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Username Post: Saginaw to Muncie tranny question        (Topic#364634)
Sober63 
Newbie
Posts: 17

Reg: 01-23-21
03-16-21 09:46 AM - Post#2816263    

This one is involved, so I in advance thank you for your time, expertise, opinion, etc. If this is better suited to a different forum given the engine and transmission involved, I will be glad to shuffle over to another location.

I have recently purchased a 1963 Biscayne with a 396 (325 HP) from a 1968 Chevy. The car currently has a 4 speed Saginaw transmission. From the research I have done it seems that transmission would not have been placed behind a big block. So I am interested to know what recommended Muncie I could go with to replace the Saginaw. It seems that an M20 would have likely been the 4 speed that the engine originally would have come with. I am NOT one to abuse the car, it is a cruiser, so I don't need high performance. I simply want a tranny that is appropriate for the 396. I might occasionally spin the wheels but it is not the prime reason for driving it. Currently the rear end is a NON-Posi 3.08. I will eventually be looking to upgrade the rear end to limited slip along with the transmission. I expect to keep it at a 3.08, unless I would potentially go with a much differently gear trans - as it is it gets up to 2,200 RPM at 55 MPH. I think it would increase the RPM if I went with a higher gear rear end. But correct me if I am wrong.

I have a few questions:

1. Given what I have shared, will a M20 Muncie work well for my application? If not, what four speed is recommended?

2. Will the Muncie bolt to the existing bell housing?

3. I am assuming that a different shifter will be required as the Muncie will not use the same as the Saginaw? If so, will the hole in the floor for the shifter likely accommodate the new setup without modification? It has a home made metal box fabricated for the shifter that fits the Saginaw setup and would like to continue to use this if possible.

4. Is the speedo gear the same on the Muncie as my Saginaw?

5. Is there a way to determine the exact gearing of the Saginaw without pulling it to see the notches in the input shaft? I have the casting number but don't think that is enough to get the gearing. It would be helpful for reference to know the current gearing setup as I choose a Muncie for a replacement.

6. How do I determine that the total length of the transmission is acceptable for my driveshaft? Will casting numbers be sufficient? Obviously I can measure the distance. Just want to help ensure it will all work once bolted up.

7. Minor concern – Do Muncie’s come with a backup light sending unit? I wired up backup lights for my current set up using the sending unit on the Saginaw. I know not all Saginaw’s come with a sending unit, but mine does.

8. What have I not already thought of to ask??!


63 Biscayne
396, 4 speed


 


japete92 
"7th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1748
japete92
Loc: No. Virginia
Reg: 01-18-13
03-16-21 11:41 AM - Post#2816267    
    In response to Sober63

  • Sober63 Said:
This one is involved, so I in advance thank you for your time, expertise, opinion, etc. If this is better suited to a different forum given the engine and transmission involved, I will be glad to shuffle over to another location.

I have recently purchased a 1963 Biscayne with a 396 (325 HP) from a 1968 Chevy. The car currently has a 4 speed Saginaw transmission. From the research I have done it seems that transmission would not have been placed behind a big block. So I am interested to know what recommended Muncie I could go with to replace the Saginaw. It seems that an M20 would have likely been the 4 speed that the engine originally would have come with. I am NOT one to abuse the car, it is a cruiser, so I don't need high performance. I simply want a tranny that is appropriate for the 396. I might occasionally spin the wheels but it is not the prime reason for driving it. Currently the rear end is a NON-Posi 3.08. I will eventually be looking to upgrade the rear end to limited slip along with the transmission. I expect to keep it at a 3.08, unless I would potentially go with a much differently gear trans - as it is it gets up to 2,200 RPM at 55 MPH. I think it would increase the RPM if I went with a higher gear rear end. But correct me if I am wrong.

I have a few questions:

1. Given what I have shared, will a M20 Muncie work well for my application? Yes but it would have to match your flywheelIf not, what four speed is recommended? I recommend the 'new' AutoGear 'Muncie' M22W

2. Will the Muncie bolt to the existing bell housing? Yes, but verify what bell housing you have. If it is a truck bell housing you will need an adapter (or a larger front bearing housing). And 1963 had a unique bellhousing

3. I am assuming that a different shifter will be required as the Muncie will not use the same as the Saginaw? If so, will the hole in the floor for the shifter likely accommodate the new setup without modification? If an original 4 speed car with the GM 'hole; yes. It has a home made metal box fabricated for the shifter that fits the Saginaw setup and would like to continue to use this if possible. In my opinion, the Hurst competition plus shifter is far superior to the original Muncie. The shifter bodies are the same but the install kits (linkage, etc) would be different.

4. Is the speedo gear the same on the Muncie as my Saginaw? Not likely, but I don't know

5. Is there a way to determine the exact gearing of the Saginaw without pulling it to see the notches in the input shaft? I have the casting number but don't think that is enough to get the gearing. It would be helpful for reference to know the current gearing setup as I choose a Muncie for a replacement. I would choose the 'wide' ratio Muncie (m20 in original GM terminology) regardless of what Saginaw you have.

6. How do I determine that the total length of the transmission is acceptable for my driveshaft? Will casting numbers be sufficient? Obviously I can measure the distance. Just want to help ensure it will all work once bolted up.

7. Minor concern – Do Muncie’s come with a backup light sending unit? Only as part of the shifter. I wired up backup lights for my current set up using the sending unit on the Saginaw. I know not all Saginaw’s come with a sending unit, but mine does.

8. What have I not already thought of to ask??! If you have an auto to 4 speed conversion, I would inspect EVERY aspect of the conversion for 'questionable' workmanship and parts . KNOW what you have, and what you want to replace so you only dig into it once.





Some links that may be helpful:

https://www.hemmings.com/stories/article/munci e-4-...

https://www.5speeds.com/muncie2.htm

http://www.autogear.net/motorsports/

https://www.chevytalk.org/fusionbb/showtopic.php?t...


I've commented in red in your original post.

I've also attached a pic of my '63's interior (shift plate). It's a 385 hp/440 lb-ft torque '383' sbc, Autogear M22W, Hurst Competition plus shifter.

The shift plate is from a 1961 SS bench seat application:

https://show-cars.com/product/3706

And the tunnel extension :

https://show-cars.com/product/4345

Pete

Attachment: 63_impala_shifter_plate_handle.jpeg (91.74 KB) 13 View(s)






 
pvs409 
"9th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 3223
pvs409
Loc: Sergeant Bluff, Iowa
Reg: 01-10-05
03-16-21 11:44 AM - Post#2816268    
    In response to Sober63

1. Yes a Muncie M20 or M21 is fine behind the 396. You want the 1964 or newer Muncie with the studs to mount shifter arms in my opinion. You need the 2:56 or 2:52 low gear Muncie to move the car in first gear with a 3:08 rear end. A 2;20 close ratio low gear Muncie will not work good with a 3:08 rear end. M20 Muncies were used from 1963 to 1974 with 2 different first gear ratios(2:56 and 2:52). M21 used in 1963 to 1974 2:20 close ratio first gear.

2. Yes any muncie bolts to any alumninum or cast iron Chevy bell housing -check the number on the bell housing, to make sure you do not have truck bell housing that will not fit a car 4 speed.

3 Your shifter will not work with a Muncie -you need a Hurst shifter matched to the transmission purchased and to a 63 Chevy. Each Hurst shifter matches the car and the transmission the arms and rods must fit your tranmission and mount on the transmission to fit a factory location for the 4 speed shifter. The factory location for the shifter on Muncies and Borg Warner 4 speeds is 17.5 inches from the bell housing to the center of the shifter in neutral. ALL 61-63 Chevy factory 4 speed cars came with a tunnel cover that covered a factory cut rectangular hole in the floor. The tunnel cover used a round boot on it to fit around a "round" shifter handle. Hurst shifters come with a flat handle -but a round bolt on handle for 4 speeds can be purchased.

4. The speedo gear in the Saginaw is most likely not the correct one for a Muncie. You have to match the gear to your rear end ratio and tire size to install the correct gear.

5 The saginaw gear ratio is not important - all Muncies are wide ratio or close ratio. You need a wide ratio and the Muncie will work just fine.

6 All Muncies are 21.50 inches long from the bell housing to the end of the tailshaft.

7 To utilize a backup light on a Muncie you have to buy a backup kit for a Muncie -you need: backup switch & arm, and mount for switch for transmission, backup light wiring harness and you need to drill the factory firewall at the factory dimple on all 62-63 cars -The dimple is just to the right of the accelerator linkage on the firewall. Your car needs to have wiring for backup lights on the trunk -some Biscaynes did not come with backup light wiring to lights on the trunk.


I have pictures of the floor in 4 speed cars with the tunnel cover and a Hurst competition plus 4 speed shifter, and pictures or links to the backup items you need.

Paul




57 BelairHT 283/270hp 4 spd
62 ImpHT 327/300 4 spd
62 Imp CV SS 327/300HP 700R4 (sold)
62 Imp HT SS 409/482 stroker 4 spd
62 Imp SS 409 - 5 spd Convertible
http://paulstensland.com


 
beagrizzly 
"12th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 2255
beagrizzly
Age: 71
Loc: south texas
Reg: 08-04-12
03-16-21 11:47 AM - Post#2816269    
    In response to Sober63

I just saw the real experts have jumped in here, japete, and 409, so I deleted my post. No sense in pitting my old memory against someone that actually has the car in their possession.

Respect to the two of you.

Griff

if you're gonna be a bear..................

1960 Biscayne (the 6T)
2005 Yukon XL
2007 GMC Sierra Classic 8.1
2009 Silverado
2011 Escalade ESV


Edited by beagrizzly on 03-16-21 11:58 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
DonSSDD 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 7600
DonSSDD
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
Reg: 08-21-01
03-16-21 03:08 PM - Post#2816277    
    In response to beagrizzly

By the way you are saying you are using your car, I’d use the Saginaw until you break it. I had a Saginaw behind my 409, never had any issues with it and I drive similar to you it sounds like. I actually broke my rear end which was a 3.08 open. People used to drag race Saginaws, they are not as strong as a Muncie or Borg Warner but if you don’t hammer it with big tires, it works fine.

The Saginaw, Muncie, and t10 BW are the same length. The flywheel you are using now would work with a Muncie and that small front bearing 1963 only bellhousing is rare- saginaws didn’t have a small front bearing so I doubt you have that bellhousing.

I have a super t10 in my 63 and it was a powerglide and I have a 3.08 open now. My bellhousing is a cast iron open bottom with a starter mount built, likely from a truck but it has the same size hole as tha Muncie etc needs and I had a similar one with the Saginaw in the 59.

63 Pontiac Parisienne Sport Coupe(CDN Chev mechanically (409, 4 speed),62 Bel Air SC (sold), 59 El Camino (sold), 62 Bel Air SC(sold), 63 SWC Vette (sold),
Member #2194


 
DonSSDD 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 7600
DonSSDD
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
Reg: 08-21-01
03-16-21 03:21 PM - Post#2816279    
    In response to DonSSDD

If you switch transmissions, depending on which one you get, the splines on the input and output on it may be different, you’d need a new clutch disk and a yoke.

63 Pontiac Parisienne Sport Coupe(CDN Chev mechanically (409, 4 speed),62 Bel Air SC (sold), 59 El Camino (sold), 62 Bel Air SC(sold), 63 SWC Vette (sold),
Member #2194


 
Sober63 
Newbie
Posts: 17

Reg: 01-23-21
03-16-21 04:16 PM - Post#2816285    
    In response to DonSSDD

Thanks all for the information! The car was originally a six cylinder with column shift. So the floor shifter was added on when everything was changed out. A hole (approximately 5X6 inches) was cut in the floor (left side of the center hump) and a shifter box added above to accommodate the Hurst shifter. The shifter mechanism rises above the floor level thus the need for the box above the hole. Because it was a custom job to accommodate the shifter with the Saginaw, I wonder just how much ability I will have to put a different shifter in on the Muncie without having to further modify for that set up. Currently there is about an inch or less clearance from the hole to the shifter mechanism. I don’t know if anybody would know just how much difference there would be with a different shifter/transmission. I have a feeling I might need to be prepared to have some significant fabrication work done. That is the kind of work I can’t take care of. I’m not a welder.

Thanks for the tip on the bell housing. I checked the number 460486, and it is a truck housing! Here are some threads on that:

https://www.4speedconversions.com/486.html

https://www.chevelles.com/threads/bell-housing- 460...

https://www.4speedconversions.com/truck_bell.html

So does this mean I can still do the conversion, I’ll just need an adapter because of the bigger size of this bell housing?

I appreciate the perspective on the use of a Saginaw with a big block. There’s no doubt the Muncie will be the stronger choice. But given the way I drive the car, I might get quite a bit of use out of the Saginaw.

It is helpful to begin getting a perspective on what I would potentially need to do if I want to do the upgrades. I want to go in with eyes wide open.



63 Biscayne
396, 4 speed


 
pvs409 
"9th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 3223
pvs409
Loc: Sergeant Bluff, Iowa
Reg: 01-10-05
03-16-21 04:59 PM - Post#2816286    
    In response to Sober63

I would not want to use an adapator on my transmission -the front round mount on the transmission should fit the bell housing. Get a 552 cast bell housing vs the truck bell housing.

Attached are pictures of the factory 4 speed tunnel cover 61-63 floor pans (that are the same).
The shifter is a Hurst competition plus shifter made with the right arms and rods and mount for a 62 and 63's with Muncie 4 speeds

Attachment: P1040768.JPG (239.82 KB) 14 View(s)


Factory floor cut for all factory 4 speed 61-63 Chevys


Attachment: P1040769.JPG (237.46 KB) 12 View(s)


factory 4 speed tunnel cover for all factory 61-63 4 speed cars


57 BelairHT 283/270hp 4 spd
62 ImpHT 327/300 4 spd
62 Imp CV SS 327/300HP 700R4 (sold)
62 Imp HT SS 409/482 stroker 4 spd
62 Imp SS 409 - 5 spd Convertible
http://paulstensland.com


 
dogdish 
Senior Member
Posts: 460

Loc: Suburban Chicago
Reg: 11-25-05
03-16-21 10:55 PM - Post#2816300    
    In response to DonSSDD

  • DonSSDD Said:
By the way you are saying you are using your car, I’d use the Saginaw until you break it. I had a Saginaw behind my 409, never had any issues with it and I drive similar to you it sounds like. I actually broke my rear end which was a 3.08 open. People used to drag race Saginaws, they are not as strong as a Muncie or Borg Warner but if you don’t hammer it with big tires, it works fine.

The Saginaw, Muncie, and t10 BW are the same length. The flywheel you are using now would work with a Muncie and that small front bearing 1963 only bellhousing is rare- saginaws didn’t have a small front bearing so I doubt you have that bellhousing.

I have a super t10 in my 63 and it was a powerglide and I have a 3.08 open now. My bellhousing is a cast iron open bottom with a starter mount built, likely from a truck but it has the same size hole as tha Muncie etc needs and I had a similar one with the Saginaw in the 59.

Absolutely agree with Don. Save your money until you break the Saginaw which by the description of your driving habits that trans will be fine for a long time. I had a saginaw in a 65 396 Biscayne and it worked just fine .


Bob G.
1964 Belair barn find
409/4speed NOM
8700 orig. miles
never restored


 
Sober63 
Newbie
Posts: 17

Reg: 01-23-21
03-17-21 04:40 AM - Post#2816307    
    In response to dogdish

One thing that works into my calculation - the car is jumping out of 1st gear about 25% of the time. If this is a linkage adjustment issue or some other minor fix, I may have plenty of time to use it and consider the switch. But if it requires pulling the trans to fix, then I think seriously about jumping into the Muncie. I had a 64 Fairlane (and a 81 F150 as well) that did the same thing, but in that case it was geared so low I just started off in 2nd. I tend to have bad first gear luck!

63 Biscayne
396, 4 speed


 
beagrizzly 
"12th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 2255
beagrizzly
Age: 71
Loc: south texas
Reg: 08-04-12
03-17-21 05:21 AM - Post#2816308    
    In response to Sober63

Sober63,

The jumping out of first gear may be a synchronizer ring wearing out. If it turns out to be a synchro, you are looking at a teardown situation as you have to go inside the trans to replace it.

Does it jump out on hard acceleration, or when you back off the throttle?

If you can live with it, I tend to agree on leaving it in there. It has worked so far, and the Saginaw trans isn't as fragile as people tend to think.

The problem began when people started getting good traction. Back in the day a lot of cars had 14" rims, bias ply tires, and very small footprints.

For street use, it should give you good service.


Griff

if you're gonna be a bear..................

1960 Biscayne (the 6T)
2005 Yukon XL
2007 GMC Sierra Classic 8.1
2009 Silverado
2011 Escalade ESV


 
Sober63 
Newbie
Posts: 17

Reg: 01-23-21
03-17-21 05:44 AM - Post#2816310    
    In response to beagrizzly

It happens when starting off while the clutch is still engaged. Once engaged in 1st with the clutch fully released, it will not slip out of 1st. It seems to have always happened while taking off gradually, but that may just be that since I realize it can happen, I have been extra careful taking off. Even in those situations it makes a bad thud, and I imagine teeth breaking off! I think it can even happen while I am holding the shifter firmly in first. Again, not every time, but enough. Just like the Fairlane.

63 Biscayne
396, 4 speed


Edited by Sober63 on 03-17-21 05:45 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
BigDogSS 
"12th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4954
BigDogSS
Loc: SoCal
Reg: 12-21-01
03-17-21 07:17 AM - Post#2816312    
    In response to Sober63

I would recommend the M20 for sure. I would not consider the M21.

    1967 Chevrolet Impala SS convertible 327 - Ermine White C1 - VCCA Senior Award
    1967 Chevrolet Impala SS Sport Coupe 396 - Marina Blue FF - personal "barn-find" lol



 
japete92 
"7th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1748
japete92
Loc: No. Virginia
Reg: 01-18-13
03-17-21 11:45 AM - Post#2816319    
    In response to pvs409

  • pvs409 Said:
I would not want to use an adapator on my transmission -the should fit the bell housing. Get a 552 cast bell housing vs the truck bell housing.

Attached are pictures of the factory 4 speed tunnel cover 61-63 floor pans (that are the same).
The shifter is a Hurst competition plus shifter made with the right arms and rods and mount for a 62 and 63's with Muncie 4 speeds




The '...front round mount...' is the front bearing retainer/cover of the transmission. AND, as stated by Paul, it should fit 'tight' to the bell housing. Here's a link to some info :

https://www.chevelles.com/threads/muncie-front- bea...

I do not know what bell housing you have, but IF it is the 'truck' version, swapping the front retainer of a Muncie (or Autogear) can resolve the differences.


Some general info:

https://www.chevytalk.org/fusionbb/showpost.php?po...


Paul's pics are very informative. Recommend you cut the 'hole' in the tunnel as GM did (Paul's pic), AND use the tunnel extension. That will put you in position to duplicate the GM bench seat floor shifted 4 speed.

I've attached pics of the 63 bench seat 4 speed, and a '61 SS bench seat (the inspiration for my '63); just things to look at

There are 'round' shifter handles (I have one on my '63) that attach to the Hurst Competition Plus shifter AND fit nicely with the 'rubber' shifter boots shown in the pics.

Why the large tunnel 'hole'? It allows adequate access. AND, when used with the tunnel extension (and the 'seal'), keeps any 'splash' out of the car (or getting trapped in a 'pocket' that may be formed if the 'hole' is too small).

I am not going to trash the Saginaw transmission, but I think the Muncie (or BW T10) is a better match to the low end torque produced by the BB (so did GM). I would not put any $ into fixing a Saginaw.

I personally like (and have) the AutoGear M22W. It's ALL NEW with a reinforced case. The M22W gears are the wide ratio (a la the m20) but with the 'stronger' gears of the M22 'rock crusher'.

Paul has pics (he's posted them in the past) of all the proper parts needed for a GM installation. I used them (along with my very old memories) to ID and evaluate the work some previous owner did on my car's transmission/shifter/clut ch mechanism. I wound up replacing EVERYTHING (but the pedals and the z bar frame bracket) because it was a 'home made' kluge. It basically 'functioned' (I could shift the gears) but there was too much slop/play/poor alignment in the parts to be acceptable.

Just sharing some info/opinions. Give them whatever weight you wish.

Pete

Attachment: sucp_1004_01_1961_chevy_impala_ss_interior.jpg (419.71 KB) 10 View(s)








 
kingkreeton 
"8th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1563
kingkreeton
Loc: Nashville TN
Reg: 04-15-11
03-18-21 03:30 AM - Post#2816345    
    In response to Sober63

I have a 383 cast bellhousing you can have if you want to pay for shipping. I'm moving in a couple months and need to downsize some stuff. It was on my 64 Muncie that was bolted up to a 350.

Not sure if this can help you but the website seems to to allude that it will work for anything up to a 427.

Hopefully this can help offset your cost a little. PM me if you are interested.

https://www.4speedconversions.com/0383.html




Shane
64 Impala SS:
Chevy Performance 350HO
4 Speed Muncie


 
DonSSDD 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 7600
DonSSDD
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
Reg: 08-21-01
03-18-21 10:13 AM - Post#2816365    
    In response to kingkreeton

Shane, will work on 64 and up small blocks only which use the 153 tooth flywheel. The 348, 409, and pre 63 small blocks used a 168 tooth flywheel. A 396 would likely take the 168 tooth as well, but I am not familiar with the BB's.

63 Pontiac Parisienne Sport Coupe(CDN Chev mechanically (409, 4 speed),62 Bel Air SC (sold), 59 El Camino (sold), 62 Bel Air SC(sold), 63 SWC Vette (sold),
Member #2194


 
kingkreeton 
"8th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1563
kingkreeton
Loc: Nashville TN
Reg: 04-15-11
03-18-21 10:22 AM - Post#2816367    
    In response to DonSSDD

Sorry, I was under the impression that 396 engines were later model engines made after 1964. That's why I figured it would work. But gonna be honest, I'm not very knowledgeable about this subject at all. Just trying to help out another member with a part I no longer need.

Shane
64 Impala SS:
Chevy Performance 350HO
4 Speed Muncie


 
Johnny468 
"13th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 851
Johnny468
Loc: Richmond, Va.
Reg: 10-24-08
03-18-21 11:20 AM - Post#2816370    
    In response to kingkreeton

I also have an Autogear M22W in my 65 and would have to say it's the most durable and best shifting manual trans I've ever owned.

It's survived many years of hard use behind two different big blocks (468 cid & 505 cid) without any problems whatsoever.

I highly recommend it.

Johnny

1965 Impala SS
505/4-speed/3.90


 
Sober63 
Newbie
Posts: 17

Reg: 01-23-21
03-18-21 05:47 PM - Post#2816393    
    In response to Johnny468

Thanks for the replies and suggestions. I have an appointment to have the transmission evaluated next week so I can hopefully determine if its issue requires extension work. I plan on keeping the car go for a long while and will likely put a Muncie in eventually, perhaps soon.

For now, is there a resource I can use to determine which bell housing(s) I can use on the 396 and Muncie?

63 Biscayne
396, 4 speed


 
DonSSDD 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 7600
DonSSDD
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
Reg: 08-21-01
03-19-21 02:19 AM - Post#2816403    
    In response to Sober63

See if you can find posts on here by DZAUTO, Tom has posted pics and details of flywheels and bellhousings. Flywheels are 168 and 153 tooth, the 168 was used on W and BB’s and all engines before 63, 6 and 8. Almost All bh before 63 were open bottom cast iron. The transmission support hole was all the same size, except 63 had a one year only small hole, then switched back to the pre 63 hole size in 64. Some truck bh had the larger hole. 63 and later bh for the most part were closed bottom aluminum and if you compare these 168 and 153 bh to each other, the 168 has a slight bump in the bottom.

The only other issue is the size and shape of the opening for the clutch fork, I don’t know what year those changed to not work with the clutch fork and rods you are using.

The 70 or so and up 454/BB have an externally balanced flywheel, prior to then all flywheels were internally balanced. I have a 69 427 flywheel in my 409 and used a cast iron open bottom bh. I mention the flywheel for future reference for others reading this, your present flywheel will work fine.

What you are looking for in a bh is not really hard to find and when you find one to buy, just search the casting number and you’ll find out if it’s what you need.

63 Pontiac Parisienne Sport Coupe(CDN Chev mechanically (409, 4 speed),62 Bel Air SC (sold), 59 El Camino (sold), 62 Bel Air SC(sold), 63 SWC Vette (sold),
Member #2194


 
japete92 
"7th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1748
japete92
Loc: No. Virginia
Reg: 01-18-13
03-19-21 07:27 AM - Post#2816407    
    In response to Sober63

Here's a link to one of Tom Parson's (DZAUTO) previous posts of bell housing:

https://www.chevytalk.org/fusionbb/showtopic.php?t...

It's rather old and he talks about the '63 4 speed transmission having the smaller front bearing retainer (and thus a unique bell housing).

His 'link' (within the link I provided) has pics and ALOT of info.

He also talks about the truck bell housing (mostly in his link) and a 'spacer' to fill the hole created by the 'normal' size front bearing retainer and the truck bell housing. That's one solution to using a Muncie with the truck bell housing. Another is replacing the normal size front bearing retainer with a larger one the fits the truck bell housing. This is a 'repeat' of my earlier comments.

Here's a link that has the Auto Gear part number:

https://www.chevelles.com/threads/truck-bell-ho usi...

You may not need any of this info, and I'm NOT recommending the truck bell housing. But IF that is what you have, it's just fine to keep as long as you make sure the 'fit' between the front bearing retainer and the 'larger' hole is tight.

Just maybe the person who assembled your current 'package' used whatever inexpensive parts he could find (hence the Saginaw). Using a truck bell housing would be consistent with that thinking.

IF, (huge emphasis on IF) he installed the Saginaw with the truck bell housing, and did NOTHING to 'fill' the space, you NEED to address/correct that.

My '63 (as I bought it) had a Saginaw 4 speed. I knew that, and replacing it went on my 'to do' list. After driving the car about a year, I had saved enough money to replace it with the M22W. My car had/has the truck bell housing. I kept the truck unit because there was no reason to change it. The larger front bearing retainer created the proper 'fit'. I think the larger retainer cost about $40.

Just more info for your consideration.

Pete







Edited by japete92 on 03-19-21 11:52 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
kingkreeton 
"8th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1563
kingkreeton
Loc: Nashville TN
Reg: 04-15-11
03-19-21 11:26 AM - Post#2816414    
    In response to japete92

I'm kinda suprised Tom hasn't chimed in on this topic. He is usually all over these questions.

Shane
64 Impala SS:
Chevy Performance 350HO
4 Speed Muncie


 
beagrizzly 
"12th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 2255
beagrizzly
Age: 71
Loc: south texas
Reg: 08-04-12
03-22-21 05:30 AM - Post#2816571    
    In response to japete92

Pete,
Didn't the truck bell housing have the two bottom holes without threads? All the ones I worked on had the two bottom bolts coming in from the flywheel side into the big truck 4 spd.

Am I mis-remembering?

Griff

if you're gonna be a bear..................

1960 Biscayne (the 6T)
2005 Yukon XL
2007 GMC Sierra Classic 8.1
2009 Silverado
2011 Escalade ESV


 
japete92 
"7th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1748
japete92
Loc: No. Virginia
Reg: 01-18-13
03-22-21 06:06 AM - Post#2816575    
    In response to beagrizzly

  • beagrizzly Said:
Pete,
Didn't the truck bell housing have the two bottom holes without threads? All the ones I worked on had the two bottom bolts coming in from the flywheel side into the big truck 4 spd.

Am I mis-remembering?

Griff



Not sure I understand the question.

I have the one shown here:

https://www.chevelles.com/threads/course-101-on -be...

Attached is a pic of it installed on my '63 (from the only view I have).

It's between my '383' sbc and the auto gear M22W.

It's a old pic that shows my old 2" exhaust pipes. I changed to the the 2 1/2" pipes/manifolds shortly after that pic was taken. Everything fit like a glove. No special fab parts; just an OEM direct replacements.

Pete


Attachment: chevy_truck_bell_housing.jpeg (336.19 KB) 13 View(s)






 
DZAUTO 
Member #51
Posts: 9066

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
03-22-21 06:27 AM - Post#2816580    
    In response to kingkreeton

  • kingkreeton Said:
I'm kinda suprised Tom hasn't chimed in on this topic. He is usually all over these questions.



I'm just reading everyone's comments, and so far 99% of the information is on the money. Not really much, if anything, for me to add.

Pretty much bell housing size and applications have been accurate.
Flywheel sizes are also correct. The ONLY thing I might add about flywheels is that MY CHOICE in any and all applications, is the larger 168 teeth version. And here is why.
First, If it is desired to use an 11in clutch, then the 168 teeth is the only one that will work (the smaller 153 teeth can only use a 10 1/2in clutch).
Next is the starter. For a 153 teeth flywheel, a starter with the straight across bolt pattern must be used. This type starter fits up REAL CLOSE to the oil pan, and the REAR 2 pan bolts CANNOT be accessed. Now granted, most likely, the pan will not need to be removed very often, if at all. But if it does need to be removed, and the starter is for the smaller 153 teeth flywheel, then the starter has to be removed to allow acces to those 2 rear pan bolts. With a 168 teeth flywheel, the starter will have a staggered bolt pattern and is far enough away from the pan to allow access to those 2 rear pan bolts!!!

There have been a few comments regarding the truck housing. I have ZERO issues with a truck housing, which ONLY works with the 168 teeth flywheel. If a truck housing is used, which has a larger hole for the transmission front bearing retainer, as mentioned, a spacer is needed ----------- OR------------ an aftermarket front bearing retainer for a Muncie is available which has a larger diameter to fit the larger hole of a truck housing. The truck housing is IMMEDIATELY identified by the big bulge on the bottom of the housing. This bulge was to permit using a 12in clutch in trucks (flywheel was the same size).
EXCEPT FOR THE EARLY CHEVY2S, ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL Chevy bell housings have the same clutch fork/ball stud geometry: such as early cast iron housings, 60-63 open bottom alum housings, 63-later small and large full enclosure alum housings, truck housings. It is ONLY important to use the FORK for the specific car. As an extreme example, when installing a 1975 engine (SB or BB)in a 58 Chevy or a 62 Biscayne, ANY of the bell housings will bolt up to the back of the block, BUUUUUUUUUUT, the fork for the particular car needs to be used. ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL 55-62 Chevys had an open bottom housing (iron or alum) and the full enclosure alum housing was used on ALLLLLLLL 63-later cars (EXCEPT 63 409). ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL 55-62 Chevys (and 63 409) used 168 teeth flywheel and bell housing mounted starter. Then in 63, everything got a block mounted starter (trucks got an iron housing with a housing mounted starter up to 72).
If it is desired to use a full enclosure alum housing on a 58-62 car, then it will be necessary to use a block mounted starter-----------------MOST EARLY BLOCKS DID NOT HAVE THREADED HOLES FOR A BLOCK MOUNTED STARTER, and the boss on the right rear of the block was not cast with enough metal to drill/tap for a staggered bolt pattern starter. Thus, an open bottom housing is the only option on those early blocks.



 
DZAUTO 
Member #51
Posts: 9066

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
03-22-21 06:38 AM - Post#2816583    
    In response to beagrizzly

  • beagrizzly Said:
Pete,
Didn't the truck bell housing have the two bottom holes without threads? All the ones I worked on had the two bottom bolts coming in from the flywheel side into the big truck 4 spd.

Am I mis-remembering?

Griff



NOPE, you are not missing anything.
SOME, NOT ALL truck transmissions had bolts ON TOP attaching the transmission to the housing. And bolts coming in from INSIDE the bell housing going into threaded holes in the bottom front of the transmission case. As I remember, this configuration was only with cast iron, open bottom housings.



 
Sting Ray 
"16th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 2960
Sting Ray
Loc: Westwood Hills, Kansas
Reg: 02-19-05
03-22-21 08:17 AM - Post#2816586    
    In response to Sober63

Might give some thought to a five or six speed, a little more money but might be worth it in the long run.

Bleeds Chevy Orange

1963 Dodge Dart AWB, blown 440, 4-spd
1964 Corvette two top convert, 4-spd
1967 El Camino, 427, 4-spd
2009 Corvette coupe, triple black, 436 hp, 6-spd
2022 Corvette coupe - waiting


 
beagrizzly 
"12th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 2255
beagrizzly
Age: 71
Loc: south texas
Reg: 08-04-12
03-22-21 11:56 AM - Post#2816600    
    In response to DZAUTO

Whew,
Thanks for chiming in DZ. I was not paying attention to the fact that he was using an aluminum bell housing. The minute I saw his picture, I realized why he was confused by my post.
All my experience with the early truck engines/bell housings were of the cast iron housing with the bottom cover.

Thought I was losing it.

I had posted on another thread that my 55 engine was painted yellow when it was my brother's 57 that had the yellow engine. That was only 48 years ago.

Griff

if you're gonna be a bear..................

1960 Biscayne (the 6T)
2005 Yukon XL
2007 GMC Sierra Classic 8.1
2009 Silverado
2011 Escalade ESV


 
DZAUTO 
Member #51
Posts: 9066

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
03-22-21 02:37 PM - Post#2816615    
    In response to beagrizzly

  • beagrizzly Said:
Whew,
Thanks for chiming in DZ. I was not paying attention to the fact that he was using an aluminum bell housing. The minute I saw his picture, I realized why he was confused by my post.
All my experience with the early truck engines/bell housings were of the cast iron housing with the bottom cover.

Thought I was losing it.

I had posted on another thread that my 55 engine was painted yellow when it was my brother's 57 that had the yellow engine. That was only 48 years ago.

Griff



THREE requirements:
First you gotta be old.
Second, your memory has to still be functional.
Last, you gotta have experience working on all this old stuff from the 40s-50s.
Just because someone "TOLD" you such and such is not always accurate (as time goes by, it has become less and less accurate!!!!). I read stuff from the younger generation folks and read articles in the automotive (especially performance) magazines and it is abundantly obvious they have no clue or actual hands on ecperience. Frequently, it just becomes a joke, BUUUUUUUUUUUT, the down side of inaccurate or incorrect information, is that the younger folks read or hear it and accept it as gospel and they continue to propagate totally wrong information to others.
And as an additional rant side note, these old cars require only pure, basic mechanical maintenance and repairs ---------------- AND TODAY'S YOUNG "TECHNICIANS" (they are no longer mechanics) DO NOT HAVE A CLUE HOW TO WORK ON THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If it don't have a computer, they don't know how to work on it!!!!!!!!!!
I still build all my own engines, 4spds (mostly Muncies) rearends, brakes, chassis work, some electrical repairs. I DO NOT, repeat, DO NOT replace things like starters, generators, master and wheel cylinders, carburetors, distributors, and I rebuild the old Rochester FI units for people around the country, etc, I REBUILD them. Who the hell can rebuild a starter or carburetor today?????? And the thing is, THEY ARE JUST TOO SIMPLE!!!!!!!
Tearing down an old engine, cleaning the parts, sending them to the machine shop for magnafluxing, boring, honing, rod reconditioning, crank turning, etc, then taking the parts home and doing all the assembly work, or rebuilding a rearend ----------------- IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!!!!!!!!!!!



 
docjns1 
"2nd Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 214
docjns1
Loc: upstate NY
Reg: 11-12-19
03-22-21 05:17 PM - Post#2816629    
    In response to DZAUTO

  • Quote:
---- AND TODAY'S YOUNG "TECHNICIANS" (they are no longer mechanics) DO NOT HAVE A CLUE HOW TO WORK ON THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If it don't have a computer, they don't know how to work on it!!!!!!!!!!



Very true Tom, but we can't blame them for their age...I'm sure many of us were in similar positions many years ago and the then old timers thought the same thing about us. Had mine in the shop for the annual state inspection couple years ago and while checking all the running lights, etc. the kid left the key on with the engine off. Lights were all fine but then he says, "hey , what's that?" as smoke starts rising from the distributor. Needless to say I'm now running a Pertronix setup (which I probably should had done well before that)!

Steve
*********
'65 Impala SS, Crocus Yellow/blk
327 / 300 L74
M11 3 on the tree
12 bolt 3.31 open dif


 


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