Manual transmission Column Shifter

Discussion in 'General Automotive Tech' started by 13ozMouseBoner, May 12, 2019.

  1. 13ozMouseBoner

    13ozMouseBoner New Member

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    Hey guys,

    Got an M5R2 transmission for my 88 Colony park and im wondering if a column shifter can work for this gearbox with some sort of setup. If not I cut the tunnel for a floor shifter.
     
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  2. joe_padavano

    joe_padavano Well-Known Member

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    How are your fabrication skills? FWD cars with five speed manual transmissions are able to shift with two cables, one selects the shift rail side-to-side and the other moves it fore-aft. You would need to fabricate such an input mechanism for the trans to replace the stock shifter and then you would need to design and fabricate a mechanism on the column that provided this same motion in response to moving a lever. Can this be done? Sure. Are you a mechanical engineer with access to a milling machine?

    I suspect the short answer is: you'll be cutting the floor.
     
  3. 13ozMouseBoner

    13ozMouseBoner New Member

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    I'll be cutting the floor
     
  4. KevinVarnes

    KevinVarnes Well-Known Member

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    The M5R2 is a rail type shifter. I have no idea how you would rig up a steering column shift to work that. This isn't an old Toploader.

    Is the M5R2 out of a truck or a SuperCoupe? The truck shifter might come up through the floor a little closer to the firewall then you might like. You might want to take some measurements. The SuperCoupe trans is setup for hydraulic clutch actuation. I would assume the truck trans is the same way.
     
  5. 13ozMouseBoner

    13ozMouseBoner New Member

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    Its a truck version, a few measurements wouldnt hurt.. I got it for free so its no skin off my nose, only thing I'm hoping for is that the car's mounts line up with the gearboxes's.
     
  6. 13ozMouseBoner

    13ozMouseBoner New Member

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    It wont be the biggest deal if the shifter is in a weird spot. I saw an article of bruce levin's shoebox that had a clever shifter setup, if anything I'll use an obtuse J bar
     
  7. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    Not to mention, all the Ford designs after 1980 (Fox, Panther and other platforms) using that specific column, there is no shifter, and the trucks in the early '80s used the full-size/intermediate-size car columns, which would require fabrication to be able to fit one in your wagon. Also bear in mind, the M5 series has the shifter, like a T5/T56, in or near the tailshaft, so you'd need to get 'console-style' seats to replace the bench or split bench your wagon has.
     
  8. joe_padavano

    joe_padavano Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily. They come both ways. The truck versions have a forward shifter (ALSO like the T5...). There's even an intermediate shifter location (again, also like the T5)

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. 13ozMouseBoner

    13ozMouseBoner New Member

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    ^the one i picked up has the shifter closest to the bellhousing. It's either going to come up underneath the dash or right infront of it. I hope its closer to the firewall, it'll make more sense to do a bruce levins shifter setup.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  10. KevinVarnes

    KevinVarnes Well-Known Member

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    In the SuperCoupe the M5R2 and the AOD both used the same trans crossmember and mount in the same location. Again I'm not intimately familiar with the truck specific trans, but I would assume the same would apply to those as well. How that relates to your Panther though I cannot answer.

    I wouldn't look at the above pictures and get the idea that you can swap a couple of parts around and change the shifter location. There is a fair amount of work involved in doing that and it would not be worthwhile.

    The M5R2 gets little love, but it is a pretty stout trans. There is a reason they used it behind the SuperCoupe engine and in trucks instead of the T5.
     
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  11. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    Huh. The ones I've dealt with recently on trucks, perhaps the layout of the drivetrain under the cab makes me think the shifter would be under the seat. It'll be interesting, to say the least.
     
  12. joe_padavano

    joe_padavano Well-Known Member

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    One problem with the F150 M5 is that first gear is a truckish 3.90:1. In reality that's a three speed OD trans with a granny gear low. Unless you have Bonneville-friendly rear end gears, first will barely get you across the intersection.
     
  13. 13ozMouseBoner

    13ozMouseBoner New Member

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    Didnt the 2wd versions come with a higher first?
     
  14. joe_padavano

    joe_padavano Well-Known Member

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    From what I can find, all the truck versions are 3.90 first. The Super Coupes used 3.75 and 3.42 first gears depending on year.
     
  15. 13ozMouseBoner

    13ozMouseBoner New Member

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    Couldn't i just put in a higher first gear? Im rebuilding this trans anyhow
     

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