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A4LD to Frankentranny Rebuild - Glacier Questions?

PDH

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'94 XLT & 2002 XLT
Glacier991 or anyone else familiar with the Frankentranny,

I'm doing the A4LD Frankentranny conversion as covered by Brain in this forum. I have two questions:

1) Low Sprag Inner Race: Should I reinstall the original A4LD low sprag inner race after removing it to remove the thrust washer behind the sprag on the A4LD? Or should I replace the original A4LD low sprag inner race with one of the new Sonnax rear sprag races (Sonnax Part #56600B). I understand that this race on the A4LD and 5R55E are identical, but that the A4LD race has the flimsy thrust washer behind it that causes some interference with the 5R55E rear sprag. Thus the inner race must be removed in order to remove this thrust washer. So I'm wondering if I should just reinstall the A4LD low sprag inner race if it's in good shape, or if I should go with a new Sonnax race with the deeper serrations for greater holding strength on the aluminum case, so the race won't loosen up or spin on the aluminum case after it's reinstalled. Perhaps reinstall the original race with some red Loctite? Anyone removed this inner race before with any input / opinions?

2) Center Support/Overdrive Shaft Sleeve Kit: I believe Glacier has recommended this Sonnax part number 56219-05K, the center support/overdrive shaft sleeve/bushing for the A4LD, 4R44E center supports also be installed in the Frankentranny. But I've compared my 5R55E center support and it doesn't have the lube port for this inner sleeve that my A4LD center support has. So I'm concerned that this inner sleeve/bushing won't receive any lubrication and would fail as a consequence. Glacier; if you read this - have you installed this Sonnax center support/overdrive shaft sleeve/bushin on any 5R55E center supports, and if so, did your 5R55E center support also lack the lube port feeding tranny fluid to this sleeve? Again, my 5R55E center support has no lube port while my A4LD center support does have a lubrication port which would supply tranny fluid to this Sonnax sleeve/bushing.

I would appreciate any thoughts and suggestions on these two questions.

By the way, if anyone is interested in completing the A4LD Frankentranny conversion, I found a source of all the inner parts of the 5R55E transmission from the pump and separator plate to the rear of the case for ~$85.00. The parts are used. I've received my parts and everything looks good with the exception that some of the clutches and steels need replaced. The clutches and steels in the Overdrive clutch are good enough that I'm just going to use them in my rebuild. These kits include all torrington bearings, the center support, band anchors and levers and all hard parts from the the rear sprag race back out to, and including the pump. The seller has about 70 of these 5R55E packages and claims that all items have been inspected and are in good condition. I can only speak for the one unit I purchased, but all of the parts had been degreased of tranny fluid, and everything that I received was in good shape for use in this Frankentranny conversion. You'll still need to obtain a 4R55E bellhousing, and you'll have to use your A4LD output shaft, governor, and other parts from the rear of your A4LD case back. Contact me if there's any interest.

Point of Clarification: I am not selling the kits. I'm just saying I located this source who's got quite a number of this 5R55E guts kits for sale. I purchased one and it's perfect for the Frankentranny conversion.
 


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PDH

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The Frankentranny Lives Again

An update on my A4LD to 5R55E frankentranny conversion.

Glacier991 or anyone else familiar with the Frankentranny,

I'm doing the A4LD Frankentranny conversion as covered by Brain in this forum. I have two questions:

Hey all - I never received any responses so I made some decisions and proceeded with the work. The implemented answers to my own questions are provided below, in blue font.

1) Low Sprag Inner Race: Should I reinstall the original A4LD low sprag inner race after removing it to remove the thrust washer behind the sprag on the A4LD? Or should I replace the original A4LD low sprag inner race with one of the new Sonnax rear sprag races (Sonnax Part #56600B). I understand that this race on the A4LD and 5R55E are identical, but that the A4LD race has the flimsy thrust washer behind it that causes some interference with the 5R55E rear sprag. Thus the inner race must be removed in order to remove this thrust washer. So I'm wondering if I should just reinstall the A4LD low sprag inner race if it's in good shape, or if I should go with a new Sonnax race with the deeper serrations for greater holding strength on the aluminum case, so the race won't loosen up or spin on the aluminum case after it's reinstalled. Perhaps reinstall the original race with some red Loctite? Anyone removed this inner race before with any input / opinions?

I replaced the rear sprag race with a new one from Sonnax. Decided not to take a chance on the rear sprag race coming loose by reinstalling the original race with a pressed on fit. The new race has longer and deeper splines compared to the factory race to help insure it stays put once you press it on the shaft in the AL case.

2) Center Support/Overdrive Shaft Sleeve Kit: I believe Glacier has recommended this Sonnax part number 56219-05K, the center support/overdrive shaft sleeve/bushing for the A4LD, 4R44E center supports also be installed in the Frankentranny. But I've compared my 5R55E center support and it doesn't have the lube port for this inner sleeve that my A4LD center support has. So I'm concerned that this inner sleeve/bushing won't receive any lubrication and would fail as a consequence. Glacier; if you read this - have you installed this Sonnax center support/overdrive shaft sleeve/bushing on any 5R55E center supports, and if so, did your 5R55E center support also lack the lube port feeding tranny fluid to this sleeve? Again, my 5R55E center support has no lube port while my A4LD center support does have a lubrication port which would supply tranny fluid to this Sonnax sleeve/bushing.

I drilled a lube port into the 5R55E center support to match the size and location of the lube port in the A4LD center support. I then installed the overdrive shaft sleeve/bushing from Sonnax, using red loctite to help cease it into place for good. I didn't notice until after pressing the sleeve in that Ford had pinged in the lube port on the 5R55E center support, which slightly impinged on the sleeve while I pressed it into place. This left a slight high spot on the sleeve bushing adjacent to the lube port. I took some lapping compound and wore this high spot on the sleeve/bushing down so the overdrive shaft would fit into the sleeve properly. I didn't cut off the end of the overdrive shaft as Sonnax recommended. So my overdrive shaft is supported both by the Sonnax sleeve/bushing in the center support, and by the end of the overdrive shaft.

I would appreciate any thoughts and suggestions on these two questions.

By the way, if anyone is interested in completing the A4LD Frankentranny conversion, I found a source of all the inner parts of the 5R55E transmission from the pump and separator plate to the rear of the case for ~$85.00. The parts are used. I've received my parts and everything looks good with the exception that some of the clutches and steels need replaced. The clutches and steels in the Overdrive clutch are good enough that I'm just going to use them in my rebuild. These kits include all torrington bearings, the center support, band anchors and levers and all hard parts from the the rear sprag race back out to, and including the pump. The seller has about 70 of these 5R55E packages and claims that all items have been inspected and are in good condition. I can only speak for the one unit I purchased, but all of the parts had been degreased of tranny fluid, and everything that I received was in good shape for use in this Frankentranny conversion. You'll still need to obtain a 4R55E bellhousing, and you'll have to use your A4LD output shaft, governor, and other parts from the rear of your A4LD case back. Contact me if there's any interest.

Point of Clarification: I am not selling the kits. I'm just saying I located this source who's got quite a number of this 5R55E guts kits for sale. I purchased one and it's perfect for the Frankentranny conversion.

My frankentranny is completed, alive, and it purrs like a kitten. No problems so far. The one problem I experienced with my A4LD to 5R55E conversion was a lack of any clearance in the back half of the transmission, as measured at the time the center support was being installed. As a consequence, the center support was kept from fitting all the way down and seating into its proper place. After studying the situation, I decided to cut about 0.020" off the bearing face on the back side of the center support. This then put me within specs for clearance. I know a gunsmith with a large lathe and he was able to cut the back bearing face of my 5R55E center support down as needed. He also modified a pressure plate and my 5R55E overdrive piston so I was able to get another steel and friction installed into the overdrive clutch pack. So if others try this coversion, be forwarned, it may not go as slick as it did for Brain. It may take a little bit of machine work to get everything fit back into the case within the spec'd clearance. Cheers!
 








Glacier991

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Sorry I did not get back to you... I'm not on as often as I used to be. I would have saved you a little time... the Sonnax rear case one way clutch "bushing" (long day and I know that's not the right description) when installed sits .020 "proud". Now whenever I replace one I grind it first and the problem disappears. I have a brand new case with one installed and one of these days I will devise a way to grind it way down inside of the case to use the case. Good going....
 




PDH

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'94 XLT & 2002 XLT
Glacier991,

If you know someone with a large lathe, turn down the back mating surface on the center support the required amount. I think I had to remove about 0.023" to bring the clearance from the back of the case to the center support face into specification.
 




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