The difference between Ford C4 C9 and C10 Automatics

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Over the years, there have been many attempts by people to "re-name" the classic Ford C4 transmissions, even by "experts". The fact of the matter is this: Ford never made a C9 or C10, these are simply terms that have been invented over time by people that struggle to accept that Ford made more than one version of the C4. If you can remember back far enough, there was a time when only those south-of-the-border used the incorrect terms, now that practice has spread throughout Australia.

There are many, many variations on what is a "C4" vs "C9" vs "C10", the easiest way to overcome these issue is to stick with the original Ford system, ie, they are ALL C4 transmissions. Here is a simple check list to help you through the deep, dark pit of false information:
  • ALL Ford factory workshop manuals refer to the transmission as C4. Yes, that's right, every manual from the 1960s all the way up to the 1980s uses the term "C4". Many claim that they have "seen different", from a "mate of a mate" who has a rare factory manual. No-one has EVER been able to produce any proof that Ford called them anything but a C4 in all of their literature. Even those that "quote" information from apparent Ford manuals are unable to produce the manual they are quoting from (anything other than Ford-produced does not count as anyone can print a book and claim it to be fact!!).
  • The incorrect terminology is an Australian thing. You only have to cruise through a few USA websites (USA is where the C4 transmissions come from) and you note there is no mention of C9 or C10, unless they are taking a moment to poke fun at "those Aussies" for making up nonsense terms.
  • Almost all perpetuators of the "C9 / C10" myth agree that all transmissions fitted to a "Cleveland" V8 should be called a C10; the problem with this is, these later transmissions were available in two distinct main case variations. That would make the second variation a "C11", wouldn't it, and there is no mention of those types, which means that every 1974 onwards Aussie Ford has a super rare gearbox fitted!
  • When buying parts (from the USA, that have not been re-labelled), you order parts for a C4, nothing else. You need to specify number of splines, push-fit or screw-fit modulator and valve-body type. Simple.
  • A C9 is a Caterpillar diesel engine, not a transmission.
  • If you are EVER in doubt, or find yourself battling against a warrior of the C10, ask them for First-Hand PROOF. The only place you can gain  first hand proof in relation to an automotive component is from the manufacturer- in this case, Ford. As Ford have NEVER referred to them as anything other than a C4, there is NO proof. If you are told different, ask for PROOF- there is none. Fact. Remember, "mate of a mate" seeing a book at the pub is not proof.

Notice there are no pictures on this guide. They are not needed, as there would be nothing to look at but a bunch of C4 gearboxes (albeit slightly different cases). Mid 1960's V8 look different to late 1960's, which is different to early 1970's V8, which is different to late 1970's V8, which is different to 6 cylinder (which, if you were a C10 supporter translates to C4 is different to C9, which is different to C10, which is different to C?? as they do not acknowledge 1974 onwards, which is different to C?? for 6 cylinder - it is just too confusing, isn't' it?).
 
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