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Projects 223 ford...what transmission?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by iwanaflattie, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. Hello..working on a 51 ford f1 on a 47 frame,front i beam,dana 41 or dana 60 (have both)
    Bought a 223 ford running for 200 with its stock 3 speed but came accross a 3spd OD from the 60s and a mid 50s 3speed $100 for both.

    I want a grocery getter...what trans would u go with?
    Tia 1b6ebadab648467f9f5bc56525892a04.jpg e80e1ef0c74046ee95743a5f339026c8.jpg 8045fde2951c447f968f2983a990fbc5.jpg ee977853f4b54ff783adde013470ad6e.jpg 0a1c4bc8359e4c368d43f206e58fe50c.jpg 33b14347b40f4bf981a627abb1e74ba1.jpg

    Attached Files:

  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 45,182


    no picture of the front of the OD transmission? but it looks like the later case design, which isn't likely to fit a bellhousing that fits the 223.

    You don't need overdrive to go to the grocery store, unless it's a couple states over.
  3. Thanks squirrel.
    I will take and post a pic of the front of the trans...thanks again
  4. Adapt a T-5 to the stock bell housing. It wakes up the motor
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  5. speedshifter
    Joined: Mar 3, 2008
    Posts: 178


    I like the 3spd trans with Borg Warner OD. With a 4.27 rear ratio or 4.11 , the engine will pull it ok. Some sources say a 223 6cyl has more power than a 239cu in v8. Greg
    Speedy Canuck likes this.
  6. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 5,453

    anthony myrick

    the OD if it will work
    I put a lot of miles on a 223 and regular 3spd
    sidevalve8ba likes this.
  7. My 55 ranch wagon . originally had a 223 engine. and it has the overdrive three speed and 427 gears from the factory. The top loader trans with the bell that you picture is a heavy duty pickup three speed. they came in3/4 ton trucks and require a slip joint driveshaft. Your first trans is a standard truck three speed. If you find a later full syncro top loader 3 speed with 8 mounting bolt holes in the case it will bolt to your trans . however you will need to trim the inpuit shaft. and possibly use a different clutch plate.
  8. The wagner you pictured also requires a slip joint driveshaft. and may need the inpuit shaft shortened.
  9. I'd go with the overdrive if you can adapt the bellhousing to make it work. Nice to have the OD, even if you don't always need it.
  10. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 5,453

    anthony myrick

    if my memory is correct, and its wrong sometimes
    ford had different car and truck input shaft lengths meaning there are car and truck bellhousing differences in the yblock and 223 years?
    or is this a rumor spread by the gm guys?
  11. Yes the car and trucks have different bellhousings and inpuit shafts. The heavy duty 3 speed the OP posted used the same bell as a granny 4 speed. no car trans will bolt to it. the truck bells had rear engine mounts and the cars used a trans tailshaft rear mount. the cars trans has a smaller diameter inpuit shaft that often is longer than the truck version.
    anthony myrick likes this.
  12. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 5,453

    anthony myrick

    Thanks for the clarification
  13. So with all that info...
    My red 3 speed is a truck trans and the OD is a car trans with the rear mount and longer and skinnier input shaft..
    The good news is that the OD has dual bolt pattern i made a carboard template to make sure...
    see below
    IMG-20200210-WA0001.jpg IMG-20200210-WA0004.jpg IMG-20200210-WA0003.jpg
    Theres also a later 3 speed out of a falcon for sale locally..

    I really dont want to make this super difficult for me...
    But dont want to stick a 350/400 and wana keep this all ford...i have a 60s y block with a truck bellhousing i believe...
  14. Can I use the big truck bellhousing,clutch,plate and bearing on the smaller 3 speed?.
    I dont have the 223/HD3 speed with me(gonna pick up thursday) to check
  15. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 250


    Had a couple of cars back in the 60's that had 3 speed OD transmissions. I really liked driving them. I think the Borg Warner units were 30% OD.

    Because of the overrunning clutch in the OD unit, they shift silky smooth. You can easily shift them without using the clutch as long as you are below the OD cut in speed (typically about 30 mph). If you want it to automatically kick out of OD when you go to full throttle, you will have to wire in a throttle activated switch. It de-activates the OD solenoid and momentarily cuts the ignition so the spring in the solenoid can pull the locking pawl out of the sun gear.
  16. Used Up Junk
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 669

    Used Up Junk
    from Merced, CA

    You will never regret having an overdrive, you will however regret NOT having it any time you want to head out of town. It doesn’t even have to be that far, anything over 10 miles or so in my ‘64 pickup with a granny four speed is a major drag. 55 mph and the poor motor is revving it’s ass off.
  17. The bell you have pictured will only accept the heavy duty 3 speed or a granny 4 speed. pictured is a 56 ford Pk bell and original three speed. That is the bell which will accept the car three speed trans if you rework the input shaft and change to a pass car clutch disk. A Y block bell will not fit a 223 six. the Y block flywheel & starter 56 ford truck three speed 001.JPG will fit a 223 six.
  18. I actually like a granny 4 speed. My 66 GMC has a 250 six and granny 4 speed. However it has 336 rear gears. I don't mind running 80 MPH. and with the granny low you still have slow first and reverse gearing. Put some taller gears in your ford. A 325 is easy to find and would be about correct.
  19. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 4,942

    from CO & WA

    IMHO and as a past owner of a 223 in a 1960, my comments would be;
    Definitely and overdrive, it will just give you so much more top end and lower the engine revs which should extend engine life.
    After that as many gears as you can get your hands on. I did quite a lot of hauling a car trailer between CO and CA and found I never did have a enough gears either for the weight I was pulling or the hills I was climbing.
    It is always nice to have another gear in reserve and head winds can be a problem as well.

    Mine ran a 3.89:1 diff ratio but if you have a choice, I'd recommend a step down to say a 4.11:1 with a 5 speed trans would be a great improvement to deal with all conditions.

    The other thing I would have liked at the time was boosted brakes. and a louder horn...
  20. I drove a 59 Ranchero for a few years. 223 six and three speed. It had 325 rear gears. The clutch started slipping. I installed a 11 flywheel and clutch from a Y block in it. It had a small diameter clutch and fine splines. I installed a 57 coarse spline trans. with the 325 rear gears and 14inch rear tires I never thought it needed overdrive. Never really liked it. about the only good thing was it had a real good heater. I also had a 59 station wagon. 223 three speed overdrive. 370 rear gears. still have the engine and trans. Sold the rear end to a stock car guy. sold the body to a Demo Derby guy. Used the gas tank in the Ranchero.
  21. Let me ask another question..
    I think i want to go with the 3speed...
    I ordered a truck bellhousing from ebay...
    Can i use the Starter,pressure plate,fly wheel from the HD trans?
  22. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,337


    3.10 gears will work fine with a 223,worked on a 60 Edsel with a 223 and stuck 3.10 gears in it and it seemed like it had enough power and did good on the highway.
  23. yes . you will need to get a different clutch plate.
  24. Is there a size or part number u can share?
    I really appreciate all the help im getting.
  25. You will simply need the same diameter clutch plate that is already with your flywheel and pressure plate. However it will need to be splined in the center to fit whatever trans you are going to use.
  26. They seem to be the same size input shaft/ spline count...can I just measure both input shafts with a micrometer?
    Or counting the splines is enough.
  27. Always measure diameter and overall length! Also make sure the pilot bushing in the end of the crank matches the trans you are using.

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