An Easy-Breezy TCI X4 Transmission Installation

Considering a transmission swap in your Ford? If you’ve been considering TCI’s 4X, look no further. We have all the details! You can watch the video above for an overview of the easy-breezy installation process, but we’ll break that down for you here too.

TCI’s 4X is a four-speed transmission and is available for big-block and small-block Fords, as well as a variety of Brand X applications. The kit is all-inclusive, making a transmission swap an easy project. Included are the exact bellhousing needed for your application, as well as a special adapter flexplate, pilot adapter, dipstick, and other needed accessories. The kit bolts up to the engine just as the stock transmission does.

The kits are available in two varieties: 700R4-based or 4L80E-based. The former utilizes a Constant Pressure Valve Body to negate the need for careful TV cable tuning (if you’ve ever had a 700R4, you know the struggle). The 4L80E-based transmission allows for these controls to be handled electronically by either an ECI EZ-TCU, TCU 2.0, or factory GM transmission controller. Regardless of which type you choose, all X4 transmissions are automatic overdrive four-speeds with lock-up, and are available to fit a variety of power levels.

Installation

In a nutshell, the installation goes a little something like this: remove the pilot bearing or torque converter bushing from the crankshaft. Clean the inside with an emery cloth to remove any debris or sharp edges, and then install the flexplate and torque it to specification using the provided hardware (don’t use any spacers or adapters). After the flexplate is installed, install the pilot adapter into the crankshaft. The adapter ensures that the torque converter and transmission line up perfectly to the engine. Use a plastic or rubber hammer to lightly tap the adapter to push it into the end of the crankshaft. If it stops sliding, remove it and make sure it’s clean and undamaged.

After it is successfully installed, the torque converter can be installed by sliding and spinning it into place in the transmission. This must be done slowly to make sure the splines line up smoothly. Once installed, measure the distance from the mounting surface of the bellhousing to the torque converter pads. This distance should measure 1.75 inches. Then, bolt the transmission and torque converter assembly in after using a transmission jack to lift and slide it into place. Once it’s lined up, install and tighten the bellhousing bolts. Then, push the torque converter all the way back against the transmission, and measure the distance between the torque converter and flexplate. This should be between 1/8 and 3/16 of an inch. If that distance is too small or too large, shims can be used to space out the distance, or the provided spacers can be machined down for the correct fit. With the distance verified, apply thread locking compound to each bolt, and thread the bolts into the torque converter with spacers between torque converter and flexplate, torqueing to 58 ft-lbs. Complete the installation by installing any parts that were unbolted during the removal of the factory transmission.

Detailed installation instructions are included in each kit, so refer to those with any questions or installation issues. Then hit the road with your new X4!

Article Sources

About the author

Stephanie Davies-Bardekoff

Stephanie Davies-Bardekoff got her start in automotive media while attending Rutgers. She worked for Roush Performance for a while, before eventually landing here at Power Automedia. Her Coyote-swapped 1992 Fox-body drag car is her prized possession.
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