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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New year, new projects right? Well, sort of, at least for Davin and the Redline Rebuild crew. Last year was a bit of a debacle, given how the Buick straight-eight progressed (and regressed at times) but all that is behind us. Now the focus is on tackling some things left undone from 2020, while also crossing off some checklist items for 2021.

The first item under consideration is the ’37 Ford race car. The Chrysler 440 block is hung in the chassis now, but a bare block is not going to push this car through laps at a dirt track. Davin is going to get cracking on that engine and kick off the rest of the fabrication to get that car track-ready. He says it will be doing laps this year, which is a big goal, but if anyone is going to knock that project out of the park in that timeline it’s him.

Next on the roster is a new addition to the garage. So many motorcycle riders started their two-wheeled addiction onboard a Honda Trail 70 just like the orange 1973 model that recently came into our care. It’s in good shape cosmetically, but pretty sad shape mechanically. A full teardown and rebuild is in its future—and likely some trail miles, too.

The traditional Redline Rebuild viewers will be pleased to hear at least one future project is an engine, and an interesting one at that. Hagerty has a 1957 Cadillac four-door that has been a part of the company collection for decades, and it is is well deserving of a refresh. Davin will be taking on the engine while another team will be handling the body and other mechanical parts.

Lastly, our 1946 Ford pickup will be getting a T5 transmission to replace the original three-speed. Davin already started on this project, but like any big swap, it hasn’t been without its challenges. None of these hurdles can’t be jumped, of course, but the process takes a little time. Getting it right the first time is priority number one.

All of this will, of course, be thoroughly documented with weekly updates and also larger feature videos. If you want to see the work done and also how we do it, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty Youtube channel.

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