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53 Dodge transmission

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by impulse139, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. impulse139
    Joined: Jun 15, 2009
    Posts: 7

    impulse139
    Member
    from flint

    I have a 53 Dodge Coronet with a 230 flathead and the fluid coupling converter with 3 on the tree. I want to get rid of that set up and put in either a 4 or 5 speed manual trans in it. My question is what manual trans will bolt up with no problems if any? The fluid drive coupling is cool and all but I can't find any info on it and I'm just not a fan of stuff I know nothing about.
     
  2. StayFrosty
    Joined: Apr 13, 2010
    Posts: 24

    StayFrosty
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    The folks over at The P15-D24 forums have documented a lot of different swaps. Lots of people use the 3-speed /w overdrive setups from Plymouths of the era since they didn't have the fluid drive. The 5-speed from pre '87 Ford Rangers has been a popular swap as well because it is relatively simple to adapt.

    Honestly, there's nothing wrong with the fluid-drive coupling. It's just a torque converter that sits in front of the flywheel. There isn't much to go wrong on it.
     
  3. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,286

    George
    Member

    Trannys for the flat 6 up to '59 bolt on. Quality Engineered Components, "73RR" here on the Board makes adaptors for modern trannys. He'll probably wiegh in sooner or later.
     
  4. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,298

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    53 Dodge has a strange setup. The torque converter uses the engine oil. The engine oil pan holds 11 quarts, you only change it once a year.

    The torque converter is like any other torque converter. The transmission is like a 4 speed, self shifting. You know how the shifter forks slide back and forth? Well they turned the rail into a hydraulic cylinder and put a little gerotor pump on the back of the trans to drive it. Then 3 gizmos on the right side to control it. If you get an old repair manual you can figure it out, I did and I never even graduated high school.

    There is NO transmission that will bolt up with no problems. Closest is from a flathead six up to 1959 as someone pointed out. But you will have to plug the oil lines that go to the torque converter. Then everything should bolt up. You will need to move the rear crossmember and possibly change the drive shaft - the manual trans setup is shorter, as it eliminates the torque converter.

    It is actually a pretty good transmission as it is. More efficient than the older fluid drive. Much like a modern automatic except for the clutch pedal.
     

  5. no easy solution here....if it runs ok....leave it alone...it won't give you any grief...pretty much bulletproof.
     
  6. impulse139
    Joined: Jun 15, 2009
    Posts: 7

    impulse139
    Member
    from flint

    Well I guess I'll have to do some research. Part of it is the trans is making a wicked whistling noise. (not a fun noise, sounds like a bearing of some sort). Also when I'm stopped the fluid coupling makes a low groan noise until I start moving again. I have the service manual but lack finding parts for it. I will check on the other forum and see what they can come up with. But a adapter for a newer style trans would be great.
     

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