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Username Post: Aluminum Powerglide help        (Topic#364128)
BG 
Contributor
Posts: 740

Reg: 09-12-07
01-26-21 04:05 PM - Post#2813012    

Just got to testing out my 57 wagon in the driveway. It has the aluminum Powerglide with stock steering column/shift but does have 1 single rod down to the transmission. I can feel each shift position at lever on steering column and it engages each gear but doesn’t want to stay by itself, it kinda gently slides down. I don’t have the detent bracket on column but I don’t think that’s the problem. I marked the shift positions I feel at the instrument panel but I have to go past them 1/8” to 3/8” to get it to engage. On the kick down lever at the transmission does it turn clockwise or counterclockwise when WOT? From the pivot point I can make the lever go up past pivot point or go down past pivot point, it might not matter but I thought I’d ask. I hope this makes sense.



 


56sedandelivery 
Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 5909
56sedandelivery
Age: 69
Loc: Everett, Wa.
Reg: 02-26-08
01-26-21 06:47 PM - Post#2813042    
    In response to BG

The Powerglide shift detent pattern through 1957 was P-N-D-L-R; in 1958 it changed to P-R-N-D-L. So, even if you don't/or do have the detent plate that "was" on the column, it would't be correct with an aluminum Powerglide; you should be able to fab something up using an original plate to make it work with a later/aluinum Glide however. The "lickdown" lever can be handled with a LOKAR cable kit if you don't have the proper linkage; it just makes it a lot easier than putzing around trying to make mismatched parts work. Costs around $100.00 however. You don't really "need" a kick-down, just pull it down manually into low yourself, and upshift when you feel it's time. There's really very little to notice "pressure-wise" with the kick-down. Most of the Glides I build I do completely away with the kick-down feature, use a different, aftermarket, trans shift lever, and I basically make them a full manual shift by blocking the 1-2 shift valve open using a 1/4" long section of 1/4" copper tubing. Either that, or I add a trans-brake, but not really a good idea for a street car. I up the direct clutch plate count to at least 5 lined plates, you can also get "thin" plates that will allow you to get up to EIGHT lined plates into the direct clutch pack, and I do away with the "wavy" cushion plates in both the direct and reverse clutch packs, and then use a steel clutch hub in the direct to replace the flimsy cast iron, stock one, although I've never broken, or seen broken, a stock, cast iron one; if you do use a stock one, you'll need to get the 5 pack hub, like used in 409, 396, police, taxi type setups. Really makes those shifts solid and quick. If I don't make them full manual, and so they'll shift automatically, the 1-2 shift comes on very quick, and is fairly smooth, not hard and solid like a full pedal to the floor, manual shift into second from first; nice for passengers. Trans-Go shift kits have all the shift parts to do these things if you don't want to make them yourself. Use a 4 or 6 cylinder converter from an early Chevy II/Nova or Vega, or buy a rebuilt or aftermarket one from E-Bay (plenty cheap). I really like aluminum Glides from my drag racing days, and they're easy to rebuild/work on, but honestly, 2 speeds are kinda boring on the street unless you're always beating on them, so a TH-350 is a better choice; a 200-4-R properly setup is even better in that you get a better first gear on one end, and then an overdrive on the other. JMO there. Again, E-Bay for all the parts you'll need. Just don't do any of the old "neutral drops", as you WILL break input shafts (stock, they are pretty small diameter"). They are fine for street, but for drag racing, you'd want to step up to a better input shaft. Glides come in 1.82 and 1.76 first gear ratios, and the input shafts, sun gear drive plate, planetaries, are NOT interchangeable, and mixed up, mismatched parts will cause problems. A GOOD cooler is a must with a Glide, as all the clutch packs "go along for the ride" when not engaged, and they create heat. If your fluid smells bad (varnishy), or turns brown, change it! Including what's in the converter. If it happens again, then it's overhaul time. Smooth direct drum and stock low band is fine for just about anything, unless you're going Pro Mod racing. There are parts available now to build a Glide WITHOUT using ANY stock parts, including the case, pump, and extension housings. They stopped using Glides in 1973, so the supply is running low; if you find an aluminum Glide, grab it, if only for parts. Most times I get them for free, and I won't pay more than $50.00 for a complete core trans. Last thing, Get a copy of Carl Munroe's (RIP Carl) book, "Powerglide Transmisssion Handbook, How To Rebuild Or Modify Chevrolet's Powerglide For All Applications", about $16.00 on E-Bay. You'll learn more about the Powerglide than you'll ever need to know. One final thing; if you ever find a TRUE Powerglide (NOT a ST-300 2 speed trans), with the Olds, Pont, Buick, Caddy bell-housing pattern, BUY IT! Then sell it for about 6 times what you paid for it. They're still out there, very rare, and people usually don't even know what they have. They did't make a lot of them with the non Chevrolet pattern. The non-Chevrolet bracket and class drag racers will kill for one of those, and not have to use an adapter, or aftermarket bell-housing to bolt up a Glide to their non Chevrolet engine. There you go. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.




 
BG 
Contributor
Posts: 740

Reg: 09-12-07
01-27-21 04:18 PM - Post#2813099    
    In response to 56sedandelivery

Any idea why I have to move shifter past where it clicks at the transmission to get it to engage? Why won’t it stay in the position it’s shifted into?
Thanks



 
Rick_L 
Member #409
Posts: 27828
Rick_L
Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
01-27-21 04:35 PM - Post#2813103    
    In response to 56sedandelivery

  • Quote:
use a steel clutch hub in the direct to replace the flimsy cast iron, stock one, although I've never broken, or seen broken, a stock, cast iron one; if you do use a stock one, you'll need to get the 5 pack hub, like used in 409, 396, police, taxi type setups.



The cast iron hub will definitely break. It is one reason that NHRA has required a transmission blanket or shield in most classes for 45-50 years now, this is not a new thing to happen. If the hub breaks, transmission parts will come up through the case and even the floor. The aftermarket ones are cheap enough and are built to run the extra clutch plates as said. (You don't have to run the extra clutch plates to use though.)



 
56sedandelivery 
Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 5909
56sedandelivery
Age: 69
Loc: Everett, Wa.
Reg: 02-26-08
01-27-21 09:55 PM - Post#2813117    
    In response to BG

It's most likely just an issue with the "geometry"
of your linkage. Is the shift lever on the aluminum Glide "up" or "down", and is it a stock lever. There are aftermarket levers for these that can be installed up or down (bolts on as it a 2 piece affair) and there are three different holes spaced differently to use (meant for different aftermarket floor shifters), and they could be used to "fine tune" your detents to linkage issue. There is also an after market "long rod" meant to connect with the TH transmissions, but it may work better than stock linkage for your setup. Hard to figure out since there are no photos of your setup. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.




 


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