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Projects Manual transmission searching

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Alini, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Alini
    Joined: Apr 15, 2018
    Posts: 2


    I am building up a 1937 Chevy truck. I have picked up a 350 that I intend on doing some mild work on. Not doing anything off the wall or expecting massive power. I want to back it up with a manual transmission but having a hard time finding viable options that are reasonably priced.
    An automatic option (700R4 or 4L80) would run about 1000 but a manual transmission rated for anything over 300ft/lbs will run closer to $2000
    The T5 I thought would be a viable option but it depends on which side of the street you are on. The Ford community uses and abuses them yet the GM side of the house hates them and claims they won’t handle the mild power boost I plan on since no 350 was backed by a T5 in the 80s. A Muncie four speed that’s upgraded will run $2k at that price I might as well just go TKO or T56
    So what am I missing. Manual transmissions are run all day at the tracks and have been used for decades but the internet is skewing the info I find
    I haven’t committed to a rear gear until I figure out what trans is in front.
    I want a cruiser that I can play with from time to time. Leave a light strong and enjoy towing thru the gears with a little spirit. Not planning on drag racing but a clutch drop now and again may happen
  2. buffaloracer
    Joined: Aug 22, 2004
    Posts: 696

    from kansas

    Muncie, borg warner, saginaw. With the power you are thinking of and in a pick up, the saginaw would work. Has a low first gear and they came in about every thing. Cheap in this part of the country.

    Looking back I see that you have one post. How about an introduction so we can be of some help? Filling out your profile would be a start.
    6-bangertim likes this.
  3. I’m running one on an off topic ford behind a stroked ford small block that displaces 347 CI. It sees regular street and strip duty without any problems. I did a rebuild using a performance parts.
    There are different models but if u find one that came out of a v8 car it should be find behind a mild small block.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Alini likes this.
  4. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 15,685

    from Michigan

    We Ford T5 users do use them and abuse them, but they can handle it.... 13 years on the factory clutch and still going strong.... :D:D:rolleyes::):D
    gimpyshotrods and Alini like this.
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  5. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 10,599

    from oregon

    I'll say it again; the Richmond Super T-10 is pretty hard to beat.
    Lots of applications, gear spreads and torque handling (as important as horsepower).
    There are even gearboxes set up for roadracing.
    Granted, if you've only bought used transmissions, the initial sticker shock will be there.
    And do yourself a favor and get a new shifter too.

    Alini likes this.
  6. 4 pedals
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 592

    4 pedals
    from Nor Cal

    Pretty much any GM manual transmission will hold up to what you're doing unless you put sticky tires on it, that's when stuff breaks.
    greasemonkey54 likes this.
  7. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 15,453


    I have installed T5's in a ton of cars, large and small, World Class, and Non-World Class.

    I have never seen any of them get broken, even when driver has engaged in repeated spirited romps.

    A World Class T5 will do fine on a drag strip, with a few minor mods, that don't cost a ton of money.

    As has been said, if you are hooking up on sticky tires, we might be talking another story.
    Hnstray likes this.
  8. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 40,904


    You have a pretty big variety of transmissions you can choose from. The Super T-10 used in the Corvettes and Camaros in the 70s is a pretty stout transmission, you might be able to find one reasonably

    If you really want to cheap out, you might be able to score a Saginaw 3 speed dirt cheap, and it will hold up fine, and probably do everything you need. Except you won't get the same running-through-the-gears experience that you would with a 4 speed, or 5 speed.

    Bonus is that it's quite traditional to use a 3 speed manual trans, most hot rods had them until the mid 60s, after all.
    Johnny Gee likes this.
  9. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 2,076

    from Minnesota

    3-speed with overdrive. Most fun for your money
  10. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,390


    Check out the rod-sters s thread on here. He used the NV3400 a little big but good 5 speed.
  11. I'm running a Muncie M20 in my car, cost me $750 (bought here) and I threw another $200 in it, new side cover and some other parts. Put my old shifter on it and it shifts nicely. The transmission is one of those things you buy ONCE, unless you blow it up. Richmond had a nice array of new 4 and 5 speeds, my next one will be made by them.
  12. choffman41
    Joined: Oct 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,094


    There's an M-20 and an M-21 on my local C/L for 850 each and a T-10 for 375.
  13. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,573


    I got my M-21 for $1000 and it came attached to a 389 and an entire car that I parted out and got my money back.

    (there is a point here and an answer to your question)

    A friend just got a Turbo 350 with a new T.C. for nothing. The guy that had it wanted it out of his way.
  14. I run a 50 dollar and an 85 dollar saginaw in my elcamino and studebaker. Spirited street useand had a big block in the elcamino and both are behind 327s now. 11 years in the elcamino, 9 in the stude.
  15. Alini
    Joined: Apr 15, 2018
    Posts: 2


    It just amazes me how varying the opinions are when it comes to this. How can almost every GM guy says T5s suck yet every mustang guy loves them. I’m really leaning toward the Super T-10 at this point. Even thiugh it’s a four speed It will come in a gear ratio that lines up with my other daily driver and if just change to a 3.55 gear I can gain a little Highway out of it and still be close to what I’m used to daily. Now to just piece it all together since my project started as an automatic
    Thanks to everyone that shared their side of the story
    Bandit Billy likes this.
  16. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 40,904


    pretty simple. chevy motors make power, 5.0s don't.
  17. Nostrebor
    Joined: Jun 25, 2014
    Posts: 563


    I pounded the crap out of a bone stock Vega Saginaw 4 speed for years behind a beefy 350. The secret is to not hook up;)

    I put T-5s in the same category... If you are not taking them to the strip and hooking them with slicks, and you have half a brain, you should not be tearing them up with a basic small block build. This assumes that they were not wore slap out when you started.
  18. I have the 2.56 1st gear in my M20, wide ratio. So it rolls out good. I don't drop the clutch hard from a dead stop either. That is how you find the weak links in the drive train.
  19. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 4,467

    Bandit Billy

    The 77 bandit car I sold last summer was a 400, 4 speed, Super T-10, 3:55 gears, 255 60/15 rears. An absolute blast to drive! Decent freeway tach, great off the line, good second gear scratch. Those are good trannys.
  21. A T5 will take the torque of a 300" motor all day, but go more cubes and the torque becomes more than the T5 can take. That's why the Chevy guys don't like them and the Ford guys do. Even Ford refused to use one behind larger motors; the 351-powered '93 Mustang Cobra R got a tremec instead of a T5 for just that reason. With that said, if you can find a 'World Class' T5 (and these are like 'Corvette' small blocks, they're all WC until proved otherwise... LOL) it will work if the engine build is mild, the vehicle not too heavy, and you don't beat the crap out of it. You can upgrade most T5s to WC, but the cost will end up being nearly the same as a new aftermarket box and still won't be as tough.

    If cheap and strong is important, look for a 3.03 Ford three speed (bulletproof behind a small block) or a Ford toploader OD four speed. For the latter, look for a car version with the cast-iron case. The truck versions have odd gear spreads (usually a very low 1st with a big jump to 2nd) and the aluminum-case versions are flimsier than a T5.
  22. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,196


    My 63 Belair 2 door post car has a T5 WC out of a 91 IROC Camaro behind a pretty stout 350 and shifts like butter. Not a race car with no speed shifting as there are no physical stops on the shifter. However it has taken a lot of abuse with no problems. With a 3:36 rear and going to fifth gear at 75 MPH the RPM's drop to 1900. The T5 first gear is still low enough to light up the tires. Needless to say I love the T5.
    The 63 Impala in my avatar has a Muncie M-21 behind a 327 that should be in the 375 HP range and a 3:73 posi rear end that performs just fine. I like the M-21 its just a different animal then the T5. I can almost watch my gas gauge go toward empty.

  23. Russco
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 3,960

    from Central IL

    I don’t know where you are located, but if you are close to Central Illinois I have a complete take out ‘69 Muncie M20 (from a Chevelle) with very nice Hurst Comp+ shifter, stock style cast 153 tooth light weight flywheel (16#) and nice Complete Diaphragm clutch and “403” bellhousing for $1100. The clutch was new about a year ago. I just swapped this entire set up out for an automatic for a lady that bought my truck and didn’t like driving the 4 speed.
    Nostrebor likes this.
  24. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 3,633


    You might look at chevy 833 overdrive trans used in pickups 1980-1985.
  25. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 2,451


    Hey Squirrel. I'll be your Huckleberry and when I get my car done . I'll run my little 5.0 against your mighty blown big block.
  26. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 40,904


    Sure, we start in AZ, drive to Wisconsin, race, drive back to AZ. sounds like fun!
    saltflats and Mr48chev like this.
  27. miker98038
    Joined: Jan 24, 2011
    Posts: 357


    Give him a break, Jim. Meet him in Witchita, loser runs blocker for winner going home. He’ll have time to see Arizona if he makes bail.
  28. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 15,685

    from Michigan

    I ummmm.... No comment! :):rolleyes:
  29. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 40,904


    Oh, there are a few of those little Ford motors that run pretty damn good. But they're kind of rare.
  30. Hot Rod Dan
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 200

    Hot Rod Dan
    from Texas

    If you're not in too much of a hurry you could keep your eye out for a nice used street Doug Nash/Richmond 5 speed and possibly not hurt the budget too badly. First gear is about a 3.27 and fifth gear is 1 to 1, so you could run a highway gear (2.50, 2.75 or 3.00) in the rear end.

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