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I read that a Toploader 4-speed comes in both wide and close ratio. Both have a 2.xx first gear, which means you could wind it past 60mph in first. Are they "old" technology? I found one place that can modify 4th gear from 1.00 to .81.

Just curious

2FAST
 

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Toploaders are great. Stonger than a tremec. Better shifter. Shift quicker. Cheaper maintenace. If you have a light car with a lot of torque (like someone we know ;) ), they are a great choice. This allows you to run a low (numerically) rear end gear (like a 3.08) and still cruise at a decent rpm running 70 down the highway. Post your same question over on ClubCobra for some additional informative info, as about 40% of the guys over there are running them with BBs..

Mike
 

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I am going with a toploader. apparently the tremec's are only rated at 375. the ford BB guys i have talked to would NOT consider anything but a BB Ford Toploader, no need for a 5 speed and the FE engines are not made to cruise at 1500 rpm (plus you get a little more originality)
check out Dave Kee. a quick conversation with him will set you right...
David Kee Toploaders
 

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I had a toploader. It came out of a '68 mustang, and the gears were particular to that year. It needed to have 2nd gear replaced. Problem was, Ford only showed 3 available in there whole sytem. My options were to have one made. The cost, added to the rebuild, was only $200 less than a new TKO. I opted for the TKO
 

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Originally posted by Need For Speed:
I am going with a toploader. apparently the tremec's are only rated at 375. the ford BB guys i have talked to would NOT consider anything but a BB Ford Toploader, no need for a 5 speed and the FE engines are not made to cruise at 1500 rpm (plus you get a little more originality)
check out Dave Kee. a quick conversation with him will set you right...
David Kee Toploaders
thought the 3550 and tko were pretty much the same and almost unbreakable for these cars(cause of their lite weight)
 

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my 428 will have 50lbs more than the tremecs are rated? So I'm not taking a chance...
 

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I went with the 5 speed Richmond. I believe from memory that it is rated at 425 lb. I have been extremely happy with it. Fit very well.
 

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The toploaders do have external linkage. If you buy a good shifter (like a Hurst Competition Plus), you adjust it once and forget about it. Shifts smooth and precise. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the tremecs, as I've driven a few and ended up buying one for our build to replace a toploader. In our car, we want to run a pretty low gear (3.73, 4.11?) and still maintain the overdrive with an engine that doesn't produce 400+ ft-lb of torque (mild 351C), so the tremec made sense. Plus we thought the overdrive would be appealing if we sell the car. The tremec TKO will stand up behind a 500 ft-lb engine in a cobra with no problems. That includes running slicks. On street tires you won't get enough traction to hurt one. Coyled on ClubCobra has a 660 hp 358CI Cup motor in his Hi-tech that he runs all the time on slicks at open track events. He had a standard 3550 and broke 3rd gear. Now he has a TKO from D&D and has had no problems, so they can take the abuse in these cars.

Mike
 

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2FAST,
Check out www.5speeds.com and click on "toploader 4 speeds" on the side bar for a breif history and gear ratios for the different toploaders. Make sure you can get the .81 overdrive WITH the 2.78 or 2.32 first gear. In '77-'78 you could get a Granada with the .81 O/D toploader but first gear was 3.29. The one problem with the O/D 4 speeds is that 1st thru 3rd (1:1) become even wider (no such thing as a close ratio 4 speed O/D).

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Greg :D
 

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While you are working on your top loader cook your food on an open fire. Hello it is 2002 I don't think a single car today comes with less than 5 speeds and most modern muscle cars come with 6 speeds, I wonder why? I have 2 local non FFR customers running big blocks both hated the top loader on the highway. I am not sure where anyone got the idea that cruising on the highway at 3000 rpm is fun with an FE, or any other motor for that matter. Both switched to TKOs and neither one has had any problems with power handling. Both cars are a lot heavier than the FFR cars and one guy puts slicks on his on a regular basis. IN MY OPINION 4 speeds, or three speed overdrives went the way of the dinosaur, extinct. There is one local guy still running the top loader (stickler for originality) and he drives the car about 1/3 as much as everyone else because it is a bear on the highway.

Dissclaimer: these are only my opinions as I see them. Do not assume I am correct, or that I dissagree with your opinion. I am just stating the facts AS I SEE THEM.

Cheers Richard.
 

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Richard-
I assume your 2002 cobra's have anti-lock brakes, dual airbags, and dual climate control as well?
 

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I dont know about the brakes and bags,but climate control...yea I'm wishing I had that.

Remember D&D also sells modified Tremecs(TKO & T56)that are pretty much bullet proof(not idiot proof)up to 625 lb Tq

3550 rated at 425 LB Tq
TKO rated at 525 lb Tq
IMO in order for any car to get that much Tq to the ground not only will it need slicks but some fairly stout suspension mods to go with them.


Originality..yea I guess,but thats not my thing.I like the astetic value of the body combined with enough modern engineering to kick the crap out most anything,and make it as user friendly as possible.


[ December 18, 2002, 08:40 PM: Message edited by: Smitty ]
 

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Richard,
I have to agree with you! I had a '69 Boss 302 with a Toploader, Hurst Comp plus, and a .391 posi. It was great around town but not exactly something you wanted to drive long on the highway!

Brian
 

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Be Different,
Piss off the world,
Put in a T-56! :D
(after the blower) :D :D :D
 

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According to D&D and several vendors I spoke to at the PRI Show (missed Mike Forte at his booth and never got time to go back and meet him), Tremec is coming out with a 2.95 1st gear TKO some time this year. I talked to a Florida dealer who said that he can supply them now, so if anybody is interested I'll dig through my stack of business cards....

I think a 2.95 TKO will be about the best compromise - at least according to my criteria - a useable first gear, decent torque capacity, lighter (and cheaper) than a Viper T-56, and I'm really interested in the mid-shift installation. And as far as shifters go, I did talk to the guys at Steeda, and they said that the Tri-Ax will work in the mid position.

regards,

JB
 

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I have driven several toploader equipped Cobras. They all rev pretty high on the freeway. You can't talk to the pasasenger without yelling.

I just helped a friend build a 427 SO Cobra with a TKO and 3.54 gears. At 65 mph it is reving around 2000 rpm or so. Very quiet inside the car, and you can actually speak to each other without screaming! I would recommend to anyone to use a Tremec if you plan on driving your car. I would probably drop to a 3:20-ish gear or numerically lower so 1st gear would be more usable.
 

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Mike Forte can provide you with an upgraded Tremec to handle more power. I remember him talking about a "Pro Shifted" / upgraded Tremec that he sells.

Here are 2 quotes from this thread.

Originally posted by Mike Forte:
Hi Automan,
The most sensitive part of a Tremec is the syncro asm. The best way to make them as tough as a Jerico is to update it to a PRO-SHIFTED Tremec. I have all of the gears to do so. Then it will be an overdriven Pro-Shifted Tremec.

Mike Forte
Forte's Parts Connection
376 R Cambridge Street
Burlington, MA 01803
781-273-9900
Originally posted by Mike Forte:
Hi Automan,
Tremec doesn't have a Pro=shifted version. I install them. Call me sometime today.
Mike Forte
Forte's Parts Connection
376 R Cambridge Street
Burlington, MA 01803
ph: (781) 273-9900
fax: (781) 273-9955
Brendan
 
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