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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-16-2013, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Building a 4r70w

So, I've decided to keep the auto. And I know next to nothing about auto transmissions. I'm learning. I do understand the J-mod. However, what is implied when someone says "built" 4r70w? Only mods I see are J-mod and shift kits. I'm about to buy a transmission and rebuild it on the side to gain experience and also have a good tranny to go in once mine craps out.

Also, I've read that the 96/97 transmissions are better than the 94/95's. Is this true? Because if I go to the junk yard I want to buy the better one. Unless it doesn't matter once it has been rebuilt.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-16-2013, 11:48 PM
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There are lots of hard parts and "soft parts" that are available, and don't stop at a 97, get the newest that you can. A 2000 Grand Marquis transmission would be a great place to start, or up to an 02 (which has revised OD circuitry over the 2000).

That gets you the mechanical diode and better frictions (but you will likely be replacing those), but still has the VSS teeth for the speedometer.

Read up the tech article, it gives hints as to what the best starting point is.

A 98 from a Mark VIII SHOULD also have the mechanical diode and that is a good place to start as well.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 10:44 AM
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Ditto all the above - Not much difference between 96/97 - In a nutshell if you do it yourself it'll cost you about $2K to end up with a proper 96/97 w/ new TC & new Cooler & upgrades - About $1K if you buy a good used 99/2000 4R70W & do it yourself.

Here's a good thread on a 96 rebuild:

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 12:48 PM
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93/94/95 are boat anchors, 96/97 are better but not desirable for performance or longevity purposes. 98 is better than the previous generations but 99 got more revisions that make that model year and later the most desired cores to start with. I personally have a 2004 core. There is a good post by NetKeym that details most of the revisions over the years, let me see if I can find it...

Aha, here it is...

Originally Posted by NetKeym View Post
These newer 4R70W transmissions are LIGHT YEARS ahead of the AOD; I hated the AOD and broke a few over the years, I LOVE the 4R70W!

They handle more abuse than ever before - more revs, more torque, and failure spots have been addressed throughout the years -

1994- New MLPS to address water getting in and ruining
1996, 1999, & 2001- Better valve bodies throughout the years
1996- New pan for slightly more, cooler, and not sucking air in the filter
1998- New high friction clutch material and mechanical diode
1999- Higher Pressure EPC solenoid
2004- New front pump
2006- Renamed 4R75W supposed to handle more torque and new pan
2007- Mechanical diode improved with more locking teeth

I haven't heard of the problem you mentioned before, but I'm no transmission expert either. I don't know if and when Ford put a better spiral ring because aftermarket has had them for years and I know of a few other tricks re-builders use to make for a stronger transmission.

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Last edited by theterminator93; 03-17-2013 at 12:53 PM.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-18-2013, 12:25 AM
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Even a '96 transmission is worlds better than a '95 and below. Longevity and performance hasn't been a problem for mine at all though. Just replace the stuff that typically(ish) goes bad, which for mine fortunately, hasn't been more than a lower 1-2 accumulator spring. Just keep good fluid in it and keep the temps down by installing an auxiliary trans cooler. You have a good foundation to work with, OP. You can build that trans to take some abuse, especially if it has been maintained.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-18-2013, 08:06 AM
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My 1995 tranny lasted almost 10 years in my car (only about 2 after I did some slight mods, however) before it grenaded the intermediate one-way roller clutch.

The 1997 tranny has been fine in it since and it's been in there about 6 months.


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-18-2013, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by NetKeym View Post
The 1997 tranny has been fine in it since and it's been in there about 6 months.
& DD used to say about 1/2 the stock 97's he saw had the Mech Diode.

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