Converting '68 Galaxie to a 5 speed manual...

I've decided the slush-box in my Galaxie has _got_ to go. I need a real transmission, even if it makes me go broke (which I expect it will). I want to put a 5 speed overdrive transmission in there. I'm starting to research
exactly what this entails and the cost.
My car is a '68 Galaxie 500 2 tudor hardtop with a fresh 302 (306 with just shy of 2,000 miles on it).
Anywho... What parts will I need and where can I find them? Roughly how much is this swap gonna cost? Any resources for information or tips and tricks? I imagine finding a clutch pedal assembly will be tough. Also, I'm wondering what I will use for a driveshaft... Is there any vehicle I can use a factory one from? How about for my clutch linkage? Can I use a factory z-bar setup (if I can find one), or should I use a cable clutch? If so what do I use for that? I'm sure there are plenty of things I'm not thinking of.
I've been dreaming about powershifting through the gears all day... <grin> Unfortunately in order to do that I've got to do a hell of a lot of work to the car. I can't stand sitting there and doing nothing while I drive. It's alright since I'm driving a cool car, but I want a manual transmission. It would make the car much more fun to drive. I also want it for the overdrive gear, as it will let me get deeper rear end gears. My 2.80:1 gears just don't cut it with a small block. I'm too slow off the line, and it certainly doesn't help any with my 12.75:1 compression (All I've got to say to that one is oops. LOL).
Cory
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The mustang 5 speeds use a cable clutch, so the Z bar won't do you any good. You'll have to do a cable set up. There is a company "windsor-fox" I think they are called that makes assemblies to put the newer stuff in old fords, mustangs in particular. You may be able to adapt something they have if they don't already make something.
You'll probably also need a new driveshaft. If you don't have a floor shift already you'll have to put a hole in the floor. Hopefully there is punch out there for it.

I figured you'd be going for the fuel economy.
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Cory Dunkle wrote:

I've heard of that company before... I'll have to check it out.

That hole-cutting is the part I'm not looking forward to. I think that will be one of those measure thrice, sleep on it, measure again, and then cut with a fresh mind situations. heh heh

11.5 MPG (on my last tank) isn't cutting it. I'd imagine after the initial swap my mileage will go _way_ down when I'm still in the "Oh my God this is so damn fun!" period. After that it should go up some. :)
Cory
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install pedals, use a cable, 83-93 T5 bellhousing,85-93 5.0 V8 transmission, modify trans mount & driveshaft,install 370-ish rear gear, inquire about parts used to convert the older 65-73 mustangs to 5 speed.
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It's a stupid idea. If you want such a car, get yourself a rice burner.
None of the Mustang trannys recommended so far will handle that kind of weight.
You sound like a 20 year old twerp who needs to be driving a Honda.
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I _do_ have a Honda. It's an '86 Prelude. It was fun to drive but overall I don't like the car. It's got half an engine, and is a sub-subcompact. I like full-size cars. If a modern 5 speed can't handle the weight of my Galaxie even after deeper gears I'll end up beefing it up if possible, if not then I would have to go with a toploader and lose the overdrive. Anywho, I'm trying to sell the Honda... If you want a Prelude with a 1.8 dual carb and a 5 speed let me know... Stop by with $200 and it's yours.
Cory
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(...)
These types of conversions are expensive, hard to do and may not work very well. Plus it will decrease the value of the car greatly, because it is so far from original condition.
Get yourself a used car with a 5 speed. Hint: Used cars with standard transmissions sell for less because not that many people know how to drive a standard. So you should be able to pick one up cheap. I have a 97 Ford Contour V6 with a 5-Speed. It has 100,000 mi and runs great. There are many other good cars with standard transmissions in your price range. If you shop well, you should be able to pick up a BMW with a standard for pretty cheap. A deal has a '91 318i with a 5 speed and 154k mi for just $4000. You should be able to get yourself other used 5 speeds (VWs, Hyundais, Hondas, and so on) for pretty cheap, especially if you shop well.
Jeff
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I'm not concerned about the value of the car. I do not intend to ever sell it. It was originally my great grandmothers car. It's already gone from original as I've got an '85 302 block in it, an '84 aluminum intake, and some unknown Holley carb. The original heads are gone, though everything else original to the car I do have, and intend to keep... Just in case I ever want to put it back to original. Since I'm never going to sell it the value of the car is whatever it's worth to _me_, not a potential buyer. It would be worth a lot more to me if it had a manual transmission, and an overdrive gear would also increase it's value to me as I could go with deeper rear end gears and still get better mileage. Remember, this is my daily driver for the forseeable future.

I have _two_ used cars with 5 speeds in them. An '86 Honda Prelude with a 1.8l dual carb and an '86 Olds Calais Supreme with a 2.5l fuel injection. The Prelude is a sub-subcompact which although is fun to drive hurts to sit in for more than 30 minutes (I'm 6'3" and I hit the roof unless the sunroof is open) and is also useless in the winter. The Olds is a decent car, very comfortable for a compact. It doesn't cut it though. I want a big car and I want a car with a whole engine. I'm debating whether I should keep the Olds around for a winter beater/backup vehicle or sell it. All it needs is a new alternator, some work to the rear brakes, and an exhaust leak fixed. If it wasn't for the 5 speed that Olds would have been intolerably boring to drive.
Cory
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If it is a daily driver, do you really want to under take a big job like this? If everythine doesn't go together well, you could be in trouble. Of course, you could always put the old transmission back in, at least for a while.
As far as the gas mileage is concerned, the it is not gear ratio in the transmission or the rear end that really matters. It is the final drive ratio (number of times the engine turns each time the rear wheels turn that counts). So if you putting in lower gears in the rear end and put overdrive in the transmission, you may end up with a lower final drive ratio and worse mileage.
But you might still end up with better performance, because you have more speeds and better gearing, and perhaps better gas milage becuase you have a higher high gear and still a lower first gear.
(...)

The Olds Calais is probably pretty rare. May be valuable as an antique, too. Not many Olds available for sale anymore. I think the Olds Alero 5 speed is supposed to be pretty good, too. But rush and get one, if you want one. ;-)
Of course, I had no idea that you more than one car.
If changing the transmission to a manual makes you happy, happy shifting.
For me, I have given up worrying about the sales value of my 97 Contour. It has a manual, lots of miles and very low sales value. I plan on running it as long as it is sort of reliable and is safe. I hope to get another 100,000 mi or more.
Good luck,
Jeff

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says...

FWIW, the C-4 can be tweaked to respectable performance levels.
But I sympathize with wanting a manual gearbox. However I am skeptical about the longevity of the mustang transmission in such a heavy car at the performance level you seem to want.
I think I would be looking for a top-loader four speed and about 3.90 gears. Lots of Torino parts will fit, if you can find them.
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I believe for a 5 speed I would need to come up with some way to modify my crossmember to mount it. What about a toploader? Would that mount to my current FMX crossmember without modification?
Also, are Torino clutch pedals the same as Galaxie pedals? I think this may be one of the harder parts to find.
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Have you searched for a Galaxie-specific forum? You are going to need advice from someone very hip to that particular series of car. I'm going to bet that the clutch pedal does not cross over to Torinos. You might start with Crites and see if he knows.
Another alternative, if you want something livelier to drive, is to have a manual valve body AOD automatic built. This requires you to shift up and down in traffic, which can be interesting with a ratchet shifter. The OD will allow you to put 4.11 or 4.30 gears out back and still have about the same ratio you have now in 3rd.
CobraJet

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snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net says...

This is where you get out your measuring tape and check the distance from the engine flange to the tail mount and the tail mount requirements. The trannies came with a couple different tailshaft housings, depending on vehicle. I think if you find the right length, it will fall right in.

I was thinking mainly of drivetrain parts. I can't imagine there being that many '68 Galaxies with manual transmision. Myself, I have never seen any manual Galaxies newer than '66. They were supposed to be sorta cushy family-type cars. Which is why I suggested Torino as a possibility, being big body but more racy. The pedals should be similar, as they tended to use the same processes throughout the line to keep costs down. Likely to have the same pivot shaft diameter, but maybe longer or shorter, bent in different places, linkage a little different, etc. Maybe usable or not.
Maybe even more worrisome is that little bracket that bolts to the frame with the pivot for the clutch equalizer arm. If you can't find or fabricate one of those to line up with the pivot on the bellhousing, you're heading into cable or hydraulic land.
You need to make friends with a junkyard owner who still has these relics lying around and will let you poke around with a flashlight and measuring tape.
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Ol' Duffer wrote:

MT 4 spd 390, MT 4 spd 428, MT 3 spd 240 (the big six), MT 3 spd 302 & MT 3 spd 390 are the only manual Galaxies I know of made in 68. Threes were "on the tree" of course.
Rob
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I almost bought a '69 500XL vert, 390 with 3spd on the column once. Guy wanted too much for it and had what I swear was a dummy bidder to get me to go higher. I walked away. Anyway, they are out there.
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Actually, the base full size Ford through 1972 had a 240 straight six and three on the column. The trick is finding one. They were called the Custom, and most of them went to fleet sales. Even the fleet sales vehicles generally had a least a 302/C-4 combo. However, they were built on the same frame and body as the Galaxie, so they were essentially the same car.
I saw a '69 Custom 2 door sedan a few years ago. They wanted $1200 for it. It had the 240, three speed, and was equipped with a huge vacuum gauge on the dash. They told me that it was bought new by a miserly old guy who owned it until he died. I could just picture him watching that vacuum gauge to make sure he always shifted economically.
I wish I had bought it now - it was in excellent shape, and I had no way of knowing the frame was about to fail on my '69 Galaxie 429. Think of that dowdy, stripped down car with a 429 in it. What a fooler it would be.
So, there is a source for a clutch pedal assembly and related parts for the Galaxie, if you can just find one.
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hi cory - you've been in this newsgroup for quite some time and have read good and bad ideas.
i'm very familiar with the 1968, and i know what you mean about the slush box feeling. but i've done my share of conversions, and while i'm not saying it would be a bad idea, there is going to be some things to consider.
first, and foremost, what are you wanting to do and how much are you willing to spend to get to where you want to go? if you just want the feeling of running through the gears, my suggestion is to find a car of that year already made that way - it will be cheaper in the long run.
second, if you are wanting to put a 5 speed in and that's it, you will not be happy with the performance. you are looking at a rear end swap to give the torque off from the stop light, because the automatic had somewhere about 3.00 whereas the manuals were about 3.25 or 3.50
once you convert everything you will have a nice car but it won't be a performance car. if you try to jump on it. you are going to get wheel hop, which calls for more money to plant those tires firmly on the ground.
and it's not going to corner that well, because it is set up at a family car.
that's the problem or the nice thing - depending on how you look at it, the manufacture in later years has taken a lot of problems out of the equation and address them, such cornering, and beefed up suspension.
if you want a hopped up car right from the factory, i've found the 99 ford c.v. are great with not that much money to put in them. i find them for 4500 to 5000 for a good one with 3.55 positive gears and almost a 50/50 weight ration for cornering. when you start hacking, sawing and cutting and maybe welding, i'm just wanting you to be happy with the finished product because nothing gives you the feeling of a job well done that you did yourself.
explore all options.
let me know if you are interested in those police pursuits.
~ curtis
knowledge is power - growing old is mandatory - growing wise is optional "Many more men die with prostate cancer than of it. Growing old is invariably fatal. Prostate cancer is only sometimes so."
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so I could tell everyone it was stock <G> The old cars with the bellcrank or equalizer shaft are a pain to ever get right. I'd use a trans, bellhousing, starter and flywheel from an F 150 with the 302 in it. Go with hydraulic actuation (maybe a dual master cylinder?) and fit a driveshaft from the truck to your Galaxie. I know the weight of the truck should be equal or greater than your old Galaxie so the torque to weight issue should be moot. Since the 5 spd is an overdrive, you need 3:07 to 3:55 gears to give about 2000 rpm's at 70 ish (depending on the tires you use) There, change back from 2 cents! I'd do it!
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