Classic Thunderbird Club International
Gil's Garage
Gil Baumgartner
CTCI Authenticity Chairman
Transmission Bell Housings

Over the years, Iíve received several calls regarding the finish of transmission bell housings. The restoration manual page 374 & 375 shows the standard transmission and attaching parts.

This image shows a standard shift bell housing installed in the vehicle. It was originally bolted to the engine before the engine was painted. As a result, the lever assembly (clutch release) P/N # 7515, leather boot, flywheel cover and attaching hardware were painted the engine color.

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This image shows the bell housing for a Ford-o-matic transmission. This information applies to the bell housings of the water-cooled transmissions as well as the earlier air-cooled transmission.

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The finish was natural cast, it can be brought back to its natural finish by sand blasting or other procedures of your choice. It can be protected with a cast blast type paint sold at some auto parts stores and restoration supply companies. This type paint duplicates the original cast appearance. The flywheel (flex plate) covers were painted black. In addition, the smaller lower access plate was painted black on the early air-cooled models. On the later, water-cooled transmission the small lower access plate had a plain metal finish. Attaching hardware for bell housing to the engine and access plates were cadmium or zinc plated.

Gil Baumgartner

Last modified: April 07 2016