I recently picked up a 1972 bronco for 200.00 dollars ,mostly because the frame was good ,a Dana 44 ,and a ford 9" .its got a transfer case with both driveshafts, my question is ...I was told it was a 3spd manual, did they offer a 3spd manual on the floor? If so what kind of tranny is it? Is it similar to the 3 spd in my 56 ford truck? Thanks for your help
I don't think Ford ever put a floor shift 3 speed in them (I could be wrong). But floor shift conversions of the 3-on-the-tree were pretty common. That's what my '71 had when I bought it (mine had a Hurst shifter).
From what I've seen I think there were two different 3 speeds used in Broncos. They get listed as either an RAT or (I think) an RAN. And I think they were the same trannies used in the trucks, but I don't know how far back they went.
Thanks Bob ya know it is a hurst shifter on there so maybe it was converted, thoughts on that tranny? I'm not sure which way to go here, build a bronco probably fiberglass or use the parts and build a 48-56 f-100 I'm an old truck guy and have a few, I also have a 289 and c-4 tranny out of a 68 mustang sitting on a engine stand........thoughts?
The 3 speed that came in the Bronco factory was the toploader 3.03 three speed trans. These trans showed up in the early sixties in three and four speed configuration.
The RAT or RAN refers to the ID tag codes. The difference between RAT and RAN cases are slight differences in the gear ratios. Both had about a 3:1 first, and then a 1:1 third. They are really tough transmissions and despite the stigma of being a three speed, work very well in an early Bronco, especially if you do not mind something that drives like an old truck. They get off the line well, even with 35" tall tires, and second is a good gear, but you really know when you drop from second to third and the rpms really jump when you drop from third to second on a hill, and obviously no overdrive for highways. If you plan on running 33 or smaller tires and a 351w in your final combo I would tell you to keep the trans and see what you think of it. These Broncos were all column shift wonders factory too, but the tree shifters generally wear out and become annoying to shift and were ditched for the easier to use floor shift configuration.
IMHO the three speed is a very good trans...
I had the stock 3 speed in my Bronco twice. I replaced it with an AOD with a manual valve body. That was one of those experiments that didn't fail, I just learned something that didn't work. So I put the 3 speed back in. Overall I was pretty happy with it, especially around town. But I always wanted lower gears off road, and higher on the highway would have been nice (but what Bronco gets enough highway miles for that to be very significant?). Last winter I put an NV3550 5 speed and an Atlas 4.3:1 t.case. I LOVE that combo! Incredible rock crawling, and the overdrive makes the 4.3:1 acceptable for general trail riding. It's nice on the highway too (full story in my build thread in my sig).
So for you? Personally I'd never choose any automatic over a manual, so I'd take the stock 3 speed over the C4. Plus I doubt the Mustang was 4WD, so you'd have some work ahead of you getting a transfer case on it. The 3 speed is certainly up to the task of a Bronco, and with the Hurst floor shifter it really isn't too truck-like. The only downside is the relatively tight ratio spread. If you're OK with that I'd stick with it. Otherwise I'd be looking for a wide-ratio 4 speed or a 5 speed.
Nothing on the Bronco of any real use on your 48-56 trucks. The 9" is too narrow, tranny has no tailshaft. The Mustang 289 will work in either, but the 289/C4 combo would be better used in building one of your trucks. If the Bronco body is not too far gone, I'd drop the 289 in it and call it a day. Good luck with your decision.
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