If you watched our last two updates, you saw Davin swap a T5 transmission into our 1946 Ford pickup. Part of that process was getting a new driveshaft to fit the new length of the T5. So, we thought we’d take you behind the scenes with Dan at Valley Truck and see what it takes to make a custom-fit drive shaft.

The process seems so simple on the surface, but like any automotive project that appears simple, it rarely is. A tube with yokes welded on both ends will get the job done, but there are a couple fine points that separate the best from the rest. The first is the selection of the tube for the driveshaft. Wall thickness is dependent on the application, with heavier tubing used for high-torque builds. A person could build the same heavy-duty driveshaft for everything, but the rotational weight would actually make a lower-powered vehicle feel sluggish. The second critical factor is the phasing of the yokes on either end. If these are not clocked perfectly to each other, there will be a vibration that will cause any driver to go crazy.

It’s a simple process that requires serious accuracy, and Dan makes it look easy. It’s shops like this that make swaps possible in our old cars and trucks. Measure properly and give your local driveshaft shop a call for your project—or at least go out into your workshop and get your project done.

Check out the T5 Swap here:
Part 1 – T5 Transmission Swapped into 75-year old Ford Truck
Part 2 – We put a T5 transmission into our 1946 Ford pickup

— Kyle Smith

Thanks to our sponsor RockAuto.com, an auto parts retailer founded in 1999 by automotive engineers with two goals: Liberate information hidden behind the auto parts store counter (by listing all available parts, not just what one store stocks or one counter-person knows), and make auto parts affordable so vehicles of all ages can be kept reliable and fun to drive. Visit RockAuto.com to order auto parts online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have them conveniently delivered to your door. Need help finding parts or placing an order? Visit RockAuto’s Help pages for further assistance.

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Last week, you saw Davin tear out the transmission of our 1946 Ford pickup and get our junkyard T5 transmission ready to swap in. This week, it’s full steam ahead as we complete this modern upgrade. There are some bumps along the way, but nothing a little time and determination can’t solve. So, watch along and see what it takes to bring this 1940s relic a little closer to modern times.

The process has been moving along smoothly, but that was all just disassembly and cleaning. Now it’s time to start putting things together, and that means little problems can pop up easily. From ensuring everything is properly lubed to removing burrs to allow the throw-out bearing to function smoothly, it’s not “just throwing parts together.” If you keep everything organized and follow the proper assembly plan, your project will probably fly along just like Davin’s.

A new driveshaft is the last piece to assemble and goes in nicely. That’s probably because it is a brand new driveshaft Davin had made for this project. With all the bolts tightened underneath, it’s time to look inside and get to the custom bits of this swap. The shifter was for an S10 pickup, but the angle is all wrong for the fixed seat in the Ford. Luckily, that is easily fixed with some heat and muscle. Fabricate a quick transmission tunnel and it’s time for testing. Engine running and wheels in the air the transmission shifts smoothly through all the gears.

This is a fairly complicated project, but you can also see how every complex thing is a just a punch list of easy tasks stacked up. Now Davin can cruise in comfort in the 1946 Ford pickup, but he says you should get out and get your project done. Before you go though, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to never miss a fun project or update.

— Kyle Smith

Thanks to our sponsor RockAuto.com, an auto parts retailer founded in 1999 by automotive engineers with two goals: Liberate information hidden behind the auto parts store counter (by listing all available parts, not just what one store stocks or one counter-person knows), and make auto parts affordable so vehicles of all ages can be kept reliable and fun to drive. Visit RockAuto.com to order auto parts online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have them conveniently delivered to your door. Need help finding parts or placing an order? Visit RockAuto’s Help pages for further assistance.

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Enjoy 1946 Ford Pickup stories, opinion, and features from across the car world - Hagerty Media

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Davin is a man of focus, striving to improve his surroundings and make objects more usable. In that spirit, this week kicks off a three-part series focusing on one of his favorite pickups in the Redline Garage fleet: the Swap to Street 1946 Ford. It’s a truck that is no stranger to highway miles, but the original-type three-speed transmission has left both Davin and the flathead under the hood wanting more. Now, it’s time to see about an upgrade.

This truck was assembled in just four days at the 2015 Hershey fall swap meet, from parts purchased on the grounds. It was a tough challenge, and since then Davin has been making metered improvements to the truck. The flathead got the Redline Rebuild treatment, wiring was cleaned up, and a small amount of insulation was placed inside the cab. It can run down the road at 65 mph without much issue, but the flathead is turning nearly 3200 rpm at that speed. Not ideal.

The plan is for Davin to give the truck two more gears by swapping that original three-speed for a T5 five-speed. It’s a common and durable transmission that has a better spread between the gears, not to mention an overdrive. Of course, nothing just bolts right in, so Davin has a few tasks to tackle before he can pilot the ’46 Ford again.

First up is disassembly and removing all the items in the way of test fitting the T5 while also getting the “new” transmission ready for installation. That means changing out the speedometer drive, cleaning the case, and inspecting the internals to ensure that it’ll function as expected once installed. Sounds simple, but this is just the first part of the three part series that will wrap up this swap. (To never miss an update or project, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel.)

Thanks to our sponsor RockAuto.com. RockAuto.com is an auto parts retailer founded in 1999 by automotive engineers with two goals: Liberate information hidden behind the auto parts store counter (by listing all available parts, not just what one store stocks or one counter-person knows), and make auto parts affordable so vehicles of all ages can be kept reliable and fun to drive. Visit RockAuto.com to order auto parts online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have them conveniently delivered to your door. Need help finding parts or placing an order? Visit our Help pages for further assistance!

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