A4LD to C4 swap

Discussion in '2.3L (N/A & Turbo) Tech' started by dagenham, Nov 22, 2011.


  1. dagenham

    dagenham Member

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    Has anyone here swapped out their A4LD for a C4?
    My brother in law would like to swap out in a '93 2.3.
    I told him I dont know if it would work because of the electronics involved.
    Anyone have any other insight to this question??
    #1
  2. KhanTyranitar

    KhanTyranitar Member

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    I would tend to agree. The A4LD is the evolution of the C3/C4. It is superior in every way. It may be possible to swap, but there is no practical reason to do so. Far better to upgrade the A4LD they already have than to mess with a swap anyway.
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  3. bhuff30

    bhuff30 Founding Member

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    LOL, funny stuff.

    The A4ld is an updated overdrive version of the C3, yes. But the C4 is a completely different animal. The A4ld and C3 are relatively weak. You can build them up to hold up to maybe 300hp, but these transmission just don't have the load capacity to hold up very long. Eventually, it will fail again.

    The C4 will hold 300rwhp with a shift kit, and actually last indefinitely at that power level. There are builders that sell C4s built for up to 1000hp!

    I have a C4 in my 88 stang (used to run the A4ld and actually killed 3 or 4 of them along the way). The swap is relatively easy if you have the right parts. There is a factory offered bellhousing for a 2.3/C4 combo (from some pintos), but they are quite rare and go for a lot more than they should be worth. There are also 2.0 pinto bellhousings that can work with stepped dowl pins.

    You will also need a converter. Depending on your power goal, anything between a stock pinto converter to a custom converter will do. Flex plates are easy to buy new or find used. Making the kickdown linkage work can be tricky. I didn't bother to make mine work, and this transmission can work without it (just no kickdown). I am still using my A4ld shifter, but it doesn't fit quite right. An aftermarket shifter would be better. Use a T5 or AOD driveshaft for the correct length, and a T5 crossmember.

    The C4 has held up great for me. You can see my times in the signature. I have never rebuilt a transmission until I tried freshening up my C4. It works well and has held up to a LOT of abuse. I'm still using a stock pinto converter, but I know it's days are numbered. I see 3500+rpm minimum on a nitrous launch.

    The C4 has no electronics, so no worries there. You could make the reverse lights work with an aftermarket shifter.
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  4. KhanTyranitar

    KhanTyranitar Member

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    Sorry my bad. I guess I had bad info on the C4. The A4LD can be built to take 300 hp as well, but in stock form they are quite weak. If you can get the right bellhousing, conterters, mounts etc, you are welcome to go for it. I have not swapped a C4 in place of an A4LD. The only thing I can recommend about the electronics, since they are different, is you need to fool the computer into thinking it still has working solenoids. You can probably just get high wattage resistors with the same resistance as the solenoids, and wire them in, so that the computer doesn't set any codes. Either that or get a manual trans computer and swap it in.
    #4
  5. mg man

    mg man Member

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    Running a c-4 behind my 2.3 turbo. I am running a 8-ua turbocoupe computer so it looks for the a4ld. It does have codes when pulled but check engine light does not come one. Two options Stinger has a 2.3 5.0 adapter. Contact him for that info. The other is a 2.3 c-4 bellhousing. Kind of rare and sometimes expensive. Read this. I posted on it with some info. Maurice
    TurboFord.org Forums: the C-4 info thread
    There is a way to use the looks of your shifter with a c-4 takes a few extra parts and mods. Maurice
    Interior is black
    http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w224/mgman75/100_5591-50.jpg
    Edit other idea. Build a heavier duty trans.
    http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117793
    #5

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