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Projects The Transmission Swap of DOOM!!!!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Falcon H, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    As I've rambled about in other threads, I've had some issues with the 287 I swapped into my 56 Pontiac, so I found a nice '60 389 that I'm rebuilding now. Since I've had the engine out, I've noticed some warning signs on the hydromatic (it's stuck in gear for one thing). It has 80-something thousand miles on it, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

    I've been dreaming of a manual transmission ever since I bought the car, so I would love to swap in a 4 speed. I know will need a 58-60 Pontiac bellhousing, or a 58-59 GMC one for starters......I saw everything I need for sale in the classifieds by carryallman, but I don't think he's noticing the PMs. Does anybody happen to know him personally by some miracle?

    Thank you!
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  2. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 7,253

    Budget36
    Member

  3. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    Well.....I was late to that one. I'll keep hunting.
     
  4. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,625

    73RR
    Member

    The Pontiac manual trans bell from 1955 will also work in a 56. In high school I had a couple of '55's with manual transmissions and the then-new 66 chev all-syncro 3-speed was a direct bolt up.

    .
     

  5. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    Wow, thanks for the info! I'd read that the 56-57 bell housings used a unique interface and I didn't realize that the 55 ones were different. I assume they're the "standard" interface?
     
  6. dogwalkin
    Joined: Jan 17, 2013
    Posts: 91

    dogwalkin
    Member
    from tn

    There's a crankshaft flange size difference in there somewhere

    Sent from my VS990 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  7. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 10,007

    jimmy six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Think about a Lakewood, Qwiktime, McCleod type bellhousing maybe a better way to go. If your worried about a removable bottom it is a very ez fix. Weld two matting flanges with 4 holes under where the trans mounts, bolt them together (i would use 3/8") , then using a 1/32" disc cutting wheel split it from the inside. All the welding should be done while the bell housing is bolted to the engine. Done it before and had no warping.
     
  8. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,625

    73RR
    Member

    Not sure what 'standard' means. Admittedly, I have forgotten most of what I learned about the early Pontiac v-8 but I am pretty sure that the block bolt pattern is the same for 287-317-347-371 and the first 389. The chev 3-speed mounts the same as the later 4-speed.
    One of the Pontiac experts should-could clarify/verify.

    .
     
  9. I know a 55 GMC 287 bellhousing and flywheel will fit a 59 -389 engine. Not certain about the 1960 -engines. check to see if your present automatic parts will fit the 60 engine. If It fits the 55 sticks parts will work.
     
  10. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    I had meant the interface between the bell housing and the transmission. By "standard" I meant the pattern used by t-10s and muncies. ......I'm pretty sure it is.

    Thanks!
     
  11. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    I'm now the happy new owner of a 1959 GMC bellhousing!!!! It's happening now! Next on the grocery list is a flywheel and clutch kit.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  12. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    Does anybody know if I can use a Pontiac flywheel with a GMC bell housing?

    Thanks !
     
  13. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

  14. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,625

    73RR
    Member

    .....it all goes back to the starter and ring gear interface. Find out what the tooth count needs to be for the bell and compare to whatever you have laying around. IIRC, all of the v-8 used in GMC trucks were Pontiac engines so that should help.
    Check this eBay item number:
    201998890303

    .
     
  15. Falcon H
    Joined: Mar 11, 2015
    Posts: 142

    Falcon H
    Member
    from Waco Texas

    Thank you, 73RR! I got the GMC bell housing today, and comparing it to my old bell housing I think a Pontiac flywheel should be fine, so I picked it up.
     

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