A4LD vs. 700R4 vs. ??? what to do? | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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A4LD vs. 700R4 vs. ??? what to do?

pgrey

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'92 XLT
Hi all,

After coming to the conclusion that I'm going to need a gearbox for our '92 Ex within the next couple of months, I need to decide which way to go and I'm hoping that I can get some feedback.

I should say that we've owned the truck since new and has 208K miles on the motor and tranny. We use it as a ski/mountains/light to medium off road duty vehicle and want to put a motor and gearbox in it and keep it for another ten years. It's got 3.73s, a 2" lift kit and 31s on it. It's possible down the road I'd put some better diffs in it.

It seems to me my options are a 700r4 conversion or comprehensive rebuild on the A4LD. I've read a fair bit of the A4LD rebuild journal threads about what's required to compensate for the weaknesses of the stock gearbox. This looks promising, but as of yet unproven, correct?

Is there a consensus about if an A4LD rebuild using the tricks mentioned in the threads mentioned above is as sturdy as a 700r4? It sounds to me like the 700R4 conversion would provide for a strong setup with the advantage of a lower first gear, but with a higher hassle factor. Is there anyone out there rebuilding upgraded A4LDs (really don't want to take it on myself)? If I can find a A4LD that's sturdy enough, it would certainly be easier. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Regards,

Peter
 



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Vanquish502

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91EB, 91EB, 92XLT
If you can do the 700R4, do the 700R4. Theres a reason they make the conversion kit.


(Theyre better than A4LDs ;))
 






Maniak

Moderator-Stock 91-94
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1992 XLT 4x4
If you have the ability and the time/place to work on it.. Go for the 700r4 swap. If you don't.. it is still worth it to have someone to do it for you, but most places will charge you more to do the swap then they would (could be a lot more) to r&r a stock tranny.

the total cost of parts alone (includes tranny, shifter, tcc relay kit, dipstick, converter, adapters, misc wires) cost less than an a4ld rebuild. That means parts for the 700r4 conversion cost close to the same as having someone take out and rebuild the a4ld. The Big difference is teh 700r4 will last longer which means less headaches and depending on how often you are killing a4lds, it could be cheaper in the long run.

things I learned doing the 700r4 conversion....

1: You will need to crush the down pipe on the passenger side to get it to clear the adapter (I put it in a vice)..

2: Buy the tranny locally and install the TV cable system from BowTie overdrives. Bowtie stood behind the tranny they built for me (first one broke), but the hastle of removing it, crating it then waiting a week+ for it to go from here to there and then have them fix it and ship it back to me was a pain in the rear. Just make sure the place that builds your tranny will waranty the tranny if something happens, even though it is going into a non stock application.

3: If you aren't fast at pulling your current tranny then figure it will take at least 2 weekends to do.. The first weekend will be to pull out the old tranny, and to attempt to put the new tranny/adapter kit in. You will run across some anoying things that will slow you down..

4: Get a 1600-1900 stall converter.. I have the one step above and its a little higher than I want, but works well, but I have to get the rpms up some to get the truck moving since it slips slow much at < 2k rpms


~Mark
 






RangerX

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I saw Glacier991 (a member on this site) mention he is going to rebuild a couple A4LDs. I would trust his rebuilds. You might contact him, he is in your area.
 






pgrey

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'92 XLT
Thank you guys for the replies.

Maniak: I'm not planning on having anyone else do the R&R of the tranny or the conversion work - I'll do it. My daily driver is a Volvo 940 wagon with a Ford 347 and Tremec 3550, so the 700r4 swap doesn't look too intimidating. I confess however, that I've never had my hands in an autobox and I don't really fancy doing that part of it.

You mention that the 700r4 swap would be cheaper than an A4LD rebuild. You're figuring that using a rebuilt 700r4? I guess I would've assumed that a rebuilt 700r4 would be about the same as a rebuilt A4. Are you saying that there's enough price difference to pay for the conversion parts?

Thanks for your advice about the stall speed. A lower stall speed would also mean better engine braking while descending a hill, yes? Do you know what the stall speed is on the stock TC?

RangerX: Thanks. I just sent Glacier a message. I'm in San Francisco so it would be fairly convenient.

FWIW, I'm part of a number of automotive BBs, and I have to say that this group seems the most consistently knowledgeable and helpful.

Regards,

Peter
 






Maniak

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1992 XLT 4x4
If you compare apples to apples.. You do r&r.. the a4ld rebuild may be slightly cheaper depending on how bad your a4ld is...

the cost savings will come into play in later rebuilds (or lack of needing them) 700r4 rebuilds are normally <$1000 when a4ld rebuilds seem to start at $1200 (one of mine came to $1800 since so many parts broke and I got all the upgrades I could at the time)...

So, going to the 700r4 for us was more for future replacement.. I'm just tired of replacing a4lds. We have gone through 4 in 300k miles.. at just past 300k we switched to the 700r4 in hopes of lasting longer between rebuilds and if/when it needs one, having it be cheaper

In purely "now" cost, rebuilding the a4ld should be slightly less than the 700r4 conversion... It really depends on how much your 700r4 tranny is. We bought a level 2 which has just about every upgraded part you can get on a 700r4 (including the "beast" OD). I could have knocked $300+ by getting a 700r4 from somewhere else and not getting a built tranny. Even with just the basic upgrades the 700r4 "should" be stronger than the a4ld, but it does come down the the build.. my Factory a4ld was much better than any of the rebuilds (165k miles on the factory, only 50-60k per rebuild).

~Mark
 






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