Frankentranny... Whose done one? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Frankentranny... Whose done one?


New Member
November 1, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
Bellingham, WA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'91 XLT
Ok so I've spent the last two/three days reading Glacier991's rebuild diary for the A4LD and Brian's Frankentranny diary. I'm seriously considering doing this to my X as my tranny is now giving me problems for the third time in 5 years. I've never rebuilt a tranny but am pretty mechanically inclined and this rig is no longer my daily driver so I don't care if it takes a long time to get this done. As a plus it will give me a good project to eat up my spare time (which I seem to have too much of at the moment). :D

I'm curious to know though how many different people have tried this and any positives/negatives to the rebuild. Any tips, ideas, or helpful hints are more than appreciated.

As a side note I probably won't be starting this till springtime (want to have the 4wd vehicle during winter in case of snow) but I want to get started on the planning and maybe parts gathering early on.

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Keep in touch with glacier, and brooklynbay. They are very knowledgeable, and are always willing to provide some knowhow. Besides that, Plan, Plan, Plan! the more you do before hand, the easier it will be. Welcome to the site, and make sure you have your camera handy when you start, as we are picture ******......

I "sort of" built a FrankenTranny...haven't located a donor vehicle/victim yet..

I like to plan ahead when I get a project on my mind. I worked for a while in my earlier years as an auto mechanic. One day someone asked why I never taught school, so I did. Taught marketing, English, and psychology at the H. S. and college levels. I'm retired now; took me over six years to get bored of retirement.

I bought a bunch of vehicles at an impound sale. In that group was a '91 Ex that was rolled over. then I bought a '92 with a bad tranny. thought the '91 tranny should be good. after all, it was "moving on" when it rolled. I was wrong. somehow I located this forum, read glacier's A4LD rebuild and the boredom was over.

bought a '94 Ex that a family of rabid wolverines apparently lived in. the dash, seats, and headliner was decorated with the previous owners' names, courtesy of a knife blade or

anyhow, my approach to tranny trouble was to read and re-read the articles in this the ATSG manual and update manual for A4LD...then start collecting "stuff"...

bought a C-3 Rotunda kit on Ebay, bought what I thought I'd need from TransmissionPartsUsa, then bought some more......took old trannys and salvaged parts from them (A4LD, 4R44E, 5R55E, etc.)<-----cores show up in bunches at different shops/wrecking yards, etc. in my part of the world.

I know it seems time consuming, but I disassembled and reassembled my first A4LD at least 5 times. I would go to sleep at night and dream about something that I might have done incorrectly...go back to my nephews shop, take the tranny apart and put it back together again.

I had an ulteria motive to all my collecting: Tax Time ! people down south take their tax refunds and purchase inexpensive autos. I hope to have several ready to go before the first tax refund check comes back. Retirement is allright, but a little supplement really helps.


Welcome to this forum! The A4LD has many different versions. Just about every year had something different in them. I would suggest getting 3 books to start off. The Ford 3 ring binder, the ATSG manual, and the ATSG rebuild manual. After you are familiar with everything you could start upgrading parts from the 4R, and 5R transmissions. Don't be afraid to ask questions along the way. Post pictures of things you are not certain about so that you won't install anything incorrectly. Keep parts organized in the same order that you removed them. Have a clean working environment.

Thanks for the welcome guys, I've been subscribed to this forum for awhile now but never really posted anything (I did the smart thing and used the search function to find answers to most of my questions) ;)

My first step in this endeavor is to buy the manuals and start pouring over those. I figure between the manuals, the great threads of Glacier991 and Brian, and the help of members of this forum I should be able to pull this off. It will probably be a lot harder than I think it will, but if I take my time and pay attention to the details it shouldn't be that bad.