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Old 03-01-2020, 01:24 AM   #1
greatgambino
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Default removal of shifter plate on 41 ford transmission

I have a 1941 ford car with 3 on the tree. The transmission is locked in 3rd gear and I wanted to find out if it is possible to take the shifter side plate off the transmission while its still in the car. If so is it just a matter of unbolting side plate and removing shift forks and plate as a unit? Doesn't seem like there is enough room to clear the the forks when I pull the plate back. Any information on this would be appreciated. I live in Sacramento
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Old 03-01-2020, 08:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: removal of shifter plate on 41 ford transmission

As I recall , yes it is possible.
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Old 03-01-2020, 08:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: removal of shifter plate on 41 ford transmission

Watch out for transmission oil in there! Either drain it or have a big pan to catch the mess..
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Old 03-01-2020, 11:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: removal of shifter plate on 41 ford transmission

I would try to unlock the trans from below before removing the cover. Your trans should have an interlock which prohibits the levers from moving one lever unless the other lever is in neutral. The rear lever controls first and reverse gear. The front lever controls second and high. Since you believe it is locked in third, try to get the front lever into neutral with perhaps jiggling the rear lever to make sure it is in neutral. It is highly unlikely that the forks have slipped out of their respective slots.
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Old 03-01-2020, 11:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: removal of shifter plate on 41 ford transmission

If its locked in high gear. Chances are its worn out with lots of end play and thw syncro has over shifted and the blockers have it jammed.
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Old 03-01-2020, 11:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: removal of shifter plate on 41 ford transmission

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Originally Posted by skidmarks View Post
If its locked in high gear. Chances are its worn out with lots of end play and the syncro has over shifted and the blockers have it jammed.
Translation : It's gonna have to come out anyway, so why make it more complicated by pulling the side cover off?
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Old 03-01-2020, 01:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: removal of shifter plate on 41 ford transmission

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Originally Posted by tubman View Post
Translation : It's gonna have to come out anyway, so why make it more complicated by pulling the side cover off?

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Old 03-01-2020, 02:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: removal of shifter plate on 41 ford transmission

Often enough only the shift levers are causing the issue described. I'd suggest removing the shift rods from the transmission levers and with the rear wheels off the ground, have someone rotate a tire back and forth just a bit while you attempt to unlock the levers on the transmission.

If this does the trick, check the bushings at both ends of the rods and replace as necessary.
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Old 03-01-2020, 05:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: removal of shifter plate on 41 ford transmission

Yes, you can remove the side cover with transmission still in car. Take photos as you go for reassembly ease.
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Old 03-02-2020, 12:24 AM   #10
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Default Re: removal of shifter plate on 41 ford transmission

ok, thanks for all that input! I will try moving shift arms will wheel is moved.
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Old 03-02-2020, 01:42 AM   #11
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Default Re: removal of shifter plate on 41 ford transmission

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Originally Posted by Kube View Post
Often enough only the shift levers are causing the issue described. I'd suggest removing the shift rods from the transmission levers and with the rear wheels off the ground, have someone rotate a tire back and forth just a bit while you attempt to unlock the levers on the transmission.

If this does the trick, check the bushings at both ends of the rods and replace as necessary.

Move a wheel while both wheels off the ground will only move the opposite wheel in the other direction. One wheel must be prevented from turning in order to exert any turning force to the driveshaft.
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:10 AM   #12
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Default Re: removal of shifter plate on 41 ford transmission

Maybe I don't quite understand Gambino's problem ... he hasn't told us that much other than it's locked in 3rd.

Maybe, again, the problem is that the shifter is out of synch with the transmission.

If the shifter is stuck in neutral (he doesn't say) and the transmission is in 3rd ... the trick is to raise the hood and check the levers at the end of the steering column. They need to be parallel with each other. Simply move them until they are.

Maybe, again, I'm missing something and my experience is out of synch with the problem.

( ... McDonalds is giving out free Egg McMuffins this morning and, maybe, that's where my mind is ... )


(Later Edit: And I did PM my friend Vic.)
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Last edited by Hoop; 03-02-2020 at 05:42 PM. Reason: Avoid cluttering thread
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:39 AM   #13
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Default Re: removal of shifter plate on 41 ford transmission

Hi Hoop, you goin' to Amelia? Unfortunately, I can't make it this year. Have fun.
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:47 AM   #14
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Default Re: removal of shifter plate on 41 ford transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoop View Post
Maybe I don't quite understand Gambino's problem ... he hasn't told us that much other than it's locked in 3rd.

Maybe, again, the problem is that the shifter is out of synch with the transmission.

If the shifter is stuck in neutral (he doesn't say) and the transmission is in 3rd ... the trick is to raise the hood and check the levers at the end of the steering column. They need to be parallel with each other. Simply move them until they are.)
I had a Plymouth with 3 on the tree and 200,000 miles on it, linkage was very worn and would often get stuck, had to lift the hood and pull on the levers a lot, I finally installed a floor shifter to bypass the problem.
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Old 03-02-2020, 03:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: removal of shifter plate on 41 ford transmission

It is not the linkage, its already disconnected.

I have a question regarding the removal of the shifter side plate. When I take it off will the assembly come off in one connected piece or will there be loose pieces when the plate is removed?
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Old 03-02-2020, 04:16 PM   #16
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Default Re: removal of shifter plate on 41 ford transmission

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Originally Posted by greatgambino View Post
It is not the linkage, its already disconnected.

I have a question regarding the removal of the shifter side plate. When I take it off will the assembly come off in one connected piece or will there be loose pieces when the plate is removed?

It should come off looking like the picture below. It is possible however, that one (or both) of the shifting forks may remain inside the trans, as they merely slide out of (and back into) their corresponding fixtures on the inside of the cover. Easy-peazy! DD


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Old 03-02-2020, 10:08 PM   #17
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Default Re: removal of shifter plate on 41 ford transmission

Thank you very much! That gives me more confidence on trying to take it off while the transmission is still in car.
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Old 03-03-2020, 06:36 AM   #18
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Default Re: removal of shifter plate on 41 ford transmission

Some of the side shifter housings have their forks retained to the shifter shafts by thin snap rings and for this reason, the forks will stay with the housing as you pull it away from the transmission.

Some of the shifter housings were made with forks that simply slide into the shifter shafts, without any retaining clips. Thus, with this style, you might have the forks stay in the trans....or stay in the shifter housing..... or fall onto the floor. It’s not a big deal as they’re easily reinstalled where they belong.

The big fork (goes to the front) is not directional. As long as you get both tips back into the synchro sleeve groove, that’s all you have to worry about. The small fork (goes to the rear) is directional. It’s offset so that it hangs over the low-reverse gear as it fits into the fork groove on this gear.

Where things get difficult for the novice is if the transmission gears and the shifter levers are not in their correct positions when you try to reinstall the housing. Just make sure everything is in its neutral position (levers and gears) before you attempt to put it back together.
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Old 03-04-2020, 07:55 AM   #19
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Default Re: Removal of shifter plate on 41 ford transmission

I did mine a few months back when I replaced the selector shaft seals.

As others have said, it will come out while the gearbox is still in the car. I got mine out from underneath and the job gets a lot easier if you slide the brake/clutch (?) pedal shaft out of the way.

Like MacVP says, pay attention to the position of the rear selector fork as it is on an offset with a front and back. It is possible to get the side plate back on with the rear fork back to front. Don't ask how I know this.

Also have a look at the distance between the rear selector (1st/rev) and the front radius rod. If your gearbox mounts are compressed/collapsed, the selector will foul on the radius rod and you will struggle to find 1st when you have a load of passengers in the car. You might want to replace the mounts while you are under there. They are same as the engine mounts and are easy to replace.
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