May 20, 2024

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Abandoned History: Ford’s Cruise-O-Matic and the C Family of Automatic Transmissions (Part VI)

Abandoned History: Ford’s Cruise-O-Matic and the C Family of Automatic Transmissions (Part VI)

We return to the last entry in our Cruise-O-Matic and C transmission collection, at a time when the former’s Fifties-tastic identify had faded from the memory of most. The C loved ones was the wave of the foreseeable future when it arrived as a rework of the Cruise-O-Matic in 1964. The to start with of the line was the C4, a medium-responsibility box that was followed two yrs afterwards by the significant-responsibility C6.Because C4 and C6 have been both of those for heavier programs, the FMX arrived in the late Sixties as an amalgam of the Fx and MX. It took the very best attributes of equally extinct transmissions, but even now had its basis in the Fifties. Its replacement was C3, a gentle-duty transmission for four- and six-cylinder cars. But by the mid-Eighties, the a few-speed computerized was overdue for a rethink. Ford included an additional gear, and the C3 grew to become the A4LD in 1985. But even with 4 gears, something was continue to missing: Technologies.The last calendar year the A4LD saw widespread software was 1994 when it concluded up responsibility in the Ford Ranger, Explorer, and Aerostar. That was also its ultimate European utilization, as the aged Scorpio and Granada III had been merged together into the certainly hideous Scorpio Mark II. By that time the A4LD been given an electronically-controlled torque converter clutch, as effectively as digital shift control for the changeover from gears 3 to four. Both equally of those have been firsts for a Ford automatic, as the Blue Oval moved with the times and embraced the move absent from transmissions that have been managed via hydraulics.

Ford was completely ready in 1995 with two variants of the A4LD, the 4R44E and 4R55E. Both equally transmissions experienced the exact A4LD architecture beneath but have been totally electronically managed. They had been distinctive sufficient from the A4LD to be deemed an all-new transmission spouse and children by Ford. The new naming scheme intended 4 forward gears, rear-drive application, 440 lb-ft torque ranking, and digital shift procedure. In the case of the 55, it was rated for up to 550 lb-ft of torque. Both of those transmissions were also utilised in 4-wheel drive applications with a revised tail housing.Ford of Europe rejected the naming change for their use of the 4R44E and termed it the A4LDE in its place. It observed nominal usage in the new Scorpio Mark II by means of 1998, till that design was axed as Ford of Europe exited the govt end of the sector. From then on, the Mondeo was the greatest and most luxurious European industry sedan.In North The united states, the 4R44 and 4R55 unfold across Ford’s rear-travel choices that were not complete-sizing. The Explorer, Ranger, and Aerostar applied the boxes by means of the Nineties, and so did the Ranger’s rarer sibling the Mazda B-Series truck. The 44 edition was most often utilized with 4-cylinder examples or with the smaller sized 3.-liter Vulcan V6. The 55 was utilised in heavier autos like Explorers and Rangers that had the 4. Cologne V6.Explorer was the 1st motor vehicle in North The usa to go away from the 4R44, in 1996. The Aerostar followed accommodate in 1997. The stalwart and sluggish-relocating Ranger held onto its model of the automated until finally 2001. The 4R55 saw shorter company everyday living, as it was utilised only from 1995 to 1997 before it was replaced mid-calendar year by the upcoming era of the 55-duty transmission.Like the Eighties noticed the changeover from three- to 4-speed automatics, the Nineties and 2000s observed the go from 4- to five-speed bins (unless you were being GM). Soon just after the 4R series was produced Ford commenced get the job done on the following era of R automatics, to be called 5R. Collectively they ended up 5R44E and 5R55E. Based mostly on the 4R and tracing their roots to the C3, the 5Rs were mechanically quite equivalent to their predecessors.The most important advancement this time was the addition of the crucial fifth gear. Ford was on the ball with the changeover, as it grew to become the initially American automaker to put into action a five-velocity automated in 1997 (5R55E). The 55’s heavier obligation use made progression in its operation a precedence around the old 4R44. When it arrived, it had a lot more modern-day pc controls that have been vital to encourage the superior quantity five forward gears (2022 suggests LOL) and had a new kind of shifting engineering: Friction-to-friction.As soon as the 5R55 was in creation, Ford’s engineers applied it as a basis to produce the lighter-obligation 5R44. That was a improve in the prior methodology, where each versions had been made at the very same time. The new 5-speeds were being applied largely to the same engines as they were being formerly, like the long-lived 3. and 4. V6 mills. Variants of the 5R transmission ended up developed at the Bordeaux transmission plant in France, and at the Sharonville, Ohio facility north of Cincinnati. Though Bordeaux shut in 2019, Sharonville is even now alive and properly, and your author drives by it all the time.

The 5R was made use of to upgrade the closing yr of the Aerostar in 1997, as the product transitioned to the entrance-travel Windstar in 1998. It also debuted in the Ranger and B-Series in 1997, as nicely as the Explorer. The Mercury Mountaineer joined in on the 5R enjoyment for its very first yr in 1997.But all those weren’t the only 5R variations, as further development was warranted. Considerably from its standard roots a 10 years prior, Ford experienced entered the Leading Automotive Team era. Out of the blue there were being new factors underneath the Ford umbrella: Luxury automobiles that needed even more refinement, a extravagant version of the Explorer for Lincoln, and the resurrection of the Thunderbird as a retro Boomermobile. Time to rework the 5R!

2001 Jaguar S-Type.Very first up was the 5R55N, which appeared in 2000 for the DEW platform Lincoln LS, and its considerably less responsible British cousin the Jaguar S-Form. Two decades afterwards the aforementioned Thunderbird would also use the N, as your author ponders about a lengthy-missing LS coupe or probably Mark IX. The N was tuned for semi-sporty luxurious usage but was mechanically quite related to the 55E. The Thunderbird ditched the N soon after one calendar year, even so, as the new 5R55S was out there.

The S was a modification on the 55E that additional an optional SelectShift operate, as Ford resurrected a incredibly old advertising time period from the C4. The S stood for synchronic shift and had a unique overdrive equipment ratio. A sportier generate, the 55S was also implemented in the Mustang for 2005. The Mustang was under no circumstances offered with the SelectShift attribute although it employed the 55S, even with the transmission staying tweaked for the reason particularly. The short-lived 2003 to 2005 Lincoln Aviator based mostly on the Explorer also employed the 5R55S (with no SelectShift), and was the only SUV to use the S.Just one final model of the 5R55E arrived in late 2000, and was applied in the final several model calendar year 2000 Explorers: The W. Like the S, the W had a distinct overdrive ratio but was utilized only in truck-based purposes. It appeared in 2001 for the Ranger.

Use of the five-speed 5R lasted through the mid-2000s for DEW platform motor vehicles from Lincoln and Jaguar, and 2010 or 2011 for most other purposes. The 5R was never ever utilized in any European vehicles but did make its way to Australia for a brief while. In 2008 it was introduced on the FG era of the rear-drive Falcon, a product that utilized five distinct transmissions dependent upon the engine. Specially, the 5R55S was paired to the 4.-liter Barra inline-6. Like the Thunderbird, in Falcon use, the S had a SelectShift attribute.

With the previous Ranger’s 2011 discontinuation, the C transmission relatives really satisfied its conclusion. Taking into consideration it debuted in 1973 and experienced supply material in the Fifties, its household variants determined a vast array of Ford automobiles for a really extended time. The aged Cruise-O-Matic stepped aside for the C, which branched into the 4R and 5R. Inevitably, all ended up changed by extra modern-day transmissions like the Fx/MX-primarily based AOD (rear-drive) and AXOD (front-push). Perhaps Deserted Heritage will go over those people also. Until finally subsequent time.[Images: Ford]