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Old 04-15-2018, 02:47 AM   #1
Matt_50
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Choosing a transmission crossmember

I want to buy one of those universal bolt in crossmembers for my trans. I cut up the factory one and kinda made it work... but I'll save myself some future headaches by just buying one.

Factory 50 frame. Th350 trans.

I've never bought a universal crossmember before so I want to make sure I have this correct. I need to buy a mount pad, anchor style? I need to install the pad, support the trans and then measure how far down the bottom of pad is compared to bottom of frame rails and that's my drop right?

And to get the angle perfect, I can shim some if needed?
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:01 AM   #2
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

I can get this mount up the street and this is the kind of crossmember I'm wanting. Just want to make I get the right one.
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:32 AM   #3
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

Let us know how it works, once you do it
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:34 AM   #4
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

I used that one on my '55 2nd series and had to modify it extensively because I put my power brake unit in its way. Without the brake unit in the way it would have worked without a problem. On a '50 frame your mileage may vary.

I'm not sure what a "mount pad, anchor style" is. You show the crossmember and the trans mount in your picture. That should be all you need.

Someone with an AD truck can fill in...
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:17 PM   #5
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

I used one like that and it worked great

Messages Image(4025115421) by Joe Doh, on Flickr
IMG_7453 by Joe Doh, on Flickr

I used the extra pieces from the engine mount crossmember to make it removable.

one thing to watch is the "drop" amount, I used a 2" drop and next time I will use a 4" drop so my exhaust fits better.

also, my trans mount had a single center bolt so I had to modify the mounting pad slightly

IMG_7408 by Joe Doh, on Flickr
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:37 PM   #6
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

I used a 2nd gen Camaro trans crossmember on mine. A little bit of fabbing, but the right width and bends for exhaust.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:42 PM   #7
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

Google called that kind of mount, a pad and a anchor style kind... My biggest question is, how do i measure and get the correct drop?
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:51 PM   #8
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

universal kits need to be cut to size and welded onto the frame
if your going to cut and weld use square tube. it's cheap and just as easy to fabricate
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:02 PM   #9
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

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Originally Posted by Matt_50 View Post
Google called that kind of mount, a pad and a anchor style kind... My biggest question is, how do i measure and get the correct drop?
mock the trans up with the right down angle and see where the trans mount sits in relation to your framerails. use a straightedge if you have to, then figure out if you need it to go up or down and how much. its literally that easy. of course it wasnt so easy that I did it haha, so learn from my mistake.
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Old 04-16-2018, 04:03 AM   #10
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

Ogre I don't trust my welding skills enough to make my own crossmember yet. So I went and ordered the bolt in. I put a yard stick across the rails and measured up and a 2 inch should work out. I'll post when it comes in.
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Old 04-16-2018, 04:15 AM   #11
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

Be sure to pay attention to driveshaft angles:

https://www.google.com/search?client...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

Also, if you need to revert back to a welded-up crossmember, just tack it in place, then take it to a buddy that is a good welder, along with some adult beverages...
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Old 04-16-2018, 04:32 AM   #12
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

Lol I've had to get a welder buddy by a few times, it's just not very often. So I try to do as much as I can with very little welding mixed in. I've started getting better at it but I've got a ways to go.

I've got an angle finder and I'm ready. I'm going to level the carb and get the end of trans at like 3-4 degrees right? Same with axle... not welded to seats yet... but I need to make sure it's not perfectly lined up. Or so I'm told.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:25 AM   #13
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

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Lol I've had to get a welder buddy by a few times, it's just not very often. So I try to do as much as I can with very little welding mixed in. I've started getting better at it but I've got a ways to go.

I've got an angle finder and I'm ready. I'm going to level the carb and get the end of trans at like 3-4 degrees right? Same with axle... not welded to seats yet... but I need to make sure it's not perfectly lined up. Or so I'm told.
Just like the articles in the link will tell you -- the centerlines of the transmission and the pinion yoke should be parallel, and you should shoot for each angle being 3 degrees (optimally), to achieve that parallelism.

If you line everything up perfectly at zero degrees instead of 3 degrees, the truck will be a big tuning fork and you'll be able to take it out for a butt massage.

Leveling the carb is a good thing but, in my opinion, not as critical as drive train geometry.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:04 PM   #14
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

I'm reading up on setting the angle and I'm a bit lost. I do not have my driveshaft cut to the right size yet. So I cannot install it and put an angle finder on it. I thought I could set everything by going off of trans and diff. Am I wrong?
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:29 PM   #15
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

set the truck on a level surface and with wheels etc on. if you have a rake angle picked that the suspension is set up for then get the truck at that angle. long story short, get the truck sitting at the rake angle and suspension ride height it will be run at. whether that be sitting on stands or whatever. just be sure to have the stands under the axles so the suspension is carrying the weight like it will be when driving. next, put an angle finder on the engine oil pan rails and mess around with a floor jack under the rear of the trans untill you get the engine at a 3 deg "down at the rear" angle. install the rear trans mount of your choice, set a level across the trans mount to cross member surface of that mount (level it of course) and hold there with cable ties or whatever. measure up from the level surface to where you want the cross member to be mounted on the frame. that measurement will be the amount of drop member required.
pretty easy now to draw that up on a piece of cardboard from a large box and take it to any welding shop with a pic of the bought cross member for their reference of what you want. they could fab one up in no time. then bolt it into your frame. the shop will need to know the width of the frame rails at the mounting point and how much slip you want for one tube to slide inside the other (for width adjustment as per the bought member)
so 3 deg down on the engine/trans combo and 3 deg up measured on the flat of the pinion yoke if you don't have a drive shaft. d/shaft needs to be the last thing in the puzzle after everything else is finished, mount wise.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:31 PM   #16
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

Quote:
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I'm reading up on setting the angle and I'm a bit lost. I do not have my driveshaft cut to the right size yet. So I cannot install it and put an angle finder on it. I thought I could set everything by going off of trans and diff. Am I wrong?

you absolutely dont put the angle finder on the driveshaft. you set the trans angle with the angle finder on the flat part of the trans and the axle angle withe the angle finder on the nose of the rear.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:40 PM   #17
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

Ok good, article was going on about u joint working angles and stuff. As far as installing the crossmember... I need 3 degree down.


I put the angle finder here... is that Ok? Granted this is on the hacked up member I'm replacing...
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:48 PM   #18
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

like said. the confusing part is yet to come. leaf spring wind up factor. some guys fudge the pinion angle because they have big motors and when they "hit it" the spring wind up from acceleration changes the pinion angle a bunch and causes vibration under load due to the working angles of the u joints being so different. ask any 4x4 guy who has a spring spacer block lift kit and he will tell you all about his troubles. one reason why some guys go with a 4 link rear suspension or have fancy looking traction bars.
just set the pinion angle to be opposite the trans angle and go with it.
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:09 AM   #19
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

Thanks for the quick responses. So I can get the crossmember in and safely weld everything in its final place as long as I have 3 degree down on a level surface, weight on the wheels....


I'll weld and set the axle at the right angle when I'm ready for driveshaft.

Ive never been the hotrod pedal to the metal sort, so I hope I can avoid any leaf spring wind up stuff.

You said 3 down and 3 up. Some of the articles said to be off a tad but I don't understand why. Should I ignore all the different stuff I've read and simply go 3 down 3 up, put driveshaft in and I should be good?

Speaking of driveshaft... what's best way to measure to get one cut down to size?
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:14 AM   #20
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

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Thanks for the quick responses. So I can get the crossmember in and safely weld everything in its final place as long as I have 3 degree down on a level surface, weight on the wheels....


I'll weld and set the axle at the right angle when I'm ready for driveshaft.

Ive never been the hotrod pedal to the metal sort, so I hope I can avoid any leaf spring wind up stuff.

You said 3 down and 3 up. Some of the articles said to be off a tad but I don't understand why. Should I ignore all the different stuff I've read and simply go 3 down 3 up, put driveshaft in and I should be good?

Speaking of driveshaft... what's best way to measure to get one cut down to size?

3 down 3 up phases the driveshaft which some feel is bad and will wear the u joints quickly. however, the rear pinion angle is not a static measurement, its dynamic, so it will change as you accelerate and drive. even under load on the highway the leaf springs will twist slightly as the truck pushes against the load. even with a solid mount like a 4 link, the arc of operation will assure the pinion angle will not stay constant.

if you want to be suuuuuper technical about it, go 4 down 3 up, or 3 down 4 up. but I would bet almost all my money (and some of yours) that 3 down 3 up will work just fine. one of the "real world vs ideal world" things.
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:20 AM   #21
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

And this is why I like this forum. I can ask all the noob dumb questions I want and you guys never word a response in a way that makes me feel like a dummy. Thank you. This forum has been an amazing source for helpful advice.
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Old 04-18-2018, 11:29 AM   #22
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

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Speaking of driveshaft... what's best way to measure to get one cut down to size?
your truck needs to be 99% together to get the correct height to get the length
with the front yoke all the way in, measure u-joint to u-joint and give this measurement to the driveshaft guy, he will deduct 1" off
this is how the shop that made mine asked me to measure
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Old 04-18-2018, 11:34 AM   #23
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Re: Choosing a transmission crossmember

Just order you a new one this way it will come balanced
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