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!