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Old 10-20-2019, 12:02 AM   #1
CrownVic55
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Default T85 transmission

My 55 Crown currently has a T86 overdrive with a R10 OD unit. I acquired a T85 with R11 OD that I want to upgrade to. The T86 is 28 inches long and the T85 is 34 1/2 inches long. Don't know if the trans mount will line up or not yet. Did Ford offer the T85 in 55 or 56? Other wise I will have to shorten the drive shaft to use it. Any recommendations on finding a drive shaft that will work or getting mine shortened?
Thanks,
Ben
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:47 AM   #2
KULTULZ
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Post Re: T85 transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrownVic55 View Post

My 55 Crown currently has a T86 overdrive with a R10 OD unit. I acquired a T85 with R11 OD that I want to upgrade to.

The T86 is 28 inches long and the T85 is 34 1/2 inches long. Don't know if the trans mount will line up or not yet. Did Ford offer the T85 in 55 or 56?

Other wise I will have to shorten the drive shaft to use it. Any recommendations on finding a drive shaft that will work or getting mine shortened?
To the best of my knowledge ...

The T85 was used in 1955 production in HP applications along with the T86 in lower HP applications.

It is a fuzzy subject as you get all kinds of descriptions, IIRC and/or hearsay. The 49/59 MPC does not give (or I have found) an exact application chart, as found in the 60/64 MPC. If you GOOGLE for information it usually winds up with JEEP. My guess is original BW parts books and you would have to draw FOMOCO info out.

That being said, can you post any CASTING ID Nos off the main case, OD unit and tail housing?

Also, there is a 6V and 12V solenoid.
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As usual, the reply was, "Not likely".

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And that's when the fight started ...

UPDATE - The doctor said I will walk again but most likely with a limp ...

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Old 10-20-2019, 01:29 PM   #3
CrownVic55
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Default Re: T85 transmission

Kultulz, Info on T85 as follows: Side cover WG DIV, T89B-148, Q6
On pass side of transmission: T 85 C-1A, WG DIV
On a plate cast into transmission 9-19
On overdrive unit:/stamped in tail shaft W1, on plate cast into tail shaft J276
Raised letters on tail shaft WG R11-1J

Don't know if this is any help. The measurement from the bell housing to trans mount is 12 inches, same as T86. Main problem is the tail shaft length is 6 1/2 inches longer than the T86.

Thanks for replying, knew I could count on you.
Ben

The solenoid is 12 volt. Tranny came out of a 57 Ford.

Last edited by CrownVic55; 10-20-2019 at 01:31 PM. Reason: more info.
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:30 PM   #4
steve fritz
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Default Re: T85 transmission

When I changed out the transmission in my 57 Ford , all I had to do was get the drive shaft shortened. The cross member mounting location is the same from T86 to T85 , you won't have to make any modifications there.
Most cities have a local drive shaft service or shop that can make up the drive shaft for you. Just bring in the measurements and your old drive shaft , make sure the transmission end of the old drive shaft also fits into the output shaft of the T85. Just slide it in to be sure. Then tell the drive shaft service to use your yokes on both ends of the new shaft. They will probably want to use new tubing rather than using your old shaft. And be sure they are capable of balancing the new drive shaft, which most shops do.
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:39 PM   #5
CrownVic55
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Default Re: T85 transmission

Thanks for the reply, Steve. I do have the drive shaft that went with the T85 from a 57 Ford. I am going to check length of it compared to my 55 and see if it would work. It is a step down diameter unlike the 55 which is same dia. the full length. Been way too long since I owned a 57 to remember is that is the standard shaft or not.
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: T85 transmission

I’m told they made a change in the ‘bird tunnel in 56, to accommodate the T-85. I didn’t know that, so I put one in my 55 bird in place of the Fordomatic. So it should fit in a full size car. The bird had a reduced diameter drive shaft, and I used a cut down one from a car. It fit, but when bottomed the driveshaft hit the bolts for the seatbelts. I guess that why the bird had the smaller shaft originally.
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Old 10-21-2019, 08:28 AM   #7
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Thumbs up Re: T85 transmission

CrownVic55 -

steve fritz posted the easiest and cheapest method for the retro-fit.

THANK YOU for the ID info. Maybe I will get serious one day and try to figure out FORD's manual trans usage in this period.
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As we got into bed, I asked the wife if there was a chance of having sex tonight ...

As usual, the reply was, "Not likely".

"Well then, can I call a friend"?

And that's when the fight started ...

UPDATE - The doctor said I will walk again but most likely with a limp ...

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Old 10-21-2019, 08:57 AM   #8
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Thumbs up Re: T85 transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by miker98038 View Post

I’m told they made a change in the ‘bird tunnel in 56, to accommodate the T-85. I didn’t know that, so I put one in my 55 bird in place of the Fordomatic.
That's my understanding also. '55 BIRD came through with the T86 and the T85 came through on the '56/57 BIRD.

When I went to the 1949/59 MPC (Final Issue - 1964) for floor pan PN (55/57), it showed a 56/57 PN. When I went to an earlier version (MPC 7635 SEP 1959) it showed the 55 as having it's own pan and the 56/57 have a later PN (1956). Most likely (IMO) a parts super-scession to cut down on inventory.

The truth will most likely be found @ CTGI, but it makes sense. Were your belts in the 55 OEM or aftermarket?
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As we got into bed, I asked the wife if there was a chance of having sex tonight ...

As usual, the reply was, "Not likely".

"Well then, can I call a friend"?

And that's when the fight started ...

UPDATE - The doctor said I will walk again but most likely with a limp ...

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Old 10-21-2019, 07:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: T85 transmission

My understanding is the Merc's used the heavier unit, starting in 55. Ford starting using the heavier unit in 56 because of the 312 that came out that year.
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Old 10-21-2019, 08:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: T85 transmission

The belts in the 55 bird were aftermarket. Back story is the car belonged to a fireman, his room mate owned an auto upholstery shop and drove a AA Fuel car. Probably explained the seatbelts and the new interior.
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Old 10-28-2019, 04:24 PM   #11
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Thumbs up Re: T85 transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by miker98038 View Post

The bird had a reduced diameter drive shaft, and I used a cut down one from a car. It fit, but when bottomed the driveshaft hit the bolts for the seatbelts. I guess that why the bird had the smaller shaft originally.
Quote:
Originally Posted by miker98038 View Post

The belts in the 55 bird were aftermarket.
That explains it. Engineering must have allowed for 56 belt install.
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As we got into bed, I asked the wife if there was a chance of having sex tonight ...

As usual, the reply was, "Not likely".

"Well then, can I call a friend"?

And that's when the fight started ...

UPDATE - The doctor said I will walk again but most likely with a limp ...

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Old 10-28-2019, 05:23 PM   #12
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Default Re: T85 transmission

I believe 56 was the start of the Ford safety program, Lifeguard features. Belts, padded dash, deep dish steering wheel and visors. Might have included the door latches. Some items standard some optional. Don't know how it applied to Tbirds, curious though.
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:32 PM   #13
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Post Re: T85 transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5851a View Post

I believe 56 was the start of the Ford safety program, Lifeguard features. Belts, padded dash, deep dish steering wheel and visors. Might have included the door latches. Some items standard some optional. Don't know how it applied to Tbirds, curious though.
Same to the 56 BIRD -

Quote:
Optional “Lifeguard Design” features included a padded dashboard, padded sun visors and seat belts ...

SOURCE - https://www.hemmings.com/blog/articl...d-thunderbird/
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1956 FORD- Lifeguard Design _1.jpg (67.1 KB, 3 views)
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As we got into bed, I asked the wife if there was a chance of having sex tonight ...

As usual, the reply was, "Not likely".

"Well then, can I call a friend"?

And that's when the fight started ...

UPDATE - The doctor said I will walk again but most likely with a limp ...

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Old 10-29-2019, 12:06 AM   #14
CrownVic55
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Default Re: T85 transmission

My folks bought a new 56 Town Sedan. It had the padded dash, padded visors, Lifeguard door latches but no seat belts. Don't know if they were intended to be dealer installed and dealer didn't include them or not. Would have been nice to have them when I rolled the car but didn't get hurt anyway -from the wreck that is.
Ben
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Old 10-29-2019, 12:50 AM   #15
KULTULZ
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Post Re: T85 transmission

It looks as though the feature(s) came through as optional and were separate from one another -

From 1956 BIRD Option List - http://automotivemileposts.com/tbird...equipment.html

Quote:
Lifeguard Padded Instrument Panel* ($22.65)
Lifeguard Padded Sun Visors* ($9)
Lifeguard Seat Belts* ($14)

I am pretty sure the upgraded door latches were standard for the 1956 model year.
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As we got into bed, I asked the wife if there was a chance of having sex tonight ...

As usual, the reply was, "Not likely".

"Well then, can I call a friend"?

And that's when the fight started ...

UPDATE - The doctor said I will walk again but most likely with a limp ...

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Old 10-29-2019, 04:04 PM   #16
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Default Re: T85 transmission

Thanks
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Old 11-02-2019, 05:52 PM   #17
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Default Re: T85 transmission

FoMoCo started using the T-85/R11 in the heavy Lincoln cars starting in 1949. They were used with the Lincoln 337 and the 317 when it came out in 1952. Lincoln went heavy with the automatic transmissions when they came available so the T-85 wasn't used as much till later in the 50s. It was always the heavy duty overdrive transmission. They used them behind FE engines up thru 1971. It can take a lot of punishment compared to the R10 types.
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:35 PM   #18
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Post Re: T85 transmission

I stumbled across this while Carousing With My Browser ...

Quote:
Sales of most makes were down after banner 1955, but Ford's drop in sales that year has frequently been linked to its safety campaign -- which may or may not be true. Spurred by Cornell University's research efforts and the first year of its own safety crash program in 1955, Ford decided to go all out for safety in 1956 with its "Lifeguard design" advertising campaign. Standard equipment included stronger "double-grip" door latches, "deep-center" dished steering wheel, recessed instruments, and safety designed door and window handles.

For a few dollars extra, buyers could order a safety package consisting of padded dash and sun visors, as well as seat belts. (Seat belts were first offered by Ford in 1955).

SOURCE - https://auto.howstuffworks.com/1955-...-victoria4.htm
__________________


As we got into bed, I asked the wife if there was a chance of having sex tonight ...

As usual, the reply was, "Not likely".

"Well then, can I call a friend"?

And that's when the fight started ...

UPDATE - The doctor said I will walk again but most likely with a limp ...

KULTULZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2019, 06:15 AM   #19
KULTULZ
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Red face Re: T85 transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by KULTULZ View Post

That's my understanding also. '55 BIRD came through with the T86 and the T85 came through on the '56/57 BIRD.

The truth will most likely be found @ CTGI, but it makes sense.
Came across this -

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoegrant Posted 09-30-2012

The 55 t-bird tranny case is stamped AF7006-B the overdrive was R 10F-1B. This was a BW 259 tranny...side cover has 9 bolts and is rectangular in shape.three side cover corners are rounded,the lower front corner is square.

The overdrive housing is 18" long,the input shaft has 10 spines and a diameter of 1"....the output shaft has 16 spines and a diameter of 1.175".

Some passenger cars 1952-1956 have similar tranny`s....

This info is from the restoration manual by Gil Baumgartner of CTCI
I believe CTCI. Those guys are experts. The T86 is a top loader whereas the BW259 is a side loader so it should be fairly easy to differentiate.

THANX! zoegrant...
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As we got into bed, I asked the wife if there was a chance of having sex tonight ...

As usual, the reply was, "Not likely".

"Well then, can I call a friend"?

And that's when the fight started ...

UPDATE - The doctor said I will walk again but most likely with a limp ...

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Old 11-05-2019, 11:23 AM   #20
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Default Re: T85 transmission

The 259 transmission is a lot like the ones Ford used from 1949 up through the end of flathead production. The side cover looks similar in design. The 259 or T86 can both be found in Ford light duty applications.
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