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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. After a bunch of phone calls and hemming and hawing, I went with Art Carr and had a nice talk with him before purchasing. He talked me out of the stage 3 one they have, mainly because of the car weight, a stage 2 would be just fine. Still a 3-4 week wait/ build time on these, but it's been that way for the last 18 months or so.
     
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  2. 327Eric
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,664

    327Eric
    Member
    from Diablo Ca.

    I use whatever I can find for cheap or free. I have a saginaw in my 59 El Camino. I paid 50 bucks for it. It survived behind my 427, my 327, and soon my 383. I bought about 7 of them between 2000 and 2004, because I thought I would blow them up. I ended up giving all but 1 away. I put one out of a vega in a 55 Studebaker with a 327, it still lives as well. I have run turbo 350s, and a couple turbo 400s. I have a 727 for my Henry J with a 413 because my 833 got stolen. I have a 59 Ranchero with a c4, and a 289, and a 59 f100 that will get a 302 aod if the 312 doesnt run. I would like to run the 3 on the tree, but, I got the 302 for free. I'm too poor to actually buy what i need, but what I have has worked so far. I will not run a 50's automatic, regardless of breed.
     
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  3. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 4,473

    okiedokie
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Ok

    2004R cores have become non existent around here. Maybe Carr bought all of em.
     
  4. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,461

    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.
     
  5. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,198

    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.
     
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  6. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,874

    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.
     
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  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,918

    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.
     
  8. 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.
  9. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 3,470

    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.
  10. 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.
  11. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,826

    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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  12. Mimilan
    Joined: Jun 13, 2019
    Posts: 1,092

    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.
  13. topher5150
    Joined: Feb 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,689

    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.
     
  14. 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.
  15. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 1,403

    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.
     
  16. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,918

    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.
  17. 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
  18. Richmond T-10 with Hurst Comp shifter. Awesome set up !
     
  19. 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.
  20. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 2,479

    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
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  21. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 5,572

    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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  22. One point not brought up yet. For many old cars with already narrow footwell, fitting 2 pedals is lot easier than 3
     
  23. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 2,225

    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.
     
  24. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,874

    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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  25. 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.
  26. Dave G in Gansevoort
    Joined: Mar 28, 2019
    Posts: 1,184

    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.
     
  27. Bob Lowry
    Joined: Jan 19, 2020
    Posts: 912

    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
     
  28. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,918

    squirrel
    Member

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

    az.jpg
     
  29. Harv
    Joined: Jan 16, 2008
    Posts: 363

    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.
  30. Bob Lowry
    Joined: Jan 19, 2020
    Posts: 912

    Bob Lowry

    Nice, Harv! Much better!! Thanks, Bob
     

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