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Technical Recommend an automatic shifter

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Greasyman, Mar 20, 2019.

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  1. Greasyman
    Joined: Oct 23, 2010
    Posts: 139


    I'm looking at shifters for my T bucket with a TH350. I'm planning on installing a Transgo shift kit that will convert the tranny to full manual operation. I've never driven a car with an aftermarket shifter, so it's fairly confusing to pick one. I think I'm going to go with a ratchet shifter, and right now I'm leaning towards the B&M Hammer shifter. It's fairly inexpensive and in the videos I've seen it seems to be pretty slick in operation. I also like that I can replace the t handle with a more traditional ball knob. Any opinions on this shifter, or recommendations for others?
    loudbang likes this.
  2. Why not a column shifter? It certainly used to be done, so it's traditional, and there's no inconvenient lever between you and your girl... ;)
    j3harleys and loudbang like this.
  3. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 578


    Ratchet shifters are a pita in a street car. Not worth the complication when shuttling the car back and forth to spot it in the garage, Ora parking spot, at least if they operate like the two B&M shifters I have.
  4. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,554

    Mike VV
    from SoCal

    I put a Winters in my old Stude wagon.


    You can beat on it with a big hammer, it's made to handle anything.
    Three speed or four speed patterns.

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  5. Greasyman
    Joined: Oct 23, 2010
    Posts: 139


    That looks small, simple and easy to use. I'll take a look at those. Thanks.
    Baron and loudbang like this.
  6. desotot
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,789


    how about an old Mustang shifter. Simple and easy.
    MO_JUNK and JeffB2 like this.
  7. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 2,957

    sloppy jalopies

    Fords with a C6 had some floor shifters that had the "neutral safety lock out switch" built into the shifter, instead of bolting to the side of the tranny...
    using one on my '30 coupe... [4 wires]
    MO_JUNK and loudbang like this.
  8. the Hammer shifter is a giant pile of crap. I took the one out of my dads Nomad, and made sure it made its way to the land fill so no one else will be cursed with one. It is a pain to operate, period. if you must have a full manual valve body, it will be a complete nightmare. Why not just a Lokar shifter? they work great and operate smooth as glass when set up properly.
  9. I like those a bunch, so are the old Powerglide shifters, but most you need a console.
  10. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,554

    Mike VV
    from SoCal

    Greasyman - Probably the biggest assembly on the market.
    Simple, yes. Very simple in its construction. You can get them with reverse lockouts and without (shown).

  11. Stock Racer
    Joined: Feb 28, 2010
    Posts: 594

    Stock Racer

    I've had a B&M Quicksilver which is a ratchet style and a Art Carr which is now the Winters shifter (I think they call it Sidewinder or something like that) which is a gate type. I liked them both. Decide weather you would prefer to ratchet through the gears or prefer the winters which is spring loaded side to side to get to the next gate. Some of these guys sound like old ladies. Heaven forbid they'd have a 4-speed.
    JeffB2, Bigblue61, loudbang and 2 others like this.
  12. egads
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 492


  13. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,294


    I put a Sidewinder in my latest hot rod pickup. It took some time and modifications to get it to work on my late model Mopar trans, but its working pretty well now. I've only put about 50-60 miles on the truck at this point, so I can't comment on how its going to work long term.

    The plastic case is 15" long, 5" wide, and about 6" high, with the shifter handle above that, and the cable coming out the rear. Its going to take up some real estate in the T bucket. Gene
    Stock Racer and loudbang like this.
  14. primed34
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 924


    Got a B&M Quicksilver in my '34 but I used an older thinner console that put the shifter almost between the bucket seats. I like it and it works good. Hurst Quarter Sticks are good also. Lokar looks a little fake to me. If I wanted a shifter that looked like a manual transmission shifter, I'd run a manual transmission.
  15. I am presently using a B&M Starshifter. It took a little getting used to, but I like it. I don't know where you would find one.
    I also have a Mustang shifter hung in my garage, that I plan to use in one of my other cars. It will be operating a C6, so no modification required, but it would be easy to adapt to a TH350 or 400.
    I also love the Hurst Dual Gate, and although I haven't looked lately, I believe they are getting expensive.
    My son is using a Lokar shifter for his B&M 700r4, and he likes it.
  16. jimvette59
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 680


    I used a Mustang shifter on the floor of my Thirty Four . Remember KISS !!!!!!
  17. 5brown1
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 175


    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 7,719


    They should take the '&' out of the B&M shifters and it would be more appropriate. Although some folks seem to like to punish themsleves so they sell anyway.

    Hurst Autostick II. Simple and reliable, street or strip. And yes you can change the 'T' handle to a conventional knob. No moving parts on the lever. Maybe find a good used Gennie Shifter as I think they're outta business, but their stuff was always good.
  19. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 2,957

    sloppy jalopies

    years ago a buddy bought a b&m…
    the cables would break up and the new one cost over 1/2 what the shifter cost...
  20. Stooge
    Joined: Sep 9, 2015
    Posts: 300


    Gennie is still around in some form it seems, and I think in the last y or 2, they started introducing some new products, pedals, new style sticks, etc. and some of it looks pretty cool. I've used Lokar a handful of times, and although they are a little spendy, they make a good product that works well, and has good customer support. im not the biggest fan of the look of their shift knobs so in my last car, I did some cobbling and added a cast aluminum stick that I liked better. ( this was just a mockup adapter piece that I ended up remaking)

    Attached Files:

  21. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 9,423

    from Missouri

    I run a B&M Pro Ratchet and love it.
    But this is in a race car.
  22. Straight Axle Guy
    Joined: Oct 21, 2018
    Posts: 28

    Straight Axle Guy

    I've used Gennie in my last 4 cars, with no problems
  23. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,683


    Any transamatic automission shifter for me would have to be a Hurst Auto Stick 1; it's why I have 4 of them on hand. As far as "expensive" B & M, and other brands of cable shifters, just go to any marine supply outfitter; they are usually in the $20-30 range, a LOT cheaper than the B & M pricing (Morse cable for length/ends). I like the Hurst and B & M "race" cable shifters with a built in lockout feature, just not the one's with a pistol grip, but they don't really fit in with any traditional builds.
    I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
  24. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,701

    from So Cal

    I use a B&M Pro Ratchet shifter in my pickup and it works fine, though as others have pointed out it's a bit of a pain for street use, really only when parking and needing to switch between reverse and drive, due to the lockout device. Eh, if that's the worst thing to deal with life is pretty good. Not very traditional looking though, if that matters.


    If I had to change it out, I'd probably do what Squirrel does and build my own.
    saltflats likes this.
  25. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 9,721

    Blue One
    from Alberta

  26. hrm2k
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Posts: 3,601


  27. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,689

    Atwater Mike

    I just bought a Summit shifter for my F100. GREAT mechanics, side-detent, positive lockup in Park and Reverse, neutral safety switch included, it's on the shifter.
    Uses the Summit stick ($110, stick alone...Not for ME!) Or any popular stick...Two bolts attach stick, like a Hurst: 7/8" apart.
    Shifter bolts to the floor, all bracketing included. #SUM 700062, look it up. Bolts, mechanical shift rod and lever for 350 T.H. shift arm. Bolts are button head allens, nice hardware. Shift 'box' is small, a 4" square boot will cover it.
    I made my own stick (last night, easy...Forge and anvil, then finish) Started with a 5/8" rod, warmed up the 3" of one end, anvil-shaped a nice 7/16" 'flat', worked the rest into a nice taper, will finish length and shape when I finish installing.
    Total price (without their stick) $179.00
    Way better (solid, CNC parts, all steel, not plastic) than the B&M junk (had one, never again) Look it over.
    Better than the Mr. Gasket $90 'special' that I modified...I had to locate and file my own detent reliefs! Get what you pay for...
  28. Mr T body
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 1,996

    Mr T body
    Alliance Vendor
    from SoCal

    TCI in my '32 with the line lock and trans brake buttons.
  29. Brian Penrod
    Joined: Apr 19, 2016
    Posts: 50

    Brian Penrod

    All of the ratchet shifters are pretty good they just take a little getting used to. Never had a problem using on on the street. Precision Performance probably has the smallest one on the market, about an in wide.
  30. 40Standard
    Joined: Jul 30, 2005
    Posts: 5,737

    from Indy

    Vega floor shift if you can find one
    X-cpe likes this.
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