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post #1 of 31 Old 11-03-2016, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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realistic C4 build

What is a realistic dollar amount for building a street/strip C4? I have a 69' c4, going behind a turbo 302, with a max HP in the 525 area. I'm also wanting to do a transbrake for strip use. I'm currently running a tremec 3550. I'm basically in the dark with automatics. I know the basic mods, converter, servo, input shaft, planetary, valve body, clutch/rebuilt kit, and pedal swap. Just wondering the nickel and dime items.

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post #2 of 31 Old 11-03-2016, 07:32 PM
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Give PTC converters a call they built my c4 and were very reasonable

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post #3 of 31 Old 11-07-2016, 02:48 PM
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Give PTC converters a call they built my c4 and were very reasonable
they wanted 1000 bucks to build a converter for my car when it was a C4. as soon as i said transbrake he said billet

so did everyone else for that matter. UCC wanted 1100... ATI was 1000... pats performance converters was 600

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post #4 of 31 Old 11-07-2016, 08:30 PM
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Your probably in the 3000 to 3500 range for a good setup. I have about 2300 in my trans and 1200 in converter ( 8" UCC ). But I built the trans myself so might have saved a little.
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post #5 of 31 Old 11-07-2016, 11:28 PM
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You get what you pay for....

As soon a a cheap sprag or stator or one of the cheap thrust bearings fails, and takes out the entire converter AND transmission, the $100 you saved just got spend 5 times over. Been there done that. C4 too. And IIRC, turbocharged 5.0 but no transbrake.

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post #6 of 31 Old 11-08-2016, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by toddturbo View Post
You get what you pay for....

As soon a a cheap sprag or stator or one of the cheap thrust bearings fails, and takes out the entire converter AND transmission, the $100 you saved just got spend 5 times over. Been there done that. C4 too. And IIRC, turbocharged 5.0 but no transbrake.


yea you do get what you pay for. and a lot of times you pay for a name on top of it

Pats does a lot of converters for guys you would never expect. he just doesnt have the big name like pro torque PTC UCC and those guys.

another no one ever really talks about that builds a killer converter is Cameron

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post #7 of 31 Old 11-10-2016, 08:32 AM
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yea you do get what you pay for. and a lot of times you pay for a name on top of it

Pats does a lot of converters for guys you would never expect. he just doesnt have the big name like pro torque PTC UCC and those guys.

another no one ever really talks about that builds a killer converter is Cameron
I agree. Fwiw a ton of people in my area all use pats including myself, and they do go fast lol.
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post #8 of 31 Old 11-10-2016, 10:25 AM
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I agree. Fwiw a ton of people in my area all use pats including myself, and they do go fast lol.
yup! steve has some converters in some bad ass cars!

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post #9 of 31 Old 11-10-2016, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by boostup89 View Post
What is a realistic dollar amount for building a street/strip C4? I have a 69' c4, going behind a turbo 302, with a max HP in the 525 area. I'm also wanting to do a transbrake for strip use. I'm currently running a tremec 3550. I'm basically in the dark with automatics. I know the basic mods, converter, servo, input shaft, planetary, valve body, clutch/rebuilt kit, and pedal swap. Just wondering the nickel and dime items.
Add a reinforced forward drum (I ran a Dynamic unit in my c4), bell housing, alum pan, overflow tank, shifter and locking dipstick to that list of parts.

80 coupe, N/A 347, tko500 1.34, 6.30 @ 109.01, 9.87 @ 137.06

16 GT, daily driver on pump 93, Procharger 1.42, 6.31 @ 109.59, 9.80 @ 141.57
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post #10 of 31 Old 11-10-2016, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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With the parts list and dollar amount adding up, my tremec that's already in place dosent seem so bad.

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post #11 of 31 Old 11-10-2016, 11:31 AM
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Maybe get the car going with the turbo setup and stick shift. Then tackle the trans swap later. That will keep you motivated and stretch the spending/aggravation over a longer period of time.

80 coupe, N/A 347, tko500 1.34, 6.30 @ 109.01, 9.87 @ 137.06

16 GT, daily driver on pump 93, Procharger 1.42, 6.31 @ 109.59, 9.80 @ 141.57
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post #12 of 31 Old 11-10-2016, 12:29 PM
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yup... a well done C4 swap isnt cheap.
i did mine when it was still a stock T5 in the car and i needed to make up my mind between going C4 and a TKO600

now the C4 is gone and i have a glide for it lol

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post #13 of 31 Old 11-10-2016, 01:14 PM
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Oh, add trans temp guage, crossmember, driveshaft spacer, DS slip yoke and cooler/lines/fittings too! LOL

80 coupe, N/A 347, tko500 1.34, 6.30 @ 109.01, 9.87 @ 137.06

16 GT, daily driver on pump 93, Procharger 1.42, 6.31 @ 109.59, 9.80 @ 141.57
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post #14 of 31 Old 11-17-2016, 11:49 PM
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Did anyone ever wonder why you're "paying for a name"? What about service after the sale. Seen way too many little guys get a product and tell you to screw off after you buy it, because they're such a small operation that they can't afford to make it right if there's a problem....

'92GT, 427" and '93 "LXVO" coupe
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post #15 of 31 Old 12-29-2016, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Old thread, but I'm looking into the c4 thing a little more. Does anyone have a list of what needs to be done? When all said and done is the only original part going to be the case itself? Will $1500 touch it, converter not included?
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post #16 of 31 Old 12-30-2016, 11:57 AM
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A PA supercomp c4 went 9.24 in my car with no reliability issues.

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post #17 of 31 Old 12-30-2016, 01:02 PM
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First, you'll want a 71 or newer c4 case or preferably a c5 case. List of parts to expect to need and approximate cost: sfi bell 425, deep pan 100, sfi shield 120, locking dipstick 50, hardened input shaft 100, reinforced forward drum 110, t-brake valve body 450, intermediate servo 110, good clutches and bands + rebuild kit 300ish, cooler and lines 250ish....that's close to $2K already plus stuff like shifter, possible driveshaft, upgraded planetary, any rollerized bearing work, etc.... many of those needed pieces can be found used for less $, but it might be better for you to pick up a whole setup "used" that may only need freshened up. Can often save a lot that way. Name brand converters can be found used also and they can be sent in to reputable builders to be set up for your combo for reasonable cost.

..5.95 @ 115, 1.30 60', naturally aspirated.

1991 notch, dart block 427W, , AFR225's, super vic intake, solid roller, UCC 8" converter, glide, Carbureted E85, 28" radial.
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post #18 of 31 Old 12-30-2016, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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The C4 I have is a 69 model, should I find a different one?
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post #19 of 31 Old 12-30-2016, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by boostup89 View Post
The C4 I have is a 69 model, should I find a different one?
In a word, yes. Through 69 they had a smaller diameter input shaft 24-24 spline, and a valve body unique through that year. 70 was a year in it''s own, larger diameter input 26-26 spline shaft. 71-81 are the best alternative as most aftermarket shafts are made to fit 71-81 models as well as most aftermarket valve bodys. Best choice will be a case fill version and 157 tooth bellhousing as it is a more compact, giving more tunnel room. Google c4 transmission differences, wealth of info out there.

..5.95 @ 115, 1.30 60', naturally aspirated.

1991 notch, dart block 427W, , AFR225's, super vic intake, solid roller, UCC 8" converter, glide, Carbureted E85, 28" radial.
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post #20 of 31 Old 12-30-2016, 11:41 PM
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Google c4 transmission differences, wealth of info out there.

Yup. Problem is, about half of what I've seen online in reference to C4's has been false, or at least partially false. Thus, just a simple google search will yield some info that may not help you as much as one would think.

There are a BUNCH of different C4's.

Best thing to do, if you're building your own, start with a C5 case, and use C4 guts and a C5 forward drum. I have creatively fit 6 clutches into a C5 fwd drum at one point, and the forward clutch seems to be a weak link on the C4/5. Similar story with the C5 hi/rev drum (ring machined higher, so you can get an extra clutch in it). C5 has a little better lube circuit and larger cooler fittings, better flow into/out of the converter. The C4's had a slew of different forward clutch drums, some had 3 clutches with 24 spline, some were 4 or 5 clutch and could be had either 24 or 26 spline. The pumps are different between 24 and 26 spline. Then there were case fill and pan fill transmissions. IIRC, the aussies call the pan fill units C10's so keep that in mind, and IIRC the panfill (aka C10) is supposedly a little stronger since there is no hole in the case for the dipstick-and the bellhousing bolts directly to the case instead of the pump. Bunch of differences throughout. And there's a way to find which ones were V8, BUT, you can't rely on that because the C4 is decades out of production and you don't know what kind of monkey has been into it and what they've done. If you're sourcing a C4, try to find one in a 250 inline 6 or any V8 application. Trucks are good but most truck C4's are C10's, and maybe a few C5's. C5's usually have a deeper pan.

That's all of the top of my head, and worth checking out-since I'm out of the C4 business, and have been for over 15 years. And check out the "c4 monster thread" at ford muscle forums-if it's still there.

'92GT, 427" and '93 "LXVO" coupe
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post #21 of 31 Old 12-31-2016, 12:18 AM
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If the trans brake is what pushes it up, then I would seriously be thinking about how much the trans brake is needed. A solid 5x5 clutch C4 with good cooling could easily handle 450 - 500 HP.
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post #22 of 31 Old 01-01-2017, 12:11 AM
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yeah, they'll hold 500 no problem. If the car is heavy, and a transbrake, it's quite likely to need a freshen up about once a year or so, depending on how much it's run. That is the problem with C4's. Seems like everyone I know who has run them (PA, A1, all the good builders, even my JY built home-brewed stuff) would have to go through the box every so often as the 2-3 shift would get sloppy after a while, or in some cases just lose forward gears altogether.

Another problem with the C4 is the forward clutch pack. As most of us know, the C4's clutches (fwd and hi/rev) are smaller diameter and they just don't have a lot of surface area. The cure to this is either (1) more surface area-which means more clutches, or (2) more line pressure. #1 has limitation because you can only fit so many clutch and steel plates into a C4 drum by it's design, and you can't go any larger. We used AOD direct clutch plates in the past, because the AOD plates had a very slightly larger friction area. #2 is not a good idea for 2 reasons. One, the fwd clutch pack piston return spring sometimes breaks with elevated line pressure (>150 psi, in my experience), and two, the valve body typically boosts line pressure-and increasing overall line pressure increases the reverse boost pressure. I've seen 350 psi in race builds. And I have also seen servos blown out of the case, almost always happens with a cold transmission and a driver not letting it warm up before throwing it in gear. Most valve bodies don't address this issue, some do now but not all of them.

The valve body is something that I have not messed with enough...so I can't say which builders do what. I always built my own late model VB's and done my own home-brew full manual deal. My own experience with C4's has been exactly what others have had. Freshen them up fairly often and they work well (in performance oriented applications). In 2005-ish (IIRC) I build my first powerglide and tried it out. I haven't messed with a C4 since and see no reason to unless it's a period-correct restoration or something similar should I find a project of that sort. NOTICE that I didn't say that a C4 is junk. A C4 is a great transmission. But it's a small transmission, and thus when you start making some power, it could cost a lot more to build it and maintain it than maybe another transmission would. It would be a consideration if you're looking for longevity and if you're going to drive it hard often. Some guys will have 1500 hp and just cruise around with it, with a very occasional blast to boil the tires and that's about it. Those could easily last a long time. Then there's guys like me who drag race all year long with only about 45 days for freshen up. I typically put 200 runs a season, give or take. I went through plenty of C4's, and had extras built so I could just swap them in when the other was worn. When I first got to making some power and running a lot, I had 2 spares that went to the track. I would sometimes use both spares, and then rebuild one between rounds sometimes. That was before I figured out what I was doing wrong. After, it was one a season. I could get 2 seasons out of them but they would get inconsistent, specifically the 2-3 shift. Thought about a TH400 because I liked the 3 speeds but it, too is expensive, and heavy and power hungry. Thought about it more and tried a glide and for what I do, it's fine.
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post #23 of 31 Old 01-01-2017, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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Realistically the transbrake will rarely get used. I just want it for the "if" I actually get to the track, so maybe it's not nessisary.
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post #24 of 31 Old 01-02-2017, 12:44 PM
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Mike at Southern Maryland Transmission built mine.

Went mid to low 9s with zero issues.

Took it in to be looked at when I pulled the motor, he said everything still looked new.

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post #25 of 31 Old 01-03-2017, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Got the transmission out of my brother in law's 69 tonight. The tailshaft has D4Z.... cast into it. The bellhousing bolts to the case with 7 bolts. Any other identification markings to look for?
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post #26 of 31 Old 01-04-2017, 08:49 PM
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Got the transmission out of my brother in law's 69 tonight. The tailshaft has D4Z.... cast into it. The bellhousing bolts to the case with 7 bolts. Any other identification markings to look for?
there should be a tag over on the intermediate servo, under one of the bolts. Lot of builders leave them off. I put them back on so I know what I'm dealing with, or someone else will know should they tackle it. That tag has some info on it, all gibberish to me but they all mean something. PEE means 4 clutch forward drum, usually. PEA is 5, going off of memory. There is a website that shows what all the stamping mean on that tag. If no tag, you're stuck with disassembling it.

If it was a C5, it would usually have a E2** main case, and usually a deeper pan. Not to say that a C4 wouldn't work, but as mentioned the C5 case is a little better. Yours sounds like a pan-fill C4, with the bell that bolts directly to the case and not to the pump. That's the better of the C4 cases. Don't damage the dipstick or it's tube...they're getting harder to find.

'92GT, 427" and '93 "LXVO" coupe
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post #27 of 31 Old 01-04-2017, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Yea, that little tag is gone. But Google images says that mine is a case fill unit.
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post #28 of 31 Old 01-04-2017, 09:42 PM
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the main case should have a casting number, located above the gear selector arm. If it starts with a C it is a 1960's version, starts with a D it is a 70's version. The first number after the letter is the year........as in D4xxxxxxx would be a 1974, i.e the number on the tailshaft housing looks to be a 1974 version.

..5.95 @ 115, 1.30 60', naturally aspirated.

1991 notch, dart block 427W, , AFR225's, super vic intake, solid roller, UCC 8" converter, glide, Carbureted E85, 28" radial.
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post #29 of 31 Old 01-04-2017, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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All D4 numbers on the case and tailshaft. The bellhousing however has a D7 cast into it. So from above posts this C4 would be a good candidate for building?
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post #30 of 31 Old 01-05-2017, 05:35 AM
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All D4 numbers on the case and tailshaft. The bellhousing however has a D7 cast into it. So from above posts this C4 would be a good candidate for building?
Should be. Another thing to check is the input shaft, it should have 26 splines on one end and 24 on the other if it is 1971 or newer.

..5.95 @ 115, 1.30 60', naturally aspirated.

1991 notch, dart block 427W, , AFR225's, super vic intake, solid roller, UCC 8" converter, glide, Carbureted E85, 28" radial.
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post #31 of 31 Old 01-07-2017, 09:37 PM
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All D4 numbers on the case and tailshaft. The bellhousing however has a D7 cast into it. So from above posts this C4 would be a good candidate for building?
Any of them are candidates. But there are good ones, better ones, and ones that aren't so great. Yours is kind of right in the middle based on what I'm seeing, but without pulling it apart, there's no telling how good. You have a C4 case for sure, not the best, but it'll do! You are seeing the case but remember....these things are 30-40 years old and could have been rebuilt (sometimes several times) over the years.

'92GT, 427" and '93 "LXVO" coupe
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