Transmission Question


Sharpest Tool
Jun 15, 2010
Willys Model
Willys Year:
I have read that 2nd gear is the weak link in the transmissions. first is this true? Second if it is can anyone recomend a trans that will bolt up to a 226? Would prefer to stay with a manual but if I need to go automatic that just means the wife could drive it easier.
My understanding is that second gear will pop out when the engine is coasting or braking the truck. The build of the transmission pushes the gear forward when the truck speed overruns the engine and if the shift fork or syncro ring is worn it can be forced out of gear. So if it is in good condition mechanically it will work fine behind a stock motor.
Yes, our '65 wagon with the T90 used to pop out of 2nd gear when we drove down hill. Installed a new second gear and synchro ring and the transmission works fine.
I'm looking to upgrade to a T19 Ford transmission with close ratio (not the stump pulling 1st that the rock crawler guys want). According to the guys at Novak, it is not a difficult conversion needing an adaptor plate, that they sell for over $400. I don't believe them because the mechanical clutch linkage has to be adapted to the side of the Ford unit. Also there are potential problems with the shape of the transmission tunnel which will be much worse with earlier trucks/wagons. Then you have to shorten the rear prop shaft and lengthen the front one.... then there's my PTO shaft to alter!
In the end, I'll probably just stick to the T90 3 speed until I have a burst of enthusiasm...
Jeff, I have experienced this as well. I broke second gear twice under the strain of the V8. No more V8. As far as popping out of gear...Yes. My experience on two seperate vehicles / transmissions was due to the shift fork wear. You can't tell just by looking at the fork because the wear is uniform, it gets to a point where it does not fully engage the shift collar, therefore when I let off the gas it pops out of gear. Not a real big deal, but annoying. I changed out the forks each time and the problem was fixed. Finding good forks is the hard part. Luckily the that problem has not occured in my current trans / vehicle.

Regarding the trans swap...No bolt ups that i'm aware of, but Anything can be made to fit.