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54 Chevy Tri-Five axle swap retaining 54 235??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 51fordor, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. 51fordor
    Joined: Sep 16, 2010
    Posts: 215

    51fordor
    Member

    I want to swap out the factory torque tube setup and replace it with a axle from a tri-five chevy. I plan to swap out the 235 in a couple years but she runs perfect now and I enjoy driving it. I plan on putting air ride on the car so wanted to ditch the factory rear end first. My question is what transmission/bell housing do I need to look for that will bolt up to the 1954 235? The car is a factory 3 speed car. I would prefer to keep the car manual, and with minimal mods to the cross member. Thanks again guys!
     
  2. grynder
    Joined: Nov 27, 2009
    Posts: 33

    grynder
    Member

    Search the T5 threads. Tons of great info on here. I just did this last winter/spring. The threads and info on here made my life really easy.

    I used:

    89 S10 T5

    hotrod works adapter-can't say enough good things about this kit

    stock bellhousing and clutch fork

    USE AN S10 PILOT BUSHING

    54 pressure plate

    54 throwout bearing. gonna sleeve it this winter cause its a little loose on the input shaft but it works ok well greased.

    S10 clutch disc

    57 chevy rearend. 3.70 gears. I used the lowering blocks to accomodate the pin location.

    Modified the 57 backing plates for the 54 e brake cables. This took some trial and error. I ended up with 1 cable hooked up which works fine. If you find shorter cables its easier.

    custom made driveshaft

    modified original cross member with a generic trans mount from Jegs

    70mph on the highway and a blast to drive. Best thing I've done to the car. Enjoy
     
  3. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope
    Member

    I used a '55 trans, bell, clutch and driveshaft with the '55 rear in my '54.
     
  4. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,503

    fastcar1953
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    this is the one i used for the 5 speed s10 behind 235 . came from a 56 truck, no spacer or adapter needed.
     

    Attached Files:


  5. Fatkid138
    Joined: Feb 18, 2013
    Posts: 21

    Fatkid138
    Member

    When I researched this for my t5 swap in my 54 chevy. A 235 bell housing from 55 on up will work. The mounting holes for the transmission are spaced for 4 speed and 5 speed transmissions. The bell housings from trucks with a 235 have mounts on them. Ones from cars or station wagons don't have a mount on them, and will rely on the transmission mount. Then just use your original throw out bearing, shift fork, flywheel, and pressure plate. If you use a t5 from an s10 a spacer will be required, because of the length of the input shaft and shaft collar. A t5 from a camaro will bolt not require a spacer since the shaft and collar are the same. Depending on the size of your original clutch is what you would replace it with. They make t5 clutches for flathead uses and sell them at speedway. The clutches come in either 9 or 10 inch, and 14 or 26 spline. 14 spline for s10 and 26 spline for camaro. Camaro transmissions from v8 cars have the better ratios. On camaro trans. the tailhousing has to be swapped to have the shifter clear the bench seat. S10 ratios aren't as desirable especially the ones from 4 cyl trucks. Here is a chart of ratios and applications http://www.britishv8.org/articles/borg-warner-t5-id-tags.htm.


    Meanwhile at the Hall of Doom!
     
  6. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,133

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The clutch forks on the car and truck bells do not match. The truck bell can be made to work, but not as easily as an adapter on the car bell. I have installed several Hot Rod Works adapters and S10 T5's. Almost too easy.

    More T5 info than you will ever need: http://www.flatheadv8.org/ernie/ernie-t5.htm

    In my experience, the ratios in the Camaro T5 are simply too tall for a 235. Early S10 T5's have lower ratios, than ones '85-on, and those are a little low. You will find the tag numbers and ratios in the link above. The earlier ones can be made to work, too, it just take the proper rear gear selection. The Camaro ones can be made to work, but the gears required for the rear are out of the common range in OEM applications.

    Car bell:
    [​IMG]

    Car bell, with adapter for an S10 T5:
    [​IMG]

    Truck bell:
    [​IMG]

    Note the difference in the location of the clutch fork window. Using the truck bell WILL force you into re-working the clutch linkage. Good at complex geometry?
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
  7. StefanS
    Joined: Oct 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,098

    StefanS
    Member
    from Maryland

    Sorry to jump in on this but does anybody know which truck bellhousing will work for putting a sb into a '54? I called buffalo ent. and he told me which years would work but I can't remember what he said at all. Figured I'd ask here instead of calling him and asking the same question twice.
     
  8. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,133

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    A small-block, with which transmission? Do you want to put the small-block in front of a stock 3-speed?
     
  9. StefanS
    Joined: Oct 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,098

    StefanS
    Member
    from Maryland

    Yeah, that's what I mean...sorry. 3 on the tree and a low power 305
     

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