Register now to get rid of these ads!

Manual transmission options for 55 Chevy 235???

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fat Hack, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. Fat Hack
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 7,709

    Fat Hack
    Member
    from Detroit

    Is there a better manual transmission available that will bolt up to a 55 Chevy 235 engine? There's GOT to be, right?! The stock 'three on the tree' in my car works great...on those five days a year that the outside air temperature is over 65 degrees in Michigan...but if it drops below 60 degrees, King Kong himself couldn't work that shift lever back and forth! I've tried messing with the linkage, spraying a can of WD-40 into the column (???), and on the exposed linkage under the hood and nothing works. Short of applying liberal heat from a 'crack torch' to the column, nothing else works...heat is the only answer!

    Add to that, the fact that the car has to be at a dead stop to go into first gear, and it's geared like a milk truck to begin with, and I think I've had enough of that transmission! (You're in third gear at 25mph...giving you a top speed of about 45mph with a Stovebolt six!)

    So...what will work? A newer Saginaw four speed? T5? I'm looking for something that bolts up to the existing bellhousing. The car has a bench seat, but cutting a hole in the floor for a shifter doesn't bother me at all!

    (Hey...is there a floor shifter on the market that WILL work on the stock three speed? Just a thought?!?)

    I can't believe that anyone who's owned a tri-5 with a three on the tree kept it that way for more than a week...so I'm long overdue for an upgrade...what transmissions have you found that work in these cars???

    Thanks in advance, Gang! :):cool:
     
  2. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,555

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

    What rear gears do you have? That would be the deciding factor for me as to go O/D or not. I put a Saginaw behind the 235 in my 59 pick up and with the rear gears I had it was a dream to drive.
     
  3. chadman117
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 23

    chadman117
    Member

    I would put a Saginaw 3-speed O/D in...although they are pretty rare.
     
  4. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,449

    Muttley
    Member

    I thought you were going with a big block, or is that some far off down the road plan?
     

  5. thebrassnuckles
    Joined: Feb 20, 2008
    Posts: 238

    thebrassnuckles
    Member


    You are nuts, i got a 53 chevy with a stock 235 and 3 speed column shift. it maxes out at about 86 mph. it might take a while to get there but it'll do it. but a t-5 will bolt up with minimal modification i believe. search 235 and t5 and you'll find a grip of results. its been done alot.
     
  6. fordcragar
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 3,179

    fordcragar
    Member
    from Yakima WA.

    Do a search on Egay for: shifter hurst 3 speed

    You might be able to find something for a Chev 3 speed. That would be the easiest. There were several companies that made 3 speed shifters, I always like Hurst the best.
     
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,001

    squirrel
    Member

    there are a whole bunch of transmissions that will bolt to the bellhousing and match the clutch you have, and some that will require changing the clutch disc. You'll have to change the driveshaft yoke too (you have coarse spline now, newer ones used fine spline). T5 (shifter is too far back on most of them, and the input shaft is the wrong size/length on some of them), Saginaw, Muncie, T-10, full synchro 3 speeds from later cars, etc.

    Practice double clutching, you should be able to get it into low with some practice

    Steering columns are pretty scary, eh? I'd take it apart and clean and lube it, and maybe fix the worn parts, and it would work just fine. Most guys don't have the patience.

    If you want overdrive, then your choices are limited. If you don't mind swapping the rear center section or the whole rearend, then all those 3 or 4 speeds start looking pretty good.
     
  8. brewsir
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 3,278

    brewsir
    Member

    I have an extra floor shifter from my old 57 wagon...It has a homeade bracket that cleared the OD but should bolt right on your 3 speed.....but if it were me I would definately do the T5....in fact I did and I love driving it now.
     
  9. I've got one out the Bisquit Brian and I had- it seems ok.
    As far as shifters, Murray's (oriley's or whatever they are this week) has one- a Mr. Gasket universal from 55-up, it's cheep like... both in price AND quality. ;) It's been there forever- by forever I mean since I was in High school (over 15 years now).

    JK
     
  10. Fat Hack
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 7,709

    Fat Hack
    Member
    from Detroit

    Not sure what ratio it has, but it's gotta be fairly steep. I mean, even with the stock transmission, third gear has to be 1:1, right? You're there at 25mph, and it's RPM City after that! Probably like 3.90 or 4.10ish???

    An overdrive would be great with that rear axle, but the rear axle is another item slated for demolition sometime in the future...it's noisy, weak and geared for 1/8 mile drags...BYE BYE!!!
     
  11. Fat Hack
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 7,709

    Fat Hack
    Member
    from Detroit

    That's sounding good to me! Which transmissions will use the existing clutch disc (and pilot bushing)??

    A new driveshaft isn't a problem for me.
     
  12. Fat Hack
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 7,709

    Fat Hack
    Member
    from Detroit

    That'll probably be next winter/spring...if the six lives that long! It has a funky, skippy idle, but it actually runs pretty good!

    (The idle comes from a lean miss, really...I left the limiter cap on the idle mixture screw and the electric choke comes off real quick. It gets great gas mileage for a six banger, though!!)
     
  13. fordcragar
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 3,179

    fordcragar
    Member
    from Yakima WA.

    You should be able to use a T-10 or Muncie without changing the driveshaft length. I'm not sure but a Saginaw could be a bolt in as well.

    You'll want to get a shifter built for the 55-57, so it will go around the seat.
     
  14. Kustm52
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,981

    Kustm52
    Member

    S-10 T5 is a bolt in, with a clutch disc swap. Your car should have 3.70 gears, which is perfect for the 5-spd. I wouldn't even consider anything else...

    Brian
     
  15. I wouild think that an S10 T5 would hold up fine with a weak 6, and the shifter position would be OK for the floor, if not just grab the bench seat out of the S10, it has a notch in it.

    After that, you could cruise at 2500 rpm all the way to say... Florida.
     
  16. Fat Hack
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 7,709

    Fat Hack
    Member
    from Detroit

    Does it matter what S10 T5 you use? From a four cylinder, a 2.8 or a 4.3???
     
  17. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    JohnEvans
    Member
    from Phoenix AZ

    I think the 2.8 will be the best one for you to use. That poor old 235 will cruise down the road the way it is 70 all day. That car should have a 3.70 rear. I ran a hotter 261 with 4.11s and 29 inch tires years ago, went to CA from Phoenix 80 MPH and 3700 RPM all the way no sweat. Yes they will pull 3rd from 15 MPH too.
     
  18. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,001

    squirrel
    Member

    yeah, the input shafts are different.

    To not have to mess with the clutch, look for a trans from the 60s-70s with the 10 spline 1-1/8" input shaft. Also make sure it's a car trans, some truck transmissions have the large front bearing retainer that won't fit into the car bellhousings, and some have threaded mounting holes at the bottom. these would be 3 speeds though.
     
  19. Kustm52
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,981

    Kustm52
    Member

    Shifter is in the correct postion. One from a 2.8, '86-'90? is the one you want, it has the hookup for a regular speedo cable. You can't kill one with normal driving behind a 235.. I've been trying for 50k miles on mine now...

    Brian
     
  20. Fat Hack
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 7,709

    Fat Hack
    Member
    from Detroit

    Thanks all...GREAT info to work with here! :cool:
     
  21. S10 T5 needs the input shortened or a spacer plate to work with a 55-62 car bell. Also you need an S10 or Astro clutch disc with it. Nothing that challenging though.
     
  22. Kustm52
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,981

    Kustm52
    Member

    I don't know where this got started...but I have ran a t-5 (using a 55 bellhousing) for 50k miles now and I did NOT have to shorten the input shaft. The only thing that need shortening is the collar the throwout bearing rides on..

    Brian
     
  23. Fat Hack
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 7,709

    Fat Hack
    Member
    from Detroit

    Is that a seperate part, or is it something on the transmission? Machining required?
     
  24. Kustm52
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,981

    Kustm52
    Member

    No machining required. Cutoff wheel or hacksaw works fine. Unbolt from the front of the trans, shorten, reassemble. Drill out trans mounting ears to 1/2" from metric. Done.

    Brian
     
    bangelusmc likes this.
  25. brewsir
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 3,278

    brewsir
    Member

    Then find the tech article on building your own short throw shifter and you are set....I spaced mine up 1/2" and got a nice short throw that doesn't hit the dash or the seat with a 3 foot long shifter.
     
  26. Fat Hack
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 7,709

    Fat Hack
    Member
    from Detroit

    Perfect! :cool:
     
  27. MercMan1951
    Joined: Feb 24, 2003
    Posts: 2,654

    MercMan1951
    Member

    I have a C-6 and the converter here you can have for free since Jay & Dewey won't come get it. You'd just have to whittle out an adapter plate... :rolleyes:
     
  28. Oh, so that's how it is..:)

    PS, Ben just dropped off an AOD for the Mustang- showed up out of nowhere with it!
    If I come to get the trans, throw in the injection stuff too. :)

    JK
     
  29. 1hot57
    Joined: Dec 18, 2008
    Posts: 102

    1hot57
    Member

    Hey Hack I have a Saginaw 3 sp for a hundred. Give me a PM George
     
  30. Kinky6
    Joined: May 11, 2003
    Posts: 1,765

    Kinky6
    Member


    Dude! This thread is from a year and a half ago! :confused:


    I'll bet ya he's got it back on the road by now, whatcha think? :rolleyes:





    Later, Kinky6 :cool:
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.