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Old 11-26-2020, 01:21 PM   #1
Swarm
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Default 39 trans

Just curious how much hp and torque you all have pushed with these 3 speed trans
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Old 11-26-2020, 01:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: 39 trans

I've stripped the teeth off with 85 hp, rear tires good traction, did not spin. Old timers bought trans for $5 Now $700+ and folks want to run them hard?? Newc
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Old 11-26-2020, 02:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: 39 trans

Newc called exactly.
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Old 11-26-2020, 03:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: 39 trans

I have a 400+ HP motor in my '40 coupe with only one rebuild in 40 years on the 3-speed Ford trans.....same gear set ar your '39. Never pushed it hard and it held up well. But......in high school I had a 296 inch flathead in front of a '39 trans.......had to replace the box every week......teenage driving habits!!


So.....depends on how you drive it......
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Old 11-26-2020, 04:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: 39 trans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swarm View Post
Just curious how much hp and torque you all have pushed with these 3 speed trans

My 35 Blown Flathead Coupe (approx 300hp) drives through a 1939 Ford 3 speed transmission. Mac Van Pelt special built the transmission knowing the power I was putting out. I would not claim it bullet proof by any means ... however Mac paid very close attention to precise tolerances. Also - while I enjoy applying the power respectfully, I never do hole shots out of respect for stock axles which I suspect might be the weakest link. I did spin the tires in 1st gear on dry pavement once ... but that was before I got used to applying the clutch for a smooth but crisp acceleration.
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:10 PM   #6
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So don't drive hard and it will be alright...thinking of pulling the trigger for the ardun heads
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: 39 trans

My brother used to put a another one in about once a month (46 sedan). Good thing he worked in a gas station
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: 39 trans

any trans is like your girlfriend treat em right and you will have a long happy life get too rough and it will be over in the blink of an eye
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Old 11-27-2020, 10:34 AM   #9
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Default Re: 39 trans

The LaSalle 3-speed was the transmission preferred for high torque back in the day. Ford referred to their 3-speed as the light duty transmission for pickups up through 1951 or so.

The flathead puts out a respectable amount of torque for it's average displacement and even more when they are bored and stroked. In the early days, a lot of folks just wanted to see how fast they would go and not so much clutch dumping torque events. Those that were too fast on the clutch release were the ones that broke transmissions and rear axles and especially those with the high number rear axle ratios that were popular with the Lincoln gear sets.
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Old 11-27-2020, 10:58 AM   #10
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Default Re: 39 trans

When I was a teenager I had a 39 ford coupe powered by a 283, all stock running gear otherwise. One night I left the cluster gear in the street after a hard launch but managed to drive home in 3rd. Those were the days
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:12 AM   #11
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Default Re: 39 trans

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I had a 39 ford coupe powered by a 283. One night I left the cluster gear in the street but managed to drive home in 3rd.
Gotta be the COOLEST post all week! DD
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:19 AM   #12
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Default Re: 39 trans

When my old boss was in HS he had a '32 couple with a hemi mated to a '39 trans. He said that whenever he raced someone he always started in 2nd so as not to scatter the trans on a hard first to second shift. He did however have issues with shearing axle keys whenever he got on it around a corner. Took him a while before he learned not to do that. Miss you Ron. It'll be a year on the 29th. RIP.
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:32 AM   #13
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Default Re: 39 trans

First Hot Rod in 1970 was a 39 deluxe coupe with a nail head and stock drive train. Drove that car about 40K before I sold it with no problems. RESPECT
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:40 AM   #14
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Default Re: 39 trans

Many years ago I had a SBC in my 37 Cabriolet and I was running a stock Ford transmission and rear end. Worked fine until the day I was leaving the Sanford, Maine drag strip and decided to peel some rubber. Popped the clutch and snapped an axle. 250 miles from home and about $15 buck in my pocket.

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Old 11-27-2020, 11:54 AM   #15
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Default Re: 39 trans

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When I was a teenager I had a 39 ford coupe powered by a 283, all stock running gear otherwise. One night I left the cluster gear in the street after a hard launch but managed to drive home in 3rd. Those were the days
i had a Friend that did that, he blew out the hole bottom of the case
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Old 11-27-2020, 12:09 PM   #16
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Default Re: 39 trans

Quote:
Originally Posted by rotorwrench View Post
The LaSalle 3-speed was the transmission preferred for high torque back in the day. Ford referred to their 3-speed as the light duty transmission for pickups up through 1951 or so.

Yep re LaSalle - my 39 Cadillac powered Coupe had a LaSalle as you see in the Picture - I loved the sound of those gears in 1st and second!
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Old 11-27-2020, 12:26 PM   #17
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Default Re: 39 trans

I know this goes against everything ever said here, but when I had my '36 3-window with the 276" Mercury with all of the go fast goodies, I purposely ran shortened axle keys and didn't torque the axle nuts near what they should be. This made the axle keys the weak point in the driveline. Whenever my baser instincts got the best of me (which was too often), I'd shear a key. It got so I could replace one in less than 5 minutes.

I came up with this after having to replace a broken axle.
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Old 11-27-2020, 01:47 PM   #18
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Default Re: 39 trans

Ford engineered the 39 top loaders to operate with a motor rated at 85-95 HP, and they handled that easily.....for responsible adult drivers who invested a significant chunk of money to purchase those vehicles. Things started to go haywire when they began to acquire some mileage, and the hormone fueled teenage boys began to drive them. Boys being boys, the motors began to grow in horsepower, while the rest of the drivetrain had to suffer along with little upkeep and alarming levels of abuse occurred. The final straw was the day that the poor Ford was entered into the local dirt track races......you could take bets on which lap the transmission would spew its guts into the dust. The race driver, being in a perpetual state of financial straits, would dash to his local salvage yard for a replacement transmission and he’d run that one into oblivion too. And these are the reasons folks think that the top loaders were no good......
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Old 11-27-2020, 09:52 PM   #19
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Default Re: 39 trans

If you build them right, there work very nice, I have a 260 ci in our 33, transmission has a 48 guts in it, it has about 75000KLMs on it, towing a caravan, .every time I drive it I think how nice it shifts, and quite, and I use 85/140 GL 5 oil as we have no alternative here.
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Old 11-28-2020, 12:56 AM   #20
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Default Re: 39 trans

Tubman is a Smart Fellow.
I had a friend who years ago put a chev engine in his 37 sedan. It it lasted as long as it took to push it backwards out of it garage and let out the clutch.
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