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C6 to a ZF5--All the small stuff.

 
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:45 PM
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C6 to a ZF5--All the small stuff.

This thread will cover the different aspects involved in changing from the C6 automatic transmission, to ZF5 manual transmission. As I see it, there are several different parts to the installation: for example, changing and adapting the pedal assembly, checking out a used ZF, bracing the firewall (which, because of the way I'm doing it, is actually part of adapting my pedal assembly), the driveshafts, the starter, changing the floor cover, and adapting the crossmember to support the new transmission.

Wanted to break down each one of those aspects of the install into small manageable pieces or topics. Because in many of the threads I've read, I was left in the dark about many aspects. Hopefully, this thread will guide future readers through each aspect, and give them an idea of how to do it, and what problems to avoid.
This thread will cover the different aspects involved in changing from the C6 automatic transmission, to ZF5 manual transmission. As I see it, there are several different parts to the installation: for example, changing and adapting the pedal assembly, checking out a used ZF, bracing the firewall (which, because of the way I'm doing it, is actually part of adapting my pedal assembly), the driveshafts, the starter, changing the floor cover, and adapting the crossmember to support the new transmission.




So let's begin. The above photo is the transmission that I found. It is from a nineteen ninety Ford F250, with a three fifty-one engine. That engine size means that the bell housing will fit a 302 or the 4.9 (300). That's a good thing because I'm putting it behind a high performance three hundred.

I pulled the numbers off the tag on the driver's side of the transmission, and those told me that it was the ZF S542, which is the earlier model, and slightly less beefy than the S547. Nonetheless, it is a super strong transmission.

Before I went all the trouble of installing and finding out that something was wrong, I wanted to open it up and check it is best I could. The first thing I did was try to move the pilot shaft. There I found a tiny, almost unnoticeable amount of movement. I found the same on the output shaft. I had to check it several times, both shafts, to notice any movement at all. That is good. When these transmissions are newly rebuilt, the rebuilder sets up a dial indicator and checks the horizontal movement of the shafts. Mine felt good.

The next thing I did was to pull the shift tower off the top of the transmission, along with the PTO plate on either side. That allowed me to shine a light inside the transmission and check out the gears. The first thing I noticed was that the fluid that remained inside the housing was crystal clear. There were no metal particles were shavings. Another thing I noticed was that the edge of the gears were sharp and clearly defined. As where the synchro rings. It is these rings that allows you to downshift from one gear to another without getting any grind, and they are notorious for wearing out.

The closer I examined, noting the state of the gaskets, the absolutely spotless fluid, and the sharp defined edges of the synchros, it all added up to make me think that this transmission had been rebuilt not too long ago. I should also note, that before I remove the shift tower, it shifted into every gear, and the shifts were firm and tight. I was feeling really good about this transmission.

However, I wanted to replace the input shaft seal and the output shaft seal. Because the influx of foreign parts with questionable quality, I sought out Timken seals. Finally I found them on RockAuto. The total price was fifteen dollars and something, delivered. Part #223012, and 710415. Doing the R and R was simple. I used a piece of pipe to tap each one into place. The pipe allowed me to slide it over the input and output shafts, and tap the seals in.

When I finished with that, I bolted in a new slave cylinder made by Luk. I went with this one because it was all aluminum. The last thing I did to get the transmission ready to install was putting on new gaskets on the PTO covers, and the shift tower, and I checked the pilot shaft carefully. They do make a special pilot shaft bearing to use if your pilot shaft is scored, with grooves or scratches and it, that may damage your new bearing. It comes with a sleeve that you glue right over your pilot shaft. The only place I've seen it was on eBay. But mine was good so I was ready to go. The only thing I did was wipe it down with a dab of gasoline on a rag, to remove the dried up grease. That allowed me to determine the condition of the shaft.

THE PEDAL ASSEMBLY:


The above photo is from either Google docs, or another forum member. I can't remember. This part of the install, in my opinion, takes the most work. First of all it takes a while to even find a manual transmission pedal assembly at the junkyard. You might be better off to go directly to eBay and pay little more to save yourself the time.
I also wanted to say that in the photo above you can see that I am attaching the clutch master cylinder mount to the pedal assembly. That will keep the firewall from flexing, and or cracking, which would not be good.

I also opted to do away with all the Ford Mickey Mouse plastic bushings that are found in the assembly. The bushings commonly wear out and cause major frustrations. So I found that I could go to MustangMike dot com, and purchase a bearing kit to replace the bushings.



What you see above, is the plastic forward bushing shoved inside the OEM holder on the pedal assembly. That is what I did away with.



Above is the oem fitting removed from the assembly with a grinder.



And this is what I'm about to weld into place of the plastic bushing and holder. Doesn't it look a lot better and stronger?



And, I'm adding this support for the clutch master to the pedal assembly, rather that simply adding a plate to the firewall. This absolutely eliminates any flex.



This is what I'm shooting for. And once I have welded in the bearings[, and welded on the] for the clutch master cylinder, of course I'll hit the entire thing with a rotary brush, and given a nice coat of black paint.

You'll notice that Ford had the linkage for the clutch on the opposite side of the pedal assembly. That quarter inch thick arm that you see in the photo, I will simply be cutting it down and using it as a very thick washer. It does have a slot opening and it, and it would be rather difficult to find a replacement. So that's how I'm going to do it.

I should also say that when you look at your firewall, you'll find indentations on the driver side of the column, right where I am mounting the clutch master. It is those indentations that I use as a guide. It seems the factory thought about mounting the master there, or possibly on other models those indentations were punched out at the factory in the holes used.

Don't be concerned with purchasing a special tool to disconnect the hydraulic line's going into the slave cylinder. It only took a little tinkering with the screwdriver to get it to disconnect.

CLUTCH ASSEMBLY: although I mounting the clutch on a 4.9 (300) flywheel, I purchased a clutch for a 351. Ford drilled the flywheel for both a 10 inch and an 11 inch clutch. So I use the 11 inch holes. Also, when I checked through rock auto, it showed that the 4.9 came with either size.




The bottom photo is what I saw on summer racing, and what I use to purchase the clutch. Note that the friction material is quite wide in the photo. Now look at the photo above it. That is the actual clutch that was delivered. At first I was kind of pissed and felt like I'd been cheated. But then I realized that the clutch was made for a three fifty-one, so it is probably going to be ample for my truck and use. Nonetheless, I'm finding more and more sneaky approaches to advertising. I never thought I was difficult to please. I just see a photo, pay my money, and expect to get what's in the photo. Is that too much to ask for? Evidently.

So to sum up everything, I will be adding more photos and text as they go through each aspect of the install. Hopefully I'll cover all the bases.

I would say that there's quite a few pieces to this and install and make it the most complicated mod that I've done to my truck, and I've done a lot. I was fortunate enough to find an early 90s F250 with a ZF and it at the junkyard, and managed to remove the drive shafts in the yoke from the rear end. I'm dying to see whether I'm going to need to have the drive shafts modified, or whether it fits.

More to come.
 
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Old 08-17-2018, 03:29 PM
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Good progress so far. Just FYI, there is duplicate text in Post #1 within the first 2 paragraphs.

Many people have already done this mod for the Ford 400 + F250 set-up to get a real stump-pulling set-up going.... and the overdrive doesn't hurt either!

There are a few threads floating around, but you're quite right... they don't have any details on the pedals, slave cylinder, or are for the 351W/302/300 set-up. Nicely done so far.
 
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Old 08-17-2018, 07:51 PM
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I guess the best way to remove that nut is with an impact? Then I wouldn't have to worry about holding the yolk. My first thought was to run a pipe through the u joint cradles, and try it with a breaker bar, and I still may. I can see where the Factory? swedged (is that proper term?) the nut to the shaft. It appears that someone used a punch and hit it with a hammer to in one spot to keep the nut from coming loose. I was hoping that someone here had some words of wisdom about removing the nut--hopefully that would save me $ and labor. Ha ha.



I also wanted to share a quick story about parts: I bought a gasket/seal kit via ebay to get the gaskets. It cost $20. I checked the seals and there was no brand on them whatsoever, so I assumed the worst and went in search of Timken seals. After checking 4 bricks-and-mortor autoparts, I found them on RockAuto. They came in nicely-decorated boxes with a big orange 'Timken' on the boxes. Great. When I looked at the seals they read 'Indonesia' on each seal. They may be quality, but are they better than what I had? Who knows?



I forgot to mention this in the first post about the pedal assembly. The way Ford designed the manual pedals is so the clutch on the left has a shaft attached that inserts through a tube attached to the brake pedal. So the brake pedal kind of hangs on the shaft from the clutch pedal. And, yeps, you guessed it. Keeping the insert of the clutch and the tube of the brake pedal apart, are the Ford plastic bushings. I looked and looked and found at Ace Hardware, oil impregnated bronze bushings to take the place of the oem plastic. They will require me turning them down to fit, but I'll try to rig up a home made 'lathe' with a drill motor, or some such marvel.



Above you can see how the brake tube kind of hangs on the clutch shaft.



The photo above was, if I recall correctly, taken from a post by a fellow forum member. He was the first to mention the bronze bushings, and I am in his debt.
 
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:17 PM
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Please keep your ZF5 upgrades and installation process details coming to your forum post here.
I too am planning a ZF5 install in my 63 F100 unibody.
I'm at odds still with my engine choice (302 'Clevor' or clone Boss 302 of sorts, as they say) or a Cummins 4BT diesel.
I currently own the 'Clevor' and it is almost ready for a final assembly; however, the Cummins 4BT is available to me from a running vehicle.
More details on your overall ZF5 installation process as well as a continuing parts list is very helpful and much appreciated I'm sure.
Many thanks in advance for your post and details - Pete
 
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Old 08-18-2018, 05:40 PM
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Don't see many Clevors out there... That'd be my vote. Cummins is almost too much of a Small Block Chevy of diesels. Just like the LS is now the Small Block Chevy of Small Block Chevys...

You'd want a completely different cam than what the '69-'70 Boss 302s had, as they were built for over 4000 RPM or whatever. But with hydraulic lifters and an RV type cam, it might well do better than something like a late '90s Explorer 5.0/302.
 
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Old 08-18-2018, 06:10 PM
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QUOTE=unilover6163;18146703]Please keep your ZF5 upgrades and installation process details coming to your forum post here.
I too am planning a ZF5 install in my 63 F100 unibody.
Many thanks in advance for your post and details - Pete[/QUOTE]

Hello Pete: I'm glad that the thread is of value. Thanks for letting me know, and good luck with your project.

I was a bit stumped when I went to r&r the input shaft seal. According to this thread: https://www.oilburners.net/threads/z...rebuild.62490/ Which is great for helping with a rebuild. I know there are many types of ZF's, 2x and 4x, big block, small block, S42's and S47's, but I thought I'd be able to swap out the input shaft seal from inside the bell housing. However, I found this:



Clearly, that seal is not coming out from the front! I imagine that is one detail that got changed when ZF redesigned the trans into the ZF S547? Darn. I did find blue loctite on the threads of the pto cover bolts, and the slave cylinder bolts. I'm guessing that is not original, and was hopefully added when the trans got rebuilt. That would explain the sharp, clean, unworn edges on the synchros, etc.

Now I have to rent or buy a large impact with a large set of metric sockets to remove the output shaft yolk, so I can get at the seal. I'll try to locate a exploded view diagram prior to tell me if the seal is changeable from the outside.
 
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Old 08-19-2018, 02:28 PM
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Well, I've had a bit of a set back: while I was poking around the pilot shaft and the seal there, I noticed that the shaft had a bit of vertical play. I did a quick search and couldn't find mention of what was acceptable. I also got word from a forum friend, who was examining a ZF S547 4X4, as I was examining my S542 2X. He said that although his looked good through the pto openings, he pulled the case and found that one of the synchros, hidden from view with the case on, was shot. That worried me. Maybe mine was in the same condition. I now have three reasons to pull the case off and take a look see: change the front seal, examine the input shaft and bearing, and check that mystery synchro. If the synchro is worn or bad, that means breaking down the shafts and replacing all bearings and races, etc. Since I don't know for certain if this trans was rebuilt, I'm thinking that doing the break-down and rebuild may be the logical way to go. However, since reading that it is usually the third gear synchro that goes first, if that shows little or no wear, then I may assume it recently went through a rebuild, and so reassemble it as it.

Driveshaft mods needed or not: This is going to be one of the topics in this thread. Today I'm going to lay out the drive shafts (two with a carrier bearing) and determine the length. These were taken from a 96 F250 with a ZF 2x4. I'm hoping I won't need to have my drive shaft(s) altered. I should soon know.
 
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Old 08-22-2018, 08:08 PM
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Removing the yoke nut on 2x4 ZF: I want to remove the case. To do that I have to get the yoke nut off the output shaft at the back of the trans. Just finding a socket that would fit was tough. Craftsmen sockets were too fat. The same with the Harbor freight type. I finally had to get a 35mm Snap-on socket, and by doing so I learned something interesting: The cheap sockets are thicker walled because the steel is not as high quality as Snap-on. That thick wall prevented the sockets from getting inside and going over the nut. Finally I found a socket, but my impact would not bust it loose. I used a breaker bar, but how could I hold the shaft stationary in order to loosen the nut? Easy. I built a little jig with garage scrape 2x4's and a steel concrete form stake.



That allowed me to shove the socket under the stake and turn the nut loose.
 
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Old 08-22-2018, 08:17 PM
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Btw, for those of you who want or need replacements for the small brass plugs on the outside of the ZF, since they have to be punctured and pried out to remove the case, I found a source to buy new ones: https://www.transmissionpartsdistributors.com/
 
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:55 PM
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I got to the speedo cable today. I had read where the 73-79 cable attaches to the zf trans w/o mods or hassle. Can someone enlighten me? Here is the zf attachment that was cut on the cable by the po.



It was kind of a upset when I pulled the d. shafts, one set for a c6, and the other to a zf. I had thought the zf was cherry. Oops. One forklift ruined my hope of escaping the project w/o having to pay to have the d.shaft modified. Dang.



Here is what the pedal assembly looked like to begin with. I wire brushed it and welded in the new bearing races from MustangSteve dot com. I also tacked in heavy washers on the inside of the assembly



Below is tacking in the big washers inside.





Below is the finished pedal assembly.



You know, I was going to turn down these bronze bushings and install them, but, you know what? It may be just a bit too much. I realized the amount of labor it would take to rig up some sort of lathe with a drill motor, etc., and said nix to that. I realized that the oem plastic bushings I took out of the brake pedal tube were still good after untold years of service, so I think I'll simply buy new ones and be done with it.

 
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Old 08-24-2018, 12:13 AM
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Awesome work! Subscribed. I hope you post a video of you driving after complete.
 
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Old 08-24-2018, 08:36 AM
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Just a quick note on imported parts - I worked for overseas manufacturers for almost 30 years and I think it is safe to say they can do every bit as good work as any American manufacturer IF IT IS SPECCED TO BE SO!! If the company laying out the specs just says 'make me this part' you get junk... if they take the time to have decent dimensioned drawings and models, if they are picky about how tight of tolerances they will accept, finish coatings, etc... you get great parts. The classic line is that when your Asian counterpart listens to you and says "OK" it does NOT mean he accepts everything, it means he understands what you said. You get him to accept all specs in writing, you put necessary penalty clauses in place (free air replacement shipping, replacement up-to-spec parts, etc.) and you will get great parts. After all... the computers you use, the phones you talk on, virtually all electronics are made in Asia or under Asian-controlled plants here.... and generally you have no trouble.
 
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Old 08-24-2018, 09:30 AM
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HoustonDave: Thanks for making your point. I am glad you did. It is valid and needed to be said. I think my views should be discussed/debatted, however, this is an automotive forum, so I will diplomatically avoid throwing out my political views, even though I feel they are very cleaver. Ha ha.
 
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Old 08-24-2018, 09:39 AM
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Was not trying to make/break a political point (wrong forum!) just trying to set the record straight. Saying no overseas part is good is like any other generalization; prone to rebuttal. Whether someone CHOOSES to use such a part is a personal choice. Hope that is not too finely chopped and parsed for your cleaver!
 
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Old 08-24-2018, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by HoustonDave View Post
Was not trying to make/break a political point (wrong forum!) just trying to set the record straight. Saying no overseas part is good is like any other generalization; prone to rebuttal. Whether someone CHOOSES to use such a part is a personal choice. Hope that is not too finely chopped and parsed for your cleaver!
Nope, not at all.Valid point.
 

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