I'm the owner of a 1950 Mercury 1 Ton Truck. I'm restoring it with the idea of keeping it original, but I'm thinking about possibly putting in an overdrive transmission. My reasoning for possibly going this route is that the original transmission is geared so low that first gear is almost unuseable....truly...bull low!
Has anyone done such a conversion? Would an overdrive transmission from a '56 Mercury pickup be adaptable to my older Merc? Is there an overdrive transmission that someone may have used with success?
Hi ..and congratulations on your truck..there are some threads about overdrive trannys but dammed if I can figger out how to give you a link ..someone here will help you you just got to wait for them to get off work ..or up from their nap (the retired one's)..good luck ..oh and welcome to FTE
The more traditional way to improve road speed is to swap out your stock Timken axle for a 1967 to 1972 F-250 Dana 60 axle. It's pretty much a bolt in swap, and saves you the expense of an o/d. An added plus is the fact that you'd get rid of your stock 14" rear drums which required the F-3s/M-68s to have 17" wheels. The 17" wheels are the dangerous "widowmaker" variety that most shops won't touch these says. The replacement Dana 60 will have 12" rear drums that will accept any F-250 16" one piece wheel having 8 lug x 6.5" pattern. Stu
1952 F-3 Marmon-Herrington 6R32-4
1 - T5 from a mustang, S10, etc. In order to install one you will have to cut your cross member. Also, the preferred shifter location is with the S10 tail housing but the good gear ratios are from the world-class mustang box. Lots of people have done this and like the results. I think it always looks tacked on, not right. I don't like cutting frames either. I'm a purist to anyone but a true purist.
2 - The "medium duty" five speed from 53 2 ton trucks. These are still big transmissions. There are direct drive and overdrive versions of these. These also take a one year bell housing with a different clutch setup and bell housing located motor mounts. In order to fit, you again have to cut the cross member. At least you would be getting a truck transmission, but way too much modification for the gain.
The three-on-the-tree with overdrive transmissions will also require you to cut the cross member. The only version I am aware of that will hook up to your existing bell housing and clutch linkage is the 49-early 51 Mercury overdrive transmission. I purchased one of these years ago before I realized I would have to cut the cross member. I'm still not ready to sell it, but I'm definitely not cutting my frame to install it.
If you are dead set on having more gears, you can get a Brown-Lipe auxiliary transmission and shoe horn it under your bed, replacing the middle u-joint. I used to think these transmissions were too big to do this, but then I saw pictures of one mated to a T-9 (the four speed crashbox transmission most likely in your truck) and they are about the same hight and width. I don't recommend mounting it like this guy did, but here are the pictures: Untitled Document
Depending on how fast you want to go, get either a 4.10 ratio or a 3.54 ratio Dana 60.
Thank-you so much for all of your replies regarding my question about an overdrive transmission for my 1950 Mercuty 1 Ton. I feel incredibly fortunate to be connected with such experience and knowledge!
What might I expect to pay for a Dana 60?
I would suggest searching Craigslist in your area, see if you can find someone parting out an F250, they'll usually let the axle got for pretty cheap. I've read that you want to avoid the 1973 and later axles, as they are wider and won't fit the older trucks as good, look for one from a 57-72 truck.
1973 F250, 390 4spd 7500 lbs GVWR, known as "Grumpy" a name well earned
next project: 1966 Mustang 200 3spd- sat for 16 years!
"Man does not control his own fate. The women in his life do that for him." - Groucho Marx
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