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Transmission Swap For 1954 Cadillac 331

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Deville1904, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. Deville1904
    Joined: Dec 31, 2007
    Posts: 66

    Deville1904
    Member

    So I have weighed out my options and have opted to just swap out the transmission for something else adaptable to my 1954 331. I was quoted 3200.00 for an overhaul of my orginal hydramatic. Not doing that. So I turn to you folks here for some insight on how to go about this swap. What is available as far as adapters and transmissions for the 331 engine?
     
  2. richie rebel
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,184

    richie rebel
    Member

    they have adapters for a number of trannies,what kind of trans do you want to run????
     
  3. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,720

    junk yard kid
    Member

    I say you put a 700r4 in it. overdrive, plenty available. I think your gunna have almost the same money in it tho, once you buy the adapter and the little shit. Then you have to buy the transmission and install. But i think it would be better then a rebuild.
     
  4. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,720

    junk yard kid
    Member

    hell maybe not, theres a couple on cr@$%^ist for 200 and one for 500.
     
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  5. Deville1904
    Joined: Dec 31, 2007
    Posts: 66

    Deville1904
    Member

    Are they local sellers? =)
     
  6. Deville1904
    Joined: Dec 31, 2007
    Posts: 66

    Deville1904
    Member

    Yes they are. Just searched them. One of them even has a warranty on it. 499 is not bad. Can I keep the tranny at your place James? ^_^
     
  7. 3x2rocket
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 248

    3x2rocket
    Member

    That price is ridiculous! You should be able to rebuild that hydro for half that and it should cost far less than adapting a 700r4, not sure where you're located but there is two shops in the Los Angeles area that can handle a hydro... but then again overdrive is nice to have.
     
  8. backyardbeliever
    Joined: Sep 15, 2006
    Posts: 299

    backyardbeliever
    Member

    I am in need of a 1954 cadillac bellhousing for a hydro. This bellhousing is only for the 54 cadillac and mine is broken. let me know if yours comes available? Thanks
     
  9. hombres ruin
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,301

    hombres ruin
    Member

    Wilcap has the adapter for $521 but you have to run a mopar mini starter which they sell so its About $700 for both then you have to buy the tranny.What would labor cost for the install..any ideas?
     
  10. Abomination
    Joined: Oct 5, 2006
    Posts: 6,701

    Abomination
    Member

    This manual might help you rebuild your own. It's easier than you think. ;)
    http://www.tocmp.com/manuals/trans/49-50LincolnHydramatic/index.html

    Besides, what are you going to do? Break it more?

    Pull it open and don't lose any parts. After a while, you'll realize "Holy crap - all I have to do is put this back together with X, Y, Z parts replaced and it's DONE?". Then order the kit and you're on your way!
     
  11. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,720

    junk yard kid
    Member

    yah you can store it at my place
     
  12. Deville1904
    Joined: Dec 31, 2007
    Posts: 66

    Deville1904
    Member


    I really wouldnt mind just having the stock tranny rebuilt. Valley transmission in el cajon wants 3200 and I havent gone anywhere else yet for an estimate. Ultimately I am trying to save money so that I can fix other things on the car that still need attention.
    I thought about having a go at it myself with the guys in the car club. That would save me a ton on labor and it would be a great experience for myself.
     
  13. Deville1904
    Joined: Dec 31, 2007
    Posts: 66

    Deville1904
    Member

    I am taking it to aamco on monday morning. Guess they work on later model transmissions as well ^_^
     
  14. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,086

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm full of doubt anyone at an AAmco station will even know what a dual range hydra- matic is, let alone be willing to bother with a source for parts!

    Torus cover gaskets & 'O' rings, servos, bands & clutches...All unique to the Hydra-Matic.

    Last time I asked about similar parts (PDQ, the Calif outlet for auto trans parts) the parts man wished me luck.

    Valley Tranny for $3200 is probably pricing themselves above the desire to do the job; But, they MAY have a parts source available, and if you step up they may have an associate they can call in to perform the task. (many shops have retired personnel they hire for special jobs...Not an impossible job, but not as simple as 904 & 727 MoPar.
    An experienced tranny man can do it, {with a book} but there are some special tools hardly seen any more. The 'semi-retired guy' I speak of still has his tools.)
    Look around some more. You may come across an independant tranny shop that is owned by the original operator.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  15. Deville1904
    Joined: Dec 31, 2007
    Posts: 66

    Deville1904
    Member

    The parts arent hard to come by. Caddydaddy.com has a rebuild kit for it. Valley transmission is just overpriced. The guy I spoke with there said that they have done plenty of caddys in the past among other hot rods, classics, and muscle cars.

    Im just going to keep looking around and getting free diagnostics around town. Somethings going to have to turn up.
     
  16. DAPER DAVE
    Joined: May 24, 2010
    Posts: 200

    DAPER DAVE
    Member
    from N/A

    You best bet is to get another transmission with an adaptor. Its way cheaper then fixing the hydromatic. Even though I really like it, I don't think its worth spending all your money to rebuild.
     
  17. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,327

    73RR
    Member

  18. DAPER DAVE
    Joined: May 24, 2010
    Posts: 200

    DAPER DAVE
    Member
    from N/A

    My brothers friend had a 57 Caddy and AAMCO did a decent job. I give them a try and see. I forgot about them.
     
  19. unrulyprocuda
    Joined: Jun 9, 2011
    Posts: 12

    unrulyprocuda
    Member

    I just bought the Adapter for my 331 caddy to 700r4 swap and my transmission guy says that everything should be fine with it 1,500 dollars to supply the trans and install plus the Adapter and starter he says the only worry is the lockup in the transmission and that he can run a brake pedal switch to make it work has any others on here done this swap with success and figured out how to alleviate that issue i would love to hear how it was done and does it work great. i really would like to drive the car more and have the overdrive. Thanks
     
  20. omarine
    Joined: Sep 1, 2016
    Posts: 5

    omarine

    So did anyone do the 700r4 swap? Im thinking about it on my 52. What about the pattern at the steering column? I guess just don't think about it?
     
  21. OLDSMAN
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,424

    OLDSMAN
    BANNED

    As has been said, the old hydros were a special breed. As an old transmission rebuilder I won’t touch one. There are special tools needed that aren’t available anymore, rebuild kits can still be had, at what price I don’t know. I would buy the adapter needed and install an overdrive.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  22. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,533

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    You can get a lockup kit for 700R4 that works off of line pressure. It's a whopping $70.
     
  23. I bet AAMCO would take one look and send it out for an exchange on a rebuilt transmission. No problem.

    Charlie Stephens
     
  24. A couple of guys are suggesting an automatic with overdrive. Your rear end is probably VERY high and you would want to replace that next to use the overdrive feature. You might want to nose around a little, there was one year transmission that was a dog but I think it was '56.

    Charlie Stephens
     
  25. Early Hydro's are just not that hard to rebuild... I've done a few over the years without any issues. Parts are still available from Fatsco.
     
  26. BigJim394
    Joined: Jan 21, 2002
    Posts: 753

    BigJim394
    Member

    There are a few multi part YouTube videos on hydramatics (how to rebuild and how all internal parts work).
    Search hydramatic on YouTube.
     
  27. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,379

    jimmy six
    Member

    What would labor cost for the install..any ideas?[/QUOTE]
    Labor ... that would be free. You do things like this yourself. Now about that linkage, driveshaft, speedo connect, etc.etc.etc...
     
  28. omarine
    Joined: Sep 1, 2016
    Posts: 5

    omarine

    My axle in the 52 coupe de ville is 3.07. That makes final drive with a 700r4 2.15. Sounds tall but im no expert.
    With that set up maybe leave the torque converter out of it? (6 volt).

    would that be ok?
    Leaning towards 700r4 now but still need crossmember.
     

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