Ring & Pinion for 1933 Model 836

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    At the RM auction at St. John’s a few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to meet the the new owner of 1933 P/A model 836 Club Sedan that sold at the auction. As we discussed the wonderful world of Pierce Arrows, he inquired about getting a high speed ring and pinion for his new purchase. I have always purchased mine from the late Phil Bray. So my question is, where are members getting them now? And what you recommend for his 1933 model 836? Ps: I’m working on him to join the club!


    Terry, thank you for promoting our fine club!




    I’m reasonably certain that all 1933 836’s are WORM drive and I’ve never heard of any high speed gear sets being available for them.



    Hi Terry, IF the 836 has the original worm-gear drive, then there are on high speed gears available.

    Quite a few worm drive axles were changed to ’34 or ’35 hypoid rear axles. If that modification was done, then the Phil Hill or Phil Bray high speed gears will work. But you have to find a set on someone’s parts shelf.

    What I did was to install a Mitchell Overdrive. It is a manual shift overdrive, Since it doesn’t have any free-wheeling, it is able to power the Stewart-Warner power brakes.

    The next time you talk with the new owner of the 836 Club sedan, give him my email address or phone number, I’d be glad to show him the OD installation in my Club Sedan.

    Greg Long


    We just made contact with a company this week for having some sets made. We should have an answer in a few weeks. The owner of the gear company is a pre war car owner and is intrested in Pierce Arrows, he has a few Classics. Ed.


    These is a set ( #251612527923) on Ebay. It says

    Brand new set of high speed ring and pinion gears for 1930’s era Pierce Arrow cars. Manufactured by Orf Corp in Michigan. The ratio is 3.85 / 1. 54 teeth on the ring gear 14 teeth on the pinion.


    I still think an overdrive is the better solution, especially if one lives in hilly country.

    However, those ring and pinion gears on eBay at the moment, do they fit ALL 1930’s Pierces as it says?



    Thank-you to everyone for their responses!

    I have asked Bob (the new P/A owner) to call Greg.



    All 836’s were worm drive. As Greg said, many 33’s were converted (following official P-A factory recommendation) to 4.23 or other ’34/’35 hypoid. Phil Bray’s 3.85 gears fit only ’34-’38 eights, no twelves, no previous. I had problems with 2 of them (batch related?) and do not recommend them.

    Phil Hill’s 3.54 gears fit early thirties all, and late thirties 12’s, and are well made with no problems that I know of. However, Phil Hill’s will not work in ’34-’35 eights.

    Ed, which style is being discussed with the new contact?



    We made a new contact with a custom gear shop that has an extensive background in low production racing transmissions and gear sets. They built us a special application trans, it had issues but they stood behind their work and were intrested in helping us get it right. The young owner not only likes Pierce Arrow’s but he was familiar with the R-1 overdrive and having never seen one is coming to the shop to see one all apart. When he gets to the shop we will show him the Bray sets I have on the shelf. He offered to make sets for us……we didn’t have to ask. They do very nice work, I have seen their replacment gears and they are very well done. As to what ratio and application, we will wait for feedback and demand to figure that out. I’m not sure if there will be enough demand to make any more sets. We will post a ad in the PAS when we get it figured out. Anyone intrested just drop John or me an email. Ed.


    Hi I have bid from the other side of the world on the eBay set. I hope I will not regret it!!! Cheers



    Jak, there are two diffrent sets Phil Bray made, one set fits the rear ends with the carrier bolts that come through the cover, the other does not. Does anyone know if the set on ebay is the early or late 8 style set? There were old posts here on problems with the late 8 production run. Some sets were returned and either remade or laped in again. I can’t recall the details. Bray also made several runs of gears.


    I have a set of 3.85 gears from Phil Bray in our 1933 1247. They were not properly lapped, but Phil insisted that the problem was due to improper setup. Scott Statstny did as good as he could, but they are noisy. Later Phil got multiple complaints about the same issue. I loaned him my original low mileage gearset for ‘testing’ and he determined that some sets were improper. He took back and refunded or adjusted at least 4 sets, but never did any adjustment for me. Eventually he said he’d test them if I pulled them out and sent them to him for ‘testing’, but refused to pay for the labor.

    He proved to me once again that no good deed goes unpunished!

    If the set in question was machined and lapped before 1999 it is probably OK. Otherwise it may have lapping & setup issues.


    Hi Guys

    Thank you for the advice

    I now own it!!!

    It was made by someone named Orf Corp Michigan!!I will keep you posted on the results when I fit it. Owning a Lancia Lambda anything quieter than a B17 bomber is a bonus!!At least in the Lancia I cannot hear the backseat driving instructions!!! In the Pierce Arrow I can almost hear a pin drop!

    Seriously though I will be having professional help including lapping if necessary. I have fitted up some fairly well used CWP’s with good results. We are at present working on a 1929 Hudson rear axle. Cheers—Jak.


    Hello JAK,

    ORF Corp was the name Phil Bray’s company who made these nigh speed gears.

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