Hi all. I have not long started to build a 1960 dodge 359 truck. This is the first time I am having a crack at building a truck so I am keen to learn more as I go. I do have a question though, mine has the original flat head 6 with a 4 speed gear box. The gear box seams a bit too noisy so before I commit to rebuilding it, is there other options that would be a good easy fit and to help with getting closer to Highway speeds?
The gearbox is noisy in lower gears from new but should be nice and quiet in top.
You probably have the KEW motor but might have a larger truck engine. Give me the engine number and I can tell you what you have.
Fords and Chevrolets are easy to fit modern gearboxes to. Unfortunately it is very difficult for Dodges because the input shaft is much longer.
If the box is buggered you are better off getting a box off another old Dodge. I have an original good 4 speed Weapon Carrier box here but it is full crash the same internals as the Fords of the era. A really unpleasant gearbox to use but pretty robust. Some of the Dodge/Plymouth/Desoto/Chrysler/Fargo synchro gearboxes out of cars and lighter vehicls of the 40/50 era will bolt right in. Most cars had 3 speed but the light trucks had 4 speed. The heavy trucks sometimes had 5 speed
I think you will find the best way to get faster speed is to replace the crown wheel and pinion with higher ratio. A quick cheap excellent solution because putting in an overdrive box (if you can make one fit) slows the engine down but makes the tail shaft and diff think it is doing 100mph. Another solution is to just buy an axle off anything modern at the wreckers - go down with a tape measure then check the ratios which will most probably be higher than the Dodge. You may finish up having to carry two spares but nobody will notice the different bolt patterns front and back.
Drive Line Services or similar company will make you a nice new tail shaft with Dodge unis at one end and Mitsubishi/Isuzu or whatever unis at the other for about $3-400.
First gear in all those old boxes is an unuseable creeper gear so a higher diff ratio will let you use first gear like a normal car instead of starting in second on the flat.
Same old story; if you enjoy playing with old trucks do just that. Life in the slow lane. If you want to keep up with modern highway traffic you should be thinking about a more modern vehicle so that brakes, steering and handling are matched to the increased speed.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Southbound, Tassie Dan
Oddly enough the Kew Dodge used the same four speed box as the Austin truck...........not synchro ,but a really good constant mesh box with helical gears on 2/3/4........US Dodges used the Warner T9 ....same box as Ford Blitz,and many other trucks .....crash gears,all straight cut.............consequently ,the Kew box is much better.
I am not sure of the model gearbox that would be in the 359, probably synchro on 3rd and 4th? maybe a new Process 420 ?
I did a conversion on a 1940's dodge truck taking out the T9 Warner full crash and installed a New Process 435, synchro on 2nd,3rd and 4th. The donor gearbox came from a Dodge AT4 or D5N. the early AT4 has the 1" 10 spline input shaft, same as the T9 , and later are multi spline I think 21 from memory. the input shaft had to be shortened, two of the four mounting holes in the bell housing matched, the third had the location correct but had to be threaded, and the fourth hole needed elongating, the spigot on the front shaft retainer matched the bell housing. and then needed the tailshaft to be matched up. This conversion did not increase road speed but made it very easy to keep up with the traffic in built up areas.
Thank you for all your ideas and help. Thank you Lang, I will have a look at the engine numbers tomorrow as I would like to know. I did measure the head and it’s 25inch if that helps. Which numbers do you need? The gear box does feel like a crash box but as I am used to driving Eaton 18 speeds gear boxes I think this one shifts nice and easy. The noise is there most of the time so I am guessing a bearing issue. I am happy driving it at 70 to 80ks as I have done the street racer cars in the past but it just sounds like it’s Working a bit hard so maybe a new diff ratio set will be the go. It has not had rego for 25 odd years so I am just working on getting it to pass the pits.
TD, welcome aboard, you are doing great, just click on INSERT to get you photo into your thread...... nice looking truck. Sarge.
Not a truck ,but I did a gearbox swap on a Clarktor with SV6 and a T9 to a New Process box.......as I recall the only problem was the synchro box was longer ,and there was room for only one uni...........I made a "bastard" uni by regrinding two of the journals for different size bearings...............Ive done this a number of times with fire service Dodges with the pump drive ...small Dodges had weird size unis ...and by regrinding two of the journals ,you can assemble a tailshaft without actually buying all kinds of expensive yokes,unis etc........Causes a bit of head scratching when the uni needed replacing tho.
80kmh is just fine for these old trucks as Steve mentioned. I should imagine it is very busy at that speed. At 80kmh you are not too much of a menace on the road and you can cover long distances fairly comfortably. I think you should be aiming for that cruise speed with your steering, suspension and brakes and just trying to slow the engine down. 2,600 rpm cruise is as much as you want before trouble starts but much better around 2,200 rpm for long life - and these Dodge flat 6 engines are probably superior to the Ford flat V8 or the 219 Chevrolet of the period.
Just give me the engine number off the side of the block.
Welcome aboard Dan.
If a gearbox is noisy in all gears except top it's the front bearing that's the problem. New ball/roller bearings are readily available.
I like your truck as it's something different, but think she would be a real handful at 100 K's.
I'd rather have tools that I don't need, than not have the tools I do need.
Thank you southbound, it was enough of a hand full at 75ks but I haven’t smiled that much while driving in a long time. And thank you Lang, the numbers on the block are F 10 9 and 1402529 which are both cast into the block and te8-110 which is stamped onto the side. Sorry for not knowing which number you needed.