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XY Column Manual to Single Rail

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Hi all,

I’m new to this place it’s only my second ever post.


I’ve got a XY , 6cyl 250 pre cross flow car, that’s 3 speed column manual,bench seat.


I’m looking for info and tips on converting it to a 4 speed single rail.


I’ve got some questions...


Is it worthwhile doing?


Will it drive better?


My hydro clutch and fork is on the passenger side, can I keep my existing bell housing and all internals , clutch and flywheel etc?


Do I need to mod the tailshaft length?


Gear lever clearance near the bench seat all ok?


Speedo drive/cable mods?


Other than the box , what other parts do I need?


Any info or tips would be appreciated.


If anyone’s got a good single rail box for sale ,I heard the Cortina box is better ? please pm me.


Happy to pay freight also.


Thank you




PS it’s just a cruiser, patina paint, original car, nothing fancy.









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Wow.!  That looks SWEEET.... 


Yes, you will notice the difference. The gear ratio's are different, and of course that changes how the car feels. It may not go any better, but, it will feel like it does, make sense?


Not sure on the tailshaft length, you may have to wait until you have the 4 speed, and check the length of the whole 'box.


Bench seat MAY be an issue, but you might be able to modify the gear shifter and get away with it. Bit of heat, bit of bendy, bendy...


Clutch kit MAY fit, if the single rail has the same input shaft size and spline as the 3 speed. Check online with Xtreme Clutch or similar, see if the part numbers are the same for the kit.


Welcome aboard. Would love to see more pics if you get time to start up a build thread...  👍

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depending on where you are@chestnutxe has a whole hydraulic single rail setup for sale, although with the bench you may be better off with a cortina box, the shifter is located further forward than a falcon single rail, you'll need to modify the trans hump as well



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yeah i was thinking also the 3 speeds ran a 3.23 or 3.5 diff ratio, so you may like to change that to a 2.92 when you fit a 4 speed( 4 speed's 1st gear will help it, will take off better even than it does now, plus cruise better)

or you can probably adapt the T5 to the current bell housing, (gear stick will be tight fit but can probably do the curved stick also..)

the cortina box had a gearshift mounted further forward is the only difference to a falcon box. 


not sure what the other bits will need(tailshaft, clutch etc.. i thought the clutch plate was different at min)


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I agree with all advice so far.

I will add that not all single rails were created equal. If running a 250, you're best off with the 3.06 1st ratio set. This is well matched to the midrange torque of the 250, whereas the 3.48 ratio box might have you off the boil often.

A good Cortina box might be hard to come by, but what you can do is try and find a stuffed one and transfer the extension housing, shifter and shift rail over to a good Falcon box with the ideal ratios.

The shifter might end up a bit far away from you in order to clear the seat but you can easily modify the stick to sit back over closer to you, sort of like an F100 setup, but not so goofy.

The clutch should be the same but I don't know if you can get a 3 speed bellhousing to mate to a single rail. Maybe if the 3 speed bellhousing mount face has enough meat on it to line up with the holes in the single rail, then it's a simple drill-and-tap for (I think) 7/16" UNC.

I did a similar thing with a toploader bell and a T5, as my single rail bell didn't have sufficient mounting face to line up with the lower 2 gearbox bolts.

A hydraulic SR bell will be hard to come by.

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I’ve assumed the T5 was a lot longer to the stick ?

and would be a drama with the bench seat

so I hadn’t considered the T5.

My diff at 3.23 : 1
is great on the open road.

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I converted my sisters XP Ute 10 odd year ago.

Her's had the 3 on the tree and hydraulic clutch and we used a single rail gearbox.

Now we used her 3 speed bell housing and we had to get the centre hole machined out to fit

we also had to get a new hole drilled and tapped in the bell so the box would bolt up to it.

We used a brand new 4 speed clutch kit when we installed it. 

Then we dummied it up under the floor so i could mark out where to cut the hole for the shifter.

We never had to mod the trans tunnel, was simple cut a hole and stick the shifter thru.

We did have to get a new gearbox cross member as the 3 speed was different to the 4 speed 

and i think i just got that from Sydney classic Falcon? (i have a fuzzy memory)

Never changed diff ratio's, just drove it and it worked. 

Still does today , she still got it 😊

Oh and hers has bucket seats so never had issues with shifter.

She has an XF centre consol in there and all look well. 

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I like it the idea of modding my
Current 3 speed bell housing.

I’m thinking the 4 speed my have a different input shaft spline.

A 4speed clutch plate may fit my current 3 speed pressure plate.

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