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Early Ford Transmission Rebuild - request for advice


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I’m rebuilding a 1950 Allard K2 which originally used a standard Ford 3 speed topload transmission with a Lincoln Zephyr gear set. After some research, guys told me that the English built Allard uses the same trans as the US built cars but the Allard didn’t have a serial number stamped on the transmission case as the vehicle ID was stamped on a tag on the vehicle firewall. OK no problem, after a year of searching, paying too much and, driving 600 miles, I found a no serial number 1939 Ford transmission that was used but in really nice shape. I also found a NOS set of LZ gears and was ready for the swap.  I really wanted the transmission to be rebuilt correctly so I talked to the owner of a Ford transmission repair shop and he said he understood what needed to be done and said it was no problem and he could credit my job with any useable parts from the core transmission. So boxed up the trans, new LZ gears and other parts and sent it off to be rebuilt.

When the shop received the transmission, they said it was an early ’39 transmission so needed some additional parts. I didn’t know the difference between early and late transmission internals so trusted the shop and said fine, go ahead and rebuild the transmission.

About a month later, I got a call from the shop owner saying that the transmission was done and none of the parts inside were any good so no credit value for the old parts. I asked to return the old parts anyhow because you never know…

When the transmission was returned, the rebuild shop had swapped my transmission case with someone else’s transmission so now the core that I paid top dollar was gone and replaced with a common transmission with a big 18-48XXXXX serial number very conspicuously stamped above the clutch inspection cover. Also, my very nice shifter lever wasn’t returned and only the old cluster gear was returned for old parts.

I did call the shop and ask why they rebuilt and sent me someone else’s transmission and I got a page long email that basically said they aren’t going to do anything to make things right.

So after $3,500 in cost plus another $250 that I need to spend to buy a shift lever and 600 miles to pick up the correct core part for my car, I have a regular old Ford transmission. The rebuilt transmission seems OK so I don’t have any complaints about that but it’s just the wrong transmission which really annoys me.


What would you guys do?

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Thanks for the comment.  The overall cost was high but I would be OK with that if they hadn't switched cases on me. I did tell the shop owner that it was a no serial number case and he even had it in his notes which he admitted. It's hardly a matter to sue over but really annoying. 

I wonder if I can shot peen the serial number off and have it still look like a casting or something like that?

Other than that, maybe I can find a NOS case and switch the guts. Should have done the rebuild myself in the first place. 

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