Low Geared F1

Q.

I have a 1949 Ford F1 pickup (Hope I can sneak in a Ford question). Is there a later differential with higher gear ratios to “speed” things up?

A.

Low gears are a common issue for many early truck owners as most were used as tools to move stuff and rarely seen as a vehicle for general transportation. In 1949 Ford commonly used gear ratios of 4.27:1 and 3.92:1 on F1 pickups. These are gear ratios that can make modern highway driving difficult or even impossible.

Many convert these trucks over to a more modern 9-inch rear axle that offer a wider range of gear ratios. While the 1957 to 1972 F100 9-inch axle is a close fit, it will still require some modifications, which commonly include shock mounts and sometimes pinion yoke to reconnect the driveshaft.

Another option is to locate a 3:73 higher gear rear axle for the F-1 that was offered from 1948 to 1950. These are a little harder to locate but they’re out there.

Finally you could change the gears in your rear axle. There are sources that offer 3:54.1 rear axle ratio gear sets for your truck. If you’ve never done this though I would encourage you to get the hands-on assistance of someone who is familiar with these axles and how to properly setup the gears.

Wrench Safe,
Mark

Discussion
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4 Responses to “Low Geared F1”
  1. HDMania

    As long as you have a welder or a torch or plasma cutter you’re good to go..measure your rear end from backing plate to backing plate..use that measurement for a new rear end..plenty of different gear ratios out there to choose from..probably get one from a newer truck..maybe one with disc brakes too..what ever you’re comfortable with..use one from a car or truck..

    Reply
  2. Paul arnold

    Have a 46 Chevy 3/4 ton 216 cu in 4 speed never use first (crazy ) that can’t get past 45 mph ?? Without the motor screaming help

    Reply
  3. gary

    8″ out of maverick, Granada would work great, 491/2″backing plate to backing plate

    Reply