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An Overview of 4R70W Transmission


An evolution to the AODE, the 4R70W is a Ford transmission. The AODE and the 4R70W are often used interchangeably while referring to one another. Both of these transmissions are improved versions of the AOD, which the first 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission Ford made as a solution to the fuel efficiency issues that the oil embargo of the 70s created in the US.

Since the 70s there have been regulations to improve air quality as well as fuel efficiency and these prompted the production of better transmissions over the years. The challenge was to manufacture transmissions that meet these demands while still providing premium performance.

In this blog post we wanted to give you a quick overview of the 4R70W by comparing it with other popular Ford transmissions, talking about its pros and cons and how to improve on it in terms of getting the best performance out of it and making it more reliable.


Quick History of the Ford 4R70W Transmission

Back in the 70s car manufacturers started to manufacture fuel efficient cars. While it was economical and environmentally friendly to be able to go more miles with less fuel, it meant sacrificing some of the performance and speed of the older models. The fuel efficient cars became even more essential by the end of the oil embargo, when the price of oil rose nearly 400%. In 1980, Ford came up with the AOD, its 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission.

Even though the AOD was new, it still carried the features of old designs. It replaced many of Ford’s older transmissions such as the C4, C5, and light duty applications of the FMX. However it still wasn’t much different from the FMX 3-speed automatics because it carried common FMX components such as the Ravigneaux gear train. Simply put, the AOD wasn’t substantially different from FMX, it just had some additions but still had many of the core features.

After that came the AODE, which came out in 1991, it was known as the AOD Electronic Control. The AODE differed from the AOD in many aspects such as a new valve body, computer controls, torque controller, single input shaft and front pump assembly.


Specs on the 4R70W Transmission

The 4R70W comes with:

  • 4 forward speeds
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • 700 lb.-ft torque rating
  • Wide gear ratio

4R70W gear ratios, compared to the AOD (in parentheses):

  • 1st gear: 2.84 (2.40)
  • 2nd gear: 1.55 (1.47)
  • 3rd gear: 1:1 (1:1)
  • 4th gear: 0.70 (0.67)

The valve bodies and cases of the AOD, AODE and 4R70W are all different which makes it impossible to switch their valve bodies.


AOD or 4R70W?

The 4R70W transmission is superior to the older versions in many aspects. However this doesn’t mean that it will be the best option for you all the time. If you already have an AOD transmission you can still rework and update it for a fraction of what you would pay for a 4R70W transmission. If you are determined to make the change, My Auto Store has the best deals on 4R70W transmissions, make sure to take a look at what we have in stock.

The same applies for cars with the AODE in the 90s. If you need the improvements, now that you know My Auto Store has the cheapest 4R70W transmissions you can order one at the click of a button. Our parts come with free shipping and a free 6 month warranty!


Locking Torque Converter and Computer Controls

The improvements that were made to the AODE and 4R70W included a better overdrive band, which is wider and stronger, a better transmission pump, elimination of the split torque function in the 3rd and 4th gears, inclusion of a locking torque converter to improve shift quality, a larger input shaft and a computer-controlled components in order to get much advanced precision and control.

These electronic AODs have a lighter case since aluminum is used in their production rather than steel. This design causes them to be lighter in weight and to have better performance and fuel efficiency.


Pros and Cons

The 4R70W transmission, like any other transmission has its pros and cons. Let’s talk about some of the best qualities of this transmission, as well as its shortcomings.

The biggest pro of the 4R70W is the improved overdrive band. Another advantage of this transmission is its being compatible with a great number of Ford vehicles without needing much work or modification. The 4R70W can easily fit into many older vehicles and give them the same performance and efficiency.

However you need to be careful not to overload this transmission. You need to know what it can and cannot do and try not to overload it since there is a limit to its torque and power. This way you will have a powerful transmission that will last you for a long time. And just like any other transmission, the 4R70W still needs regular maintenance.


Where to Find the Best 4R70W Transmission

My Auto Store has lots of used 4R70W transmissions to choose from. All of our transmissions have passed our 4 stage quality control process and they come with free shipping and a free 6 month warranty! Shop for a used 4R70W transmission on our website today, we have the best prices available and we are always here to help if you need any assistance before or after your purchase!


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