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Old 10-04-2012, 11:22 PM   #1
Tim Rocheford
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Default Top Loader Shifter on a Side Shift Tranny

Anyone out there adapted a shift tower from a ford top loader to work a side shift on a three speed GM transmission? I've seen some fuzzy pictures, but nothing close up.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:49 AM   #2
F&J
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Default Re: Top Loader Shifter on a Side Shift Tranny

I saw that shift tower cover mod on the hamb classifieds a while back, but it was on a 50 Olds trans. It did not show the important part, as to how the linkage was made.


Eelco made a shifter that looked like a top shifter tower, to use on sideshift Cad/LaSalles. I have one that I hope to copy to make one for other transmissions.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:26 AM   #3
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Im going to do this to a selector shift 55 olds trans i have. Im nervous about cutting up the forks for the original trans, i dont want to be screwed if it doesnt work.

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Old 10-05-2012, 09:41 AM   #4
Don's Hot Rods
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Default Re: Top Loader Shifter on a Side Shift Tranny

There was a shifter sold back in the late 50's or early 60's called (I think) the X shifter. It was sort of like an early Ford top loader but had a flat platform that bolted to the top of the transmission and the arms came off of the sides of that platform to work the transmission arms.

I have never seen one personally, just in the magazines. It must not have been very popular or sucessful because they didn't seem to be around for long.

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Old 10-05-2012, 07:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Top Loader Shifter on a Side Shift Tranny

There was also a complete case casting to put later Chevy three speed internals in it and use an early chevy tower shift mechanism. Don't remember who cast it but it had to have been in the late 60's or early 70's.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Top Loader Shifter on a Side Shift Tranny

Im half way thru mounting a 39 toploader top cover to fit my 55 olds selector shift.

ive been taking pictures as i go. ill post the photos if it works
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:46 PM   #7
Marty Strode
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Default Re: Top Loader Shifter on a Side Shift Tranny

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldspert View Post
There was also a complete case casting to put later Chevy three speed internals in it and use an early chevy tower shift mechanism. Don't remember who cast it but it had to have been in the late 60's or early 70's.
That was an Offenhauser "X" shifter, it was a case that utilized 55-64 Chevy 3 speed internals, along with the top from 38 and back Chevy, some friends of mine have them in their cars.This shot is a toploader Ford with the Jeep T-150 top.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: Top Loader Shifter on a Side Shift Tranny

I took a shift tower from an early Ford truck removed the forks, machined the shift rods flat on one side, fabricated flat plates to attach to the rods, fabricated brackets with fingers to transfer the top loader horizontal shift motion to the vertical side shift motion. The fingers slip over rollers on shift arms attached to the side shift fork linkage. A similar setup should be doable on any transmission. The Merc O/D with this modified linkage has over 1500 miles on it in my 40 Ford Tonner.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:57 AM   #9
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Default Re: Top Loader Shifter on a Side Shift Tranny

Quote:
Originally Posted by Window Licker View Post
Im half way thru mounting a 39 toploader top cover to fit my 55 olds selector shift.

ive been taking pictures as i go. ill post the photos if it works

Post pics EVEN if it does not work so good. Someone might be able to help.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:12 AM   #10
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I removed the original shift forks.

Disassembled the ford shift tower

Im considering modifying the larger original shift fork to work with the R-1 and then ill only have to make one more, but after seeing the pictures above im thinking fabing both may be easier and better

Currently i have the larger fork modified to fit the R-1 and reassembled like stock with the shifter, but it puts the shifter way at the back of the trans, it would be in conveinient
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:24 AM   #11
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Default Re: Top Loader Shifter on a Side Shift Tranny

Do it yourself:

http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=97533
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:29 AM   #12
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Im trying to avoid doing that just because i dont like the way it looks plus i dont think it will ever shift smoothly

I believe this setup will work well, and its not bulky at all.
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Last edited by Window Licker; 12-05-2012 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:48 AM   #13
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Default Re: Top Loader Shifter on a Side Shift Tranny

Quote:
Originally Posted by Window Licker View Post
I removed the original shift forks.

Disassembled the ford shift tower

Im considering modifying the larger original shift fork to work with the R-1 and then ill only have to make one more, but after seeing the pictures above im thinking fabing both may be easier and better

Currently i have the larger fork modified to fit the R-1 and reassembled like stock with the shifter, but it puts the shifter way at the back of the trans, it would be in conveinient
One thing you will need to consider if you are thinking about setting up your toploader like I did is the rotational effect of the arms sliding back and forth in the shift tower. If you notice there are 3 OEM shift rods in my tower. The center rod is used to prevent the brackets from rotating as they are moved fore and aft. With your shift tower you will need to design a stabilizer to prevent that from happening.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:54 AM   #14
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Default Re: Top Loader Shifter on a Side Shift Tranny

Quote:
Originally Posted by expavr View Post
One thing you will need to consider if you are thinking about setting up your toploader like I did is the rotational effect of the arms sliding back and forth in the shift tower. If you notice there are 3 OEM shift rods in my tower. The center rod is used to prevent the brackets from rotating as they are moved fore and aft. With your shift tower you will need to design a stabilizer to prevent that from happening.
the shafts have a provision for roll pins thru the shift fork i should be ok?
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:48 AM   #15
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Default Re: Top Loader Shifter on a Side Shift Tranny

The guys with Borg-Warner T86 and T96 3-speeds put the Jeep top cover on them all the time. One little bit of welding on those with overdrive and a lockout lever, but otherwise cake.

FWIW, the feel of the top shifter is definitely old school. Those raised on the Hurst shift floor shift conversion don't always like it.

Quote:
This shot is a toploader Ford with the Jeep T-150 top.
FWIW, the Ford 3-speed all-synchro top loader with the Jeep top shifter is ten times better box than the older Ford/GM/B-W non-synchro first gear. If I wanted a 3-speed, that's the way to go, but then why not have a 5-speed? That's ten times better yet again.

jack vines

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Old 12-06-2012, 06:40 PM   #16
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I finally came up with a good way to do it, i need to build the parts

Sent from my DROID device using the TJJ mobile app
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:07 PM   #17
buford26
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Default Re: Top Loader Shifter on a Side Shift Tranny

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Originally Posted by Window Licker View Post
I finally came up with a good way to do it, i need to build the parts

Did you ever get this to work?
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:58 PM   #18
40FordGuy
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Default Re: Top Loader Shifter on a Side Shift Tranny

Ditto, what Packard said; Use a toploader, with the Jeep shifter. t150, or a RUG unit are both good to go with that same shifter.

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