03-17-09 03:06 PM - Post#1654017
I got tired of trying to grab another gear going down the highway with my stock three speed transmission. The engine seemed to be screaming at 65 MPH so I figured that if I were to be driving on the freeway I don't want to over work my 216 dipper engine, though a 235 would be nice if it ever blew up. I've heard of guys driving the heck out of these for years with no problems but I just wanted to go faster.
After much research and advice from CT and the H.A.M.B. I decided to go with a T-5 and S-10 rear end.
I got the mounting plate, transmission mount and spring perches from http://www.inliners.org/buffalo/index.htm Buffalo Enterprises 360-652-7684
The first thing I did was of course jack everything up and remove all the stuff I didn't want in there including the torque tube, transmission, linkage, column shifter and anything else that got in the way including the exhaust pipe section so I would have some room. Of course I figured since I was there I replaced the master cylinder and put in new brake lines, but that’s another story. Since the carpet was glued down I didn’t want to remove the plate over the transmission so I lived under the car for the most part.
I went down to the local pick-n-pull and picked up a nice rear end from an S10 4X4 and, after some searching, found a good T-5 transmission. Both cost under $350 altogether. I ordered the parts from Buffalo and got to work. When you buy one of his plates, you send him the front bearing retainer/input sleeve from your transmission so he can machine it for your application.
I removed the pilot bearing and mounted the plate on the transmission. One nice thing about using this plate, the end of the spline on the T-5 does not have to be shortened and I can use the old clutch. I did get a new clutch plate and resurfaced the fly wheel.
Next I cut the frame and welded on the channels and tacked everything in place.
This is what I cut out.
This is what it looks like when the transmission is in place before welding and trimming.
The e-brake was a problem; I had to weld the guides a bit further back than stock so everything was off including the cable and connector shaft.
I replaced the e-brake shaft with a stainless rod I got from a salvage yard and ball joints.
The return spring was connected to the torque tube so I had to figure out a way to connect it. This seemed the simplest and it does work. It did not come with the Buffalo kit.
The brake cable was too long, this is how I took care of the problem, simple.
I was fortunate and kept the drive line from the rear end and it fit the transmission. I sent it out to a driveline specialist and made sure it was balanced.
The rear end had to have the old perches cut off and new ones welded on. It is lowered one inch and the holes were drilled to accommodate the offset bolt in the spring. The hardest part was to refabricate the backing plate for the e-brake but it wasn’t too bad. I understand from Buffalo that a later model cable can be used to avoid all the re-fabrication.
The car drives like a dream though there is a bit of vibration at higher speeds. I have to play with the wedges and I’m sure it will take that out as I think the driveline is mounted in too straight. When I jacked it up and measured the angle I could have sworn it was right. Rest assured, it will get figured out. With five forward gears, it runs at a much lower RPM and is much quieter, except for the new exhaust I put on.