AODE 4R70W.

3.     Rectangle Shape:

  • Lastly, rectangle shape with a small cut out on the right corner means you have the E40D 4R100.

Part 2: Count those Bolts!

  1. 14 Bolts: AOD, AODE, and 4R70W
  2. 18 Bolts: AR55E, A4LD, and AR44E transmissions.
  3. 20 Bolts:  E40D and 4R100 transmissions

Bonus tip: Take a picture of your transmission-try to include a variety of angles, as many as you can. Also, capture the pan and all the mounting points.

This is because sometimes if you just cannot figure it out, then you can show your mechanic a photo of your transmission. You know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so do not forget to take plenty.

In Conclusion | Why it is Important to Take Care of Your Ford Transmission

Figuring out what kind of transmission your Ford has may seem like a hassle but it is quite simple: all it takes is seeing what type of pan you have and counting how many bolts you have as well.

Knowing what kind of transmission your Ford has is really important and is more impressive than knowing what kind of model of Ford you drive. Your transmission or gearbox is crucial to the performance of your Ford and your car cannot run without it.

Maintenance and Care:

Do be sure to get a yearly maintenance check on your Ford transmission to assure that it is running smoothly.

Ford transmissions do not go for cheap, with a new one ranging anywhere from $1,000.00 to $6,000.

If you find that your car is experiencing any of these signs, then do consider getting it checked out:

  • Check engine light comes on: any time this light comes in, it is a sign to get your car checked. However, if this light comes on in conjunction with any of those signs listed below then it might have to do with your transmission.
  • Neutral Noises: any noise that does not sound normal should be inspected.
  • Leaking Fluid: If your transmission or engine is leaking fluid it could be the oil from your Ford’s transmission.
  • Grinding or Shaking: Just because your Ford is grinding or shaking does not mean that it is purely mean it is automatically a transmission problem. However, some grinding and shaking does not rule out transmission issues.
  • Burning Smell: a burning smell should be sending you to the mechanic as soon as possible, but do not be surprised if the burning smell means there are some transmissions issues.

Kern Campbell

I've had a passion for four-wheel-drive vehicles since I was a kid riding in the back seat of my Grandfather's Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I have owned a lot of vehicles over the years. They each have their pros and cons and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so you can find the vehicle that's just right for your needs.

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