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Old 08-22-2005, 06:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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4sp Toploader ???

Looking for a trans for my CJ-5. Went to the junkyard today and found a Toploader in a 70's F100 Ranger. I can get it for about $60. So here are my questions:

I know it has a crappy 1st gear for crawling, but it does have the overdrive 4th which would be nice for highway driving. Is it even worth looking at? Are there any adapters to marry a TC to it? What about strength?

This is what Iíve found for Toploader Ratios:
Ratio #1: 3.01 1st, 1.78 2nd, 1.00 3rd, 0.79 4th and 3.01 Rev.
Ratio #2: 3.25 1st, 1.92 2nd, 1.00 3rd, 0.78 4th and 3.25 Rev.
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Old 08-23-2005, 04:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There was a 4wd version- a friend had one in an 80 Bronco w/300 six. I have no idea what case was on it. Personally, i wouldnt even bother with using one. If you want a manual with an overdrive why not get a ZF? They are strong, plentiful, and usually alot cheaper than trying to find an NV4500.
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Old 08-23-2005, 12:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What kind of top loader is it? A T-18 or a NP-435? Both have the ability to load the case with internal components from the top cover. I have used the NP-435 for the past 12 years in my F-250. It has a 1st gear in the 6.00:1 ratio range, but 4th gear is a 1:1. It came in 2WD trucks, 4WD maried and 4WD divorsed (4WD divorsed is the same as the 2WD except the output housing has a place to mount the T-Case shifter). Advanced Addaptors makes addaptors to mount the NP-435 to other engines than Ford.
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Old 08-23-2005, 12:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ok, since there seems to be a confusion on what trans I'm talking about, here is a link to a site that has a picture and information.

http://www.5speeds.com/toploader.html
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Old 08-23-2005, 12:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Good info site. I haven't run across any of these trans in any of the trucks I have run, fixed, or parted out. I see that they were put behind BBF engines, so I guess they have some strength. But, from personal experience, I would go with a NP-435. It is a much larger trans, and has alot of strength (not to mention a granny gear first).
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Old 08-23-2005, 02:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Jeep used Ford transmissions in the early 80's.
http://www.off-road.com/jeep/tech/trans/t176.html

These are basically the same as the toploaders. It "might" be possible to swap the 4x4 mainshaft and adapter into the OD 4 spd and bolt up to the Jeep TC. You'd likely be treading new territory, but it could be possible. The OD 4 speed changes what would normally be 3rd gear into the OD. The shift pattern is changed by flipping the lever on the 3-4 fork. Otherwise they appear to be the same as the regular 4 speed.

A friend of mine had one of those in a 2wd F150. There is a big rpm drop from 2nd to 3rd. It wasn't fun with a 302 in a full size, so he swapped in a 390. the trans held up until he sold it to a teenage friend, then they stripped a gear. Not the strongest trans, but should be OK for street duty in a light vehicle.
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Old 08-23-2005, 03:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If it has an aluminum case, stay away, FAR away. I had one (toploader 3+OD, I believe they are called a 'clark' OD)... after putting about 10k miles on it, the bearings went out. A lot of old timers have also mentioned that no one has ever had good luck with them..

I wouldn't want to wheel one.. bad gear spacing, and easy to break. Don't screw around, get a ZF5.
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