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The Novak Guide to the

Adapting Ford Style Transmissions to AMC Engines

Conveniently, no adapter is required to adapt Ford truck transmissions to some AMC bellhousings.



The bellhousing bolt pattern for the Ford NP435 and Ford T18 & T19 is the same as the T150 and the T176 transmissions. The Jeep T18 has only one bolt hole different, the bolt near the clutch fork is higher on the Jeep version.

Note that the 1980 to 1986 series SR4T4 and T5 transmissions use a different bolt pattern from the Tremec 17x series transmissions of that same era. However, you can MIG or TIG weld to fill in the upper two tapped holes of these bellhousings, and then drill and tap (a transfer punch is helpful here) the upper two Ford pattern holes.

AMC bellhousings in 1972-1975 CJ's and other trucks are incompatible due to their longer depths and transmission face bolt patterns. No bellhousings after the CJ (1986) models are compatible.


Conveniently, 1976-1979 CJ T150 and T18 transmission clutch discs and pressure plates are already perfectly compatible with Ford input shafts and bearing retainers. The installer may also use the same clutch release bearing and mechanical linkage as these Jeeps.

1980-1986 series SR4, T4, T5 and T176 clutches and linkages are compatible except for the clutch disc spline diameter, which is 1-1/8" while the Ford input shafts are 1-1/16". Use of a 1976-1979 clutch disc (or disc & pressure plate kit) is required.

Incidentally, many installers choose to upgrade to a hydraulic clutch release system during these transmission upgrades.

Pilot Bushings 

No factory AMC pilot bushings have the required dimensions for Ford input shaft pilot tips. When purchasing one of our transmission to transfer case adapter kits, you will be able to choose the proper, unique pilot bushing for your AMC engine to the Ford input shaft, or these pilot bushings can be purchased separately.

Early AMC Cranks

early_amc_crank_flangeNot all AMC crank flange bores are the same. Early motors 1971 and previous - as well as those with automatic transmissions around this era - featured a ~1.8" step (image, right) or a shallow recess instead of a ~1.8" centering bore as found on later AMC V8 engines. This distinction is important to make if adapting to Ford style transmissions. All early and late cranks (in our documentation) feature a pilot bushing bore that is just over 1" in diameter whether they have the above step-bore, or not.

Crank Position Sensors 

amc_cps_installWe've also developed a precise method of placing a CPS (Crank Position) sensor into a '76-'86 AMC 258 bellhousing to make it compatible with the Jeep 4.0 Liter engines. Call us for details on this.