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Old 07-12-2019, 10:15 PM   #1
Bob's '53
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Default Calling all Transmission Gurus

Got a '53 F100, light duty 3spd in pieces on my bench. Got all the parts I need (i think) and am starting re-assembly.. Profanity begins!!
I've been faced with some pretty daunting automotive tasks in my life but this POS is a challenge...
I've rebuilt countless Porsche 901 and 915 gearboxes with relative ease, but this thing is absolutely unbelievable ...
If anyone has any guidance, I would appreciate it...
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:17 PM   #2
Tinker
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Default Re: Calling all Transmission Gurus

http://www.vanpeltsales.com/

Call them


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Old 07-12-2019, 10:53 PM   #3
texas webb
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Default Re: Calling all Transmission Gurus

And buy Van Pelts trans book.
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Old 07-13-2019, 03:07 AM   #4
Mart
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Default Re: Calling all Transmission Gurus

Go on an Early Ford forum, call the transmission a POS. Ask for help.

Good ploy.

Not.

It's a completely conventional 3 speed transmission with nothing unusual about it. What are you seeing as a problem? Ask a specific question and we might be able to help.

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Old 07-13-2019, 07:18 AM   #5
35fordtn
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Default Re: Calling all Transmission Gurus

To me, these early transmissions are a breeze in comparison to a modern T-5 or T-56 which I’ve done several of. There are certain “tricks” such as installing the needle rollers, but other than that they are the most straightforward transmission to deal with.
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:39 AM   #6
alanwoodieman
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Default Re: Calling all Transmission Gurus

the main problem I have been having is bearings, the bearings are procured offshore for the most part and some of the tolerances leave a lot to be desired. I usually have to polish the input shaft bearing mount to allow for this. also the out put bearing on the mainshaft also requires this. there has been some problems with the longer needle bearing being just too tight-seems the needles of the bearing are just too large--think metric vs SAE. also the lack of a variety of spacer/thrust washers thickness can be a problem. Mac Vanpelt should be able to help you.
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: Calling all Transmission Gurus

I did a '39 top-loader with later gears as my first transmission rebuild years ago. I found it straight forward and not at all difficult. The resulting transmission worked great. There is no way in the world I can see how any Porsche transmission could be anything but much more complex from one of these. Are you sure that you have a compete transmission? Perhaps it is a jumble of mis-matched parts that will never go together properly.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:09 AM   #8
Mike J. CT
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Default Re: Calling all Transmission Gurus

As said before this is fairly straight forward but there are a few tricks. What are the main problems that you have?
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:37 AM   #9
Frank Miller
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Default Re: Calling all Transmission Gurus

You have loose rollers and you need to hold them in place with a 3/4 inch wooden dowel that is shorter than the case. Place it in the case with spacers. DO NOT install the clusterrgear shaft until all the other gears are in. I think the reverse gear can go in first but I forget. I use grease to hold the loose rollers on the input/output shaft. After you have the input and output shafts secured you can slide in the clustergear shaft by pushing the dowel out with it. I'm pretty sure about the dowel size but either way a Model A shaft worked perfect in my 49 passenger car trans. Good luck. I've done my overdrive a few times and still get frustrated.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:51 AM   #10
Bob's '53
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Default Re: Calling all Transmission Gurus

1) Sorry if I offended anyone with my POS comment.
2) I got all my parts from Van Pelt and talked to Mac directly.
3) I believe Mac's book only covers transmissions up to 1950, this is a 1953 side load, light 3spd. I have not been able to find a manual. I've searched the internet and can't find any guidance.
4) The frustration started with parts. There are several different gears, clusters, input shafts, output shafts, etc that fit in this case. Trying to find the RIGHT on for this application was a challenge (thank goodness for Van Pelt)
5) Now the assembly sequence is the problem. Installing the Cluster gear is tricky. Getting everything lined-up wasn't easy. Now, I realize that the cluster gear must be installed after the input and output shafts are installed. That won't be easy...
6) So is there a way to install the other shafts with the Cluster already in place?
I appreciate any guidance, Thanks
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:54 AM   #11
Bob's '53
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Default Re: Calling all Transmission Gurus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Miller View Post
You have loose rollers and you need to hold them in place with a 3/4 inch wooden dowel that is shorter than the case. Place it in the case with spacers. DO NOT install the clusterrgear shaft until all the other gears are in. I think the reverse gear can go in first but I forget. I use grease to hold the loose rollers on the input/output shaft. After you have the input and output shafts secured you can slide in the clustergear shaft by pushing the dowel out with it. I'm pretty sure about the dowel size but either way a Model A shaft worked perfect in my 49 passenger car trans. Good luck. I've done my overdrive a few times and still get frustrated.

Thanks Frank, I as posting while you where. That is exactly my issue. I guess I'll just keep plugging away at it..
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:15 AM   #12
alanwoodieman
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Default Re: Calling all Transmission Gurus

you can leave the input bearing shaft bearing off. install the cluster gear, main shaft, input shaft then slide input bearing up onto the shoulder, install clip. this is the process used to install later gears (37 up) into an earlier case (35/36) in this instance the case of an early trans will not allow the cluster to drop down enough to install it otherwise
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Old 07-13-2019, 10:50 AM   #13
Bob's '53
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Default Re: Calling all Transmission Gurus

Quote:
Originally Posted by alanwoodieman View Post
you can leave the input bearing shaft bearing off. install the cluster gear, main shaft, input shaft then slide input bearing up onto the shoulder, install clip. this is the process used to install later gears (37 up) into an earlier case (35/36) in this instance the case of an early trans will not allow the cluster to drop down enough to install it otherwise
That sounds like a good sequence as well and a lot easier than trying to reinstall the cluster with the other two in the case.. I’ll give it ago
Thanks
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:15 AM   #14
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Default Re: Calling all Transmission Gurus

Bob, you don't install the cluster after.

You half install it.

You place it in the case, ready to go but don't fit the shaft. You then get the other gears in place and finally lift the cluster and fit the shaft. You can put a length of wire around it to help you lift it when needed.

I've never used loose rollers (my trans are earlier) but you might be able to use a dummy shaft, slightly undersize and shorter than normal to hold all the bearings in place, and then push it out with the proper shaft.

Thanks for coming back with a dignified response.

Mart.

Edit: I just realised I'm talking top loaders, but I suppose it still holds true for a side loader. (not sure).
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Old 07-13-2019, 12:22 PM   #15
Mike J. CT
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Default Re: Calling all Transmission Gurus

I have built many of these and after leaving the cluster in the bottom/side of the case, installing the input and main shaft, installing the input bearing retainer, I tip the transmission up on it's front surface. I use a work mate so the input has clearance. I lean the transmission forward so the cluster tries to get closer to the input shaft and turn the input shaft. Now it spin the tailhousing on the case to expose the countershaft hole and stick my finger into the hole to help align the cluster. It works every time once you get the hang of it.
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Old 07-13-2019, 01:08 PM   #16
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Default Re: Calling all Transmission Gurus

frank miller has the answer, you need a 3/4" rod, steel or wood, that will slide easily thru the holes in the case, exactly the length of the cluster gear, so it clears the thrust bearings to allow it to sit down at the bottom until its time to install the real counter shaft. the 3/4' rod holds all the needles in place, then you tip the trans to be vertical, look thru the hole to line up the counter shaft, then push the real shaft thru while keeping the two shafts touching so the needles stay in place. very easy

Last edited by cas3; 07-13-2019 at 01:09 PM. Reason: change
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Old 07-13-2019, 01:32 PM   #17
Bob's '53
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Default Re: Calling all Transmission Gurus

Thanks guys!! I made a "dummy" shaft and already installed the cluster once. it didn't go to badly but tipping it up on end makes a whole lot of sense!!
Won't get back to it until probably Tuesday... I'll let you know how it goes!!
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Old 07-14-2019, 03:15 PM   #18
badassfrombadaxe
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Default Re: Calling all Transmission Gurus

The central shifter early floor shifts have the cluster below the mainshaft. The side loader column shifts have the cluster up on the passenger's side sort of on an arc so the pre-48 side loader gears have the same center to center as the central shifters. ("top loader" is a 60's term for some of the 4-speeds of that era. I am trying to find out about the "housing guide pin" 7206 used in the central shifters. Perhaps it is only available in the shifter as a completed assembly or is wholesale bench stock at transmission shops. Doesn't it ever wear out? My experience is with 35 straight low/reverse types jumping out of gear with a missing cover procured from a junkyard and later Datsun pickup locked up with no neutral and a BMW 530i totally wrecked clutch and transmission after my ex-wife tried to teach a teenager to drive. I put a 37 Buick that had been converted to Ford rear bearing retainer into a 1948 Ford keeping the torque tube with a supposed NC machined adapter after my friend ran out of donor Ford transmissions and a drag strip failure and then almost immediate break of the replacement with the engine totally ready to drive off dragons. (It leaked out of the front until the sintered iron clutch disk slipped on the road.) Do Buicks turn opposite to Fords so that it's helical gears pumped oil out?

Last edited by badassfrombadaxe; 07-15-2019 at 11:41 AM. Reason: I was misoriented momentarily.
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:25 PM   #19
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Default Re: Calling all Transmission Gurus

Huh?
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:53 PM   #20
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Default Re: Calling all Transmission Gurus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob's '53 View Post
2) I got all my parts from Van Pelt and talked to Mac directly.
Sounds to me like a very good start. The fun continues. Lessons have been learned from the "elders."
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