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Early Bronco Transmissions

There are a few different kinds of trannies that can be put into an EB. You have the choice of automatic or manual. Then you have the choice of overdrive or not. Then, if going manual you also must decide if you want a granny low or a granny low with overdrive.

First, decide if you want manual or automatic. If your engine runs well and doesn't stall often, the automatic is terrific offroad. The only there's really a need for a manual offroad is in some very rare downhill sections, but some smart braking will do you just right. A downside to the automatic is the fact that your RPMs on the highway may be a little higher (200-400 RPM) because of TC slippage.

For automatics there are a few choices. First, there's the C4, which is likely the easiest of swaps since you can get stock EB parts to do the conversion. Some people don't think the C4 is strong enough, but if you drive wisely and don't put more than 300 or so horsepower to it you should be fine. You can also try and shoehorn in a C6, which will be bulletproof, but those are far and few between in the EBs....but anything is possible! You can also go for the Ford AOD transmission, which comes behind the late model Mustangs (and other cars). This is a great transmission if you do certain modifications to it first.
You must use some larger servos in it and a better oiling system to make them good for the EB. Ford Motorsports makes a low gear kit for this transmission (not a granny low, but almost a 3:1 first). This transmission also has one hell of an overdrive in it, which will make highway cruising very pleasant. However, you must have the correct axle gears to make the OD useful.

Next, we have manual transmissions. You must decide what you will be doing with your EB before you decide on a specific manual tranny, whereas with automatics you are pretty much OK regardless of what you do. If you plan on four wheeling a transmission with a granny low is strongly recommended; otherwise, you will be burning up clutches, breaking parts, and just getting aggravated! Anything below (above numerically) 5:1 is considered a granny low. There are a few options for granny lows:

  • NP435
  • T18
  • T19
  • possibly the NV4500
The easiest conversion is the NP435. It is also the most popular EB trans change (manual). It has a low range of 6.69 and is bulletproof.

Next is the T18. It is also popular but not as much so because you have to modify driveshafts, whereas the NP435 doesn't require modifications like that. The T18 is also bulletproof.

Then there is the T19, which is nice because of its synchro first (the other two trannys don't have a synchro first). T19s are harder to find, but are a great tranny if you find one. Also, the T19 is not quite as low as the first two, but it is below 5:1.

These are all 4-speeds.

There is also the NV4500. This is a tranny used in late model Chevy and Dodges. It is a granny low with overdrive (5 speed). It is also bulletproof. They are hard to come by and expensive. Check with Advance Adaptors to see if they have a kit to adapt it to a Ford yet.

Then there are other 4-speeds without a granny. These 4-speeds have overdrives. If you don't plan on doing much rough four wheeling, you will likely not find a need for a granny low. Iif you didn't know, a vehicle with a granny low starts off in second when driving on the streets, in which case, an overdrive will likely be nice for highway driving.

Lastly, there's the stock 3-speed. Don't do any rough four wheeling with it; however, they are fairly reliable, and for street driving they may serve your purpose.

One final note: The T18 and NP435 are "truck" transmissions meaning they shift like big trucks. The T19 is little more friendly, and the NV4500 is supposedly even friendlier!





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