Three on the tree question...

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Nov 14, 2006
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Location
Harrisburg, NC
Questions for FJ owners who have a three on the tree FJ or those who have driven one...how difficult is it to drive and how long did it take to get use to driving it...thanks...
 
I personally think its fun to drive a three on the tree my 40 is collum shift but its got more joints to weir out and get slopy. I started driving an old ford farm truck with 3OTT so it was not that hard to relern. it gets old after time. there are kits to make it floor shift.

my 2 cents
 
How long would it take you to get used to the change from a 4 sp tranny to say maybe a 5 sp with reverse on the opposite side from the 4 sp? You may miss a shift a time or two at first but probably not long before you will ask yourself "What was I so concerned about". You will pick it up fast. Of course the 3 on the tree was all I had to learn on and to drive for several years ( except for the tractor). No sweat!
 
Funny you should ask. I just switched from the 3 on the tree to a floor shift about a month ago, after 20 years of the column shift.

For the first couple of days, I kept reaching for the column shift, every time I went to start or go into reverse.
 
Indeed, the column shift is no struggle to operate right off the bat, however as mentioned....the convoluted linkage gets tired and sloppy and the grinding 3 spd behind that 3 on the tree gets a little wearisome. I threw the bigger shifter knob from a 55 transfer/case floor shifter on my column shifter and am pleased with the difference....a little more to grasp....Immediately after buying my 55 with column shifter, I was thrust into thick rush-hour traffic and in attempting to make the pig behave... I was pissing myself laughing or was that fretting. Good luck and don't sweat it.:grinpimp:
 
I love my 3 on the tree. Granted, it isn't the best for rush hour / stop and go traffic, but the fj40 isn't designed for that in the first place. It takes a little getting used to (i.e. non-synchro'd first), but once you are used to it, it is nice. When I drive my 40 a lot and then switch to another rig with an auto, I find myself reaching up and trying to shift manually. Its pretty funny.

Bottom line, don't worry about the column shift. It is really no biggie.

:cheers:
 
Questions for FJ owners who have a three on the tree FJ or those who have driven one...how difficult is it to drive and how long did it take to get use to driving it...thanks...

I learned the 2nd time driving, I still changed to a floor shifter because of pref. but I dont think it really mattered either way...
 
My FJ40 definitely has less slop than the FJ45. As a result, the FJ40 is easier to drive. For instance, I can shift without the clutch pedal in the '40 but not the '45 due to the slop. So, there's some individuality in them. In a tight system, it is just a rotation of a floor shift.
 
I learned how to drive a standard trans in an old Chevy. It was a floor shift. I had never driven a column shift until I bought my `68 FJ40. It was easy to pick up how to shift it. You just don't force it or try to speed shift it. In a short while it will become second nature for you.

Kevin
 
If you have the patience and the determination to overhaul the numerous pivots involved in the system, it can be surprisingly crisp to shift. I kept my linkage in very good condition for the many years I sported the 3 on the tree on my dd45. I felt the only disadvantages were those inherent to the 3 speed itself, not the linkage.

Best

Mark A.
 
If you have the patience and the determination to overhaul the numerous pivots involved in the system, it can be surprisingly crisp to shift. I kept my linkage in very good condition for the many years I sported the 3 on the tree on my dd45. I felt the only disadvantages were those inherent to the 3 speed itself, not the linkage.

Best

Mark A.

Mark , did you do this primarily by replacing worn rod ends, or did you have another approach?
 
Mark , did you do this primarily by replacing worn rod ends, or did you have another approach?

I have a box with a lot of good column shift parts, including NOS rod ends; I didn't end up using ANY of them in the entire time I ran the column shift [over 10 years of daily driving]

During the initial overhaul of the truck [when I brought it home and went thru it to make sure it would be safe to drive] I pulled the linkage, lubed the joints, tested clearance with grease installed, and lightly peened the cups over the balls to a fit I felt was acceptable [no measuring devices were used in this procedure!]

I checked them again a couple of years ago when I replaced the motor. They still seemed fine.:)

I 'think' I may have replaced the lower support for the column rod [the one that doubles as the steering column clamp at the steering box. I think I may have changed that just because I had another one that still had the boot intact.:grinpimp:

And I know I replaced the pin at the top of the shaft that screws into the back of the turn signal switch. That pin was the one part that got a lot of wear. And of course the pin did pull the threads out of one turn signal switch, just like happened to Chase.

Hth

Mark A.
 
I have a box with a lot of good column shift parts, including NOS rod ends; I didn't end up using ANY of them in the entire time I ran the column shift [over 10 years of daily driving]

During the initial overhaul of the truck [when I brought it home and went thru it to make sure it would be safe to drive] I pulled the linkage, lubed the joints, tested clearance with grease installed, and lightly peened the cups over the balls to a fit I felt was acceptable [no measuring devices were used in this procedure!]

I checked them again a couple of years ago when I replaced the motor. They still seemed fine.:)

I 'think' I may have replaced the lower support for the column rod [the one that doubles as the steering column clamp at the steering box. I think I may have changed that just because I had another one that still had the boot intact.:grinpimp:

And I know I replaced the pin at the top of the shaft that screws into the back of the turn signal switch. That pin was the one part that got a lot of wear. And of course the pin did pull the threads out of one turn signal switch, just like happened to Chase.

Hth

Mark A.

Thanks, Mark. I have yet to figure out where the laxity in my system is. It seemed tight when I put it together bit by bit, but once in, things are much looser in the '45. It may be the shift forks in the tranny are worn. One day I'll get back in there.
 
thanks to all the responses and advice...I found a good rig with a three on the tree, I haven't test driven her yet b/c she has minor brake issues (need to bleed them out and replace brakes)....I can't wait to drive her..
 
Thanks for your opinions on the 3OTT. I now own a 1965 FJ45LV and will be driving the 3tree. Seems like it would be a slower and more deliberate form of shifting. Looking forward to the "theft deterrant" device. Ha!
 
Congrats! I love a three on a tree. My bro-in-laws '71 40 has one it's fun, fast and easy.
 
Yeah, its easy to get use to. And as far as no syncro's in 1st gear, no problem, at a dead stop just shift into 2nd gear first and then quickly into 1st and you will be synced, but downshifting into 1st while rolling...not so much. :beer:
 

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