65 Transmission Swap 4 Speed to AT

Dellbert2

New Member
Jan 21, 2019
5
0
1
31
Davenport
#1
My wife wants to convert the original 4 speed transmission and put in an automatic. She was asking me a general price of how much I would think it would cost. I wouldn't even know where to begin with this one since I have only swapped out a Bronco transmission manual to a manual (that I had help from a mechanic friend).

Any ideas on how much a swap like this would run or even what transmission to look for in these. Any thoughts appreciated, i'm a bit out of my element with a job proposed like this
 
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69isfine

New Member
Aug 14, 2011
8
1
1
Victoria, BC
#2
If your car is a 4 speed car leave it that way. Buy another car if you want auto. Or sell your before it get butchered and buy a an auto stand.
 

Dellbert2

New Member
Jan 21, 2019
5
0
1
31
Davenport
#3
If your car is a 4 speed car leave it that way. Buy another car if you want auto. Or sell your before it get butchered and buy a an auto stand.
This is her Grandpa's old mustang, selling it to make room or getting a duplicate just for the AT transmission is out the window (no room for another car at this point) but I agree with your point there. Its a nice 4 speed thats in there, shes just not comfortable with the manual and would like to drive it

(I personally love the 4 speed, once we put in a new clutch kit and flywheel anyway)
 
#4
My wife wants to convert the original 4 speed transmission and put in an automatic. She was asking me a general price of how much I would think it would cost. I wouldn't even know where to begin with this one since I have only swapped out a Bronco transmission manual to a manual (that I had help from a mechanic friend).

Any ideas on how much a swap like this would run or even what transmission to look for in these. Any thoughts appreciated, i'm a bit out of my element with a job proposed like this
My 65 came with a six cylinder. When I installed a 351W I used the FMX that came with it. FMX has worked great.

I am now replacing the second 351W/FMX with another 351W and an AODE.

I have hints on the FMX. The AODE is a work-in-progress.

My left-overs include one running FMX, one FMX with no second gear, a fresh FMX converter, and a serious FMX valve body kit. Any of this useful to anyone?

Ray
 

Edster

Founding Member
Aug 13, 2000
500
1
19
League City, Texas
#5
Not sure what the cost would be, but it wouldn't be cheap. You would either have to source a good C-4 or get one that is rebuilt or have one you sourced rebuilt. My experience shows that most women would not like a shift kit and higher stall converter (to gain back some of the loss of having an automatic).

My Dad did this to the Stang he left me. We did the swap back in 85 or 86. One thing I do remember is we changed out the accelerator pedal because it had the provision for the downshift cable. You will have to run trans cooler lines and either get an external cooler or a radiator that has the cooler built into it. Vacuum line from the modulator to the carb/intake will be needed as well. These are the things that I can remember from way back.

I am actually in the process of swapping back the 4 speed as the car originally had. Stay away from the dual range drive type. If it is left in the wrong drive mode you will be effectively be driving a two speed and may cause premature tranny wear. IMHO I would leave it a 4 speed.
Is it the clutch that makes her uncomfortable? if so consider using a hydraulic clutch unit, cheaper than a tranny swap.

But again IMHO I would go out in the mornings on the weekend with the wife and let her drive it around a while so she gets more comfortable with the 4 speed.
 

Olivethefet

Active Member
May 17, 2018
127
51
38
38
Enterprise AL
#6
If you do decide to make the swap keep all the original parts. I'm sure right now you couldn't imagine selling the car and you might not, but somewhere down the line the people that end up with the car might want to convert it back or sell it. In my opinion it's a lot more valuable as a 4 speed car.

Do you have any friends with something nice and tame that's a manual? Maybe a Honda civic or Toyota corolla? Your wife might be a lot more comfortable learning to drive manual in a car that doesn't intimidate her. I had a 93 Nissan Altima back in the day. It was a 5 speed. Loved that car, it was the SE. I taught lots of people how to drive manual in that car. Find a big church parking lot or something without a lot of obstacles and just let her take her time! Good luck!
 

zookeeper

Founding Member
Aug 25, 2001
3,290
34
109
56
Rogue River, Oregon
#7
Wow, lots of naysayers here. It's your car and it's so simple to swap from manual to auto a caveman could do it. Anyone that tells you otherwise probably can't find the sharp end of a screwdriver anyway. Since these cars came with both, the floorpans and firewalls are identical, which make your swap even easier. Here's what you'll need: a C4 trans with flex plate and block plate, an automatic-trans brake pedal, a stock automatic shifter and linkage. An automatic-specific accelerator pedal (they have an arm for the kickdown) and possibly a transmission crossmember (not sure if they're different)

Step 1: remove the manual trans, bellhousing, flywheel, pilot bushing, stock clutch linkage, shifter, accelerator pedal and clutch and brake pedal. The clutch and brake pedal attach to the same firewall bracket, regardless of manual or auto and I can tell you from experience it's much easier if you drop the steering column. Pre-'68 cars need to have the steering box unbolted, but it's still easier than fighting to get the pedals out around the column.

Step 2: install the accel pedal first, it's no picnic to get it in since it's got an extra arm on it now, so not having the brake pedal in or the trans allows you to twist it around as needed.

Step 3: Brake pedal goes in and at least on '68's, there's a difference between manual brake cars and power brake cars. Makes sure the brake pushrod is correct length and the brakes work before going any farther.

Step 4: Bolt on the block plate, then the correct flexplate (28oz on older motors) using Loc-Tite and a torque wrench and NEW bolts.

Step 5: Install the converter. Fill it with oil, place it on the trans input shaft, then rotate it at LEAST 5 times while pressing it in place. More if you feel like it, to seat the converter in the pump. You don't want to experience what happens if you don't. Beg, borrow or rent a trans jack, then install the trans, line up the converter bolts with the holes in the flex plate and thread the nuts on.

Step 6: Bolt the starter on, it's likely the same as the manual trans, but maybe not. Get a chrome one from Summit for about $100

Step 7: Install the shifter BEFORE you put the crossmember in, allow yourself as much room as possible. Blow $5 on new bushings for the shift lever, you'll thank me later. Now's a great time to install the speedo cable as well.

Step 8: Buy repro cooler lines, they fit nice and if your car doesn't have the cooler in the radiator, buy a nice one from any local auto parts source for $50.

Step 9: Bolt up the crossmember.

Step 10: Driveshaft goes in, make your life easier and put a new seal in the tailshaft now or clean up the driveway later.

Step 11: Fill the trans with Type F trans fluid, start the car, let it warm up and recheck the fluid. It'll likely need to be topped off.

Step 12: Test drive the car, look for leaks and if all is good, recheck the fluid level one more time and call it good.

You can find all these parts anywhere, try to find someone that swapped their auto for a manual and get everything you need in one stop. I would've given you my C4 for free just to get rid of it. I'l bet lots more would, too.