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Old 12-26-2017, 01:58 PM   #1
Holzy
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3ontree column shifter used for Automatic tranny?

I am converting to an Automatic from a 3 on the tree. I was wondering if anyone has kept the column in and used the either the Reverse/1 gear or the 2/3 gear to link the automatic transmission. Saw it Ed China (wheeler dealers) do it on an old ford.
Was thinking it could work, just no indicator on the column or neutral safety switch (which you can't have anyway in this conversion).

If you used the the reverse/ 1st gear, at least you would have to pull in to engage the automatic F/R.

Anyone tried this?
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Old 12-27-2017, 10:19 AM   #2
kamkam1
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Re: 3ontree column shifter used for Automatic tranny?

I used 2/3 on my 68 years ago, worked well but I must stress it was dangerous, without a safety neutral switch.
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Old 12-27-2017, 06:20 PM   #3
weim55
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Re: 3ontree column shifter used for Automatic tranny?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kamkam1 View Post
I used 2/3 on my 68 years ago, worked well but I must stress it was dangerous, without a safety neutral switch.
Like he said...... No detents and no neutral safety. I've done it and it does work just fine. Just zip tie the unused arm in the Full up or full down position so the shifter doesn't hit the wrong gate in use.

Steve weim55 Colorado
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Old 12-27-2017, 06:53 PM   #4
Holzy
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Re: 3ontree column shifter used for Automatic tranny?

Thanks Steve. I saw on the CPP site, they actually have a kit for this conversion.
So in using the 2/3 gear, is all the way up park, then as you slide it down it goes through neutral-drive-reverse all the down? Does it ever slip since there are no in dents?

I will be using a 700R tranny.
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Old 12-27-2017, 11:07 PM   #5
weim55
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Re: 3ontree column shifter used for Automatic tranny?

Internally the transmission has a rolling detent so it will not slip out of your position. You are correct, the shift pattern is the same as it would be with a factory automatic column, park at the top, low at the bottom.

Steve weim55 Colorado
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Old 12-30-2017, 02:03 PM   #6
dell72
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Re: 3ontree column shifter used for Automatic tranny?

I did this on my 69 C10 when I first converted to a SBC/auto after seeing a similar conversion on TV. I used the 2/3 gate with a zip tie on the unused R/1 gate.

I didn't like not having a gate on the column to ensure the shifter wouldn't fall out of park. The other issue was it is muscle memory to pull back slightly on the shifter when coming out of park. This would cause the zip tie to stretch or break, causing a lost shifter situation.

Ultimately I pulled a non-tilt auto column from a 78 Chevy van at the salvage yard and installed it in the truck. It looks and works like an OEM setup and offers a detent gate and shift indicator when the wife drives it.
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Old 12-30-2017, 05:16 PM   #7
Holzy
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Re: 3ontree column shifter used for Automatic tranny?

Those were some of my concerns as well. But I got to thinking, what if you use the R/1 gear. This would mean you would have to pull back on the shifter when you want to change gears. Once you pull back and put it in drive or reverse, when let go it would stay in that gear until you pull back again to move it. This would eliminate possible accidental gear changes. The only issue I can think of is you may loose where the shifter is in the cycle. I may experiment.
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Old 12-30-2017, 08:16 PM   #8
dell72
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Re: 3ontree column shifter used for Automatic tranny?

The R/1 gate lever is closest to the firewall making it difficult to hook up linkage to that lever. The other issue I experienced is without a lever hooked to the unused lever, there is no tension on that gate. When my zip tie broke it caused the shift gates to go into what I can only describe as a "lost" mode where moving the shifter would not do any thing out in the engine compartment.

I found it necessary to have another person operate the shifter while I held the unused shift lever in the engine compartment. By holding the lever it placed tension on the shifter assembly and I was able to make the lever move with the shifter so a new ziptie could be added.

I always feared this would happen when I was by self or when my wife was driving the truck causing the truck to become stuck in whatever gear it broke in. I wasn't all too concerned if this happened while I was driving as I could put the truck in drive with the engine off and limp it home, but if it happened to my wife she would most likely be stranded.
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Old 12-30-2017, 08:51 PM   #9
Boog
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Re: 3ontree column shifter used for Automatic tranny?

Yes you can use a 3ott column with an automatic but why would you want to except for temporary shop use? I am doing it right now with mine to temporarily move the truck around the shop only. I would never use it on the street. Accidents happen. With the supply of used and new auto columns available there is simply no good excuse to not grab one up and do this right and safe.
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