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Reecekerley
Reecekerley, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 148
Experience:  25 years experience
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Ford E-250 Econoline: I have a 1988 Ford Econoline E 250 camper

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I have a 1988 Ford Econoline E 250 camper van conversion. It has the original Windsor 351 cu.in (5.8l) and a C6 3 speed automatic column shift, both with 110,000 km (66,000 mi.) I bought a 1988 AOD spd. automatic from a Crown Victoria Interceptor with 88.000 km. which also had a 351 Windsor (high hp). I bought it for improved fuel economy. The bellhousing bolt pattern is identical but some transmission shops tell me the car and truck transmissions are different. The distance from the front of the the transmission to the support bolts in the crossmember is identical so it will bolt right in. BUT I see that the AOD is aproximately 5 inches shorter than the C6 because of the tail housing length. I would have to get a new longer driveshaft built. ARE THERE 2 DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF THE AOD - one for cars and one for trucks? Recommendations too please on this conversion. Thanks, Brian

Reecekerley :

Hi, I will try to help you,

Customer:

Thanks

Reecekerley :

The AOD was used in half ton trucks and vans.

Reecekerley :

How much weight are you hauling?

Reecekerley :

The C-6 pretty heavy duty compared to the AOD

Customer:

It is a full camper conversion with toilet, shower, stove - the works. I don't know the total weight but it ialso has 2 water tanks and 2 gas tanks

Customer:

But I know that some E-250 conversion vans had AOD's starting in 1990

Reecekerley :

I don't think I would risk putting that kind of strain on an AOD. The AOD has a few weak links that might not hold up in your situation.

Customer:

The Crown Victoria Interceptor was a higher torque engine than the standard 351 cu.in.

Customer:

It is why I bought this used AOD. I saw the car

Reecekerley :

I agree that the police cars had more power but the transmissions are the weak link. We used to do a police car a week at my shop back in the 90's

Customer:

I read about AOD's in high perf Mustangs all the time

Customer:

Is there any other alternative? Overdrive units are $3500

Reecekerley :

Yes and I have a AOD in my 64 Falcon with a 350 hp engine but in most cases for long distance heavy vehicles you need to saty with a bigger trans like the C-6

Customer:

Any other possible transmissions?

Customer:

What does Ford use nowadays in camper van conversions?

Reecekerley :

the AOD conversion is easy and if set up right with the TV cable adjusted perfectly and the correct drive shaft it could last.

Customer:

How about extra cooling like increasing the size of the tranny cooler?

Reecekerley :

The TV cable is the biggest problem. The geometry and adjustment have to be perfect or you will burn the trans up going around the block.

Customer:

I have read that many times about the TV cable

Reecekerley :

A big cooler is a good idea as well.

Customer:

Any other option for a different but stronger tranny?

Reecekerley :

I would stay with the C-6 and install a gear vendor OD unit. They work well and seem to last.

Customer:

OK but they cost $3500

Reecekerley :

And if you have to rebuild the AOD more than once you are ahead of the game with no headaches. When do RV's break down? On the road in the middle of know where.

Reecekerley :

I mean "nowhere"

Customer:

Ok I guess I am out of luck with this AOD. I will research and hopefully find a used OD unit. $3500 new can buy a lot of gas. Thanks, Brian

Reecekerley :

I think putting an OD trans in is a great idea and fun but it is just too bad the only non electric trans is an AOD

Customer:

Can I use an AODE electric? I will need the harness and computer also , right?

Reecekerley :

You could get E4OD and the get a stand alone controller from I think TCI or other transmission company. I have no idea what the controllers cost.

Reecekerley :

The AODE is a better trans than the AOD but the E4OD is a better choice.

Customer:

I will look into that. Will it handle the torque requirements of heavey camper van?

Reecekerley :

The E4OD will.

Customer:

heavy

Customer:

Great. I will go that route. Thanks a lot. Brian

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