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Technical EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT TRANSMISSIONS BUT WAS AFRAID TO ASK

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Jan 17, 2022.

  1. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 4,475

    okiedokie
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Ok

    2004R cores have become non existent around here. Maybe Carr bought all of em.
     
  2. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,466

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    I've had and I've driven them all, manual, auto, 3 speeds, 4 speeds, 5 speeds. I spent a number of years driving a truck with a 5 speed manual (and a 2-speed rear end), and I spent a lot of hours, I mean a LOT of hours creeping along in LA traffic in that thing, move along 10 feet and stop. Move another 10 feet and stop. Move 5 feet and stop. Drive 20 miles doing that. I've had muscle cars with Muncie 4 speeds, and a VW Beetle with 4 speeds, and an old Suburban with straight 6 and 3 on the floor and an old Econoline with a straight 6 and 3 on a tree which I drove for a couple of years for an after school job delivering flowers when I was in high school. Man, I drove that damned thing all over So Cal, beat the hell of out of it, just like any teen age boy would do. Yeah, I've done the manual shift thing to death. I mean, I still enjoy shifting a trans manually, but I don't need to do it to prove my manliness to any idiot on the net. I have more miles and more hours shifting gears than most, and in some pretty serious machinery too.

    Now, in both my Model A pickup and my 47 coupe I have auto transmissions, and they work just fine. In the pickup, that thing is so tiny inside, and leg room is so compromised, I really don't miss having to use a clutch pedal to drive it. Having some place on the floor to put my left foot makes driving much more enjoyable, and this is supposed to be enjoyable after all. You know, in one thread you have guys talk about the lack of leg room in these things, they even talk about adding inches to the cab to gain some much needed leg room; than in the next thread you have guys talk about how "a real hot rod has 3 pedals". Get the fuck out of here.

    Is there a performance loss using an automatic? Eh, I don't know about that. I think automatic trans have been proven over the years on the drag strip. In road racing manuals may still be favored, but the top performing trans these days are DCT which don't incorporate a clutch pedal. But that's off topic here, so no need to elaborate. The only thing I think I'm really giving up with the auto trans in my pickup is the ability to dump the clutch and chirp the tires. But then it's easier on the drive train, less tearing things up.
     
  3. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,199

    TagMan
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    With all due respect and just so no one gets confused, the NV883 /440 is the 883 with 4th gear changed to overdrive, not 3rd.
     
    HOTRODPRIMER and brando1956 like this.
  4. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,927

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My Model A has a 3-speed automatic, as I could not figure out how to package a manual the way I needed to go.
     
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,951

    squirrel
    Member

    I guess I should have been more clear...3rd gear ratio changes to an overdrive ratio, and becomes 4th gear. What used to be 4th gear is 1:1, and is now 3rd gear. They put the shift lever upside down from previous, so the shift pattern is correct.
     
  6. I have an M5OD-R2 in my truck. Wasn't my first choice, but the offer (a damn good one at that) fell into my lap. So, my goal is to eventually use until it dies some sort of horrible death and then get a nice 5 speed for it.
     
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  7. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 3,478

    goldmountain

    Ford did that to their 4 speed also when converting it into an overdrive. Unfortunately when you do this in conjunction with a Jeep shifter top, it really messes with the shift pattern and can get overdrive mixed with reverse so consequently, I shift carefully.
     
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  8. klawockvet
    Joined: May 1, 2012
    Posts: 475

    klawockvet
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Its impossible for me to wrap my head around a fifties hot rod with anything but a three or four speed. I know others were starting to tout the benefits of automatics in the late fifties but I could never accept an automatic in anything until the seventies. I've managed to collect a 53 Merc engine, a 39 transmission and a 40 rear end to build my future AV8 in a mid fifties tradition. There were certainly some hot cars running automatics by the sixties but the percentage of manual hot rods with automatics was more rare than the amount of hot rods with automatics today. At least thats my biased unscientific observation. I'm running OT trans in all my current cars. I love the RTS in my banger powered roadster. I have a T5 in my 40 and its a good transmission but I would prefer a column shift and would go with less HP and a stock transmission if I had it to do all over again.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2022
    210superair likes this.
  9. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,838

    gene-koning
    Member

    I agree with squirrel concerning the NV833, but he said it a lot nicer then I would have.

    As for my hot rods, my 48 Plymouth coupe coupe has a 5 speed OD V6 with a 3:55 rear gear. It has the hydro clutch linkage, and will remain a 5 speed as long as my left knee will allow it. I'm not sure I could handle the V6 with an auto behind it. My wife won't drive the manual trans. My 49 Dodge pickup has an OD auto trans behind a 318, with 3:55 rear gears. My wife has driven it.

    I can smoke the tires in 1st, lay rubber in 2nd, and get a tire chirp in 3rd with the coupe (limited slip with 225 70 15 tires) when I feel like getting stupid. The truck spins easily with a heavy throttle, from a standing stop. Both were built to drive and both are fun.
     
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  10. Mimilan
    Joined: Jun 13, 2019
    Posts: 1,106

    Mimilan
    Member

    It sounds like the 3 locking keys on the hubs have moved.
    This is reasonably common on t5's because they don't have shift stops.

    With the trans out, you need to get the tailhousing off to remove the top cover.
    Once the top cover is off you can carefully push the keys back in place wth a screwdriver
     
    alanp561 likes this.
  11. topher5150
    Joined: Feb 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,693

    topher5150
    Member

    I bought an old C-4 from an early 70s Mustang, that a guy had sitting around in his garage for $100. Quite a bit of sludge in the bottom of the pan. Hopefully, it's not completely burnt out.
     
  12. I have used a couple of power glides in the past but after drive cars with the 350/400 transmissions, IMHO the power glides feel like they never come out of second gear.
    I realize they are more popular for drag racing. HRP
     
    olscrounger likes this.
  13. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 1,406

    X-cpe

    Coupster has a short tail shaft, course spline PG because it was free. 57 PU has a long tail shaft TH400 because it has a big block. Have an OT overdrive for it if I find the money for a controller.
     
  14. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,951

    squirrel
    Member

    If it's a Gear Vendors, you need to make it so it can never engage in Reverse, and also never engage below a car speed of about 15 mph. I figured out how to do it on a manually shifted TH400, using two switches and a relay. It might possible to do it using a pressure switch in the transmission. I think there was one that was used on the direct clutch, for a smog device that came on in high gear. If you wire the relay to need that grounded, AND a lock out switch for reverse on the shifter, then you could make it work without a controller. Gotta make sure it's right though, so you don't break stuff.
     
    alanp561 likes this.
  15. 272140634_10219963090016808_8489419287593737186_n.jpg 269671935_10219963088496770_298630210583324189_n.jpg
    I had to do some digging to get a core that I have now gutted as a mock up. A buddy of mine may guide me thru a rebuild of it when I'm done with it. They are definitely getting hard to find.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2022
  16. Richmond T-10 with Hurst Comp shifter. Awesome set up !
     
  17. Back in the day when I first built my 32, I opted for the C4 because it was already behind the 289 that I pulled out of a 67 Mustang to swap into my car. But when I put the 348 into my 34 truck, I opted for a 200 4R because I was too lazy to fabricate a clutch setup....installing auto trans is much easier to me. But I do love a 4 speed, I have one in my Corvette and put one in my old 56 years ago.
     
    Tman likes this.
  18. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 2,492

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    First off, I think one of the most major decisions someone makes when building any car is the choice of transmission. I also feel that most people take what they can get cheaply or comes with the engine. Good and Bad depending on each setup.

    More gear choices are always a good thing whether its an auto or a manual as long as the torque capacity is similar or better.

    I have to disagree with Jimmy on this one.:) Most overdrive transmissions be they automatic or manual have a 1:1 direct drive ratio. You simply don't shift into Overdrive if you don't want to. I don't know why anyone would not want to when they are at elevated speeds. So a builder is not giving anything up by having that extra gear, and having that extra gear allows you to run a numerically higher rear end gear.........thereby making your engine better able to multiply its torque in all the lower gears. There really isn't any downside to additional gears except the trans may initially cost more to buy. But then its saves you on gas too.

    Much to my chagrin, I have to say that automatic transmissions are more consistant for drag racing, and a properly built one can last a long time under abuse. A stock automatic transmission however is (in my opinion) at a dis advantage in a mild street machine.

    I always felt like I was driving a vehicle if I was shifting gears, and the vehicle was taking me for a ride if it was shifting gears.

    HOWEVER, all the crap above pales in significance when you look at the most important reason for having a manual transmission in your hot rod ........................................................................................



    When and if you do ever have to remove the transmission you don't have to deal with that godawful transmission fluid that permeates all your skin and clothing and tracks into the house on your shoes.:D
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2022
    alanp561 and Boneyard51 like this.
  19. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 5,583

    Boneyard51
    Member

    When I was younger, it had to be a four speed! As I got older and wiser I shifted to automatics!…..Yes , it was intended! For many reasons, no clutch plates coming through the flor board, no missed gears, more consistent runs, more wins, less u joints, ( busted), fewer blown engines, more beer money…..I think that last one is getting more important as time moves on! :eek:






    Bones
     
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  20. One point not brought up yet. For many old cars with already narrow footwell, fitting 2 pedals is lot easier than 3
     
  21. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 2,229

    alanp561
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I learned to drive with a stick shift ( '41 Chevy pickup ) and when I went to take the driving test, one of the questions on the written part asked if I was testing in a vehicle with an automatic. If I was, I would be restricted to driving only automatics but if I took the test in a manual transmission vehicle, I could drive either. It was a point of pride with the guys I ran with that we didn't have any such restriction. @jimmy six has it right, they just don't belong.
     
  22. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,927

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    1. Yes, you will need a transmission.
    2. Yes, you will be vilified.
    3. PM me. I am in the middle of an original Fiat 500. I do these things.
     
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  23. desertdroog
    Joined: Nov 16, 2001
    Posts: 1,005

    desertdroog
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Good point by Squirrel stating that you need to consider the powerplant and how it will work with your transmission and gears.

    I am running a Borg Warner T-16 gear ratio 1rst: 2.86 - 2nd: 1.72 - Final: 1.00, syncro'd first gear. Came out of a Pontiac with a 421, GM used this transmission in other big block applications as well. My powerplant is a '63 Buick 401 Nailhead with stock bottom end and a custom cam with dual quads. Rear is 3.00 Ford 9 inch from a 57 Ranch wagon. The torque output and the rpms it does it means that the engine will do good with a load on it, and this setup will work for what I want to do with it and not be ridiculous on the freeway with 29 inch tires. I'll find out this summer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2022
    rod1 likes this.
  24. Dave G in Gansevoort
    Joined: Mar 28, 2019
    Posts: 1,188

    Dave G in Gansevoort
    Member
    from Upstate NY

    The whatever project is getting an S10 T5 transmission. With the stump puller 1st gear! I probably won't use 1st much unless I put Bonneville gears in the qc... even with the mild 327 being planned.
     
  25. Bob Lowry
    Joined: Jan 19, 2020
    Posts: 914

    Bob Lowry

    Here's a cool chart that may answer your questions regarding sizes, lengths and identifying
    shapes of various automatics. I always remembered that the Turbo400 pan looked like the
    outline of Arizona...

    turbo 400 lengths.jpg
     
  26. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,951

    squirrel
    Member

    huh...lived here most of my life, been playing with TH400s for over 40 years, and never noticed!

    az.jpg
     
  27. Harv
    Joined: Jan 16, 2008
    Posts: 367

    Harv
    Member
    from Sydney

    Back when I was younger (but no wiser :D) I modified that diagram to show the pan gaskets, and included the local Aussie boxes:

    us boxes.jpg

    Cheers,
    Harv
     
    Fordors, rod1, ekimneirbo and 4 others like this.
  28. Bob Lowry
    Joined: Jan 19, 2020
    Posts: 914

    Bob Lowry

    Nice, Harv! Much better!! Thanks, Bob
     
  29. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,860

    jnaki

    Hello,

    I had learned to drive a stick shift 3 speed transmission early in my pre teen days. They were our neighbor’s cars with the sons and daughter’s of the owners, wanting to take the family car out for a drive. Rascals, weren’t we?

    I was able to coordinate the clutch and gas pedal better than the others, so I got to drive the family sedans. Stick shifts were nice, but when we were able to drive an old 56 Mercury Hardtop with an automatic transmission, the whole neighborhood plus additional lurking miles were now available.

    It was so much easier to drive the automatic versus having to coordinate the feet, pedals and concentrate on driving. I learned fast and comparing the two, I liked the ability to drive a longer distance without having to concentrate on my feet. No more jerky starts and now, we could actually enjoy driving. Yes, the stick shift was a great learning experience, but the freedom of not having to worry about the coordination was a relief for us youngsters.

    When we began our hot rod/drag race journey, an old Model A was our choice to fix up and get it competitive with our friend’s Oldsmobile powered 34 Ford coupe. My brother allowed me to drive the floor shift Model A around the block and was impressed that I could drive the stick shift car so well. But as soon as we got the Model A running stock, time had passed and my brother sold both of the cars we had to fund a 58 stick shift Impala.

    upload_2022-1-23_4-27-58.png

    During the times the 58 Impala sat in the two car garage, I spent many “dream miles” shifting the transmission and coordinating the clutch/gas pedal. All while just sitting in the garage dreaming of going down the street one day. Then one night, I was given the opportunity to drive a friend home from our house. My parents and brother were at a high school function and I was home with several friends having a fun time.

    When it was time for my parents to come home, I was asked to drive my friend home. (I did not have a license as yet) The destination was about three miles away, so I volunteered to drive my brother’s 58 stick shift Impala. It was odd driving at night, but I was able to drive to my friend’s house and back without any problems. I really liked the stick shift Impala.

    Jnaki

    My brother was locked into the drag racing scene with his stick shift and was getting better on his starts/speed shifting. He did allow me to drive at Lion’s Dragstrip several times, just to get the feeling of full acceleration during time trials. When my time slips were very close to his, later, he allowed me to race during the eliminations. Now, those starting line antics were to coordinate the gas/brake pedal and do the full acceleration mode instantly. No high revving and it was well before any tire scraping, wipe downs, and burn outs.
    upload_2022-1-23_4-36-16.png
    The stick shift speed mode was interesting, the more I was able to drive, the better I got in shifting fast. But, in 1960, we got a new C&O Stick Hydro transmission installed, instead of the 3 speed. The C&O made a world of difference. The starts were so much faster and the average times were faster, until we got moved to the Gas Coupe Cass.

    On the street, the opponent did not know why I was across the intersection before he tried to catch up. It was now a simple process of letting the powerful, modified 348 do the work from the stop light. The transmission just pulled the 58 Impala out in front and stayed there.

    The only time a 4 speed would have won a quarter mile race at the Cherry Avenue Drags was when the 58 Impala went against a 61 Biscayne 409. The race was over by the 1/8th mile as the Impala was out in front, holding on to the super quick start and full acceleration. But, no one forgot the Biscayne had the 409 and he saw 6 red taillights of the 58 Impala in brightness to signify the end of the race.

    So, for the next following years, it was all automatics, until a 9 year span of fast 5 and 6 speed transmission cars as daily drivers. The current batch of sporty automatic transmissions seems to work fine with all sorts of horsepower behind them. (300 plus) Shifting is done automatically for us old folks. But, on our fast daily drivers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2022
    sidewayzz69 likes this.
  30. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,231

    choptop40
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    a little off topic , 200r4 is underated , simple and sturdy......
     
    milwscruffy likes this.

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