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Old 11-25-2010, 01:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 1965 Mustang 3speed to 4speed

I know this may have been posted a few times but I was having difficulties finding details... Im not much of a gear head but I am learning ( I do electrical,interior, and body). I have alot of buddies that are completely willing to help me do what ever that are major re-builders but honestly im pretty embarrased to ask them. I have a 1965 mustang Straight 6 with a 3 speed tranny. I would like to convert it to a 4 speed and keep the straight 6 for now. I guess what I need to ask is what transmission would work best as at a later date I would like to drop a 289 into it. I know this is not as simple as dropping out the transmission and putting in a new one but I just need an idea of what type of transmission to go with.
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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BRO BRO BRO. Ok here is how you do it this is how people with project cars that start out with small engines. First if you are not building it in your garage and you have space in your garage then you buy a 289 and 4 speed when you have the money. Build it how you want it. mate the engine to the transmittion. The best thing about this strategy, you can still drive it. Then when you are ready for the swap swap the 2 out and this way you have minimal down time with your car and you can sell the set that you pulled out to someone that would want a complete drop in ready running motor.

See i know this from experience because i myself have a 289 3 speed manual car and i took the 289 and 3 speed out and started to rebuild the tranny (because i am not going to go to the 4 speed) and it has been 4 months not being able to drive it (i am able to roll it around). But i wanted the 3 speed so i didnt really have any choice but to pull it.
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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one thing that i might eventual do like i said is i might build a 302 for it with a 4 speed and i will do the same thing i described so i dont have any more downtime on my car and i can still drive it then when i am ready i can just drop it in and go. It would be like a hot swap.
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Old 11-25-2010, 03:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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djb989s, Fred(my 65 coupe) came with a 302 with a three speed, due to the 302 not being in running condition I decided to just yank it all out.

I currently have a 69 351w that will be getting freshened up and a four speed T-10 that I recently acquired form another VMF'er. The T-10 came out of his 67 which was replaced by a T-5.

I would do a little more snooping around to see if there is anything out the normal involved in doing the swap in a inline six. As far as I know for V8's, going from a three speed to a four speed doesn't get that crazy, hopefully some of the six cylinder folks will chime in soon.
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Old 11-25-2010, 06:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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IMHO you are setting yourself up for a costly timeconsuming mishmash of problems. First the only "real" 6 cyl 4 speed is the dagenham which is expensive , hard to service (English) and reqires many unique parts like bell housing, shifter rods, etc. If you do not have one, don't buy one.

Next you can use a v8 top loader, but why? The final ratio is the same ( 1 to 1) so the only advantage is hole shot acceleration, which, by definition, with a stock 6 cyl you don't have so a 4 speed does not buy you anything plus there are still a lot of issues and parts to change out, many of which get purchased and then thrown away when you then put in a

289 or 302 engine. With that engine you are going to replace your rear end, driveshaft, front hubs, steering, wiring, and wheels plus many more parts . If you really want to purchase stuff to replace good parts on your car, maybe it would be better to replace the car now with one that has what you really want

That being said, if you still want to do this, save yourself a lot of time and money and buy an early 90's MATCHED 5.0 liter engine and 5 speed from a running car, either retain the fuel injection or convert to carb, and not fight all the pulley , flywheel imbalance, and many other problems. You will still have to convert to the 5 lug steering and brakes for safety reasons but a least you will not pay big $$$ for a lot of problems. N

problems others have faced: bought a 5 bolt 4 speed toploader and it will not fit. Bought an SROD and later found out the issues. Bought a Torino 4 speed and it does not fit. Bought a mustang top loader for $800 and it needs $1200 in parts. The correct bell housing does not fit the correct flywheel and the correct starter doesn't fit either one.

If you REALLY do not know your way around this thing, you will be mad for years to come.
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Old 11-25-2010, 11:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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why does no one like the 3 speeds. i like mine its smooth and you can get one hell of a hard acceleration from it
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Old 11-25-2010, 11:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbpschools View Post
why does no one like the 3 speeds. i like mine its smooth and you can get one hell of a hard acceleration from it
I just like pulling down for 2nd gear, instead of up and over. I had a 3-spd in my '67 when I bought it and drove it that way for 7 years. I finally got a nice Toploader 4-spd and swapped it in 15 years ago. Boy, I really found out what I was missing!! Now I want a TKO-600. Anybody want a good used Toploader 4-spd with Hurst Comp Shifter?
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Old 11-25-2010, 01:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you are going to try to get an extra gear, you are going to have nothing but problems going the 4 speed route. A previous poster pointed out the Dagenham is pretty brittle, and it is, if you can even get a good rebuilt one to drop in there.

I would strongly recommend to just get a late model T5 5-speed. You can even get the original style shifter and knob so it will look 'correct' if you want it. This swap is very common and much better than using a 4-speed.

Here are a few links to get you started:

5 Speed Conversions

T5 Swap, T5 Conversion, Mustang T5 Swap, Auto to Manual Transmission -FordMuscle.com

Google for Mustang T5 conversions and you should be able to dig up lots of info, as well as using the search on this site.
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Old 11-25-2010, 03:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bbpschools View Post
why does no one like the 3 speeds. i like mine its smooth and you can get one hell of a hard acceleration from it
The 3 speed on the '67 is different than the 3 speed on the '65 or '66. The earlier 3 speed had a nonsynchronized 1st gear and was not very robust (at least in our experience). The '67 is much improved, which may be why your experience is better.

Personally, I have a '66 200 with a 3 speed in it and it is working great. When cruising on the freeway there are times that I wish for an overdrive to improve fuel mileage. Rarely do I feel the need for another gear while accelerating (ok, the acceleration sucks, but it's not the transmissions fault).
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Old 11-25-2010, 07:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by djb989s View Post
I would like to convert it to a 4 speed and keep the straight 6 for now. I guess what I need to ask is what transmission would work best as at a later date I would like to drop a 289 into it.
Oh holy poop. Just get a T5 5-speed and the necessary bellhousing plate and crossmember to install it. I saw the 64-65 6 cylinder T5 plate at Glazier/Nolan last summer. You will then have a fully-synchrized 5-speed with overdrive, and both acceleration performance and fuel economy will improve. Later, if you get foolish and want to change over to V8 (a major can of worms in a 65-66) all you'll need is a new bellhousing plate (and of course a truckload of V8 stuff) and you'll be all set, transmission-wise.

Quote:
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I know this is not as simple as dropping out the transmission and putting in a new one but I just need an idea of what type of transmission to go with.
Actually, changing from the 2.77 3-speed to the T5 5-speed is exactly the same amount of work as replacing a clutch disc. You simply pull the trans and clutch, install the new disc, and instead of putting the old stuff back in, you put the new 5-speed stuff in.
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Last edited by 22GT; 11-25-2010 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Why not use a 67 standard shift bell housing in a 65-6. The 67 all synchro 3 spd can be used or then a toploader 4 speed. Watched that 3 to 4 spd conversion being done on a 67 in a couple hours. MMonthly, way back in the 80's did that 67 3 spd. trans in a 66. They referred to the early 3 spd as a "paper trans" The Dagenham, (yawn) was an English Ford donation.
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Why not use a 67 standard shift bell housing in a 65-6. The 67 all synchro 3 spd can be used or then a toploader 4 speed. Watched that 3 to 4 spd conversion being done on a 67 in a couple hours. .
+1, thats what I did. Several years later, switched to a T-5. Could not be happier.

If it were me, I would do the T-5 now. You can get the adapter plate for an I6.
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cold_beer839 View Post
Anybody want a good used Toploader 4-spd with Hurst Comp Shifter?
If it fits a '65 289, YES! In the future...
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Old 11-26-2010, 11:37 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by yelostang View Post
Why not use a 67 standard shift bell housing in a 65-6. The 67 all synchro 3 spd can be used or then a toploader 4 speed. Watched that 3 to 4 spd conversion being done on a 67 in a couple hours. MMonthly, way back in the 80's did that 67 3 spd. trans in a 66. They referred to the early 3 spd as a "paper trans" The Dagenham, (yawn) was an English Ford donation.
Because the 65 200 lacks the bolt pattern for the 67 200 bell.
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Old 11-26-2010, 11:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yelostang View Post
Why not use a 67 standard shift bell housing in a 65-6. The 67 all synchro 3 spd can be used or then a toploader 4 speed. Watched that 3 to 4 spd conversion being done on a 67 in a couple hours. MMonthly, way back in the 80's did that 67 3 spd. trans in a 66. They referred to the early 3 spd as a "paper trans" The Dagenham, (yawn) was an English Ford donation.
We've probably got quite a few of those "Dagenham" boxes lying around down here in New Zealand as I suspect they would be the same as found in the "pommy" ( English) Ford Zephyr/Zodiac 6cyl cars that "roamed" our highways in the 60s and 70s . The GM boys down here used to refer to those cars as "Dagenham Dustbins" ( dustbin is what you North American fold would call a trash can)..........just a bit of useless trivia, sorry to go off track.

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