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3 on the tree modifications

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Blairsville Ed
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3 on the tree modifications

Post #1 by Blairsville Ed » Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:48 am

1968; F100; 3 on the tree, 3.70 gearing

Has anyone tried to re-gear the standard 3 speed ?

I want to keep the standard column shift in my truck, but that severely limits my transmission choices.
One option is to put in a T170 RUG trans. It has a larger 1st gear, 3.24, plus overdrive. Reverse would be cable operated.
Another option might be the early Bronco 3 speed. It has a 3.41 1st gear. I could then go to a 3.25 rear axle gearing.
I’m not sure if the Bronco trans would work.

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bubba22349
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Re: 3 on the tree modifications

Post #2 by bubba22349 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:01 pm

Blairsville Ed wrote:1968; F100; 3 on the tree, 3.70 gearing

Has anyone tried to re-gear the standard 3 speed ?

I want to keep the standard column shift in my truck, but that severely limits my transmission choices.
One option is to put in a T170 RUG trans. It has a larger 1st gear, 3.24, plus overdrive. Reverse would be cable operated.
Another option might be the early Bronco 3 speed. It has a 3.41 1st gear. I could then go to a 3.25 rear axle gearing.
I’m not sure if the Bronco trans would work.


Yes some three speeds can be regeared if there are other gear ratios offered such as the six cylinder versions verus the V8 versions. One of these is the super strong Ford 3.03 top loader trans that your pickup should have in it, they were offered in ratios of

2.99, 1.75, 1.00, 3.17 Used in Ford pickups.
2.79, 170, 1.00,
2.42, 1.61, 1.00, 2.33. Used behind the FE V8's (352, 360, & 390 engines) has the closest ratio spread.

This trans was also used by GM because of its strength, they didn't have a trans that could hold up to their V8's so they made a deal with Ford so they could use it, they called it a Dearbornn Transmission. I have not checked if they had some different ratios but if they did these would also be able to swap into a Ford 3.03 case. AMC also used the 3.03 trans which also may have some different ratios, the Jeeps used a top shifter that will work on the Ford cases too.

The T170 RUG trans though maybe the best option with its overdrive as far as gearing goes, but they did have some bearing problems and weren't as strong as the orginal 3.03's. I don't know if they ever came up with a fix for that as they went to the 5 speed trans soon after. Good luck :thumbup: :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

Blairsville Ed
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Re: 3 on the tree modifications

Post #3 by Blairsville Ed » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:19 pm

Great info!
I think regearing my 3.03 might be the best way to go.
I have the 2.99 1st gear now.
I’ll start researching gear ratios from the GM’ s and AMC’s.
Currently, the 6 cylinder Broncos have the lowest 1st gear at 3.41.

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Re: 3 on the tree modifications

Post #4 by bubba22349 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:37 pm

Found some more information on the Jeep 3.03 version 3 speed it's called a T150. It was used in the CJ 5 1976 to 1979 it also used the 2.99 1st ratio for both the inline six and small V8. That's like is used in the Ford pickups since it was such a light weight vechical. So no help there unless you would want to use the T150 top shifter on your Ford trans. What gear ratio are you wanting to go too? :thumbup: :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

Blairsville Ed
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Re: 3 on the tree modifications

Post #5 by Blairsville Ed » Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:32 pm

My tow vehicle situation has changed. We had a 4 x 4 explorer for towing our pontoon boat but my wife wanted a new car and she picked a 2wd Escape.
My 1968 F100 is now the tow vehicle.
I towed the pontoon with the F100 about 3 years ago with the 240 still stock. It towed fine but pulling the boat out of the launch was tough. I had to slip the clutch quite a bit.
I now have the motor lightly ported, Chevy rockers, 2 barrel carb and efi exhaust.
I don’t know if those changes will make a difference pulling the boat up the launch.

The early Bronco with a 6 cylinder had a 3.41 1st gear, but it looks like the best option would be to use the Bronco trans with the 2 speed transfer case.
Maybe cable operate the transfer case.

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bubba22349
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Re: 3 on the tree modifications

Post #6 by bubba22349 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:36 pm

Blairsville Ed wrote:My tow vehicle situation has changed. We had a 4 x 4 explorer for towing our pontoon boat but my wife wanted a new car and she picked a 2wd Escape.
My 1968 F100 is now the tow vehicle.
I towed the pontoon with the F100 about 3 years ago with the 240 still stock. It towed fine but pulling the boat out of the launch was tough. I had to slip the clutch quite a bit.
I now have the motor lightly ported, Chevy rockers, 2 barrel carb and efi exhaust.
I don’t know if those changes will make a difference pulling the boat up the launch.

The early Bronco with a 6 cylinder had a 3.41 1st gear, but it looks like the best option would be to use the Bronco trans with the 2 speed transfer case.
Maybe cable operate the transfer case.


Yes adapting the Bronco trans with the 2 speed transfer case could work, yet for a tow vechical it won't be the ideal. Much better and far easier to install is to use a heavier duty 4 speed truck trans. Those that were available stock in the F100, F250, & F350's pickups were the BW T18, BW T19, and the NP435, these will be bolt into your 1968 pickup using all stock Ford parts. Of these the NP435 is smallest in size at 10.8 inches long and be lighter in weight compared to the Bronco 3 speed with transfer case combo. The NP435 is widely available at low prices as Dodge, Ford, International, GM & Chevy, all used them, Ford used them in late 1965 up to 1992 and had the two very best ratio versions.

NP435L with ratios of 1st 6.68, 2nd 3.34, 3rd 1.66, 4th 1.00, Rev. 8.26
NP435E with ratios of 1st 6.68, 2nd 3.34, 3rd 1.74, 4th 1.00, Rev. 8.26

I had the NP435L in my 65 F350 with a 240 six the gearing was perfect for hauling and towing. The compound low would be perfect for pulling your boat up the launch, the rest of the time you drive it just like your three speed using 2nd as low. Another bonus is that the clutch is bigger and stronger so there won't be any need to be slipping the clutch, this is a excellent and proven bullet proof combo.

Yes I think those engine mods should be of help in low speed pulling torque too. Good luck :thumbup: :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

Blairsville Ed
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Re: 3 on the tree modifications

Post #7 by Blairsville Ed » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:53 am

The NP435 would be an excellent choice but I like the 3 on the tree set up. I’m nostalgic I guess.
I don’t think I can adapt the NP435 to a column shift.

I took the pontoon over to the launch today to see how the modified 240 did pulling the boat up the launch.
It definitely has more torque than it did when it was stock but I still have to ride the clutch to keep the motor from bogging down.
Another issue is tire spin. I’ll have to install a traction loc set up in the rear differential.

With my desire to keep the column shift I think the Bronco transfer case might be the easiest solution. It appears that it bolts up to the Ford 3.03 trans with an adapter housing that takes the place of the tail piece.
The only issue would be finding a shorter driveshaft. I have the long bed with 2 driveshafts.

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bubba22349
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Re: 3 on the tree modifications

Post #8 by bubba22349 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:22 pm

Blairsville Ed wrote:The NP435 would be an excellent choice but I like the 3 on the tree set up. I’m nostalgic I guess.
I don’t think I can adapt the NP435 to a column shift.

I took the pontoon over to the launch today to see how the modified 240 did pulling the boat up the launch.
It definitely has more torque than it did when it was stock but I still have to ride the clutch to keep the motor from bogging down.
Another issue is tire spin. I’ll have to install a traction loc set up in the rear differential.

With my desire to keep the column shift I think the Bronco transfer case might be the easiest solution. It appears that it bolts up to the Ford 3.03 trans with an adapter housing that takes the place of the tail piece.
The only issue would be finding a shorter driveshaft. I have the long bed with two driveshafts.


Yes your right there isn't a way to convert an NP435 over to a column shift at least not economically. Glad to hear that the 240 engine mods were of help. I would probably wait on installing a Trackloc until you try out the Bronco six cylinder trans and transfer case as it may not be nessisary. This is why I suggested the NP435 with my experience using these with it's compound low of 6.68 it can pull or walk a load right out at an idle or a very low RPM, without having to slip the clutch or raising engine speed that would then cause tire spin. Depending on the use of a good size tall rear tire along with the six cylinder Bronco 3.03 trans 3.41 1st gear and Dana 20 transfer case gear reduction in low range (early years 2.46 to1 or the later 2.34 to 1) it will workout as an even lower compound 1st gear and this should be of a great help when pulling your boat up that launch ramp. As far as finding a shorter driveshaft for the Bronco transfer case swap that part is easy there are many companies that can make you a new shaft or shorten yours it can be done fairly quickly. Over the years when doing these type of swaps I usually have just shortened my own driveshafts as needed. Good luck :thumbup: :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

Blairsville Ed
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Re: 3 on the tree modifications

Post #9 by Blairsville Ed » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:46 am

Concerning tires....
I’ll be replacing all 4 soon
Currently, I have 235/75R15
I have read that there were stock 16” rims available with the 5 bolt hole pattern, but they are hard to find.
What is a good tire size for these trucks?

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bubba22349
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Re: 3 on the tree modifications

Post #10 by bubba22349 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:40 pm

Yes there were 16 inch wheels usec on the late 1940's and into the 1950's pickups. I never seen them stock on the later 1960's trucks you might be able to get a set made from a company like Wheel Vintques (in the SoCal area). 235/75/15 is a decent tire size I kind of like the big an little look on the vintage pick ups using an 8 inch wide rear wheels with some 255 to 275/75/15 tires then some 6 inch wide wheels and a 215 to 225/75/15 on fronts. If you like the same front and rear you might look at the 245 or 255/75/15 depending on how wide your rims are. Good luck :thumbup: :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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bubba22349
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Re: 3 on the tree modifications

Post #11 by bubba22349 » Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:40 pm

:hmmm: thought of one more option for keeping your column shifted 3.03. There were some 3.03 units made with the Borg Warner style R11 overdrive unit it's known as a B&W T85. I used to have one that was going to go into my 1958 Ranchero if you could find one of them it would allow you to go lower gearing to help you in starting to pull that boat yet give you the OD for flat ground. Good luck :thumbup: :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

Blairsville Ed
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Re: 3 on the tree modifications

Post #12 by Blairsville Ed » Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:04 am

Although I know that the Bronco transfer case would solve the boat launch issue, I only pull the boat out of the launch about 4 to 6 times a year.
Now I’m considering the 4 speed OD trans used in 1978-79. It would be a 4 on the column with a cable operated reverse. 1st gear in that trans is 3.25. Currently I have a 2.99 1st gear.
That’s about an 8% increase in torque. Combine that with smaller tires that would equal about a 12% increase in torque.
I don’t know if that would be a noticeable improvement.
I could add a 4.11 gear as well. That’s about a 15% increase in torque.
My calculations are considering torque multiplication at the wheels.

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Re: 3 on the tree modifications

Post #13 by Lazy JW » Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:03 pm

Blairsville Ed wrote:... I’ll have to install a traction loc set up in the rear differential...


When you install the traction loc setup, throw in a set of 4.56 gears. This will solve your boat ramp problems, and really should be the first thing on the list; then decide if you need any transmission changes.
Joe
"The White OX" 1974 F-350 300-6, Stock single exhaust, Carter YF, T-18A, Dana70 w/4.11, Flatbed dually w/dump bed. "Where no oxen are, the crib is clean, but much increase is by the strength of the ox" (Proverbs 14:4)
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