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Old 05-28-2016, 02:58 PM   #1
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Ford E350 5sp manual swap (A40d to Zf5)

Just found this site and would like to share my progress in converting my Collins Bantam E350 short bus from the A40d automatic to the Zf5, 5 spd manual transmission.

Here's a video to kick things off.


Since this video I have completed and painted the pedal assembly, it is currently waiting to be re-installed in the dash.
I have the custom made two piece driveline in hand (450$) and am presently making a custom laser tool for driveline alignment purposes re: ()
After those are done the only thing left is to weld that steel box in to seal up the floor and cut the doghouse to match.

Questions appreciated, I've learned a lot and I'm here to share. Will update as things progress.
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Old 05-28-2016, 04:19 PM   #2
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Looks good. Why did you want a manual instead of the auto that was in there?
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Old 05-28-2016, 04:44 PM   #3
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The auto blew up and I figured it would be a shame not to convert it then and there. I'm at about 2500 into the project which is still less than it would have been to reco the old tranny and put it back in.
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Old 05-31-2016, 02:56 PM   #4
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Make sure you use an inclinometer as well as your laser tool. Proper U-joint angles are pretty important to driveshaft vibration and u-joint life. I bought a digital one from a garage sale a few years back and it works perfect. Watch a few videos on driveshaft angles and you'll see how to do it.
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Old 05-31-2016, 03:11 PM   #5
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It's gonna be a little tricky. You'll have to redesign the doghouse and get a realllllly long linkage bc the transmission sits pretty far back in the E series vans.

There's a reason why all the manual Ford vans only came in 3 on the tree configuration
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Old 05-31-2016, 11:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
Make sure you use an inclinometer as well as your laser tool. Proper U-joint angles are pret...
Single piece to two piece driveshaft means i need to locate my carrier bearing in space as an exact extension and in line with the transmission output shaft, once that is pocated the diff will need to be rotated up or down to match the new slightly changed engine/transmission angle. I plan on using the laser, digital angle finders and cardboard as well as a little trig to get it juat right, im a machinist i kinda like challenging measuring scenarios.
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Old 05-31-2016, 11:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by WIbluebird View Post
It's gonna be a little tricky. You'll have to redesign the doghouse and get a realllllly long linkage bc the transmission sits pretty far back in the E series vans.

There's a reason why all the manual Ford vans only came in 3 on the tree configuration
It wont be so bad.
https://youtu.be/j6l3Qi2shWk
This shifter would actually be just fine for a while if it can be bent. I have a wood turner friend thats gonna lathe me up a nice knob in a matching wood to all the browns of the seats and trim then ill make a nice thick custom bent stainless rod to connect it up. A short throw it wont be but i'll be fun in its own way.
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_Marz View Post
Single piece to two piece driveshaft means i need to locate my carrier bearing in space as an exact extension and in line with the transmission output shaft, once that is pocated the diff will need to be rotated up or down to match the new slightly changed engine/transmission angle. I plan on using the laser, digital angle finders and cardboard as well as a little trig to get it juat right, im a machinist i kinda like challenging measuring scenarios.
You don't want it exactly in line. Each joint has to off some sort of offset otherwise the needles on the u joints won't rotate and you'll hammer them out in short order.
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Old 11-19-2016, 05:37 PM   #9
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Well the conversion went fairly smoothly despite a whole lot of custom work the only thing I had to do with the doghouse was cut a 5 inch hole for the stick, the rest had to be cut out of the floor which wasn't so bad really. The hardest part was definitely the pedal assembly. Driveshaft went in with zero issues once I figured out the alignment and I did end up getting it as close to exact as I could but I'm sure the tolerance I was able to achieve here was within 1/8" of perfect co-axial alignment on the first stage to carrier bearing.

In any case, here's a video shortly after I "completed" the project, I've put many many hard miles on the bus now, and plenty of it has been overloaded and/or offroad. I'm really happy with the performance, if you have a lathe, and can weld I would highly recommend it when your automatic blows.



Again if anyone has any questions I'd love to answer them and offer help where I can.
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Old 11-19-2016, 06:35 PM   #10
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Well the conversion went fairly smoothly despite a whole lot of custom work the only thing I had to do with the doghouse was cut a 5 inch hole for the stick, the rest had to be cut out of the floor which wasn't so bad really. The hardest part was definitely the pedal assembly. Driveshaft went in with zero issues once I figured out the alignment and I did end up getting it as close to exact as I could but I'm sure the tolerance I was able to achieve here was within 1/8" of perfect co-axial alignment on the first stage to carrier bearing.

In any case, here's a video shortly after I "completed" the project, I've put many many hard miles on the bus now, and plenty of it has been overloaded and/or offroad. I'm really happy with the performance, if you have a lathe, and can weld I would highly recommend it when your automatic blows.



Again if anyone has any questions I'd love to answer them and offer help where I can.
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