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Old 02-25-2015, 10:23 PM   #1
Fred S
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Default Transmission Question

Hi, new here, but I've been lurking and learning for quite awhile. I've had my '30 Model A Coupe for about 2 months. The person I purchased it from rebuilt the transmission with all new gears. It makes a slight growling noise in first, and a louder growling noise when I shift to 2nd. The worst is when it's in 2nd and I slow down letting the engine hold the car back. I've never been in or driven another Model A, so I don't have anything to compare this noise to. Is this growling normal?
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Old 02-25-2015, 10:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: Transmission Question

I want to say yes. But you may be experiencing the "new gear" syndrome - that being that new gears, even a full set from the same source, may come from different manufacturers - and may have um, differences between the gears.

These differences add up to make some noise.

I have a mix & match transmission that is made up (I think) of similarly aged gears. It runs ok. Nothing spectactular. But it does have some "wind down" noise when downshifting into second.

The rule of thumb I got previously (old Ahooga board) and I guess it still holds is to try to source your gears from a trusted seller (snyders, berts, brattons) and buy them all at the same time and question them as to the source. If not this then try to do as I did and use a relatively consistent set of used gears and try not to change things too much between transmissions.

There is a concerted effort to try to "match" gears from the manufacturers. And your source (whomever) should be able to tell you anything he himself might question regarding his gear source.

You also don't say what exactly you're using for transmission oil. It may be possible to change oil to a bit stiffer brand and reduce some of that noise. Some "back in the day" have compounded 140 oil with graphite, STP or other additives to attempt to make a slicker, quieter, easier shifting transmission.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you may be seeing what there is to see. Certainly experiment with your oil. Resist any thought of putting sawdust into the tranny (it will make it quieter) And comfort yourself with the thought that it will only get better as everything wears together in time.

I think of it as encouragement to use your car more.

Well, any excuse is a good one.

Good luck,
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Transmission Question

I think in general what you are hearing is normal. I could not stand the whining in first and especially 2nd gear. I would shift to high and probably lug the car just to escape the noise. That's why I installed a 39 tranny, my God what a difference it made in the pure enjoyment of driving this car. No whining anywhere and synchronized gears, I will now motor when I need to in second and its nothing but pure smooth!

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Old 02-25-2015, 11:31 PM   #4
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: Transmission Question

Model A's have spur gears (straight cut teeth) and they do make a little whine, but it shouldn't be bad. My tranny is all original gears and shafts and I use 600W gear oil, and the noise isn't a problem, nor is it loud.
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Transmission Question

The issue of "all new gears" is open to question, especially if said gears came from Argentina or they consist of mixed source gears. It is possible that quality mixed source gears will gradually "wear in" and become quieter with time. If from the former Industria Argentina" or one of the other dodgy sources, they will only get louder with wear.
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Transmission Question

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I have a AA 4 Speed in my Roadster Pickup. It is loud compared to my friends 2 Model A's with 3 Speeds. I wonder if the AA's Spur gears are louder because they have a different possibly stronger machining on the teeth. Maybe my trans is just shot? I even went so far as to check the oil to see if it had any. It was full and looks to be thick and dark amber in color. My Truck sat for 34 years. Maybe a little rust on the top of the teeth? Seems unlikely but could be possible. 34 years is a long time for the oil to drain off the top of the teeth.
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:59 PM   #7
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Talking Re: Transmission Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty View Post
I think in general what you are hearing is normal. I could not stand the whining in first and especially 2nd gear. I would shift to high and probably lug the car just to escape the noise. That's why I installed a 39 tranny, my God what a difference it made in the pure enjoyment of driving this car. No whining anywhere and synchronized gears, I will now motor when I need to in second and its nothing but pure smooth!

dusty
Are you kidding??? That whining ,to me,is one of the cool charictoristics of the car!!
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:50 AM   #8
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Are you kidding??? That whining ,to me,is one of the cool charictoristics of the car!!
I bet you like water boarding as well.
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:49 AM   #9
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I bet you like water boarding as well.
Crank starting by hand.

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Old 02-26-2015, 07:08 AM   #10
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Default Re: Transmission Question

drain and refill with the oil from the suppliers so you know whats in there. you may want to do the rear diff also. then just drive her / him and enjoy. watch some old movies with A's in them you'll hear them whine also.
some cars are noiser than others so dont compare that way.. as long as your not jumping out of gear or having any other symptoms then just turn the radio up louder
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:20 AM   #11
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Default Re: Transmission Question

Ironically, a transmission completely rebuilt using a NOS 'Cluster gear' and gears does not make noise any greater than a modern T-5. Even completely rebuilt ones using Mark gears are very quiet IMHO. So are we to accept the mindset they they all should make noise?
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:35 AM   #12
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Default Re: Transmission Question

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Originally Posted by BRENT in 10-uh-C View Post
Ironically, a transmission completely rebuilt using a NOS 'Cluster gear' and gears does not make noise any greater than a modern T-5. Even completely rebuilt ones using Mark gears are very quiet IMHO. So are we to accept the mindset they they all should make noise?
Just like bad headlights.
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:47 AM   #13
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Default Re: Transmission Question

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Originally Posted by Mitch//pa View Post
drain and refill with the oil from the suppliers so you know whats in there. you may want to do the rear diff also. then just drive her / him and enjoy. watch some old movies with A's in them you'll hear them whine also.
some cars are noiser than others so dont compare that way.. as long as your not jumping out of gear or having any other symptoms then just turn the radio up louder
Radio???? Gotta get me one of those (AM only of course).
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:29 AM   #14
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Default Re: Transmission Question

Brent - I am not familiar with "Mark" gears. Can you tell me where they are from?

Thanks,
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Old 02-27-2015, 12:55 AM   #15
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Default Re: Transmission Question

Thanks for all of the replies.

Joe & Mitch--It had 600w in the transmission. On the advice of a semi truck mechanic, I put in 85w-140 gear lube. I haven't really noticed any improvement. But I don't have any jumping out of gear trouble.

Joe, Tom, Ursus & Brent--The seller who rebuilt the transmission, got the gears from Bratton's. But he said none of today's gears are as quiet as the original Ford gears. He also said they should get better as they wear in. But other people have said they probably won't get better. I'm also not familiar with Mark gears.

Weather permitting, I'll drive it to a MARC pot luck this Saturday, and see what other A owners think. To me, it's a little whine but more of a growl on upshifting, and a growl only on downshifting.
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Old 02-27-2015, 01:25 AM   #16
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Default Re: Transmission Question

Is it quiet in third? Did you check the shaft and bearing between the input and output shafts? Mine had a couple bad rollers on that bearing when I bought the car, and that little bearing made the car sound like a broken down threshing machine in first and second. That bearing is out of play in third, so if it's perfectly quiet in third, you might need to check that bearing, and the end of the shaft it rides on.
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Old 02-27-2015, 01:35 AM   #17
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Default Re: Transmission Question

Yes It's quiet in third. I haven't been into the transmission; I've only changed the lube.
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Old 02-27-2015, 01:45 AM   #18
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Default Re: Transmission Question

Bratton's has good parts I have gotten tranny gears from them and my rebuilds are quiet.

"The seller who rebuilt the transmission" ........

not all rebuilds are the same. See Tom W's comment.
Tom Endy wants you to change out all the bearings; and why not
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Old 02-27-2015, 06:31 PM   #19
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Default Re: Transmission Question

For those who asked about MARK gears the answer is that MARK Auto Company of Layton, New Jersey is one of the oldest suppliers of Model A parts in the country, having been in business since the late 1950's. They were both wholesale and retail for many years, but in recent years became wholesale only, selling to the retail dealers, some of whom have been mentioned in this thread. MARK has furnished USA made gears for the Model A probably since they began years ago. Any gear they offer that has a flat surface where MARK USA can be stamped bears those words. Beside transmission gears they also offer ring & pinion gears as well as other parts.
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Old 02-28-2015, 09:36 AM   #20
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Default Re: Transmission Question

When we did the sedan we built the transmission using all new USA gears made by Mark Auto. It has been so nice a transmission that when it came time to redo the Phaeton we opted to do the same thing and use all new gears from MARK.
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Old 02-28-2015, 09:57 AM   #21
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Default Re: Transmission Question

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Is it quiet in third? Did you check the shaft and bearing between the input and output shafts? Mine had a couple bad rollers on that bearing when I bought the car, and that little bearing made the car sound like a broken down threshing machine in first and second. That bearing is out of play in third, so if it's perfectly quiet in third, you might need to check that bearing, and the end of the shaft it rides on.
Tom may very well have the source of the noise pinned down. Mine did the same in 1st and 2nd and was quiet in 3rd. When I pulled it apart that bearing was toast. Replaced it and the shaft and all is quiet now. I would suggest replacing all of the bearings if you tear it down.
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