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In vehicles with a Ford AOD transmission, the direct drum splines can wear, causing the direct drumshaft to contact the output shaft and shut off lube flow. The late shaft design allows Sonnax retaining ring 76811-01K to fit into the OE groove. The early shaft design requires a groove to be machined to accept the retaining ring. The shaft has been depth hardened sufficiently from OE to ensure strength after machining.
Late-model shaft requires no modifications. Early-style shafts will require machining a ring groove.