He’s seeking a transmission adapter kit

March 1, 2011 | By Richard Prince


A reader recently wrote in with concerns about installing an overdrive

transmission behind a Ford 390 cid engine. I believe an adapter of sorts is necessary. Please tell me what the procedure and cost will be, as I would like to do the same in a 1962 Ford Galaxie.


A modern Ford automatic overdrive transmission will not bolt right up to the 390 cid engine in your Galaxy. The bolt pattern for Ford’s FE series of engines does not match the bolt pattern in a late-model AOD transmission.

A company called Bendtsen’s (transmissionadapters.com) sells an adapter kit that includes a flywheel, flywheel ring, bellhousing adapter, starter motor, and new bolts to hold it all together. The kit retails for $850. Bendtsen’s also sells a kit that enables you to install a Chevrolet transmission behind your 390 cid engine and this kit sells for $875.

In addition to the kit you will, of course, also need the overdrive transmission and the cost for one of these will vary significantly depending on which particular model you buy and where you buy it. A brand-new example will cost the most, a remanufactured unit will be less, and a used one out of a wreck will be even less.