Q&A / Tech

Mailbag: Swapping a 5.0L Mustang Engine and AOD Tranny into a 1980 Ford Fairmont

You’ve got questions. We’ve got the answers—the Summit Racing tech department tackles your automotive-related conundrums. This week, we’re sharing a few tips for swapping a 5.0L Mustang engine and AOD transmission into a 1980 Fairmont, which shares the Fox-body platform with the Mustang.

N.M. Westover, MD

Q: I have a 5.0L engine and AOD transmission from a wrecked 1988 Mustang that I want to drop into my 1980 Ford Fairmont. I would also like to run a four-barrel carburetor. What do I have to do to make all of this work together?

A: Since both cars are built using the Ford Fox-body platform, this should be an easy swap involving little fabrication. Most likely, the Fairmont is a column shift while the Mustang had a floor-mounted shifter. You can convert to a floor shift by using B&M’s Quick Silver shifter and installation kit. You’ll also need a Lokar kickdown kit that’s designed for use with a carburetor and an AOD transmission. Remember, to avoid damage, you must use a properly adjusted kickdown cable with a Ford AOD as the cable controls the transmission pressure.

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One Comment

  1. Alec Larson says:

    Hi there. Alec from central Florida. I’m interested in doing this same swap into my 81 Fairmont wagon and had a question. I would like to do the 302/aid swap, switching to a carb. Can I retain the column shit setup with the aod? Any help would be appreciated.

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