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Old 07-25-2010, 05:37 PM
geetoe geetoe is offline
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1949 F1 Tranny Swap

Hello all from sunny (and HOT) South Dakota. I have a 1949 F1 with a flathead 8 and a 4 speed transmission. I love my truck but HATE the transmission. What other transmissions will work behind the 239? Years ago I had a '49 F1 with a three speed on the floor. It was syncronized and a joy to drive. I'd like something with overdrive, I've heard there are 5 speeds that will fit without too much effort. Any thoughts?
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Old 07-25-2010, 07:29 PM
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There are a lot of transmission options for the 239, but only a few that will fit easily without major surgery. A floor-shifted 3-speed like you mentioned will be a bolt-in swap, though. The worst you would have to do is rework the driveshaft. If you go that route, try to get the driveshaft out of the truck that the transmission came from. I think that floor-shifted light duty 3-speed was the standard transmission from '48-early '50 before the column-shifted 3-speed became standard. That transmission would work also, but you'd have to come up with a steering column set up for it and shifter linkage, too.

You're not going to get anything with overdrive in there without much effort. The normal 5 speed OD swap is a Chevy S-10 T-5 transmission. It requires a fairly pricey bellhousing adapter, a shortened driveshaft, and reworking the transmission crossmember.

If you don't mind a slushbox, there are a couple adapter kits available for the C4 automatic. It fits these trucks fairly well without cutting the crossmember.
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:25 PM
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If I were you I would stick to the stock trannys, Your easiest bet is to find a 3 speed heavy duty. That drive shaft should bolt right to it. (correct me if I am wrong, Joe) I have put in transmissions which required me to cut out the trans mount and had to get a drive shaft made, thanks to joe, anyway If I were you stick to the stock trans. I have a few good floor shifters, but I am in indiana.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:57 PM
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With a 4-sp in it now, depending which crossmember you have to hold it, you have more options that if you had the stock light-duty 3-sp. Take a picture of the crossmember and rear mount area from behind and post it.

From what I've seen around here, the S-10 trannies are all but impossible to find. I don't think they were that popular to begin with, and every hot rodder wants one.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:07 AM
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He will have the stock f1 crossmemeber. All f1s had the same one. They changed the mount on the trans to fit the cross member. It is the same mount as the three speed.
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:51 AM
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1949 Ford Tranny Swap

Thank you all for your suggestions. I do need to clarify one thing though, I'm a she not a he Anyway, maybe I should just focus on learning to double clutch than hating the transmission. I really only drive the truck in the summer, but I can keep a lookout for an S-10 tranny. Will any transmission from an S-10 work, or does it have to be a specific year/model to make it even more complicated and hard to find? I dug the truck out from where it had spent the winter this week, and ditched the nasty bench seat for a pair of leather '78 Volvo Bertone bucket seats. I built a wooden box frame for them and now I have some nice storage underneath and they are much more comfortable. As an added bonus, I don't have to keep moving them around anymore! The truck runs great, I did change it over to 12 volt when I first got it. Thanks again, and any tips on driving this thing will be appreciated as well! Chris
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:26 AM
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Is your current 4 speed a non synchro transmission? If you could live with a 4 speed synchronized in 2,3, and 4 you might be able to use a T98A. It will not get you overdrive, but the T98A is an easy transmission to live with as long as it is not all worn out. Someone else here was looking at using a T98A in a similar application a few months ago, but I do not know what came of it.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:01 PM
Dicky Bravo Dicky Bravo is offline
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Geetoe. I've got the crashbox in my 51 as well. I think everyone's covered the other options well, and anything other than the light-duty three speed (which is the famous 1939 Ford transmission in hotrodding circles) or the heavy duty three-speed will require removal of the transmission cross-member (including the other ford t-18,-19,89 transmissions). I'm constantly on the look-out for one of the 3 speeds, and they're out there, just not in my neck of the woods for a good price at the moment.

However, I thought I'd share a bit on driving the crash box. I had never driven one before I bought my truck (figured I'd learn how). The biggest thing I had to adjust to was just taking time between shifts... you gotta almost count to "one thousand one" while it's in neutral... this will allow the engine rpms to slow down to match the drive shaft speed. Also, the gearing in the 4 speeds is really low... I'm sure you've already figured out the part where you start in second, but even then you need to up shift faster (i.e. at a lower mph) than you would when normally driving (to me, in the majority of cars I've owned, I would wind it up in first a bit more). I usually shift outta second and into 3rd at about 10 mph (on relatively a flat roads). So at 10 mph, clutch in shift to nuetral, clutch out in nuetral, count to 1001, then clutch in and shift to 3rd and you'll be good to go. You really just have to slow down eveything and it will work just fine. Once you get the timing down, you can experiment with winding the engine out a bit more before shifting and adjusting your double-clutch timing to mesh the gears at different speeds. It's definitely much more driving by feel. Downshifting is a whole other art form... so the easiest thing to do there (until you learn how) is always keep the truck in gear as you slow down... no putting it in nuetral as you approach a light until you're almost stopped (push the clutch in of course, but keep it in gear)... the engines have a good bit of very low-end torgque and you can lug it back up to speed if you need to.

It took me about two months of weekend driving to get the hang of upshifting comfortably, and about 6 months to get to downshifting straight (my father, who drove model a's for years gave me a tutorial last time he came up for a visit)... although I still drind the gears a bit while downshifiting. But now I drive the truck all over the place (no commuting) in San Francisco with relative ease (hills, traffic, etc.). I think it's fun... it impresses my firends (as noe one my age even knows about this much less actually how to do it) plus no one can ever steal it (not that they'd want my truck anyhow) becasue absolutely no car thief is going to know how to get it outta first gear. I will say that someday I will switch, but this is not that bad until that day comes.
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:01 PM
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Thank You for the input, Dicky Bravo! Hopefully there will still be some teeth left on the gears by the time I figure it out! Chris
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:34 PM
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If it helps any, my wife learned to drive our truck this past weekend. She is a natural at the double clutching thing and had it down in about 30 minutes. After being afraid of it for 1 1/2 years, she is now excited about driving it.

It takes a bit of rhythm, patience between gears and an understanding of what is actually happening during the process. As mentioned before, don't rush it...wait for it to come to you. I find that you can downshift to 3rd around corners about 1/2 way into the turn without revving the engine and you can ride 4th almost all the way to a stop. Also, I always start the truck with the clutch down and in 2nd gear rather than neutral so that nothing gets to spinning before you get going. The trickiest shift is the 2nd to 3rd one, you will want to do it before you think you need to. Also, I've never been able to shift from granny gear into anything else so I'd reserve that for when you want to pull your house off the foundation and go no more than 2mph doing it!

I think it's really fun and especially thrilling when you master the downshift! I've driven trucks with all the various transmission options and this is my favorite by far. I know I'm really in the minority on this!

If you do decide to dump it though, I wouldn't mind acquiring a spare drive shaft assembly...
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Old 07-29-2010, 07:20 AM
49willard 49willard is offline
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I would agree with finding either a floor shifter stock 3 speed or the heavy duty 3 speed. If you stay with the flathead. the standard light duty 3 speed floor shifter will be fine. If you try to run a later higher horsepower motor thru the drive train, the light duty 3 speed will be the weak link. I proved this several times before going to the heavy duty 3 speed. Willard ran a 56 Buick Nailhead back then and I was younger.
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:43 AM
Bruce 49 Bruce 49 is offline
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I would like to jump in here witha question if y'all don't mind. I have a 1949 F-1 with a in line 6 and 3 speed transmission. I am in the process of restoring it and am considering swapping the motor, transmission and rear end. My consern is reliabality, ease of driving and concern that the truck would not be able to do 70 on freeaway.
I believe the engine and transmission in the truck are in good shape. What I would like to wind up with is a reliable truck that I don't have to work on all the time.
Thanks
Bruce
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:54 AM
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Switch to a T5 from a S-10 you will love it. Easier to drive better on gas with the OD. Any year will work just make sure its from a S-10 not a mutang. Plenty articles on the swap. I did it in the summer and love it. I have old crash box if anyone is interested.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:08 PM
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Jump to post #5 in this article - I am putting together all the info I can to ease fellow folks out. If you go the S-10 T-5 behind a 6 cyl, understand it has been done and pics taken: check out '51ford fan' album that is exactly what I am starting out on myself.

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/11...-progress.html

If you pull your trans and decide it is a HD3 not a LD3, then by lord keep it. That is one good tranny that should make you very happy, just do some gear thinking on rear end and consider 3.50 gears. (I would advise no lower than 3.25, I have a 3.00 and am not thrilled.)

Also, not to nit pick, but you posted on a thread over a year old, start a new thread and you will get a ton more looks and responses.

If you are going 70mph with the stock brake system then please don't get anywhere near other traffic. I rarely do 70, but I do that (rebuilt but stock) and I leave a 1/4 mile of clean air in front of my windshield.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:09 PM
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I know this is one of your older messages, but when I saw it I wanted to ask you if you still had any of the floor shifters you mentioned. I have a 51 F1 that my Dad bought brand new. And, I'm wanting to change it from a 3 on the tree to a three by the knee. I just started going through the pickup, but it doesn't need much as it was always garage kept. It has been really difficult trying to find a floor shifter and stay with the stock transmission. If you don't have one I can buy from you, I'll go with a T5 out of an S-10.
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Greg V.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:09 PM
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