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Adding Overdrive to Saginaw 4 Speed

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Hdonlybob, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,828

    Hdonlybob
    Member

    I am wanting to add an overdrive to my Saginaw 4 speed, as well as go to a 4:11 Rear end.
    I have located this Saginaw 3 speed w/overdrive, and have saved the article posted here some time ago on the conversion.
    The article says that the 3 speed needs to be a 1962 or later....
    I have not personally seen this 3 speed yet, but here is picture of it.
    I notice that it seems to have the bell housing attached to it...
    Any idea on if this one will work for my conversion?
    Thanks much,
    Bob
     

    Attached Files:

  2. 41hemi
    Joined: Jul 2, 2007
    Posts: 931

    41hemi
    Member

    That bell is bolted to the trans with 4 bolts.....it's hard to see. Bell is 55-57 Chevy or later truck bell. They are cast iron. Trans also looks later than 62 to me. Good luck!
     
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,275

    squirrel
    Member

    you need a Saginaw 3 speed with overdrive, not one of those old Muncies like the picture shows.

    The Saginaw 3 speed overdrive transmission will look identical to your 4 speed, except it will be missing one shift lever, and it will have an overdrive unit instead of a plain tailhousing.

    this is a saginaw 3 speed ovedrive

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,828

    Hdonlybob
    Member

    Hey, thanks much for the info.
    Actually didn't realize it, but after talking to the seller, it turns out that he is a HAMB member too!! Hoodlumrocky... a good guy!
    Free bump for him !!!
    Cheers,
    Bob
     
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  5. treb11
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,301

    treb11
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  6. mtkawboy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,212

    mtkawboy
    Member

    I had a new 68 camaro with a 327/275 engine and a saginaw 4 speed. It was a terrible shifting piece of crap from day 1. I personally wouldnt have one.
     
  7. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,828

    Hdonlybob
    Member

    Great piece of information.
    Now what has it to do with my post ???? :rolleyes:
    Geesh........

     
  8. kustomd
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 1,218

    kustomd
    Member

    Does the conversion work pretty well? I have a saginaw 4 speed and a muncie M21 four speed. Overdrive would be awsome if I could use one of those transmittions in one of my hotrods with the overdrive. Is it just a bolt on deal or is there alot of fabrication to make a shifter work?

    I wasn't aware that you could do such a conversion.
     
  9. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,828

    Hdonlybob
    Member

    Here is what I am basing it on...
    http://www.chevytrucks.org/tech/overdrive.htm




     
  10. Kentuckian
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 725

    Kentuckian
    Member

  11. nickles street chop shop
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 386

    nickles street chop shop
    Member
    from Edum Tejas

    I didnt build it, but a family friend did. We put a saginaw four speed with a Studebaker tailshaft electric overdrive in my dads powerhawk. pretty cool set up.

    $0.02
     
  12. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,081

    bobwop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    the three speed with O/D is a good piece all by itself. Put in a floor shifter and those 4:11 gears and you will have tons of fun.

    you are on the right track, Bob
     
  13. Great info! I have a Saginaw 4 spd and would love OD......
     
  14. overspray
    Joined: Jan 14, 2003
    Posts: 1,232

    overspray
    Member

  15. purplehemicoupe
    Joined: Dec 8, 2010
    Posts: 6

    purplehemicoupe
    Member
    from Orinda, CA

    Have had that 2 page April 1975, Hot Rod Magazine article in my files, waiting until I found a 3 speed Saginaw transmission with Overdrive. Today was the day and I took a 1965 "two groove" model home for $250!
    I had a 4 speed Saginaw [#338935 - "three groove"] waiting. Now, does anyone have recent experience with this add on of an overdrive, particularly for which shifter to use and how to mount it on the thicker, unthreaded OD housing? Any shop to recommend that could do the job for me? Am hoping to add this to my 26 T Coupe with 392 hemi, YES I do know that the OD will not live with the 400 HP, but road manners with the 3.55 rear gears should be excellent.
     
  16. HEATHEN
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,592

    HEATHEN
    Member
    from SIDNEY, NY

    Hurst used to make a shifter for the Saginaw O/D transmissions. The bracketry mounted the shifter high and forward of the usual location to clear the solenoid.
     
  17. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,865

    Truckedup
    Member

    What Heathen says....I did the 4 speed OD conversion about 7 years ago.It was fairly simple to make a mounting bracket that bolts to the main case , shorten and reshape the shifter rods.
     
  18. F.O.G
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 259

    F.O.G
    Member
    from Pacific,Mo

    Slightly off topic...Did anyone make a floor shift for the Borg Warner O/D? I have the
    R-11 from a '51 Merc and need a floor shift, no luck so far at swap meets. Thanks.
     
  19. HEATHEN
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,592

    HEATHEN
    Member
    from SIDNEY, NY

    Both Hurst and Dragfast made them, but no one does now.
     
  20. HEATHEN
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,592

    HEATHEN
    Member
    from SIDNEY, NY

    I dug out my n.o.s. Hurst shifter for '66 and newer Saginaw O/D transmissions. If you want, I can take a picture of the mounting brackets for you.
     
  21. raengines
    Joined: Nov 6, 2010
    Posts: 227

    raengines
    Member
    from pa.

    it's a real easy converson and works great
     
  22. purplehemicoupe
    Joined: Dec 8, 2010
    Posts: 6

    purplehemicoupe
    Member
    from Orinda, CA

    Would love to see the photo of the old time shifter for the Saginaw overdrive trans. Looks to me from having my 4 spd and 3 spd OD transmissions side by side that the shifter will have to be very high to work, right through the floor where my leg needs to be! Thanks in advance.
     
  23. purplehemicoupe
    Joined: Dec 8, 2010
    Posts: 6

    purplehemicoupe
    Member
    from Orinda, CA

    The mounting for a floor shifter to clear the OD solonoid and case puts the unit higher by about four inches than the stock mounting holes on the 4 speed tail shaft. For me, this puts it right in the middle of my leg next to the foot pedals. Not going to work! Perhaps I will try the 3 speed with OD and the new 3.55 rear gears to see how that works for me.
     

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