Ford C6 transmission

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
C-6 "Selectshift Cruise-O-Matic"
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
Body and chassis
Class3-speed longitudinal automatic transmission
RelatedFord C4
PredecessorFord MX
SuccessorFord 6R
Ford 5R110W

The Ford C6 is a heavy-duty automatic transmission built by Ford Motor Company between 1966 and 1996. It was marketed as the "SelectShift Cruise-O-Matic". Compared to its predecessor MX transmission, the C6 offered lower weight, less complexity, less parasitic power loss, and greater torque capacity for larger engines. It did this without exceeding the packaging dimensions of the MX. These design goals were in line with those of the C4 for smaller engines. It was given the name "SelectShift"[1] because if the transmission was placed in first or second gear, the transmission would use only the gear selected (i.e. would immediately activate that gear rather than initiating a sequence of shifts to arrive at it), whether from a standing stop or in motion. This was very helpful when driving in limited traction situations, where the torque of the engine would gradually move the vehicle, or if engine braking was needed on a downward incline. Once the transmission was placed in third, all three gears would be used in a normal fashion.


To cut down on weight and cost, the C6 featured a simple, three speed Simpson planetary gearset. To aid in shift quality and long term durability, it was the first automatic transmission designed to use the Borg-Warner flexible shift band. It had disc clutch plates instead of bands on the low and reverse gears.[2] It got new composite plates and valving.[2] This gave it the capability to handle 475 ft-lb of torque.[2]

The C6 was used in trucks and cars with larger engines. Five different bell housing varieties exist for use with various Ford engine families:

  • The Windsor pattern was used on the 300 I6, the Ford Windsor engines and the 351 Cleveland.
  • The 460 pattern was used on the 351M and 400 and all of the Ford "385" engines.
  • The FE pattern was used on the FE engines
  • The rare 66 - 68 Lincoln MEL 462 pattern which was used on 66 - 68 Lincoln Continentals with the 462 engine and also on 68 - 69 Lincoln Continentals with the 460. This pattern rounds off on the passenger side to clear the heat/AC box on the 66 - 69 Lincoln firewall.
  • Diesel pattern. This was similar to the FE/"385" pattern but the two are not interchangeable.

The transmission is very popular in the sport of drag racing today, with units equipped with manual valve bodies and transbrakes, some of which are air shifted. It is also widely used in off-road applications due to its reputation of being nearly indestructible. It does, however, have a reputation of greatly reducing performance as well as fuel mileage, due to the amount of power it requires to operate. But it still is very reliable, very easy to work on, and one of the best transmissions to live with. Very easy to rebuild too and affordable. They were mostly common up to 1989. The 1990-1996 year models were mostly an option for city or town Fleet (municipal for example) F-series trucks and E-series vans only. Applications:


The C6 core components were used to build Ford's first electronically controlled automatic transmission. The E4OD was introduced in 1989 and used in both light and heavy duty applications. The E4OD has four forward speeds and electronic shift controls replacing the hydraulic governor control mechanism of the C6. The valve body was completely redesigned from the C6. The E4OD also has an additional planetary gear set to add 4th gear and a lockup clutch in the torque converter.



The E4OD was updated in 1998 and this new transmission was the last rendition of the C6. It was largely the same as the E4OD, but with some changes to internal components to address durability concerns when put behind increasingly powerful versions of the Powerstroke Diesel Engine. In 1999 it was fitted with a PTO for auxiliary equipment attached to heavy duty trucks. To follow Ford's new naming schemes for its other transmissions, Ford renamed the E4OD the 4R100.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "SelectShift Automatic". Ford. Ford Motor Company. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  2. ^ a b c David W. Temple (1 January 2010). Full-size Fords: 1955-1970. CarTech Inc. pp. 98–. ISBN 978-1-934709-08-5. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Identify a Torque Converter". Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  4. ^ "e40d transmission".