Top loader 4sp - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-22-2012, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Top loader 4sp

I have a top loader 4sp in my 65. For some reason it does not like to down shift from 2nd to 1st. Some times I cant get it into first until I make a complete stop. Down shifting in other gears it works just fine.
Any ideas?

1965 Mustang Fastback 289 4 speed
2013 F150 5.0 V8
2006 Subaru Legacy
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-22-2012, 02:32 PM
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I've got a toploader 4sp and I never attempt to go to first unless I'm stopped.... Not sure, but it may be because first gear is synchronized, requiring you to be at a stop to get into first. I'm sure more-educated tranny folks here can confirm that...

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-22-2012, 02:41 PM
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Two.

Don't shift into 1st until you reach a stop. You really don't need 1st as the engine has plenty of torque.

Rebuilt trans because synchros are worn on 1-2 shift.

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-22-2012, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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I am wanting to try auto cross. I was thinking I may need to be able to down shift going into corners?

1965 Mustang Fastback 289 4 speed
2013 F150 5.0 V8
2006 Subaru Legacy
2002 F150
1996 Mustang GT (sold)
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-22-2012, 03:49 PM
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the 1st gear blocking ring is probably wore out. i have had many toploaders since 1973 in many mustangs, galaxie wagon , torino. i roadrace and autocross. i build toploaders for myself and others. i downshift to 1st gear while while moving and thats the reason 1st gear "is" synchronized so that you can downshift while moving. you guys that posted that you need to be stopped before downshifting the 4 speed toploader into 1st gear are wrong and your posting wrong answers. if you want to talk to the guy that has ben building toploaders and selling parts for 40 years call Dan Williams Toploader Transmissions at 828-524-9085 and he will tell you the same thing i just did. Dan Williams Toploader Transmissions if David Key decides to answer phone he will tell you the same thing. Mike at www.maecomotorsport.com builds and roadraces 65-66 mustang with toploaders and he will tell you the same thing about downshifting to 1st while moving.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-22-2012, 04:17 PM
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Synchromesh

I don't know as much about Toploaders as I'd like to, but I do know what synchromesh transmission gears are and if the Toploader has synchromesh in first gear, you should be able to shift from 2nd to first nicely.

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Originally Posted by supershifter2 View Post
the 1st gear blocking ring is probably wore out. i have had many toploaders since 1973 in many mustangs, galaxie wagon , torino. i roadrace and autocross. i build toploaders for myself and others. i downshift to 1st gear while while moving and thats the reason 1st gear "is" synchronized so that you can downshift while moving. you guys that posted that you need to be stopped before downshifting the 4 speed toploader into 1st gear are wrong and your posting wrong answers. if you want to talk to the guy that has ben building toploaders and selling parts for 40 years call Dan Williams Toploader Transmissions at 828-524-9085 and he will tell you the same thing i just did. Dan Williams Toploader Transmissions if David Key decides to answer phone he will tell you the same thing. Mike at www.maecomotorsport.com builds and roadraces 65-66 mustang with toploaders and he will tell you the same thing about downshifting to 1st while moving.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-22-2012, 04:33 PM
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I didn't see anyone state that you couldn't downshift from 2nd to 1st, just that they typically don't.



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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-22-2012, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivygreen65 View Post
I didn't see anyone state that you couldn't downshift from 2nd to 1st, just that they typically don't.
I do. As Supershifter said, it's so you can down shift into first. Try driving an old 3 speed with out 1st being synchronized!

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-22-2012, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelby68gt500 View Post
I've got a toploader 4sp and I never attempt to go to first unless I'm stopped.... Not sure, but it may be because first gear is synchronized, requiring you to be at a stop to get into first. I'm sure more-educated tranny folks here can confirm that...
Really? I downshift into 1st all the time.

You have that "synchronized" thing backward. Synchronized means the trans can be shifted into any gear while the car is moving, without double-clutching. The only Mustang transmission that was not fully synchronized was the 64-66 2.77 3-speed, used with the I6 engine, and if you double-clutch, you can downshift that one, too.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-22-2012, 07:06 PM
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No problem with 2-1 shift here... Actually, I've 3-1 shifter before and no problem there, either. +1 on the worn blocking ring. Been running GL-5 in that Top Loader for a while?



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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-22-2012, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65mustang View Post
I am wanting to try auto cross. I was thinking I may need to be able to down shift going into corners?
I have autocrossed mine, and I must say the big synchros in the toploader are exceptionally good for that.

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-23-2012, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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So am I looking at rebuilding my trans? Or just have the synchros replaced? I know nothing about 4speed's.

Thanks all! for your help!

1965 Mustang Fastback 289 4 speed
2013 F150 5.0 V8
2006 Subaru Legacy
2002 F150
1996 Mustang GT (sold)
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-23-2012, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65mustang View Post
So am I looking at rebuilding my trans? Or just have the synchros replaced? I know nothing about 4speed's.

Thanks all! for your help!
You won't really know until you pull the top cover. You may only need the seal and bearing kit with brass rings. However, if the teeth on the 1-2 or 3-4 synchros are trashed, you'll need the whole synchro.

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-23-2012, 07:36 PM
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+1 on the downshift to 1st, I do it all the time and no issues. I don't jam it in, but it goes as it should with the syncro's.
Ford made a big deal in 65-67 or so advertising how their new tranny's would downshift "without clash in ALL forward gears". I think Ford even did the all caps thing too in the ad. And to think the 4 speed was the "optional" performance transmission back then - how far we've come. I don't thing there is any new car sold today with only 4 manual gears.

[/SIGPIC]67 Fastback GT -- original colour (Frost Turquoise), orig engine. Pic is of me and the Mustang taken in summer of '67, with original F70-14 Wide Ovals. Same car is now restored to "as new" but 3 speed tranny swapped out for 4 gear, with tach dash, original Equalock rear, Opentracker UCA, LCA, roller perches and idler arm, with roller bearing pedal cluster, Cibie headlights, 4100 carb (old 4300 put in storage probably forever)
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-23-2012, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jfstang View Post
+1 on the downshift to 1st, I do it all the time and no issues. I don't jam it in, but it goes as it should with the syncro's.
Ford made a big deal in 65-67 or so advertising how their new tranny's would downshift "without clash in ALL forward gears". I think Ford even did the all caps thing too in the ad. And to think the 4 speed was the "optional" performance transmission back then - how far we've come. I don't thing there is any new car sold today with only 4 manual gears.
Dan Gurney drove a K code prototype with 4-speed and 4.11 rear. He opined that with the 4.11, and wide power range of the 289HP, it really only needed a 3-speed.

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