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4R70W Upgrades for towing - Request for assistance.

The engine, trans, harness, and computer are being transplanted, so I will have COMPLETE access.

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There you are, inspect it all well. I still need one or two more 302 harnesses for other projects. I think the one spare I have is an early 97(GT40), but those can be used in a pinch if I must. I need one 99-01 harness and PCM for a basic V8 swap for my 99, and maybe a 97.5 harness for my Ranchero.

Going to go pin to pin from the PCM to the Internal plug on the trans.

Going back through the pictures, there is an awful lot of brass/debris on the top of the VB - thinking it's a good idea to pull the trans and go through it for reasons.

Hmm, that sounds like bushing material, which should be very scarce. Look everywhere closely, and on the tiny solenoid screens too.

That check ball "trying to make it to the other side" is:
B4 - In the Overdrive and Forward Clutch circuits near the 1-2 shift valve [According to: https://atsg.drcar.ch/bulletins/99/99-02.pdf]

That MIGHT have something to do with the symptoms, but not likely a direct cause.
All 8 check balls will be replaced with OEM.

Received the Baumann Controls Inc. (US Shift) "Re-Cal Pro" kit.
Comparing it to the J-Mod to see what they did and how is pretty cool.
Doesn't seem like they were worried about engagement times or downshifts - some J-Mod drilling will take care of that.

[The directions state the info/diameters are "proprietary", so I won't post more to avoid any "Imperial Entanglements".]

But comparing ANY kit to the J-Mod is a good idea, and helps you better understand what they are trying to accomplish and JUST how much oversizing you need to do.

The best way I’ve found is installing a Superior “Tuff Plate” no drilling or tapping plus its much thicker than OEM. If you end up pulling the unit and are going to replace forward drum stay clear with stuff made in China.
Well, well... look what we have here...

The Superior "Super Tuff" plate K092 lists "Late 2000+" or " 2001+", mine is an EARLY 2000.

My valvebody is the '98-'00 F094
The ’98-’00 will has a hole inside the small plate.

The Super Tuff Plate K092 is for the '01+ F095 valvebody, it has a hole just to the rear of the small plate.

Is this a "Disqualifier"?
Should I get a 2001 valve body? I know the 2001 4R70W used the 2000 case for at least 2001, probably longer.

Also, after checking the J-MOD/Baumann directions, this K092 plate IS a shift kit!
The holes are J-MOD or larger almost across the board.
The Baumann directions already has the plate at a Level-3 (or better!).

Obviously there's more to a shift kit than just the oriface sizes in the plate, but that was a big surprise!

Is the 2001 4R70W that big of an upgrade?

I believe the changes after 1999 were small items like the VB plate, the removed small reinforcement plate(a bad idea), and the final two(upgraded planetary in 2003/4, plus the JMod built into the 2003+ models).

So you can comfortably use any 98+ VB, just install the J'Mod or desired shift kit, and upgrade it if the little reinforcement plate isn't there. The major items are the VB components from Sonnax, and the J'Mod, plus everything else made new.

Towed the Explorer out of the field it's spent the last 18 months in, got it where I can work on it today.
Looking in storage for the trans parts so I can button it up and get it running for the swap.

Parts still rolling in.
EPC (5.4L) is the next part to be installed, the trans main connector, and gear selector seal follow.
Waiting on a "surprise" part to arrive.

Pan (w/Drain plug)
Pan gasket
All servos/accumulators, caps, and snap rings.
Lead wire harness

Waiting on:
Genuine Ford OEM XL3Z-7G383-AB EPC (Green Connector)

For you folks running the Borg Warner "Green Connector" "-AB" 4R75W EPC Solenoid,
how did you attach the hardline harness?
Zip tie?
Bailing wire?
Custom 3d printed adapter?

Looks like they shipped me a "Substitute" EPC (Tan Connector, no part number).
Found 2 OEM Ford (Dealer) parts with the proper part number, on order.

My understanding is the tan connector is F8AZ-7G383-AB is a 1998 to 2004 and the green connector is XL3Z-7G383-AB (2001-2004 5.4L) and has the higher WOT EPC Pressure, so I'm assuming they shipped an "alternate/substitute part".

I believe I have that later EPC myself, I got that early on when I was collecting parts. Now I don't think it's critical to use the higher pressure EPC, most needed upgrades are among the Sonnax VB parts, the J'Mod, and the PCM tuning. Way back when the tuning was not common, the Sonnax parts were fewer, and people thought more of other VB "kits."

Sonnax also since then created a new $75 VB component kit which varies shift level based on throttle pressure, unlike the OEM version which is basically soft or hard in that pressure rise. I suggest that kit a lot, I haven't used it yet, but I think it will be very helpful in any performance use.

2nd order for the elusive "Green Connector " EPC canceled by the seller. Hoping 3rd time is the charm, still waiting on the 2001 VB, so no rush.

Ah yes!
OEM, in Ford sealed bag, matching part numbers, Tan Connector!?!?

Oh, and the harness SNAPS on to the Connector.

So, now we know the XL3Z-7G383-AB (2001-2004 5.4L) is not necessarily a "green connector".

I wonder is that no part number/unmarked tan connector I returned was legit?
But I feel better with this one for sure.

This MAY be a case of "Homogenization", were parts are "blended" into obscurity; like Mustang SVO brake pads that got homogenized into being just the 5.0L pads instead of the larger (wider/taller) pads they once were.
The elusive "green connector" EPC may have been phased out, but it would be odd for that to keep the EXACT same P/N...


I keep reminding myself it's been 25yrs...

The "failed" EPC (Circuit Open), ohmed good, but doesn't have a "tab" for harness retention.

I wonder if, when it was rear-ended, if it knocked the EPC connector off, opening the circuit?


EPC installed, selector installed, waiting on VB.
Ready for testing.
Pan on for protection (no gasket, finger tight).


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Last small parts...
New upgraded snap rings and 2-3 Servo cover (original was beat up pretty bad)
EPC bracket is prone to cracking, figured an increased output EPC deserves a fresh one.