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Technical Ford 4spd OD(?)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Barsteel, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. Barsteel
    Joined: Oct 15, 2008
    Posts: 726

    from Monroe, CT


    It's been a looooooooooooong time since I last posted between working kicking my ass and being distracted by several motorcycle projects (old 2 stroke street bikes).

    Anyway, I have a '66 F100 with what I believe is a 352 and a 3spd. The 3spd has a crappy "universal fit" shifter, and the 3spd, well, has 3 speeds.

    I was originally contemplating a T5 swap for longer legs on the highway (although the 3spd and stock rear end setup isn't horrible).

    A few days ago, I was picking up an axle for my daily driver, and I started chatting with the owner about the truck. When I mentioned the T5 swap, he said that he had a 4spd transmission from his old(er) Ford pickup that was a 4spd OD, ie. 4th gear was OD.

    Anyone hear of the transmission and/or know anything about it?

    My truck is NOT "built", so I don't need to worry about blowing anything up.

    I'm not sure what the gears are in the rear, but they're "kinda" highway friendly, ie. I can do 65 and the motor isn't screaming, although it's not exactly loafing along.

    Any thoughts?

  2. Barsteel
    Joined: Oct 15, 2008
    Posts: 726

    from Monroe, CT

    Forgot to mention - he said that I could have the tranny and shifter for $100.
  3. Probably a Toploader OD, basically a 4-speed with 3rd gear converted to OD. Here's a pic...

    Ford OD.jpg

    The OD is the lower one, note the 'bulge' in the main case which is clearance the larger '3rd' gear. There's also an aluminum-case version with integral shifter (like a T5) known as the SROD but it's a POS, avoid it.

    The cast-iron ones are decent trans, and the factory linkage can be reworked for better operation. The downside is ratios; many have really low 1st gear, with a big jump to 2nd. The car versions are better.

    If you have a two-piece driveshaft, it'll have to go, and you'll probably have to shorten the pilot bearing shaft on the input to fit your FE. Ask if he has the driveshaft for it, it may fit your truck.

    One caveat with these is they don't like heavy loads while in OD, it's hard on the cluster shaft bearings. Ford recommended NOT using OD if hauling heavy loads or towing. I know a guy that burned up a few of these by not listening to that advice...
    loudbang likes this.
  4. Yes. Actually quite popular in the 70's , after the gas line at the pump thing.
    3rd gear is actually 4th (1 to 1 ratio). 4th is an o/d ratio, coming off the cluster (3rd position, with the lever turned upside down)
    Should be strong enough, with no funny business;)
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  5. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,152

    from NKy

    POS or not , I need a SROD shifter if anyone has one from a busted trans . Nothing can be built that a person can not destroy it , as in a steel ball with a rawhide mallet !
  6. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,401

    jimmy six

    I use a Tex T101 in my LSR roadster with a 3rd as OD and the 3-4 arm upside down. Back in the day if was called a Pocano since that's where NASCAR made the idea popular.
  7. BigChief
    Joined: Jan 14, 2003
    Posts: 2,074


    I have the aluminum case Tremec T170-RTS behind the Y-block in my 48 Ford Tudor Sedan and the SBF in my 69 F100. We put them behind flatties and Nailheads too. My F100 hauls a camper to the Jalopy Showdown without issue. It IS a light truck trans...originally put behind 300 six and 302 powered F150s and wont win any races with the gear spacing but if you dont beat it they work fine.

    With the extra torque of the big block you might be pushing it depending on gears tires and actual weight.... so the iron case versions previously mentioned might be better.....or if budget permits a TKO600 or T56 will handle it...albeit not HAMB friendly.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  8. mtkawboy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,213


    Avoid the early Grenada transmissions that used bushings instead of roller bearings. The truck OD are trouble free as long as you avoid any power shifting. I never had to work on any when I was a ford dealer line mechanic. As was mentioned they drive 4th thru the cluster & third is direct
  9. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 675


    I had one in a 300 six cylinder van I ordered new. Forgot to check the box for the optional 3.50:1 axle, so it was a real dog. That is until I swapped a 3.50 for the original 2.79 at 135k miles.

    Pretty good performance for what it was after that.

    The countershaft wore out at mane 60k, and the input shaft bearing failed twice on -25 degree cold start and drive away.

    It was popping out of gear upon deceleration again at 170k, when I sold the now rusted beyond hope van.

    Rebuilding was easy, if that’s any consolation. Just understand that they weren’t a really robust transmission and the gear splits weren’t great.

    I would buy another for use in a cruiser.

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