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Offenhauser aluminum transmission case ???

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by flatheadkid1, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. flatheadkid1
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    flatheadkid1 Member

    Has anybody ever seen one of these trans cases made by Offenhauser. It uses saginaw 3 speed internals with a 37 chevy top shifter. Love to have one.
    Thanks in advance.

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  2. John Brown
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    John Brown Member

    Didn't they call it the X Shift?
  3. hoop
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    hoop Member

    I had one back in !962.
  4. oldguard
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    oldguard
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    Wow, talk about rare!
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  5. young'n'poor
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    young'n'poor Member

    Wow that is neat! Did they make anything similar that used ford or other internals?


    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
  6. olcurmdgeon
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    olcurmdgeon
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    had one in the sixties too. Had a '34 Chev pickup I used it in and if I remember right, I bought it from Honest Hisself! Would have been '61 or so. They were neat, let you keep closed drive shaft but have synchro gear set. And yes I think they were "x shift". Will have to check an old Honest catalog.
  7. DualQuad55
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    DualQuad55 Member

    Did you sell it at Greatwoods a few years back?
    I have one in my collection. It uses the stock 55 style internals with a 37 shifter/plate setup. Also uses the 55 style open tailshaft housing.
    Essentially lets you put a 'modern' internal trans with a floor shift in your 55-up chevy.
  8. flatheadkid1
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    flatheadkid1 Member

    I am unaware of Offy making any other trans cases but I know that Chassis Research advertised an aluminum transmission case for Cad/Lasalle gears. I have no information on them and the pictures create more questions than answers. Another one I'd like to get my hands on.

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  9. DualQuad55
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    DualQuad55 Member

    Offy made the housings and marketed them in a joint venture with the guy who designed it; Jim Lower.
    Pretty cool, but was a bit of effort compared to putting in a then new Hurst style floor shifter on the stock 3spd.
  10. Piper106
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    Piper106 Member

    Related question. Were there any other aluminum cases for GM three speed transmissions?? Any factory aluminum cases for a three speed??
  11. PackardV8
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    PackardV8 Member

    Also, most of the old top shift boxes didn't shift as well as the Hurst side shift conversion. I've done a few on Borg-Warner T86 using a Jeep top plate. They will not speed-whoop as well as a Hurst.

    jack vines
  12. hoop
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    hoop Member

    Nope. Sold the whole deal to a friend that put it in a 55 pontiac with a v8 Pontiac,after that no clue where it ended up.
  13. Andy
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    Andy Member

    I had a project to make an X shift. I found a couple of '30's cases and shifters. I welded a plate on the tail housing side and had the bearing hole machined out. I would have to redrill the bell housing for the early case. I needed to drill the holes in the rear mount but never finished it up. The later gears fit the early case. I even wanted to make it an overdrive.
  14. Bruce Lancaster
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    Bruce Lancaster
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    One of the articles on the X box, either the one in HRM or the Petersen transmission book, mentions the process that led up to it, converting an earlier Chevy box and shifter for '55 type gears and open or closed drive...
    I think it is rare because of timing. It was likely too expensive and a bit complex as a project for the average guy with a Chevy street car in comparison to just buying a floor shift kit, racers were moving on to Cad/Lasalle or Packard because Chevy and Ford boxes were too weak for the engines of the day in racing, and within a couple of years the T-10 started the four speed period and no one wanted anything else.
    The availability of much bigger engines both for Rods and for stockers at this time period made any Chevy 3 speed too weak for anyone that could afford this thing!
  15. DualQuad55
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    DualQuad55 Member

    Bruce, I agree. I think by time it made production the T10 was already out. Didnt take long to start finding them at junk yards and such. Making the X shifter essentially obsolete before it could take off.
    Really neat piece to have now days though.
    I have both the little page version and full size print of the Peterson publication about transmissions. Neat history, just not fast enough to beat borg warner to a better setup.
  16. F&J
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    F&J Member

    Most hambers would not know that top shifted transmissions were used in race type 55 and 56 chevy cars, in that small window of time before the 4 speed came out.


    There is a reprint scan on hamb ,of a 56 HotRod mag article, showing how to put a LaS or 37 Buick top shift into a 55 chevy. that's crazy stuff. I think if you showed up with one in a 55, you'd get called rat rod.
  17. DualQuad55
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    DualQuad55 Member

    yes, they used the Lasalle, Buick and even Packard topshift trans in most highpowered drag cars back then as the stock 55 style trans was not strong enough for constant abuse. Plus until the early 60s the 4spds were not as cheap to come by as a 20 yr old 3speed.
    But, you'll find that many guys who did real well racing preferred the sideshift style cad/lasalle box with a hurst style shifter as it could be shifted faster than a top shift 37 style.
  18. Mike Brock
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    Sacramento, Ca.

    Mike Brock Member

    I had a Offenhauser x case trans in my 32 5 window in 1964. It used all the 55 thru 57 3 speed guts and tailshaft. You could use the overdrive unit with it also. My buddy bought the case and was able to get nos 37 chey top cover and forks. Traded a 4 speed for it. Sweet set up behind a 283 fuelie Vet motor, it shifted great. I have been looking for one for the last 15 years.
    Mike

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