Any information on the trans?
It was attached to a TT truck.
The transmission has a marking of Chicago transmission CO. Made in Ohio
The model is a Mark-E
I don't know anything about the unit.
I would guess it is both an Up and Down gearing?
Any information would be helpful!
Any idea on value?
Thanks again in advance!!
No clue on value, but this tells you a little about the transmission.
Long time now gone local racer Vic Sala loved these. They have the largest gears of any aftermarket accessory auxiliary transmission for a Model T. I believe they are over under and direct.
You'll want Clayton Paddison to chime in on this one. He has one in his T and drives the heck out of it.
I sold one of those at Chickasha. Asked $200.00 and took the best offer which was $150.00. Also asked $200.00 for a Jumbo Giant, and still have it. No offers on it. Ed
Mr. Walt Berdan runs one in his speedster...hopefully, he will chime in. W
Well made unit, mine is an over and under. No sincro's, some have a U joint in the front others don't. I would say its better in a truck then a car, the gearing steps are two far between for me.
I love mine in my speedster. Three speeds, low is great for loading on a trailer, parades, or pulling stumps. Direct is well, direct. Overdrive may be a little steep for a stock motor. My favorite combination for my speedster is 4 to 1 rear gears and the Chicago. I drive it like a 3 speed - start in T low and Chicago direct, then T high, then T high and Chicago overdrive. Great pulling power in direct/direct and nice cruising in direct/overdrive. With 4 to 1 rear gears, 2000 RPM makes for right at 60 MPH. I put about 250 miles on it yesterday (it's a great day in western Washington when you are looking for shade on June 4th!).
Shifting on the fly takes a little practice with any of these early gear boxes but I do it all the time with mine. I found out the hard way that some of the bearings are still available if you go to a real bearing shop.
Chicago Mark-E is correct and I agree with Walt.
I honestly think the Chicago Mark-E is one of the best Aux. Overdrives ever made. They shift flawlessly smooth both up and down through all gears (way smoother and easier then a Warford in my opinion) and have plenty of gear range for everything...Low will pull stumps and high will really rock and roll! 65 mph is no problem in my car with 3.63:1 gears.
I have one in my '26 roadster and as Scott says....I drive the heck out of it. I drive mine a little different then Walt though....I drive mine like a 4-speed: T low/Chicago low....then T high/Chicago low.....then Chicago direct.....then Chicago Overdrive.
I have had mine apart several times and made a few new parts for it along the way and 6 months ago...I put 1,732 miles on it in one trip to Bonneville, Utah and back. I believe I have at least 5 to 7,000 miles on my Chicago since 2008.
The only thing I don't care for much in the design of the Mark-E gear boxes is the front and real bearing and bearing race retainers. They are not as positive as the Warford (nut and locking tab washer). The Mark-E uses two threaded "collars" which thread into the case itself (for the race) and the input shaft (for the bearing itself). These collars thread in flush for a nice clean finish, but are lock in by a set screw....that walked out and let the collar unscrew and rattle around, destroying the threads.
A good friend of mine, who is a retired machinist, helped make new ones..
Some one also buggered up the rear by using a punch and hammer rather then a correct spanner wrench to remove it. This warped the threads and bound it in the case...so we had to cut it out and make a new one.
The moral of the story is, make sure the collars are tight, make sure the set screws are tight...and don't use a punch and hammer to remove them!
Mine was super nice inside and out and I only paid $200 for mine.
Are you selling yours Steve? I might be interested if it's a usable gearbox.
Hey Clayton, do you have any theories/opinions on why the Chicago shifts better than the Warford? Looking at the exploded view, other than the collars, the case and guts are virtually identical to what I see in my aluminum case Warford. Just wondering.
I'm figuring out how to shift on fly - it's not easy but definitely do-able. I got way better at in about 30 minutes of driving.
I think it just has to do with how they are made. The do look similar, but I think the gears are cut a tad different and lapped differently.
Almost every Warford I have driven, just doesn't like down shifting into low from direct..doesn't matter how you feather the thing....it doesn't like it at all. My Chicago....it will go right in on the first try smooth as silk.
Shifting on the fly is all feel and you have to have a foot throttle. Just wind her out, take your foot off the gas as you pull it into neutral....wait on second (till the engine reaches idle speed) then go for the next gear.
The important thing is don't force her if it doesn't go...it should take barely any pressure with 2 fingers to pull it into gear.
I will have to make Youtube vid of me driving the T to demonstrate.
Roger that. I actually looked for a Mark-E first but couldn't find one and ended up with this Warford. Ultimately I'd like a KC Warford just for the safety factor, but didn't have the $$$ for that.
My old alum Warford shifts pretty easy in all gears except the under and it's ok too but I have to be going really slow like into a driveway.
I read on another thread that lots of guys stop to shift but that sure defeats the purpose of the aux tranny. It's like Clayton says when I shift I just move the throttle up and after a second shift when it feels good. If I haven't driven the car in quite awhile it does take a bit of getting used to.
The new KC Warford's aren't any more "Safe" then the old gear boxes, just smoother and they have syncros so they are more convenient....
...but that takes something away from the driving experience in my opinion, you loose the "feel"
I had a good time learning, now i can make that lil' Chicago sing!
I wouldn't run a KC myself....The challenge of driving the old gearboxes is half the fun
I agree with ya...those that say you can't shift on the fly and have to stop to shift are wrong....it totally defeats the purpose.
Clayton, I sent you a PM about those bearing retainers. Did you get it? Dave
Clayton, what a really cool looking gear box.
If those shifting rods leak oil down the side of the box you could do what I just did on my Warford.
Counter bore a short distance in the cover and glue in a piece of copper tube with a cap on the end. this is an easy way to stop those rods from leaking oil.
Ed Archer gave me that idea during the Cal Dreaming tour up at Pismo Beach.
Yes, did get your message and sent you back an email to your address. Thought I clicked "reply as PM"
Yes....mine leaks. I got all the other gasket surfaces not to leak, but those fork shafts do. That is a REALLY good idea! I will have to do that while I have it apart next week. I was still having issues with the lower bolts walking out on me (until I drilled and safety wired them) and it damaged the seal between the chicago and the engine. Now I have to pull it out and re do all the seals and put it back together.
...after I run her for a bit and get some shifting videos
It will give me the chance though to check on my Chicago repairs though...
Clayton, the KC gearbox doesn't have synchromesh. It is a constant mesh with a dog type shift connection. It is somewhat safer in that it can be dogged into gear no matter how far off the rpms might be for people that don't know how to shift correctly.
Thanks for that. I though they did have syncros, but I haven't really messed with one, so that helps my knowledge.
Personally, I wouldn't care for one because, like I said...they take the "feel" and fun out of it...in my humble opinion
I have mostly original Warfords that I shift on the fly. I have a KC in a 26 Runabout and I had to block out low because they have a very short throw on the shift lever and it's very easy to slam low gear when headed for overdrive. Not a pretty sound going into low at 50 MPH!
Yikes! I bet not! I have missed shifts before and that isn't pretty. How come the KC's have such a shorter shift into low?
I think it's because of the dog engagement and not having to slide the distance it would take to mesh gears. I don't think the total distance between gates is any more than 3-4 inches.Takes a little getting used to.
You boys are better then I am at shifting on the fly! One gear grind and its over for me.
Any one want to trade for Ruxtel? My Mark E has nice gears and a front U joint------and it leaks through the shift shafts. With stock gearing it will go up or down any very steep hill in Astoria starting from a dead stop in the middle of the hill. I have disc brakes but use them little down a steep hill in under drive.
Even with my hearing the noise in overdrive bothers me.
i would trade! If only i owned a ruckstell to trade with...
Thanks Clayton. Reply sent. Dave
Here is a quick video Chris and I shot last night of me shifting the Chicago in my roadster. Hope this gives and idea
Hey Clayton, nice banging, but you really need Red K's they show up better.
Clayton,Nice work on the aux trans, great posts!!! THANKS!
Very nice explanation of shifting. I don't have a foot feed throttle but the key is the feathering and getting the RPM's to mesh.
Looks like the Chicago has same shift pattern as the Warford?
Nice example Clayton! Wear size 15 shoes and lets see you do it!
Thanks guys! I was going to shoot this with a Go-Pro, but left it at home 'cause it was raining when I left......then it cleared up when I got there. Will try to shoot a cleaner version this weekend.
Left my red ones at home that night
Yes, the Chicago Mark-E is the same pattern as a Warford.
It is really hard do explain it, but easy to demonstrate.
A foot throttle is almost a necessity with an Aux. overdrive....shifting with a hand throttle is tricky!
Paul, I'm so glad I'm a size 10