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Old 06-08-2004, 09:44 AM
Wanham Wanham is offline
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1986 Ford OD Toploader? behind a Flathead

In Rod and Custom Magazine a rod is featured that has a "1986 Ford F-100 trans--a three-speed unit with overdrive. It's adapted to the flathead using a 1-ton Ford truck bellhousing ('49-53 vintage) and a Ranger hydraulic clutch."

The link to the car feature is

http://www.rodandcustommagazine.com/...5_0402_pickup/

This sounds like a good plan for my A V8 project. Can anyone give some details on this swap??

George
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Old 06-09-2004, 12:12 PM
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Thanks for the link. I have an '86 with that OD tranny and I'm itching to try it behind the flathead in my 48 pickup. That tranny was used behind the EFI 302's so it should work well with a flathead - even a warmed up one. I've rebuilt my OD twice in 300K+ miles.

The flatheads of that era (48-53) use a two piece bell housing and you need both pieces. I understand they should bolt up without too much trouble, but I haven't done the actual fitting. The one ton truck bell they mention is also found in 1/2 to 1 1/2 ton trucks (F1 thru F6). Also Merc cars used a stamped steel one piece bell housing that can be adapted (may need a spacer? as I believe they are a little shorter than the truck setup)

Like any swap you'll need to figure input shaft length and pilot bearing size. Keep in mind the flathead has the pilot bearing in the flywheel instead of in the crankshaft.

I'd prefer to use the early clutch linkage over the hydraulic - I hate to bleed those things!! To use the hydraulic you'll need a firewall mounted clutch master cylinder along with the later clutch pedal - might as well change the brakes at the same time and use a booster. If you use the early bell housing you'll need to fabricate a bracket for the clutch slave cylinder. Grab the bell housing with the 86 tranny as I think it has a bolt on bracket you could start with.

If you do this hookup be sure to report here how it went. I'd appreciate any hands-on info you have.
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Old 06-09-2004, 03:51 PM
Wanham Wanham is offline
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So when I am hunting for an overdrive transmission, is there more than one model, and if so which one is better? What truck model years were they in besides the 1986? I assume they are available with the tower type shifter on the floor.

Last edited by Wanham; 06-09-2004 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 06-09-2004, 05:39 PM
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I've never seen a year range on those trannies. I don't believe this one was used very long - it has the aluminum case and is a tower shift top loader. I'm guessing mid-late 80's. My tranny guy was surprised to find this in an 86 - his books showed it as an '87 (my truck was produced in Canada Oct '86 - so it was a very late '86)

Also I doubt you'll find it in anything heavier than a half ton 4x4 with 300/6 or small block V8
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Old 06-10-2004, 11:32 PM
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Wanham- I just went thru this on the OD trans. There is a cast iron toploader OD trans, as well as the SROD aluminum trans that mtflat talks about. Here is the link to the thread: http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=245047
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Old 07-08-2004, 12:09 PM
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I would like to know what you guys figure out because I've been thinking on dropping a flathead into my 87 ranger. Crazy idea but may turn out cool. The tranny problem has been hosing me up and I really don't have the cash to have anything fabricated. Maybe when I know exactly what I need then I can do it.
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Old 07-08-2004, 07:42 PM
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That's about the weirdest sounding swap I've heard in awhile, I think I like it! Might be a tight fit, I don't recall how wide those things are, When I was a kid, my dad had a '48 Ford pickup, we swapped a flathead Merc into it, and I don't think I've touched one since. I've been thinking about a 5.0 swap into my '89 Ranger, I've heard there's a small interference problem with the heater box, I don't know if that would hold true with the flathead. Let me know if you decide to do it. (Wouldn't pass smog here in Ca.!) -TD
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Old 07-08-2004, 11:06 PM
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A friend of mine has a 48 ford with the flathead in it. I can take some measurements to see if it can be done. If a triton V8 can fit under my hood, a flathead surely can too!! I still would like to know what the best (and easiest to install) automatic tranny to put behind that flathead tho.
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Old 07-08-2004, 11:11 PM
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At a guess, (and this is strictly a guess, mind you) I would say the C4, since it had a removeable bellhousing that could make it easier to adapt to the 2-piece flathead bellhousing. I don't know, there must be someone who has put an automatic behind a flattie. -TD
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Old 07-16-2004, 07:24 AM
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There is a kit available called a Flat-O-Matic for mating a C4 with a flathead. I understand it works very well. The link: http://www.flat-o.com/carproducts/flatomatic.htm The cost is $550, including a balanced flywheel, bell housing, torque converter, pilot bearing, and hardware. You use your original starter.

My preference would be for the 3 speed OD toploader; I've never liked automatics.

Thecannibal, I think the flathead will fit in your Ranger. It is a surprisingly compact engine
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Old 07-22-2004, 06:49 PM
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The September 2004 "StreetRobber" Mag has an article about the 64-73 Ford Toploader Tranny, converted to a top shifter.
Its the same a using the Jeep Shift plate, this is "After Market"
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Old 07-22-2004, 06:49 PM
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