Transmision Interchange ?

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    Gentlemen, I recently purchased a 1930 Model C PA RS Coupe from with a 4-speed transmission. My question is will a 1929 3-speed transmission fit in chassis. The car has a Clark 4-speed now with emergency brake on all four wheels. If I find a 3-speed I am told I would need a bell housing – do I need a shorter or longer driveshaft – do I abandon the four-wheel emergency brake and go to the driveshaft emergency brake – will the same clutch work. Need someone to walk me through this changeover. This car came out of California. Does anybody know any history on this car. Leon Campbell, 918-336-1553.


    Hi Leon, It’s my understanding that there were several changes in 29 on the transmissions. It would probably be wise to take time and explore all your options before proceeding. Are you unhappy with the 4 speed? Or is there a problem with it? Changing over brakes, driveshaft, and other linkages may not be the only consideration. I am not sure but there may be clutch, flywheel, and starter problems to consider also. 1929 Pierce cars had lots of running changes to the platform during the year. I’m sure there are some 29 experts who can help you out.


    If you read the old “Emporium”” notes on this subject you will not want to try this conversion. More problems than benefits. The four speed Clark transmission is one of the best ever made – but you have to know what you are doing if you try to repair one as you can ruin it qickly with incorrect assembly. Again look to the PAS previous notes found in dvd’s from the society.”


    While the Clark 4-speed transmission can be a challenge to rebuild, it is, as stated above a very good trans. I would not recommend trying to install a ’29 trans.. If you must find a new transmission for your ’30 coupe, I’d lean towards finding a later transmission rather than an earlier one.. The transmission in the ’32 and later cars were a big improvement, with syncromesh on 2nd and 3rd, and a cast iron case.

    Let us know what the problem or issues are with the current transmission.

    Greg L


    I just looked the car up on the White Glove website and that’s a nice looking car, Leon. Congratulations. I had a Model C sedan with the 4-speed I drove for 9 years on tours, CARavans, and even from Minnesota to New Hampshire for the 1999 PAS Meet. I rarely used 1st gear, treating it just like a standard pattern 3 speed. The only problem I ever had was engaging the lower gear at a stop sign or stoplight. The gears just didn’t want to slow down enough to mesh well when I first got the car. The solution was to use 600W transmission gear lube available from Model T sources rather than the lighter 90 W it came with. Once I put the gooey stuff in there, the problem was solved and never recurred. Good luck with it. They are great drivers.


    I have a Model C which needs a lot and I mean a lot of work to restore. The wood is pretty well shot. It has the NY headlights and is missing the rear bumper brackets and rear bumper. I will never get to do anything with this Pierce and am interested in selling it. However, I am willing to purchase the rear bumper brackets and rear bumper. You may contact me, if so inclined, at my regular e-mail adress.



    Is your car rear spare or with sidemounts?

    To all: Is the Model C bumper profile the same as ’29 with the “flat” or is it rounded like the Model B bumpers?




    Bill: The car is “buried” in my warehouse and I haven’t looked at it for so long, I really don’t remember if it has sidemounts. When I return from vacation on August 9, I will check it out and let you know.




    There were two different 4 speed transmissions used in 1930. One was a Clark used in the A and B, but I do not believe that the Model C used a Clark transmission. Have you pulled the cover off and does it definitely have the herringbone gears? I cant recall who made the C 4 Speed, but I distinctly remember having the conversation with Arlo Boe.

    I believe that all 1930 cars had emergency brakes at the wheels (not at rear of trans as in 1929).



    Factory ran out of Clark units in 1930 and had to replace it with one that ‘did not have’ the herringbone second and high gears.

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