Author Topic: Out with the auto and in with a 4 speed, what it took to do the swap.  (Read 15731 times)

Offline femtnmax

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A forum comment:  If you haven't already outlined what you had to do to make this swap I for one would like to encourage you to do so.  This is something a lot of us might consider doing someday and it would be really helpful to hear how the conversion went for someone who just did it.

First off, where to get parts:
Passon Performance and Brewers Performance both sell complete 4 speeds, and all the parts to fix them.  You need to start with a GOOD transmission, so be careful when shopping.  For my small block I chose the 23 spline input shaft rather than the Bomb Proof 18 spline for six pack and Hemi cars.
http://www.brewersperformance.com/
http://www.passonperformance.com/

Here is my swap info:  The cost adds up FAST!!!
Used 4 speed, had the larger diameter input shaft bearing so had the small block bellhousing opening machined to accept the larger input shaft bearing retainer.  The trany needs to have the E-body type rear extension housing that has the gear shift lever attach point clear at the back of housing near where the drive shaft fits in.  I chose the older 4 speed which has lower first gear.  I have 3.23 rear axle gears, but the lower first gear gives me almost a 3.55 type ratio in first for a bit quicker acceleration while having a good hiway cruising gear ratio.
I also chose the older 4 speed because they have what some people consider is a more durable shift mechanism (ball and detent) that the internal shift forks and external gear shift rod linkage attaches to.

Hurst Shifter with linkage.  Dont buy the older Inland type shifter, they replaced them with Hurst for good reason.  There is an adapter plate with countersunk screws that attaches the shifter to the trans extension housing.  You will also need a gearshift boot and metal trim ring.

Rear transmission Xmember.  Mine had been damaged and crap repair job, so bought a used replacement with rear trany mount.

Clutch pedal linkage with Z-bar, and clutch release fork with release bearing sized to fit trany input shaft bearing retainer.  The Z-bar for small block is not the same as for big block.  Small block has more distance from bellhousing end of zbar to zbar arm that clutch fork adjuster rod attaches to.  The end of zbar that has two small holes opposite each other is the clutch pedal side of the zbar, and a spring steel wire/clip locks into the two holes and engages a groove in the nylon half shells that are the pivot for the zbar.  This prevents the zbar from moving side to side along the pivot axis.

Clutch/brake pedal assy.  Chally and Cuda the same, some difference in pedal width year to year.  There is a difference between the pedal assy main bracket that bolts to firewall (has all the pedals hanging from it).  The manual brake master cylinder attaches with studs that come with the bracket, and power brake booster has studs on the booster that fits thru holes in the pedal bracket.   I used the attach bracket that came with my auto trans, and added the 4 speed clutch and brake pedals to it so I could keep my power brakes.  The clutch pedal has its own smaller bracket that attaches to firewall with a special bracket (has 2 studs).
To remove/install the clutch pedal return spring, lightly hammer 10 washers in between the coils of the spring: 5 on one side and 5 opposite.  I used washers about 0.075 thick by 1 inch O.D.

4 speed trany hump. I removed the auto trany shifter attach brackets, then scribed the 4 speed hump outline on the floor.   Cut out the floor, leaving overlap for welding the hump to the floor.  Left the trany Xmember in place as well as the part of the original floor that covers the Xmember.  Added extra spot welds to join the floor to the Xmember.  Remember, the unibody trany Xmember needs the piece of the floor above it and welded to it to complete the boxed in shape for correct strength.

I have not installed the interior carpet, but here's a forum comment:  Get new carpet.  The auto carpet will not fit over the 4 speed hump very well and it won't look very good either.

Z-bar bracket must be welded to drivers side frame rail.  There is a slot that locates the bracket, then just weld in place.

Engine flywheel, clutch disc, pressure plate.  I chose to use finger style pressure plate, not the diaphragm type.  Note on the flywheel:  this could affect engine balance.  Some engines are internally balanced, some external.  Also, do you have aftermarket pistons/rods so standard OEM balance is no longer valid. 
If the engine is internally balanced, then all you need is a neutral balanced flywheel..no problem.   If the engine is external balanced, then you need the flywheel balanced to match the external balance requirements of the engine rotating assembly (crank, rods, pistons).  External balance is not so easy to do unless you have the balance data or your rebuilding the engine and redoing the balance anyway, like I am.  These questions need answers.

Drive shaft forward U-joint/slip joint.  Im going to have a drive line built & balanced.

Need to replace auto trans neutral safety switch with a clutch pedal depressed safety switch.   Wire from ignition switch start position runs to starter relay small flat blade terminal, (eliminate both the RED safety switch on drivers fenderwell and the 1974 seat belt interlock if you have it).  The other flat blade terminal goes to clutch pedal switch which acts as the ground for the circuit.  Completing this circuit activates the relay which activates the starter solenoid to turn the starter.
Need to hook up back up lights to the 4 speed reverse switch.

If I missed some things, someone will let me know I am sure.

From EBAY:
Passon performance has a rebuilt 23 spline trany as we speak for about $600.  IMO a good deal.

Another add from Ebay, $2000:
THIS IS A BIG BLOCK 4 SPEED CONVERSION FOR AN E BODY OR A 71-74 B BODY. THIS IS A SUPER NICE SET AND INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING: A 23 SPLINE 833 TRANS, THE SHIFTING RODS WITH MOUNTING EARS, A HEAVY DUTY BILLETT SHIFTER MOUNTING PLATE, A HURST SHIFTER MECHANISM, A MINT, SHOW QUALITY PISTOL GRIP HANDLE WITH WOOD GRIPS, Z BAR, BIG BLOCK BELLHOUSING, A MINT 4 SPEED HUMP, AND THE PEDAL KIT WITH THE ROD THAT RUNS THROUGH THE FIREWALL. AS I SAID, THIS IS A SIMPLE CONVERSION AND IS A SUPER NICE SET. I ALSO HAVE SMALL BLOCK SETS AVAILABLE IF NEEDED. ALL PARTS HAVE BEEN CLEANED AND PAINTED AND ARE READY TO INSTALL. PICS REALLY DO NOT DO THIS SET JUSTICE ESPECIALLY THE PISTOL GRIP. BUYER PAYS SHIPPING. AS IS.

« Last Edit: July 31, 2010 - 07:14:35 pm by femtnmax »
Phil




Offline Aussie Challenger

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Re: Out with the auto and in with a 4 speed, what it took to do it.
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2010 - 12:28:13 am »
   :2thumbs:  That was good as we seem to have on a regular basis questions about this type of conversion, maybe it could be put up as a sticky.    :cheers:
Dave

Offline Road_Runner

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Re: Out with the auto and in with a 4 speed, what it took to do the swap.
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2010 - 05:21:57 pm »
Great write-up!  I don't suppose you took pictures?!!  If not, this is still exactly the kinds of heads up I was looking for.  I'm definitely doing this conversion in my 70 Roadrunner, thinking about it for the Barracuda.  Let us know your driving impressions when you get it back on the road.  It may sound dumb, but I'd like to hear your comments on the difference in driving experience going from an automatic to the four speed.  Rowing the gears is not the same thing in every car, I've sat in mine trying to imagine what it would be like heading down the road with the pistol grip in easy reach...

Thanks again, Jim
1970 383 Roadrunner Tor Red
1973 318 Barracuda Mist Green
2014 Mustang GT/CS Convertible All Black

Offline acudanut

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Re: Out with the auto and in with a 4 speed, what it took to do the swap.
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2010 - 06:51:48 pm »
 :useless:

Online GoodysGotaCuda

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Re: Out with the auto and in with a 4 speed, what it took to do the swap.
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2010 - 07:19:32 pm »
So if i read it right, you got there for $2000? Doesn't sound bad at alll.  :2thumbs:

I think I'm going with a 4spd truck 833 o/d when i do mine. I want the highway cruise rpm.
Build Page: Goody's 'Cuda Build Page
1976 Dodge Warlock
1972 Barracuda - 5.7 Hemi + T56 Magnum

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Offline acudanut

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Re: Out with the auto and in with a 4 speed, what it took to do the swap.
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2010 - 08:00:15 pm »
 Truck Transmissions will not work on Cars. :2cents:

Offline Moparal

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Re: Out with the auto and in with a 4 speed, what it took to do the swap.
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2010 - 08:20:45 pm »
Truck Transmissions will not work on Cars. :2cents:

 :dunno:

Offline 67vertman

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Re: Out with the auto and in with a 4 speed, what it took to do the swap.
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2010 - 08:45:25 pm »
Great article.

I will be doing this swap in the future.  so all the info I can gather is much appricated.



Ron - Born and raised in Southern California

I got the 1970 Cuda, but still need the hot blonde to ride shotgun!

First car -1969 Road Runner 383 4sp

Current ride - 1970 Barracuda 440-6 4 sp Dana 60  (4:10)

Offline dodj

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Re: Out with the auto and in with a 4 speed, what it took to do the swap.
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2010 - 09:34:33 pm »
Truck Transmissions will not work on Cars. :2cents:
I think they can. Just not optimal gear sets.
Scott
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Offline CUDA JAS

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Re: Out with the auto and in with a 4 speed, what it took to do the swap.
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2010 - 09:50:26 pm »
Hey great write up....this is something I woudl like to do in the furture too!

Unless I missed it in your write up, you will also need a new carpet to fit the 4 speed floor, and you need to trim the console if you choose to use one!!

 :2thumbs:

Jas
74 'cuda 360/727



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Offline 72bluNblu

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Re: Out with the auto and in with a 4 speed, what it took to do the swap.
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2010 - 10:32:46 pm »
Truck Transmissions will not work on Cars. :2cents:


Not true!

There are two types of truck transmissions. One is a top loader with a granny gear, this won't work in your car.

The other is an 833 overdrive unit (found in '75 up a body's and small trucks all the way up to '90). It is externally identical to the 833's found in all the E-bodies, with the exception of a slightly larger bearing retainer in the front, so you either need an 833 OD bellhousing or have the earlier one opened up a little. The 833 OD's even have the e body mounting block cast into the tail housing, although they usually need to be drilled and tapped.

See this article for 833 and 833 OD info, including gear ratio's.

http://www.slantsix.org/articles/4-speeds/ODA833fourspeed1.htm

The gear spread on the OD units is pretty wide, especially from 1st to 2nd, so its not the best transmission for racing. For the street though it has some serious benefits, like being able to run 3.91 or even 4.10 gears and still cruise easily at 75+ mph.

Offline acudanut

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Re: Out with the auto and in with a 4 speed, what it took to do the swap.
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2010 - 08:47:15 am »
 The top loader with a granny gear, this won't work in your car. This is the type I am talking about.

Online GoodysGotaCuda

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Re: Out with the auto and in with a 4 speed, what it took to do the swap.
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2010 - 09:15:26 am »
Not true!

There are two types of truck transmissions. One is a top loader with a granny gear, this won't work in your car.

The other is an 833 overdrive unit (found in '75 up a body's and small trucks all the way up to '90). It is externally identical to the 833's found in all the E-bodies, with the exception of a slightly larger bearing retainer in the front, so you either need an 833 OD bellhousing or have the earlier one opened up a little. The 833 OD's even have the e body mounting block cast into the tail housing, although they usually need to be drilled and tapped.

See this article for 833 and 833 OD info, including gear ratio's.

http://www.slantsix.org/articles/4-speeds/ODA833fourspeed1.htm

The gear spread on the OD units is pretty wide, especially from 1st to 2nd, so its not the best transmission for racing. For the street though it has some serious benefits, like being able to run 3.91 or even 4.10 gears and still cruise easily at 75+ mph.


Yep, thats the truck trans I'm talking about. The gearing isn't optimum, but I'm more into just driving my 'Cuda around than really racing it. I may just stroke the 360 to 'make up' for it.  :biggrin: :thumbsup: I run 3.91s and need that cruise rpm BAD
Build Page: Goody's 'Cuda Build Page
1976 Dodge Warlock
1972 Barracuda - 5.7 Hemi + T56 Magnum

Wheel & Tire Specs:Link

Offline Pistol Gripper

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Re: Out with the auto and in with a 4 speed, what it took to do the swap.
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2010 - 08:51:36 am »
Quote
Another add from Ebay, $2000

If this is the guy from Alabama, I bought a set from him a couple years ago.  My impression:

1.  The parts all came in great shape, clean, painted when appropriate.
2.  Only missing the parts you wouldn't want used anyway, pressure plate, disk, bearings.
3.  The tranny was in great shape.
4.  Show Quality Shifter ?  Absolutely !  Nicest shifter I have seen.

I consider it well worth the money,  fair price, good parts, don't have to hunt around to gather it all up.

Legal disclaimer:  This was my personal experience a couple years ago.  I'd talk to the guy and look at his feedback.

P.G.
O ne
B ig
A $$
M istake
A merica

Offline HP2

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Re: Out with the auto and in with a 4 speed, what it took to do the swap.
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2010 - 06:12:37 pm »
Brewers does offer the full meal deal with everything to convert for around $4000.