1956 Packard Panther Project

Panther "Restomod" Projects

4-speed Manual Transmission


Back in the day, instead of the Twin-Ultramatic transmission, Packard V-8s were occasionally equipped by the factory with a 3-speed manual transmission (Borg-Warner T-85) with an optional overdrive (Packard part 465199), which is essentially a 4-speed transmission. Packards were never equipped with a "modern" Borg-Warner or Muncie 4-speed manual transmission.

However, as far back in time as 1968, my friend Paul in Las Vegas had substituted in his 1956 Executive a Borg-Warner Series T-10 Model 411 4-speed out of a wrecked 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 (390/406/427 engine) for the (three-on-the-tree) stock 3-speed Packard transmission. The bolt pattern and the front bearing retainer diameter hole in the bell housing was the same as the T-85. The pilot bearing/input shaft required minor modification and the cross-member & driveshaft yoke had to be altered to make it work. This is no big deal in "hot rod" terms for someone like Paul.

Finding a Borg-Warner Series T-10 Model 411

To find a T-10, the first thing I did was contact Paul in Las Vegas to find out if he had a T-10 that I might use. It turns out that he did, but it was an old spare and was missing some parts like the shift forks. That was OK with me at the time because first I needed a T-10 for mockup fitment.

Mating fitment of Paul T-10 to Packard T-85 bellhousing on 1955 Patrician parts car "dirtball" engine hanging on "cherry picker" engine hoist and leveler:

Mating fitment of Paul T-10 to temporary mockup crossmember on Panther chassis:

Later, I contacted Jack Vines who had mentioned to me that he had a couple of 1963 B-W T-10s "under the bench" if I ever needed one for my Panther Project. I contacted Jack and made a deal for the best one he had. Jack boxed it up and shipped it to me. Jack warned that I should replace the front and rear seals and put a gasket & seal kit in it just to be prudent. Upon arrival and inspection, the gears and synchros in Jack's T-10 were flawless. It turned out that this T-10 had a few problems too, but I could solve them with parts from Paul's T-10 and make one perfect one out of the two. Both 4-speeds have the "performance" (close-ratio) gear sets with 2.36:1 1st gear. Click here for some pictures of the 4-speed overhaul.

Modifying the stock Packard Twin-Ultramatic transmission mount

The stock Packard Twin-Ultramatic crossmember mount is too far to the rear for the T-10 damper connector. The T-U mount had to be modified by cutting a clearance channel in the middle and attaching a forward extension to the bottom. Also, the final mount position of the engine & transmission had to have the correct angle.

The transmission mount/damper is a new stock one for a 1963 Ford Galaxy 500.

The overhauled T-10 and modified crossmember & mount trial fitted to Panther chassis.

The modified crossmember notched to clear shifter levers when in 1st or 3rd gear.

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