Transmission Identification

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Splash440
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:42 am

Transmission Identification

Post by Splash440 »

I am in last phases of my 51 F! restoration and waiting for some information, so I started doing some investigation work on the 57 Bird project.

I have a Y block with an automatic which was supposed to be a 57 312. I believe the engine is not a 57 but most likely a 56. The numbers and the distributor seem to bare that out.

I am not as confident on the transmission. Based on the pan and number of bolts it appears to be small case 3 speed. The numbers on the case are a little confusing. The only numbers that match that I can find are from a 55 Mercury.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Trans1.jpg
Trans2.jpg
Trans3.jpg
Trans4.jpg
Trans5.jpg
Thanks,
David Langston
Dover, NC

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Alan H. Tast
Posts: 3138
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 10:52 pm
Location: Omaha, NE

Re: Transmission Identification

Post by Alan H. Tast »

Just so happens I'm researching transmission/engine ID code numbers for future articles for publication in VTCI's Thunderbird Scoop magazine, but right now I'm in data-entry mode. Can't provide an answer with this post at this time but should be able to look up and have one soon if someone doesn't beat me to it.
Alan H. Tast, AIA
Technical Director/Past President,
Vintage Thunderbird Club Int'l.
Author, "Thunderbird 1955-1966" & "Thunderbird 50 Years"
1963 Hardtop & 1963 Sports Roadster

Splash440
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:42 am

Re: Transmission Identification

Post by Splash440 »

Thanks, Alan

That would be great, I have time.
Thanks,
David Langston
Dover, NC

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Alan H. Tast
Posts: 3138
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 10:52 pm
Location: Omaha, NE

Re: Transmission Identification

Post by Alan H. Tast »

Well I'm not having much luck finding the serial number prefix '49' to definitively tell me what's here - the Ford P&A catalogs for cars and trucks that I've been going through, including the '49-'59 "Blue Bible" and a copy of the Master Parts Catalog last updated circa 1961 for cars, along with a truck MPC covering '57 through '68 last revised in 1969, didn't list the serial number prefixes. The Mercury and Lincoln books, however, do list the serial number prefixes which were used before the three-letter prefix codes began to be used around 1957-1958 and used on the oval ID tags that were drive-nailed to the case. But, again, the serial number '49' didn't show up in the list for '56 or '57 Mercury transmissions.

The "PMB" prefix on the bellhousing does show up for use with '55 Mercury, but I haven't done more digging yet to find out the full range of applications for this particular bellhousing.

From the Ford catalogs I've been going through, the T-bird used the medium-length case (MX) housing for the gearbox, versus the short-length (FX) case used in various full-size Fords. Measuring the length of the case should at least tell if it's a MX or FX case. If it's the length of the FX case, I'd say it's probably for a Ford car (or maybe a pick'm'up truck? That may deped on what your distributor # and intake # tells you).

I suspect that, by evidence of the intakes in the bellhousing and the serial number sequencing I'm finding for the Lincoln-Mercury transmissions, that it's an early-mid '56 air-cooled transmission with a Ford application. Now, whether that's car or truck depends on whether I can find more info. What's the engineering numbers you found on your distributor or other parts like the intake manifold?
Alan H. Tast, AIA
Technical Director/Past President,
Vintage Thunderbird Club Int'l.
Author, "Thunderbird 1955-1966" & "Thunderbird 50 Years"
1963 Hardtop & 1963 Sports Roadster

Splash440
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:42 am

Re: Transmission Identification

Post by Splash440 »

Alan,

I have been doing more research on the engine to help narrow down the package. Basically, I have found the engine is most likely a 56 car engine (292) versus a 312. I removed the oil pan and verified the bearing cap numbers. The serial numbers, heads, intake all align to be a 56 car and the distributor is a dual diaphragm. In addition, the block has the oil dipstick in the front (front sump) versus in the back for the Thunderbird (rear sump). Someone has cut and re-welded the oil pan to make it a rear sump, but did not move the dipstick.

It is possible the engine/transmission was out of a 56 Mercury passenger car.

I appreciate the information.
Thanks,
David Langston
Dover, NC

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Alan H. Tast
Posts: 3138
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 10:52 pm
Location: Omaha, NE

Re: Transmission Identification

Post by Alan H. Tast »

Splash440 wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:04 pm
It is possible the engine/transmission was out of a 56 Mercury passenger car.

I appreciate the information.
Again, the transmission S/N prefix "49" did NOT show up in my listing of '56 Mercury transmissions. I suspect '56 Ford/Fairlane. If carb AND distributor are original, please post the engineering numbers on them. The Mercury parts lists were much better than Ford's in that they included ID numbers for the carburetors that were used with the engine/transmission combination.
Alan H. Tast, AIA
Technical Director/Past President,
Vintage Thunderbird Club Int'l.
Author, "Thunderbird 1955-1966" & "Thunderbird 50 Years"
1963 Hardtop & 1963 Sports Roadster

Splash440
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:42 am

Re: Transmission Identification

Post by Splash440 »

Alan,
Based on further investigation on the engine I have to agree with you the motor and transmission is out of a 56 Ford. The engine is definitely out of a passenger car. The front motor mount is not the T-Bird style. The oil pan is a rear sump, but after cleaning it has been cut and welded. The oil dip stick is in the front just behind the timing cover, not in the block (midway) as it should be for a rear sump pan. It is also a 292 not a 312, based on the marking on the bearing cap (EBU).

Thanks for all the information..
Manifold 1.JPG
Dist 1.JPG
Thanks,
David Langston
Dover, NC

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