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Is it possible to column shift a T5?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by NashRodMan, Aug 10, 2012.

    Joined: Aug 7, 2009
    Posts: 2,069


    How about 3 gates? Here's a ruff draft. Let's do this hambers!!!

    Attached Files:

  2. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,907


    There's a 39 Buick in the Sacramento area... column shifted 4 speed,..Reverse uses a cable link from the reverse side lever, to a knob under the dash. Very cool and fun to drive !!!

  3. NashRodMan
    Joined: Jul 8, 2004
    Posts: 1,663

    Member guys are finally coming around!! LOL Just kidding. But, this thinking here is, IMHO, what hot rodding was about back in the day. Someone wanted to try something different and that would set people on a track of how can we do that; like a challenge. Ingenuity is what got those guys on the salt in AV8's going over 100 MPH and more. The same ingenuity is what caused Barris and others to create things/cars that were not done or seen before. Granted it may take a lot of money to do this, or maybe just a lot of time and thinking, but we shouldn't just say nah, and be done with it. There are a LOT of smart people on this board and possibly someone who has done it.
    19Eddy30 likes this.
  4. Mooseandsqurl53
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 255

    from N.J.

    As mentioned before, early
    Econolines had 4 speeds in them. I had a '64. Was cool, but very worn out, kept popping out of gear. Like some of the other guys are saying, fabricate. You may need a longer shaft and the shifting pin will be off center, but get another shift arm, cut one side of the groove all the way through and put it in the middle. That would be low and second, the two with the grooves not cut out will be reverse on top, 3rd and 4th on bottom. I think I said that right. You guys correct me if I'm wrong. Oh, it's a T-5. Never Mind
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  5. Hot Rod Grampa
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 83

    Hot Rod Grampa

    Late sixties Peugot has 4 speed column shift. Isuzu NPR cab over has a cable shifted 5 speed. Smooth and simple. With enough time and a desire to succeed, it could be done. Being able to bolt a cable operated shifter almost anywhere in the interior, regardless of where the tranny is would be slick.
    Joined: Mar 12, 2006
    Posts: 263


    I was going to do a remote linkage on my t5, so I studied the linkage for alternative ways to shift. If you remove the shift lever, four bolts, you'll see the linkage is just a rod that move fore and aft, and rotates. That "cup" on the end of the rod just pins in. It would be easy to remove and lengthen the rod out the back. The plug on the back behind the rod pops out so you could access the linkage from the rear of the tranny. I'd look in junkyards for a late model cable shifter system. Some FWD transaxle cars have a similar single rod shifter arangement. The column portion would be the most difficult as you would need three gates, not two like a three speed. As stated above, some imports have four speeds on the column which would have three gates. That may be the easiest way to start.
    Or.. go with a three speed and buy an overdrive.
    X-cpe likes this.
  7. Drove a few French cars with 4 speed column (Puegot comes to mind). One, a Citroen Mehari, had the 4 speed shifter on the dash! I loved the 3 on the tree in my old Plymouth - ultimate anti-theft device. Not many people under 55 that know how to drive one...and absolutely zero 17 year olds looking to boost a car for a joy ride know how to work a column shifter. Remember what the Beastie Boys said:
    Out on a mission a stolen car mission
    Had a little problem with the transmission
    3 on the tree in the middle of the night
  8. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    from Phoenix AZ

    Econolines used the British Ford Dagenham 4 speeds like early Falcons and Mustangs.

    The collum part of a 5 speed collum shifter is the easy part ,back at the trans with the single rail control is where it will get interesting. You would have to mod the T-5s top cover over the shift forks to bring out shafts to mount shift arms on. Have fun !!!!
  9. 32v
    Joined: May 20, 2007
    Posts: 952

    from v.i.

    carefull what you wish for have you forgot hanging the rt arm up running through the gears? i thought it would be cool too but it isnt fun. back to the question put paddell shifter in . i was playing with one at sema last year
  10. My SAAB has a 4 on the tree. Still looking for some new valves, guess I'll have to run it like it is.

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  11. mid 60's toyota trucks were 4spd on the column.
  12. Gromit
    Joined: Oct 13, 2011
    Posts: 726


    I have actually driven an "Isuzu Elf" Industrial truck with 5 on the column... It's a PITA.. I don't recomend it. However I'm sure these beasts will end up in the junk yards soon enough if you want a column... you don't.
  13. sproadster30
    Joined: Mar 13, 2009
    Posts: 129

    from Natick, Ma

    See Paul. Told you it COULD be done! Hahaha!
  14. jrlemke
    Joined: Dec 20, 2009
    Posts: 83


    I had the same set-up as

    I had the same set-up as
    '40 Ford guy describes in my 68 Chev Van. Used a Sag 4spd and used the e-brake for rev. Hooked a spring to pull it out. Worked great as theft protection too. put it in a forward gear and into reverse too. Also, Chev vans in the mid 60's had 4 spds on the col. They used B/W T-10's.

  15. Sumfuncomet
    Joined: Dec 31, 2011
    Posts: 578


    I thought those old V4 Saabs had a four or five speed column shifter???
  16. wanabe28
    Joined: Feb 9, 2011
    Posts: 97


    How 'bout running two 3 speed shifters on the column, 1 shifter for 1 through 3, 2nd shifter, 4 to 5 and reverse. Give the brain a good work out to remember which shifter to use and which gear you were in. Could have one on each side, similar to modern day paddle shifters.
  17. ddphillips
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 13

    from Cincinnati

    Had a 62 Mercedes once when I was stationed in Germany that had a 4 speed column shift. From that standpoint it MIGHT be possible. However a T5 does not have an external shift linkage, it's all internal. You'd need a 5 speed with an external shift linkage.
  18. desotot
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,833


    you could column shift any trans with side shifters quite easily if you have the right steering column, my brother had an old old econoline with a factory 4 spd column shift. But a T5 ?? hmmm, if you have the skills and time the straight up answer is yup. But the really honest straight answer is nope.
  19. davo461
    Joined: May 13, 2007
    Posts: 345


    A four speed shifter already has 3 gates;1/2, 3/4 and reverse. 5 would just be opposite reverse. The reverse lockout mechanism might cause some headaches as it locks the shifter out of the reverse gate.
    Lots of Brit and Euro cars had 4 on the tree, many with a 'pull-out' shift knob for a reverse lockout.
    Interesting concept; best of luck with that. You know you can do it !
  20. NashRodMan
    Joined: Jul 8, 2004
    Posts: 1,663


    I was wondering if you'd find this thread. LOL
  21. What about a ratchet type gizmo mechanism to replace the top mount shifter.
    Similar to a Harley shifter type of thing. Maybe they already have one for a t5 ?

    Sequential shifter brings up a lot on Google -

    Then your column and linkage would be SO simple and would fit into any thing.
    However if your after the cumbersome HUGE motion H pattern on the column that idea won't help you.
    Most of the general driving population want rid of that btw
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  22. jimbousman
    Joined: Jul 24, 2008
    Posts: 543


    Peugeot, Saab, Mercedes, Toyota, DKW, all had four speed column shifts back in the day. They all shifted like a broomstick in a bucket of pudding.

    The big advantage to a five speed is fifth overdrive. So put in a three speed overdrive. There are a ton of blogs on ODs and how you can split shift them and get essentially six speed forward. I had one in my '49 Ford with three on a tree. Used to split shift it all the time.
  23. jimbousman
    Joined: Jul 24, 2008
    Posts: 543


    Also the Econoline used a Daganham 4-speed transmission which was a side shifter not a top shifter like the T5.
  24. derbydad276
    Joined: May 29, 2011
    Posts: 1,322


    I had a 67 chev pick up that I installed a muncie 4 speed in and shifted it from the column I used a morse cable mounted in the dash to shift into reverse

    but a t5 does not shift with a h pattern its 1 rod in side the trans rather than 3 levers outside it
  25. Normbc9
    Joined: Apr 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,122


    I own five (5) Ford F-650's with a standard five speed with a clutch and due to a limitation of a driver only having a left arm I got a conversion installed in all of them. It is a five speed column shift Ford extended can F-650 with a diesel engine in each. Look at the search engine for transmission linkage conversions.
  26. Kerrynzl
    Joined: Jun 20, 2010
    Posts: 2,284


    5 speed column shift is quite common down our way, but it is in early 80's Toyota Hiace and Mitsubishi L300 [Delica] vans.

    Why use a T5?

    The Toyota Hiace van gearbox is identical to a Celica box [ inside ] only the cases are different for side shift mechanisn.

    The Celica box is a common 5 speed conversion in Aus & NZ behind a mild V8
    The conversion kits are off the shelf for those that don't know how to machine up a simple adapter spacer and redrill the bellhousing
  27. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

  28. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    I remember watching a guy racing a 3 on the tree/y-block '55 Ford sedan at Mission a couple years ago. He was really gettin' after it too, every time he went for second, it looked like he was gonna put his fist through the windshield...:p
  29. Shane Spencer
    Joined: Oct 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,161

    Shane Spencer

    i think column shifting is kinda cool. its just old, and something you dont see anymore. kinda like gas tanks in truck cabs etc etc. granted, there are reasons that they dont use this shit anymore, but its an old car and not built to have the newest fanciest shit. and just to make a t5 work on a column would be a cool feat in itself
  30. indianhead74
    Joined: Mar 3, 2005
    Posts: 159


    Had a Peugeot 404 that had a 4 cyl Hemi Motor and a 4 speed trans shifted on the tree. The only Hemi Four speed I'll ever afford. It actually was kind of a neat car with the sliding steel sunroof 4 doors and all. Don't have a clue as how the french made that shifter work ,but it sure had a lot of monkey motion at the column. Indy

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