February 18, 2014

Modifying Ford AOD trans for reverse linkage

The 1940 Ford rod, with its 1996 5.0L engine and AOD trans on my BP lift. With a custom-made trans jack holding the trans steady, it was unbolted from the engine using a ridiculous variety of extensions and swivel-sockets, then the car lifted high enough to slide the trans out.

Once transferred to the tear-down bench, the pan was drained (from the corner), then removed and the linkage-reversal operation commenced -

Of course what should have been a 10 minute operation turned into an hour long exercise in frustration, due to a stuck roll-pin...

The old roll pin was drilled out and although it didn't take too long for the part that was stuck to be released by the drill, unfortunately it started to spin in the shaft. With some careful angling, holding my tongue just so and a bit of luck, it began to pull out -

Once out, I re-inserted the shaft 180 degrees to it's original placement and then checked that it would bolt back up like that. As well, I measured the throw - to find out where I would need to weld the male piece of the attachment shaft to ensure it would go though the gears as the shift lever went though its ROM.


Once it was determined that the throw was going to be nearly the same as the stock set-up, I welded the male pin to the linkage arm. Here I'm using ColdWeld heat blocker to lessen the chance of heat damage to the rubber insert -

 Having odd-ball stuff on-hand pays off sometimes, saving having to make a run to get a appropriate sized roll pin.
Re-inserting new roll-pin - 


Double-checking everything is where it should be -

Then everything was tightened back up, the pan filled with enough ATF so as to minimize how much we'll have to pour through the trans fill-tube and the linkage was run trough it's ROM several times -

Back underneath, re-installing should be much easier than was the removal. Here you can see the flange I cut and modified to clear the top of the bellhousing -

Once again, I made sure to have everything lined up with the factory markings, as well as the converter being LIFTED and PUSHED all the way onto the shaft until it was seated well behind the edge of the bell housing.

Second to having the converter seated back into the housing and onto the splined shaft, I made sure to get the bell-housing right up to the engine before starting bolts on either side. This is the tricky part, because you need to have the converter studs lined up with the flywheel holes so they come in without binding and you need to resist the temptation to pull the tranny to the engine with the bolts, which can allow the converter to move and thus bind, as happened previously.

Now the engine and tranny/converter turns easily by hand - except where you can feel a compression stroke - a very good sign.

Next up - connecting the shift lever rid and fabricating a bracket to hold it all in place -

I re-welded the cross member plate the owner had made which serves the purpose well. The only other change I'll make is to swap out the fasteners for Grade 8's.

Starter re-installed. Owing to how close it is to the exhaust - it was wrapped in a heat protective shielding.

Unfortunately, with the rear-end having been moved back again to accommodate the largest rubber out back possible - the drive shaft may have ended up too short. It'll be close though, as there's still nearly 4 inches inserted, so we're hoping for the best once full weight settles the shaft and it inserts even more.

Fabricating a bracket for the shift linkage began with measuring the slot in the coupling -

This was transferred onto a piece of 1/16" plate and shaped to fit -

With everything lined up, I drilled a couple holes through the bracket and frame and bolted it up!

I jumped up into the cab and ran it through it's range and was greeted with a satisfying run from Park to 1st and back again.

                   Don't forget to check out my website at www.E-tekRestorations.com !