Wayne Cook
July 1, 2000

Step By Step

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While the Fairlane is up on the lift for further study, our Coast High Performance 331 stroker was off-loaded from the truck with a cherry picker.
Windsor-Fox has a special bracket for handling AODs. Here we see it being used to lift our Lentech Street Terminator Lock Up AOD out of the packing crate.
Exhaust chores will be handled by Hooker’s Super Comp headers for a small-block ’67 Fairlane. Past experience with Hooker tells us these tubes will fit just right.
Our Coast High Performance stroker engine came equipped with a Pro Mustang Performance oil pan for an early Mustang. Clearances looked a little tight, so we substituted this Canton pan made specifically for a Fairlane. Don’t expect Mustang parts to fit other Fords every time.
Here’s the stock ’67 Fairlane transmission crossmember. Since Windsor-Fox hasn’t performed a ’67 Fairlane AOD conversion, there’s no ready-made conversion crossmember on the shelf as there is for ‘63-’64 Fairlanes. Once we test our transmission fit, we’ll see what needs to be done for a crossmember.
It’s much easier to test fit with a bare-block rather than the whole engine, so Windsor-Fox mated the new Lentech AOD to the 302 bare-block to create a test jig.
The test fit will give us a good idea of what to expect when the real engine/transmission assembly goes in. Notice how we have our motor mounts in place on the side of the block.
With the block down on the mounts, we can begin to see what our fit will look like. Here, we slowly raise the transmission with the screw jack while looking for interference or contact with the tunnel. Sometimes the tunnel has to be modified to accept the AOD, which is fatter than a C4. We suspected we would be OK because this Fairlane model was available with the 390 big-block, which used the larger C6 automatic.
We noticed that the framerail extensions have three different locations to accept the crossmember bolts, something that worked to our advantage because, besides the AOD being wider than a C4, it’s also longer. We placed our crossmember mounting bolts in the rearmost location.
With the AOD held at the correct height, the new C4 mount was installed at the rear of the transmission. For the early car conversion, the C4 mount works best.
Loosely attaching the stock trans crossmember showed that the arrangement was off only by about 1/2-inch. This is a wide crossmember, so we marked it for drilling new holes.
At the drill press, we made pilot holes on our marks, then enlarged them to the correct size.
Here’s our modified crossmember in position. It’s easy to spot the old and new hole positions. There’s plenty of meat around the new holes to provide adequate strength. Obviously, this simple redrilling of the stock crossmember means a custom piece isn’t needed, and anyone planning this conversion can easily modify the original crossmember. The C4 and AOD speedometer gears are interchangeable, so you can just install your cable into the new transmission.
With the bare-block/transmission assembly out of the car, we can begin to prepare for our permanent installation. In the ’67 Fairlane, there’s an opening in the firewall that’s just the right size for the EFI wiring installation. It’s got a tack-welded cover that we knocked out from the inside. Here, the main plug for the rear of the processor goes through the firewall. It’s a tight fit.
The factory grommet fit perfectly in the opening. A tight waterproof seal is required here, so if you must create an opening, be careful not to make it too large. Water leaks must be avoided.
Here’s our engine bay ready to accept the new powertrain. Notice how the ’67 Fairlane lacks the typical shock-tower-to-firewall strut supports found on many other vintage Fords. This is a good thing, because our Trick Flow upper intake manifold is much larger than a stock 5.0 or GT-40 unit.
We’ve got our block-off plate in place and now we’re installing our flex plate. Because our engine is a late-model arrangement with an AOD transmission, we don’t have any balance concerns to worry about. A standard late-model flex plate with the 50-ounce balance works great.
You’ll need to add at least 1 quart of Mercon-type transmission fluid to your converter before installation. We prefer to fill the converter with as much as it will hold without spilling when stood up.
It’s critical to get the converter installation correct. It needs to go past two “detents” before being seated. When the engine and transmission are joined, there must be a small amount of play present to allow the converter to move back and forth about 1/8-inch between its seat and the face of the flexplate. If the converter is jammed tight when the engine and trans are joined, it’s in wrong.
Our smaller, 10-inch Torque Converter Specialties’ converter looks lost in the AOD bellhousing. It features a stall speed in the area of 2,500 rpm to help at launch time.
Before going up on the hoist, we installed the fuel rails for the EFI because we didn’t want anything falling into the engine. You’ll notice that we have the intake taped over also.
We’re up in the air as the moment of truth approaches. A little further along, we realized that the Mustang oil pan wasn’t going to work. Actually, the pan fit but the drain plug location was in an awkward position. We switched to the Canton pan designed for a Fairlane.
With the engine/transmission assembly down in the car, the rear crossmember was installed and the motor-mount cross-bolts tightened down.
Here, our EGR spacer goes into place. We’ve chosen a 70mm Accufab throttle body to go on next.
We test-fit the air intake duct to check for clearance difficulties. We’ll have to fabricate a bracket to support the induction tube and air meter.
With a late-model Mustang 5.0 air cleaner box in place on a special Windsor-Fox bracket, it looks like we’re going to have a clean installation. We still have lots to do, but the unknown variables are all sorted out. We need to handle our EFI wiring and fuel system, which will utilize an external fuel pump and Ford high-pressure lines. Serpentine accessory drive and a big radiator with a relocated lower hose port will round out the picture.

If you've been following our '67 Fairlane project, you know we've been working on a fantastic drivetrain for the car. In a recent installment, we detailed the Coast High Performance 331ci stroker, an engine that features a forged-steel crank and Trick Flow Specialties' Twisted Wedge aluminum cylinder heads with 2.02-inch intake valves and 1.60 exhaust. Finally, the long block was topped off with the new Trick Flow upper and lower EFI intake manifolds. With a compression ratio of 10:1, along with a .500-inch lift cam and great induction, we're expecting around 350 hp at the flywheel.

Check out the buildup of our Lentech AOD four-speed automatic overdrive transmission . Lentech offers four versions of the AOD, but we chose the Street Terminator Lock Up unit because it will handle far more power than a stock AOD and still lock up in Overdrive for great freeway performance. You also might want to take a detailed look at the latest in rearend axle technology from Currie Enterprises . For our Fairlane, we'll be using the stout 9-inch featured in this article.

There's no argument that we have the finest available technology for our '67 Fairlane. Now we'll look to Windsor-Fox Performance Engineering to put it all together in expert fashion. We're into uncharted waters here, at least for us, because we've never attempted to put a fuel-injected stroker or an AOD into a '67 Fairlane. Once the main components are correctly situated, wiring and other engine systems can be approached in the standard fashion. When technical snags arise, as they inevitably will, it's good to know we have the Ford powertrain conversion experts from Windsor-Fox at our side.