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Old 11-08-2010, 04:49 PM
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1957 Pontiac Chieftain transmission questions - swap it out?

i just braught home a 1957 pontiac chieftain 4 dr catalina in pretty decent shape. i baught the car from someone i knew back in the post highschool years(1995). he blew the transmition and took it apart in hopes of restoring it. well, that never happened, and i got a call he was getting married and needed some fast cash and i was told that he only wanted 400.00 for the car and how could i not be interested? OK , now i am pondering weather to forget about the pontiac motor and trans all together, or keep the motor and ditch the trans and get a adapter and use a turbo 350, which i have on the floor in the garage. (i forgot engine is a pontiac 287 and a hydromatic trans) or just use one of the many smallblocks i have kicking around and bolt up the turbo 350. keeping in mind that i will allow my wife to drive this car and it needs to be reliable. how i hate to get rid of a good running motor that will just bolt rite up and ran when removed. but an adapter plate with starter will cost me $800.00. to rebuild the older hydromatic will be at least $900.00 to $1000.00. a rebuild kit with hardparts is $450.00, and i wouldn't know where to start to rebuild it. about a thousand dollars to rebuild a smallblock and i have the turbo 350 ..........arrrrrrrrrrrr , what to do? are those old hydromatics junk? i rebuild the trans than the motor lets go? o-man my head is hurting! rebuild the smallblock chevy motor, open the turbo 350 and make sure it is ok and throw it in? ok i'm done

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Old 11-08-2010, 05:33 PM
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I would use a sbc with the 350 turbo, mainly because you said this was going to be a driver.. parts are available anywhere.. and would be dependable
You could sell the 287 and hydromatic to someone, thats restoring a poncho for enough $ to pay for what you want to do to the poncho,,
and be on the road sooner,,
Those parts to rebuild the motor and hyd won't be cheap,,

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Old 11-08-2010, 05:45 PM
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I would use a sbc with the 350 turbo, mainly because you said this was going to be a driver.. parts are available anywhere.. and would be dependable


Now Bad Rat !!! I can't believe you said sbc.. Just Joking... I would agree 100% any day..
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Old 11-08-2010, 06:16 PM
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Now Bad Rat !!! I can't believe you said sbc.. Just Joking... I would agree 100% any day..

Did I say that??? OK lets go with a BBC Blown of course

Nice Firebird Krazyone.. I have a big ole boat they call a 69 Bonneville,, pass everything on the road except a gas station...
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Old 11-09-2010, 02:37 PM
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57 Pontiac engine would be a 347 CID. The auto trans is a dual coupling Hydramatic (not the best trans). Go to TransmissionAdapters.Com for an adapter to mate the 347 to a TH350/TH400, or even one of the auto overdrives. Or, drop in a 455 Pontiac motor and TH400 trans; this is a car to keep ALL Pontiac, especially since Pontiac is officially, no more. Butch/junior stocker.
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Old 11-09-2010, 02:38 PM
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Pontiac used the 347 in 57... They came with goodies like a forged crank.

I'd put a Pontiac 389/455 in it with either a Turbo 400 or 350 transmission.. That car will be a blast to drive with the brute torque of a Pontiac motor. You can still get any part you want at any part store for the 389/455 Pontiac engine..

But if your on a budget and already have the 350 Chevy, that would make the most sense..
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:09 PM
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Here you go, E-Bay item # 180583997417, a built 455 and TCI TH400. But seriously, time to start hitting the towing yard auctions. You may be able to pick up a complete car for the power train to swap in; usually around $50-$150 gets a complete running car around here, but they get you for towing it to your place or making keys (or you have to license it). Get, say a 70-80's Olds or Pont, and you're set, even a Chevrolet V-8 and trans combo. Just an idea. Butch/junior stocker.
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Old 11-10-2010, 05:48 AM
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i don't think it's a 347, i was told by the owner it was a 287 and it has either a 1, or a 2 barrel carb. not sure because as soon as i got it i threw it in my storage container.
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