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Gear Ratios


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I'm half afraid I'm going to open a can of worms, but here goes. This is mainly an intellectual exercise, so any and all opinions are welcome.

After two years of tinkering, I've finally got my 1950 Windsor to where I can actually take it places, and I'm very pleased with it in general. Its smooth, quiet, and comfortable. The only thing that bothers me is how busy the engine seems above 50 MPH. She'll do seventy down the interstate with no drama, but its clear she wasn't built for those speeds; much happier around 50-55.

Which brings me to gear ratios: have any of you guys played around with attempting to gear these things higher? I know the aftermarket sells higher ratio gears for Chevrolets of this era, and wonder if there are any available for Mopars. Also I wonder if a rear end for a straight eight car (New Yorker, Imperial?) would have a higher ratio, and how that would work out.

The engine seems plenty powerful to (to me at least) to handle a higher ratio, and I'm just wondering what you more experienced guys think.

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. . . She'll do seventy down the interstate with no drama, but its clear she wasn't built for those speeds; much happier around 50-55. . . .

Mind if I ask a prying question? How old are you?

The reason I ask your age is that I find the younger the person is the more worried they seem to be about relative high RPMs for cruise speeds.

That engine should be able to run 3200 RPM all day everyday. Find out what your mounted tire diameter is (your tire vendor should have that information or you can measure it), use that and your rear end ratio to figure out what speed 3200 RPM works out to. I'm guessing it is at least 65 for your car. I've got one such calculator on my web site at http://www.ply33.com/Misc/speed#calc but there are others.

It will sound busier than a post 1970s gas crunch car when they changed the rear end ratios for better mileage. But as long as your engine is in decent shape it is now big deal. Part of the sights, sounds, smells and feel of the older technology which is, for me, one of the charms.

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C49er: Just the kind of info I was looking for: don't screw with it, aint worth the trouble!

Ply33: Your right, I'm a youngster. Only 53. LOL! Sounds similar to all of the queries about changing to 12V you get here. I'm not really anxious to go fixing what isn't broke, just curious as to what (if anything) others might be doing.

CountryTravler: Thats just the kind of story I love to hear. Thanks!

A thought: perhaps higher gears are available for Chevrolets because they really DO need them, what with their splash-oiled babbit bearing bottom ends and all!

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We had a customer stop in our shop this past weekend from Oregon. He came to our shop on his 4 week vacation with his wife to Jamestown CA to participate in the Ironstone car show. It's a 1935 Dodge pick up with original rebuilt drive train. He had put 3500 miles on that truck in the last couple of weeks. He claims the he can do 55 all day long without dropping a gear in the hills of CA and Oregon. He has a 4.11 gears, 13 miles to the gallon and hovers around 170 with it being 100 degrees. So it goes to show you that you can drive these Dodges if the rebuild is done correctly The main job to do on these rebuilds is to blue print and balance. I had done this to the 409 Chevs in racing and I had only one engine let loose. That's because we only had a 2 bolt main lower end and we were twisting 8500 rpms on alcohol fuel. If you know 409s, this was un heard of in the mid 80s. Oh, by the way, they are in there mid 70s travailing around the west coast in a no air,cruise,power brakes and steering truck. Still retains the 6 volt system also. He did split the exhaust manifold to gain more power and to run cooler. A BIG KADOO FOR THESE real awesome people.







Edited by countrytravler (see edit history)
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A 3.54 ratio rear pumkin out of a 1946-48 chrysler will be a direct bolt in if you must!

I'd leave it alone. I don't have a problem with any of my 1950 chryslers.

Have a 48 Dodge with a flat 6 and with fluid drive.

Would the drive train (flywheel to drive shaft) bolt up behind the flat 8 on the 48 Chry?

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