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Projects Ford toploader won't go in reverse

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by oddo, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. oddo
    Joined: Sep 25, 2009
    Posts: 9


    Hey guys,
    I have 1960 Falcon tudor wagon with a straight 6 and a toploader 4 speed out of a 1966 mustang with hurst shifter. The shifter does not have a lockout switch.
    I just replaced the clutch because the old one blew up. Got it all back in, linked up everything to run it around the block, and discovered that the transmission will not go into reverse. Reverse is to the left, a little further left than first, and up. Repeat, there is no lockout switch on the Hurst shifter.
    I have no idea why it won't go into reverse. It shifts into all other gears nice and smooth and the clutch is functioning great. When I pull the lever to the left though, it just won't "slip" to where it needs to go. The only thing I can believe could be the problem is if the dork at the auto parts store sold me a 3 speed clutch. (It is a 9 inch clutch - part #PTQ K578-1).
    Please help. Any advice or insight greatly appreciated.
  2. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,054


    There is no such thing as a 3-speed clutch.

    It fits, or it doesn't.

    Check your linkage. Try to operate the lever with the linkage disconnected.
  3. oddo
    Joined: Sep 25, 2009
    Posts: 9


    I don't know what you mean. The car will drive in all four gears, I just can't get it into reverse.
  4. metlmunchr
    Joined: Jan 16, 2010
    Posts: 735


    Isn't there a hole across thru the body and all 3 shift arms where you put a pin and then adjust the linkage so it fits the arms when they're all locked in the neutral position? Been a long time since I messed with a Hurst shifter, but it seems to me that's how they're adjusted.
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  5. Either your shift linkage is out of adjustment or there's an internal problem in the trans; almost certainly the former. The clutch has nothing to do with it....
  6. oddo
    Joined: Sep 25, 2009
    Posts: 9


    I didn't really think it was the clutch. Everything went together smooth.
    Is there any data I can find that would show me what could potentially be wrong with the linkage? It's such a simple setup (externally) that I don't really know what to look for.
  7. Hey buddy, the shifter is mounted on a bracket that holds it to the trany and there is a hole in that bracket that lets the shifter slide over and catch each one of the shift arms if that hole is not in the bracket or is not lined up it will not let the shifter caught the arm to move it in the reverse position, which if it was shifting before I would say you do not have the shifter adjusted right. That would be something I would catch out if the reverse was working before then it has to be something with the shifter. It doesn't have to be to far off to not let it push the reverse level into place. Just a thought.
  8. Will it slip into reverse when you shut off the engine?
  9. oddo
    Joined: Sep 25, 2009
    Posts: 9


    2many projects: It will not go into reverse when it's shut off.
    38 2DR Sedan: The reverse was working just fine before the clutch swap. I will try to see if I can figure out where this hole in the bracket is. The shifter is adjustment is a little confusing because it's a pretty basic 2 bolt attachment, without any real room for adjustment.
    Thanks for the input so far guys.
  10. The adjustment procedure for nearly every manual floor shifter I've ever seen is this: Disconnect the shift rods from the shift arms at the shifter assembly. There will be a 1/4" hole in the shifter 'box' assembly below the shifter pivot. Insert a 1/4" rod or drill bit (if you use a bit, use the shank end not the drill end) as far as it goes, wiggling the shifter arms slightly. Most shifters use 1/4", but not all; use the largest size rod that fits; a loose fit won't give a good adjustment. Once it's in, the shifter will be 'locked' into neutral for all gears and the arms won't move. Now adjust the length of your shift rods until they will go easily onto the shift arms; make sure each shift rod is in neutral at the transmission. Reconnect the arms. Pull out the rod, then check shifter operation.

    Even the slightest misalignment can cause 'sticky' shifting or not being able to engage one or more gears. If the shifter/linkage was removed or bumped when changing the clutch, readjustment will be needed. You may not be able to access the adjustment hole with the transmission installed either unless you have a removable 'shifter hump'. These can be finicky sometimes, I always check this before reinstalling the trans.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
  11. rfraze
    Joined: May 23, 2012
    Posts: 2,003


    Great explanation.
  12. oddo
    Joined: Sep 25, 2009
    Posts: 9


    Fantastic explanation Crazy Steve. I'll get into it tonight or tomorrow and see if I can get it figured out. My falcon has an added tunnel hump, but I can't remember how it's attached. I'll find out when I pull the carpet back.
    Thanks again!
  13. ROADSTER1927
    Joined: Feb 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,728


    Ok this shifter is not like yours, but the hole with the rod sticking out of it is what you are looking for. Gary P3040004.JPG P3040003.JPG
  14. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,312


    Might be the 3 speed clutch, if it was a 2 speed clutch someone sold you a powerglide clutch by mistake.
  15. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,811


    While you have the linkage off see if you can move the lever on the trans into reverse.
  16. wood remover
    Joined: Dec 23, 2012
    Posts: 871

    wood remover

    Is the lever where the arm attaches to the reverse pivot on the transmission
    the right way up or down ?
  17. Fabber McGee
    Joined: Nov 22, 2013
    Posts: 843

    Fabber McGee

    I was just going to ask that. If you had the reverse linkage arm off of the fork shaft, you may have installed it upside down or inside out. That means it would be trying to slide the transmission out of reverse when it already is. Remove the rod from the arm and see if it will shift to reverse by hand, put the shifter in reverse, then put the arm on the fork shaft so the rod will go in the hole.
  18. Daa on my part totally forgot that's a very good point, Fabber McGee that could very well be the problem. Hope it not old age setting in I have enough things to keep straight now I will have to start running a diagnostic on myself in the morning. LOL :confused::confused:LOL.
  19. Make sure that the shifter is adjusted correctly. On a Hurst you put it in neutral with the linkage rods unhooked, then you poke a piece of 1/8" welding rod or a coat hanger through the hole in linkage arms (they drop below the shifter), now with the transmission in neutral make all the linkage rods the correct length to hook up and you are good to go.
  20. oddo
    Joined: Sep 25, 2009
    Posts: 9


    I got it fixed. Crazy Steve - your description was spot on. After I broke every cotter pin that was holding the brackets to the arms, and cut it all loose, the 1/4" bit went in with very little wiggling required. I re-hooked the linkages, and everything work just as prescribed.
    Thanks again guys!

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