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Old 10-14-2016, 12:52 PM   #1
V8COOPMAN
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Default FINALLY…T5 WITH Torque Tube in a ‘35-’40 Ford...The WHOLE STORY!

1 What ‘n Why


These old Fords are great, right? Among the most-popular varieties seem to be the ’35 thru ’40 models. Keep in mind that these six years share a single, basic chassis lay-out. We find ‘em, we make them useable, and we even turn them into reliable, frequent drivers. One nuance that pops-up in conversation rather frequently with these models seems to be the old 3-speed transmissions for one reason or another. There’s no doubt that MANY of us have asked about, or at least shown some kind of interest in the subject of installing a Borg-Warner T5, a modern 4-speed PLUS O/D transmission, behind the flathead V8s that we can’t seem to live without. The truth is that several folks here at the ’Barn have successfully transplanted T5s behind flattys, both early ones and later ones. But virtually ALL that we’ve seen here have been equipped with an OPEN DRIVELINE and rear axle, either in the later pick-ups, or in cars that ORIGINALLY had a torque tube and a transverse rear spring. But for years now, many people that recognize the geometric and handling virtues that the original suspension and torque tubes afford, have asked about a way of keeping that torque tube, along with the ability to marry one of those oh-so sweet-shifting Borg-Warner T5s (with O/D) to it. Well, it has arrived folks. We’re gonna explain the basics, along with many of the specifics, as well as a bunch of the “whys”, along with quite a few pictures to illustrate the main points of this project. While it’s obvious that we are not addressing the ‘32-’34 model years here, it should be noted that the torque tubes on these models can still be bolted to a “shorty” T5 like the one modified in this article. The person doing the project would need to do his or her own fitting of the package into their own particular model of chassis.
We would love to hear everyone’s comments…..the good, and even the not so good.



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Old 10-14-2016, 12:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: FINALLY…T5 WITH Torque Tube in a ‘35-’40 Ford...The WHOLE STORY!

2 Who Done It

Heard Saxon and I, Dick (DD) Davidson, have been piddlin’ with this project on and off for near a year now. I knew a little bit about the versatility of the basic design of the T5, and the resultant ease of interchanging factory Borg-Warner parts to end-up with different configurations for different purposes. You may want to note that TREMEC has bought-out the B-W name some years back, and that these transmissions are sometimes now referred to as TREMECS, or TREMEC T5s. Anyhow, I’ve since learned JUST how versatile the design REALLY is, even beyond my initial understanding and imagination. Heard wanted to put a T5 in his cool little ’36 3-window which is 8BA powered with a 1940 rear end. He also has a ’35 pick-up that he wants to do the same with. The coupe is a runnin’ driver, so he decided to begin this experiment with the ‘35 pick-up. Our first goal………find-out what it takes to make the shortest T5 possible, and to make it capable of bolting a SHORTENED torque tube and drive shaft to it, while requiring as little surgery as possible to the center CROSSMEMBER box and the X-rails. You all should understand that Heard lives northeast of Orlando, while I live NE of Houston. And while it’s possible to get a bunch figured-out far across the interweb, y’all gotta understand that I DID NOT get my hands dirty even once during any of what is shown or described here-in. All I did was share a bunch of questionable info and suggestions with Heard, while HE did all the spending, grunting and dirty work. He’s a pretty sharp guy though and was able to work around every lie and curve-ball that I sent his way.



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Old 10-14-2016, 12:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: FINALLY…T5 WITH Torque Tube in a ‘35-’40 Ford...The WHOLE STORY!

3 Heart of the Matter



I’ve always liked the V8 Chevy T5 that came in Camaros from about ‘83-’87. It is known as a NWC T5, or NON WORLD CLASS. It’s easily distinguishable by the Chevy bolt pattern on the front of the case, and by the 26-spline input shaft. The wimpy T5s have a 14-spline input shaft. T5s were available in two very basic design varieties………the earlier ones were NWC, whereas the second generation were known as WC, or WORLD CLASS. These two different generations were different mostly in the design of, and materials used in their synchronizers, and in the design of some of the roller bearings used. The main theme to keep in mind is that you just don’t mix ‘n match WC parts with NWC parts. Other than that one rule, mixin’ ‘n matchin’ parts to create different configurations WITHIN the type is almost wide-open, using
B-W factory parts created to configure transmissions for MANY different auto manufacturers and models. T5s have been supplied as original equipment in dozens of makes and models worldwide, including foreign and domestic.
The NWC Camaro transmission has a wonderful gearset with ratios that are extremely user-friendly when used with old Ford 3.78 and even 4.11 rear end ratios. The Camaro gearset has a 2.95 first gear ratio. Even the O/D ratio that ENDS-UP (with this particular configuration) being .59, is great on the highway with a 3.78 or 4.11 ring and pinion, which MOST old Fords already have.


We’re using the basic Chevy transmission MAIN CASE. The cases are dimensionally the same as far as being machined to take all NWC hard parts, and the cases are all 9-Ľ” long, front to rear. We used the complete Camaro gearset and associated parts. The trick with this “shorty” T5 comes by combining parts from an ’82-’86 Jeep CJ 4X4 (4-wheel drive) T5 transmission. Actually, we only used the much-shortened MAINSHAFT out of the Jeep transmission proper, along with the REAR Jeep 4X4 output HOUSING. If I remember correctly, the Jeep shaft is only 16-ľ” long. We ascertained that the Camaro gears, etc all mount dimensionally on the front, identically-machined portion of the NWC Jeep shaft INSIDE the Camaro main case. Are ya starting to see what I mean by interchange possibilities? Continuing-on, I should note that the Jeep main shaft (or OUTput shaft) has an oddball 23-splines, whereas the 24”-long Camaro shaft that it replaced had 27-splines. This is important, because it requires that you use the Jeep’s SMALL diameter O/D gear, which slides onto those 23-splines, and is retained by a snap ring just like the Camaro gear was. Fortunately, the correct 25-tooth gear mates perfectly with the larger diameter Camaro O/D gear which mounts outside the rear of the case on the tail of the cluster shaft. The remainder of this “shorty” package consists of the 6”-long (front to rear) Jeep 4X4 OUTPUT shaft housing. It can be easily identified in our pictures as the black-painted, spare “mock-up” housing used to facilitate this project. This housing is essentially empty, except for the shaft running rearward through it, including a shaft seal. This seal will ride on the surface of a SPECIAL 23-spline shaft adapter that we will discuss in the next section. The housing is also the piece that houses and mounts the shifter. The large, round, rear-facing opening originally bolted-up to the 4-wheel drive transfer case in a Jeep. As it is here, it offers a perfect platform to bolt the old Ford torque tube to it via a simple aluminum adapter plate. As you will soon see, stock old Ford torque tube clam shell pieces bolt to the aluminum adapter plate which allows a shortened torque tube to bolt to and function just like Henry meant it to be. We’re even going to use a stock old Ford U-joint on the front of the d-shaft just like in the original Ford application.

















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Old 10-14-2016, 12:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: FINALLY…T5 WITH Torque Tube in a ‘35-’40 Ford...The WHOLE STORY!

4 Darn….This Just Might Work



With it finally determined that we had successfully mixed-up a bunch of factory B-W parts into a combination that the factory probably never dreamed a need for, and feeling comfortable that it would function properly like any other B-W T5 would, we had one more big hurdle to overcome. Like I mentioned earlier, the Jeep output shaft has an oddball 23-splines at the rear end of the shaft. We had to find a way to adapt the 23-splines in such a way that we could fit a stock Ford 6-spline U-joint, as used at the front end of Ford torque tubes. We also felt that the U-joint needed to bolt to the rear of the Jeep main shaft just like it bolts to an old Ford 3-speed main shaft via a drilled, threaded hole in the end of the shaft. As luck would have it, I happened to run across a guy on the HAMB that goes by KATO KINGS. Turns-out he also lurks here on the ‘Barn under the name CRANIUM. Cranium makes the round, aluminum adapter plate which bolts onto the rear of the Jeep 4X4 housing. That plate is pretty straight forward and easy to build for most folks that can carefully lay-out a pattern and operate a drill press. More-importantly though, Cranium makes a beautiful 23-spline adapter (as seen below) from scratch, which also accepts the front of the 6-spline Ford U-joint. The adapter slides onto the 23-spline Jeep shaft, and the U-joint slides onto the adapter. An appropriately-sized bolt goes through the U-joint, the center of the spline adapter and threads into the end of the Jeep shaft. The shaft was rather easy to drill and tap to accept the bolt just like a Ford 3-speed main shaft. The END of the Jeep shaft does not appear to be case-hardened like the rest of the shaft surfaces. Like I said, this spline adapter is a beautifully-machined piece, and Cranium is rather proud of it. Nonetheless, it is a nice yet necessary part. The aluminum adapter plate is drilled and threaded to accept a ‘32-’36 Ford rear bearing retainer (pictured). This RETAINER is the piece that houses the U-joint, and that the clamshell assembly for the torque tube bolts to. This is everything that’s required to bolt-up a Ford torque tube.







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Old 10-14-2016, 12:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: FINALLY…T5 WITH Torque Tube in a ‘35-’40 Ford...The WHOLE STORY!

5 Surgery Begins

Now, to make it fit. Again, Heard is going to use an 8BA, but an early engine will constitute the same length. He started by mounting the empty, dummy block onto the stock mounts at the front. Then, a cast truck-type bell housing goes into the mix, with a WILCAP Flathead-to-Chevy engine adapter which has the inclusive clutch throwout cross-shaft coming next. Bolted to this beautiful WILCAP adapter, the Camaro T5 main case bolts-up easy as pie. Then of course, the Jeep 4X4 extension housing is bolted to the rear of that. Then comes the aluminum adapter plate, and finally the stock Ford BEARING RETAINER, to which the Ford clamshell parts will eventually bolt. I’ve included a picture of the stock Ford rear transmission mount with the torque tube bolted-up so that you can visualize the original position of the rear of the original 3-speed. Anyway, the additional pictures show the initial interference between the black Jeep housing and the center frame CROSSMEMBER box assembly. We’ve also included a picture of one of these ’35 Ford center CROSSMEMBER box assemblies which has been removed from a frame, so that it is easier to see how it is built, and exactly what it is that needs the majority of the surgery. It would be easy to remove this BOX entirely, but we concluded that a lot of rigidity and integrity would be retained if we left as much of this center structure in place as possible. One important thing to remember about this center box is that it contains the mount for the wishbone ball at the bottom front. We tried every way possible to keep that ball socket, but the very rear, bottom surface on the Jeep housing would not quite go low enough with it remaining in place. You can see the interference in one of the pictures below. By lowering the rear of the WISHBONE the way we did, I believe my calculations showed that it only increased the front axle CASTER by about 1.5 degrees positive. Anyway, Heard just started rough-trimming the box until the entire Jeep housing would fit down low enough that the Jeep output shaft ended-up level with the original drive shaft and torque tube level. He determined the centerline of that level, as seen marked on the wooden stick in the picture. He aimed a laser through from the front of the engine’s main bearing caps thru the rear of the empty, mock-up trans and focused on the mark on the stick to get the final rear elevation for the Jeep housing.















Of course, a rear mount needed to be designed and created. You’ll note the rubber mounting pads that are seen in the pics, that the bolts pass through to secure the rear of the Jeep housing via bolt holes threaded into the housing’s bottom surface for some alternative mounting purpose. In addition, the wishbone also needed a new mounting mechanism. Heard carefully trimmed and saved pieces of the original ball socket, also seen in pics. He milled a receiver block to hold the socket in the proper position on the bottom of the new rear mounting plate, but a similar block could be carved-out appropriately with hacksaw and drill press if necessary. The pictured transmission / wishbone mounting plate could be built in many different, yet similar forms, but the way he decided to go is both strong as hell, and simple. Note that the surfaces of the four tabs that bolt to the bottom of the frame are not level with each other, as the bottom surface of the frame rails at that point curves ever so slightly. The mount plate is fairly self-explanatory via the pictures.



















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Old 10-14-2016, 12:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: FINALLY…T5 WITH Torque Tube in a ‘35-’40 Ford...The WHOLE STORY!

6 Let’s Cut ‘n Glue Both Ends Together

OK, the engine, trans and wishbone ball are now bolted-into their final resting places. And we actually didn’t hack-up the frame very seriously at all. Now, we need to tie it all together by shortening the torque tube and drive shaft. If any of ya have been wondering up until now, the torque tube had “SOMETHING NEAR 8” taken out”. WARNING….WARNING!!! As Heard pointed-out……make measurements INDIVIDUALLY when measuring for shortening the D-shaft, and then for shortening the T-tube. DO NOT assume that one will be shortened the SAME amount as the other!!!!! But we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. BEFORE things are ever taken apart initially, you need to determine EXACTLY where the rear end is supposed to sit, fore and aft. Note the two pieces of conduit in the picture, bolted between the banjo housing and the frame rails to keep that distance constant. Anyway, at first, we had to think about what exactly needed to be measured, so as to determine D-shaft and T-tube lengths. After a false start or two, and keeping in mind that the hemispherical bell on the north end of the T-tube has no definitive position on the clamshell area, we finally realized that the way to start is by measuring the distance from the hole for the pin in the pinion shaft at the rear, to the center of the speedometer gear as mounted on the driveshaft. When the speedo gear is properly mounted on the d-shaft with the snap ring in place, and with the front of the d-shaft slipped into the U-joint, the center of the gear’s position is accurately determined on the front end of the d-shaft. Measuring from that gear’s definite center point in space, to the pin hole in the pinion shaft gives you the information necessary to be able to compute the exact measurement for shortening your d-shaft. The rest just falls into place for the d-shaft’s OVERALL length. NOTE….’35 and ‘36 drive shafts are tubular, and tapered at both front AND rear. When shortening one of these, remove the un-wanted portion from the REAR end of shaft. If you take it out of the front end of the shaft, the remaining FAT portion will not clear the inside of the tapered front end of the T-Tube.
Determining the length of the new T-Tube is easy with the d-shaft now shortened. Simply insert the front end of the drive shaft into the T-tube. Assemble the bearing, washer, speedo gear and snap ring onto the D-shaft to position it at it’s NORMAL position in the T-tube. Assemble the FRONT of the D-shaft / T-tube into the U-joint and clamshell assembly on rear of transmission. With the REAR end of the T-tube positioned adjacent to the flat face on the front of the banjo housing where the T-tube flange bolts-on, mark the T-tube for what will NOW represent the OVERALL length of the SHORTENED T-tube AND it’s 6-hole bolt-flange. Compare the difference in length between the NEW mark, and the original OVERALL length. The DIFFERENCE should be what is removed, just forward of the 6-bolt flange (see pictures). Measure SEVERAL times…but cut only ONCE!

Heard got lucky and found an OLD guy at an old, local d-shaft shop by the name of “Pops”! It gets no better!! Pops has obviously done this a couple of times before. He shortened the d-shaft first. Heard then pinned the shortened shaft in position between rear end and the U-joint. He had already gotten Pops to part the T-tube in a lathe, and to remove the pre-measured, un-necessary section from the stock torque-tube. Heard had again assembled the front of the NOW two-piece T-tube around the D-shaft and into the front clamshell. He then bolted the rear T-tube flange into position on the banjo. Pops had machined a sleeve to slip inside the rear-most T-tube end, and welded a beautiful bead to permanently hold it in. This sleeve is to keep the two tube halves lined-up, as well as for substance to weld to. With the front and rear portions of the T-tube in place, Heard tacked the two tubes together (see pic), and then took it back for Pops to finish putting his magic weld on it. TOTAL bill at Pops’ shop…$120! Some folks may also note that the speedometer turtle now sits level on top of the T-tube. The original position angled downward, and was going to require hacking-out some more of the frame to route the speedo cable. This position will allow the cable to be routed over the top of the frame rail, under the floor. One additional note…the REAR radius rods have NOT been shortened. However, the tab which allows the rods to be bolted to the bottom of the T-tube has been moved forward and re-welded in the proper location.



Un-cut D-shaft



Shortened d-shaft



Torque Tube Ready to Weld-up



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Old 10-14-2016, 12:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: FINALLY…T5 WITH Torque Tube in a ‘35-’40 Ford...The WHOLE STORY!

7 At Last…The Whole Enchilada In One Place!

So, there you have it. It took a little time to do, but now, all of the BASIC unknowns have been addressed. Of course, it all gets blown-apart again and Heard will final-finish any cut and crafted pieces to make it all look polished and presentable. However, it should be fairly simple to visualize the end product in your car. This was pretty easy to do without a body in place, but I would venture to say that younger, more-nimble folks than myself could probably carefully and slowly trim the center X-member box with a cut-off wheel from under the car with a body still in place. I hope we’ve presented this in such a way as to be interesting and helpful to many, and that it will answer some questions that many old Ford folks have kicked-around for a while now.
Please be aware that neither Heard nor myself sell or supply any kits, parts, or services related to this project. We’ve only presented this info in an effort to address some questions that continue to appear from time to time. We did this deed to serve our own purposes, mostly ’cuz it was past-due that someone come-up with one basic method to get it done. Hell, there sure ain’t no rocket science involved here. We’re only sharing some hard-earned, yet hard-to-find info with those that may have similar interests. What we can do is attempt to answer any additional questions that any of you might come-up with. Post ’em up! Viva the T5!


And a couple o' extra pics since Heard put the cab back on the chassis, to give an idea as to shifter location. DD



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Old 10-14-2016, 12:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: FINALLY…T5 WITH Torque Tube in a ‘35-’40 Ford...The WHOLE STORY!

I'm looking forward to seeing the pics and the words around this.

Instead of cutting off the original wishbone mount would it have been feasible to machine the rearmost mount off the trans to get it down as low as it is now.

How much shorter is it than a std T5? Would it fit into something like a '32 chassis without modifying the chassis?

Last edited by weemark; 10-14-2016 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 10-14-2016, 02:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: FINALLY…T5 WITH Torque Tube in a ‘35-’40 Ford...The WHOLE STORY!

Dang. I wish I had the attention span to read this. I'll have to print it out and do it before I go to bed as my night time reading.

It would be so friggin' awesome if someone compiled this into a fairly user friendly kit for those of us with T5's to do this conversion. I want to use my T5, but like you, only with a closed driveline set up.

Thanks for posting.
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Old 10-14-2016, 02:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: FINALLY…T5 WITH Torque Tube in a ‘35-’40 Ford...The WHOLE STORY!

Excellent write-up along with pictures. CONGRATULATIONS>

Now people need the one part # to order .
Paul in CT
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Old 10-14-2016, 04:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: FINALLY…T5 WITH Torque Tube in a ‘35-’40 Ford...The WHOLE STORY!

Excellent job - well thought through and illustrated.

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Old 10-14-2016, 05:40 PM   #12
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Default Re: FINALLY…T5 WITH Torque Tube in a ‘35-’40 Ford...The WHOLE STORY!

excellent conversion thank you for sharing it with us
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Old 10-14-2016, 05:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: FINALLY…T5 WITH Torque Tube in a ‘35-’40 Ford...The WHOLE STORY!

save
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Old 10-14-2016, 05:57 PM   #14
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Default Re: FINALLY…T5 WITH Torque Tube in a ‘35-’40 Ford...The WHOLE STORY!

Very informative!
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:17 PM   #15
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Default Re: FINALLY…T5 WITH Torque Tube in a ‘35-’40 Ford...The WHOLE STORY!

awesome!!!!
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:18 PM   #16
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Default Re: FINALLY…T5 WITH Torque Tube in a ‘35-’40 Ford...The WHOLE STORY!

V8 and Heard: Thanks so much for engineering that set up and letting us know how you did it. Fantastic. You guys are the best. If that was available as a kit it would sell like hot cakes. Be sure to keep us posted on any new developments. JIM
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:23 PM   #17
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When will the kit be available,
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:55 PM   #18
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Default Re: FINALLY…T5 WITH Torque Tube in a ‘35-’40 Ford...The WHOLE STORY!

Congrats on a job well done - great description, great pics, great writeup, and just a nice, clean job all around.
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:11 PM   #19
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Default Re: FINALLY…T5 WITH Torque Tube in a ‘35-’40 Ford...The WHOLE STORY!

To Weemark
I'm very sure this will not fit into a 32 chassis without some major surgery to the K member itself.
Dick
As we discussed re the Cranium adapter, I'm very sure the Coupler available from GV would work very well with a minimum of machine work & EXPENSE.
Lastly, Dick, you've both done an admirable job of explaining how this was accomplished.
Had I been aware of this possibility, I may have gone this route rather than the 4 speed plus Gear Vendors Overdrive in my 32.
Well Done. Congrats!!
Jim
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Old 10-14-2016, 08:27 PM   #20
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Default Re: FINALLY…T5 WITH Torque Tube in a ‘35-’40 Ford...The WHOLE STORY!

I thing the engineering involved in this project goes beyond saying. This was a complex project, I sometimes get into them once in awhile, and wonder if the time money and effort is worth the finished project. In my case I gave up on Ford torque tube rear axles 30 plus years ago, too many better replacements available today. Right now the Dana/Spicer 44 seems to be getting popular and very reasonable priced at 150-250 with disk brakes. Going to a modern transmission is for the best in preformance and economy, can't see keeping a 70 year old rear end.
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