Need advice on tranny swap auto to stick - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Bronco Info: 1990 bronco 5.0, 1979 f150 4x4, with the 400/c6
Need advice on tranny swap auto to stick

So I'm trading a guy my 85 f150 for a 79 f150 with 390 4 speed, comes with a 351m, c6 tranny and tcase, 2 Dana 44 complete hub to hub, another 4 speed, radiator with electric fan and more lol, I have a 79 f150 already with a c6 and want to convert to a 4 speed, how hard would it be? And is a 4 speed better than a auto on and offroad? Or just funner lol any and all advice is appreciated


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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 11:02 PM
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in your case it's a matter of finding a tranny with the correct bell housing bolt pattern and then adjusting driveshaft and tranny crossmembers. manuals aren't necessarily better or worse. it's your opinion. i think they are more fun and they can limp home if you poke a hole in the housing and lose the fluid. autos, especially the C6, can take a lot of power and are more convenient. the downside is they are heavier and if you poke a hole in the housing, can't drive anymore. i've blown a stock nissan truck trans and was stuck with 2nd gear only. i tend to prefer manuals however, i've seen people run autos with no problems behind high power rigs. in the end, it's your call. one thing i gotta give credit to autos....they are much harder to stall.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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So I would need different driveshafts front and rear? I've drove manuals and they are fun, If it's gonna be more headache than its worth I might stay with the c6, in just torn between the two lol


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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Still stuck


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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 02:38 PM
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You may be able to just find the driveshaft in a junk yard.

Other things you need to consider is the linkage for the clutch. The pedal swap is pretty straight forward, but you'll also need the components that connect the clutch to the bellhousing.

You'll also need a hole in the floor for the shifter. You can either get a center hump from a manual truck and put it into yours, or cut into your current one.


None of it is exactly hard, but it's more than just sticking the trans onto the engine.


Personally, I prefer a manual to an auto. The granny gear in the manual is also a big plus. They don't rob the engine of power like an auto does either.


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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Bronco Info: 1990 bronco 5.0, 1979 f150 4x4, with the 400/c6
The 4 speed I'm gettin is off a 390 but I got a 400 will it work bell housing wise? I'm gettin the other 79 that has the 4 speed in it so I got everything neccassary, but il have get a new clutch and pressure plate to fit on the 400 correct?


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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 03:10 PM
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You should get a new clutch anyways....the 390 bellhousing is not the same as the 400's.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Bronco Info: 1990 bronco 5.0, 1979 f150 4x4, with the 400/c6
What's interchangeable with the 400 or am I gonba have to go look for a bell housing


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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 03:19 PM
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A 390 is an FE block, the 400 is a big block. The bell housing will not match the block.

-too slow

-rvcam
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Last edited by rvcam; 02-12-2013 at 03:19 PM. Reason: to slow
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 04:13 PM
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400 is interchangeable with a 429 or 460 on the bell housing but the flywheel pattern is the same as a 351W.

-rvcam
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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What about the 351m?


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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 06:12 PM
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auto or standard

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Originally Posted by BigCountry62 View Post
What about the 351m?


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You will also need the slutch equalizer bar. When you connect it to a 352-360-390-428--the equalizer bar has a bad lean to it. To correct this. Take the equalizer connector on the frame--and the socket on it will need to be set up so it will be as level as you can it. The everything else will be in line.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-13-2013, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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One more ?, what's the best 4 speed to go with?


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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-13-2013, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by johnnyreb View Post
You will also need the slutch equalizer bar. When you connect it to a 352-360-390-428--the equalizer bar has a bad lean to it. To correct this. Take the equalizer connector on the frame--and the socket on it will need to be set up so it will be as level as you can it. The everything else will be in line.
If going with the 351m...none of the FE stuff should be used...use the bellhousing,clutch fork off the 400 parts truck.best 4 speed?T18,np435, are both good and stout as hell.

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-14-2013, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Bronco Info: 1990 bronco 5.0, 1979 f150 4x4, with the 400/c6
The parts truck has a 390, the truck that is gettin the 4 speed has the 400


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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-14-2013, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by BigCountry62 View Post
One more ?, what's the best 4 speed to go with?


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Definitely a T18, T19, or NP-435.


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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-14-2013, 10:24 AM
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The 4 spd on the 390 will not work for you. Wrong bell housing and shift fork. What you need to convert a 79 to manual is: transmission tunnel for the floor or cut a big hole in yours, the pedal assembly the and the floor plate that allows the rod through, the frame and engine mounts for the clutch lever assembly (frame side should be standard, don't know if a 390 mount will bolt to 400-460 bolt pattern) and that lever, 400 flywheel and clutch, and drive lines. Seems like the trans mount is the same or needs to be flipped around. It sounds like a lot, but it is fairly straight forward.

79 Bronco 6" lift, mild 460, and 3/4 tons----Sold
94 F150 4x4 302 zf5spd swap----run about
97 F350 Crew Cab 4x4 6" lift and 35" muds---work beast
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-14-2013, 10:26 AM
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If the 390 is a runner, why not just swap the whole setup?

79 Bronco 6" lift, mild 460, and 3/4 tons----Sold
94 F150 4x4 302 zf5spd swap----run about
97 F350 Crew Cab 4x4 6" lift and 35" muds---work beast
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-14-2013, 10:38 AM
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Having done more than a fair share of off roading in both auto and stick trucks. And being a person who can't stand driving auto's at ALL on the street (my Bronco's a stick), auto's RULE for off road. Torque converter gives them more off idle grunt, and when (NOT IF) you need to rock it out of a hole, its ridiculous even trying in a stick. Takes so long to get from 1st to Rev. and work the clutch, that the truck has lost the little bit of momentum you gained = worthless. Plus off roading a stick = TORTURING the clutch.

Obviously this is subject to opinion (go ahead silly nerds.. RANT), and because all the other benefits of owning a stick, I'd NEVER buy an auto..

One more thing I'd say is DON'T believe most of the bashing the M5R2 gets on here. There are plenty of guys racing highly modified Super Coupes with them, even others using them behind small diesels in trucks! They are a half ton truck trans., and a good one. NOT a one ton truck trans.. If it'll stand up to the uses above... What is it you have in mind that would be worse?!? If it IS worse, then ZF all the way. :)
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-14-2013, 10:58 AM
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From what I usually hear, the M5R2 gets a bad rap because of the design flaw where they leak from the plugs, so most of them are burnt up, or close to it.

I'd say auto vs. manual depends on the type of off-roading you do. For me, I do a lot of camping, and trail crawling, so I'm not commonly stuck. A granny gear and low range is amazing for winding my way up steep old mining roads and picking my way around rocks and ruts. I'd hate to be doing that in an auto. For the few times I have been stuck, rocking myself out with a manual wasn't anything that ever made just wish it was an automatic at the moment.

Now for mudding, rock crawling, etc. etc. I can see an auto being really beneficial.


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1981 Bronco. 300 I6. 450cfm QuickFuel 4bbl. BFG A/T KO2 32x11.5" tires. NP-435 trans. EFI exhaust manifolds. 2.5" Exhaust. DUI performance ignition. Redhead steering box.
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