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Technical Manual transmissions behind a 364 nailhead

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Colton Bates, Dec 14, 2020.

  1. Colton Bates
    Joined: Feb 8, 2019
    Posts: 30

    Colton Bates

    Looking for info on running a manual transmission behind a 1959 364, found a stock bell housing and I'm curious what I can use along with it, t5, muncie, super t10, saginaw. Just looking for advice, it not going to be ran down the strip just something to cruise with. Any advice would be helpful thanks.

    Colt
     
  2. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,089

    TagMan
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I had a ST-10 behind a 401 and it was excellent. Took it down the track a few times and drove it on several trips of a few thousand miles each, as well as shorter trips. Had it for 10-years or so before I sold it.
     
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  3. no55mad
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 1,864

    no55mad
    Member

    Check out Russ Martin's web site.
     
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  4. Colton Bates
    Joined: Feb 8, 2019
    Posts: 30

    Colton Bates

    I did and actually emailed him he told me not to mess with the set up said it would need machining to work and buy new
     

  5. Colton Bates
    Joined: Feb 8, 2019
    Posts: 30

    Colton Bates


    Did you use a stock nailhead housing by chance
     
  6. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,613

    mgtstumpy
    Member

  7. bhemi
    Joined: Sep 1, 2010
    Posts: 100

    bhemi
    Member

    Quicktime makes a nailhead bellhousing. TA performance sells nailhead flywheels. I went with an American Powertrains hydraulic clutch for my 401. When we called Russ he told us to use a 3 speed.
     
  8. I am pretty sure the 364 engines are externally balanced.....can't just throw one together.......
     
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  9. oldtom69
    Joined: Dec 6, 2009
    Posts: 529

    oldtom69
    Member
    from grandin nd

    was a post here somewhere saying what transmissions would bolt to the stock Buick bell housing-The buick trans is pretty oddball and rare.The last year with manual 3 speed option was 1960 which was the last year Buick used a torque-tube drive.If I remember there were some Olds-Pontiac transmissions that would bolt up,but also rare and HEAVY!
     
  10. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 20,308

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    My 55 Chevy has a 364 Nailhead and an offy adapter to the stock 55 3 speed overdrive


    5551.JPG 5552.jpg 5553.JPG
     
  11. I’m running a bendtson’s adapter , as pictured earlier in this thread. It has the Muncie bolt pattern, and allows a variety of transmissions to be used, T5, TKO600, Muncie, as well as a few others. There are two things to consider also which I had to take a crash course in. There were two different diameters used on the crankshaft where the flywheel mounts, sometimes you get an early crank in a late engine and vice versa. I had a really nice aluminum flywheel that just wouldn’t seat up on the crank due to the large diameter on the flywheel and the small diameter on the crank. Starters change too in the 364, 401, 425 family so you’ve got to pay attention to that as well. IMG_3815.JPG ex IMG_3815.JPG IMG_3815.JPG
     
  12. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,089

    TagMan
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It's been 20-years or so ago, but as far as I recall, it was a stock 401 bell housing. I know there wasn't any adaptor used.
     
  13. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,260

    Gman0046
    Member

    The easiest way to go is a 37 big Buick floor shift transmission if you could possibly find one.. No adapter needed its a bolt in. We did this back in the early 60's to a 55 Buick Special and a 58 364 C.I. 315 HP engine. The only thing that needed to be done is change to a longer transmission tailshaft which bolted up to the stock 55 Buick torque tube. A late 40's big standard shift transmission tailshaft fits perfectly. We used to pay $5.00 for them at the local junk yard. The first time I needed a pair of snap ring pliers.
     
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  14. DigDugMd
    Joined: Dec 18, 2011
    Posts: 14

    DigDugMd
    Member

  15. chevyfordman
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 962

    chevyfordman
    Member

    I put a 364 Buick engine in my 57 Chevy and ran the stock 3 speed trans. Scan 10.jpeg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2020
  16. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,810

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    If you plan to actually drive the car anywhere but local rod runs, don't waste your money on anything that doesn't have an overdrive gear. Nothing worse than having soccer moms tailgating you on the x way in the slow lane because you can't keep up with the traffic. I don't care what anyone says.......people aren't thinking about how KOOL your car is when you are holding them up at 55 mph.
     
  17. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,838

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    I'm not quite sure I'd go so far as to say that, but I do agree with the sentiment that an O/D transmission is very helpful for improved drivability and freeway cruising at higher speeds without revving the hell out of the engine. Most of us here, myself included, have logged thousands of miles without O/D transmissions. But that's a lot of right lane driving at 65-70 mph, with the tach sitting at 3000 rpm. With a stick trans, I don't see any reason why one would go with a 4 speed over a 5 or 6 speed, other than perhaps cost. Automatics pose their own set of issues.
     
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  18. duncan
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,138

    duncan
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have a Cragar adapter to Ford Transmission, that with a Ford hogs head and spacer plate will accommodate a T-5.
     
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  19. Starlinerdude
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 142

    Starlinerdude
    Member
    from Washington

    Cragar,Wilcap,and Offy also made an adapter bell that accepted the 64 and earlier Ford bolt pattern trans.They were all the same bell just had different brand logos on them.This would accept a Ford pattern T-10 directly.
     
  20. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 3,072

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    Well that's just Silly , cruising at 3000 rpm is " normal " especially considering the time frame this place is supposed to be all about !
     
  21. You can even go to the Olds and Pontiac selector transmissions of the 40s and 50s. It has been a long time, but I think you have to be careful, as there is a big. for the heavy cars (more desirable), and a small transmission that was used in the 6 cylinder cars. This would allow you to convert to an open driveshaft If you wanted. I have an old Hot Rod transmission book from the 50s, and I think that is where I read the information.
    I will have a look later today. (I am busy installing a hot water tank, and the wife is eager to have hot water again. I would be in trouble, if she knew I was reading my email and posting right now).
    Bob
     
  22. I found the article on Buick transmissions in Hot Rod, "Clutches and Transmissions", from 1963. It confirms that the most desirable transmissions with floor shift, are from the 36 to 38 Century or Roadmaster, and that all the later selector shift units would also work. The article does state that the big Buick transmission is as strong as the Cad LaSalle or the Packard transmission, which was the gold standard back then.
    Unfortunately, although I know I have the information on how to convert the Buick torque tube to open driveshaft, the article mentions using the tailshaft from an Olds transmission, and some of the Olds gears, but didn't specifically detail how to make the conversion.
    I know I have an article about using the Olds or Pontiac transmissions, and will have to do more searching.
    Bob
     
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  23. tobby
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 55

    tobby
    Member

    I have an adapter that will mate a Cad/La Salle trans to a Buick bell housing $100...... that trans is very strong, and the transmissions are cheap and open drive line... and king shift mates a floor shift adapter...... Tobby 818-990-0590
     
  24. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,820

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Post a picture of the bellhousing you have. Do you have a transmission already?


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  25. I have done a couple of the large Buick case conversions using the Olds selector gut. Several threads on here regarding the specifics. It seems that the Buick input shaft length is different than the Olds if I recall correctly. One would have to look into that.
     
  26. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,536

    73RR
    Member

    irishsteve likes this.
  27. I get it, I really wanted something that can handle the brut torque the nailhead puts out and not be stuck due to a break down. I wanted a tko600 really bed but just could not afford it. My friend had this wide ratio Muncie and gave it to me, then I rebuilt it. The set up is 8.20R15’s I believe, 3.44’s in the 9”, and then the Muncie . I think I’ll be ok when I do the math for 75mph



    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  28. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,375

    jnaki








    "The article does state that the big Buick transmission is as strong as the Cad LaSalle or the Packard transmission, which was the gold standard back then."

    Hello,

    The LaSalle 3 speed transmission was the "gold standard" back in the 59-64 era. In our neighborhood, there were several hot rods with Olds motors and LaSalle 3 speeds. Plus, the local Terminal Island Scrap Yard had a "mountain" of LaSalle transmissions for the picking apart times, when parts were needed. Various adapters were made for just about any conversion.

    The only 1940 Ford Sedan running around our hot rod cruising area was bright Red and had a big Buick motor in it. It also had a 3 speed LaSalle transmission. The Ford sedan was fast and sounded very cool. It was one of a kind.


    Back then, there were plenty of different local manufacturers and dealers that had different adapters to accommodate the LaSalle transmissions to just about any type of motors. When we built our 1940 Willys Coupe with a 283 SBC motor, my brother bought a Howard Cam Company aluminum version of a Buick to SBC adapter.

    Jnaki

    It was a simple bolt on part and worked well.
    upload_2020-12-21_4-5-25.png
     
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  29. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,810

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    Sell the reconditioned 4 speed for $1,000 and start saving for the TKO. If the Buick has a lot of torque, the 4 speed won't last and you'll be putting more money into it.
     
    diegochero likes this.
  30. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,536

    73RR
    Member

    The 'charts' indicate that the 364 produces about 400 lb-ft of torque. Not huge but decent and should not kill most old-time 4-spds, however, that is well above a t5 capacity.

    .
     
    diegochero likes this.

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