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97 Mercury Cougar Xr-7 4.6
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think i got this answer on my other post but i wanted to make sure that im understanding correctly...Im headed to the u-pull-it in a few days and to get myself another 4r70w. what i think i was told is to get one from something in 02 with that trans. But im curious if thats the case and if so what models should i try to get one from(most common). also if that is a direct bolt up replacement for my 97 coug with the 4.6 and 4r70w. If the 02 is the same as the 97 in means of all the plugs, lines,ect. I wanna go with the best replacement but i dont wanna change plugs or anything. torque converter and flex plate out of a mkiii is better then what i have but again im not sure if thats something i should do. I dont wanna chance having to be pulling this trans after putting it in over something i didnt need to change. but if the 02 will be all the same that i can just toss er up in and be good then thats what i wanna do. i keep seeing how the 02 is better then the 97's but no clue how/ TIA!!!!
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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10,479 Posts
OK - let's see what I can do here.

First off, there is no better trans for your 97 that is a direct bolt-in swap. You need to keep your TCC solenoid and the MLPS. 97 is the last year for the old style internal harness; that changed in 98. The changes in 98 and 99 are the two most important for major improvements to the transmissions - the mechanical diode in 98 and improved valve body, respectively.

Second, there are differences in the tail shaft and extension housing. The police Crown Vics and Town Cars have a longer tail shaft/extension housing than the other 4R70Ws.

Third is the switch from a speedo gear on the output shaft to a turbine sensor starting in 03. 02 is as far as you can go and not need to worry about running into that. Also - our cars are the only ones with a 7-tooth drive gear on the tail/output shaft. The others (pre-03) have 8. This means you'll need a new speedo gear to match your tire height and final drive ratio, and you can't go higher than 3:73 without a speedcal on the 8-tooth shafts.

So, hopefully as you can see, you can still use the newer transmissions. But the newer you go, the more of your existing hardware you need to swap.

The rationale behind getting an 02 is that it's the newest you can go before you start having to make "radical" changes to the donor trans, like swapping pieces beyond sensors and such. But, even with an 02, the seals and such are 20 years old now and should be rebuilt. It's not that much extra effort to swap your old parts onto the new trans to get the added benefit of the hardened gear set (starting in 03).

When you're looking for a suitable donor vehicle, look for a vehicle that was wrecked. The idea is that if the car was totaled, chances are it was running fine before it made its way to the yard! Avoid Mustangs, and taxis; they were probably beat on. And as I said, Town Cars and police CVs have the longer tail shaft (not to mention, the police vehicles are also beat on). That leave non-police, non-taxi Crown Vics and Grand Marquis. 2WD truck 4R70Ws have a different valve body that aren't suitable for our cars - no go on those.

DO grab the toruqe converter and flex plate of the 11.25" flavor though - they stall 600-800 RPM higher than the factory 12", and are safe to 6500 RPM instead of 5400. You can find them in SN95 Mustangs, Mark VIIIs and Marauders.
 

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There are newer advancements that make them last; the one piece teflon seals make a huge difference.
I'd point the rebuilder to this page:
 

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97 Mercury Cougar Xr-7 4.6
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Honestly a rebuilder isn't in my budget. And needing the car back to running asap. We have a loaner that we no longer have after Monday so it's chrunch time. So how difficult is it to swap the mlps and the tcc solinoid. I've read about the speedo gear. And I have no clue about that.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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10,479 Posts
If you were to get a 99-02 trans, the MLPS is on the side of the case. The TCC solenoid is attached to the valve body under the pan. You will also need to get a 20 tooth speedo gear so your speed is correct with the 8 tooth output shaft and a 3.27 rear end.

You will need to repin the trans harness for the newer model year as well. Or switch to the old style harness inside the transmission.
 

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97 Mercury Cougar Xr-7 4.6
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is there a video floating around that helps explain how to do such. I've never repined anything and don't exactly understand what all needs swapped over. A detailed explanation would help greatly.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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SuperNewbie
1995 Thunderbird LX 4.6 red
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3,267 Posts
If you don't want to repin the harness you can reuse the wiring harness and all the solenoids from the 97 trans in the later trans. That is of course if they aren't full of a bunch of crap from a failed trans. That handles the wiring part of the job anyway.
 
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