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Hot Rods Switch Pitch 400. Who knows em?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by mbrede, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. mbrede
    Joined: Aug 7, 2008
    Posts: 54

    mbrede
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Cleaning out the old mans garage, and tripped over a couple 65-67 Buick switch pitch 400's. Appear to have converters, but other than that, not sure what else there is to make these things complete, or how much they're worth. Not sure if they are 12 or 13" converters, or if that makes a difference. Been sitting indoors, for probably 15-20 years. Any advice?
     
  2. I met a couple, it has a solenoid inside that causes them to lockup sooner. if they have been setting they are cores, either try and use one or sell it.
     
  3. mbrede
    Joined: Aug 7, 2008
    Posts: 54

    mbrede
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Looking to sell em, but not quite sure what they're worth.
     
  4. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,207

    olscrounger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I think Squirrel on here knows a lot about them.
     

  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,340

    squirrel
    Member

    There worth more (to me) in southeast AZ than they are in Minnesota!

    I've been running them for 35+ years. Neat transmissions. The technology is kind of obsolete, they can make better street/strip converters today with out the switch pitch thing. But I still have them in my 3 Chevys.

    12" converter came in the ST300 transmission (sort of like a powerglide, but looks more like a TH350). The 13" came in the Buick Olds Caddy ST400 transmission. 1964ish to 1967. Not available in Chevys or Pontiacs, that I know of. but you can swap the pump, input shaft, and converter into the 1960s-late 70s Chevy th400. There are a few little tricks to make it work.

    I would not scrap them, at the very least get the SP parts out of them and put them on ebay or something.
     
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  6. Yes, he does. Also ,they seem to have a niche following on the Buick forum.
    I've got a slightly raced stall version here.There doesn't seem to be much in it, to the general public.
     
  7. If you don't know their condition they are worth core price unless you find a sucker.

    Don't know about where you are but a core from the transmission shop here if you know the guy is around 75 dollars.
     
  8. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,207

    olscrounger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    $100 plus here for a core
     
  9. Sounds about right, but the SP deal should be worth more , if you find the right person.That seems to be the trick.
    I think I put the converter I have on Epay. I don't remember getting a bid on it.
    If I did, he would have owned it.
     
  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,340

    squirrel
    Member

    I might be interested....what is it, exactly?
     
  11. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,737

    Baumi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    They are rare as hen´s teeth over here. I have a spare one for my 65 Riviera... 100$ a piece for a core sound like a steal... I think I wouldn´t be able to buy one for a grand around here... The Buick guys hoard them and no one lets them go... If shipping wasn´t out of the ball park I´d take one or three off your hands....
     
  12. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,737

    Baumi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Maybe put one after another up on ebay and see were you end up pricewise...
     
  13. 45_70Sharps
    Joined: May 19, 2010
    Posts: 331

    45_70Sharps
    Member

    Go to v8buick.com and you will find loads of people looking for those.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  14. F.O.G
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 259

    F.O.G
    Member
    from Pacific,Mo

    They do not "lock up" as stated earlier. I have built a number of them in the last 40 yrs and still think
    they are really cool. Installed at least six of the components in Chevy cases, as Chevy never used them,
    nor did Pontiac. The converters are interchangeable between the ST-300 and VP-400. 12 inch converter
    has max stall of 2800...I think...but I am 70 now so can't guarantee it. I have one in the T-bucket I just
    finished, behind a 425 olds.
     
  15. I seem to remember it was a T400 unit from a Buick guy. I was just going to ask you if you had a spare there you could measure.Just give me the very outside measurement, close as you can.
    I replace a stator bearing that came apart. I straightened a few fins and tack welded them.
    I set the pump fins a bit negative. Probably added about 500-600 rpm to the stall.
    You can't go much more than what I did, on a big converter. You'll just make a heater out of it .
    I know I didn't cut the stator any. No need to experiment in that dept.
    I've had a $100 minimum to cut open one , and weld it back together , for 25 years now.
    You can have it for that + shipping, if you want it.
     
  16. Correct. The stator blades switch to a more straight up and down plane, opening the window on the exit side of the stator, thereby lowering the stall speed.
     
  17. I don't think any of the earlier converters actually lock up. That is why MPH calculators are not as accurate as we would like them to be. They are just looser and tighter, I just used bad terminology.
     
  18. F.O.G
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 259

    F.O.G
    Member
    from Pacific,Mo

    Studebaker had true lockup converters in the '50's, not a lot new in the automotive field, just comes
    around again.
     
  19. Hmnnnnn learn something every day. I never heard that.
     
  20. F.O.G
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 259

    F.O.G
    Member
    from Pacific,Mo

    You knew it,,,just forgot about it.
     
  21. Thanks.I did not know that either.
    3 speed Automatic Drive, 50-56 .
    Looks like a true wet clutch inside the shell.
    Ford wanted to buy some for their first automatic .Studebaker said no. Not wise move on their part, I would say.
     
  22. F.O.G
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 259

    F.O.G
    Member
    from Pacific,Mo

    Posted from my "fountain of useless knowledge". Filed right next to gyroscopic precession.
     
    belair likes this.
  23. I collected parts to build one, took me a while but I did. Buick core, caddy core, early Chevy case, converter and then drug the pile to my Trans guy.
    He's said "yes I should be able do it but it's been about 30 years since I had a switch pitch on the bench. And we used to go the other way with them- tank the switch pitch stuff and shove regular guts in.

    My converter guy said "oh man I almost forget what those look like inside. Hell yeah bring it down I know a few tricks"

    Haven't ran it yet but it's at least together.
     
  24. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,340

    squirrel
    Member

    The 400 converter is the same size as a normal 400 converter, 13" is the normal measurement, although it's hard to measure them accurately. The 300 converter is the same as a 350 converter, 12" nominal diameter, more like 12.2" if you measure it a little more accurately.

    I have a stock big converter in my Suburban, smaller ones that have been modified for 2500-3000 in my others.
     
  25. yeah this one appears to be ST300 or vp300 I guess. I never compared it to anything else. They all look big when you have 7 and 8 inch around all the time. It measures just over 12 inches. It's stamped B5 which looks like a Dacco number but it must long discontinued. I don't even see it in an old book.. anyway it's probably worth more to someone then but same deal for you
     
  26.  
  27. hey I just found another book and I guess there was two different stall speeds for the 300. Probably for the V6 cars or something. I couldn't tell you which one this started out as but I set it up thinking it would be behind 455 Buick. Might be 26 to 27 there on the high side
     
  28. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,691

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    I have one out of a 67 GS it had a switch on the intake hooked up to the throttle linkage.
    When the car went away I snagged all the wires and switch. And trans with converter.
    What year Chevy 400 will the parts fit?
     
  29. F.O.G
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 259

    F.O.G
    Member
    from Pacific,Mo

    I think you need a Chevy case that has the 8 bolt pump, instead of 6 bolt. Sessions TH-400 book
    has details.
     
  30. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,340

    squirrel
    Member

    the late 70s cases sometimes have the passages cast in, but not drilled. They eventually quit casting the passages.

    I'd be interested in the converter Marky. I am in Phx for the weekend, a robot thing going on.
     

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