ETE REMAN Blog

Tips For Keeping The AOD Transmission In Your Ford Econoline Van Working Strong

Posted by on Monday, December 29th, 2014

The AOD is Ford very first four speed automatic transmission. The AOD stands for Automatic Overdrive.  The AOD transmission is heavily based on the earlier Ford FMX transmission.  In addition to replacing the FMX, it also replaced the C4 and C5 light-duty three-speed transmission.  The AOD first went into production in 1980 and was eventual phased out of production in 1993, at which point it was replaced by the AODE, then the 4R70W and finally the 4R75W. The AOD was equipped with a weak first gear ratio (at least for an overdrive transmission) of on 2.40:1. On the other end of the spectrum, it came with a very sweet overdrive ratio of 0.67:1 (33% over-driven).  The AOD transmission could be found in a very wide range of Ford branded vehicles, including the Thunderbird, the Ford LTD, the Bronco, the Mustang, the Ford F-series pickup trucks and the Ford Crown Victoria. It could also be found in the Ford Econoline.

Image from Flckr CC user Allen

Image from Flckr CC user Allen

The Ford Econoline is a hardworking, full-size van designed to compete with the full-size vans from Dodge and Chevrolet. While most found their way to business and farming applications, a select few lived on in the “custom van” craze of the time period.  They were available with engines ranging from a small straight six cylinder engine up to the mighty 7.3 liter diesel.  A choice of bed (cab) lengths and four wheel drive rounded out the option list.  One thing can be said about all these vans: they were worked hard and put to bed wet.  That being said, it is important to take precautions to protect the AOD transmission in your Ford Econoline van. Here are a couple suggestions.

Install an aftermarket transmission cooler. Heat is the number one enemy of all automatic transmissions, and the AOD is no exception.  Ideally you will install the largest transmission cooler available that will fit your Ford van. It is highly recommended that the cooler be installed in the front of the van behind the grille and in front of the engine radiator.  Something this location is too crowded (due to air conditioning and other accessories) requiring that it be mounted in an alternative locations. In these special cases it is a good idea to seek out a transmission cooler that has its own built in electric cooling fans.

Upgrade your automatic transmission fluid.  I recommend that you replace the organic oil based transmission fluid with a synthetic replacement. Be sure to look for a fluid that has the same rating as the factory fluid. Synthetic fluids handle excessive heat much better than their organic cousins, and could make the difference in between your transmission living or dying. Although synthetic fluids usually cost more money, the money spent is well worth the benefits. Synthetic fluids also have better lubrication properties and will extend the life of the internal transmission components.

Some people think these kinds of vans are old-fashioned. That may be the case, but you love them anyway. Just make sure your transmission is up to date, and they’ll be rolling until they are finally cool again.

If you’re looking for a quality remanufactured transmission, then you won’t do better than ETE REMAN. That’s why we offer a three-year/unlimited mileage warranty on all our products. Browse our online catalog and contact us today.

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