1957 manual transmission removal

Joined
Nov 19, 2021
Thunderbird Year
1957
Is it possible to remove a 3 speed 1957 overdrive manual transmission without removing the engine or disassembling the transmission while in the car?
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2021
Thunderbird Year
1955
The Fordomatic cannot be removed intact without removing the engine. Although your transmission might be smaller, I have no knowledge of it's being removed in one piece for the same reason, in that the frame's X-member prohibits it.
 

NTouchOne

Active Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2016
Thunderbird Year
1957
We have a transmission guy who removes the 3 speed Ford-o-Matic by partially disassembling it. I believe he removes the tail piece. Then the rest can be removed.
 

jack-in-sac

Active Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2018
Thunderbird Year
1957
I have removed the original non-overdrive transmission and also the overdrive transmission I replaced it with. there are a couple of things. disconnect the shifter from the transmission usually easy to do by removing the cotters holding the shifter arms on the transmission. Also disconnect the wiring and the speedometer cable as well as the overdrive cable. Have a floor jack for the engine and one for the transmission. Remove radiator and disconnect the mounts to the engine in front and the steady rests. The clutch linkage also needs to be disconnected to allow the engine to move forward. Disconnect the transmission from the bell housing. Pry them apart at least enough to allow the tow to separate. Shift the engine as far forward as possible.to allow clearance to remove transmission. You may not need to do this; I ground a slot about 3/4 inch dee[ in the bell housing mounting surface for a bit more clearance. Now where i differ from most is that my T-85 O.D is not from a Thunderbird. It is from a passenger car. although it is not germain to this process mine also uses a fine spline input shaft. My O.D. is the same length as my original 3 speed non O.D. transmission. However it is much bulkier in the overdrive portion. You may or may not need to do the following only on a '57; I cut two plates and clamped them on the welded cross-member, one forward and one at the rear, under the tail of the transmission. I drilled holes through the plates and the cross-member. I then removed the plates to install later when re-installing the transmission. With the second jack holding up the transmission. I cut the welded-in cross-member and removed it. This gave me more room to work in removing the transmission. Because the original Thunderbird T-85 overdrive transmission longer than my transmission it is also less bulky and allow more room for maneuvering. Ergo you may not need to resort to grinding the bell-housing face or the cutting out of the welded in transmission support cross-member. Assembly reverses the process. It is not really complicated but it is time consuming. Good luck to you.
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
Thunderbird Year
2002
It can't be done without disassembling the transmission. There is insufficient space to remove the transmission in one piece. Your transmission shop charges by the hour. There is an article in the CTCI Thunderbird Restoration Specifications and Details Manual that explains how to disassemble the Fordomatic for removal w/o removing the engine and transmission as a unit.

I know an owner of a 57 who removed the Fordomatic in pieces. However, to make sure that everything lined up properly during installation, he removed the engine, attached the transmission, and installed the as a unit.
Likely they removed the tail. So what, they were rebuilding the trans anyway. The key is the engine did not have to be removed. It worked perfectly with the method they did and the charge was in line with normal trans rebuilding.
 

jimntempe

Active Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2021
Thunderbird Year
1957
In regard to the tailshaft, if the tailshaft on a manual has to come off to then remove the body of the transmission I could consider that removing the transmission intact.
The same is not the case with the automatic because you not only have to remove the tailshaft you also have to separate another rear part of the transmission from the front body part while making sure parts don't fall out. It would seem the automatic cannot be removed intact, but I can be removed in a partially disassembled state without removing the engine.
After reading the thread it's still not clear to me if a manual can be removed intact without pulling the engine. In the explanation it sounded like it maybe could be done with moving the engine forward but not removing the engine entirely... but then the explanation talked about grinding slots in something so it's not clear to me at this point quite what the full answer is.
 
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biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
This thread is a good example of why it's important to properly summarize your post in the subject instead of being vague. "1957 transmission removal" has been updated to "1957 manual transmission removal"

model-year.jpg
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2022
Thunderbird Year
1957
Is it possible to remove a 3 speed 1957 overdrive manual transmission without removing the engine or disassembling the transmission while in the car?
What are you doing with your 3 speed tranny? Don't suppose you want to trade for the Fordomatic in my '57? I'm looking for a 3 speed.
 
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