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  • quality of 3:54 new gears

    My 1931truck with original 19 inch wheels currently has a 3:78 rear end and I'm considering installing a new 3:54 high speed gear set. Who supplies a good quality U.S. made set of gears ? Brattons ?
    and if you have this 3:54 set in your Model A, are you happy with the conversion ? My motor has recently been rebuilt by a Canadian quality builder and has a 5.5 high compression head.
    thank you

  • #2
    Tom
    The USA gear sets from the suppliers are all good that i know of. I get my sets from Brattons but i believe they may all have the same thing USA. It is usually stated in their catalogues as such. I put 3:54's in my Tudor and now wish i had gone with 3:27's. Our terrain is mixed and i'm certainly not running a quarter mile race.
    3 ~ Tudor's
    Henry Ford said
    "It's all nuts and bolts"


    Mitch's Auto Service ctr

    Comment


    • #3
      Mitch:
      Can I get you to elaborate on your last statement ? I had not even considered the 3:27 gearset and I didnt even know they existed until I looked in Brattons catalog. Brattons do mention USA made in their catalog. I think you have steeper and more hills in PA than we do up on the Canadian side of the border. I usually drive with a group of other Model A's at speeds around 45 MPH and we have a good number of A's in our club equipped with the 3:54 gears. The main reason I want to convert is to keep the engine revolutions down, I very seldom if ever ever go over 50 MPH . It just seems that my engine is revving high compared to other Model A's. equipped with original 3:78 gears and yes I do have 3:78 gears now. Anybody else want to jump in here ?


      Comment


      • #4
        Yes i’ll Elaborate.. Go with the 3:27’s you'll have less RPM’s and being a pickup with a HC head you’ll be fine. Alll your club members will be envious
        3 ~ Tudor's
        Henry Ford said
        "It's all nuts and bolts"


        Mitch's Auto Service ctr

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree with Mitch, and hope to get a set of 3.27 for my A. With the H/C head you'll do fine.

          In 1970 I was coming home on leave with a 1961 Corvan I just bought. My plan was to change the rear end gear oil when I got home, but the seller had drained it when he rebuilt the engine and he never filled it. The rear end went out in the middle of Kansas, so I had to buy a rear from a Corvair car and do the swap in a parking lot. The Corvan had a 3.54 and the car had a 3.27 ratio. It was a difference I could feel right away, but was never a problem.

          Comment


          • #6
            ok well since you and Tom have chimed in, that settles it, a 3:27 it is then. now can you guys loan me a few bucks ? I'll get back to you in the spring and let you know how it turned out. Now where did I put that Tom Endy article on the differential ?
            Thank guys

            Comment


          • #7
            Glad to hear you came to a decision, I hope it works well for you.
            While on this subject of gearing, what would be the recommended gears for a well built engine with original head?
            I realize that it takes a strong engine, to move the higher gears. But what would work best on stock engine?
            Jeff
            Twiss Collector Car Parts

            Comment


            • Mitch
              Mitch commented
              Editing a comment
              I would still run 3:27’s...

          • #8
            When you use the 3.27 you'll also need to buy the speedometer cable adaptor to increase the cable speed, as the driveshaft will be spinning slower.

            Comment


            • Mitch
              Mitch commented
              Editing a comment
              The suppliers sell replacement driven gears for the different ratios

          • #9
            1. All the USA gears are made by the Mark Gear Co. The major players such as Brattons, Snyder, and Berts all carry them. They are very high quality. There is no other USA-made brand.
            Avoid, at all costs, any foreign- made brand. There is a supplier out there with a 3-letter name (well, 4 if you count the apostrophe "s") that will not tell you where ANY of their parts are made. Buyer BEWARE.

            2. "what would be the recommended gears for a well built engine with original head?"
            To me this would depend on the weight of the car. I had a 3.54 gearset in my deluxe touring, a light car, with stock well built motor and it pulled fine but the 3.54 just did not make much difference. I am not sure if the car could have handled the 3.27 with the stock head. Maybe. If a roadster, def. no worries.
            I would compare with other owners of heavier cars if that is what you have. Maybe we can get a on-line comparison going. I don't think that comparison has ever been done and if so it has never shown up on the forums
            Last edited by tbirdtbird; 01-15-2018, 06:44 PM.

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            • #10
              I still have 3.78 gears in my pickup, but I do have a 27% OD as my top gear. 5.5 head.
              Alaskan A's
              Antique Auto Mushers of Alaska
              Model A Ford Club of America
              Model A Restorers Club
              Antique Automobile Club of America
              Mullins Owners Club

              Comment


              • #11
                A Mitchell 26% OD coupled to a 3.78 rear effectively has a 2.80 ratio in 3rd gear. A good bit higher speed than a 3.27. My Tudor has that OD ratio and it pulls it just fine with a stock engine. Of course if the hill is too steep I can shift down out of OD to the 3.78 gear where you would have to go to second gear. Here are a few speed and RPM figures I have calculated with my 21 inch wheels. Stock 3.78 at 45 MPH is 2000 RPM. Same rear with the OD 45 MPH is 1500 RPM. With no OD and with a 3.27 rear 45 MPH is 1725 RPM. With no OD and a 3.54 rear at 45 MPH is 1875 RPM. I picked 45 MPH for these examples because you said you usually cruse at 45. Hope this helps with your decision.

                Comment


                • #12
                  Lets get down to the nitty...ring and pinion sets are 4 hunny, a mitchell is 27hunny...more labor with the R/P but thats cheap..
                  Last edited by CM2; 01-15-2018, 08:01 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    Thanks guys.
                    Something to ponder during our winter season. When I decide to pull the trigger, I would do this to my first model A. The black 31 Tudor. Of the 5 cars, I drive it the most. Jeff
                    Twiss Collector Car Parts

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      All wood 4 doors are the heaviest, so keep this in mind as well as the weight of and how many passengers you typically have as well, plus how the engine is set up.

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        Thanks BNCHEIF, very noteworthy. Jeff
                        Twiss Collector Car Parts

                        Comment


                        • #16
                          My 31 coupe has the 3:78 rear end with a Mitchell 26% overdrive and Its great. I would put that in my 31 truck if I could afford it but since I cant I will have to change the gears. I'm still leaning towards the 3:27 gears for the pick up since its a very light vehicle.

                          WMWS - thats a good bit of info with the gearing and RPM data when operating with 21 inch wheels. Would you or anybody else care to chime in on the RPM difference when operating with 19 inch wheels ?

                          When talking about gearing and overdrives hardly anyone mentions the distance traveled in one revolution of their 21 inch (1928-1929) or 19 inch (30-31)wheel, that must have a substantial factor in deciding or determining speed/RPM data

                          back to you guys for input

                          Comment


                          • WMWS
                            WMWS commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I don't have any 19 inch wheels to measure. I think my 21 inch wheels measure 91 inch circumference. Can someone measure there 19 inch wheels?

                        • #17
                          I'm with Mitch #4 given the specifics of your truck.

                          The data in #11 is very helpful, but I am not sure how to incorporate compression ratio and vehicle weight.

                          I have driven a Fordor that Brent restored that has a 3.27 and performance engine features (I am not sure what he did to the motor besides install a HC head) and it was quick, powerful and a dream to drive, you could keep up with traffic effortlessly. I was very impressed. I suspect he had some kind of touring cam in there as well.

                          It is amazing what a better cam will do to a motor to wake it up. Although better cams were certainly known in the Model A days and thereafter, I am convinced that manufacturers even thru the sixties held back on what their motors were really capable of because they wanted to get you thru the warranty period without any claims!

                          Comment


                          • #18
                            If we could get various users to post the particular combination of goodies they have on their cars we could start to catalogue a sort of look up table to help answer the original question better.
                            Speaking for myself with our '31 Deluxe touring, which is a lighter car, here are the parameters, and I am very happy with it in varied terrain:

                            Motor: 5.5 Snyder head, larger intakes, Stipe IB 330 cam
                            Gearing: 3.78 rear end with a Mitchell
                            Top speed on the highway: 65 mph at 2200 RPM

                            My nephew has a '31 Slant Fordor (heavier car) and here are his specifics:
                            Motor: 6.0 Snyder head, larger intakes, Stipe IB 330 cam
                            Gearing: 3.78 rear end, no OD
                            Top speed on highway: 55 mph at 2200 RPM

                            BTW our personal redline for an A motor is 2200, regardless of what has been done to the motor. That is our personal preference since these are long-stroke motors, and we don't want to beat them up. So, once you have the torque capability, then the rest is in the gearing

                            There is a chart of the weights of the various models but I cannot find it. Such a chart would be helpful here, too
                            Last edited by tbirdtbird; 01-16-2018, 10:06 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #19
                              Dave we have the weight info in the Chassis tech forum on this thread. There is other decent information as well on there

                              https://www.vintagefordforum.com/for...s-body-weights



                              body weights.jpg
                              3 ~ Tudor's
                              Henry Ford said
                              "It's all nuts and bolts"


                              Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                              Comment


                              • #20
                                well of course! I should have known!

                                Comment


                                • #21
                                  I put 3:27 gears in my hot rod A. Car weighs around 2000 lbs and the engine puts out 60 HP at the rear wheels. Running a ‘39 transmission with Zephyr gears, lightened flywheel and V-8 clutch with 16” wheels. Everything looked good on paper...but in real life, the car bogged down. Went back to 3:54 and the car runs great. Even paid attention to the tire diameter. My other hot rod A has a T-5 and put out 59 HP on the chassis dyno and also has 3:54 gears. Based on my experience, the 3:27 gears are not necessarily the answer. And no, I don’t have the 3:27 gears.....bought them at Bert’s and traded them for the 3:54’s

                                  Comment


                                  • #22
                                    I have 3.54 in my tudor. Engine has oversize intake valves, 5.5 head, and 330 cam. Model B carb. It runs fine. We have hills here, so although I have a set of 2.37 gears, I have never put them in. I can pass any model A on a hill while on a club tour.
                                    Bill
                                    http://www.brauchauto.com/
                                    Eastern Connecticut

                                    Comment


                                    • #23
                                      I called my regular Model A supplier to order a 3:27 gear set, they say the one they sell is made in U.S.A., however there is no such stamping on the parts. Does anyone know if the U.S.A. made 3:27 gear set would or would not be stamped " made in U.S.A. I just want to make sure I'm not purchasing any foreign made junk especially with all the work involved in making the change.

                                      Comment


                                      • Mitch
                                        Mitch commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        I don't recall a USA stamping on them, but i could be wrong. If you don't trust your supplier to sell you genuine USA parts as described then call Bratton's. If your supplier is Bratton's then you won't be screwed.

                                      • tbirdtbird
                                        tbirdtbird commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        depends, who is your regular supplier? I can think of one to avoid.
                                        I am not aware that it says 'made in USA' on the gears. It should , tho, that would be helpful
                                        If still unsure, follow Mitch's advice.
                                        OK UPDATE what I wrote above is not correct. I have a 3.54 Mark gearset here stashed away and I just checked it. It IS stamped Mark USA .
                                        Last edited by tbirdtbird; 01-17-2018, 05:15 PM.

                                    • #24
                                      Originally posted by WMWS View Post
                                      I don't have any 19 inch wheels to measure. I think my 21 inch wheels measure 91 inch circumference. Can someone measure there 19 inch wheels?
                                      Since tires flat spot where they contact the road, you should measure from the road to the center of the hub cap to get the true rolling radius. Then multiply that by 2, then by pi to get the circumference. Or, just mark the tire and road, then roll the car ahead until the tire mark is back on the road, and measure that length.

                                      Comment


                                      • #25
                                        From my comment above:
                                        "I am not aware that it says 'made in USA' on the gears. It should , tho, that would be helpful
                                        If still unsure, follow Mitch's advice."


                                        OK UPDATE what I wrote above is not correct. I have a 3.54 Mark gearset here stashed away and I just checked it. It IS stamped Mark USA .

                                        I am making this a new post because I couldn't figure out how to bold a comment

                                        Comment

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