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Hot Rods Automatic or Straight drive?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, May 15, 2019.

  1. Which transmission did you use in your current hot rod or custom., and if you had it to do over would you do the same?

    I have a automatic transmission in my old beater and I used it because of a bad leg due to a motorcycle accident in the early 70's, I am content with my choice and have no desire to change it.

    I installed a 5-speed transmission in Brenda's wagon mainly because I had access to a recently rebuilt transmission along with the engine, the wagon seems to have more leg room thus making it easier for me to use the left leg for the clutch, Brenda loves it and as long as she is happy with shifting gears it will remain.

    I have often thought in the future it would be nice to install a automatic in the wagon to make it easier to tow our Shasta camper. HRP
  2. So far for me it’s all manual transmissions. I had a Camaro with an automatic and didn’t care for it .
  3. Muncie close ratio 4 speed, Hurst competition plus shifter and 11.75" clutch. If I did it again, I might use a beefy 5 speed for the overdrive.
    31hotrodguy, ladyhrp, Deuces and 2 others like this.
  4. I'll have to admit, for highway driving that 5th gear make a lot of difference. HRP
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  5. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 2,271

    from Oregon

    When i was a young buck i would want a standard trans then get bored an want an auto. After a couple years of going back and forth I looked auto the back door and thought ahhhh,finally both. An old Chevy truck with a standard and a Chevelle with an automatic. Then i realized That didn't make me content.:oops: The '27 has a C 4 but the next one I am hoping to get an old truck and run a Muncie in it. Maybe a 5 speed.
    ladyhrp, Deuces and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  6. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 875


    It’s a lot more fun to rawhide around in a straight drive car, but the older I get the more aggravating it is to row through the gears, trying to drink my morning coffee on the way to work.
    I like having the choice, depending on the mood.
    It’s your stuff, but you have them backwards for my tastes.:D
    ladyhrp, Deuces and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 42,340


    Whatever the car needs, that's what it gets. I'll drive it.
  8. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,555


    In my '28 roadster I'm using an old B&M 4 spd Hydro behind the Olds. I have the 5 spd and all the conversion stuff, I even had the flywheel balanced along with Torus flywheel because I couldn't make up my mind. But I just have to try the old Hydro - it just seems right for an early '60s build.
    If and when I step up to a better engine in my '56 Chevy, I have a Muncie 4 spd, steel flywheel and scattershield for it. The leaky TH350 won't go back in.
  9. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,947

    Rusty O'Toole

    There was a time when manual trans gave better performance but really since the 1960s the difference has been small, with many times the advantage going to the automatic if it is set up right. I like a good manual trans but it can get to be a bore and a nuisance if you drive in heavy traffic.
  10. ffr1222k
    Joined: Nov 5, 2009
    Posts: 1,021


    I prefer a stick but traffic has got so bad in our area it isn't as much fun as it was.
  11. LAROKE
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,319


    All my rides have manuals 'cause I like to row thru the gears, even tho' I live in a city. The '37 has a Camaro T5 rebuilt with S10 tail and worldclass parts. The '55 has a M22 rockcrusher with Hurst linkage and the Caddy ATS-V has a TR-6060. I'm not saying the sticks are better than autos, just my preference.
  12. blackanblue
    Joined: Feb 20, 2009
    Posts: 348


    TH350 with the small block blower motor in the 31 and 700r4 in the 52 gmc also sbc good for pulling our Trillium long hauls.
    ladyhrp, Deuces and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  13. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 11,469

    from oregon

    Muncie M-20 for my wifes' 67 Nova

    Richmond Super T-10 for my roadster.

  14. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 2,271

    from Oregon

  15. Jokester
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 288


    Automatic in the sedan so the wife can drive it with her aftermarket knee. Muncie 4 speed in the coupe so she can't.

  16. robracer1
    Joined: Aug 3, 2015
    Posts: 489


    At 72 everytime I think I'm to old to shift gears, I find I'm not and want to shift again
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  17. spanners
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 726


    I don't know why you'd want an auto for towing a trailer. I have towed my HA/GR enclosed trailer up and down the East Coast of Australia for the last 4 years behind a diesel Navara with 6 speed manual 'box and only last week after a dealer service they were surprised it didn't need brake work. Not having to keep touching the brakes on gentle declines and in traffic makes a difference. 35 years as a truck driver probably helps as well. Actually, I'm just a gear jammer at heart. I hate driving my wife' auto 'shopping trolley'.
  18. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 2,105

    Flathead Dave
    from So. Cal.

    ladyhrp, Deuces and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  19. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 24,713


    I love rowing my own gears but my 72 year old left knee starts raising hell with me if I make it work a stiff clutch anymore. My "work truck" is a 77 dualie flatbed with a hoist and a 454 4 speed that kills my knee in traffic. I've got an AX-15 for the 48 and a T 5 for the A but will run lighter clutches in them.
    ladyhrp, Deuces and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 1,633


    I got over the thrill of running through the gears years ago. My convertible has a TH 400, the 42 Chevy for my daughter will have a TH350 behind the small block.
  21. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,116

    from texas

    Enjoy the four speed. Having to relearn how to make it work. Left leg needs to help the brain remember to tell the right to do this are that. The brain needs the right arm to be doing its job while the left is doing its job. Have been getting several Good shifts when I've driven it. Then you have the turn signal switch o deal with and the mirrors to be looked at. All this going on and your trying to look cool.
    ladyhrp, Deuces and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  22. flamedabone
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,378


    TKO 600 in the '40.


    I fucking LOVE driving this car.


  23. Current project is getting a 700r4.
    Will let you know how it works out
    Project is a 1930 closed cab pick up.
    ladyhrp, Deuces and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  24. Taboo56Chevy
    Joined: May 21, 2018
    Posts: 365


    My 33 ford pickup has a th350 and it will stay that way,
    55 Chevy has a T10 4 speed
    Taboo has a Muncie M21 4 speed
    both of my off topic 68 Chevy's (Camaro and C10) have Muncie 4 speeds, Camaro a M20 and a M21 in the C10

    I like having the weekend and occasional fun cars being a manual and my new daily driver being an automatic. I have thought about putting a manual in my 33 but its all set up for the auto and it works perfect.
    ladyhrp, Deuces and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  25. Turbo 350 in this........... 044-vi (1).jpg
  26. Muncie 4-speed in this........... 2013-10-22 13.06.45.jpg
  27. Best of both worlds, but I do want a 5-speed in something.
  28. All mine have 5 speeds. I can see that if my left knee gives out that an auto will be needed. It will have to be some kind of overdrive. I drive long distances to most everywhere I need to go with a rod.

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