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R154 adapted to AMC kit feeler

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71hornet6 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 71hornet6 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/05/2016 at 1:22pm
Well I have a month between jobs and I want to get this transmission into my Hornet but gotta finish my taxes this week...

I have been buying and remodeling houses in Oakland CA and saving money by living in the fixers but now *fingers crossed* I am trying to stay in the latest house, my 4th. The process of moving my crap around has been a nightmare but I now have a small garage that I can set up it's just full of my stuff and I need to run a sub panel in there.

My Hornet was driving roughly with a messed up Holley and the AX-15 but I took it apart to do this crazy transmission project at my parents house who have a nicer garage but they really want the Hornet out of their driveway

Anyway I got all my transmission parts out of my garage full of crap and took them over to the car to get ready to put her back together.

Above you can see from left to right -
The gear assembly is in the intermediary plate in a vice bolted to a piece of 1" plywood for a stand and wrapped in black plastic
The AX15 transmission case halves
and to the right the boxes of transmission parts including another R154 set of gears
I also have, not pictured, a complete AX-15 2wd external slave trans so I have the parts to make a second one of these hybrid 5 speeds

I hope to update you soon when I have the trans in the car but then I gotta work on that Holley model 8007 390cfm carb before I can give you all a description of the test drive.
The AX-15 is strong enough for the engine but the 3.83 first gear was too low so I'm thinking the R154 will have good gearing and be very strong.
The 89-92 supra turbo is actually around 500 pounds heavier but the 3.0L turbo it has is 232HP and 240lbs torque so similar power to weight ratio as the Hornet with the hot 258.
My rear axle is a 3.54 model 20 from a 70 AMX. The Supra had 3.54 up to 4.10 IIRC but had smaller tires than mine which is gonna have some Radial TA tires on 14x7.
All that means my Hornet is going to have the drivetrain specs of a factory sports car which is enough for me
However I think the R154 gears with the Marlin Crawler parts should be able to take way more power like a built 401 which is why I wanted to share with you all.
'71 FrankenHornet:
'72 258 '95 4.0L Head Holley 390CFM
AX15 with R154 gears 5 speed Hurst shifter
AMC20 rear axle Detroit TrueTrac
Dual Exhaust
Concord Discs Spirit AMX sway bars
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 71hornet6 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/05/2016 at 5:29pm
Here she is


I'm now remembering that I had it all together but decided to open it up to double check and sure enough I had done something wrong - the 5th gear shift sleeve was on backwards! Good thing I didn't put it in the car like that!
So I need to fix that and put the case back together.

As a reminder to those who would dare attempt this
-the main shaft is from AX15 2wd which determines the tail housing and the AX15 has a better shifter position than the R154 tail housing
-input shaft, gears 1-4 and counter gear are all R154 and all together because the counter gear is one piece so you can't swap on the AX15 input shaft because it has a different 4th gear tooth count (though that would make clutch stuff simpler.)
-the 5th gear is AX15 because the main shaft behind the intermediary plate is different on the AX-15 and R154. The AX15 5th gear has a built in spacer for some reason. Fortunately the AX-15 5th counter gear can press onto the R154 counter gear assembly. Only the 5th counter gear is pressed on - the rest of the counter gears are connected
-the intermediary plate which goes between the case halves is the same shape for AX15 and R154 but the R154 plate is used because it is steel not aluminum as on the AX15. The AX15 and R154 are very similar but the R154 has different ratios and was built to higher spec. You can see that in the steel gear plate and the gears are a different shade suggesting a different process used for stronger gears
'71 FrankenHornet:
'72 258 '95 4.0L Head Holley 390CFM
AX15 with R154 gears 5 speed Hurst shifter
AMC20 rear axle Detroit TrueTrac
Dual Exhaust
Concord Discs Spirit AMX sway bars
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71hornet6 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 71hornet6 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/08/2016 at 7:49pm
Assembled on the bench


Bench testing with the Hurst shifter


I put in the 21 spline clutch disc with the Toyota clutch alignment tool


I put on the bellhousing after I get it under the car because the bell is real big and the trans is heavy


Getting ready to lift this beast into place. If you've seen an AX-15 it's huge and the R154 gears and intermediary plate add even more weight. This guy is about 100lbs and not that fun to put in because there's very little clearance

'71 FrankenHornet:
'72 258 '95 4.0L Head Holley 390CFM
AX15 with R154 gears 5 speed Hurst shifter
AMC20 rear axle Detroit TrueTrac
Dual Exhaust
Concord Discs Spirit AMX sway bars
Back to Top
71hornet6 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 71hornet6 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/12/2016 at 2:20pm
When I bench tested it, the overdrive was about .6
I was a bit confused by this, since I was expecting the AX15 ratio of .79
Turns out the R154 counter gear ratio is different and that makes a .63 5th gear
http://www.supraforums.com/forum/showthread.php?153443-.63-overdrive-5th-gear-for-R154-for-those-that-dont-know!!!#/forumsite/20626/topics/153443?page=1

Since I want an overdrive closer to .75, I'll have to use the R154 5th gears with a spacer to fit on the AX15 output shaft. I will need a ring spacer about 5/16" which I'm having fabricated
'71 FrankenHornet:
'72 258 '95 4.0L Head Holley 390CFM
AX15 with R154 gears 5 speed Hurst shifter
AMC20 rear axle Detroit TrueTrac
Dual Exhaust
Concord Discs Spirit AMX sway bars
Back to Top
71hornet6 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 71hornet6 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/24/2016 at 10:25pm
I test drove the car a couple times this weekend
The R154 gears are much better for a passenger car than the AX-15 gears
I still have the 3.54 rear end and may want 3.08 or 3.15 rear gears
I'm also tuning the carb and it needs some work still for optimum response
I have the AX15 gear in 5th which makes .63 overdrive
I may put in the .75 overdrive gear from the R154 depending on what rear gear ratio I choose
To sum it up, the build needs a pilot adaptor and possibly a 5th gear spacer ring to use the R154 5th gear but otherwise the parts are mostly stock
The 21 spline clutch disc is the other special piece which is available
If you can get the R154 and AX15 2wd with the external slave from a junkyard, this becomes a really cool and relatively cheap swap
It's best for a car that already has the hydraulic clutch like a Concord or Spirit
For an Eagle I think the AX15 4wd is the way to go
The hydraulic clutch conversion is tricky unless you can get manual transmission hydraulic clutch pedals for your Gremlin or Hornet.
Well it works! It's been road tested! Pretty satisfying to finally have it in the car!
'71 FrankenHornet:
'72 258 '95 4.0L Head Holley 390CFM
AX15 with R154 gears 5 speed Hurst shifter
AMC20 rear axle Detroit TrueTrac
Dual Exhaust
Concord Discs Spirit AMX sway bars
Back to Top
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote garsod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/25/2016 at 2:26am
Great to hear. Drive the pants off of it. Enjoy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amcenthusiast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/25/2016 at 6:47am
Your 'THE MAN'! -for doing this conversion article, with all the good info & showing the swap into your Hornet.

Congratulations for your successful swap.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 71hornet6 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2016 at 5:59pm
One last little thing - I needed a starter shim.
I used a 4.0L flywheel on the 258 because the 258 flywheel stuck out an extra 1/4" and messed up the clutch geometry so that it couldn't function at all - I learned that the hard way.
The 4.0L flywheel means you need to use a 4.0L starter.
The starter was making a noise for about 1 second when I fired it up. Yes I replaced the starter solenoid to make sure it was functioning.
I took off the starter and measured to find the problem
-on the trans - space from inspection plate face (starter mounting surface) to flywheel teeth
-on the starter - starter mounting surface to starter pinion
They were both about 3/8" so the starter pinion was essentially touching the flywheel teeth.
It needed to be spaced out to give a small gap.
There is a .1" spacer for the Ford starter called

Dorman Starter Offset Shims 02359

that's about $8 from Summit or NAPA p/n 655-1188

That took care of the problem. Why did I need a starter shim?
The transition from 258 to 4.2L and 4.2L to 4.0L contains some mysteries in the flywheel/bellhousing area that I don't fully understand but be warned when doing transmission swaps between different eras of straight six.
'71 FrankenHornet:
'72 258 '95 4.0L Head Holley 390CFM
AX15 with R154 gears 5 speed Hurst shifter
AMC20 rear axle Detroit TrueTrac
Dual Exhaust
Concord Discs Spirit AMX sway bars
Back to Top
Greg55_99 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Greg55_99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/12/2016 at 12:33pm
Any updates on the swap?
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71hornet6 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 71hornet6 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/12/2016 at 9:25pm
The swap is in...
I have some hydraulic clutch issues with the eagle master and cherokee slave hydraulic clutch system I set up. This was working before with the AX-15 so I think it might be leakage because it seems to lose hydraulic pressure after some time driving.
I'm pretty sure there's nothing wrong with the actual transmission I built. At least I hope it's just hyd clutch
I have 3.15 gears I think in the garage to put in the AMC20. The 3.54 are a little off
I am working a lot and hopefully will have time to play with it in December
'71 FrankenHornet:
'72 258 '95 4.0L Head Holley 390CFM
AX15 with R154 gears 5 speed Hurst shifter
AMC20 rear axle Detroit TrueTrac
Dual Exhaust
Concord Discs Spirit AMX sway bars
Back to Top
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