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Posted By: DeanThe54Chevy 1954 chevy 3100 OD trans?? - Fri May 02 2014 05:23 PM
Hi all,

I'm still fairly new to the AD truck world and wanted to know if there are any stock OD transmissions for a 1954 1st series truck? Or at least options to make it an overdive. I want to keep the truck stock with the 3-column shifter, but make it better for cruising highways.

Thanks
Posted By: Greg_H Re: 1954 chevy 3100 OD trans?? - Fri May 02 2014 05:41 PM
Half ton will be difficult because of the enclosed driveshaft. There was a "truckstell" add on overdrive that shows up every once in awhile but the most viable option to get more "top end" is going to be the aftermarket 3.55 gears (which will require an earlier carrier assembly to fit 54 housing) or going to an open driveshaft that will require new leaf springs, rear end assembly, driveshaft, and transmission.
Posted By: DeanThe54Chevy Re: 1954 chevy 3100 OD trans?? - Fri May 02 2014 05:53 PM
Earlier carrier asembly?
Posted By: Greg_H Re: 1954 chevy 3100 OD trans?? - Fri May 02 2014 08:34 PM
Sent a PM. Has to do with the ring gear bolt pattern I think.
Posted By: Tommy Re: 1954 chevy 3100 OD trans?? - Fri May 02 2014 09:48 PM
Dean,
I believe a rear end from a 55 1st series will bolt in place of the one you have now. This will enable you to use an open driveshaft, which will enable you to use a sm319 o/d transmission. That would be a bolt in swap for what you have now, keeping you colunm shifter.
Posted By: Greg_H Re: 1954 chevy 3100 OD trans?? - Fri May 02 2014 10:10 PM
Leaf springs will be different on 55 1st in that the centering pin is pretty much dead center between the front and rear eyes on the open driveshaft springs.
Posted By: tclederman Re: 1954 chevy 3100 OD trans?? - Sat May 03 2014 12:00 AM
An earlier ring-gear carrier is needed for installing the 3.55 R&P conversion in a 1954 3100 rear end - that is what Greg is referring to.

The Truckstell car over-drive requires cutting and "splicing" the torque-tube.
Posted By: Deve Re: 1954 chevy 3100 OD trans?? - Sat May 03 2014 01:51 AM
How many of us put OD's on an AD is, you get the standard Borg R-10 OD and 3 spd tranny with OPEN driveline. To do this, get a 55 1st series rear end, which is open, as previously stated, you will need to change your leaf springs so what the rear end center is centered on the leaf springs. This isn't hard, just have your leaf spring maker put the rear end perch pivot in the center. Once you have the leaf springs squared away, mount the 55 1st series rear end (its what I did, but wouldn't ANY TF era rear end work?) in place and just find a driveshaft that is the right length. So that's not easy either. So get a driveshaft company make you a correct length shaft. I gave my driveshaft experts a 1961 suburban open driveshaft and they cut it to fit.

The transmission bolts right up. There are many other issues, like the entire overdrive electricals, brackets, mountings, harness, etc.

I would encourage you to go for it. It is a great sense of accomplishment you feel when you learn of something cool, and then see it thru to fruition. Costly though. It IS the most elegant way to get to 75mph with relative ease.

Keep in mind though... 75 mph on an AD? What does that mean? Faster speeds means better braking. That single MC is just not suitable for DOUBLE what the old 45mph max truck could use. No, not even. You need better braking. Then, you cant put anyone you care about in the cab doing that speed without seat belts! Those two concerns right there pretty much go with the upgrade. Things to really consider before going down this road. In any case, you are in the right place!
Posted By: jorb Re: 1954 chevy 3100 OD trans?? - Sat May 03 2014 02:56 AM
Originally Posted by DeanThe54Chevy
1954 1st series truck
Is this a trick question?
There is no such truck.
It is ether a 1954 1/2 ton truck. enclosed drive shaft.
Or a 1955 1st series truck. Open drive shaft.
Unless I missed something.

If it is a 1954 1/2 ton truck with the enclosed drive shaft.
You could try this trick:
Alignment Solution for Installing a Late Model Rear End in a 1947-1954 Pick Up.
On the original rear end, the spring centerbolt is offset to the front of the spring by 2"to 3". If you install a modern rear end (with an open driveshaft) and retain the original springs, the wheels will end up offset forward (inside) of the original wheel openings in the fenders. To correct this problem, remove the original springs and reverse them end to end (front to back) as they are the same on both ends. This will bring the spring centerbolt to the rear of the axle and place the new rear end in the center of the fender wheel openings. Jim Carter Tech Tip with picture

Tim Lederman & Greg_H are correct, in order to install a 3.55 ring gear in the 1954 1/2 ton 3rd member/carrier housing.
You have to use a 1940 to 1953 Chevy 1/2 ton differential carrier/spool case.
part number 3652336. Master parts Cat picture. Group # 5.510 MPC Part #3652336
So that the ring gear bolt pattern lines up with the bolt pattern on the differential carrier/spool case.
MPC also indicates the 55-57 1/2 ton O/D.
Posted By: Deve Re: 1954 chevy 3100 OD trans?? - Sat May 03 2014 03:03 AM
I have made an adapter plate that has a head on it and moves the rear end perch to center on your existing springs. Problem is, how many of us are sure the original springs are good enough to NOT be replaced?
Posted By: jorb Re: 1954 chevy 3100 OD trans?? - Sat May 03 2014 03:58 AM
True,
Check out what this guy says.
I once owned a 1948 Willys jeep.
The guy I bought it from, put a Chevy 283 V8 in it.
The original 4 cylinder Flathead horse power rear springs just could not handle the V8 torque.
The pinion bearings prematurely wore out because the axle would whip so bad.
Posted By: Cletis Re: 1954 chevy 3100 OD trans?? - Sat May 03 2014 04:02 AM
If you get the '55 first springs with the rear end the problem is solved.
Posted By: tclederman Re: 1954 chevy 3100 OD trans?? - Sat May 03 2014 04:08 AM

DeanThe54Chevy,

"I want to keep the truck stock with the 3-column shifter, but make it better for cruising highways."

I can cruise highways all day in my 1954 Suburban at 65 mph with the 3.55 Ring & Pinion conversion (enclosed drive shaft) and 31.5" diameter radial truck tires (about 2500 RPM). This has worked fine with the original 3-speed and 4-speed.

If I wanted an OD, I'd go with Tommy's recommendation - SM319 and suitable rear end. I think that is what Cletis has, and one of my neighbor's has that in his 1953 1/2 ton panel. It is is nice set-up.
Posted By: jorb Re: 1954 chevy 3100 OD trans?? - Sat May 03 2014 04:33 AM
Originally Posted by tclederman
DeanThe54Chevy,
I have the Mr. Magoo syndrome.
Posted By: DeanThe54Chevy Re: 1954 chevy 3100 OD trans?? - Wed May 14 2014 09:41 PM
My apologies. Lol, not a trick question. But yes, 1954 1/2 ton
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