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What is the best manual/resource for rebuilding a Ford C4 transmission?

Littlestown Mike

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The engine parts are all at the machine shop for final surfacing.

I thought that this would be a good time to go through the transmission.

It is a C4 that was attached to a 1966 Mustang with a 200 Six.  It will be going into a '65 Falcon with a fresh more-or-less Stock 200 Six.

I have the FSM which has a pretty detailed section on the C4.

Is that still a good source, or is there a better manual or source of information on the C4?

The metal ID tag bolted to the servo cover is bent and broken so that none of that information is available.

Should I "assign" a model number based on information in the FSM?

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I used this video.  I set three portable tables into a U-shape with kraft paper covering.  When taking the trans apart, I placed parts in order on the tables and made notes next to parts as needed.  The problem that I had was in the clean up of the governor in the tail shaft.  It looked clean, felt clean, but still hung up.  I was instructed to use a "green scrubby" on the parts to sort of polish them.  My symptom was that the trans would not shift from 2 to 3.  After cleaning the governor, the shifts worked.


I bought a rebuild kit for about $100 and a new torque converter for another $100 (2014 $).  I replaced the torque converter on the advice that my transmission sat for several years and sediment in the oil could have settled to the bottom of the housing causing an imbalance.  I needed one special tool to remove a snap ring.  The vacuum modulator was removed by grinding down a cheap wrench.  I had a bad part, I think part of a pump, but got it replaced.  


The amazing part of this whole process was the low cost.  I think the trans repair shops don't replace all the parts but do a general clean and replace a couple seals, but not all seals.  


Good luck!


Edited by kgreen (see edit history)
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Replace all the seals and rings, inspect the linings and check for endplay! "Kits" rarely get the job done. Believe the shop manual (and don't do it without one). Dumping "all new parts" in rarely gets it right, and a "kit" will probably contain a bunch of stuff you don't need, but still leave you needing some selective thickness parts that weren't in the kit and will need to be bought separately. Get the end clearances in your clutch packs right! That often takes selective parts. End play for the whole transmission matters too. Also be sure to get any bands set correctly. You might have to buy a tiny torque wrench or two, pay close attention to the range(s) needed. "Good enough" tools like this are available economically these days on Amazon. I don't remember exactly what is needed for C4 (too long ago for me), but what you see in ths post won't be too far off.


In this case, you may want to replace all the linings (clutches and bands) because it is a 60s Ford, and the lining materials used then required Type F fluid to work properly. Some of the old parts will be like new. Your call.


Dust and crud is your enemy. Tiny pieces of lint can ruin your rebuild. NO SHOP RAGS OR PAPER TOWELS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. Parts should be washed in solvent, blown dry, dunked in clean transmission fluid, and put in. Dust must be kept under control. I have done this in service station buildings by shutting all the doors, cleaning the bench meticulously and wetting down the concrete floor. That is almost good enough. Serious automatic transmission shops have a build room.


There are a lot of variations of C4 based on year and original application. If you are going to order a "kit", you may have to guess. It won't have all of the right parts anyway. The first 2 letters of a Ford part number or engineering number will be the first year the part or casting was used. C=6, D=7, so if you are seeing a bunch of numbers on or in it starting with C4xx (1964) or C5xx (1965), probably your original application is a good guess. If you are seeing a bunch of D6xx (1976) or whatever you might need to make a very different guess.


EDIT: just re-read @kgreen's post and he reminded me of the snap ring pliers. You will probably have to buy some. In automatic transmissions there are the snap rings you expect with holes in the ends, and there are also ones that are just pointy and engage a hole or divot in the side of a very stout snap ring pliers. You'll probably just have to see what is needed as you go. There are also places where you need to compress a spring and hold it while you remove or install a snap ring. I have a purpose made press for that, but I imagine you will need to just make something from random hardware store stuff. That's what I did before I had the special press. Good luck! :)


Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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Thanks, guys. Thanks for the link.  So many videos!  Many are rather poor.  I will watch this one.

Here is what I have found out so far:

The case is from a '74  ( Case bears the numbers ( D4OP...AA)

The pump is later--Numbers are E0AP...   So, 1980?  Also stamped "L 5" is that a Ford change level and does it matter?

Valve body looks to be a problems.  It is a later one which means it has the Select Shift pattern.  Will that work with the 1965 column shift quadrant even if the letters are wrong?  

I will be visiting a local transmission shop today or tomorrow to discuss.  I am hoping they have a stash of old hard parts in an upstairs room.  That will be my first choice for the selective snap rings.  I won't know if I need them until u am into reassembly.  I hope that might have an earlier valve body and the servo piston with the bonded seal in the correct size.

I can wish can't I?

Bloo--what about ATF?  The transmission shop where i worked in the 1980s used Dexron for everything.  I see that type F is available.  Which should I use?  ( Upon removing the pan, and seeing just a little ATF remaining, I suddenly remembered that nothing smells nearly as bad as burnt Type F--even on cold Winter days that would make all the overhead doors in the shop fly open to ventilate THAT odor.)

Both the metal tag on the servo cover and the red metal tag on the valve body were broken right were the numbers began--Bummer!

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I think Dexron for everything is fine when you are starting with a clean box. If you are needing larger parts like a valve body it might be easier / cheaper to find another core transmission. Then you have lots of parts. A C4 is a fairly simple trans to rebuild. 

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It is my understanding that Type F was only necessary with the linings used in Fords at that time. If you replace all, then I think you would be fine with DexronII / III / Mercon type fluid. You will not find it labeled that way anymore thanks to testing standards that no longer exist. You'll have to read the small print on the back to find which fluid is for "vehicles that originally called for Dexron II/III" or something like that.


Fords with Green Dot / White Dot shift quadrants have the default stop at the green dot. The green dot is at the same spot second is in a newer transmission. It is probably going to shift itself into second every time you go over a big bump, especially if it is a column shift. I'd at least get the right valve body to match the shifter, or better yet a whole earlier transmission.


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When I was still in high school, I blew a C4 planetary cluster in my Cougar. I was pretty fearless, and managed to walk through the replacement and rebuild by myself with nothing more than this. Well written, and step by step.


Edit: and it is available at archive.org:





Edited by Lee H (see edit history)
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