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Hot Rods Ford T-86 3-speed Transmission

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HotRod-1, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. HotRod-1
    Joined: Jan 17, 2011
    Posts: 20

    HotRod-1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The Borg Warner 3 speed T-86 manual transmission for Ford has a sheet metal cover with 6 bolts on the top side near the front. This transmission normally shifts from the left side. Has anyone ever tried to adapt a top load shifter such as the one for a 39 Ford or similar to the top where this metal plate is located? HotRod-1
     
  2. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Here's a dim memory from circa 1960...may be entirely incorrect in any or all parts. A friend working on a V8-60 powered Henry J (!) was told he had a T-86, used on various cars other than Ford including Willys...and Jeeps.
    He was told by that source that the thing could be converted to top shift using the lid from an early CJ Jeep.
    As I said...don't know if that's correct, as we couldn't afford much of anything at the junkyard...
     
  3. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,494

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    66-mid 67....a Jeep top shifter for it would be a rare part indeed.

    The 39 style top shift could be modified with an adapter and fork work.....but why??? the full syncro 303 is a much better candidate for such a modification, if you cannot find the the Jeep T150 stuff.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
  4. second_floor_loft
    Joined: Jul 23, 2008
    Posts: 93

    second_floor_loft
    Member

    I have an original T-86 with the top shifter. Not perfect, but complete. PM me if I can be of help. And FYI, if your T-86 has the BW overdrive attached, the top shifter will not work. I've posted pic on this site about that in the past.
     

  5. HotRod-1
    Joined: Jan 17, 2011
    Posts: 20

    HotRod-1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hello, Thanks for your reply. I also heard that an early Studebaker pick-up used a top loader also. But good luck finding one. HotRod-1
     
  6. HotRod-1
    Joined: Jan 17, 2011
    Posts: 20

    HotRod-1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hello, Much appreciate your reply. I knew that Jeep used this transmission with a top loader but didn't know the years. Regarding the 39 style top shifter, I was more or less brain storming since I've never seen a top loader for the t86. Not sure what the full syncro 303 is that you refer to above? Regards, HotRod-1
     
  7. HotRod-1
    Joined: Jan 17, 2011
    Posts: 20

    HotRod-1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hmmm! I have the T86 with the OD. Can you advise the the incompatibility problem with the top shifter and the OD unit? Can't seem to make the connection to see your past pic. Do you have a link to your photo? Regards
     
  8. PackardV8
    Joined: Jun 7, 2007
    Posts: 890

    PackardV8
    Member

    Studebaker used the T86 for nearly forty years and the '40s trucks had top cover shifters. Stude car owners have been converting to top cover shifters for nearly that long.

    Incorrectly, it would seem. While using a top shifter on the T86 overdrive does require a couple of simple modifications, it's well within the abilities of most HAMBurgers. Complete instructions are found on the SDC site.

    jack vines
     
  9. AnimalAin
    Joined: Jul 20, 2002
    Posts: 3,417

    AnimalAin
    Member

    An alternative might be a Ford toploader 3 speed. They were built in large numbers for cars and trucks from the mid 60s to the late 70s at least. Jeeps used a version with a top shifter. They are stronger than the T-86 and have a sychro low gear.
     
  10. second_floor_loft
    Joined: Jul 23, 2008
    Posts: 93

    second_floor_loft
    Member

    PackardV8... And HotRod1... First, here is a the link to the previous thread..http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/...side-shift-to-top-loader.847678/#post-9376086

    You will note that at the rear of the trans (pic # 2 and 3) that the casing of the trans and that of the mated overdrive turn upward about an inch or so behind the back of the trans cover. Then note the shifter over the trans.. The two shifter rods which slide for and aft in the casting are longer than the space available at the back of the trans. I'm not sure of the "simple modifications" but there was not enough room to machine off the shifter casting nor was there enough meat at the mating point of the overdrive/trans to machine it level for the shifter to sit flat at that point.

    A caveat is that HR1 said (I now see) that his trans has a six bolt top cover and mine (both the side shifter and the top shifter) have four bolt covers. I don't know what the difference is. I do know that in the case of the two I have, trying to modify the shifter or the trans/od was not a viable option. I wanted the od so I used a shift kit to get the floor shift.

    I do remain interested in the modifications PackardV8 mentioned but have not been able to find them on the Studebaker Drivers Club website (if that is what you were referring to) I'd appreciate it if you could direct me to the appropriate thread.

    Regards:
    Paul
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  11. PackardV8
    Joined: Jun 7, 2007
    Posts: 890

    PackardV8
    Member

    Look at the casting ID on the side of the box. IIRC, the T96 is the 4-bolt top cover and you're talking about an entirely different light duty tranny instead of the medium duty T86.

    jack vines
     
  12. second_floor_loft
    Joined: Jul 23, 2008
    Posts: 93

    second_floor_loft
    Member

    Okay, brain fart... You are correct. T-96 v/ T-86. Fingers typing before brain is engaged. My apologies.

    Regards:
    Paul
     
  13. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,402

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Special note on T-86 manual versus T-86 w/O.D.: Manual ('straight stick') is laid out in the usual Borg Warner fashion.
    Overdrive T-86 has 1st/reverse slider assembled opposite, with shift slot forward! There was no 1st/rev. fork available to match up, or my '56 Ford convertible would have had a floorshift (Stude pickup tower/stick) I did attempt to cut and reposition a fork, but it turned into a bag of worms.
    My favorite way to do the floor shift trick is to use the '68 Ford all synchro tranny, and the Jeep shift tower... Gears are 25% wider than Cad-LaSalle!
     
  14. Junkcarguy
    Joined: Sep 22, 2014
    Posts: 10

    Junkcarguy

    Willys Jeep T90 top shift cover is a bolt on I have some if needed
     
  15. HotRod-1
    Joined: Jan 17, 2011
    Posts: 20

    HotRod-1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hello,
    Thank you for your reply. The last post on this subject is about 3 yrs old. Anyway, I had acquired a trans top shifter from a Jeep a year or so ago. Turns out the top has 8 holes thus required some drilling and tapping threads in the trans case. So the project went to the "on-hold" status. I've since acquired a Ford T170 RTS trans. I plan to adapt it to my 312 Y Block.
    The T170 is much lighter and uses the 4th gear as overdrive and, is manual rather than solenoid. Best Regards, Walt
     

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