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Discussion Starter #1
My '65 Galaxie 500 has a 351W and an '72 H servo C4 in it. The car was sitting for a number of years before I bought it. I got it running again, rewired it, etc, put about 60 miles on it and was driving around town a couple of weeks ago when the car started to feel sluggish, requiring excessive power to get it moving from a stop. I barely was able to get it home and when I parked it there was ATF running out of the bell-housing. When I checked the fluid level I could not really distinguish the level, but judging by the amount of fluid I seemed to have lost I added a qt. and drove it around the block and it still felt sluggish. When I checked the level again it seemed like it was over filled and had a blackish discoloration to it. The trans seems to be kinda worn out, it would shudder in 1st and reverse when you gave it some gas, and there was a loud whining/howling sound that was only audible for a few seconds when accelerating from a stop. What do y'all think the problems are?

Sorry for the long post, but, I'm trying to figure out what my next steps are. Should I have the trans rebuilt by a pro or should I rebuild it myself. What are the average cost to have a C4 rebuilt? Or should I try and find another C4/C6 from a yard and drop that in? I'm only 18 and don't exactly have the biggest budget at my disposal and I'm trying to find my best course of action since this car is intended to be my daily of sorts. Thanks in advance.
 

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The fluid coming out was likely because the fluid got too hot.
Heat kills fluid BTW

Dropping the pan and replacing the fluid and filter may do the trick. However it almost sound like the torque converter is not working. If correct that WOULD cause fluid to heat up.

If you said the engine RPM went high before the transmission engaged, that would be internal to the transmission. Based on your description so far it sound like the torque convertor is not transferring power.

The fluid is likely very bad at this point and really needs to come out. Burnt fluid and excessive heat will harden the rubber seals. And that WILL require the transmission to come out. The longer you drive it with burned fluid the most damage it will cause. Getting a used one from a yard isn't a good solution unless you overhaul it before installing. You have a used transmission now. Why get another one?

It isn't that difficult to go through the transmission if you want to do it and learn. But as a daily driver it wil be down for some time no matter what you do.

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I'm definitely leaning towards overhauling the trans myself. What should look for as far as a rebuild kit and new parts go? What would be the best way to remove the trans? Take the engine and trans out together or take the trans out from underneath? I don't have a trans jack or a lift so the former way would seem easier.
 

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I would prefer to remove the transmission only. And rent or borrower a transmission jack.

Get a 1965 Ford shop manual.
1965 Ford and Mercury Shop Manual Estate Find | eBay
There is a good write up in there. It is old school but very accurate

Finding an overhaul kit should be rather easy.
Consider replacing the torque converter. Cleaning it is not always the best to cutting corners. Debris can get stuck in there and not come out till much later.
You may not need any hard parts other than the converter and the kit
Do clean out the cooler

The 351 and the C4 are not stock. Get parts for that application.

The transmissions from this era (C4 & C6) will last almost forever if you change the fluid and filter on a regular basis. And don't race it or tow 5000 pounds. Even if you do those things there are mods to do to make that work. Just not a stock transmission.

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Discussion Starter #5
I already have a 65 shop manual as well as some other technical material.

What components would you recommend upgrading since this trans is mated to a 351? The engine is bone stock (2 Barrel) as far as I know. but down the road I would like to do some upgrades to it as well.
 

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The 351 2V from the mid to late 1970s is kind of a low power engine. And not much will change that as the compression ratio was reduced for emissions. The only upgrade if you want is to add an additional oil cooler. Run the oil into the additional air cooler, then back into the radiator cooler. But really the best upgrade is to change the oil and filter every 3 years or 36,000 miles which ever comes first. That is what was not done and has created the situation you have now.

If you are going to upgrade power, a C-6 as stated above would be the way to go if you get more HP

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The C4 will handle 500 hp with a simple performance rebuild, racers put C4s behind 800 hp big blocks because they have a lower parasitic power loss without a problem.
There should be no problem with the C4 behind your 351.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The C4 will handle 500 hp with a simple performance rebuild, racers put C4s behind 800 hp big blocks because they have a lower parasitic power loss without a problem.
There should be no problem with the C4 behind your 351.
How much HP and torque can stock C4 hard parts handle? Some figures I've seen state around 400-500 HP and similar torque.
I'm not looking get a crazy amount power out of my 351, maybe eventually somewhere around 350 HP. When you say "a simple performance rebuild" do you mean just upgrading the frictions and seals, or the hard parts such as shafts and gear sets as well?

I'm trying to get as much info I can before I make any decisions.
 

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Good " frictions and seals " as you put it along with a shift kit, not a stock rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Are there any good rebuild kits you would recommend?

Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it!
 
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