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Better transmission for my car?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by billybillyjinx, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. billybillyjinx
    Joined: Dec 12, 2010
    Posts: 39

    billybillyjinx
    Member
    from Upstate NY

    I'm loading this page up with questions lately....

    I have been driving my Edsel around and thinking about what I want it to do, or in other words, what I want to do to it.

    First question: What is a good 5 speed or 4+O.D. transmission for a big heavy car that can take a beating?

    Second question: What is a cheap and easy way to mount a good trans to my bellhouse?
     
  2. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    good and cheap cannot be used in the same sentence ... good trans 4l80e expensive but its based on the th400 and you need a contoller , they used them in the 26,000 pound trucks before the allison truck trans , the 4l60e is known for planetary failures in stock form , as for bell housing adapters , there are many mostly race items . depends on what motor your coupling them too , if its y block thats a little harder than your average fe or windsor . but there are some out there quicktime makes them in steel from $500 and up . Jw makes aluminum ones that can pass the sfi test and that means there stout .
     
  3. young'n'poor
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,280

    young'n'poor
    Member
    from Anoka. MN

    What engine in what year and model edsel would be helpful. Cheap and easy rarely go together too, but the best solution IMHO would be bendtsens. They sell many adapters and can custom make you one for anything you have.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  4. Are you after a manual trans? If cheap is a big factor, that limits your choices... The T5s that many are using are ok for a lighter car that doesn't have big power but will be too skimpy in a Edsel. Look for a late-70s Ford toploader OD four-speed with the iron case. You'll find these in trucks, and Granadas/Monarchs. Basically the same as a toploader 4-speed, but third gear is now OD. There's an aluminum-case version too (has internal linkage) but those don't hold up. The iron-case OD trans looks just like a 4-speed except for a bulge in the case in front of the fill plug. Try to get the shifter too; not race quality, but not bad if you tighten up the clearances in the shifter.

    If you mod the front bearing retainer by turning the OD down and redrill the two lower mounting holes, it should bolt-up to your early bellhousing.

    If you want an automatic, there is no cheap....
     

  5. oltruckag
    Joined: Aug 13, 2009
    Posts: 114

    oltruckag
    Member

    I think the only original engines in any Edsel would be a y-block, FE or MEL - I'm pretty sure there isn't an easy or cheap option for an OD trans for any of those engines, manual or auto. There are $$ options (bell housing adapters or gear vendors OD), but I don't think there is a standard ford trans that will just bolt up to the block.
     
  6. 59 brook
    Joined: Jun 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,017

    59 brook
    Member

    t-5 can handle it and can be built to handle plenty look at the mustang racers running 9 and 10 sec . there is an adapter for a t5 to a y block I do have one available for sale
     
  7. young'n'poor
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,280

    young'n'poor
    Member
    from Anoka. MN

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe certain years and models could be had with a version of fords mileage maker six also. I own an fe powered ford and have researched the subject and from what I've gleaned from others with personal experience there is little advantage to adding an OD anything to an fe because of the cost and work involved. I know the Mel is notorious for being hard to find aftermarket parts for, and the mileage maker six, while a solid reliable motor, isn't hot rod material. Like I said, bendtsens in ham lake mn is a spectacular company to work with if you MUST have a trams adapted to your engine. Otherwise I think it's time to evaluate what you have vs. what you want, ie; if you want a fast but reliable old full size car, you may need to sell your Edsel and move on to greener pastures. There is no shame in having fun in an old car that isn't really your dream car, so feel free to enjoy the Edsel as it is for awhile. The alternative involves hard work, cash to spend, and realistic performance goals.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  8. The cheapest and by far easiest would be to get a 3spd+OD out of a mid 60's something Galaxie along with the FE bellhousing. Again, that is assuming you have an Edsel with an FE or a pre '61 MEL. The next easiest (but not cheapest) would be to order an AOD adapted to a FE bellhousing from someplace like Broader Performance. This is what I did for my '62 Monterey Wagon that likely weighs more then your Edsel.

    http://www.broaderperformance.com/

    AOD with Cruiso-matic bellhousing:
    [​IMG]

    Finally, the hardest, and most likely most expensive (depending on the amount of trans rebuilding you plan on doing) option would be to get an adaptor from Bendsten's or Wilcap and put nearly whatever trans you like behind it.

    Good Luck
     
  9. billybillyjinx
    Joined: Dec 12, 2010
    Posts: 39

    billybillyjinx
    Member
    from Upstate NY

    It's the 223 inline 6, or as it was called in Edsels the "Econo-six"
     
  10. billybillyjinx
    Joined: Dec 12, 2010
    Posts: 39

    billybillyjinx
    Member
    from Upstate NY

    Just lookin for a junk yard tranny that will give me a a gear or two more than my 3-on-the-tree, I have an extra bellhousing so that is a plus and the 223 was common in Ford trucks which I would imagine should play in my favor.
     
  11. young'n'poor
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,280

    young'n'poor
    Member
    from Anoka. MN

  12. I have a stock three-speed OD trans that should fit that car here (it's marked '58 Ford). No handle for the OD unit but you could use a hood pull until you found the right one.

    How much of a beating it would take, I've no idea, but if you're after MPG the OD would get you started.
     
  13. farmalldan
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 140

    farmalldan
    Member
    from Duncan, OK

    This would probably be your easiest solution. However, there were two overdrive transmissions in Fords of the fifties and sixties; the light duty T-86 which would have been supplied with your 223 six if it had been ordered with OD and the heavy duty T-85 for the larger v-8's. Rustynewyorker does not indicate which he has. If it's the T-86, if memory serves, and it often doesn't anymore, it would be a bolt-in. I don't think the driveshaft even has to be altered. The T-85, on the other hand, is a larger transmission and I'm pretty sure the rear mount is further to the rear and may require a shorter drive shaft. However,I'm pretty sure the T-86 can handle anything your six can dish out.

    However, you will need to acquire the overdrive relay, the kickdown switch, and the associated wiring harness if not included with the transmission. You can get around this, but it makes the overdrive driving experience less pleasurable, in my opinion

    Finally, if you have never driven a vehicle with electric overdrive, you will need to learn how to live with the beast. The governor automatically energizes the overdrive at around 27-28 miles per hour. Shifting into overdrive at this point is accomplished by lifting off the accelerator to unload the gears and allow the shift. The transmission will shift out of overdrive below about 25 mph if the gear loads are low enough. Pulling out the overdrive cable locks the unit in direct as if it were a normal manual transmission.

    However, when the unit is in direct (with OD cable pushed in and below 27 mph), it will freewheel. That is; no engine braking. It will take a little driving time to get used to this. More importantly, you cannot use the transmission to hold the vehicle when parked because of the freewheeling feature. It will not freewheel in the reverse direction, but will in forward direction. The good news is that it is locked up in reverse gear in both forward and reverse directions. You will soon learn to shift into reverse when parking your vehicle to insure that it is where you left it when you return.

    Finally, if your car had been factory equipped with OD, it would have come with a 4:11 rear axle ratio. You probably have a 3:89 or 3:54 now. The six may have a lot of trouble pulling the lower ratio gears at lower speeds and on grades. You would probably benefit from the kick-down switch to help you manage hills and situations requiring better acceleration.

    Good luck,
    Farmalldan
     
  14. The one I was thinking of is a toploader, I need to get it out and clean it up - I goofed and picked up the other Ford trans I have, which I still haven't figured out just what it is other than it's a side-loading type. Could be there's one of each.
     
  15. farmalldan
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 140

    farmalldan
    Member
    from Duncan, OK

    Top loader is T-86. T-85 is a side loader. Shift cover plate is curved on bottom rather than straight.
     
  16. billybillyjinx
    Joined: Dec 12, 2010
    Posts: 39

    billybillyjinx
    Member
    from Upstate NY

    Electronic overdrive sounds like what my '49 Chrysler with the M6 Fluid Drive does.
     
  17. billybillyjinx
    Joined: Dec 12, 2010
    Posts: 39

    billybillyjinx
    Member
    from Upstate NY

    So would the T5 from a V8 Mustang hold up to the weight of my car? It seems like I could do that for least effort and dime. I just worry about the strength of the T5.
     
  18. It would & are fairly easy to put behind a 223
     
  19. Assuming you can find one, and then find one that also is cable speedometer drive as it sits. And has the shifter in the right place. There's a T5 tech thread here on the board that would help sort that out.
     
  20. billybillyjinx
    Joined: Dec 12, 2010
    Posts: 39

    billybillyjinx
    Member
    from Upstate NY

    I'm thinking Mustang with a shifter re-locator or an S10 would be the best option, the Mustang V8s had the WC which from what I've read seems to be slightly upgraded from the NWC T5s. Also with 145 hp I'm wondering if it will be a strong enough motor but if I go for the T5 for a weaker motor I have to deal with the weight of the car. I will probably get the tri-carb manifold before doing the trans swap just to be sure...and maybe a header too.
     
  21. billybillyjinx
    Joined: Dec 12, 2010
    Posts: 39

    billybillyjinx
    Member
    from Upstate NY

    If I go Mustang I will just have to look around for a pre-1993 for the mechanical speedo.
     
  22. I would measure befor you go with the s10 tail. That will put your shiter at or under the dash on a big car
     

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