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41 ford transmission conversion

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Old 08-12-2014, 11:39 AM
Arcdancer Arcdancer is offline
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41 ford transmission conversion

I have recently taken over the completion of a 41 Ford Van. It was used as a Railroad Express Delivery van. It has been had a complete frame off restoration and is mostly complete. I am focusing on getting it running and being able to use it in local parades and events. The truck belongs to the Yakima Valley Rail & Steam Museum. After adding an electric fuel pump and an electric fan for cooling, I've dealt with most running issues. The issue that I would Like to address now is the transmission. The truck originally came with a 3 speed top loader (#78-7006). This is unsuitable for use in parades due to not having a low enough 1st gear. What I need help with is finding the proper transmission and any additional parts in order to convert to a 4 speed, low 1st gear transmission. I would like to keep as much of the setup the same as the original but am not adverse to making some minor alterations if needed. I would like to keep the top loader look if possible.

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Arcdancer
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:43 PM
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Welcome to the Forum.

We need more information before we can be really helpful.

First, are you aware that the "granny" gear four speed truck transmissions have no synchronizers (frequently called a "crash-box" transmission)? You have to double-clutch every gear change.

Second, what size is your railway express truck? Is it 1/2 ton based, 3 or 1 ton based, or 1 /2 ton based? The 1/2 ton trucks take a different rear transmission mount than the larger trucks. Also, 4 1/2 tons used a torque tube while the larger trucks used open drive.

Finally, what region of the world do you live in? Many members have an extra Ford four speed crash box. You are probably fairly close to a few members.

Do you have any pictures of the truck you could post? We like pictures!
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:07 PM
Arcdancer Arcdancer is offline
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1941 Ford Railway Express Van


Here is a picture taken about a year ago. Additional painting and decals have been added now and the focus now is to get the trucking dependably. I will try to get some more updated photos soon.
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:20 PM
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Very nice .
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 38 coupe View Post
Welcome to the Forum.

We need more information before we can be really helpful.

First, are you aware that the "granny" gear four speed truck transmissions have no synchronizers (frequently called a "crash-box" transmission)? You have to double-clutch every gear change.

Second, what size is your railway express truck? Is it 1/2 ton based, 3 or 1 ton based, or 1 /2 ton based? The 1/2 ton trucks take a different rear transmission mount than the larger trucks. Also, 4 1/2 tons used a torque tube while the larger trucks used open drive.

Finally, what region of the world do you live in? Many members have an extra Ford four speed crash box. You are probably fairly close to a few members.

Do you have any pictures of the truck you could post? We like pictures!
Thanks for the information on the "crash-box 4 speed. That's defiantly something to consider before making a final decision on a way to go.

I believe that the truck is a 1/2 ton, but it could be a 1 ton. I posted a picture that may help you identify the size. I'm going to take some more current photos tomorrow and will post them so people can see the near finished truck.

I live in the Central part of Washington State.
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:52 PM
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5 lug 17" wheels with a full floating rearend= 1 ton.
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:29 PM
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You have a nice looking truck. We'd love to see more pictures of it.

Your truck sure looks like a one ton to me. I think any four speed crash box from a 3/4 ton or larger Ford truck built from 1941 to 1952 would work for you.

Another option is to find one of the very desirable, and rare, early Borg-Warner T98 transmissions from a 48-52 Ford truck. The T98 is synchronized in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. These were optional in F-4 through F-6 trucks, and standard in F-6 trucks equipped with M series six cylinder engines. Chuck at Chuck's Trucks is knowledgeable about the early T98 transmissions and may have enough parts to let you build (or build for you) a transmission that would fit your truck. If you do find and install a T98 you will need to shorten the drive shaft that goes between your transmission and carrier bearing.
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by 38 coupe View Post
You have a nice looking truck. We'd love to see more pictures of it.

Your truck sure looks like a one ton to me. I think any four speed crash box from a 3/4 ton or larger Ford truck built from 1941 to 1952 would work for you.

Another option is to find one of the very desirable, and rare, early Borg-Warner T98 transmissions from a 48-52 Ford truck. The T98 is synchronized in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. These were optional in F-4 through F-6 trucks, and standard in F-6 trucks equipped with M series six cylinder engines. Chuck at Chuck's Trucks is knowledgeable about the early T98 transmissions and may have enough parts to let you build (or build for you) a transmission that would fit your truck. If you do find and install a T98 you will need to shorten the drive shaft that goes between your transmission and carrier bearing.
It's interesting that you should mention the T98 because I was looking through a back room here at the museum and I found a old toploader with these makings: Left side - T98-1R under that it says W.G. Div. 9W
Top - T98-148
Could this be what you are talking about? I don't know what the condition is but initially it doesn't look to bad. Would this just bolt up or would I need to get an adapter? Availability?
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:37 AM
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The T98 was made for 30 years or more for several manufacturers: I am aware of Ford, International, and Jeep T98s, and there may be others. I have personally never seen one of the early Ford T98s so I don't know what to tell you to look for. The big truck restoration guys in the 48-56 Forum can probably help you more with your T98.
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:09 PM
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I took these pictures just after a big wind storm so the truck is not in it's cleanest condition. There are several pictures of the transmission that is in the truck now. The one I want to replace with a 4 speed.
There are still some wiring issues I need to clean up but everything seems to be coming together.
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:47 PM
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Sure is nice looking!
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Old 08-16-2014, 01:44 AM
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Holy Cow! You are killing me with that thing! A fine tonner you got there. You have one of the few modern improvements I often incorporate. An alternator. Nobody likes a dead battery......Love the color combo too. Dang, that's nice.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:11 AM
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Thanks for posting more pictures. Your truck looks very nice.

One concern I have is the that appears to run directly over your exhaust pipe and over your front u-joint. I'm not sure if that is a brake line, fuel line, or something else, but you probably want to route that in a different place. Boiled fluid from exhaust heat or leaking fluid from rubbing on the drive shaft can ruin your day.
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:52 PM
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I won't be much help with the transmission, but I do remember the museum well! Before I discovered trucks, trains was my primary interest. My grandfather always took me to see the 2152 when it was still in Auburn. I was glad to see the engine go to good hands!

Sam
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Old 08-17-2014, 01:36 PM
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41 ford transmission conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcdancer View Post
I have recently taken over the completion of a 41 Ford Van. It was used as a Railroad Express Delivery van. It has been had a complete frame off restoration and is mostly complete. I am focusing on getting it running and being able to use it in local parades and events. The truck belongs to the Yakima Valley Rail & Steam Museum. After adding an electric fuel pump and an electric fan for cooling, I've dealt with most running issues. The issue that I would Like to address now is the transmission. The truck originally came with a 3 speed top loader (#78-7006). This is unsuitable for use in parades due to not having a low enough 1st gear. What I need help with is finding the proper transmission and any additional parts in order to convert to a 4 speed, low 1st gear transmission. I would like to keep as much of the setup the same as the original but am not adverse to making some minor alterations if needed. I would like to keep the top loader look if possible.

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Arcdancer
If you want full syncro's in a 4 speed and the top loader look you could consider a mid 60's top loader trans with a Jeep T-176 shift tower. It will bolt up to the flathead using a Model Engineering Company adapter. You still use your original clutch linkage and have the top loader look with a much easier to shift trans than a 4 speed crash box. Fab a new trans mount and shorten the drive shaft and you're good to go. You won't have the super low granny gear but I doubt you will need it for everyday driving.










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