Gain extra benefits by becoming a Supporting Member Click here find out how!
Classic Performance Products Classic Parts
Ciadella InteriorsAmerican Auto Wire Classic Industries
Chevs of the 40sDanchuk Catalog
Hellwig Products IncPerformance Rod & CustomEcklers AutoMotive
Nu-Relics Power WindowsRain Gear Wiper Systems
Impala Bob's Bob's Chevy Trucks Bob's Chevelle Parts Bob's Classic Chevy

Username Post: Bell House I6/V8 vs 3sp/4sp        (Topic#212924)
Senior Site Adminstrator
Posts: 17447
Age: 69
Loc: "Small town USA"
Reg: 12-06-99
03-25-09 08:05 PM - Post#1661072    

A big thanks to Tom (DZAUTO) for doing the wok and getting this put together.

OK, as best as I can do, here is a fairly complete rundown on OPEN BOTTOM STYLE BELL HOUSINGS. These were BASICALLY in use 55-70 (63-70 for trucks).

Here are several side-by-side comparrisons between a truck and a 55-7 style housing. The truck housing is the rust colored housing. You can IMMEDIATELY see the difference between the motor mount pads/angles on each. The 55-7 housing has TWO threaded holes, the truck housing has ONE threaded hole and one pointed pin.
Notice the difference in the opening between the truck and 55-7 housings for the throwout bearing fork.
The 55-56-57 bell housings are physically 100% interchangeable. THERE ARE SOME VARIATIONS AND I WILL COVER THOSE VARIATIONS.

Here is the sheet metal cover/pan that fits all open bottom housings.

This is a 55-56 specific housing, NOTICE the ball stud, IT IS INSTALLED/REMOVED FROM INSIDE THE HOUSING.

This is a 57 specific housing, NOTICE the ball stud. IT IS INSTALLED/REMOVED FROM OUTSIDE. This style ball stud was used for all remaining years and the ball stud is still (or at least was) available from Chevy parts depts. The 55-6 ball stud is long gone!

This is a 55-6 housing, NOTICE the three holes for mounting the starter-------ALL THREE ARE THREADED-----------the bolts all attach the starter from the front. If a person wanted to use the 57-later type starter on a 55-56 housing, simply drill out the threads on the upper hole.

This is a 57-70 style housing, NOTICE the starter mounting holes--------------ONLY THE TOP HOLE IS NOT THREADED. The top bolt goes in from the bell housing side and screws into the starter nose of 57-70 style starters.

Here is a comparrison between the 55-7 style open bottom housing and the 58-62 open bottom. NOTICE the 58-62 style housing is "plain" (no provision for motor mounts). The one shown here is the 60-62 Aluminum housing used on hi-perf 348 and 409 engines, but BOTH the alum and iron versions are the same.

And while we're on the subject, let's just look at the flywheels.
Here is the (63-85)small, 153 teeth and the (55-85)big, 168 teeth flywheels . BOTH have the same bolt pattern and will physically bolt up to ANY 55-85 SB and ANY BB up to 90.

BOTH of these are the big, 168 teeth flywheels, BUT, the one on the right with the added weight is the style REQUIRED for SB400s and the 454BB.

Here are small and big flexplates. The big one has the added weight welded to it for a SB400/454.

In 63, when the small flywheel was added, there was also a small bell housing to be used with it also. The housings became full enclosure in 63 (WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE OPEN BOTTOM ALUM FOR 63 409s).

This is a rare, and PRICY, full enclosure housing. It is for 64-65 ONLY with the big flywheel (409, 396, etc).

Except for the later, full enclosure truck housings (whole new ball game), I've tried to cover the car housing differences, as well as show how to identify the early truck housing when passed off by unscrupulous people as a 55-57 housing.

'67 427 Chevy C-10
'79 454 surburban
'89 454 1 ton dually
'03 V-Star 1100

In Memory of CT's Mike McVeigh and Ron Schrapp (aka rons56)


Icon Legend Permissions Topic Options
Report Post

Quote Post

Quick Reply

Print Topic

Email Topic

FusionBB™ Version 2.1
©2003-2006 InteractivePHP, Inc.
Execution time: 0.334 seconds.   Total Queries: 13   Zlib Compression is on.
All times are (GMT -0800) Pacific. Current time is 02:37 AM