The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Lloyd's paint & glass, Nov 21, 2020.
Leaning towards manual trans on my vehicles from now on but not with a stiff clutch.
most of my cars have manual transmissions and stock clutches. They really are quite easy to drive.....
Yeah I get it. Little bit different if you actually drive your car though. I'd love a 5 speed with my 4:10 gears. I read so much shit on here daily that isn't "true" to the pre 65 rule, but it's closer to hot rodding than not. There are different cliques or groups here. Those that can afford a blown flathead 32 Ford to sit in their garage and take pictures of, and the rest of us. how traditional is a Chevy 3 speed transmission? Hmmmmmmm. Honestly I don't give a rat's ass, build a damn car and drive it! Ain't that what this is about?
I had a local clutch shop get me parts for one of mine and its too stiff,sold me a diaphram pressure plate instead of the tree fingered version and I do not like it.
There are some tricks you can do to make your clutch work a little easier! First make sure ALL of your pivot points are in good shape and lubed! If this does not help or fix the stiffness. You can add a little to the length at the top of your Z bar and redrill the bottom of the Z bar a little and reduce the force it takes to depress the clutch. Be careful of alinement too, much on either end will spell disaster , but a little is usually available. Since this will be your car, just remember to push your clutch pedal ALL the way down when you shift!
I have seen bushings out of clutch linkage that make an ordinary clutch feel like a super strong clutch! Also make sure the snout on the front of the transmission where the throw out bearing slides is smooth and lubericated. .
4 speeds are great but after driving them for many years in lots of traffic, automatics seem to be better. After driving in town for an extended period of time I sometimes skip a gear or two or take off in 2nd.Muncie's seem to have better ratios along with rear end gearing There still nothing like winding out a 4speed though!
The NV3500 works great in the tri-fives, the shifter is far enough forward to clear the bench seat and they should still be in the boneyards. I had one in a 55. A three speed would be great also.
My O/T daily driver Ranger had an automatic when it was built. It sat for 4 years with a blown engine and after I rebuilt the engine, the damn automatic gave up the ghost. I considered rebuilding myself, then I remembered that automatics I’ve tried to rebuild end up having all neutral gears. For 500 bucks plus a clutch, I put a five speed and drive it everyday to work. I also don’t have to worry about burning up the five speed pulling a trailer. If the five speed gives trouble, I can easily rebuild it myself. After rebuilding a double countershaft Fuller Roadranger, 3,4, and 5 speeds are easy. I do understand guys that need an automatic due to medical reasons.
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Oh the dilemma
I would look into a newer 5 speed thats what I'm doing on my build
True, but when you rebuild that '55 virgin 265, are you using everything made pre-'65?
Look at it this way, person walks up to hot rod'esh car looks inside and see's clutch pedal and shifter. Instant cool! Unless you take off and they are counting gears no one will Know the differance! lol Larry.
No dilemma, you stated yourself a few posts up "use what ya have", or similar.
If you don't have a good 3 speed and have a good auto...use the auto, and vice-versa.
Do you want to drive it, or let it sit to make everyone happy?
Yeah I was being funny. I have a 350th already in the car, and I have everything to put the 3 speed manual in the car. I need an automatic for my old lady's project, so that was my original question, if you had an automatic and a 3 speed manual laying there, which would you use. If I go buy anything, I'll just buy another 350 turbo for her truck
I like the way you think Larry
Well, cool is shifting, so...if my lady was to drive it, knowing that I know she'd burn the clutch up across town...and I wanted to be a cool kid....I'd hang a 3rd pedal so everyone though I had a manual.
Kinda like stuffing a sock in your pants, right?
So, what do you want? Do you want to shift or cruise?
I'm sure you'd tell me to eff off if I saw your car and "car showed" talked it and said to someone, "it's an auto"...
I just like to shift these old cars, it's part of their charm, and true raw, no frills driving experience.
Stick transmission=antitheft device built in!
I put a free 3 speed saginaw in my low buck T roadster when i built it. Then i came across a free 4speed saginaw and put it in and ran it till i destroyed 1st gear this spring. Had to step up with an $800 muncie. So glad i took the time to work out how to fabricate a clutch and brake pedal assembly and linkage all those years ago instead of a th350. Never had a hint of regret. I think back of all the time i spent trying to figure out how to make those parts and get them to function and feel kinda proud.
i used to drive a 4 speed car in la 405 fwy traffic for at least 2 to 3 hours everyday for 10 years. i would get going and shift to 2 and then stop. that sucks!! i finaly bought another car with auto and it didn't bother me any more. use what you got for the driving you will be doing.
Sticks are better for push starting.
I watched a show where WW2 planes were located under 300 feet of snow decades later. They sucked the air out of the tires to preserve it so it could be used during the rebuild.
So I guess unless we are using vintage oil, nos parts, grease, paint, hardware,...... the pre 65 is blurred.
But I know there is a very small minority that probably gets very close.
Sorry stepped out for a late breakfast at the Municipal Airport then drove the red 56 where ever the steering wheel said to go.
You may have also stumbled upon this online as well?
SAGINAW 3 SPEED:
# OF SHAFT GROOVES 1St Gear 2nd Gear 3rd Gear
0 2.85 1.68 1.0
1 2.54 1.50 1.0
2 3.11 1.84 1.0
3 3.50 1.89 1.0
Yeah it was on another thread here. There aren't any grooves on the input shaft so I assume it's the 2.85 first gear.
I'm always up for shifting, floor or tree. I say keep the Elco on the tree and the '57 an automatic. As I get older I like to have one automatic in the lot for those problem days. Like you said, crawling around and bending under things is starting to have an effect on my back/knees. I'm 4 yrs and 5 months away....but who's counting.
If you are in need of a good, Hurst shifter for a 3 speed, I have em". Even have a NOS for a Tri-Five Chevrolet with the Muncie 318 transmission. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
I learned to drive in my dads 58chev 3 on the tree company car & my Buddy's '59 Catalina 389 3 speed floor conversion , I have always had a manual trans car since 1963 . There's a feeling of being more connected to a car with a manual , shifting at the appropriate time by " feel" & by ear , " catching "the rpms downshifting , double clutching a non synchro trans , there's " operators "& there's" drivers" , those who are in tune with their car ,& those who aren't , its difficult to feel connected to a machine that thinks for itself ...
A bit OT, but worthy to note that GM '60s performance cars often had a 3 on the floor as the base transmission. Deeper 1st gear.
I guess a lot depends on what you are building and how it will be used, along with health considerations. I put back the 3 on the tree in my 53 because that was the way it came, and planned as an weekend cruiser. My new project (40 Buick) will be automatic.
Put a 4 speed knob on a 3 speed shifter and only you will be able to drive it!
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