I picked up this gearbox for a song and a few greenbacks.
I'm wondering if it would be practical to put in my '24 tudor.
It has overdrive and I'm thinking I could leave it in OD most of the time and shift the Ruckstell down when I need a lower gear.
Does this sound reasonable?
Better to use overdrive only on the open highway. Some people do not like "crash" gearboxes in enclosed cars. They tend to echo and contain the gear noise. Some people are bothered by it. Some people are not.
Also, the weight of a sedan may be too much for the overdrive unless you put 4 to 1 gears in the rear end (by the way, that is usually a great gearing arrangement).
Getting good at shifting a Warford takes practice. For some people, it takes a lot of practice. The goal is to almost never grind the gears when shifting. It can be done. I had a lot of practice years ago. If I haven't driven in a while, it takes me a bit to get back to good at it.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING!!!!! Brakes. Do not drive a T with any kind of auxiliary gearing and only Ford factory brakes. There is just too great a chance that you will be flying into traffic or worse with total brake loss.
There are many options. Some options work better than others. Some are better under certain circumstances. Others better in other ways. Some options are more authentic (or era correct) than others. I prefer my cars to be close to era correct. They are antiques, and I want them to remain antiques.
For most people, if you can mostly stay away from heavy and fast traffic, two wheel brakes can be adequate. They cannot be really good. For some, like Ralph R and Gene C where they live and drive a lot? Some type of four wheel brakes are almost necessary. I will not put them down for adding them.
Another important factor. YOU. The owner and driver must be comfortable with the car in order to drive it safely. If you feel that you need more brakes? GET THEM PUT ON. But get them put on right with whatever extra bracing and steering changes are recommended.
Drive carefully, and enjoy the New Year! W2
A few things Bob - the cast iron Warfords have slightly more overdrive than the aluminum ones. I have a pretty light speedster and while she doesn't mind starting too much in OD, she really doesn't like shifting from Ford low to Ford high. I've only done it twice and once was an accident (was flustered because my battery box broke and dropped the battery on the highway at about 45 mph, had pulled over and collected it but just didn't have my brain right to get going again.) One of the quickest and surest ways to break a crankshaft is to not have the RPMs up when in OD. With your heavier body style you might actually spend more time shifting between direct and UD. Because of the strain on the crank I try to make sure I only shift into OD if I'm at 40 mph.
The second main thing is the noise. My Warford likes to sing a pretty good bit when in OD. Mine is aluminum so I'm not sure how it's ring compares to one with a cast iron case. In my wide open speedster it isn't a big deal. It just changes the tune of the wind and road noise at 45 mph. But it's definitely very noticeable. I can only imagine it would be at least on the verge of obnoxious in an enclosed car. Maybe find someone else with a Warford and here theirs at speed? Just a thought.
Third main thing, and really the most important: auxiliary brakes. I'll second everything Wayne said. I have some very effective AC brakes (wrap around the outside of the drums) and I cannot imagine driving without them. Not even my modern vehicle coasts as sweetly and friction-free as my T when the Warford is in neutral. I have lined brake shoes for my e-brake and the ACs are hooked up to my brake pedal. Even so, I drive like I have no brakes because on their best day my brakes only slow the car down so well.
I second everything that was said about brakes and here is a rule of thumb my father taught me ( he was a state trooper in Florida) "The yellow light is set to stay on for 1 second per 10 mph of maximum speed on a roadway meaning on a 35 mph road the yellow light stay's on for 3.5 seconds" Can you stop your "T" in that time?
Hey G.R. - I haven't heard that before about the yellow lights: I thought they were all pretty much set to 4 seconds of yellow, then 2 seconds of red in all directions, then green in the new direction.
I guess that explains one light by my work that seems to change REALLY quick - speed limit is 20 on that road.
Seth - A lot of people are surprised to hear that you are of course right about 2 seconds of red in all directions I asked my father once why this wasn't common knowledge he said because lawyers would sit at intersections timing the yellow light and lord help everyone if they found one that was .001 second fast!
On thing not mentioned is that most of these boxes have bad bearings and replacements are that rare part called "unobtainum".
Hey Jim, I'll have to search through and find them again, but I've found a couple threads before where every single bearing in the original Warford has a modern equivalent (the thread has each bearing listed 1 to 1 on the correct replacement). There is only 1 exception and it's the funky bearing that is tapered on the inner race and tapered on the outer race. I don't remember what the answer is for that one though.
Here - I went ahead and looked up the threads:
Another caution on getting/installing a cast iron *six speed* is regarding the inclusion of the front section which incorporates a U-joint. Without this section, the transmission is hard mounted to the T pan/hogshead which constitutes an unsatisfactory overhung load. A Warford support is required for this transmission in any case, but it can be problematic without the front U-joint section.
One problem with a '24 is that the pressed steel running board brackets may be in the way. My Warfords are in earlier forged bracket cars. Seems like I determined it would work fit around the hump in the later brackets.
Just a caution.
I can't imagine anyone putting that much weight in a T. You can probably buy 5 aluminum ones at Chickasha. Aluminum warfords ARE NOT SCARCE around here.
I just thought it would be fun to play around with an OD.
But it looks like there are too many down sides to doing this so maybe I'll use it for a boat anchor!
Best addition to any T in my book.
Tin Tille our 1919 touring has a cast iron Warford in it that has been there since before my dad bought her in 1982. Our friend Ralph Manthey has one in his 1922 center door sedan (he would pass us in Tin Tillie on our way up I-5 to the joint tours and be waiting for us at the next rest stop!). On Tin Tillie when the motor was in better shape, when we got her we could drop onto I-5 north bound and keep up with traffic all day long (motors getting tired after nearly 30 years of driving her). Before dad passed away we have driven her to the Coast, Mount Hood, and 3 times to Mount St Helen's (last 6 miles was Warford low and model t high...my job was to hold the Warford in low on the steeper grades as it sometimes would pop out of gear!!!) Sure made Tin Tillie much more drivable.Our 1917 Speedster the "Becker Special" has a cast iron one as well and Clayton Paddison has a cast iron Chicago that is taller geared then both my Warfords are My speedster with a Warford and 3.63:1 rear gears was clocked on a I-84 rolling along at 55mph and wasn't lugging the motor.
All bearings are Timkin bearings except that center one, and you can't find that one (I have rarely found it bad, all the others mostly totally shot and easily replaced, rebuilt several of the cast iron boxes never an aluminum one, would love to find one though). If you hard mount it behind the transmission you do need to run a Warford cross member and I agree with everyone too much weight on the back end of the crankshaft if not used. Definitely run Rockies or AC brakes (I modified larger 1926 Chrysler drum brakes for my accessory brakes on "The Special"), nothing like missing a shift and not having any brakes at all. I don't mind the gear whine, worst is in overdrive (I drive truck for a living) you get used to it. It's just part of the experience.
Learn how to shift them. It takes practice. You Don't use the clutch to shift. To shift up or down you have to match the engine RPM with road speed. With practice you should be able to do it with one finger.... this is the way Clayton and I drive our cars with Warford's and Chicago's in them....
Next addition to the "Special" is a Ruckstell so I can split my shift just like the old truck with a brownie box behind a main box.
Here's a link to our drive on I-84 with the "Special" in overdrive.... unfortunately broke the crank about 5 min after video was shot (When I built the motor I didn't have the crank checked for cracks and the one I used was cracked halfway through in between cylinders #1 & #2. Was young and dumb and learned my lesson. Installed a nice crack free double E that was magna-fluxed and balanced)....
I am no expert just my experiences with my cars and others I have been around. I love the overdrive boxes and each T I build will include one in the drive train.
Maybe I'll go ahead and put it in and see how I like it.
I enjoy shifting gears...the only rig I own with an automatic trans is a late model PU.
Anybody have a pic of a Warford crossmember?
Bob, Here's a photo from a past thread of a Warford cross member for the cast iron unit.
Here's an after market support for a Warford or similar aux. transmission.
Here's a support by the same company that would work too.
This is a big help.
I'm going to have to come down on the side of Wayne Sheldon by agreeing that your tudor is too heavy for a Warford. I know this because I installed a cast iron Warford in my '26 tudor. When in overdrive the slightest rise in the road greatly reduced the speed. A popular Model T mechanic here in Texas who installs a lot of KC Warfords installed my original cast iron and said it is quieter than a new one. That said, I'm surprised Chris said one works good in a '22 centerdoor. I believe him and respect his experiences. There appears to be only 238 lbs difference in a '24 touring and tudor but thats enough to make a difference. I only use mine for underdrive now.
This car does work pretty good the way it is...maybe I just shouldn't screw with it.
I have no idea how would do it but Ralph would walk away from every time. He was a retired trucker so maybe that helped I don't know. Ralph passed way a few years ago and the family still has the center but they don't drive it all that much or as well as Ralph did. But then again I can drive Tin Tillie our 19 touring pretty well but not as good as my dad did.
Bob if you decide to sell that that Warford I would be interested, i have another project in mind that will definately need one.
Bob, I can't say anything about a CI one but I sure LOVE my old alum one and I would think they'd shift and be pretty much the same. Maybe a slight difference in ratios.
Don't know which I like better the underdrive or over. Parking lots, residential, trailer loading and parades is really nice not to have to Low Pedal all the time. Of course the OD on the freeways is cool.
I have a rebuilt aluminum Warford and am getting ready to install it. I was told by some that the aluminum version does not use a separate mount. What do you guys think?
I would think that anytime you add additional weight to the rear of a T transmission you need more support. If Jay could provide some rudimentary measurements that support should be fairly easy to fabricate. KGB
The Aluminum Warfords do not have a mount for the accessory crossmember...
Cast Iron Case...
I have a support that I made like pictured except I secured a block of wood in the saddle and an additional support across the top.
My thought was when taking off quickly there might be quite an amount of forward and upward force I wanted to control.
I have seen an idea you should consider.
Instead of fixed length support rods, think of using a heavy spring that you can adjust on each side to get the proper tension and support.
My Chicago Mark-E overdrive doesn't either....so I made my own:
My cross member started life as the front motor mount crossmember from a 1912 Cadillac.
Does anyone have a picture of an original cast Warford crossmember in a truck? I am coping one right now and I'm not sure on how it mounts to the frame.
The first one in Jay's pictures.
Since this subject has some new life...here are my comments, repeated. The cast iron 6-speed Warford needs the front U-joint along with the support bracket. There is a good illustration of one in Jay's photos...but it does not show attachment to frame. Here is the attachment:
And, just for interest, here is what happens to your hogshead if you don't use one:
Thanks John, that makes it very clear.
If you decide not to use it you can always get you'r green backs back,but i"m not sure we want to here your song. Grin.