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Username Post: 3 speed saginaw to my 235?        (Topic#364091)
Marche53 
Newbie
Posts: 33

Age: 55
Loc: Italy
Reg: 07-26-14
01-23-21 02:57 AM - Post#2812695    

I'm looking to convert my 53' to an open driveline. I currently have a 54' engine and 3 speed manual tranny. I found a Nova rearend for sale with a 3 speed saginaw. I can buy them separately or together. Is the 3 speed a good option for my stock 235? I believe I need to change the bell housing to mate up with the 235. I've searched Google and gotten a bit confused by the results. Besides the bell housing, what else do I need? That's if this is a good combo.
The rearend has a 3.08 gear ratio which is probably too low. What would be a good ratio for this combo?



 


Marche53 
Newbie
Posts: 33

Age: 55
Loc: Italy
Reg: 07-26-14
01-24-21 11:34 AM - Post#2812815    
    In response to Marche53

I've heard I have to use a truck bellhousing but I also read a car bellhousing 55-62 would work. Not so sure about the car bell housing. Can anyone help clear this up?



 
53sd 
Contributor
Posts: 191

Reg: 12-08-08
01-24-21 03:26 PM - Post#2812838    
    In response to Marche53

Yes 55 to 64 car bell housing if it was attached to 235 or 261 [Pontiac]
Truck also a yes with exception of larger trucks that have a larger opening for the transmission input bearing retainer [snout]
Trucks had the correct transmission bolt pattern earlier I think 48?
Trucks also have mounting pads for the foot operated starter that may interfere with the firewall.
Dint-clearence- firewall with big hammer is acceptable in my world.



 
DZAUTO 
Member #51
Posts: 8977

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
01-25-21 08:55 PM - Post#2812946    
    In response to 53sd

If you have a bone stock 53 3sp setup now, and plan to convert to an open driveline, all you need is to RETAIN your 53 flywheel/clutch/starter. Locate a 55-62 car bell housing (pure, direct bolt-on to your 235) and use the open drive line 3sp.
RETAIN THE BONE STOCK 53 CHEVY CLUTCH LINKAGE, THROWOUT BEARING FORK AND THROWOUT BEARING. It will all fall right in place with common hand tools. TOOOOOOOO EASY!
In 1952, a switch from front engine mounts to side mounts was made, so that is a NON issue for your 53. Also, 49-51 used side mounts on the bell housing. Since 52 went to side mounts on the engine, THERE WAS NO LONGER A NEED FOR BELL HOUSING MOUNTS. BUUUUUUUUUT, depending on your car, you may (translate probably) need to fabricate a rear transmission mount.

Oh yes, by the way, to change bell housings, the flywheel must be removed because the bell housing-to-block bolts are behind the flywheel. Easy to do.




 
Airlifter 
"6th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 752
Airlifter
Age: 75
Loc: Tazewell county, Virginia
Reg: 06-07-15
01-26-21 04:11 AM - Post#2812959    
    In response to DZAUTO

Check with Walton Fabrication for transmission mount.

1951 styline deluxe sport coupe w/'60 261 engine & 54 powerglide


 
Marche53 
Newbie
Posts: 33

Age: 55
Loc: Italy
Reg: 07-26-14
01-26-21 11:45 AM - Post#2812987    
    In response to DZAUTO

DZAUTO, thank you for this valuable information. The rearend I found is from a Nova with 3.08 ratio. I'm sure that's too low. What ratio should I use for my 235/3-speed saginaw combo?

Does the 55-62 bellhousing have to be from a 6 cylinder motor?

  • DZAUTO Said:
If you have a bone stock 53 3sp setup now, and plan to convert to an open driveline, all you need is to RETAIN your 53 flywheel/clutch/starter. Locate a 55-62 car bell housing (pure, direct bolt-on to your 235) and use the open drive line 3sp.
RETAIN THE BONE STOCK 53 CHEVY CLUTCH LINKAGE, THROWOUT BEARING FORK AND THROWOUT BEARING. It will all fall right in place with common hand tools. TOOOOOOOO EASY!
In 1952, a switch from front engine mounts to side mounts was made, so that is a NON issue for your 53. Also, 49-51 used side mounts on the bell housing. Since 52 went to side mounts on the engine, THERE WAS NO LONGER A NEED FOR BELL HOUSING MOUNTS. BUUUUUUUUUT, depending on your car, you may (translate probably) need to fabricate a rear transmission mount.

Oh yes, by the way, to change bell housings, the flywheel must be removed because the bell housing-to-block bolts are behind the flywheel. Easy to do.







Edited by Marche53 on 01-26-21 12:09 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
DZAUTO 
Member #51
Posts: 8977

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
01-26-21 12:54 PM - Post#2812992    
    In response to Marche53

  • Marche53 Said:
DZAUTO, thank you for this valuable information. The rearend I found is from a Nova with 3.08 ratio. I'm sure that's too low. What ratio should I use for my 235/3-speed saginaw combo?

Does the 55-62 bellhousing have to be from a 6 cylinder motor?




Yes, you must use a bell housing for the old style 6cyl engines (last version was 1962). In 63, Chevy 6cyl engines were TOTALLY different. Prior to 63, V8 and 6cyl bell housings were TOTALLY different and did NOT interchange.
Beginning with the new design 6cyl engine in 63, ALLLLLLL Chevy V8 and 63-later 6cyl engines could use the same V8 style bell housing.
Additionally, the 49-54 pickups used a bell housing that had the same bolt pattern as the 55-later transmissions.
Whichever bell housing you use, it needs to have a bolt pattern on the rear of the housing like this for a 55-later transmission.

The 3.08 rear ratio is a fairly high gear rearend. It will ge great for hiway driving, and in town it will be so-so. IF IT WERE MY CAR, for today's driving, and the price of gas, I would want a fairly high geared rearend like the 3.08.
My racing days are over, and I'm retired, so everything is on a budget, including gas. So I now have high gear rears in all my cars. The LOWEST rear gear I have is 3.08. Others are 2.73 and 2.41. Sure makes it much nicer on the Interstate.



Attachment: 705561-R1-06-19A.jpg (141.21 KB) 2 View(s)






 
Marche53 
Newbie
Posts: 33

Age: 55
Loc: Italy
Reg: 07-26-14
01-26-21 02:10 PM - Post#2812998    
    In response to DZAUTO

Ok, I got it. Last question...if I decide to go with a truck bellhousing is the hole size going to be a problem. It's bigger on a truck right?



 
DZAUTO 
Member #51
Posts: 8977

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
01-26-21 04:05 PM - Post#2813011    
    In response to Marche53

  • Marche53 Said:
Ok, I got it. Last question...if I decide to go with a truck bellhousing is the hole size going to be a problem. It's bigger on a truck right?



For a regular 1/2ton style pickup with a 3sp, I believe the hole is the same size as 55-later car.
BUT, if I were still into building 6cyl engines, my choice would be a 57-62 car bell housing, OR, a 57-62 1/2ton pickup bell housing.
For my 51 Chevy, I now regret switching to a V8. My big 6cyl modification was a 261 truck engine with the Corvette carb setup. Wish I had it back and had just stayed with the 261. Oh well--------------------- ------



 
Marche53 
Newbie
Posts: 33

Age: 55
Loc: Italy
Reg: 07-26-14
02-06-21 10:52 AM - Post#2813719    
    In response to DZAUTO

Just want to say thanks to everyone for sharing their valuable knowledge. Today I drove 5 hrs to pickup the Nova rear end, 3-speed saginaw with shifter and a box of parts. The rear end came off a 68' Nova. The seller thru in the driveshaft with yoke at no cost. No idea if the driveshaft length will work but I really needed that yoke. I'll see what fits.
I also have a 58' 6 cyl car bell housing. Unfortunately I have to have it shipped from Texas. Shipping will probably cost more than what I paid!



Edited by Marche53 on 02-06-21 10:54 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Dean50 
"14th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 1645
Dean50
Loc: Detroit area
Reg: 01-02-07
02-06-21 02:52 PM - Post#2813735    
    In response to Marche53

It's coming together for you. Good luck and have fun!

Dean50



 


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