Ford Bordeaux Automatic Transmissions

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Ford Motor Company's Bordeaux Automatic Transmission Plant, in Blanquefort, France (in the Bordeaux metropolitan area) produces automatic transmissions for a variety of rear-wheel drive vehicles. The facility opened in 1973 and was shortly followed by an expansion, the Bordeaux Transaxle Plant, in 1976 to focus on automatic transmissions for front-wheel drive Fords. Bordeaux Automatic Transmission's first product was the C3 3-speed automatic transmission for the Ford Pinto. The C3 design was succeeded by the A4LD 4-speed automatic during the mid 1980s and was in turn succeeded by the 4R44 and 4R55 4-speed automatics during the mid 1990s. The Bordeaux Automatic Transmission Plant's current products are the 5R44 and 5R55 5-speed automatic transmissions.

C3

The C3 was introduced as a lightweight 3-speed automatic for compact cars like the Ford Pinto. It was used with four cylinder, small V6, and the 200ci Inline Six engines. The final appearance of this transmission was in the 1989 Merkur XR4Ti.

Applications (US)

Applications (EU)

A4LD

The C3 was modified into the A4LD four-speed by adding an overdrive gear, which the C3 lacked. This transmission was introduced with the 1985 Bronco II and Ranger, again with four- and six-cylinder engines only. It was replaced by the 4R44E and 4R55E in 1995.

This was the first Ford automatic to use an EEC-controlled torque converter lock-up clutch. Electronic shift control for the 3-4 shift was later added, another first, though other gears remained hydraulic.

Applications:

4R44E/4R55E

For the 1995 model year, the A4LD was upgraded to feature full electronic controls, resulting in a new transmission family. The two major versions of this new transmission were the 4R44E and 4R55E. In Europe, the 4R44E was known simply as the A4LDE (with the "E" referring to the electronic enhancements to the basic A4LD design) and was briefly used in the Ford Scorpio. The transmissions are fundamentally similar in design, varying only in the durability of key components based on the type of duty they were to be used for. The 4R44E was used in lighter-duty applications, namely with 4-cylinder or 3.0L V6 models of the Ford Ranger pickup, while the 4R55E was used in heavier-duty applications, specifically with the 4.0L Cologne V6 used in vehicles like the said Ford Ranger or Ford Explorer. The 4R55E was short-lived however as it was replaced in all instances where it was used with the newer 5R55E after the 1997 model year. The 4R44E continued on through the end of the 1990s before being replaced by the 5R55E's relative, the 5R44E. As with some other Ford transmission designs, the double-digit number following the "R" refers to the torque that the transmission is rated to handle after being multiplied by the torque converter. The 4R44E is rated to handle up to 440lb-ft of torque while the 4R55E is rated to handle up to 550lb-ft of torque.

Applications:

5R44E/5R55E/N/S/W

The 5R55E, though mechanically similar to the 4-speed 4R55E, was a new breed of electronically controlled automatic transmission with an additional forward gear. It was the first 5-speed automatic transmission to be employed by an American automaker. The 5R55E featured more precise computer controls (necessary to accommodate the additional forward gear) and introduced adaptive shift control with a sophisticated friction-to-friction shift ability. Like the 4R44E relative to the 4R55E, a version of the 5R55E was made for lighter duty applications: the 5R44E. An example of these transmissions used in a single vehicle line would be in recent versions of the Ford Ranger pickup where the lighter-duty 5R44E is mated to a 3.0L Vulcan OHV V6 while the heavier duty 5R55E is mated to the more powerful 4.0L Cologne SOHC V6.

Following the original "E" series of the transmission introduced in the 1997 model year, other variants of the 5R55 transmission appeared. All variants are fundamentally similar to each other in design but differ in things such as specialized controls, gear ratios, or other elements based on the needs of the specific application the transmission is intended for. The first of these variants, the 5R55N, appeared in the Jaguar S-Type and Lincoln LS luxury sedans, and later in the 2002 Ford Thunderbird. The 2003 Thunderbird switched to the 5R55S and featured the option of Ford's SelectShift, which allowed drivers to mimic shifting like a manual transmission without a clutch. The 5R55S, minus the SelectShift feature, is currently used in 2005 and later models of the Ford Mustang. The 5R55W appeared in 2002 and later models of the Ford Explorer and Ford Ranger. Entry-level models of the 2008 Ford FG Falcon are the newest recipients of the 5R55 transmission.

Applications:

See also