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52 F1 highway gear

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by boutlaw, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. boutlaw
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,175


    My currect project is a stock flattie V8, 52 F1. I want a good rear end ratio for highway driving so I don't buzz the flattie to fast. I believe the rear end is a Dana 44, because it has a "44" cast into the housing. I have heard the Dana 41 was used up until 1950, and the 44 after that. The only tag on the rear end indicates the number 47 over 12, which if divided reflects a 3.92 ratio, but am unsure if that is how the tag is used. It is my understanding that Ford only offered 3:92 and 4:27 ratios in 52 F1's. I would like to replace the ring and pinion with something in the 3:00 and 3:55 range if possible. I need help in locating replacement ring/pinion gearsets. Rock Auto has a few parts but no ring and pinion sets. I've also heard that Jeep used the Dana 44 housings and that many combinations of ratios were available. Is that correct? Thanks in advance.

  2. Dumb question..... but why not swap out the whole rear? Faster, easier and cheaper?
  3. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    from Phoenix AZ

    + 1 And if you go much lower than a 3.50 you will be looking for 2nd gear the first hill you hit.
  4. boutlaw
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,175


    John, You're right about the ratio being a problem if I keep the 3 speed, but I will probably go with a T-5 later on. I've already done the brakes on this rear end along with axle seals and want to keep it like it is. Just need to verify, if possible, what rear end it is, and IF other gearsets are available. Like I said, I'm not even sure what ring/pinion set I have. I think I can swap a gearset cheaper than purchasing a new rear end, overhaulin it with a preferable gearset, buying brakes, wheel cylinders, fabbing springplates, etc etc.

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  5. Rattle Trap
    Joined: May 11, 2012
    Posts: 358

    Rattle Trap

    Type "Dana 44 gear sets" into google search. Lots of reading there.
  6. David Chandler
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,055

    David Chandler

    Not long after the last ice age I had 2 F1's. I believe the gear ratio is stamped on a place on the inside of theglove box door. Both of mine were 392's. Both of them were "spicer" aka Dana rear ends.
  7. mtflat
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 422


    Yes, it's a 44.

    I swapped a '65 9" 3.50 gears into my 48 F1. The Dana backing plates and brakes bolt onto the 9" axle stubs - at least they did on the 48 - was talking to RossF1 and he thought the drums were different on 52's - worth checking into cause it would be a lot cheaper. All you fab is spring plates, U-bolts. Driveshaft will need attention but if you're going T5 you'll adjust that anyway.
    Joined: Mar 12, 2006
    Posts: 263


    Do the t5, keep the 3.92 rear. I'm using 3.55 with my t5 and a 350. If I did it again I'd go to 3.73 for better response in town. I don't drive enough on the interstate to take advantage of the 3.55. The od 5th gear of the t5 will give you the same gearing as a low 3 rear and your 3 speed.

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  9. willie57
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 378

    from wisconsin

    what size tires are you going to use ?
  10. moefuzz
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 4,951


    I wish I was so lucky to have a 3:92 in my 49 merc.
    With 4:27? 55 miles per is about 2750 rpm (I think, don't have a tack) with 235 15 tires.
    I have ventured as high as 77 miles per but not for long.

  11. boutlaw
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,175


    Thats what I needed to know. I'll check my glove box door data plate for rear axle info. I just missed a good deal on a complete T-5/adapter, clutch, for flattie here in the classifieds. Guess I'll keep looking for another to be posted. Looks like if I go T5 I can keep the 3:92 I have. Thanks for the help fellas.
  12. I run a later model Dana 44 in my '51 F-1. It has a 3.08 gear set in it. I believe that is the highest gear set you can fit into a Dana 44 without having to swap the ring gear carrier as well. For a flathead and 3 spd, that may be too steep of a ratio. With 3.08 rear end, and 28 in tires, you are looking at about 2200 rpm at 60 mph. 2550 rpm with a 3.55 rear.
  13. Russco
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 4,023

    from Central IL

    I have two 8BA's one with a 3.00 (shoebox) and one with a 3.12 gear (A coupe) they both have old 3 speeds and both highway cruise very nicely. I don't ever remember having to down shift on the highway, but it's mostly flat here on the corn coast.
  14. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,912

    need louvers ?

    Absolutely skip the rear gears and go with the t-5! Not only will the overdrive complete your freeway manners, but the four nicely spaced gears will keep that flatty right where it's happy spot is at all times. Never been sure why stealthy trans swaps have been frowned upon here, 'cause that is the best money you can spend to bring an early car or truck into a usable state for todays roads and traffic. Trust me, it will be the best money you spend on this truck...

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