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Old 02-17-2013, 08:46 AM
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To mate any more modern transmission to the 261 (or the 216 and 235 engines) requires an adapter. Kits are sold through several vendors, but they are not very cheap; you'll probably actually pay less for the transmission (late model). Some come complete with the adapter, starter motor, flexplate, and fasteners. There will be a need to change the slip yoke, and possibly you'll have to shorten the driveshaft (the X-frame cars had 2 piece driveshafts). The trans mount location may need to be moved or modified. Then there's the shifter to deal with, unless you go with an aftermarket floor shifter; the stock column shifter will work, but the detents and display may be off. They make new displays for the tri-five cars so they are probably available for yours as well (I'm guessing it has the Chevrolet dash?). The kickdown linkage will need to be fabricated, but you can get by without that with a TH350; you'll just have to drop down to lower gears manually. It sounds like the direct clutches are burned up in the cast iron Powerglide; you can rebuild the trans, but rebuild kits cost more than the more modern transmissions, and rebuild shops will probably gouge you on the rebuild price(just my opinion here). If you have any real mechanical ability, you can do it yourself using an old MOTORS MANUAL, and a kit off of E-Bay. I'd try and keep the car as stock as possible; it's got to be rare, especially in Canada, and they did'nt make as many of them as say the 58 Chevrolets. One other consideration would be to use an Aluminum Powerglide, and I believe the detents of the cast iron Glide were changed in 58 and are the same as the aluminum Glide. They made an X-frame, aluminum Powerglide in 62-64 that may be closer to the right length, and would also bolt to the 261 with the same adapter. Butch/junior stocker.
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