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Old 11-12-2020, 05:44 PM   #1
samsonized
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Default transmission question

i have a 35 cabriolet and i am updating the trans and rearend. the question is do i do an s10 and convert rear end to open drive or keep the current 39 trans and put in a mitchell overdrive just looking for opinions or anyone who might have been faced with the same dilemma.
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: transmission question

A lot is going to depend on how original the car is now and how original you are wanting to keep it.
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: transmission question

either change would be changable for the next owner if you wanted to change it back the mitchell setup just replaces the torque tube and the t5 conversion does not permanently change anything
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Old 11-12-2020, 11:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: transmission question

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsonized View Post
either change would be changable for the next owner if you wanted to change it back the mitchell setup just replaces the torque tube and the t5 conversion does not permanently change anything
T5 conversion usually requires some cutting & removing pieces of center of X member.

What are your reasons for updating your transmission and/or the rear?
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: transmission question

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsonized View Post
i have a 35 cabriolet and i am updating the trans and rearend. the question is do i do an s10 and convert rear end to open drive or keep the current 39 trans and put in a mitchell overdrive just looking for opinions or anyone who might have been faced with the same dilemma.
Samson.....Good questions, and several ways to go about it. But you mention the possibility of TWO different, determining parameters....original rear end, OR replacement rear end. First, let me say that I LIKE T5s. You will love the shift qualities of a GOOD T5. Plus, a T5 gives you FOUR forward gear ratios (keeping the RPMs up tightly in the power band), PLUS Overdrive. An original Ford 3-speed only gives you (of course) THREE forward gear ratios, PLUS an Overdrive with the "XPENSIVE" Mitchell units. And that old Ford 3-speed won't shift anywhere near as nicely as a T5....FACT!

The T5 will necessitate removal of that center crossmember "box" (picture below), and the addition of a "Chassis Engineering"-type, bolt-in rear trans mount kit, which also incorporates the two anchor points for the two, slightly-split wishbone arms. It's a reasonably-affordable, easy to install kit in use on a bazillion old Fords. The "center" crossmember box which must be removed, below!



When you say you want to use an "S-10" T5, most folks don't realize the entire meaning of that. The basic T5 design is very adaptable to different configurations to accommodate use in over thirty different auto/truck models that it was originally used in world-wide. ALL T5 MAIN gearboxes are 9-1/4" front to rear. ANY T5 gear set will adapt into ANY T5 main gearbox. ANY tail shaft HOUSING will bolt onto any main gearbox case. The T5 transmissions that came in S-10 pick-ups had a shifter location as far forward as possible on the S-10 tail shaft housing. This allows the shifter location inside an old Ford to be closer to the ORIGINAL Ford shifter location in the floor than say if you used a stock T5 out of a Camaro, or Mustang. The shifter location on those T5s is roughly 10" farther BACK than the shifter on an S-10 T5. BUT......the individual gear ratios inside that stock S-10 transmission's gearbox SUCK! And that gear set is not able to handle near the torque of the gear set in a Camaro V8 T5. Plus, the gear ratio of the Camaro V8 gears is PERFECTION! First gear is 2.95:1, whereas the old Ford 1st gear is usually 2.82....very close! That S-10 T5 will have a 4.03 1st gear in it....an almost useless "granny" gear.

So ideally, what ya want to do is find yourself an '83-'87 Camaro V8 "Non-World-Class (NWC) T5 with the 2.95 1st gear ratio gear set (still fairly common at swap meets). Find yourself an "S-10" NWC-type tail shaft housing along with the S-10 shift rod/lid, and swap them onto the Camaro main case. That way, you can easily adapt to your old Ford mechanical speedometer. That combo will use any 27-spline Chevy yoke going to your drive shaft. The S-10 housing and shift lid with short shift rod in picture below. It will all bolt together. And such a sweet combination when compared with the old Ford 3-speed and Mitchell OD unit!




The Complete Camaro/S-10 Tail Housing Combination



There is one more avenue to consider....a Camaro-type T5 main case and gears with an '83-'87 "Jeep CJ" 4X4 T5 'shorty' tail shaft housing and main shaft adapted to the Ford torque tube. In fact, a friend and I did the one seen below on his '35 Ford pick-up (same chassis as your cabriolet). It's rather involved, but shows what can be done with all Borg-Warner factory parts to assemble a very short T5. You can read about our complete project by clicking on the link below. And if I can answer any more questions for you, I'm game! DD

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...T5+TORQUE+TUBE











........
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Old 11-13-2020, 05:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: transmission question

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Another option is a T170 ,4th gear is overdrive.It already has the shifter in a good location.
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Old 11-13-2020, 07:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: transmission question

i did not realize you had to cut the floor and the frame.
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Old 11-13-2020, 07:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: transmission question

i want to be able to cruise at 65-70 with lower engine rpm
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Old 11-13-2020, 07:52 AM   #9
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Default Re: transmission question

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Originally Posted by samsonized View Post
i did not realize you had to cut the floor and the frame.

I have done it and yes you have to remove the center saddle and then split the wishbone.Its a tight fit.You barely have room to fill or ad fluid.I did not cut the floor but had to relocate the shifter hole on the cover plate.
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Old 11-13-2020, 08:17 AM   #10
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Default Re: transmission question

I think it depends on how much you want to pay for the convience of an Over drive. How much of the work can you do yourself,
Thetorque tube unit is very reliable and works just fine as an OD. Initial cost is abit high, but any other conversion isn't cheap either.
I like the T-5 and a spicer 35 rear this upgrades the drivetrain and improves the ride quality. It also offers Posi
This project will be a personal preference one.
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Old 11-13-2020, 09:01 AM   #11
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Default Re: transmission question

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Originally Posted by samsonized View Post
i have a 35 cabriolet and i am updating the trans and rearend. the question is do i do an s10 and convert rear end to open drive or keep the current 39 trans and put in a mitchell overdrive just looking for opinions or anyone who might have been faced with the same dilemma.
Samsonized, check out this previously posted thread by someone who wanted to update their 35/36 Ford for similar reasons, and note the posts I made regarding changes I made on my 35 fordor sedan for the same reasons you want to make changes.

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=280032
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Old 11-13-2020, 09:44 AM   #12
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Default Re: transmission question

has one one used a mitchell conversion
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Old 11-13-2020, 10:08 AM   #13
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Default Re: transmission question

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Originally Posted by samsonized View Post
has one one used a mitchell conversion
There are a number of threads on here on OD conversions.
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Old 11-13-2020, 10:18 AM   #14
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Default Re: transmission question

V8: Rather than removing the X Member center piece, why not cut it out with the laser even with the edges of the top and bottom frame flange. This would leave the riveted rails of the removed X member in place providing a little more rigidity. Grind edges smooth.
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Old 11-13-2020, 11:30 AM   #15
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Default Re: transmission question

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Originally Posted by 19Fordy View Post
V8: Rather than removing the X Member center piece, why not cut it out with the laser even with the edges of the top and bottom frame flange. This would leave the riveted rails of the removed X member in place providing a little more rigidity. Grind edges smooth.
In most cases you have to add a plate(s) back in and use the rivet holes for the bolts. I think it really needs to come out, much easier way to go.
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Old 11-13-2020, 11:44 AM   #16
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Default Re: transmission question

Besides changing the R&P, the Mitchell is most likely the least amount of modification and work if you want to spend the money($3450).A fellow here bought a '35 coupe with a Mitchell OD conversion and is happy with it.He has 2 floor shift levers to deal with.

Last edited by deuce lover; 11-13-2020 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 11-13-2020, 02:40 PM   #17
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Default Re: transmission question

The Mitchell should be a bolt in, no mods needed and can be had with either a separate shift lever or a cable to actuate. JMO Probably an afternoon of work vs major mods.
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:14 PM   #18
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Default Re: transmission question

What's the cost of a Mitchell OD today? I have no interest....just asking for a friend.
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:54 PM   #19
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Default Re: transmission question

Why not rebuild the transmission with the 29/15 gear combo and go with a 3:54 rear end ratio. I have that in heavier sedans and I can cruise all day at 65 mph with ease. Plus it's a heck of a lot cheaper and less work. Both of which I like.
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Old 11-14-2020, 12:15 AM   #20
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Default Re: transmission question

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What's the cost of a Mitchell OD today? I have no interest....just asking for a friend.

Macs has them listed for $3445.99 and that is dropped shipped from the mfg.
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