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? stock rear-end ratio on a '56 ford customline

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by streetrodjason, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. streetrodjason
    Joined: Mar 29, 2006
    Posts: 15

    from Tucson, AZ

    Took my '56 on the highway for the 1st time and couldn't go past 65 MPH. It has a '77 302 and C4 trans. The rear looks stock. I'm not sure if the trans is the problem or the rear? It was shifting soft so I adjusted the modulator and confirmed it's going into all 3 gears. It's bagged so I don't want to replace the rear if I don't need to. Any way to ID the rear and ratio? This is my 1st ford in a ford.
    If it's the rear can I change the gear in a '56? If not, any 9 in the same length? Help is appreciated
  2. Dale Fairfax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,586

    Dale Fairfax
    Member Emeritus

    The only way you could be limited to 65 m.p.h. if your transmission is, indeed, shifting into top gear is if the car was originally an overdrive equipped version with a 4.++ ring & pinion. Even then I think you're letting your ears over ride your brain. You need to know how many R.P.M. your engine is turning at 65. I just did a quickie calculation which says a 4.10 gear coupled with a 28" tire @65 is only 3200 R.P.M. Even a 26" tire would give you but 3450 R.P.M. That sure ain't at the engine's limit.
  3. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,310

    R Pope

    Even with 4.56 gears it should do 65 in Second. It can't be finding Drive.
  4. hoop98
    Joined: Jan 23, 2013
    Posts: 1,363

    from Texas

    ". All six-cylinder engines with the standard three-speed transmission were assembled with a 3.89 rear gear; a 4.11 was optional. Should the straight-six be backed by the Ford-O-Matic, the rear gears were 3.31 standard and 3.55 optional in 1955, or 3.22 standard and 3.56 optional in 1956.
    Victorias sporting a V-8 with the three-speed manual had a 3.78 gear or an optional 3.89; these numbers are reversed when the overdrive is installed. As with the straight-six, the Ford-O-Matic required its own set of final gear ratios: For 1955, a 3.31 was standard and 3.55 optional; for the 1956 models, a 3.22 was standard with a 3.56 optional."

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  5. jguff
    Joined: Jan 14, 2009
    Posts: 134


    I think it must be a trans problem. I had a '56 with the six and a three speed, no overdrive. Top speed was in the high 80's and I could cruise all day at 65 to 70 mph.

  6. ffr1222k
    Joined: Nov 5, 2009
    Posts: 1,061


    My first car was a '56 Victoria. It had a 3 speed and 3.70 gears.

    3000 RPM in 3d gear was 60.
  7. 61 chevy
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 891

    61 chevy

    trans slipping, or speedometer is way off,
  8. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don

    Even a stock beat up worn out 302 should turn 4100 to 4400 RPM's. That should run it faster than is legal in any state.
  9. streetrodjason
    Joined: Mar 29, 2006
    Posts: 15

    from Tucson, AZ

    Thanks everyone! It had a 292/3 speed manual. The speed was accurate because I use my GPS. It was getting hot and I didn't want to push it, so I just got off the highway but it prob could go a bit faster. Even if it's a 3.89 or 4.10 I agree something else may be wrong. I'll need to get a tach. Perhaps it's the trans?

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