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Anyone running a 3 in the tree?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jn6047, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. Fat Hack
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 7,709

    Fat Hack
    from Detroit

    Add me to the list of those who LOVE driving a 'three on the tree' as well! :)

    I've had a few 70s era pickups with that configuration, and a couple older cars as well. My current ride (55 Chevy) has a column-shifted three speed and it's SO nice to drive!

    It shifts smooth and easy, and I always liked three speed manual don't find yourself rowing through the gears (as with my 5 speed daily driver), you get into third pretty quick and stay there. Slowing for a turn or traffic, you downshift to second, then it's right back to third. First only comes into play from a complete stop.

    Gonna be tempting to keep the three on the tree when this car gets a V8 upgrade someday! :cool:
  2. oilslinger53
    Joined: Apr 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,475

    from covina CA

    Sweetheart shifting takes some getting used to though. first is now in/up, second is out/down, and third is out/up. reverse is in/down
    Joined: Jul 27, 2007
    Posts: 834


    My 65' C-10 Panel has a 3 on the tree, driven daily. It's great!!!
  4. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 4,304


    I drive a early bronco 1968 daily with a 3 on the tree:D and have been for close to 20 years.
  5. The fiddys got a 3 on the tree... Its about my favorite part of driving it..... Almost as koool as watching kids cover there ears as i rap out that 235.

    Some people may call me suicidal, but i also like drum brakes!
  6. flyinggoose
    Joined: Oct 10, 2008
    Posts: 45


    I actually went out of my way to keep the 3-on-the-tree in my daily driver 1951 Chevy. With a Borg-Warner overdrive behind it and a 305 c.i. in front I get 25-27 miles per gallon (when I keep my foot out of it). I like it because it is unusual these days and the punk kids have no clue how to drive it. It also keeps the wife in her Avalon and out of my ride.
  7. jjsound
    Joined: May 27, 2008
    Posts: 388


    has anyone here done this? about how difficult is it? psh, not that im scared or anything...:D
  8. old_skool_1953
    Joined: Aug 30, 2007
    Posts: 138


    I have a three on the tree in my 53 chevy. I absolutely love it. There is just something about the way that it feels and you just dont see it enough these days. Everybody changes them out. They are cool though.
  9. Yup, my '56 is 3 on da tree. It is cool. Just like "Back in the day". I've still got a scar on my wrist where a knob broke and scraped the hide off of it. That's been, like, 47 years ago. Of course back then everybody wanted a floor shift but now I wouldn't trade mine for a floor shift.
    Vicky's Interior Project 012.jpg

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    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009
  10. sewanhaka62
    Joined: Mar 13, 2009
    Posts: 24


    my 66 belair still has it [original 60k car] have 2 muncie with shifters in basement .. one made it as far as 1st floor one day ... like the ' 3 on the tree' .. something different .. the 283/220 would like it the extra gear though .. like the looks on people's face when they see it .. most young people don't know what it is .. much less know how to drive it
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
  11. Couldnt be sweeter, i LIKE THE SHOEBOX 49' FORDS, those pattern's are tight!!!
    Although I must admit, I've always wanted to experience shifting one of those 4 or 5 speeds on the column like what I hear those french Citroens have!!!
    (Don't tell my chevy)
  12. silversink
    Joined: May 3, 2008
    Posts: 912


    1948 International KB1- cable opperated 3 on the tree
  13. Tim G
    Joined: Jan 3, 2009
    Posts: 551

    Tim G

    I love driving my 3 on a tree 54 Bel Air!

    i have a 40 Chevy coupe i want to put a V8 in and C notch the rear so need to get rid of the enclosed driveshaft... but still want a 3 on the tree cos i like it and want to keep the dash and column looking original. don't know how realistic that is though...
  14. hkestes
    Joined: May 19, 2007
    Posts: 539

    from Plano, TX

    I have one in my 48 Plymouth Coupe with OD, Flathead 6, Offy dual intake and cast iron headers.

    I have heard "its got an automatic" more than once.

    Also look at it kind of like a minor anti theaft device as most knuckle heads wouldn't know where to start, would be looking for "D".
  15. '49 Plymouth, Flathead 6 and 3 on the tree... I love driving it around. Oh... and most of the younger crew don't know how to drive a 3spd column shift. I let one of my 18 year old soldiers sit in my car, and he wanted to know why there was a clutch for the automatic. Hee hee hee. Heck, even the Beastie Boys had a line about a "3 on the tree" from "Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun."
  16. kustomkat
    Joined: Sep 4, 2006
    Posts: 554


    popawolf, you ARE the king of old school. And I'm not trying to say you are old..
  17. I have a 1961 Fairlane...Sweet Car, 390 with 3 on the tree..its a blast to drive. Several friends asked, Why not go with a correct 4-speed? I said that this is the way it should be with the big steering wheel and the column shift...just like the old days.
  18. Mercury Kid
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 414

    Mercury Kid

    Yeah my falcon is rocking the column shift as well. As others have said, it really makes you slow down and just enjoy it, and you get some funny looks throwing that lever around.
  19. Leadsled RnR
    Joined: Oct 14, 2008
    Posts: 273

    Leadsled RnR
    from CO

    Drove my 54 Chev for a year with the column shift. Im switching it out now merely for practical everyday driving use, BUT! I really wish I could keep it. As has been said many times already, theres just nothing quite like it. Its got its own feel, its own rhythm. For lack of better words, its just "cool". And it really did just kinda slow ya down so you can just cruise. But hell, im young, ill have one again someday!
  20. uglydog56
    Joined: Apr 8, 2008
    Posts: 331


    My 56 210 has 3 spd/od behind a 250 six. I also have a 56 belair that is original with 265/powerpak and 3spd/od. I love the 3spd o/d with 4.10's. You put it in overdrive and start out in second, then just lift for a second and it drops into overdrive. Then you shift to third and you are at highway speed.
  21. A Rodder
    Joined: Jul 13, 2008
    Posts: 2,477

    A Rodder

    i am a fan. have one with 292 y block in front of it in my 59 edsel ranger. rapping out second gear is just a swwweeeeetttt sound. downshifting into second from third at about 50 and just letting it talk back is just as good
  22. lloyds58
    Joined: Feb 6, 2008
    Posts: 108


    Do you have a 58 chevy 3 speed-overdrive transmission? It has to have the mount on the rear of the tailshaft for the cross-member, Thanks, Lloyd
  23. My '54 Ranch Wagon has a three on the tree, love it. Amazingly smooth.
  24. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906


    I got a 3 on the tree in my 53 Willys. My first introduction to a three on a tree was my 77 F-100 I bought while I was in high school. I remember doing a big burnout with my buddy on the hood of the truck only to be caught by the principal who was in the parking lot. I gave him a lame-O excuse about accidentally dumping the clutch. The principal looked inside my truck at the column shifter and told me I was full of it because I had an automatic. Years later the shifter kept jamming up on me so I ditched it and took a cold chisel to the floor and shoved the rods up into the floor. There weren't many people who could drive it before but after that I pretty much was the only one able to get it to move.

    After school I drove a 53 Plymouth. Never could figure out why the gears would grind down shifting it into first. Must have done that thousands of times. Never occurred to me that the transmission didn't have a syncro for first gear. The last roadworthy car I owned (63 Rambler) had a three on the tree. This time though I knew about the unsyncronized first.

    The 83 diesel guzzling F-250 I have now has an auto. I have been wanting to get my Willys on the road so I can once again drive down the road in three on a tree style :)
  25. rainhater1
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 1,150

    from az

    Don't have one now, but had a reverse column left shifter, and dubble shifting was the norm. didn't know any better

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