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Old 04-25-2020, 08:33 PM   #1
Terranova
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Default One of those annoying questions...

The short version is “what manual trans should I put behind 8BA in my 36 Fordor?”

The long version is: Discussions today have led to a redirection on my 36 Fordor project. Yesterday, and for quite awhile now, the plan was to put a Ford AOD behind a my 8BA so that my MIL could drive the car, but today it was decided that the MIL probably wouldn’t want or be able to drive the car.
So now we’re at “let’s put a manual in it.”
Ok. If you were going to put a manual behind an 8BA in a ‘36 Fordor, what would you put there? Im aware that 100 people would give me 99 different answers, so let’s give some parameters.
1. Let stay with a torque tube drive train just out of convenience.
2. Minimal interference with the trans tunnel/xmember.
3. Staying with mechanical brakes for now.
4. The rear is currently stock with 4:11(?) gears but I do have a set of 3:78. I’d like to be able to get up to and stay relatively comfortable at 65ish.
Any suggestions?

Thanks barners.

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Old 04-25-2020, 09:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

Without question, a '39 top loader along with the 3.78 rear end.
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Old 04-25-2020, 09:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

"V8Coopman" - Where are you?
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Old 04-25-2020, 10:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

Post 2 is says your quickest, easiest and cheapest way to go. All the transmissions before 39 had a synchro that isn't all that great and you should shift them slowly and at the right RPM, and the spur cut low gears in the early transmissions make a distinctive sound. You will definitely need to put the 3.78s in there to run comfortably at 65. Just make sure your brakes can stop you when going that speed.
I have a 33 with 3.54s and it cruises along at 60-65.
Good luck.
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Old 04-26-2020, 07:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

So, ‘39 or ‘40. Anything newer will start to mess with the frame, because it changes after that, correct?
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Old 04-26-2020, 07:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

Get some of Flathead Teds floaters for your rod brakes & setup/adjusted correctly you we be good. Easiest & quickest is as post 2 states. Enjoy
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Old 04-26-2020, 08:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

I would suggest keeping your original top load '36 transmission case with serial #'s that match the frame and installing the later '39-'48 gears with better syncro's. This is essentially the same as a '39 transmission in my opinion. Also, if changing rear gears to 3.54 or 3.78, I would suggest using the later gears with 29 tooth cluster and 15 tooth input gear. I did this on my '35 fordor (Avatar) last Summer along with 3.54 rear gears, and appsolutly love the results. Coming off the line in first and second works so well, and can cruise in third all day at 60-65 mph if I want to.
I really did not care to modify my car in any way that would be required to use a modern overdrive transmission.
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Old 04-26-2020, 09:09 AM   #8
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

You also didn't talk about budget and associated amount of work??? For example, if the body is already off the frame, then you have more options. It also kind of depends whether or not you want to put a lot of highway miles on it at higher speeds. So - the planned usage of the car matters quite a bit.

Even with 3.78 gears, you'll find that if you'd like to go 70 - 75 mph for longer distances, that you're keeping the motor pretty wound up.

So, probably every one of us that does what I mentioned up above (wants to be able to get on the open highways and go long distances) has, wants or ponders "wouldn't it be nice to have an overdrive in this thing". The tried and true 'vintage' option is a Columbia rear-end. This is a "bolt in" deal - if you find one that is setup or modified to correctly fit a 36'. Other aspects to consider about Columbia rears is that they tend to be very expensive (when all set up) and there are not really that many folks who know how to work on them (still around).

The other option is a late overdrive transmission. The most talked about one is obviously the T5 with an S-10 rear case. I think a LOT of us would love to just drop one of those in our cars -- but then starts a whole lot of work. As you noted, you have to do fairly extensive modifications to the center frame area, going with a torque-tube is not an easy task (unless you source some harder to find Jeep parts, have custom parts made, etc). Then you have to shorten the torque-tube and driveshaft. Lots of work and lots of time/money if you have to out-source it to a shop.

Now, you can put "highway gears" in the rear - I just swapped my 4.11s out of my 32 for a set of 3.54's. (This was due to all the issues noted up above). I thought this was my best option (no mods to the frame, can use a nicely built 39 trans, etc). Well, while the car now goes down the highway just fine . . . it surely isn't as fun around town! Crap - I fixed one thing . . . and now I don't like it for what I do the most . . . cruise around our country roads. The low 4.11 gears were a lot more fun than the 3.54's - no comparison for acceleration and just having fun . . . .

So, I'm going to bite the bullet and build a Columbia with a lot of performance upgrades (8620 steel parts, 28" late Ford axles, etc) - with a 4.44 set of gears in it. This will give me the best of both worlds . . . fun around my local roads and the ability to take it on the highway and cruise at 75 and not be revving the crap out of my engine.

Lastly: There is nothing wrong with mechanical brakes - up to a point. And I ran my mechanicals on my 32 (all redone) for 3 years. They were perfectly fine on my local roads. But, when I decided I wanted more highway cruising (with our 1/2 busy local freeways), I decided I needed to upgrade the whole brake package. I replaced everything with modern Bendix/Lincoln style brakes . . . an expensive proposition for sure, but much better brakes (no question about it).

So, think about ALL of this before you make a choice. The 39 style box is by far the easiest and least consequential option (heck, I'm building three of these transmissions right at this moment - so I surely don't have anything against them!).

But, I'd sure like a nice T5 with a set of close-ratio Ford Motorsport T5Z gears in it . . . and a .82 overdrive . . .
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Old 04-26-2020, 11:17 AM   #9
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

B&S has written a very informative summary of the options. Especially useful in that i
t is based on real-world, personal experience. Thanks.


A 29 tooth gear set would help a bit in the around town driving, especially in a light car like a 32.
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Old 04-26-2020, 11:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

Keeping in mind, the KISS principle, another vote here for the '39
trans. and 3.78 gears for a semi-comfortable cruising speed of 60
Max on hwy. (B&S makes a good point re having to shift a lot
more on backroads w/ 3.54s, which are hard to find & more $$.)

(Probably a good thing that your MIL decided against driving the
car; even w/ a '37-40 steering box, the steering would be too "heavy"
for her...)
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Old 04-26-2020, 12:09 PM   #11
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JM 35 Sedan View Post
I would suggest keeping your original top load '36 transmission case with serial #'s that match the frame and installing the later '39-'48 gears with better syncro's.
John's suggestion works very well. '39-'48 gears in your '36 gearbox does it all for you. You will need the '39 shift forks with those gears also.
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Old 04-26-2020, 01:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

I’ve read about “wide ratio” transmissions before, how rare are they?
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Old 04-26-2020, 02:33 PM   #13
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tubman View Post
"V8Coopman" - Where are you?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terranova View Post
The short version is “what manual trans should I put behind 8BA in my 36 Fordor?”

1. Let stay with a torque tube drive train.
2. Minimal interference with the trans tunnel/xmember.
3. I’d like to be able to get up to and stay relatively comfortable at 65ish.
Any suggestions?
Terranova

OK, I'll play! A little over four years ago, our FordBarn friend Heard Saxon decided he wanted to upgrade to a modern O/D type, sweet-shiftin' manual trans in his '35 Ford pick-up with an 8BA. If you should desire to incorporate a T5 into your '36 Ford torque tube, refer to the project that Heard and I devised for his '35, as well as for his '36 3-window coupe to be upgraded in the near future. What we did applies to any '35-'40 Ford car or pick-up chassis. Click on the T5 W/TORQUE TUBE located toward the BOTTOM, LEFT of this post, or click on the link just ABOVE the picture below. Full descriptive plus many pictures. I will happily answer any questions, but please understand: WE SELL NO KIT or PARTS! Teaser picture below!! So Terranova, go get ya a tall, cool one, kick-back, click the link below and enjoy the text and many pics. DD


And PS: When you realize how hard it is to put a REAL, mechanical fan on that 8BA with that LEAN-BACK radiator, we have a nifty solution for that, too!


https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...T5+TORQUE+TUBE


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Old 04-26-2020, 02:36 PM   #14
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

I have one of the 80's F-i50 3 speed with OD infront of a 3.73 Dana 44a with posi, The engine is a stock 280ci flathead. I live in Vermont and there are very few Hills?? I can climb in OD. The trans is a full synchronized unit that shifts so smooth. You can have t converted to closed driveshaft.
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Old 04-26-2020, 03:41 PM   #15
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

V8Coopman I’ve seen your mechanical fan workaround and have the thread bookmarked and pictures saved.


Bored&Stroked, thank you for the well thought out info, I appreciate it. This is exactly the kind of feed back I came here for.

Everyone’s info has been very helpful.
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Old 04-26-2020, 03:44 PM   #16
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

Coopman, that T5 setup is mouthwaterigly yummy but a bit beyond what I’d like to get involved with, especially with the body being on the car.
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Old 04-26-2020, 04:19 PM   #17
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by '36 5W View Post
Keeping in mind, the KISS principle, another vote here for the '39
trans. and 3.78 gears for a semi-comfortable cruising speed of 60 Max on hwy.

"(B&S makes a good point re having to shift a lot more on backroads w/ 3.54s, which are hard to find & more $$.)"

(Probably a good thing that your MIL decided against driving the
car; even w/ a '37-40 steering box, the steering would be too "heavy"
for her...)
I haven't found the above statement, in bold, to be true with the changes I've made as described in my first post on this thread. I've done most every type of driving imaginable, and don't find it any more necessary to shift on back roads. My original 21 stud engine has plenty low end torque to increase speed while still in third gear.
Also, I found the 3.54 gears are readily available with 6 spline pinion gears, and no more expensive than 3.78 gears in either 6 or 10 spline . Now 3.54 gears with 10 spline pinion gear are difficult to find and usually quite expensive if/when you do find them.
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Old 04-26-2020, 07:18 PM   #18
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

Just to clarify, my issue with 3.54's on my back roads isn't about shifting, it is about just taking off from a stop-sign, pushing the engine through 1st and 2nd gear and enjoying the acceleration of 4.11 gears in a light hotrod. I really enjoyed this aspect of the car. When I switched over to 3.54, I sort of ruined that part of the deal for me . . . I made it a good highway car, but lost a bit of the fun that I previously enjoyed. Heck, the stock 59AB and 4.11 gears were even pretty dang fun . . . so as usual, I'm going to work some more and "solve" my problem - I like the BEST of BOTH WORLDS! LOL
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Old 04-26-2020, 07:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bored&Stroked View Post
Just to clarify, my issue with 3.54's on my back roads isn't about shifting, it is about just taking off from a stop-sign, pushing the engine through 1st and 2nd gear and enjoying the acceleration of 4.11 gears in a light hotrod. I really enjoyed this aspect of the car. When I switched over to 3.54, I sort of ruined that part of the deal for me . . . I made it a good highway car, but lost a bit of the fun that I previously enjoyed. Heck, the stock 59AB and 4.11 gears were even pretty dang fun . . . so as usual, I'm going to work some more and "solve" my problem - I like the BEST of BOTH WORLDS! LOL
B&S, I'm wondering which year and model car did you put the 3.54 rear gears into?
Also, which year transmission and what gear combination are you using in the transmission that's in this car?
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Old 04-26-2020, 08:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bored&Stroked View Post
Just to clarify, my issue with 3.54's on my back roads isn't about shifting, it is about just taking off from a stop-sign, pushing the engine through 1st and 2nd gear and enjoying the acceleration of 4.11 gears in a light hotrod. I really enjoyed this aspect of the car. When I switched over to 3.54, I sort of ruined that part of the deal for me . . . I made it a good highway car, but lost a bit of the fun that I previously enjoyed. Heck, the stock 59AB and 4.11 gears were even pretty dang fun . . . so as usual, I'm going to work some more and "solve" my problem - I like the BEST of BOTH WORLDS! LOL

B&S....You have brought up an aspect of transmission replacement that SO MANY folks fail to consider. JSeery and myself have both preached until we're blue in the face about the rewards of using the "close ratio" (2.95 1st gear) gear sets that are available for the NWC and the WC T5 gearboxes, that when thoughtfully combined with the "right" rear end ratio can make a world of difference between a "slug", a "waste", or a "pure dream"! And the T5, which offers three tightly-grouped ACCELERATING gears (1st, 2nd and 3rd) before shifting to the "STRAIGHT DRIVE" 4th gear (3rd in the old Ford box) gives the ability to really feel that seat-of-the-pants "pull" to an even greater degree. Drive someone's car with a T5 or a Muncie and you'll experience what I'm talking about. Your original set-up that you now miss (4.11/2.82 1st gear) gave you an overall 1st ratio of 11.59:1 ....great for leaving a stop sign. What you have now which gave-up much of that seat-of-the-pants "grunt" (3.54/2.82 1st gear) dropped your overall 1st gear ratio down to 9.98:1 ....as you said, going the wrong way for any exhilarating acceleration, especially with the large drop in RPMs between shifts. The 2.95 1st gear in the T5 (versus that awful 4.03 1st gear that comes in many S-10 T5s) combined with your current 3.54 Ford rear affords you a middle-ground overall 1st gear ratio of 10.44:1 ....PLUS one additional gear to keep the RPMs up. Talk about putting a smirk on your face IF feeling that engine "PULL" is what floats your boat. Not only that, but with the four (+1) forward gears, you can more-precisely select an appropriate RPM range while tooling through some back-country "twisties". You obviously understand, through your experience, the importance of giving serious thought to gear ratios and overall tire diameters when choosing gears and rears. Maybe someday you'll get that T5 in there for the ultimate in back road smiles. DD
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Old 04-26-2020, 08:45 PM   #21
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

Yo V8COOPMAN: I'd have a T5Z in there today - with the better .82 overdrive (roadrace overdrive) except the car is too original and it is not one I'm willing to cut the frame or floorpan (or really anything else) on it. This gives me VERY limited options - pretty much none . . . other than a 39 style box instead of a 32.

Also. I have the rare original 32 torque tube for the late style rear, NOS driveshaft for the same, etc. I just can't screw up this original stuff . . . nor can I put a quick change in it (would require mods to the rear cross, rear floorpan and the gas tank). So, when the day is all done, there are really very few options left (that don't require cuttings/mods to something) - that leaves a Columbia.

And as most know, a Columbia was not available for a 32 - so I will be taking a later version and grafting it to a 32 bell - to create my own. It should be a fun project and hopefully it will turn out as I envision. I'll keep you posted once I get it built and in the car . . . for some road-test fun!

Now on my 34 roadster . . . I'm really leaning toward a T5Z transmission with a quick change - pretty much the ultimate combination for the likes of me. LOL Heck, I may decide to do the 'torque tube' version that you've documented - depending on the rest of the rear drive train. I'll have some heavier horsepower (300- 400) with a blown Ardun setup, so I know I can't run a 39 box (at least for long!) LOL
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Old 04-26-2020, 08:51 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JM 35 Sedan View Post
B&S, I'm wondering which year and model car did you put the 3.54 rear gears into?
Also, which year transmission and what gear combination are you using in the transmission that's in this car?
Car: 32 Cabriolet, full fendered - 25T LZ gears, 39 Box - late style main shaft, gears, synchro, etc..

My problem is compounded due to me running 25T LZ gears in the tranny - which are not the best combination to have with a 3.54 rear. Truth be told the higher ratios of the LZ gearset do noting for performance . . . never did, never will.

BUT - the LZ cluster is the strongest of the 39 box gearsets - though I've managed to hurt them as well. It made me almost cry to see teeth shaved off of my prior 25T cluster (was a NOS gear) . . . but so be it.

Keep in mind that my engine is far from stock and I drive it hard at times. I think the dyno at Bob Ida's was the death of the last cluster. LOL

I spend a lot of time tuning my 39 gear boxes to be the best they can be - with the best parts, tight clearances, correct cluster shafts, etc.. I can't make them any better - but I also can't make them any stronger. They are what they are . . .
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Old 04-26-2020, 09:17 PM   #23
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B&S …...I totally understand why you'd not want to cut anything on THAT car. Sounds like you have thought it out quite well and your plans are probably the best option. I like the 28-spline axle mod, too. I'd make sure to have the bell-ends prepped for the Lincoln Bendix brakes you already have rather than some big-wide, later model brakes which MAY be TOO much brake for the rear of that light vehicle. It all sounds good and ought to be a hoot! DD
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Old 04-26-2020, 09:48 PM   #24
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You guys are talking crazy talk, I like it!
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Old 04-27-2020, 11:09 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bored&Stroked View Post
Car: 32 Cabriolet, full fendered - 25T LZ gears, 39 Box - late style main shaft, gears, synchro, etc..

My problem is compounded due to me running 25T LZ gears in the tranny - which are not the best combination to have with a 3.54 rear. Truth be told the higher ratios of the LZ gearset do noting for performance . . . never did, never will.

BUT - the LZ cluster is the strongest of the 39 box gearsets - though I've managed to hurt them as well. It made me almost cry to see teeth shaved off of my prior 25T cluster (was a NOS gear) . . . but so be it.

Keep in mind that my engine is far from stock and I drive it hard at times. I think the dyno at Bob Ida's was the death of the last cluster. LOL

I spend a lot of time tuning my 39 gear boxes to be the best they can be - with the best parts, tight clearances, correct cluster shafts, etc.. I can't make them any better - but I also can't make them any stronger. They are what they are . . .
Okay B&S, thank you for your response. This answers the questions on why you weren't having as much fun driving those back roads after installing 3.54 rear gears.
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Old 04-27-2020, 11:18 AM   #26
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BTW JM 35 Sedan: I love your Einstein quote at the bottom . . . have been in the 'Innovations' world most of my life and there is nothing like a relentless pursuit of things that others say can't be done - and then accomplish exactly what they spent all their time NOT doing!
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Old 04-27-2020, 12:18 PM   #27
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BTW JM 35 Sedan: I love your Einstein quote at the bottom . . . have been in the 'Innovations' world most of my life and there is nothing like a relentless pursuit of things that others say can't be done - and then accomplish exactly what they spent all their time NOT doing!
I'm always challenged by the "no can do" or "that's impossible" statements.... I had a fiber press on camshaft timing gear fail on my '35 fordor Avatar driver about 10 yrs ago. I was on my way to Hershey, going along about 35-40 mph and it seemed like someone just reached over and flipped my ignition switch off. Trailered it back home and tried to think of the quickest way to remove old gear and install an aluminum version without having to pull the camshaft. Many here said I could not press the new gear back on and align timing marks without removing the cam. I made some quick tools to do this, and put everything back together. This was 30+ thousand miles ago, and (knock on wood) all is still running well.
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Old 04-27-2020, 12:20 PM   #28
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Car: 32 Cabriolet, full fendered - 25T LZ gears, 39 Box - late style main shaft, gears, synchro, etc..

My problem is compounded due to me running 25T LZ gears in the tranny - which are not the best combination to have with a 3.54 rear. Truth be told the higher ratios of the LZ gearset do noting for performance . . . never did, never will.

BUT - the LZ cluster is the strongest of the 39 box gearsets - though I've managed to hurt them as well. It made me almost cry to see teeth shaved off of my prior 25T cluster (was a NOS gear) . . . but so be it.

Keep in mind that my engine is far from stock and I drive it hard at times. I think the dyno at Bob Ida's was the death of the last cluster. LOL

I spend a lot of time tuning my 39 gear boxes to be the best they can be - with the best parts, tight clearances, correct cluster shafts, etc.. I can't make them any better - but I also can't make them any stronger. They are what they are . . .

FWIW: I installed a '39 3 spd with LZ gears, 3:54 rear and tall tires and did not like it either. Sold it and installed a S10 T5 (with the low 1st gear) and love it.
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Old 04-27-2020, 12:26 PM   #29
Bored&Stroked
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

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Originally Posted by 38bill View Post
FWIW: I installed a '39 3 spd with LZ gears, 3:54 rear and tall tires and did not like it either. Sold it and installed a S10 T5 (with the low 1st gear) and love it.
Damn you Bill . . . did you have to remind me! LOL
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:39 AM   #30
Terranova
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

Well, I finally bought a transmission.

https://youtu.be/zGvcQXxPppw

Untitled by Mike Terranova, on Flickr
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Old 07-06-2020, 08:13 AM   #31
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

I turn 50 in Dec and I'm going to ask for a bullet proofed Columbia rear for my Roadster. Seems like a fitting gift.

I agree that this is the best of both worlds if you want to retain the stock trans, mounting and torque tube set up.
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:21 PM   #32
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

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I turn 50 in Dec and I'm going to ask for a bullet proofed Columbia rear for my Roadster. Seems like a fitting gift.

I agree that this is the best of both worlds if you want to retain the stock trans, mounting and torque tube set up.
Good for your Tim! I'll document the build out of my Columbia - have all the 8620 steel parts for it, 28 spline axles, etc.. It will be about as strong as one can make it . . . which still isn't all that strong, but it is my best option.
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Old 07-07-2020, 02:08 AM   #33
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

I'm in a small minority for just driving a 3sp. Every day it gets harder to care...

My buddy, thinking he might be on to something... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFnkCIwGwiA

Last edited by Tinker; 07-07-2020 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 07-07-2020, 03:14 AM   #34
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Default Re: One of those annoying questions...

I love my T5!! 1900 rpms @ 65 mph in 5th gear
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