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3 on the tree?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jerico83, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. 327Eric
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,540

    from Diablo Ca.

    best anti-theft device out there. If you want to speed shift, go with a floor shift conversion, otherwise, the are fine. I kind of miss mine.
  2. Was it the peugot with the 3 bolt wheels?

    I guess they are not trad but those 4 on the tree Euro cars were sure an oddity.

    Problem with 3 on the tree is that most of them are prety loose, you can buy the parts to repair them these days there was about a 20 year span that it took guys like me with a access to a lathe and bridgport to make them right.

    it is like I said up front if they are up to par you are golden they are nice to drive but if not you are screwed.

    There was an AD truck in the town where I went to high school that had a big assed hot caddy for power and a 3 speed behind it. This was before AD trucks were popular.

    The guy had forearms like Popeye, he made a shortened shifter for it. i think he was one of the few that could shift it but he could clam gears with the best of tem.
  3. earlymopar
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,353


    They're a blast to drive and these days (ironically) are a real attention getter, unlike when they were new and we were all dealing with them in our parents family cars. They're kind of like roll-up windows these days, many younger people will ask, "what the heck is that"!

    - EM
  4. Was it the peugot with the 3 bolt wheels?

    Yep, that;s the one. We used to get the hubcaps off of them. They were stainless and had a hole right in the center. You could take the lid off your stock air cleaner and pop one of these on and it made a cheap, semi-cool, low restriction air cleaner.
  5. woodypecker
    Joined: Jan 23, 2011
    Posts: 300


    I did mine on purpose.

    Attached Files:

  6. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,907


    I seriously considered doing a 3 on tree setup on my 40 pickup. I'm using a "RUG" 3 speed top loader, and it would have been easy to do. I opted for the CJ5 shifter, instead.

  7. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,604

    Rusty O'Toole

    3 on the tree - not as cool as 4 on the floor but better than 2 in the glue.
    bowie likes this.
  8. Rob68
    Joined: Jun 16, 2011
    Posts: 495


    My 58 F100n is a 3 on the tree. No problems shifting with it. Had an ot 68 Bronco that was also 3 on the tree and it was fun to drive, however, I do prefer a floor shift so someday might change it over. But either way, it gets you down the road.
  9. Model T1
    Joined: May 11, 2012
    Posts: 3,309

    Model T1

    That right there was why a three on the column was swapped. The sheep all had to follow the trends to floor shifters. Nice that todays hotrodders aren't like sheep!:rolleyes:;)
    porknbeaner was once confused ?:confused:
  10. 1941ihkb5
    Joined: Feb 19, 2009
    Posts: 338


    Makes a great anti-theif devise! Not many kids today can drive one!
    Cosmo49 likes this.
  11. scoTT la rock
    Joined: Aug 28, 2013
    Posts: 68

    scoTT la rock
    from NJ

    i love the 3OTT in my shoebox. it's fun!

    i had a 67 mercedes about 10 years ago that had a 4OTT and it was awful (and when it broke, the repair bill would have been more than the car was worth so i dumped it).

    the only weird thing i have noticed with mine is that sometimes it will grind at a stop if trying to get into 1st. i have found that going to 2nd for a second and then to 1st makes it smooth. maybe there's something wrong with it but it seems okay.
  12. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,498


    My last daily driver was 3 OTT,,as was my first car. Nothing wrong with them,they usually came in low to no optioned vehicles.. My last one had no power brakes,no power steering,,no power nothing and radio delete. I would never base my decision to buy a vehicle on transmission or colour of vehicle,,,I like a vehicle any options are just part and parcel.
  13. Christom
    Joined: Nov 3, 2011
    Posts: 217



    Yeah! I even considered doing this in my coupe Haha! But I went for a boring old '39 3-speed toploader instead. Love shifting three on the tree in our '56 Chevy....:cool:
  14. carmuts
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 874


    I agree there. The 62 Unibody F-100 I drove to highschool in the late 80's was worn out. I tried to find parts at that time to rebuild the whole column and it seemed nothing could be found. I sold the truck in 1996 afew years before I got on the internet. Now it seems you can find alll NOS parts to rebuild these with alittle patience. That is one ride I wish I had back to fix alot of things right. When I kept the pin pushed all of the way in so it shifted properly the truck was a blast to drive. But if I forgot to push it in once in awhile it became a real pain
  15. Bad Eye Bill
    Joined: Sep 1, 2010
    Posts: 841

    Bad Eye Bill
    from NB Canada

    Truer words were never spoken.
  16. Ocean56
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 128

    from Michigan

    They always worked well for me! Just like three on the floor, only sideways...
  17. Hotrodbuilderny
    Joined: Mar 20, 2009
    Posts: 1,646


    I'm putting one in my 40 pick up behind a 292 Y Block, just thought it would be neat.With good bushings they should work fine.
  18. hendo0601
    Joined: Aug 24, 2013
    Posts: 288

    from Tacoma, WA

    Had a 64 valiant wagon /6 3 on the tree come in to my shop last week.. I tried explaining how to drive it for about 30 minutes to my younger techs...and they were so completely lost. Its a shame that such things are being forgotten about with the younger crowd these days. I eventually taught them and they all took turns driving it around the block. To me a 3 on the tree just has a certain "cool factor" to it.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  19. jimbousman
    Joined: Jul 24, 2008
    Posts: 545


    I've had a few column shifters. My '49 shoebox was three speed overdrive. My '66 flat window Chevy van had three on the tree and my '40 Ford SD still has one. It craziest ones were my 1968 ugly duckling model 94 and 96 Saabs. They have "4" on the tree. 1,2,3,4 shifted like a normal three speed with first gear where reverse would be. To get revers you pulled up and shifted forward.

    There was nothing wrong with them except they were just not cool plus forget a decent speed shift. When you think of it they make a lot of sense in an early thirties hot rod where room is a premium. Try to squeeze three across with a floor shift and shifting into high gear can get mighty personal.
  20. Bad Daddy
    Joined: Nov 13, 2010
    Posts: 829

    Bad Daddy

    Sounds like my '49 F1. It's running a Saginaw with 4 on the tree. I don't like to start in reverse though, it's geared to low. ;)
  21. conormulroney
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 293


    An old truck with a TOTT is like peanut butter and jelly. They just go together.

    But then again, I've been driving mine as a daily for about 15 years.
  22. vwdave30
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 457


    first one I ever drove was a 64 impala station wagon I had just bought and had to get home. that was a long trip home the shifter was wore smooth the hell out. after I got use to it, it was fun. damn thing would never jam up if I was by myself but if there was a girl with me or any of my friends around it would every time. lol now I have a 62 ford unibody and a 50 ford that have 3 on the tree I like em.
  23. safari-wagon
    Joined: Jan 12, 2008
    Posts: 1,457


    I learned how to drive a manual trans by shuttling cars for a used car dealer that sold cheapo "winter beaters".

    I got to drive the recreation of Smokey Yunick's 55 race car, because none of the photogs knew how to deal with a "3 on the tree".
  24. mykeb
    Joined: Apr 12, 2011
    Posts: 27

    from Virginia

    I've been using the 3 on the tree in the same truck for almost 30 years and have never had a problem and I have no interest in swapping it out for anything else.
  25. klawockvet
    Joined: May 1, 2012
    Posts: 424


    Depends on the car as to my thoughts. I loved them in my pre-48 Fords and my 50's Ford pickups. Hated them in my new 58 Chev PU and the mid fifties Chev cars. I may go to a 40's column shift in my roadster.
  26. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,262


    :D I learned to drive in a 1949 Chevy Suburban.3ott.First car was a 53 Stude had 3ott with OD.Never had a problem.When things felt a little loose I just got new rubber bushings for the shift linkage and all was well with the world.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
  27. KRB52
    Joined: Jul 9, 2011
    Posts: 1,051

    from Conneticut

    I learned to drive "standard" on my Dad's truck, an early 70's Chevy pick up, I6 with three on the tree. That's all he ever wanted to get, since he figured in the winter, if he could get one vehicle going, he could pull the other(s) and have the second driver pop start it. He was disappointed when we got my Mother a '72 Chevy wagon and all he could get was an automatic. After that, that's all she wanted to drive. I would love to get "something" with that. My first car was a '72 Dart with factory three on the floor. The shifter was spring-loaded, so the shift from first to second was a little easier when I had to do it quick (going from a dead stop to merge onto the Wilbur Cross Parkway in New Haven/Hamden. Always fun.)
  28. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 6,018

    Marty Strode

    I am using one in my 40 PU as well, only on mine it will be hooked to a full synchro Saginaw trans.

    Attached Files:

  29. 3onthetree
    Joined: Feb 25, 2008
    Posts: 161


    Why is everybody talking about me?!!!

    Just kidding. I love the one in my 63 Chevy. It's just plain and simple fun. Follow the advise given by 1oldtimer and cody1958. Mine jambed up once trying to speed shift too and I had to pull to the side of the road, right in front of where I worked, pop the hood and free up the linkage. I learned my lesson it hasn't happened since.
    Willard Laws likes this.
  30. Hotrodbuilderny
    Joined: Mar 20, 2009
    Posts: 1,646


    You know I have a three speed Saginaw,but there was just something about the non synchro 1st that called out to me.Don't get me wrong it may get old quick and I will swap it out, but i went 470 miles round trip to get this one, and I'm going to give it a shot.

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