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Traditional Overdrive Transmissions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Boryca, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. Boryca
    Joined: Jul 18, 2011
    Posts: 695

    from Detroit

    I am in need of information on what types of overdrive transmissions and/or OD units were used to back up a 59AB. It resides in a 35 1/2 ton, with a truck 3 spd currently. I want a bit better cruise speed out of it.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. Closed torque tube drive? If so only options I am aware of are aftermarket set-ups. You probably have 4.11 gears in the rearend, you might go to slightly taller gear, but that is not OD.

    If you have open drive, then the late 40's early 50's Ford flatheads had OD trans, known as the Borg Warner OD. I would suggest a newer S-10 T-5 as better option if you have open drive. Better shifting than the old trans have.
  3. HOTFR8
    Joined: Nov 30, 2010
    Posts: 2,075


  4. Boryca
    Joined: Jul 18, 2011
    Posts: 695

    from Detroit

    Thanks for the input. I'm really not digging the T5 or modern OD on this build. Put one in an OT pony car behind a 289 and it works fine, love the OD, but I'd rather go with something relating more to the period.

    I know there's some guys on here with (bolt on?) units behind their transmissions. Maybe someone will pipe up with an opinion.

  5. [​IMG]

    Sorry for the big pic- Volvo M41 overdrive might be an idea.
  6. jetmek
    Joined: Jan 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,846


    afaik the only od set up for torque tube is 40's lincoln ( very hard to find one) and youll have to shorten the ttube any way . mite as well convert to open drive set up...
  7. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,099


    taller tires
  8. I think he's talking about the Borg Warner setup shoebox Fords had.
  9. Boryca
    Joined: Jul 18, 2011
    Posts: 695

    from Detroit

    Yes, something of that nature. After a bit of research that is more along the lines of what I'm looking for. Are there other options out there as well, or is that pretty much what I need to be looking at?

    Thanks for the input.

  10. young'n'poor
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,280

    from Anoka. MN

    The borg warner 3 sp OD from a later flathead ford would be your best bet, but you would need to conver to open driveline. Someone on here, can't remember who, did a t5 conversion but made it work with their torgue tube setup. Search for that and see if it looks feasable to you. He used one outta a jeep if I remember
  11. Columbia two speed rear is traditional
  12. 48 Chubby
    Joined: Apr 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,014

    48 Chubby
    Member Emeritus

    That was just about it "back in the day". I've heard that some of the moonshiners wouldn't leave home with out one.
  13. Dale Fairfax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,585

    Dale Fairfax
    Member Emeritus

    I've got the Lincoln Zephyr setup that bolts directly to your engine but would require shortening your drive shaft and torque tube. It's a Borg-Warner O.D. very similar to those used in the '49 & up Fords and Mercs (Which would also require drive shaft/torque tube alteration.) You can have it for a nominal fee but-"some assemby required". As far as your basic question: "--were used to back up a 59AB"; none. The Columbia rearend was the most common way to obtain overdrive in torque tube Fords.

  14. There was an article in Street Rodder magazine last summer about these transmissions. I think a Columbia rear axle would be pretty pricey.
  15. ChevyGirlRox
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 3,490

    from Ohio

    You need a Lloyd Young set up, he puts old ODs from the late 50s/early 50s right into torque tubes. I had one behind a 21 stud flatty and it worked like a dream!

    His contact info is: 4915 Lithopolis-Winchester Road, Canal Winchester, OH 43110. 614-837-7832
  16. Boryca
    Joined: Jul 18, 2011
    Posts: 695

    from Detroit

    Dale, I may take you up on that. And thanks for the info; this is as much a history lesson as a search for parts, so I appreciate any input on the subject.
  17. Troy H.
    Joined: Sep 20, 2011
    Posts: 8

    Troy H.
    from Canada

    I am not sure if this is acceptable or not, but I have a Ford top loader OD transmission and a Studebaker od transmission that I will probably need as soon as I sell them...

    PM me if you need details...
  18. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Possibles for early Ford:
    '41-48 Lincoln...$$$, will need frame mods...side shift only for all practical purposes
    Columbia...$$$, plus it's expensive...
    T5 Conversion is available for torque tube
    People have converted Ford toploader versions to TT, can be done with the 3/4 speed OD version, floor conversion possible for $$$
    Driveshaft BW...good rig but requires considerable work, somewhat rare parts
    Mitchell TT overdrive...$$, but is a bolt-in that comes ready in a new TT. Cost might look good compared to a Columbia or one of the conversions requiring extensive machining plus TT and frame mods

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