Ford Three Speed Transmission Repairs

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Purchase the parts and repair it yourself 
Send your transmission to our shop for repairs
Consider buying one of our rebuilt transmissions

Our specialty is the service of early Ford or Mercury 3 speed standard transmissions from 1928 up through 1962 (and up through 1966 on the Falcon/early Mustang 3 speed transmissions). This includes the Ford and Mercury 3 speed overdrive transmissions from 1949 through 1962. We do not repair any automatic transmissions.

If you are confident in your skills and wish to simply purchase the parts you need, please call our sales office to check price and availability for the items you need. We offer an online parts price guide (see link below) with many of the popular pieces listed. Not all items are listed so be sure to check with us if you don't see it online. Please consider purchasing our book:  The Ins and Outs of Early Ford Transmissions , which is a great guide in the identification and assembly of the 1932-52 transmissions, plus much additional information (gear charts, serial number charts, parts specifications, etc) to help you. Click here for info on the book.

If you would prefer to send your transmission here in Cincinnati, Ohio for service, please contact us for more specific information. We request that all service jobs be discussed and reserved in advance. We normally allow about 4 weeks for a repair job, although it can take longer if a particular part must be located from outside of our parts stock. Regular 1932-48 three speed transmissions can be shipped via UPS, in a compact wood crate to prevent damage. This will protect your transmission, and provide the packaging for the return shipment. We will no longer accept transmissions sent to us in cardboard cartons. We have developed a crate design that works well for the early Ford 3 speed transmissions up through 1948. You can purchase a crate from us for $125.00, which we can ship to you via UPS. Or you can make a crate yourself using the following diagrams (click on links below):


The 1949 and newer passenger car transmissions have a longer, slender shape and require a different shape for the wood crate. We recommend building a crate with general dimensions of about 16" x 16" x 36" long (or 38" long if the transmission is a 1955-59 truck light duty overdrive type), using the same type materials as the above crate. You will have to place wood cross braces and supports inside to handle these longer transmissions, including the overdrive types. All transmission cores sent to us for rebuilding must be shipped via UPS Ground in a wood crate. We will not accept LTL truck shipments as we do not have sufficient driveway footage to allow long trucks to maneuver. The maximum weight for UPS Ground shipments is 150 lbs. Please contact us before building a crate if you are not sure of making the weight limit. You may also bring your transmission to our shop for rebuilding. Please call ahead to schedule a drop-off. The following link shows our suggested crate if you choose to build it yourself. Please note that we strongly urge you to remove the solenoid and governor (pack separately in padded bags) from any overdrive type transmissions sent for rebuilding.



We have the special tools and equipment in our shop, plus the experience of many rebuilds to provide you with competent and efficient repair of your transmission. Our shop rate is currently $130.00 per hour. There is a charge for the casting cleaning process (including repaint) for the four pieces that make up the overall housing. This is a thermal bake process plus a media blast before paint (standard colors: black or cast blast gray).  Antique Ford green, antique Ford blue, or other non-standard colors are extra cost and subject to availability). The clean/repaint charge is $125.00 for regular 3 speed transmissions and $150.00 for overdrive transmissions. We do not quote a standard rebuild charge since we do not know in advance what parts might be needed beyond the usual bearings, seals, gaskets, etc. Once we have completed the teardown and inspection of your gearbox and gears, we will contact you with an estimate of your total cost of the rebuild.

A common question is how much do we charge for a rebuild. The common wear parts (bearings, seals, thrust washers, gaskets, etc) will typically run about $250.00 to $325.00 but can go higher if additional pieces are needed. A regular three speed toploader transmission typically takes about 6.5 hours actual shop time to do a normal teardown, cleanup, and reassembly. Regular side loader transmissions take about 7 hours. Overdrive units (1949-60 Borg Warner type) will take a minimum of 12 hours but can take up to 14 hours depending on the level of rusted or damaged parts.

A deposit of $200.00 is required with the start of a regular standard transmission rebuild job. A $300.00 deposit is required on all overdrive transmission jobs. The balance (including return shipping cost) will be charged on completion of the work. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card, and American Express. All rebuild work must be paid by credit card.

 We welcome customers who wish to visit the shop or plan to drop off your transmission, but require that you make an appointment ahead of time. Our shop is located in the eastern Cincinnati area (southwest Ohio). Please call for directions.

If you wish to purchase a complete rebuilt transmission, we can build it to order, subject to availability of all the necessary components for your specific transmission application. We do not require a core transmission, nor do we offer an exchange program. If you have a core transmission that you would like to send us for credit, we will gladly accept that for evaluation toward any credit value on the parts, subject to our inspection of the transmission (or individual gears as may apply). Core transmissions or internal gears must be shipped prepaid to our Milford location, and MUST include full name, address, and contact telephone number with the shipment. We suggest that you contact us prior to shipping core items to us. Please call us to discuss building a complete transmission and for price quotations.

Effective immediately, all transmission shipments will be handled ONLY on Wednesdays due to the logistics of transporting the complete core or the finished transmission to the local UPS facility. Your rebuild might be completed on a Wednesday but the final transaction and shipment may not occur until the following Wednesday. We apologize for any inconvenience or delay resulting from this policy.

Also, UPS is charging surcharges for heavy articles that are shipped to a residential address. Our address here in Milford, Ohio is a commercial address. However, when we return the rebuild to you, a surcharge may apply if we are sending the crate to your residential address. If you have an option to have it sent to a commercial address near you, please consider checking that out to save yourself money, and let us know ahead of time.

Mac VanPelt 
P. O. Box 327
Batavia, Ohio  45103   USA

(513) 724-9486 (Mon-Thursday 9:00am to 5:00pm Eastern Time)

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