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Classic Mustangs Tech Forum

Technical discussions specific to 1964-1967, 1968-1970, and 1971-1973 Classic Mustang. Discuss all tech related to in-line six cylinder and V8 powered Vintage Mustangs here.

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Unread 11-17-2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default rebuilding toploader four speed

Hello, I am rebuilding my toploader 4 speed it is a wide ratio small shaft unit. Has anyone done this before, any tips or trics would be a bonus.
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Unread 11-17-2011   #2 (permalink)
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Are you using the factory service manual?
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Unread 11-17-2011   #3 (permalink)
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One of the mustang websites mustangmonthly http://www.mustangmonthly.com/howto/...ild/index.html, also you will need a dummyshaft, if I remember right I used a 1" dowel rod cut to the length of one of the internal gear sets so you can put the needle bearings in the ends of the countershaft, slide it into the case and replace the wooden shaft with the steel one (that was the only special tool I needed on mine). Good Luck.

Last edited by rex1965; 11-17-2011 at 11:47 PM. Reason: more info
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Unread 11-18-2011   #4 (permalink)
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thanks for the replies gents, I got my kit from toploader heaven, it came with a dummy shaft and a handful of other special tools, some seal drivers and such. I still need to get a good pair of flat nose snap ring pliers but I think the rebuild will go ok.
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Unread 11-18-2011   #5 (permalink)
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what do you all think if the small teeth on the gears are showing signs of wear, replace or not? mine are not bad but the wear is visible.
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Unread 11-18-2011   #6 (permalink)
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I'm not sure by what you mean, the synchronizers are brass in color and normally get some wear on them, the gears which is next to a sync should not look bad and check the sleeves also that slide to engage a sync and a gear, which are steel in color. A small amount of wear is ok, if you haven't torn it down yet, pull it out, and shift the gears manually and see how easy they go in. Good Luck.
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Unread 11-18-2011   #7 (permalink)
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It is not the synchronizers as the new kit came with them. the ones that are worn on mine are the steel ones. It goes in and out of gear fine but there is still wear visible but not too bad. I was thinking I would chance it that they would last. The reason I am rebuilding it is because the input bearing locked up. there seemed to be no other damage to the inards, but I figured since I had to take it apart anyway, I may as well do a rebuild on it. and the kits are not too expensive for it.
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Unread 11-19-2011   #8 (permalink)
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Did the gear oil get low in it and cause the input bearing locked up? Good Luck.
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Unread 11-20-2011   #9 (permalink)
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You mentioned you bought your rebuild kit from Toploader heaven. If you did, you should have also bought the special tool kit and manual that Mark Hammonds also sells at top loader heaven. Its a must !!

The brass looking rings you got with your kit are not synchronizers, they are blocker rings. If you gears or synchros do not have any chips, or deep wear, you should be fine. IF you are still not sure, take a photo and email it to Mark at toploader heaven. He will tell you if you can use it or if you can expect to have problems.

I have rebuilt quite a few toploaders over the last 6 years. My first was as a result of using Marks kits and his tool set with manual. He has a lot of photos and explanations that you WILL not FIND in the ford shop manual I have since made some improvements to his tool sets for myself. To date I've rebuilt a couple dozen toploaders. Its how I make some extra spending money for my cars.

Mark is probably one of the few guys in this business who will help you with your questions and what to do or not do. There is only one way to take a toploader apart and the shop manual does NOT tell you everyhting you need to know.

An yes, go buy a really good set of snap ring pliers. You will need them. The toploader is full of big snap rings
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'68 Fastback, space blue metalic, 351C-4-V, 4-speed toploader
'69 Mach I, (Pending Resto Project)
'66 Fastback (because I wanted one)
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Unread 11-21-2011   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks gents, I did opt for the directions and special tools from Toploader heaven. everything has seemed to work flawlessly up to this point. all I have left is to intall the input shaft and tail housing. I agree about the shop manual not tlelling everything that you need to know, but over all that job has not been that bad. once again thanks a bunch
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Unread 11-21-2011   #11 (permalink)
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I believe you will need to install the input shaft 'Before" you install the shaft for the cluster gear. If you already installed you new cluster gear shaft, you'll need to drop it back out and insert the dummy shaft (PVC tube) to keep the needle bearings in place ni the cluster gear till you install the input shaft.

Make sure you pay close attention to the oiling tunnel locationwhen installing the input shaft housing. Position it so that the oiling tunnel is at the 6:00 position when the input shaft housing is installed. this is often overlooked at times
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Unread 11-22-2011   #12 (permalink)
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Yes I did install the input shaft prior to pinning the cluster gear. everything went together well. I can see where it would be easy to overlook the oiling tunnel when installing the input shaft housing. I ensured that I put it at the 6 o clock position. Thanks for the help. tonight I am going to make the final adjustments to the shifter mechanism and start the reinstalation of the trans in the car.
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Unread 11-22-2011   #13 (permalink)
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Once you adjust the shifter assembly, you should be able to shift all gears and neutral as well. Make you you do this before installation just to make sure you have ALL your detents in the correct orientation. If not, you could easily shift into 2 different gears.

The attached photo is a top loader I rebuilt a few months ago. I made a set of shift linkages with rod end Heim joints for the mustang (65 - 68). I actually made several sets. Becuase the tail shaft housing is a mid mount type, I had to add the adapter plate to positon the shifter in the correct location. (disregard the shift handle, its for a 68 fairlane)
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rebuilding toploader four speed-dsc01026.jpg  rebuilding toploader four speed-dsc01027.jpg  rebuilding toploader four speed-dsc01033.jpg  
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Unread 11-23-2011   #14 (permalink)
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The Heim joints look pretty clean, I had not thought of doing that. My shifter is the hurst, would a similar set up work with it? It seems that the heim joints would be a trouble free setup. I did shift through all fo the gears prior to starting the install, everything seems to work ok. I will find out when I get in the car for sure. It is my first manual trans rebuild but the process was not too bad. I am a Mechanic in the Army for wheeled vehicles so I am fairly proficient turning wrenches.
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Unread 11-23-2011   #15 (permalink)
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I would think you could make the heim joint rod set up for a hurst as well.

I have a hurst shifter in the basement, I'll have to look at it and see if there is clearance.

The heim joint rod set up insure absolutly no slop in the linkage. The shifting action is smooth yet firm. I used a toploader shifter box from a galaxie on my 68 becuase the arms are longer. Using the 68 mustang shift handle (which is shorter than the galaxie / fairlane. it makes for a shorter throw shifter. Pretty sweet if I say so myself
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'68 Fastback, space blue metalic, 351C-4-V, 4-speed toploader
'69 Mach I, (Pending Resto Project)
'66 Fastback (because I wanted one)
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