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Technical Adapting a Ford torque tube to something other than a 3spd!

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by 31hotrodguy, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. 31hotrodguy
    Joined: Oct 29, 2013
    Posts: 784

    31hotrodguy
    Member

    So the other day I was reading a Hotrod mag article from August 2015 where they interviewed Ohio George Montgomery. It’s a great read on the evolution of the Gasser. What surprised me was that in the article Montgomery states that he ran a closed driveline ‘48 Ford banjo rear end all the way up until 1966 when he switched to the SOHC Ford engine! I would have never thought that. He also talked about how he made an adapter to run the torque tube with the GM automatics. This got me thinking as to what else people use to adapt to a stock Ford banjo rear end for racing? I know about the Lasalle trans but what else have people made work? Has anybody ever adapted a 4spd of any kind?


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  2. Pete Eastwood
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 771

    Pete Eastwood
    Member
    from california

    my buddy has a 5 speed adapted to a '36 torque tube rear, in his '32 roadster.
     
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  3. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,050

    sunbeam
    Member

    Nash used the single coupling Hydromatic with a inclosed drive line that might be converted to Ford.
     
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  4. 31hotrodguy
    Joined: Oct 29, 2013
    Posts: 784

    31hotrodguy
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    Would that be a T5?


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  5. 31hotrodguy
    Joined: Oct 29, 2013
    Posts: 784

    31hotrodguy
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    I wanna see how possible it would be to adapt a later 4spd to a torque tube drive shaft. It’s probably more trouble than it’s worth but I’m curious if anyone has ever done it and lived to tell about it.


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  6. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 611

    birdman1
    Member
    from USA

    welder and sawzall
     
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  7. Stan Back
    Joined: Mar 9, 2007
    Posts: 457

    Stan Back
    Member
    from California

    Chassis.jpg

    Here's one with a 327 Chevy, a 53 Cadillac Hydramatic and a Cyclone quicky.

    The driveshaft was cut off to the proper length, the back spline had the teeth removed and was inserted at the coupler to the rear end and stick-welded in place. That connection was the only part to have not failed over 30 years.
     
  8. redoxide
    Joined: Jul 7, 2002
    Posts: 402

    redoxide
    Member
    from Scotland

    Volvo 4 speed

    DSCF5546.JPG DSCF5545.JPG
     
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  10. 47streetrodder
    Joined: Oct 27, 2007
    Posts: 30

    47streetrodder
    Member

    The T5s that are used with the Ford torque tube are from the 4WD Chevy S10. I suspect that all the GM automatics that have the 4WD tail piece could be adapted in a similar fashion. Might have to make a "hybrid" U-joint (half Chevy and half Ford). Look at the T5 conversions to see if the same U-joint will work with a GM automatic conversion.
     
  11. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,504

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    T-10 Borg Warner, remove tailshaft and housing, cut, turn down and respline shortened tailshaft to Ford U-joint, tap center 3/8" SAE.
    Mill center of early Ford tailshaft and brg. retainer to rear B/W bearing O.D., place retainer over brg. and drill and tap 6 mounting holes to 3/8" USS.
    Assemble from 'U'joint back with early Ford clamshell and seals. Voila.
    Any number of transes can be so fitted. I've done Buick Roadmasters, Packards, Cad/LaSalles...but those were the easy ones.

    Tommy Groves told me Art Carr did a torqueflite for a '32 roadster with a tork-tube quickie.
     
  12. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,004

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've never seen them convert the S-10 T 5 all the T 5 to closed drive setups I have seen used a Jeep 4x4 T5. There is a thread on here on that from a few years back.
     
  13. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 9,535

    Tim
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    from Raytown Mo

  14. Pete1
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,630

    Pete1
    Member
    from Wa.

    With my system, you can use any transmission with NO mods to the transmission.
    You have to shorten the torque tube and shaft for the particular car.
    This has been posted several times before. U-joint race car.png
     
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  15. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 560

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My roadster with a Jeep t5 using #Katokings adapter...
    20180713_133648.jpg
    20190103_195946.jpg
     
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  16. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 9,535

    Tim
    Member
    from Raytown Mo

  17. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,427

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    While I think the setup is very clever, I agree with those who question the ‘arc’ of the ujoint versus the ‘arc’ of the torque tube. Looks suspect, but if it works, I guess it works.

    Ray
     
  18. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 9,535

    Tim
    Member
    from Raytown Mo

    I think it’s one of those “yes, if this car had a normal long range suspension that would see movement/ compression of 3 inches or more then the math says this will fail”

    But a buggy spring car would be hard pressed to push 1.5 inches unless the springs are just worn slap out. They just don’t move much which is why something like that is feasible to do. By the time you move thst enough to bind or become a problem you’ve got worse problems to deal with
     
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  19. Pete1
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,630

    Pete1
    Member
    from Wa.

    The rear end has 4 inches of travel. With no spring on the rear end and the car jacked up so the rear end can be moved up and down to the limits, you can move the u-joint with finger force back and forth. There is NO binding.
    If the joint were bolted to the transmission like stock Ford, it wouldn't work very well.
     
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  20. 31hotrodguy
    Joined: Oct 29, 2013
    Posts: 784

    31hotrodguy
    Member

    Pete1, when I did my initial search on the hamb not much can up. I am aware of the T5 conversions with the jeep & S10 4x4 T5’s but like I had mentioned I’m leaning more towards racing stuff. I was able to go back and see the pics you posted on your Bonneville car which was a huge help!! Thanks!!

    Scott


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  21. 31hotrodguy
    Joined: Oct 29, 2013
    Posts: 784

    31hotrodguy
    Member

    Atwater Mike, thanks this also gives a pretty good idea!

    Scott


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  22. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 7,703

    manyolcars

  23. enjenjo
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 2,457

    enjenjo
    Member
    from swanton oh

    I have adapted both S10 4x4 and Jeep T5s to torque tubes. There is a guy near Akron Ohio that makes an adapter for the S10 4x4, and I have used it because it is cheaper than making it myself, but I have made them too. He broaches a Ford Ujoint yoke to the 27 spline S10 mainshaft.

    I have also adapted the Jeep T5 but it gets a bit more complicated because of the 23 spline mainshaft. The only yoke that I have found that comes close is from a Toyota Tundra, also 23 spline, but the Jeep mainshaft splines have to be cut deeper to fit the Toyota yoke. You also need to make a bearing support for the Jeep tail housing.

    I have also adapted a T5 to a Chevy torque tube. It's posted in the T5 info.
     
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  24. Inline
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 247

    Inline
    Member
    from Ohio

    Over the years, I have made and still make quite a few S-10 4x4 T5 to torque tube adapters. I initially focused on the S-10 T5 because at the time they seemed readily available and were inexpensive. They also lent themselves very well for the adapter as there is plenty of room in the tailshaft housing for a support bearing.

    20160307_125057.jpg 20160307_125128.jpg 20160317_220614.jpg

    Sure, everyone has their own opinions of the T5 and I get that the T5 has some inherent flaws, however behind a 6 cylinder or a banger, they work really well. One advantage of design an adapter for the S-10 4x4 T5 is that they will work in conjunction with NV1500's as well as the correct 200r4's and 700r4's from s-10's.

    I am currently working on a torque tube adapter for the Jeep family of transmissions. AX-5, AX-15's, B10 and Jeep T5's are way more available and still can be inexpensive. The jeep transmissions are much shorter than the 4x4 S-10 T5's as well which certainly helps with X-frame cars. Like my S-10 adapters, I am machining completely new components so that there will not be any modifications needed to the transmissions. I personally am hesitate welding on driveline components since I basically don't trust my welds, so they are machined from solid 4140 and will be splined to fit the 21 and 23 spline output variants.

    I have also worked with converting the Ford RTS 4 speed transmissions. When they are done, they are a very elegant solution, much like the Volvo transmission mentioned previously, however, they take a lot of work which makes them expensive. Most people do not want to spend that amount of money.

    KatoKings does make a nice kit for the Jeep T5's and enjenjo, we have talked at great length regarding your conversions. Basically, most any trans can be adapted with a certain amount of effort however, the 4x4 transmissions lend themselves nicely since there is a nice large flat area where the transfer case bolted to.
     
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  25. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,307

    19Fordy
    Member

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  26. I saw this old set up on a Chev 3spd; thought it was kinda cute. Neat if you could combine it with an X shift case and some close ratio 'vette gears inside.
    torque tube adapter (Medium).jpg
     
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  27. 31hotrodguy
    Joined: Oct 29, 2013
    Posts: 784

    31hotrodguy
    Member

    Now that is interesting for sure!


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  28. 31hotrodguy
    Joined: Oct 29, 2013
    Posts: 784

    31hotrodguy
    Member

    Ultimately I’m planning for my 34 chassis with my Cad 365. I’m thinking a ford 3spd won’t last long and I’m not to sure a t5 will survive either. After reading Montgomery’s article it made me a little more confident that I could use my Ford rear end and just adapt something. I do plan to beat on the car a bit so thus all the trans adapter questions. However; I definitely don’t mind seeing all the T5 adaptations along with the Volvo trans. That thing was cool!


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  29. Inline
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 247

    Inline
    Member
    from Ohio

    That 3 speed adapter is very interesting. It doesn't look that difficult. The Ford u-joint is a standard SAE straight sided spline with all of the dimension laid out in the machinery's handbook. Anyone with a manual mill, an indexer and a little bit of patience could cut it on a main shaft of what ever transmission you wanted to use. I am sure something similar can be done with a Muncie. Come to think of it, there was/still is an adapter for Chevy AD trucks for a Muncie swap. The kit included a new tail shaft for the Muncie that allowed the stock GM torque tube to bolt up. There was one of these in the classified section not to long ago.

    Let us know what you decide to go with.
     
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  30. clo
    Joined: Mar 4, 2011
    Posts: 25

    clo
    Member

    I am looking to do the rts torque tube conversion on a 34. I just can’t seem to find a rts trans. It only changes the shifter location by 1” 1/2 to 2”. If anybody knows of one for sale let me know.
     

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