New Transmission Project Upcoming

Builds, refurbishments, restorations, upgrades

Postby seth1001 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:53 pm

Hello Everyone,

I'm in the preliminary research stage for an upcoming transmission swap on my 1969 Patrol. Those of you who have already extensively researched this topic in the forum may have already stopped reading. If you've done research here you know that 90% of threads concerning transmission swaps, overdrives, and transfer cases end up dead on their feet with absolutely no conclusion as to whether or not it worked. But this much I can promise you, this project will go forward with work commencing in the next 90 days. Success or spectacular failure, it will be presented to you as it unfolds right here...or possibly in a new thread that's linked from here...and possibly across some youtube videos. Nevertheless you will see a result. I have a lot of free time these days and price is no object. I also have very little experience when it comes to fabricating and very little knowledge of transmission internals so hopefully you guys will be willing to chime in from time to time. With that being said, here's the situation....
I just bought a '69 Patrol about a year ago. Since then I've mostly been doing interior work on it as well as some basic engine stuff. I've probably put about 400 miles on it since purchased. You can see my gauge work here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=5332. The car has a Chevy 292 that was put in right before I bought it. The guy said the original 4 litre blew up. So originality is out the window. I'm fine with that - it means I'm free to bastardize this thing all I want now. So anyway, it still has the original 3-speed mated to it somehow. I'm not sure if the adapter is custom or if it's an FJ40 adapter kit from Advance Adapters that's been modded to fit the patrol tranny. I just know it's a standard SBC bellhousing rigged up to the transmission with a plate and what looks like a new hydraulic slave cylinder rig. So after weeks of struggling to get the 292 running with a new intake manifold and carburetor, I finally have it running perfect - 3 miles later the transmission just eats itself. 1st and 2nd gear are totally shot; sounds like teeth broken off. So the old transmission is coming out and you guessed it - I insist on putting in a 5-speed. There's been lots of discussion in this forum but so far zero projects have been seen through to the end. So in prepping for the work, here are the questions:

1.) Has anyone ever successfully installed a Toyota H55F 5-speed into a Patrol? Has anyone failed in the attempt and can tell me why it didn't work?
2.) Has anyone ever successfully mated a different transmission to the original Patrol transfer case? If so, what kind of adapters did you need? If not....why not?
3.) What all do you need to mate a transmission to a given transfer case? What are the specs for the output shaft that I would need to make it happen?
4.) Has anyone ever just replaced the 1:1 3rd gear with an overdrive gear - maybe around .78:1 or something like that? Is that possible or would you have to rework the whole transmission?
5.) How short do you think I can go on the rear driveshaft with stock suspension on 31" tires?

I anticipate some people answering my questions with another question so I'll answer those first.
Why don't you just get a replacement 3-speed?
-Because I don't wanna. They sucked and you know it. I've got a chewed up example still attached to the bottom of my car to prove it.
Why don't you just change the axles so you'd have more options?
-I'd prefer not to. I could afford it but even though this thing will be bastardized, I'd still like to keep some of the original powertrain intact. That's just my preference. Not to mention an axle swap would cost me about 8 grand all in. After you factor new brakes and the fact that I would need new wheels and tires. It would cost way less to build custom adapters and gears than to change out the axles.
How much are you willing to spend?
-Unlimited amounts. Far more than the car will ever be worth. But I don't waste money and I insist on doing the work myself.

Alright so that's the rub. Thanks in advance to anybody who can give me some useful information or even a little in-person help potentially. I live in Las Vegas so some of you might actually be in the area. Let me know if you have any questions and keep visiting this thread if you've ever wanted to do something like this for your own project. Work will commence in early July most likely and continue until I finish the project or until I have to leave the country for work. Thanks again.

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Postby rdarnell » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:21 pm

I posted info on a 63 patrol here in Louisville that had a Ford engine and transmission with the patrol transfer case. They had a home made adapter that was about 1.5 inches thick. They had made a mounting place for the original parking brake handle and twin transfer levers. The drive shafts were stock and unchanged. I did not get any photos but I can probably get some. It sold on ebay but not sure when it will be leaving.
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Postby rdarnell » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:15 pm

Not to attack but if you are fine with stock nissan axles then stock Toyota axles should be fine and way under the 8k number you quoted. You could also get front disc brakes on a $500 front axle. But I do understand trying to keep as much nissan as possible.
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Postby seth1001 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:58 pm

rdarnell wrote:Not to attack but if you are fine with stock nissan axles then stock Toyota axles should be fine and way under the 8k number you quoted. You could also get front disc brakes on a $500 front axle. But I do understand trying to keep as much nissan as possible.


Yeah when it comes to the axles - I've heard suggestions like, "why don't you switch to a Dana 44?" or something like that. That's the sort of upgrade that would cost me 6k to 8k all in. I understand there are some axles like what I assume you're talking about, a used FJ40 axle, that would cost much less. I'm not opposed to that but my understanding is that the FJ40 axle has the same RH offset as the stock Patrol. So once I get the new transmission in there I can always make that change later without doing anything else. At this point I'm just concerned with getting a functional 5-speed in this mug.
With regards to that Ford setup you mentioned, do you know if they had to put in a new output shaft in the Ford transmission to make it work with the Patrol transfer case? I've read that's the hardest part because of the uncommon tooth configuration the transfer case requires. I believe it's a 10 tooth but like I said, I'm no expert on transmission internals so I struggle to even understand the terminology in the service manual. I would also think the shaft would have to be extended to make up for that thick home-made adapter you mentioned. Do you have a link to the write-up you did?
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Postby rdarnell » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:32 am

I was wondering the same thing when I saw it. The owner knows nothing about how it was done. The spline and the rear needle bearing were both questions I had. Not sure if he still has any contact info. I found a listing for the truck listed for sale 3 years ago but it was kind of light on details and might have been built by someone previous to him. I found it by searching "1963 nissan patrol" and then looking at images for a blue patrol with a big rope wrapped around the bumper.
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Postby seth1001 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:18 pm

I wish the guy would have put more details on his rig in that ebay ad, but I don't think he knew how it was done. Right now my plan is to pull out the transmission and transfer case, take the whole assembly to a local shop here in Vegas and see if they can custom fab an output shaft and an adapter to bolt an NV3550 to the stock transfer case. Those transmissions are readily available, cheap, and rated for about 300 ft/Ibs of torque which is probably everything I'll ever need. If that doesn't work I'll try a Toyota H55F with the Patrol transfer case. If that doesn't work I'll try the Toyota H55F and Toyota transfer case combo...then go from there.
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Postby rdarnell » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:49 pm

You are correct, he did not know much about the build. He bought it three years ago on a whim and it has sat ever since.
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Postby seth1001 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:48 am

I think I found some pictures in the gallery where you were rebuilding a stock 3 speed. Did you take any measurements of the transmission body while you were in there?
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