T5 vs. C4 vs. AOD vs. Other

Discussion in '2.3L (N/A & Turbo) Tech' started by SpectralSamurai, Aug 7, 2004.


  1. SpectralSamurai

    SpectralSamurai New Member

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    In the last thread I posted I said I was needing to replace the transmission. The going practice around here seems to be a T5 swap. But what about other transmissions? It seems that the C4 transmission is good for handling the power of the 2.3, but the lack of an overdrive makes it (according to some) less streetable. As a counterpoint to that, what about the AOD from a 5.0? They are designed to handle the power output of a 5 liter V8, and I'm sure people mod their 5.0s without ditching the AOD. There is also to "other" factor. What other transmissions are out there that both do a good job at handling power but are also on the affordable end of the spectrum.

    So its pretty much like the title says, what are some advantages/disadvantages, strengths/weaknesses to all of the above, and a step further, as compared to each other?

    Have at it, ye sages of the realm.
  2. i4power

    i4power Founding Member

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    As far as I know, the AOD doesn't have a compatible bellhousing for the 2.3. The C4 is the only other alternative as far as automatics go. I'm sure you could have custom shafts made so that a T56, G-Force 5spd, etc. would work on a 2.3, though.
  3. SpectralSamurai

    SpectralSamurai New Member

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    So then, is what I have heard about the C4 in terms of road performance correct or am I missing a few pieces? This also seems to be a rather expensive (reletive to your average T5) way to go, so maybe one should only look into that for serious automatic performance.

    I'm not going to go into the "which type of T5 should I use" realm, that's been covered to death already. How much does it cost, on average, to get the machining done to modify a 5.0 T5 to fit the 2.3? I noticed also that Chevy also seems to use the T5. I would assume the bellhousings are incompatable, but what about the main housing? Is that the same or completley different because of different shifter placement? If it is compatible, how does the gearing compare to the typical Ford T5?

    The AOD is completely unable to work with our car? There are no alternate bellhousings to use? Actually, from what I've seen, it seems as though with automatics the bellhousing is integrated with the rest of the transmission; all one piece. So that shoots that theory down. Just to throw it out there though, is there anyone who has even tried messing with AOD for our cars?

    As far as performance transmissions go, I thought about mentioning the T56 and other high end transmissions, but I personally felt that those are a little much for what most of us make (I mean horsepower, not cash, chill). I mean sure, when one of us takes our car to 600 HP then go for it, but I personally feel that your basic T5 will do for the majority of our applications. The average numbers generated here, with work to the engine, seem to be around 290 HP, 300 TQ, unless someone has a monster they're hiding... :nice:

    What about comparing transmissions? Is the C4 better than a T5? Is the T5 better than the C4? If neither, what is each one better for? How much abuse can they take?
  4. JamesBaumann

    JamesBaumann Member

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    I think if you're worried about how much power these transmissions can take then just go with the t-5. It can hold up to pretty well anything that a 2.3 can put at it. Plus, by swapping to a t-5 as opposed to a C4 you are going to have the fun factor of a manual, and your fuel mileage should be slightly increased. Not to mention the fact that it will be a much easier swap and you have a step-by-step tech article to help you through it.

    http://projecthp.ford23.com/howto.html

    I'm not trying to say that swapping to a C4 is a bad idea, if you want to, then all the power to ya. But if you are concerned about torque handling of the t-5 then don't be, because it'll hold up just fine.
  5. SpectralSamurai

    SpectralSamurai New Member

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    I've read enough about the T5 on this forum, I'm not worried about the thing breaking, I was just wondering about application.
  6. Willy0314

    Willy0314 New Member

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    If your goal is to road race, then go with the manual. If you want to drag race, go with the c4. plain and simple. If you drive in alot of stop and go driving, i'd go with the c4. If your just cruising around and want to have fun go with the manual. When you buy a T5 you get what you get. They are rather expensive to upgrade (but with these motors, you dont really need to anyhow). With the c4, A $200 shift kit will make the car shift so hard your back will hate you.
    As far as overdrive goes..... the c4 final gear is 1:1 I belive, and considering you drive a 4cyl, giving up overdrive wouldn't be that big of a concern of mine.
  7. gibson89LX

    gibson89LX Founding Member

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    I've run my a4 for near 3 years without a hiccup :nice:
  8. G-90

    G-90 New Member

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    The C-4 is not that bad on the hwy with tall rear gears, like 3.45.
    I wouldn't pick it for an interstate cruise or traveling, but for ratting around town and racing it's bomb proof.
    All you need is a good converter and more clutch packs added.
    You don't even need a shiftkit, just a reworked valvebody.
  9. Willy0314

    Willy0314 New Member

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    PS: the AOD is a power robing slush box. Ask any of the 5.0 guys and they will tell you its a better boat anchor then a tranny.

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