A while back there was a thread on a patent for a 3 speed planetary conversion for the T issued in 1923.
I wonder if anyone would like to work on building a couple of copies with me. Like most patent drawings, hard to say how well it would work. I am thinking that if a person used pressure oil they might be able to use hydraulics for the bands would might greatly simplify it.
About 6 years ago there was a guy that built a 3 speed planetary trans for the T.
He had it in a car and running. One of the posters on this forum went by and drove it or rode with the owner. There was some reason the builder was too busy to go into production but showed the drawings on this site.
Using hydraulic cylinders to engage the bands would shock the driveline without a torque converter.
Too bad you have to make one from scratch.
If Edsel hadn't pestered the ole man so much, making him do the Model A, the Improved Car in '27 would have had its 3-speed transmission, and we would be finding these instead of fixing Ruckstells.
The one the guy built 6 years ago was NOT a planetary. The cold reality is he was a creative designer but not much a engineer. His gears were way too small to handle the torque from even a stock T engine. I studied his design in detail and calculated his gear tooth loads. There was no way it would work the way he had it. I figured out how to fix it, but he was finished.
You may very well be right about hydraulic engagement being too sudden. Anyway it is not a project that I will take on by myself. I would need a capable partner with equal money and ability to me.
Our GM cars in the early 1960's had no torque converter, 3 speed hydraulic shift.
Les, is that the guy who was trying to adapt a motorcycle tranny?
He posted here a few times, showing the details: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/79613.html
Too busy? Well, the prototype didn't hold up for testing just as calculations could have told him beforehand.. but it was a nice design to look at in 3-d color
Les, a planetary 3-speed would be much nicer
Cadillac had a three speed planetary with two clutches in the four cylinder Model D in 1905: http://www.100megsfree4.com/cadillac/cad1900/cad05s.htm
"The driveline had a three-speed planetary transmission (3:1, 2:1, 1:1). All speeds were activated progressively with a single lever. There were twin clutch discs in the flywheel; a disc clutch and three bands on the transmission; and an emergency brake drum behind transmission."
Unfortunately I haven't got the means to help with such a project
Thanks, Roger. That 3 speed planetary is the first one I've heard of in a production car. Wonder why they went away from it?
I'm interested in working up this but I want a partner
KERRY, Our GM cars had torque converters. How did the cars sit at an idle when in gear if they had no torque converter?
Even the Olds and Cadillac of the late 30's had torque converters.
Multi-speed planetary gear transmissions did not go away. That is what is inside modern automatic transmissions.
Les I wish I had the ability to help. I just can't invent things. Can fix them, but just couldn't come up with it on my own. Dad thinks I'm kidding when I say I can do anything I want with a T trans except explain how it works....but I'm not. I think I've put 4 of them together and still understand as much about how they work as I understand about the human female.
I wish you the best on your project. Please keep us informed.
Multi-speed planetaries went away for over 30 years, Jim. If Henry had put a 3-speed planetary in the T, millions of people would never have had to learn to use a crude, grinding gear tranny and backwards clutch.
Several years ago I put new clutch discs in a German 4-speed Jaguar automatic, and it had several clutches and planetaries, but no bands.
Technically the early GM’s (and others) had ‘Fluid Couplings’, not Torque Converters.
GM called their transmissions Hydra-Matic, and first used them in Oldsmobile’s
around 1939 or 1940.
I remember driving a 1948 Dodge with a fluid coupling, clutch pedal and std transmission.
Fluid couplings were very inefficient at lows speeds but efficiency increased with speed.
Maybe the solution is to make the second gear have a disc brake mechanism instead of a band. Might then be able to retain stock bands for low and reverse. I need to study on it
Thank you all for your comments. Inspiration comes from different places
That's a good idea, Les. Just now remembered the name of the German 4-speed in our '93 Jaguar. It was a ZF. Don't know where to find a breakdown of it, however.
Also, the Borg-Warner overdrive of the 1930s - 60s uses a planetary. The one in the ol' brass picup is 10:7 ratio. Just ask, Les, and I'll send you pdf manuals on it.
Imagine if you removed low band and low drum and install a disc with a small caliper.
Every forty years you would have to pull the inspection plate and replace the pads on the caliper. maybe a 10 minute job?
Maybe they would never wear out.
Studying the patent drawings my concern was band life. They are spring actuated. A disc brake design might really simplify things. I need to do some calculations