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Old 10-12-2017, 11:47 PM   #21
BlueFlameRunner235
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Huh, I was taught that running an old engine without lead additive would burn up the soft valve seats. Well thn I guess I'll save myself the money and just get a set of push rods and clean out that oil line this winter. Now to hunt down a 4 speed that'll work well with the 283 that I can just swap/bolt in place of the 3 speed without trimming the driveshaft.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:58 AM   #22
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A Saginaw 4 speed will bolt right in....and is a GREAT tranny

JUST DO NOT abuse it,and it will EASILY last as long as your 235 !!!

Best part is they are CHEAP still......have quite a few 1st gear ratios....AND use a 1980 monte carlo shifter,and you don't have to worry about shifter handle clearance by your front seat

find a Muncie or Super T-10 for behind that 283.... they will take some abuse
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Old 10-13-2017, 08:53 AM   #23
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The first gear ratio for a stock three speed is like 2:93 or thereabouts. So you will loose first gear multiplication if you use a transmission that has a first gear ratio less then 2:94. Like the 235, 261 6 motors, a small 283 motor makes good use of the 2:93 first gear which is what gets you up and going from a stop and is really fun driving around town. The closest three candidates in an old school four speed are the Muncie M-22Z, a Borg Warner ST-10 and the venerable Saginaw four speed.

The Muncie M-22Z is not actually a factory transmission but an after-market set of M-22 "straight-cut" style gears that can be retro fitted into the Muncie 21, 22 and 23. Has a 2:94 first gear which is the closest first gear to stock. You get the M-22 whine using that set so that may be something to take into consideration. I don't know the exact figures but I think it can be done for $1800 or thereabouts using a stock factory Muncie case, or in the neighborhood of 2300-2500 for an all new Muncie M-22Z. All other Muncie gear rations are less then the stock three speed gear ration (2:54 might be the highest numerically in a stock gear set).

The BW ST-10 is next using the 2:88 first gear version. Very good transmission, good first gear. Can be bought new for I think around $2000 maybe a little less, rebuilt I think I saw in the 1400-1600 range.

The Saginaw. For lower power motors, and cars that are driven as opposed to raced or abused, it is hard to beat. Comes in various first gear sets. The closest to the stock 2:93 is the 3:11 box that typically came behind four cylinder cars. Look for two grooves on the imput shaft. The same transmission came behind V-8 and V-6 motors, just different gear sets 3:42, 2:54, at least one other. These transmissions are at least as strong as the stock gear box but cannot take big tires with big burnouts or high horsepower clutch dumps. But if you are relatively careful, a tremendous transmission for the money. Importantly for those looking for a no fuss install, the Sags use the same course spline input shaft as stock so your stock clutch can be used. the trans is just a smidge longer then a stock three speed but still fits with the stock drive shaft. You do have to change the front yoke to a fine spline but you can get a yoke that uses the stock style ujoints. You will need a longer speedo cable but otherwise its a pretty easy swap.

Used not rebuilt, in the $300 range. A good rebuild kit $120, less expensive kits are under $100 now. Basic transmission, not a complicated rebuild. I run the 3:11 Saginaw. I purchased the box for 250, a kit for 120, new shift forks for 100 and 30 for degrease, paint and some hardware I wanted to replace, so $500 total. Rebuilt units in the $900-$1100 range.

I run it pretty good, including about 15 runs down the dragstrip at the nationals this past August, and a few at the 2016 and 2015 Nationals. Otherwise its a street car. This is my son making his very first pass ever in the car (yes, this was the year Dad (me) let some one else drive the car. First time in 40 years, lol).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMVz66tyrKQ

So you can see the trans is plenty durable and certainly strong enough for what you may want to do, and the most economical of the traditional four speeds.
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Old 10-13-2017, 09:15 AM   #24
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MY first 75 Camaro had a Saginaw with a 350 and it broke several times in the two years I owned it. I also had one in a 79 Olds Starfire with a 231 even fire V-6, I drove the crap out of it and it liked it. Light car, small tires, and low power they are decent.
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Old 10-13-2017, 09:37 AM   #25
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Yes, I have heard all the moaning about breaking Saginaw four speeds and thus you should never ever ever ever run one. I have to laugh, lol. Abuse the stock three speed, they come apart, I know I have done it and have the broken parts pile to prove it (any of the old time guys will remember when you over revved the stock three speed, it severely weakened the retaining rings which you then had to tear down and replace. Old days for certain, lol). But many many cars run the stock three speed no problem.

Same deal, abuse the Saginaw, they will also come apart. I had a 396 big block 57 for a little while, yea, broke the M-21 with it. They will all break depending on what you are doing with it. But the thing is lots and lots of people run the Saginaw four speed in their tri-fives and keep them together, including me. You just have to be reasonable with them that's all. If you want to engage in hole shots, burn outs, put big meats and HP and dump the clutch, then the Sag is not really a good choice for you.

But if you want or just need an economical traditional four speed, and can deal with not giving it too much abuse, its a great alternative, no matter what anyone says.
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:38 AM   #26
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Quote:
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MY first 75 Camaro had a Saginaw with a 350 and it broke several times in the two years I owned it. I also had one in a 79 Olds Starfire with a 231 even fire V-6, I drove the crap out of it and it liked it. Light car, small tires, and low power they are decent.
The Muncie I fixed the problem with never broke and still exist, when I sold the car in 79 I put a Saginaw back in. Poor old Muncie later did time in my 67 Camaro and 74 Z28, needs some bearings and syncros and it will run again. Yes they all brake, some just a whole lot easier.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:45 PM   #27
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I have had a 1958 T 10 since 1966 . Mike
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Old 10-13-2017, 04:45 PM   #28
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Awesome 57 you have there Dragsix! Put that nomad to shame for sure, now in terms of being economical I'd love to just get a good Saginaw to throw behind the 235 and call it a day but you see my hope was to put in a good four speed like the BW ST-10 so that I don't have to worry about getting another trans just for the 283. Makes swapping the 283 in a bit easier as i'd just have to change the pilot bearing i believe, another thing too is that I've been graced upon with having the lead foot that runs in both sides of the family lol

When I'm in a hurry for work I jam though that three speed proper well (from 1st-2nd at 25, then 2nd-3rd at 35-40, 45 if i'm really booking it!) and I must admit it handles it really well considering what it is, I have chirped the tires a bit at a few local stop signs but I try to refrain myself as the axle hope is just nutty (I don't just dump it, I ease into it a bit then let off quickly that way it rolls into it) jence why I haven't tried a proper burn out yet. But if my wallet wont allow me I'll just get a good Saginaw and run that behind the 235, not sure how it'd handle the 283 though even if I drive it like a 'normal' person.

The BW would be nice in the long run anyways as I do plan on taking it to races eventually, think a good streetable race car I can drive to and from the events (long as it doesn't break during lol).

Edit: Considering the costs of the good 4 speeds I'm probably just going to go with the saginaw, plus I found one for $75 bucks. I'll put up the photos of it in a bit.
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:52 PM   #29
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So here's the purposed Saginaw, that looks like two lines on the input shaft to me which means this would be a 3:11 correct?
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Old 10-14-2017, 11:02 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragsix View Post
Yes, I have heard all the moaning about breaking Saginaw four speeds and thus you should never ever ever ever run one. I have to laugh, lol. Abuse the stock three speed, they come apart, I know I have done it and have the broken parts pile to prove it (any of the old time guys will remember when you over revved the stock three speed, it severely weakened the retaining rings which you then had to tear down and replace. Old days for certain, lol). But many many cars run the stock three speed no problem.

Same deal, abuse the Saginaw, they will also come apart. I had a 396 big block 57 for a little while, yea, broke the M-21 with it. They will all break depending on what you are doing with it. But the thing is lots and lots of people run the Saginaw four speed in their tri-fives and keep them together, including me. You just have to be reasonable with them that's all. If you want to engage in hole shots, burn outs, put big meats and HP and dump the clutch, then the Sag is not really a good choice for you.

But if you want or just need an economical traditional four speed, and can deal with not giving it too much abuse, its a great alternative, no matter what anyone says.


10,000% agree here with Drag six
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