Much cheaper and easier to slide first gear physically on mainshaft between reverse and first . Since 20’s. So it has to slide into
Mesh , cannot sync that design . To synchronize first needs another whole synchronizer sleeve, bearing mounted gear . Like 1-2. - By then you are very close to a 4 speed , with reverse put elsewhere . Probably they knew 833 was coming , why bother doing 100 % redo of three speed? + 10-20% mfg cost , on a three speed — soon to be dropped ? Except trucks . I don’t think mopar ever had a 3 speed all syncro? Maybe after 60’s.
It was quite a stir in 63 when Ford came out with a syncro first gear 3 speed . On all cars I think . Had one as company car . 260 v8 cheapie . But important for daily driver ? Not really? We were used to it . OD gets you some of that , used right . Many studebakers were like that, OD . And “hill holder”. No roll back . People liked it in 50’s ... but 4 spd GM had the cool image .
Ford had police T85 OD and no OD , a really tough transmission , no pin synchros., big cone synchros Good stuff, like Cad- Lasalle, or Packard ,you could shift it fast 1-2 .
I Had a 57 Ford 312 4 bbl ex police “interceptor “ 2 Dr sedan ( dog) , 125$ in 1960 — one day ( 400k Miles on it, 3rd motor) while drag racing shifted really fast to 2nd it went right into reverse instead no grind , let clutch up , face hit windshield , lost control hit a gas station pump to right of road . Interlock all worn out . Pulled the two shift arms to neutral under hood drove away . Trans ok . Decided to go mopar that day , but T 85 gearing IS bulletproof .. Ford 9” rear too .
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So if it was a new design
Why did it not have 1st
There are common misconceptions about this transmission. John is right, it's not a truck truck trans. May not have been used in trucks until 1965.
In 1962, Roger Huntingdon, SAE, wrote in HOT ROD: "This was the first all-new manual transmission design out of the American auto industry for about 20 years-and it incorporated al the lessons learned in that time." He does address issues with pin synchros - for the Ramchargers! Says it's "OK in most heavy duty applications."
You have to look at in the context of the time... People act like because it doesn't have a first gear synchro, it's from the Stone Age.
Maybe it's slow shifting but the 300-G with this trans broke 90 mph in the Standing Mile at Daytona. Something the Pont-a-Mousson 300-F couldn't do!
Not too bright to offer a 4 Dr sedan with a poor shifting 3 spd stick as competition to say a 61 Pontiac Ventura coupe .— while Pontiacs are at the bottom of my personal list, there is no question a 61 Ventura coupe with thin roof, in Titian red, two tone white and maroon leather with a 4 spd 421 tri Power is one beautiful looking ( and small ) car . Much better looking than a GTO , 8 bolt aluminum wheels too . I think the first well equipped muscle car . Really . Not a stripped racer . Or4 Dr sedan . The reason i join in on this is the best night of my life , in 1961, I beat a brand new one with 200 miles on it with my 57 D500 convert . Which had a 300D motor and Packard od; 3:70’s. State Cops got us— but I won! At 18 yo you are beside yourself !!
Not sure it was a truck trans , doubt it- it was a beefed up version of the older57-60 pin drive synchro trans , simply cannot be shifted fast . But much stronger. Pin Syncro second and third , ,crash box first . Jim Bartuska sent me a lot of factory data on that trans .
The “ word on the street”in 61 was 413 popped a T 10 4 spd .— instantly .421 Pontiac did too, twisted off input shaft gears . Right on edge , but Ventura a lighter car. That 4 spd trans came from 57 vette 283 .=weak , but a fast shifter, cone synchros . Mopar said no way .. 833 came in ?64 or 65 ? . All we had was that 3 spd, torqueflight faster especially 62.
In 62 I also saw a stick 413 or 426 max wedge 413 “ grandma sedan, “beige color, 62 dart kill a 425 409 with 4:11 who was the record holder at NE drag way. In 12”s . 3:70 dodge gears , all the aluminum and fiberglass stuff,— Chevy blew up at top of third , dodge still in second , a foot ahead , 100 feet from end of quarter . I made money !! 4 mopar and ford guys against 25 chev guys on the bet .
In max wedge that same 61-62 trans had a long handle taller than dash but it moved about 2” . If you pulled hard on it on 1-2 pins broke off fall into gear mesh= boom. Bad trans really .
T10 in a vette you could pull really hard and shift without touching clutch . Really , my friend broke off the lever at pivot one night .. . But not in a 421 , do that and boom .
Great to be 18—
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In 1963, I was very aware of the Pont-au-Mousson tranny from writeups so when I spotted a used 1961 Newport 2DHT with a stick, I jumped right on it. Kind of a poor-boy’s stick-shift Chrysler 300 at 1/3 the price. I drove it for a year or so in Omaha and the rubber floor mats were probably better for use in the winter. I did not enjoy driving it in stop and go traffic. It was hard on the clutch. I don’t recall it not having synchro’s on the top-two gears, anyway. The 351 was adequate but nothing fantastic. I traded it for a ’63 Newport 4DHT with Torqueflite and enjoyed that car, as did the carpool—especially after I hung an ARA air conditioner on it. I considered the 300J but two-doors were unhandy for four +-sized carpoolers and a couple of diminutive guys.
Rich B. in sunny CA—opening up a little.
My understanding was that Chrysler Corp felt that some of the GM 1961 models, especially Pontiac, had a price advantage over Chrysler.. So, they came out with the 1961 Windsor 4 door sedan with the 3 speed manual tranny at a base price of $2964. It also came with rubber floor mats instead of carpeting. Also, the same features were available in a 2 door hardtop for about $50 more. I remember this because my dad was a Chrysler dealer at the time and he sold a few of these cars. But the automatic tranny was still preferred by most customers despite the increased price.
John Hertog had a 61 Newport 3 speed stick.
I was told it was basically
Only offered so they could
List the automatic as a option
Motor Life, April 1961 has an article on a 300G stick coupe. the pictures show the shifter to the left of the console. I’ve also seen a 300G coupe with a factory stick shift back in the ‘80s at a local show. I’m told they are difficult to drive, no syncro in first, and the clutch pedal was heavy.. The article states that the idle speed was at 1100 RPM, and the writer had an issue with it.
Posted by: John Grady <jkg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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