C6 Transmission Details
The C6 transmission was developed and created by Ford in the 1960s. It was very similar to the C4 transmission that was created a few years earlier, except that the C6 was designed to accommodate more torque and power than the C4, and generally to be used in the larger engine applications.
One of the most unique features that added to the durability of this transmission was the Borg Warner flexible shift band, the first transmission to have this.
The C6 was an automatic transmission used on engines such as the 351 Cleveland and the Ford 385 engines. Some well-known applications of the C6 transmission are the Ford Torino, Thunderbird and Mustang (This transmission has no relation the C6 Corvette).
This transmission was also offered in truck applications, having an extended time of being used in the Ford F-150 series trucks, and also a shorter time of availability in the Ford Broncos.
The C6 transmission was available in production from 1966 until 1996. The transmission was produced in Livonia, Michigan for much of its production life, until being moved to Sharonville, Ohio in the 80s.
Pros and Cons
The C6 transmission is called by many the best automatic transmission that Ford ever built. The transmission was very popular thanks to its strength and durability, being called indestructible by many.
The strength, combined with its simplicity makes it quite popular to this day, especially for drag racing applications.
While the transmission is known for its strength and durability, virtually all transmissions have issues, and the C6 is no different. Some of the main complaints include that the transmission can have issues with shifting into drive, or 3rd gear.
C6 Transmission Performance Specs
As mentioned, the C6 transmission is quite strong and was paired with many of the larger V8 engines from Ford. This 3 speed automatic transmission was designed to handle up to 475 lb-ft of torque, although the C6 with the aftermarket upgrades used for drag racing can handle significantly more torque.
This transmission is designed with a longitudinal orientation. This transmission was also designed to handle significant loads in order to be able to be used in the large engine variants of the F-150.
The 3 gears selected for the C6 are identical to the gear set for the C4, with 2.46 for 1st, 1.46 for 2nd, 1 for 3rd and a reverse gear ratio of 2.18.
Materials, Size and Weight
The C6, as with the C4, was designed with a goal of reducing the overall weight. The C6 was also made of cast aluminum alloy, including both the main housing and the bell housing. In order to further reduce the weight, approximately 10 lbs of powdered metal was used where required.
The length of the transmission was 22 3/8 inches for all variants of engines to which it was coupled, despite multiple bell housing bolt patterns being required due to engines it was mating with.
The dry weight of the C6 is approximately 140 pounds, while the torque converter adds an additional approximate 30 pounds to the weight.
The C6 transmission with the stock pan requires 7 quarts of oil, while an extra 2-4 quarts is commonly required, based on the torque converter being used.
The C6 is largely considered the best automatic transmission ever built by Ford. With an impressive 30 year run from 1966 until 1996, this transmission was well known for its strength, a main reason that this transmission is so common in drag racing today.
The 3 speed automatic transmission was also a significant lighter variant of the transmission it replaced, which helps to improve the performance of the car for various reasons. The C6 overall was quite similar to the C4, but it was designed for handling heavier loads and torque, up to 475 lb-ft as a stock transmission.
Vehicles with C6 Transmission: