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Old 04/06/2011, 04:40 PM   #1
J.Bart
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4 speed toploader = close ratio vs wide ratio

i am wondering the differences between close and wide ratio trans.
not so much in specs, but in actual use, drivability.
i have both and am not sure which one i want to use.

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Old 04/06/2011, 05:49 PM   #2
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Not sure I even know what the difference is supposed to be but I do know when I drove my brothers new Shelby you didn't have to move the shifter very far to shift gears. Not sure how to explain it but it was unreal. My 62 F100 that I just bought would be the opposite, you could hit the passenger when shifting in to reverse.

Cory
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Old 04/06/2011, 06:51 PM   #3
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i have a hurst short shifter in my 08, they are cool
but the difference in the tranny's is gearing.
i'm not sure on the exact specs.
i'm more interested in the user application, how they drive.

jbart
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Old 04/06/2011, 06:57 PM   #4
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My understanding, but I am no expert, is that you need to match it up with your rear end gears. In general, wide ratio will do better with a higher geared rear end (i.e. 2.75 or 3.00) and close ratio will do better with lower gears (3:90). Close ratio the gear spacing is closer and thus the engine RPM stays closer to the engine power range as you change gears.

You probably want to get feedback from people that have both and different rear end ratios. I suspect Wide Ratio is probably better for cruising and normal everyday driving, while close ratio would be good for the strip.

David
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Old 04/06/2011, 07:01 PM   #5
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They both drive fine. The only difference is the gearing so it all depends on how you want to drive it.

The wide ratio version has much shorter 1st and 2nd gears so it will give you better hole shots but you'll need to shift sooner into 3rd.

Wide = 2.78, 1.93, 1.36, 1.00
Close = 2.32, 1.69, 1.29, 1.00

As you can see the spacing between the gears on the wide ratio are wider than on the close ratio, hence the names.

Edit,
David is 100% correct, the close ratio transmission is excellent for racing when tied to short rear end gears.
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Old 04/06/2011, 07:42 PM   #6
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Hmm Arlie, the beast has a 325 rear end. I was thinking it had a close ratio top loader as I can go through the gears very quickly. It seams like 1st gear takes a lot of clutch slide to engage. BUt after I am in first its easy squzzey. The wife has commented in the past about how fast I shift though the gears.

IIRC from last summer, before it started to rain!!!!!!!! and has not stopped and I we were driving to Robs Brisket GT/CS BBQ, at 60 MPH I was turning 3K plus RPMs. It was a little too much RPMs IMO for a cruise RPM. But that was last year and the IIRC does not always work so well.

Jbart close ratio is a hoot to drive around town, If you are crusiing the hiway, I would go with the wide ratio.

1968 390-4speed GT/CS "Acapulco blue is beautiful"
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Old 04/06/2011, 07:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calspcl View Post
Hmm Arlie, the beast has a 325 rear end. I was thinking it had a close ratio top loader as I can go through the gears very quickly. It seams like 1st gear takes a lot of clutch slide to engage. BUt after I am in first its easy squzzey. The wife has commented in the past about how fast I shift though the gears.

IIRC from last summer, before it started to rain!!!!!!!! and has not stopped and I we were driving to Robs Brisket GT/CS BBQ, at 60 MPH I was turning 3K plus RPMs. It was a little too much RPMs IMO for a cruise RPM. But that was last year and the IIRC does not always work so well.

Jbart close ratio is a hoot to drive around town, If you are crusiing the hiway, I would go with the wide ratio.
Once you are in 4th gear, close ratio and wide ratio are both the same (i.e. 1.00) and it is the rear end ratio that impacts RPM's.

60MPH turing 3K RPM does not sound like 3:25 gears. I'd say more like 3:70's. Were you in 4th gear?
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Old 04/06/2011, 08:30 PM   #8
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Using the correct diameter rear tires these should be your estimated RPMs at 60mph


2.79 = 2150
3.00 = 2320
3.25 = 2510
3.55 = 2740

Here's a formula for calculating the numbers.
RPM = MPH (Transmission Final Drive)(336)(Rear Ratio) / (Tire Diameter)

For example, on my car I'd get:
RPM = (60mph)(1)(3.00)(336) / (26.1") = 2371

There are also calculators on the web
http://www.csgnetwork.com/multirpmcalc.html
http://www.ringpinion.com/Calc_RPM.aspx
http://www.angelfire.com/space/slr/RPMCalculator.htm

I won't swear to this but I think the "5" transmission code on the data plate was for the wide-ratio toploader, and that was the only one offered on '68 Mustangs.

Last edited by Mosesatm; 04/06/2011 at 08:56 PM..
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Old 04/06/2011, 10:02 PM   #9
GT/CS S Code
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Thumbs up Just to confirm ...

Our data plate is marked "5" for the transmission and the Marti says it is a "wide ratio" 4 speed ...

I may have passed my "best before" date, but I haven't reached my "expiry" date!
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Old 04/06/2011, 10:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosesatm View Post
I won't swear to this but I think the "5" transmission code on the data plate was for the wide-ratio toploader, and that was the only one offered on '68 Mustangs.
Correct.

The close ratio transmissions didn't come out until 1969.
1969-71 Close ratio only on the 428CJ's, Boss9's, and 429CJ's.

1969 Either close or wide could be ordered on Boss 302, 351 engines, and 390IP.
Majority of the Boss 302's were close ratio, and 351's and 390-4V majority had wide ration 4 speeds.

1970 about an the same for the Boss 302 (mostly close ratio), 351's favored the close ratio top loader by a very small margin (because of the 351C introduction?).

1971 Wide ration toploaders only available on the 351's, including the Boss 351. Final year for the close ratio, and it was only available with any of the 429CJ engines.


I own a 1969 Cougar XR7 with 428 SCJ and 4 speed transmission (close ratio). I think because of the torqueness of the big block engines at most rpms, they can better utilize the 2.32 1st gear. I can honestly say, that 1st and 4th gear see more use than the other two gears. I seldom down shift into 3rd gear during most drives.
*Note - I converted to 3.25 ring and pinion gears from the original 4.30 gears.

Scott Behncke
1968 GT/CS 302-4V Honors flysis income beezis onches nobis inob keesis
West Coast Classic Cougar A good source for Mustang mechanical parts too.
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Old 04/07/2011, 05:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
The close ratio transmissions didn't come out until 1969.
Have a '68 390 with VIN stamped toploader. RUG-AD. Per Kee, close ratio.

Kee lists a number of close ratio toploaders prior to '69, back to '64.

http://www.davidkeetoploaders.com/idchart1.htm

???
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Old 04/07/2011, 06:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalorzo_f View Post
Have a '68 390 with VIN stamped toploader. RUG-AD. Per Kee, close ratio.

Kee lists a number of close ratio toploaders prior to '69, back to '64.

http://www.davidkeetoploaders.com/idchart1.htm

???
Mustangs by the Numbers does not list a code 6 transmission in 1968.

Scott Behncke
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West Coast Classic Cougar A good source for Mustang mechanical parts too.
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Old 04/07/2011, 07:41 PM   #13
robert campbell
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Small blocks with 2.32 first gear first gear toploaders mated to 3.25 or less (3.00 or 2.79) are not very happy from a stop sign. Especially on a hill. Lower gears (3.50 or above) all are happy.

Got tall gears and a small block. 2.78 first gear top loader! Wide ratio!

Rob
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Old 04/07/2011, 11:54 PM   #14
dalorzo_f
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Quote:
Mustangs by the Numbers does not list a code 6 transmission in 1968.
Yep, but all I can say is I have an 8Rxxxxxx correct VIN stamped apparently factory original tagged RUG-AD close ratio in my 68 (hard to believe somone would fake that back in the 80's, the car sat that long before I bought and restored it). And Kee (and many other references) list a lot of pre-69 close ratios, so they did exist prior to '69, and both the close and wide ratios are noted in many references for '68 390's.

Never looked at it before, but the '68 shop manual lists both close and wide ratios, but a -J2 and -M2 for a 390, not the -AD Kee and some others note.

Be interesting to see some build sheets as it seems there's a variation in what is "correct" based on the sources...
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Old 04/08/2011, 11:37 AM   #15
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My marti has a 5 wide ratio - I will have to get the car on the lift and see what tranny is in there. Both the tranny and engine have been replaced in a former life. That said, it could be anything, I do know its a top loader at least.

1968 390-4speed GT/CS "Acapulco blue is beautiful"
2001 F-350 diesel dually flatbed hauler
1970 bronco
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