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Technical Switch Pitch Turbo400

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by nailed31, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. nailed31
    Joined: Jan 24, 2016
    Posts: 41

    nailed31

    Has anybody run a Switch Pitch 400 and a ST300 converter combo? Are there any upgrades needed to handle 600ftlbs torque range? Is it worth digging up a st300 converter?
    Thanks for your input!

    "Just because you can put tap shoes on an elephant doesn't mean it can dance!"
     
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 42,976

    squirrel
    Member

    I've been using that combo in blown big block street cars for decades....

    I've run a few different converters, with varying results. We'll see how the new one from Hughes does.
     
  3. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,525

    Mike VV
    Member
    from SoCal

    Ah yes...one of the first 6spd transmissions.
    I had one behind my 409 (61 Impala).
    Had a momentary button on the shifter box. I could control it with my little finger while shifting the manual shift T-400.
    First gear, button down - first gear, let button up - second gear, shift, button down - third gear, button up - fourth gear, shift, button down - fifth, and finally button up for 6th gear...

    Had a lot of fun in that car.

    Mike
     
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 42,976

    squirrel
    Member

    hmmm.....I just put it in high stall when I'm stopped, or racing.
     
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  5. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 3,372

    Rand Man
    Member

    I remember a company called Kenne Bell marketed them pretty hard in the 70's. Seems like a good idea to me.


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  6. o_O
     
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 42,976

    squirrel
    Member

    The first high stall converter I got for one was from KB, back in 1990. Worked well. It was a ST300 converter, set up for 2500 in high stall mode.
     
  8. nailed31
    Joined: Jan 24, 2016
    Posts: 41

    nailed31

    Thanks for all the stories and input! Does Hughes make an st300 converter or did you switch it over to a regular stall racing converter?
    I'm thinking if I dig up a stock st300 domain v6, it might not last with 600ftlbs.
    It sounds cool to have a six speed out if three! I'm stoked to get this thing on the road, yet there is a long way to get the!

    "Just because you can put tap shoes on an elephant doesn't mean it can dance!"
     
  9. BLACK STUDE
    Joined: Jan 30, 2014
    Posts: 304

    BLACK STUDE
    Member

    Talk to Jim Wiese at Tri-Shield Performance. He does the switch-pitch transmissions and converters.
     
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  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 42,976

    squirrel
    Member

    The converter I ran the past two Drag Weeks is from Tri Shield. I met a fellow on DW who knows Jim, and mentioned that Jim doesn't build the converters, he subs them out, but I don't know who builds them.

    The one that I got redone by Hughes and installed recently, was originally done by PAE in 2004. It was working pretty good, but started making some buzzing noise on DW2014, so I replaced it with the TSP converter last year. Hughes said it was pretty much trashed...I don't know what parts they were able to save when they rebuilt it. You'd have to call them, and ask if they'll build you one. I think they have some ST300 cores.

    I still don't understand the six speed thing...???
     
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  11. Phil1934
    Joined: Jun 24, 2001
    Posts: 2,608

    Phil1934
    Member

    Have you tried high stall for 60' then turn it off with a Digi-Set timer to see if ET is better?
     
  12. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,569

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If a performance modified Switch Pitch converter only has a 2500 stall (in hi-stall) where is the advantage of the S/P converter in a car with a big cam, blower, etc? Being able to switch it to low stall and eliminate some slippage at highway speeds? I'm not sure why one would bother, just use a normal 2500 stall converter and save yourself some headaches.
    Don't get me wrong, I have one behind the 425 Buick I've been saving for my RPU project, just not sure whether to hook it up or not, and what's the advantage if I do.
     
  13. BLACK STUDE
    Joined: Jan 30, 2014
    Posts: 304

    BLACK STUDE
    Member

    Burek used to do an 1800 low/4000 high.
     
  14. cb186
    Joined: Jul 5, 2013
    Posts: 258

    cb186
    Member

    Don't know about the ST converter, but as far as Switch Pitches go, they are great for a street car. Had one in the early 90's built by a local Buick guy.
     
  15. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 3,372

    Rand Man
    Member

    I haven't ran this exact setup. I used to have an off-topic car with a button on the shifter. It was some sort of "sport mode". It gave you like a half a step down shift any time the button was pressed. I suspect it worked on the same principle as a switch pitch converter. I loved it. Guess I could say I'd like like to have something like that in every car I owned. It makes the car so much more responsive.


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  16. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 42,976

    squirrel
    Member

    With a real mild rear gear, even a 2500 stall can use a switch pitch converter to keep from slipping. The past few converters I've got have been about 1500 low, 3000 high. Big difference.
     
  17. Utahvette
    Joined: Sep 4, 2012
    Posts: 203

    Utahvette
    Member

    We're running an old(late 90s) PAE switch pitch in my wife's Corvette. This one has a 4500 stall in high position and a 1800 in low stall. With a 3.70 rear and 31 inch tall tires it launches hard and cruises nice ( 2400rpm at 60 mph) on the freeway. I love it. speedo.JPG deby 2.JPG
     
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  18. I've got one here that I fixed for a guy who never picked it up. I pieced it back together, plus I raised the stall up some. I figure to would be about 2200/2800 behind a 455 Buick.
    1800/4000 sounds like it's outside the realm of a 13 " converter, in my opinion.
    The stator blade angle is what causes the stall change. I believe it's the same piece that's used in the ST 300.
    I think the 300 just has a more negative pump blade angle. Might be a half inch smaller core.
    Anyway, I didn't want to start machining on the semi -rare stator blades.
    I'm pretty sure I tacked all the fins, and added a Torrington to the turbine to cover (front bearing.)
    There's not a lot you can do to beef those things up.
    They are not race converters, in spite of some treating them as such. LOL
    $150 + ship ..anybody wants it here.
     
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  19. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 42,976

    squirrel
    Member

    The ST300 was the same size converter as the TH350. Dacco number for the switch pitch was B-1, the TH350 for BOP was B-1A. The ST400 converter was B-2, the normal TH400 was B-3.

    You can race with normal parts too, you know
     
  20. Yup..Should have said about an inch smaller. Still same stator, I would say.
    Don't think I would want to machine one either. At least not the way you'd do a fixed blade stator...
     
  21. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,569

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    At 1500/3000 or 1800/4000 and I can start to see how it would be advantageous (and fun).
    Why did Buick use the Switch Pitch trans? Was it an extra cost option? And how did it work in it's original configuration - a switch on the dash or console?
    Sorry for all the questions but there seems to be some knowledge to be gained here (at least for me)
     
  22. BLACK STUDE
    Joined: Jan 30, 2014
    Posts: 304

    BLACK STUDE
    Member

    Switch on the carb linkage, activated at wot.
     
  23. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 3,372

    Rand Man
    Member

    One new question for me: so they make them for TH350 and TH400 ? I guess the input shaft was basically the same for the various GM auto trans. As I remember, that was the "old school" trick for street racing. I had a converter from an Opel, that supposedly gave you a hellofa hole shot. I never tried to use it.


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  24. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 42,976

    squirrel
    Member

    TheTH400 had switch pitch, used in the Buick, Olds, and Cad models from around 65-67. The ST300 was a 2 speed transmission, kind of a cross between a Powerglide and a TH350, that was used from 64-68(?) in BOP cars. It also had a switch pitch converter in some cars, I think mostly Buicks?

    The high stall was operated in different ways on different applications. I had a 65 Skylark with the ST300 trans, the converter was activated by a microswitch, when the throttle was NOT being pressed. So it would get high stall at idle, so the car would not "creep". Some had them engage the high stall at about half throttle, sort of like a half-way kickdown, then it would hit the normal kickdown at full throttle.
     
  25. aerorocket
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 488

    aerorocket
    Member
    from N.E. P.A.

    Olds also used the SP ST300 trans from 63-67 in their intermediates and the 330 cu. in. powered full sized cars.
     
  26. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,569

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    So if I put the 425 Buick and the S-P trans in my '31 RPU (2400-2800 lbs) what do you recommend I do to control it? A stock-like set-up, or is there a cool "hot rod" way to set it up.
    Walk me thru what I would be doing if I were to make a pass at the drags with it. (heh, heh, heh)
    Don't mean to hi-jack someone's thread but this is really interesting, even more so since I have an opportunity to actually use one.
     
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  27. BLACK STUDE
    Joined: Jan 30, 2014
    Posts: 304

    BLACK STUDE
    Member

    Used a knob with a button on it in the stude, used high stall in first gear, let off the button at the one two shift.
     
  28. BoilermakerDave
    Joined: Mar 3, 2016
    Posts: 255

    BoilermakerDave
    Member
    from Las Vegas

    My wife has the switch pitch in her (off topic) '67 Cadillac. When she first got the car you had to stand on the brake pedal at stop lights. The plunger doohickey on the throttle linkage was missing, so I hooked the wiring up to the brake light switch. It actually works great that way - no more creep, and when the light turns green she take right off!

    Still has no kickdown switch, but I'll figure that out another day.
     
  29. http://www.buickperformanceclub.com/SPTrans.htm
    here's some good info.
     
  30. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 42,976

    squirrel
    Member

    I noticed that I go quicker if I leave it in high stall all the time at the drags.

    Street driving...you can do some different automatic things, ie use a brake switch, maybe a vehicle speed sensor to switch it to low stall at a relatively low speed, or just put a toggle switch so you can manually switch it on when you come to a stop, then switch it back off (low stall) once you get moving.

    I have a toggle switch on all mine, except my Suburban which has a stock engine, I have that one wired to the brake switch. That's also the only one I have with a stock, full size TH400 converter.
     

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