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i have a 2002 lx 3.0L 12 valve base model. i assume its the ax4s but im not sure. i need to buy a new axle and cv joint and apparently they are different per transmission. or is it 4F50N
 

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there is a couple of ways to find out what trans you have. the trans code on the plate. counting the trans pan bolts or the stamping on the pan. if you have owned the car since day one the plate info will work. if you bought it used i would look at the pan just to make sure
 

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The VIN sticker will have a Code under "TR". Report back what it is if you don't want to crawl around under the car yet. Or count the bolts like biggdog said.

FWIW, 4F50N is the renamed version of the AX4N transmission found in 2004+ Tauruses & Freestars
 

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I saw that you bought the axle, so it does not matter anymore.
Still... For original question: I would take a picture with a camera held by my arm streched under the car. Easier than crawling under :)
 
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