Automatic Transmission Cross- Reference Guide. | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Automatic Transmission Cross- Reference Guide.

Peter Westling

Well-Known Member
December 4, 2003
Reaction score
City, State
Rosersberg, Sweden
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XLT
On my way on the information highway I stumbled across this:

Aerostar 1986-1995 A4LD
Bronco II 1985-1991 A4LD
Explorer 1991-1994 A4LD
Granada 3/1985 - Up A4LD
Mustang 1987-1993 A4LD
Ranger 1985-1994 A4LD
Thunderbird 1987-1988 A4LD

What is noticable is that if the A4LD is a little bit too weak for the Explorer, how does it work on the BroncoII then..?

The question is... can I just get a tranny from a granada and put in my explorer? Is it a perfect match or is there differences between models?


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As far as "basic guts" goes, each model year's A4LD was the same regardless of vehicle to the best of my knowledge (possible exception might be single versus double wrap band). Running changes were made improving various aspects of the internals throughout the years, so laters ones were better than earlier ones. Valve Bodies are a different story. Pre about 91, the trannies were single solenoid. Starting in 91 (I think, not entirely sure this is the right date) they went to 2 solenoid. So you would need the right era (1 solenoid or 2) for the computer control to work. There were some valve body calibrations that differed between various applications, but I would not rank those as "mission critical" and would suggest a shift kit and VB rebuild in any event. Lastly, I am not sure that there may not have been different bellhousings depending on the application (2.8, 3.0, 4.0), but I bet someone on this board could comment on that.

Glacier. You know it can be unhealthy, nearly on edge of sanity to actually know so much about transmissions. I am glad youre out there.

lol. yer right. I'll soon be doing a photo thread on the Transfer case rebuild. Probably do it on the Ford ranger forum (Rangerstation)..... but anyway I'll get my mind out of the transmission gutter...

Thanks for the kind words!

Great, I will looking forward to that. Please keep us updated if you post it to the rangerforum.

Pre about 91, the trannies were single solenoid. Starting in 91 (I think, not entirely sure this is the right date) they went to 2 solenoid. So you would need the right era (1 solenoid or 2) for the computer control to work.

'86-88 Aero A4LDs have a single solenoid, for OD Inhibit.
'89-until the 4R44e/4R55e changeover, they have two solenoids, adding one for computer control of the TCC lockup.

I've had both.

Things to remember about A4LD transmissions when swapping them:

1) Rear wheel drive or 4x4. Cannot directly swap them.
2) 3 different bell housing shapes. 4 cylinder, 2.8/2.9/4.0 V6, and 3.0 V6. Cannot easily swap them as there are internal differences depending on year.
3) 2 or 3 wires to the valve body solenoid(s). Valve bodies can easily be swapped to whichever you need.
4) Different manual control levers. Can be swapped, but sometimes impossible to remove retaining pin.
5) 93 and later did not use speedometer in tail housing. Early fits late by plugging hole. Late fits early by swapping tail housings ONLY if output shaft has correct speedometer gear cut into it.
6) 92 and earlier came with either 6 or 7 speedo teeth cut into the output shaft. Cannot directly swap them.
7) Smaller engines had lighter duty clutch packs. Swapping light duty into heavy duty applications is not recommended.
8) 90 & up 4.0L and 92 & up other engines used steel planets instead of light duty aluminum planets. Steel planets seldom fail while aluminum planets often fail.

When taken care of, the LATER A4LD transmissions with steel planets are near bullet proof. I have a two 1993 3.0L Aerostars, one with 430,000 miles and the other with 273,000 miles, both with an original A4LD. Neither have been rebuilt. I typically carry a 2000 pound payload in a van that weighs 4000 pounds empty. I can drive fully loaded across any mountain pass in the U.S.A. without any problems and have driven my Aeros across 12,000 foot passes at times.

And should anything happen, I have two spare original 1993 Aero A4LD transmissions (one with 50,000 miles and one with 100,000 miles) that I bought from two different wrecking yards for $10 each. Aerostar A4LD transmissions are so good that after 10 years of not being able to sell them to someone with a bad transmission, the wrecking yards were happy to sell them to me at scrap price just to get rid of them.