Which Toploader.. or is there something better? - Page 2 - MustangForums.com



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Old 03-04-2017, 11:09 AM   #11
BKKSW
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Toploaders are very rugged. The early aluminum T10 didn't hold up and T10's are somewhat weaker in general. You can tell a T10 by the side plate. The internals load into the trans from the side. Toploaders load from on top. Unless you drive like I do, either trans will probably work for you. Just make sure you get one that fits your car. Check out David Kee online. He can supply complete transmissions or any parts you might need.
Thank you, I'll check out his site.
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Old 03-04-2017, 11:13 AM   #12
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You know, I don't think we really addressed your original question with all our talk about toploaders. Is there something better? Possibly. The Tremec comes in a 5 speed and comes in many varieties and strengths. Also the new 6 speeds are becoming more prevalent and there is someone on another Mustang related forum selling a 6 speed from a new GT350. The question is are they better? I guess to each his own. I like the ease of installation and factory fit of a toploader. No modifications are required to your car. Some transmissions are wider and require tunnel mods and some require special bellhousings or conversion to cable or hydraulic clutches. I like keeping vintage vintage as long as it works well. I appreciate restomods and do some modernization on my cars but the tried and true toploader and mechanical linkage works well when maintained.
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Old 03-04-2017, 11:16 AM   #13
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Also, you mentioned track. What kind? Road race or drag strip? An automatic is probably the best choice for the strip.
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Old 03-04-2017, 12:22 PM   #14
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You know, I don't think we really addressed your original question with all our talk about toploaders. Is there something better? Possibly. The Tremec comes in a 5 speed and comes in many varieties and strengths. Also the new 6 speeds are becoming more prevalent and there is someone on another Mustang related forum selling a 6 speed from a new GT350. The question is are they better? I guess to each his own. I like the ease of installation and factory fit of a toploader. No modifications are required to your car. Some transmissions are wider and require tunnel mods and some require special bellhousings or conversion to cable or hydraulic clutches. I like keeping vintage vintage as long as it works well. I appreciate restomods and do some modernization on my cars but the tried and true toploader and mechanical linkage works well when maintained.
I think you summed this up well. Leaning away from stock is a slippery slope and it gets very expensive very quickly and in many cases if not most, a restomod is worth less at time of resale than a stock car. And then the question if a new T-56 or even a T-45 like I have in my Cobra would DQ you from sanctioned classes of track racing. I'm thinking most SCCA events, not strip racing.

I remember my top loaders being much smoother to shift than any of the newer transmissions. No notchy feeling shifts, just smooth throws.

At this point a top loader seems the best choice, but what I'd miss from a modern transmission is the overdrive. But I could put in an separate overdrive and keep the toploader.
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Old 03-04-2017, 06:32 PM   #15
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I kept thinking back to my past.. could I have really mistaken cast iron toploaders for aluminum.. maybe. Probably. But if they existed maybe not. So I started googling it.. David Kee's says in this link, post 9, "There were a few aluminum toploaders out there. They are very rare and very expensive and often had road race gear ratio's. Once I finish the iron cases I will move on to aluminum and possibly magnesium cases." I could have mistaken aluminum for magnesium for sure.

And then I think.. what if there are aluminum castings made back in the 70's like people say.. still out there.. so I look on ebay and find this one.. And I wonder if taking the 64 with it's undesirable bolt pattern and put it's really fresh looking gear set in this.. We're talking $400 for the 64 toploader, $150 for this aluminum casting, and maybe a few hundred for a seal/bearing kit. Now I have a pretty desirable aluminum top loader in the $750 range. And looking further they make aluminum tailstocks as well. Post 25.

Possibly for under a $1000 I could have something unique and useful.. its always nice to drop 75-100 pounds for a car you track. Anyone see any reason this is a bad idea?
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Old 03-04-2017, 10:56 PM   #16
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Keep in mind that you can't rely on the innards of the '64 toploader you're eyeballing. Expect it to need a rebuild, and expect that rebuild to be expensive. You also need to factor in a shifter and linkage, which could run $200-400.

The primary problem I see with the 64 trans is the bell housing issue. Finding a proper 64 bell housing is difficult, and finding an aftermarket scatter shield may be even more difficult.

However, you might be able to flip the 64 trans to help fund whatever you decide you really want. Someone has to want a 64 toploader for a show car; you just need to find who that is.
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Old 03-05-2017, 12:45 PM   #17
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Keep in mind that you can't rely on the innards of the '64 toploader you're eyeballing. Expect it to need a rebuild, and expect that rebuild to be expensive. You also need to factor in a shifter and linkage, which could run $200-400.

The primary problem I see with the 64 trans is the bell housing issue. Finding a proper 64 bell housing is difficult, and finding an aftermarket scatter shield may be even more difficult.

However, you might be able to flip the 64 trans to help fund whatever you decide you really want. Someone has to want a 64 toploader for a show car; you just need to find who that is.
I appreciate you guys showing me this or I might have bought it expecting to fit.. I did look at some bellhousings on ebay and they're available used for about $120 and would solve the fitment issue.. but it limits the clutch disc size to 9.5" and like you say, if I wanted to drag race the thing and needed a scatter shield I'd have to go to an expensive universal fit model or try to find one a used one which probably wouldn't happen.

What do you think about my post above where I suggest takings the parts from the 64 and putting them into a aluminum casting with boss 302 bold pattern?
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Old 03-05-2017, 01:42 PM   #18
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Beware of Mexican castings. This is especially true of older ones. I know a guy with a Mustang store and he tried to get power steering brackets cast in Mexico. The first one came out nice but after he agreed to a run the rest were lousy. I think trying to mix and match those parts is opening a bigger can of worms than a later model alum T5 or similar. The later 5 and 6 speeds are good but may require modification to the tunnel, crossmember or other things. Some early cast iron bellhousings are cast for both early and late patterns and many have the bosses but are undrilled and untapped.
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Old 03-05-2017, 03:08 PM   #19
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Beware of Mexican castings. This is especially true of older ones. I know a guy with a Mustang store and he tried to get power steering brackets cast in Mexico. The first one came out nice but after he agreed to a run the rest were lousy. I think trying to mix and match those parts is opening a bigger can of worms than a later model alum T5 or similar. The later 5 and 6 speeds are good but may require modification to the tunnel, crossmember or other things. Some early cast iron bellhousings are cast for both early and late patterns and many have the bosses but are undrilled and untapped.
You're probably right. I'd be taking a chance on a $150 conversation piece. It would make a cool flower pot though.. David Kee's does have aluminum housings that I assume are good, so worst case would be transferring the gear cluster over, and maybe I'd even buy one of his aluminum tailstock housings.. I'm thinking of where to save weight on these cars while still maintaining the creature comforts and I keep coming back to the rear end housing and the transmission housing. Combined maybe 150-175 pounds. Thanks.
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Old 03-05-2017, 03:32 PM   #20
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David Kee is the toploader guru so I'm sure his castings are good. I haven't bought any toploader parts for 20 years because they are all still working. I do have an open track car project that I'm trying to get back to work on though.
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