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5 Speed Transmission for Chevy Six

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by klutchmaster427, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. klutchmaster427
    Joined: Jan 18, 2011
    Posts: 229


    I've got a 1963 Chevy 230 six that I'm putting in a 1952 Chevy coupe. I don't know too much about transmissions, so I thought I'd post a question here and see if anyone can help me.
    A 3 speed saginaw was originally bolted up to the 230. I was hoping to change to a 5 speed while I have the engine out. From the research I've done, the 230 has the same bellhousing bolt pattern as some of the bigger V6's like the 4.3, and the small block V8s.
    A talked to a guy about a transmission he has that came out of a chevy truck with a 4.3. It's a 5 speed, and I'm assuming it's a T5 but I'm not sure because he said the bellhousing was one piece with the transmission casing, and I thought T5's all had bellhousing that would unbolt from the tranny.
    The 3 speed that's on the 230 right now has a 10 spline input shaft. He said his transmission has an input shaft with 10 splines as well. What I need to know most is, if the clutch that was being used for the 230 and 3 speed will fit on the input shaft of the new 5 speed, will I be able to reuse that clutch setup or will I need to find one specifically for the 5 speed.

    Any help, or even suggestions of other transmissions, would be greatly appreciated. Also, one more question. The gear ratio with the current tranny and rearend means the car tops in 3rd around 45-50 mph, as is expected. The rearend gears for those cars seem to be ridiculously expensive. If I keep the rear gears the same and put a 5 speed in, would it help remedy that issue and get me to where I could drive somewhat comfortably on the interstate?
  2. inliner2318
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 312


    The bolt pattern on the 230 is the same for all of the later chevies. if you want cheap find a donor camro or nova and take the TH350 and rear to match. You can even use a 700R4 behind the 230.

    If you want a manual trans any of the tremec or t-5 will be ok for a stock 230. You can even use a four speed muncie or saginaw with 3.08 gears and strill cruise at 65.

    If you use a camaro trans or s-10 check out the modifications on the tech page at However, i think it looks funny to have a 50s car with a stick shift on the floor. it is almost as bad a B&M ratchet shifter or a lokar style floor shifter. Just my opinion.

    If the 230 is no good, find a good running 250 or 292 they are similar in design with more cubes.
    1Nimrod likes this.
  3. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,184

    from Michigan

    Let's see if I can give you some real good wrong answers,

    Right...starting in '63, the bellhousing to engine bolt pattern is the same for the inline sixes and smallblocks and bigblocks too. Don't know about the V6s. And all the saginaw and muncie 3 and 4 speed transmissions shared the same bolt pattern. T5s too I think, though I don't have personal experience. I don't know much about the T5s. I'd think it would have a separate bellhousing.

    For clutches: Yes, the 10 spline clutch disc will work with another 10 spline trans. If for some reason you changed to a trans with a different number of splines, you would just need to purchase a disc with the matching number of splines. I believe the only other real determining factor is overall diameter...10", 11", etc. The pressure plate has to be the correct diameter also, and simply needs to fit the bolt pattern on the flywheel.

    I think almost all standard transmissions had a 1:1 final drive-ratio. So using the same rear axle differential but now with an overdrive trans will certainly bring highway rpms down.

    Hope I helped. Be assured, if I gave you wrong info, somebody will correct me. And that's a good thing. Good luck.
  4. klutchmaster427
    Joined: Jan 18, 2011
    Posts: 229


    Thanks a lot for the info guys. That tells me pretty much all I need to know. The 230 is in good running shape. It was retrofitted into a 51 4 door I had, and now I'm pulling it out of the 51 to put into the 52 coupe. Sounds like this transmission should work good for me. I'll see if I can pick it up at a decent price (he was asking to trade for some 14" tires, so his cash price might be relatively low). After I find out the casting number or at least what type of tranny it is I'll post it here.
    Thanks again!

  5. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,406

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    I'm not up on Chevy 6 engines, but I believe several folks have adapted the T5 successfully and w/o much drama. See the link in my signature - there is at least one thread in there on a Chevy 6 conversion
  6. OldBuzzard
    Joined: Mar 8, 2008
    Posts: 878


    What rear end are you going to use?? It sounds like you're leaving the stock rear.
  7. adamshumard
    Joined: Jan 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,380


    and the stock rear would be torque tube. No worky with the t5.
  8. Okay, make sure your trans is like 1990 or older, the newer ones have an electronic speedometer drive which will not run your speedo. You can convert some of them over but others require an expensive conversion box.

    Next, you can't keep the stock rearend and I don't know why you'd want to. As long as we're pirating S10s, get an S10 4x4 rear for it, put some new perches on and go. Has to be a 4x4, the 2-wheel drive is too narrow. If that's more than you want to do, a 72-81 Camaro/Firebird 10-bolt is nearly a bolt in, you have to drill new holes as the locating pin on the Chevy spring is offset. It's a tad wider than the original, too, you won't be able to run skirts.
  9. george5121
    Joined: Jul 25, 2010
    Posts: 12

    from omaha Ne.

    Just my 2 cents worth. Chevy S10 T5 does not have a 10 spline input. T5 is the only practicle 5 speed swap because you need to retain the bellhousing from the 230 or you will not be able to mount a starter. Other 5 speeds use an aluminum bell that will rob you of a starter mount. If someone has a 4.3 chevy truck five speed 10 spline that could be put in a car it is the NV3500 and that won't work.
  10. Bonehead II
    Joined: Apr 18, 2005
    Posts: 428

    Bonehead II

    I'm sure that I can screw this up as well, I have put a T-5 on a chevy inline, This is how I did it. I got a bell housing from the late 50's the one that has the side mounts and the starter bolts to it, them I tryed a T-5 from an s-10 and found that the spline's on the input shaft were not long enough and would not let the clutch disingauge. I then got an T-5 from a V6 firebird and the spline's were about an 1" longer, problem solved.
    I run a 10.5" clutch with this set up, also the bell housing has the right size hole for the front brg. I think 168 tooth flywheel. A lot of trucks had this set up...Good luck...mike
  11. Talk to these guys, they have all the info you need and are hambers too.
  12. Lobucrod
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 4,122

    Alliance Vendor
    from Texas

    I put a t5 behind a 4 cyl chevy motor. Had to shorten the part of the input shaft that sticks into the pilot bearing about 5/8 inch, shorten the throwout bearing collar on the front bearing retainer about an inch, and do a little grinding on the rear of of the spline on the clutch plate so the input shaft could slide into it far enough so the clutch could disengage from the flywheel. Heres a pic of it all bolted up
    flyin-t likes this.
  13. jeffh547
    Joined: Jun 21, 2011
    Posts: 30

    from Florida

    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011

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