Will this Toploader work for me? - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Will this Toploader work for me?

Hey guys,

I'm looking to convert my 302/C4 in my 68 FB to a 4 speed and wondering if this Toploader would work. It's a RUG M1 which is designed for a 390. But it is a wide ratio. I realize a RUG E2 would be optimal but would this still work?

https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sg...911520180.html

Thanks!
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1968 Fastback J Code. Acquired April 2019. Project build with my two sons!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEFFinOC View Post
Hey guys,



I'm looking to convert my 302/C4 in my 68 FB to a 4 speed and wondering if this Toploader would work. It's a RUG M1 which is designed for a 390. But it is a wide ratio. I realize a RUG E2 would be optimal but would this still work?



https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sg...911520180.html



Thanks!
I thought the big block top loaders had a different input shaft.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 11:15 PM
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Iíve owned a few 390 toploaders. The input shaft/pilot bearing were too short to reach the pilot bearing. The ones Iíve owned I replaced the input with a small block version and used them without issues.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 11:56 PM
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The shifter mount is also in a different location....requiring one made for the 390 cars.

69 Mach One, 428CJ, 5 Speed, 3.91's.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEFFinOC View Post
Hey guys,

I'm looking to convert my 302/C4 in my 68 FB to a 4 speed and wondering if this Toploader would work. It's a RUG M1 which is designed for a 390. But it is a wide ratio. I realize a RUG E2 would be optimal but would this still work?

https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sg...911520180.html

Thanks!
I have an M1 in my 67 390 car.
I wonder about trans mount flanges to bell housing size? It maybe also longer meaning changing out driveshaft?
Minor this as said, need a trans shifter mount plate to relocate shifter? Maybe.
Longer speedo cable as M,M1, M2 all have cable going in on rh side of trans.
Trans mounting cross tunnel brkt is different for 390 trans.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 07:13 AM
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THere are ways to mickey mouse a big block toploader to work on a small block, I have tried them all in the 20 years I ran a BB TL. None of them worked very well. I ran an adapter pilot bushing that went quickly, then machined one out of Silicon Bronze which worked the best. One time I took my BB TL to THE TL guy in Silicon Valley who sold me a BB input shaft he had welded an extension on so I had him put that in. It worked but eventually gave up and destroyed my TL case.



Best to replace the input shaft with a SB shaft if your not running crazy HP.


Next, its likely it has the wrong tail shaft, mine did but the PO drilled out the Hurst Comp Plus plate to put the shifter in the right place then had a custom drive shaft made to the right length. Getting the right tail shaft is possible.



Frankly, if you want to just drop it in, get the correct TL or if this is the right price and a known entity, do the work...

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by sixtysevenGTconv View Post
I have an M1 in my 67 390 car.
I wonder about trans mount flanges to bell housing size? It maybe also longer meaning changing out driveshaft?
Minor this as said, need a trans shifter mount plate to relocate shifter? Maybe.
Longer speedo cable as M,M1, M2 all have cable going in on rh side of trans.
Trans mounting cross tunnel brkt is different for 390 trans.
There are two length Toploaders, the 14" tail, which is this unit, and the 17" tail, which is used in full size Ford/Merc as well as certain Torino/Montego applications. Only difference between the small block and 390 unit is the input shaft is shorter on the 390.

Could use the Hurst shifter for the '67 390 Mustang, or I believe the two untapped holes by the tail bushing can be drilled and tapped to allow use of the small block shifter. There was also an adapter plate at one time that allowed the use of the forward pattern with the small block shifter.

All toploader speedometer gears are on the passenger side and require the long cable.

Toploader uses same trans crossmember as the C-4 and 3 speed with a small block. 390 toploader crossmember is different, but because of the engine, not the transmission.


That said - $1400 is a lot of money for a toploader you need to swap the input shaft on to have it work correctly.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. You have easily talked me out of this. I was leaning that way anyway. Been looking for quite a while now, and the small block wide ratio TLís are not that plentiful. No worries, Iíll keep looking. Thank you for input!
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 09:15 AM
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Couple things:

Never believe the tag. For example, there are about 30 top loader 4 speed tags for sale on ebay, mostly in the $25 range. A couple taps with a hammer and chisel, and the old tag comes off, and you can put on another tag.

There are more top loaders out there. I have a 1965 rebuilt top loader for $1100 that I am listing on Craigslist tomorrow. I am in Dallas, but can ship it for about $100 or so to California. There are many more like mine out there.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 10:59 AM
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There's a rebuilder close to that sells a rebuilt wide ratio small block Toploader for $1100 out the door, they'll buy your core if you have one.

https://www.reedstransmissions.com/our_products

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JEFFinOC View Post
Thanks guys. You have easily talked me out of this. I was leaning that way anyway. Been looking for quite a while now, and the small block wide ratio TLís are not that plentiful. No worries, Iíll keep looking. Thank you for input!
Jeff,
I have a nice used wide ratio small block top loader , with all factory linkage ( but no shift lever) for $850. If you are interested , I will take the trans to the "Pickers Paradise" swap meet at the Buena Park Elks lodge this Sunday the 23rd. I'm taking it anyway and don't sell parts from my home.
Randy

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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^ Thank you, Randy! PM Sent.

1968 Fastback J Code. Acquired April 2019. Project build with my two sons!
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 11:30 PM
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And this is why I enjoy this forum so much...way to step up GT350HR and help a fellow member out.



I've started a blog about my car and adventures: http://65mustangfun.blogspot.com/

1965 Fastback, 289, Toploader 4 Speed, owned by me since June 1980. Originally a C-code with a C-4. 5R09C16****
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 11:31 PM
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Thats way too much money for that. And the little clutch teeth look to have been ground some. $500.00 tops !

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