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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Postby MadTripper » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:16 pm

Any updates?

I'm not sure the direction I'll end up but a few things worth considering.
While the factory 3 speed is limited, the transmission has been bullet proof from my experience. I do agree that a lower gear and an overdrive gear would be nice but I think that can be handled with a 4 speed transmission. A while back, I was looking at an NV4500 with an adapter kit to a 4bd2t diesel coupled with a spicer/dana 18 (my memory is foggy but I'm quite sure that was the setup to ensure passenger drop).
The axles are the same deal as the transmission. They are stout but limited. I would like to have something that I can at least get a rear locker for. I am certainly guilty of jumping into projects and not completing as I actually had begun to try and fab a locker for our axles but that went by the wayside at some point. Honestly, the meat I was removing made me think it would end up too weak.
I would be interested to see if you have made any discovery's. I have no idea which direction I will end up but I know I want to have a modern FI engine (not ruling a diesel out but not as likely as a gas jobby). I'm also thinking I would prefer an automatic but not 100% on that. I definitely want axles that are stout and I can readily get parts.
I will be driving back and forth to work and running errands a few times a week but I want to be able to carry the family and head up in the mountains without issue.
Interesting as I never considered an NV3550.

Tripper
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Postby seth1001 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:19 pm

I just went out and took some measurements today. I've been bouncing back and forth on the transmission for the last couple of months. An NV3550 would have several benefits but in the end I believe it will be too long. The 3-speed transmission is less than 11 inches long from front mating surface to rear. I can't get a measurement on the H55F no matter how much searching I do but I believe it's close to 12". Recently I've been looking at an NV4500. The 5th gear ratio is very appealing at .73. However, I'm getting mixed messages on the length of the case. Novak Adapters says it's both 12.5 inches long and 16.9 inches long, give or take. The difference seems to be whether or not it has a tail section attached, which I don't think I would need if I were mounting the back straight to the patrol transfer case. So right now I'm at the stage where I'm making phone calls to various shops here in Vegas. The big challenge is finding a shop that's actually willing to make something for me. So far they've all said the same thing..."call advance adapters". Of course then I explain to them that nothing like what I need has ever been made and if I'm lucky they point me to somewhere else who says the same thing. Otherwise they tell me to buy a jeep...haha. I feel like I'm getting closer to a shop that is actually willing to do something I couldn't just do myself. But we'll see.
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Postby seth1001 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:27 pm

Okay I'm closing in on a plan now. Basically I have two options and one variant. All I'm waiting on is the discovery of measurements for each assembly. But let me walk anyone reading this through my thought process.
At first I really wanted to mount a new transmission to the stock transfer case. Unfortunately, the lack of data concerning...well...everything about that transfer case has made it impossible to discuss with fabricators or adapter manufacturers. Also, even here in Las Vegas, I have been totally unable to locate a shop that can actually machine a new output shaft for me in the likely event that I need one. All transmission shops have apparently become completely dependent on "advance adapters" and similar providers to the point where they don't make any of their own stuff anymore. So anyway, I've basically concluded that I can't use the stock transfer case...not with my knowledge or lack thereof anyway. So I had some discussions and did some research and even though one guy said I should be able to use a Dana 300 with my offset differential "no problem"...I don't think I want to go that route based on the advice of everyone else. So I've got to get a different transfer case and it has to be a double passenger offset rig, which only leaves me with 3 options - Dana/Spicer 18, Land Rover Series I, II, or III, or an FJ40 transfer case.
The Spicer 18 sounded great based on how compact it was. Plus it was double stick, which would also be great for the appearance of originality and just because I love the twin stick rig. There's lots of support for it and purportedly it can handle up to around 300 ft/Ibs of torque. So I was all excited about it. Then I talked to some people and discovered that it'll likely fall apart if you routinely go above 60 mph. It was tough, but only meant for WWII jeeps that never went above 45mph. Both Novak and Advance Adapters recommended I don't use it with an overdrive transmission. So that was a bummer.
Then I've got the Land Rover transfer cases. I'm told they might work but I'm really having trouble figuring out what's up with these. There's about a million variants and I can't find any data on case length or width or anything I need to make the determination. Advance claims to be able to adapt them to an NV3550 or NV4500 transmission however, so it's a viable option. I need to do more research but so far I've just been frustrated. Any information readers might have on these would be helpful.
I think the FJ40 transfer case is the best way to go. Advance has a kit that will adapt an NV4500 frontways to my Chevy 292, and rearways to the FJ40 transfer case. I really want to get an NV4500 in there. It's got the ratios and the strength that mean it should be the last transmission I'll ever need. The FJ40 transfer case is also highly likely to fit, given the similarities between the Patrol and the FJ. I'm still trying to find data to determine the entire length of that rig though.
According to my measurements, the entire length of my current setup is 28.75" from the engine mating surface to the rear driveshaft mating surface at the transfer case point. This gives me a 22.25" rear driveshaft at a 10 degree downward angle. I have no idea how short I could go or what my max angle would be on the new driveshaft so I'm just trying to keep it as similar as possible. I've seen Jeeps work with about a 9" driveshaft so I'm not sweating it too much but with much difference comes much unpredictability. So anyway, if I can determine the length of an NV4500 mounted to an FJ40 T/C, then I'll know if that's the plan. That's the latest.

Oh and I forgot to mention the variant. I could get a dodge or chevy configured NV4500. The Dodge versions seem to be more readily available and the advance adapters kit comes with a conversion plate for my 292. We'll see...
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Postby Peter60 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:27 am

We all look forward to your end result. It looks like many have tried but few have documented results about mating a non-Nissan gearbox to the P engine in simple terms that the non-engineer can understand.

I look forward to mating an auto gearbox to the Patrol. I suspect that eventually a manual shift will become too hard .... oh to ageing!

Have you looked at/for a Marks 5 speed from Oz? See elsewhere in this forum?
Not sure if I will get there.
Not sure if I will get back.
But I usually do!!!
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Postby yitzac1990 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:29 am

I am in the process of swapping a chevy v8 into my 1969 patrol. I am using a Muncie SM465 4 speed transmission to a Dana 18 transfer case. The highest gear in the transmission is only 1:1, but I plan on getting an overdrive unit eventually for the TC, which will give me a .75:1 high gear. This is something else to think about. Novak makes the kit to adapt the dana 18 to the SM465, and if your I6 engine has the "typical" SBC bellhousing bolt pattern, the sm465 will bolt right on. I chose the SM465 because it is regarded as being very strong, and I liked the dana 18 because it was regarded as "one of the best transfer cases ever built" and it allows me to keep passenger side drop. Using any transmission over 4 speeds will more than likely result in a setup that is too long, and you'll have trouble with rear driveshaft lengths. You can find my build thread which has pics of the engine, trans, and TC to get an idea of it all. I am currently involved in this swap, so everything is still sitting on my shop floor, hopefully to be mated together today.
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Postby yitzac1990 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:35 am

the other reasons I chose an SM465 and Dana 18, is availability. the sm465 can be found just about anywhere. I even found some on CL for as cheap as $75. I actually found a guy willing to trade his transmission to me for a gun that I wasn't even using, that I had gotten on trade for some labor, so it was basically a free transmission for me. the dana 18 is a bit harder to find, but they are definitely out there. I found a guy selling an entire jeep CJ drivetrain on ebay, and just asked if he would part with the TC, and for $150 it was mine. since they are domestic options, parts for them are also much easier to find and acquire I think. There is a TON of information online about this trans and tcase, which also makes it easier if you are in a pinch and need to know something fast.

I have no worries about this trans and tcase holding up to a stock chevy v8, which was another deciding factor for me.
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Postby CBlake » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:18 pm

I have a Dana 18 behind a C4 transmission and Ford 289 V8 in one of my Patrols. It has held up very well to some punishment.
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