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4 on the tree - '55 chevy

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by KCTA Chris, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Column shifting isn't fun - really it isn't.
    Its not ergonomically friendly.
    Its not mechanicaly friendly
    Its not performance friendly.
  2. 32-3 WINDOW
    Joined: Nov 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,696

    32-3 WINDOW
    from utah

    hotrod primer is correct chevy vans around 66-69 had a factory 4 speed colume shift and it worked great
  3. toyota trucks in the 60's had 4spd on column.
  4. GregCon
    Joined: Jun 18, 2012
    Posts: 689

    from Houston

    I wouldn't out one in any kind of hot rod but if you happen to have a 63 Valiant with a 170 Slant Six and 3 on the tree, well, there's not much better than that.
  5. Flat Roy
    Joined: Nov 23, 2007
    Posts: 407

    Flat Roy

    A LONG TIME AGO IN A-----ran a 51 Chev inliner with a Corvette clutch and 4spd. 4 on the column. and a short lever on the floor for reverse. It worked well as long as the column shift was not wore out.
  6. mr crocket
    Joined: Feb 9, 2009
    Posts: 70

    mr crocket

    Mercedes had a 4 on the tree
    Cosmo49 likes this.
  7. Gofannon
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 563


    Here's one I've been running the past 20 years in my RHD '55 Bel Air 4 door. Shifts OK but needs to be kept in adjustment. Find an extra offset lever, thin the section where the shifter tube engages on all three, cut the column out a bit to let them fit. On the shifter tube, grind a bit off the piece where the gear lever engages to allow it to extend a little further into the upper housing, giving slightly longer travel. Narrow the key at the bottom of the shifter tube that engages into the 3 levers. A Muncie 4 speed can go into reverse while engaged in any forward gear. I welded a small plate to the shifter tube half way up that engages a spring loaded ball when in the position for reverse gear, just gives a little resistance to let me know where to stop for first/second (middle lever in my setup). I still hook 2 gears at once sometimes. Car is basically restored Coral/Shadow Grey 4 door, wide whites, looks like a nana's car. Runs a 350 that until recently was dressed to look like a '59 Vette 283, front mounts and generator etc. Just swapped the carbs out for an old single Quadrajet. Catches a few people out.:)

  8. Gofannon
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 563


    You're on your own with linkages. I don't know if it would be easier or not on a LHD car, the crazy cross shaft setup we got on RHD cars may allow for more options. A mate of mine converted his '55 to 4 speed colomn shift as well, but he went with cables.

    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  9. graverobber63
    Joined: Sep 8, 2004
    Posts: 4,135

    Alliance Vendor

  10. KCTA Chris
    Joined: Jan 16, 2002
    Posts: 409

    KCTA Chris

    That sees like a great way to do it.
    Thanks for the great pictures, they help a lot.

    The cross shaft is crazy.

  11. My God that seems like the long way around the barn,but it is right hand steering as I suppose that is what it is.....
    sure seems like a lot of trouble for little gain.....Yep, Im old/Ha!!
  12. Gofannon
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 563


    The cross shafts are OE for RHD Chevys, I just made a bracket to take an extra one. I did this 30 odd years ago, when I was younger, more energetic, and not so wise. I wish I had an auto in it now.:D
    Bleach likes this.
  13. terryble
    Joined: Sep 25, 2008
    Posts: 541

    from canada

    Early sixties Chevs and I belive Pontiacs had an available option four on the tree.
  14. ScottV
    Joined: Jul 18, 2009
    Posts: 818


    My '62 International Pickup had a 4 speed column shifter
  15. So-Cal Speed Sacramento
    Joined: Sep 6, 2008
    Posts: 463

    So-Cal Speed Sacramento
    Alliance Vendor
    from Sacramento

    Roseville Rod and Custom built one for the '55 truck they did a few years back. You may want to give them a holler.
  16. Beardedguy
    Joined: Apr 5, 2015
    Posts: 3


    They do make the column shift 4 speed. I have a ‘68 g10 van that was factory with a 307 with a t-10 and column shift. Been trying to figure out how to rebuild it. Not many of them left out there it seems. Anyone have any info in them? Or how to make them work better?

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  17. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,635

    from oregon

    Holy moldy thread Batman!
    I try to not say "never" but something's fishy here, the last standard T-10 in a Chevrolet was 1963 (ish). Buicks and Pontiacs carried them into 65/66, best I've found.
    The OEM Super T-10 came on scene about 73/74, I'm guessing this van came with a Saginaw and the trans got swapped at some point.
  18. Kerrynzl
    Joined: Jun 20, 2010
    Posts: 2,284


    This appears to be a T10 with a Oddball tailhousing rear mount [Sag's don't have the reverse lever in the tailhousing]

    4spd column.jpg
  19. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 2,466


    I had a 66 Saab that was a 3 cylinder. 2 stroke w/3carbs and a 4 SPD. column shift.... I drove that thing around for three weeks not knowing that it was a 4 SPD I didn't know that you had to pull out and down for reverse I would have friends push me backwards if needed and I thought the extra forward gear was a OD or was hell of a fun car....

    Sent from my QTASUN1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  20. jeepsterhemi
    Joined: Dec 5, 2009
    Posts: 2,100


    In about '74, I had a 1954 Hillman convertible with a very tire 4 flathead and 4 foward speed at the column activated with cables and pulley system.

    I street raced with city busses....I have a chance to win if the bus was full of people....if the bus was empty....loose everytime....
  21. 6 yrs now and my ideas haven't changed :D
  22. Yeah, retrofit that mess along with the diesel engine in your car and see how much "fun" that will be. :p

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