What trans and bell housing for the Ford 4.6 modular engine? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:01 AM
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What trans and bell housing for the Ford 4.6 modular engine?

I know a lot of people have personal problems with the new Ford and I dare say Cammers. This modular family has been around for about 13 years now and in my opinion it has proved it self as a dependable and somewhat performance oriented engine. I deal with these engines every day in a fleet of 63 handicap vans. We have the 4.6 version and the day to day environment that we have them in is stop and go with long periods of idling and periodic trips on the interstate. The same abuse that a taxi cab sees. We do not use assigned drivers so these vehicles see a different driver just about every day. I know they have powdered rods but from my reading this is not a problem unless you plan on making over 450 horse power. Why do I like them? Because some of them have over 300 thousand miles and have never had the heads off of them, they're good on fuel and with the big valve covers they are an awesome looking engine.

I'm helping a buddy install one of these engines in a 1965 mustang and to try and answer any questions that may pop up, this is a list of all of the other goodies: Mustang two after market front cross member and tube a-arm suspension with the stock mustang spring towers removed, afco rear leafs, 9-inch 3.70 and a complete wildwood disc brake system all the way around. At first I tried to talk him into getting the full factory harness including ECM from a T-Bird but he wanted a carburetor. So the engine now has an edelbrock manifold, Holly 650 carb and PI heads. We have a line on a couple of free standing ignition systems and that is not a problem. We estimate from the information that we can gather that this engine will make about 350 to 375 horsepower. He does body and paint work for a living and of course he painted the stock composite valve covers (the ones with the ridges) a cast silver look and I must agree that with those big valve covers, cast aluminum manifold and the carburetor with the Cobra style breather, at first glance it looks like an old big block cammer sitting between the fender wells.

Now with all of that said, my question is this: what older transmissions will bolt up to this engine? C-4, C-6? Is there an older bell housing that will fit possibly using a top loader 4 speed or would you recommend a later model 5 speed and which ones? Even though this car was an automatic transmission car from the factory, we have a complete clutch type peddle assembly in our possession and converting it to a stick shift is not a problem. He does not want a computer controlled transmission of any kind. We know that no matter which way we go we will have to make a drive shaft and that is not a problem either.

I apologize for being long winded but I figured if I explained the whole scenario it would help in the pursuit of a good combination for this car.

Thanks in advance!
Chris Kemp

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Old 02-11-2009, 09:45 AM
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Hey Chris,
Regardless of my previous comments on the Mod motor....different strokes for different folks, as they say. Leaves more of the earlier engines for me .
Unfortunately, the Mod motors have a unique pattern and I am not aware of any stock type bellhousing that will allow a Top loader or even an earlier automatic to bolt up. I think that you may find some of the aftermarket "blow-proof" housings for it have several patterns allowing a Top Loader. But I would venture an adapter plate would need to be made to use an early automatic.There are several companies that make adapter plates and if they don't supply one they aren't too hard to make using a flat plate of aluminum. That might even be an area to explore if you make one, much like the manifold to adapt a carb to it. Let me know if I can help in that.
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:26 AM
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Thanks Woodz!

That's what I was afraid of with the C-4/C-6.

Edelbrock makes the manifold and with the PI heads it was a simple bolt together. And yeah in the past I have made an adapter or two but I don't know if I want to fool with making another one. Too many projects including the 65 mustang, two Harleys, two 67 firebirds, 1 - 37 ford sedan rat rod, 1 recently restored Mazda Miata that keeps begging me for a V-8 (and one day I'm gonna pick your brain on), the chopped VW beetle with the straight axle front end that's waiting for a Harley engine, the oil that never gets changed in the daily driver and the old lady saying "I'll quit b-i-tchin when you fix my kitchen". Do you know of any late model manual shift transmissions that would bolt right up to it?

Thanks again

Last edited by Chris Kemp; 02-11-2009 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:38 AM
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If you want a manual trans, why not just use the Tremec and bellhousing from a Mustang? There are a lot around.
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:42 AM
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If it will fit that sounds great to me! What years would we look for? You see the only experience that I have with these engines is in the fleet that we maintain and all of those are automatics.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:00 AM
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Ford makes a bellhousing, probably available from one of the mail order places too, that bolts a 3550(5 gear) to a Mod. The Mustang is a T56(6 spd), I believe, and you might be able to find one reasonable used on one of the Mustang forums or Mustang specific yards like MPS in Ga.
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Old 02-11-2009, 01:10 PM
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Not cheap, but they are available

http://www.atiracing.com/products/trans/c4/index.htm

Can't help you much with the manual info though.
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:43 PM
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any small block ford bellhousings are the same. and the 4.6 has the "small block" including the I-6 300(4.9L) so it will take a c-4 or c-6 or an AOD or 4r70w even can take an e4od/4r100.. choice is yours, but finding a flexplate and starter combo might be a problem going with a c-4 or c-6. as far as the others i mentioned,they already have had those engine/trans combos so the flexplates and starter combos are available.
the simplest would be a AOD and you wouldnt have to worry about running a tcm.just make sure the t.v. is set right or it'll toast the trans quick. gl
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:15 PM
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There are several good transmissions used with the Ford 4.6.

The 4r100/e40d is the equivalent of a C-6 with electronic controls and overdrive. It is a very strong automatic. These are used with the 5.4L modular V-8 in Expeditions and F-150's.

If you want a manual trans, I would use a current Mustang 5 or 6 speed.

Bruce
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:54 PM
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For simplicity a manual may be the best option. Mustangs were available with a t5 94-01, TR3650 01-present, t56 03-04 cobra, or the tr6060 05- present shelby only. I would try for the tr3650 as it seems to hold up better. A lot of the mustang guys just upgrade to a tko500 so that could be a good option for you as well.
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnsmith10
any small block ford bellhousings are the same. and the 4.6 has the "small block" including the I-6 300(4.9L) so it will take a c-4 or c-6 or an AOD or 4r70w even can take an e4od/4r100.. . :
I don't think so. If so why does Ford have 2 separate bellhousing?? I think you'll find that they look the same, but dimensionally they aren't the same and won't interchange.
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Old 02-12-2009, 04:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodz428
I don't think so. If so why does Ford have 2 separate bellhousing?? I think you'll find that they look the same, but dimensionally they aren't the same and won't interchange.
the 2 different bellhousings are from smallblock to bigblock. a bigblock is a couple inches higher on the top 2 bolt holes... the rest of the smallblock bolt patterns are the same.
ever seen a AOD bolted up to a 5.0 or 5.8? its no different than an AODE/4R70W and they bolt up to a 4.6/5.4.
ive done trans R&R for 20 years, i think you'll find i know what im talking about...
below are some pics, bigblock c-6 and smallblock AOD/AODE/4R70W and smallblock E4OD/4R100/5R110w cases
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Last edited by tnsmith10; 02-12-2009 at 04:18 AM.
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnsmith10
the 2 different bellhousings are from smallblock to bigblock. a bigblock is a couple inches higher on the top 2 bolt holes... the rest of the smallblock bolt patterns are the same.
ever seen a AOD bolted up to a 5.0 or 5.8? its no different than an AODE/4R70W and they bolt up to a 4.6/5.4.
ive done trans R&R for 20 years, i think you'll find i know what im talking about...
below are some pics, bigblock c-6 and smallblock AOD/AODE/4R70W and smallblock E4OD/4R100/5R110w cases
I appreciate your "knowledge" , but I got my info right from the FRPP manual. Ford is probably not up to speed on that. I've been doing Ford work since the 60s and will admit that I haven't done a swap on a Mod motor, but all the info that is printed an I have read( which is the the area of 1000s of pages) indicates otherwise...including Fords own FRPP catalog.They offer a specific bellhousing for a Mod motor and a specific one for a SBF( that makes 2), that excludes the BB engines( 385 series and FE)
There is also the FE pattern,the Y-block pattern and the 5 bolt small block pattern as well as a couple others that most people don't know, I know that they won't interchange.The pics don't give dimensions, I said they do look the same, but dimensionally which affects fit, are different
Since you are so positive, I am sure you would be willing to buy Chris a tranny and have it shipped to him and only expect payment if it fits,correct??

Last edited by woodz428; 02-12-2009 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnsmith10
the 2 different bellhousings are from smallblock to bigblock. a bigblock is a couple inches higher on the top 2 bolt holes... the rest of the smallblock bolt patterns are the same.
ever seen a AOD bolted up to a 5.0 or 5.8? its no different than an AODE/4R70W and they bolt up to a 4.6/5.4.ive done trans R&R for 20 years, i think you'll find i know what im talking about...
below are some pics, bigblock c-6 and smallblock AOD/AODE/4R70W and smallblock E4OD/4R100/5R110w cases
Ya know, when I read your first response to this post I was doubting the info. But looking at your post history, you do seem to know transmissions.

That said, I'm still not conviced that a C-4 will bolt up to a 4.6 modular motor. In fact, I just finished a 4.6 DOHC & 4R70W to a 5.0 & AOD swap and they aren't even close. BUT, knowing how Ford likes to make a dozen different configuations for everything, I suppose there is a possiblity there is some specific year an model C-4 that might have been produced that would fit a modular.

Care to elaborate?

Last edited by Arrowhead; 02-12-2009 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:37 AM
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When I am uncertain about something, I seek the info from someone I know is more knowledgable. I just got off the phone with Sean Hyland of Hyland Motorsports and he is pretty much the acknowledged Mod motor guru. From his lips he said" the 2 patterns are completely different" ," he also added " they can not be bolted up". So either he is incorrect ( along with Ford)and needs to talk with you regarding it, or you need to revise your info. I think if they were compatible, he would have been more than willing to say it since that would also increase his potential market. The extra savings of being able to use the same tranny would increase sales, I am sure.
A close look at those pictures even illustrates the difference without dimensions. Regadless of how many years you have been doing tranny swaps I will accept Mr. Hyland's info as more authoratative.
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