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Technical Is anyone still using 4 speed transmissions?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. I see so many threads were guys are using the 5 speed transmissions in their projects and wondering is anyone using the 4 speed transmissions that were so popular at one time. HRP
  2. Welllll, sorta, in a fit of frustration I pulled the sag out of my 41 pickup and slammed in a 350 and pulled the tri power (the clutch linkage broke for the 5th time and the tri needed rebuilding) just to drive it. But now it has been down with the 350 dead and the Sag has been pulled from storage and it is going back in. I have a 5 speed but, I want what it was. the tri is back on and the new wiring is almost finished.
    But I have to get it swapped before El Mirage season or it will be next fall.
    butchcoat1969 and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  3. Muncie M-21 with Hurst competition plus linkage for me. Rear gears in the quick change can be adjusted to compensate for the high 2.20 1st gear...I love Muncies. 34muncie.jpg
    ls1yj, pitman, 47ragtop and 17 others like this.
  4. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,260


    IMG_0645-3.JPG Just put a Muncie M21 close ratio 4 speed behind the 327 in my 63 Impala (avatar). No complaints. The car was originally a Powerglide out of the factory. My 63 Belair with a 350 backed with a Tremec WC 5 speed is also a good combination. Runs 1900 rpm's at 75 mph. First gear still low enough to light up the tires.

    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
    Cosmo49, BradinNC, 36 ROKIT and 7 others like this.

  5. me, 327 with BW super T-10 4 speed in a 49 ford 2 do'
    HOTRODPRIMER, rhtfo and Dog_Patch like this.
    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 2,759


    I have a complete M-21 changeover for my 57 but am thinking of going to an auto.
  7. 32n343windows
    Joined: Jun 21, 2016
    Posts: 27


  8. luckythirteenagogo
    Joined: Dec 28, 2012
    Posts: 1,265


    I'm planning on backing my 283 with a T-10 in my 50 Chevy.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  9. Bill Nabors
    Joined: Jul 24, 2011
    Posts: 283

    Bill Nabors

    I was setting up my 32 with a wc 5 speed, but have changed direction. I have a Ford top loader 4 speed set up with a jeep shifter. The motor is a sbc 327 and it has a V8 winters QC rear. I think I will feel more comfortable with this setup.
  10. I am still running a 4-speed Hydro behind the hemi in my Willys! P5290002.JPG tranny adaptor.jpg
  11. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 3,215

    from illinois

    M 20 in my T bucket !
    HOTRODPRIMER and rhtfo like this.
  12. cheap-n-dirty
    Joined: Jan 28, 2002
    Posts: 775


    a m-21 in my 32 roadster.
    32 rdstr interior 002 (800x600).jpg
  13. Austin Bubbletop
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 56

    Austin Bubbletop
    from Austin, TX

    Using a Super T-10 in my 61. I had options for sure but i'm loving the 4speed so far (the car had a TH350 when I drove it in highschool). I attempted a drive down Congress during the Roundup last weekend without regret!
    SicSpeed and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  14. I'm running a Close Ratio Top Loader Ford in my 32 RPU. I like the way it shifts better than most 5 speeds - more "Muscular" feeling, plus it fit the era I was building to ~ late 60's to early 70's. And it's much stronger than a T-5 will ever be.
  15. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,728


    Mine is just a lowly Saginaw, with about 200,000 miles, but i had to change it to guess what......... another Saginaw . But alas i must confess, i do have 5 speed waiting in the wings to go in.You know, there are not a lot of folks who can rebuild a 4 speed these days
    47ragtop, HJLrulz and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  16. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,510

    Atwater Mike

    I had a Ford 4 speed top loader behind my 406 (goes in my '54 Ford Coupe)
    Actually changed to a Heavy Duty 3 speed top loader, (close ratio) 'R.A.T.' designation)
    It is hooked up to my original '54 column shifter...("sleeper")
    Really don't know why I'm doing this...bunch of front wheel drive jelly bean cars in Tri-5 Chevys around to fool any more...
    Just used to love that "GOTCHA!"
    BradinNC and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  17. I don't recall the 4-speeds as being all that popular in the 'traditional' era. Prior to '62, only GM offered them in passenger cars, and the usually-used T10 (and to an lesser extent, the M20 and M21 Muncie) had a reputation for breakage if used behind the top engine offerings of the day. Which is what led GM, Ford, and Chrysler to develop their own 4-speeds. It wasn't until the muscle car era reached full bloom in the late 60s that 4-speeds became common, but the difficulty of packaging the external shift linkage and clutch linkage under most early cars generally resulted in an automatic being fitted... and still does.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  18. LOL My bike is a 4 speed. :D

    You know me I am not MR. Overdrive. I gear my cars to run the way I want them to run and live with it. I am running automatics these days but if I had a 4 gear I would run it, or a 3 gear too.
  19. J D Coop
    Joined: Nov 16, 2015
    Posts: 70

    J D Coop

    Muncie M-22 with Hurst shifter.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  20. bowie
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 2,635


  21. Fordors
    Joined: Sep 22, 2016
    Posts: 3,452


    Wide ratio T-10 for me. 17.5 mpg on the road, 75 mph at 2550. RPM is manageable as is mileage, no point in upgrading.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
  22. LAROKE
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,811


    I'm using a rockcrusher for my '55 Chevy 1st Series truck rebuild. It fits like a glove where the three-on-the tree 3-speed used to be - same bolt-pattern, same pilot bearing, same clutch splines and throw-out bearing sleeve. Looks to be the same length too. Only needs some floor fab work for the shifter, a new fine splined yoke for the driveshaft and the addition of a support cross member.


  23. '51 Norm
    Joined: Dec 6, 2010
    Posts: 728

    '51 Norm
    from colorado

    I had a Muncie and hated the gear ratio so I put the wide ratio Saginaw back in and love it. It is behind a '63 Pontiac 421 tri power with enough torque that I am not worried about the RPM drop between gears.
  24. 38 Hump
    Joined: Mar 29, 2007
    Posts: 42

    38 Hump

    M21 with Hurst behind a dual quad 454 in my '58 Chevy 1/2 ton. A real hand full.
    spikeshotrods and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  25. There's a Muncie 4 speed at the other end of that Hurst Competition Plus shifter in my OL 55 (don't be confused by that extra boot laying there:)) Now as to whether or not it's still being used, that's another matter! :)

  26. I'm running a '64 vintage M20 with the 2.56 1st gear. It works great and I like the wide ratio.
  27. pecker head
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 3,854

    pecker head

    Yep, one in coop and one in cdan.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  28. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,324


    When you start talking Mopar 4 speeds, things get expensive, and pretty hard to find. If I was still pounding the gears like I did when I was younger, it would be worth the effort and money to chase down a good old 833, but I don't pound the gears like I used to, so its not worth the effort or expense. A 5 speed is pretty easy and cheap, comparatively. Sorry, 5 speed here, and the OD helps a lot. Gene
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  29. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 14,727

    from oregon

    First photo shows 69 and later side cover with bolted on shift arms, second photo shows earlier stud style arm attachment.

    Just curious @LAROKE are those two diffrerent Muncies or did you swap out the shift shafts?
    My wifes 67 Nova has a 69 Muncie M20, when I first put the car together in 1983 I replaced the side cover with the earlier style version to use the oem (and very hard to find) shifter.



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