the 4.11 to 3.50 Gear project is 'back on the drawing board'

Your help and ideas are needed!  You may remember the upgraded gear ratio project for 34-47 vehicles which led to a long thread on here which started in Nov. 2020.  Lots of interest and support with 15 sets 'pre-sold', and we kept an email circle going since then with project updates along the way.  We gave our trust and patience to a manufacturer who committed to getting the gears made 'on the side' from his main business.  We patiently waited and many members provided detailed information as well as OEM and reman gear sets and related parts.  BUT....just last month the manufacturer threw us a major and unexpected curve ball.  The price almost tripled and the required units increased by almost the same.  Why did this happen?  We may never know and no good explanation has been given to my knowledge.  The members who generously loaned parts have gotten them back.  But we are discouraged.  Recently, I did a lot of research on reputable gear makers, mainly using the AGMA website and found a maker in TN (B&R Machine) who has a history of working with vintage vehicle clubs/collectors.  They gave us a quote of 2450. per set.  The company looks solid and could get the gears done in a timely manner.  There may be other companies which could do it, but finding one which is willing to do a small batch and has the capability and is easy on our pockets is not easy.
Your input is needed.  Many of the original project participants are questioning the increased cost, and why wouldn't they  (the original quote we had was 1300.00 give or take a little).  Do any of you have experience in recent times having gears like this made and what is a reasonable cost/price range?  Also, do any of you have any leads on manufacturers who are reputable and trustworthy who would be willing to do a small batch of spiral bevel crown and pinion gears?  My limited research tells me that 2450./set may be quite realistic, but I really don't know for sure.  But whether it's realistic or not, I think we may lose many customers due to the price increase....and honestly, due to being disgusted over the long wait, only to be slapped in the face in the end.  The project may not survive but I am willing to try to keep it together.


  • I don't have an interest in this project at this time. I am of the opinion that you could buy an new aftermarket Ford 9" rear, with brand spankin' new internals and any ratio you want for $2500.
  • Jon B
    Jon B Administrator
    Did you approach the Railton club about joint production of the gearsets?  (Sorry, if you have already mentioned this!)
  • 54, Yes, that's an option that some have chosen, and very viable.  Jon, Yes, a couple years ago we talked and only a couple of their members wanted them, so they had a handful made (didn't want to wait on our timeframe, and a good thing they didn't).  I recently asked them for some info on their manufacturer and have not heard back yet.
  • terraplane8
    terraplane8 Senior Contributor
    Surely the Railton Club manufacturer would be a good place to start, especially if they already have the technical details on their file.
  • Yes to the Railton Club!  They were the answer.  The manufacturer they have used in the past is very highly rated and has very reasonable terms.  Around $1000.00 (US) per set (group price) plus around $75.00 UPS shipping per set and 25% down will get us 6 or 8 bolt sets.  We need at least 5 customers each for 6 and 8 bolt (10 total).  The email circle which has been following this project has already been notified;  but if you or anyone you know is interested, act soon.  Respond to this with your email address or PM me.  Shortly, we will be figuring out how to gather the down payments.  Any questions, please ask.
  • sshftn
    sshftn Member
    For what it's worth, Ivan Zaremba had a some sets made about 7 years ago.  I bought a set (have yet to install them!) but they came from Phil Reilly and Company in Corte Madera, CA.  They might still have the specs, "REF Ivan ring and pinion"  I don't remember what I paid for them but it sure wasn't $1000.  Although, 7 years in a long time in economy time.
  • bob ward
    bob ward Senior Contributor
    Ivan's gears were US$1300 per set.
  • sshftn
    sshftn Member
    Hmm! I honestly didn’t remember but it’s a good thing my wife doesn’t read this forum 😂
  • The quoted prices have been all over the place (ranging from $1000 to 3500.00+).  The UK company we have decided to go with already has engineered drawings for the 6-bolt set.  I recently sent them an OEM set of 8-bolt gears for reference.  There are a few differences, not just the number of bolts.  They have made the 6-bolt sets for the Railton Club, and the last run has an improved fit, so that presumably the housing does not have to be modified to install the assembled carrier.  At least one club member who installed a set told me that there were no mods necessary.  We are getting close to placing the order, so if anyone else is interested please let me know.