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  • Transmission dilemma

    Well I'm getting ready to make a decision about my transmission. I have the original 3 speed in it and it's going to need a lot of work. I'm almost sure there's going to be something serious with the countershaft. I'm seeing bronze metallic the last time I dropped the oil. Sounds horrible in first, second, and reverse gear. Previous owners ran it low on oil, or it leaked out. I'd say more miles ran low or very little oil did the most damage. So knowing it's going to cost a good chunk of change to rebuild it maybe I should consider a Ford pickup overdrive. I don't have a clue where to start if anybody is doing a kit for these yet. I've read you need a AA bellhousing to start with and to my understanding the frame will not require cutting..?? I would prefer to keep my mechanical brakes. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Several options to consider for sure. I am planning to use a 39 Ford 3 speed. Then get a Mitchell OD later. The advantage of the Ford pickup 5 speed is an OD without a seperate component. Properly done it is nice. Kind of a nightmare to machine the needed parts for the conversion. Dad was thinking of installing a 5 speed in his coupe, but I think he changed his mind when we did not find the correct transmission at the U-pull-it yard after 4 different trips over a 6 months. Seems someone beat us to them as almost every manual transmission in those years of F-150's was missing. I already have a 39 transmission set back for him if he decides to use it. Rod
    Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.

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    • #3
      Gary Bernard in Ft Worth TX, who is a top-shelf tranny guy (runs AAAA Transmissions, a well known shop here) has the F-150 setup u need,and any of the accessories to make it work.
      Give him a call
      http://aaaatransmissionsinc.com/
      tell him Dave and Ken of the Dallas club sent you
      many of our club members run his OD tranny; we tour all over the place

      you can keep your stock brakes
      Last edited by tbirdtbird; 07-06-2017, 10:53 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        How about a Mitchell trans, quick & easy! Just send them your case & tower.
        Bill W.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BILL WILLIAMSON View Post
          How about a Mitchell trans, quick & easy! Just send them your case & tower.
          Bill W.
          I've considered that Bill. I don't mind not having synchros. I've had some big rig miles under my belt years ago, 6 and 4 both overdrive. Thing is I'd like to have an overdrive. And I'd like the challenge of a long trip someday maybe half way across the country. Hey Bill, you be interested in watching my dog Tater for me?

          Comment


          • DaWizard
            DaWizard commented
            Editing a comment
            Hey Dennis, you can bring Tater up here to Garden Grove and I'll let Bella play with it.

            Lot closer than Fresno

        • #6
          Remove the floor, remove the shifter tower and check the gears. If the gears look good then shafts and bearings aren't that much $ and should be replaced in an overhaul !

          Comment


          • #7
            You mention "bronze metallic" in the drained oil. The only yellow metal in the Model A tranny is the bushing in the reverse idler gear. A used one of them should be cheap, but there still could be other damage. My tranny sounded like an old threshing machine, but I got lucky. It was just a couple bad rollers on the bearing between the input and output shafts. Everything else was like NOS.

            Comment


            • #8
              I have the same feelings as the B-Hammer

              These are pretty simple units overall, and use Tom Endys trans prudence article for the basic things that need to get replaced, bearings etc. I always use the shafts with the orings which helps with preventing leaks.
              Since you mentioned that you see bronze in the metal there are two cluster gear thrust washers that are made of that material. This may not be as big of a deal that your expecting. When gears start moving around from slop due to worn washers and bearings yes they will make a ton of noise.
              3 ~ Tudor's
              Henry Ford said
              "It's all nuts and bolts"


              Mitch's Auto Service ctr

              Comment


              • #9
                I forgot about the two thrust washers used on some transmissions. They were dropped at some point, but I'd have to look it up in the Service Bulletins. I'm thinking it was about mid 1929.

                Comment


                • Mitch
                  Mitch commented
                  Editing a comment
                  correct till Jan 1929..
                  that being said it may also not have the original box in the car

              • #10
                Well the car is a 1-3-29 engine and frame, matching. Near everything is original, brakes had been done and shoes didn't match. So I can only assume trans is original. Surprising engine was a .030 bore but still original block. Babbitt looked good with .0015 clearance. Anyway, didn't the cluster gear have a bronze thrust on each end? Was thinking that is why it's quiet in 3rd. I've never had a Model A 3 spd apart, but will soon. I have a curious mind and will end up taking it apart even if only to see how it's made and go from there. Yeah I read in the past repop gears aren't near as good as original. It never has popped out of gear yet, so I should do something before it gets worse. Thinking it might just be a bearing seal and shaft job with the oring shafts like Mitch mentioned. Too bad somebody doesn't make a kit for the doit yourselfer to make it a synchro trans. Problem with no synchros in a Model A is rpm has to drop soo much to get in next higher gear and is a hindrance when going uphill. Lugging too much in 3rd not my choice.

                Comment


                • #11
                  Originally posted by Dennis View Post
                  Well the car is a 1-3-29 engine and frame, matching. Near everything is original, brakes had been done and shoes didn't match. So I can only assume trans is original. Surprising engine was a .030 bore but still original block. Babbitt looked good with .0015 clearance. Anyway, didn't the cluster gear have a bronze thrust on each end? Was thinking that is why it's quiet in 3rd. I've never had a Model A 3 spd apart, but will soon. I have a curious mind and will end up taking it apart even if only to see how it's made and go from there. Yeah I read in the past repop gears aren't near as good as original. It never has popped out of gear yet, so I should do something before it gets worse. Thinking it might just be a bearing seal and shaft job with the oring shafts like Mitch mentioned. Too bad somebody doesn't make a kit for the doit yourselfer to make it a synchro trans. Problem with no synchros in a Model A is rpm has to drop soo much to get in next higher gear and is a hindrance when going uphill. Lugging too much in 3rd not my choice.

                  Reread posts 8 & 9, the thrust washers were discussed
                  3 ~ Tudor's
                  Henry Ford said
                  "It's all nuts and bolts"


                  Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    When I bought my Model A, I had every intention of installing an overdrive. That intention became even more apparent when my stock tranny didn't want to stay in gear and 2nd sounded like a thrashing machine. I now have an F150 4 speed overdrive as mentioned above. I got a complete bolt-in kit from Dave Delmue in Morgan Hill CA. and have been very happy with it. He supplied all the necessary parts and machine work making the installation very doable.
                    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


                    • Bob C
                      Bob C commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Is Dave still doing them, I haven't seen any posts from him or any of his parts on ebay.

                      Bob

                    • Dennis
                      Dennis commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Carl when you say complete, did that include the transmission? And bell housing?

                    • CarlG
                      CarlG commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Bob C:
                      Dave is still doing them. One guy in our club now has 2 of them, just recently got the second one. I talked to Dave a month or so and he said he was still doing them, just not advertising -- word of mouth & referrals keeps him busy.

                      Dennis:
                      Dave's kit includes everything including the tranny & bell housing. He does ask you to provide a drive shaft, tork tube, and radius rods. If you don't want to let loose of yours so he can modify them, we have had Bert's or AZ Model A supply them at a quite reasonable price.

                  • #13
                    If you R&R your tranny yourself, the repop gears that are good are made by Mark. Berts carries the Mark brand, not sure about the others. Be sure to ask where they came from.If from anywhere else, pass on them

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      It's going to be a LOT cheaper to redo the tranny you have than going for the f-150 or Mitchell. JMO
                      Paul in CT

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        Originally posted by 1931 Flamingo View Post
                        It's going to be a LOT cheaper to redo the tranny you have than going for the f-150 or Mitchell. JMO
                        Paul in CT
                        That's true, but the F-150 sure would make the car a much nicer daily driver for many. I hope to install a 3.27 ring and pinion someday.

                        When you remove the cluster gear shaft, remember it's supposed to be removed and installed only from the front side of the case.

                        In 3rd, the cluster gear will have no load, but will still be spinning. Only in 3rd the bearing between the input and output shafts will not be moving.
                        That was the bearing that was shot in my tranny.

                        Comment


                        • #16
                          Tom, did your trans make noise in third before you pulled it apart? I remember reading your thread in the past on your trans and about the roller between your input and output.

                          Comment


                          • #17
                            Originally posted by Dennis View Post
                            Tom, did your trans make noise in third before you pulled it apart? I remember reading your thread in the past on your trans and about the roller between your input and output.
                            It made such a terrible racket as soon as I let the clutch out in first gear that I shut it down right away and took the tranny apart. It was only after taking it apart and finding only that one bearing was bad that it dawned on me that I could have pinpointed the bearing problem by shifting to each gear and letting out the clutch.

                            Comment

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