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Old 07-03-2013, 12:01 AM
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Check my plan for exchanging a manual for an automatic transmission

I am planning on replacing a Muncie 4 speed manual transmission with either a 350 or 400 automatic transmission in a 1930 Model A street rod, because the owner has knees with arthritis and its painful to push the clutch in. These are the steps I plan to follow. Do I have all my bases covered, or am I missing something? Engine is a Chevy 350 crate motor. Any suggestions welcome.

1. After removing the transmission, bell housing, and drive shaft replace the flywheel with a flex plate.

2. Install torque converter on the input shaft of the automatic transmission and attach the whole assembly, to the back of the engine. Connect torque converter to flex plate.

3. Check to make sure I have the correct angle of transmission to differential. May have to use a new transmission mount, or alter the old mount to get the right angle. Hope I don't have to change engine mounts?

4. Either install a new drive shaft or alter the old drive shaft to accommodate the new transmission.

5. Plan to use a floor shifter to eliminate doing any work to the steering column. Car has floor shifter now. May have to cut a new hole in the floor for this.

6. The radiator is fairly new and has the connections for an automatic transmission. Was planning to use copper tubing and fittings to connect the two.

7. Remove the clutch pedal and hardware. May have to remove part of the plywood floor to get the transmission to clear.

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Old 07-03-2013, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HotRodMan View Post
I am planning on replacing a Muncie 4 speed manual transmission with either a 350 or 400 automatic transmission in a 1930 Model A street rod, because the owner has knees with arthritis and its painful to push the clutch in. These are the steps I plan to follow. Do I have all my bases covered, or am I missing something? Engine is a Chevy 350 crate motor. Any suggestions welcome.

1. After removing the transmission, bell housing, and drive shaft, replace the flywheel with a flex plate.

2. Lubricate front seal and converter shaft with ATF.
Install torque converter on the input shaft of the automatic transmission, turn converter and push lightly until the converter seats and you can hear two distinct thumps. Attach the whole assembly to the back of the engine. Connect torque converter to flex plate.

3. Check to make sure I have the correct angle of transmission to differential. May have to use a new transmission mount, or alter the old mount to get the right angle. Hope I don't have to change engine mounts?
Don't make problems for yourself. Change no angles.

4. Either install a new drive shaft or alter the old drive shaft to accommodate the new transmission. With the car sitting on its own weight on a level surface, push the transmission yoke onto the transmission output shaft until it bottoms. Pull it back out 3/4 of an inch. Measure between the centerline of the transmission yoke and the centerline of the pinion yoke. That will be the dimension to use to have a shaft built properly.

5. Plan to use a floor shifter to eliminate doing any work to the steering column. Car has floor shifter now. May have to cut a new hole in the floor for this.

6. The radiator is fairly new and has the connections for an automatic transmission. Was planning to use copper tubing and fittings to connect the two. Bad plan. Copper will crack due to being work hardened if you let it flex even a little bit. Use steel brake lining from Autozone. Hacksaw the flares off and make connections with premium oil-rated hose and double worm screw clamps. Clamp steel lines to the frame rail with insulated Adel clamps every 12 inches.

7. Remove the clutch pedal and hardware. May have to remove part of the plywood floor to get the transmission to clear. Ask him if he'd like to keep the clutch pedal to rest his foot on.
..........
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:43 AM
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Check to see that the pilot bearing isn't going to interfere w/the nose of the torque converter. If you do need to remove it, more info is here.

It's a good idea to add a quart of ATF to a new/dry torque converter prior to installation.

You may find the yoke for the automatic tranny requires a different size U-joint than what is on the driveshaft. There are hybrid joints w/two different sizes that may work, one such common joint is the 1310/1330
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Old 07-03-2013, 04:13 AM
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You now need a neutral switch.
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Old 07-03-2013, 04:40 AM
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The TH350 with the short tailshaft is the same length and uses the same crossmember location as a Muncie. That's the easiest swap.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:27 AM
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Not all Muncies are 27 splines on the output shaft like a turbo 350 auto. If your customers Muncie has 27 splines(1963-approx 1970), replace it with the aforementioned TH350 (or maybe a lock up converter TH350C). If, however, your customers Muncie has a 32 spline output (1970-74); the easier swap is a TH400. There is a difference in length between the two Muncies (approx .700"), and the driveshaft slip yoke is obviously different. If you dont want to pull the driveshaft and count splines; look at the side of the tailhousing where the shifter-block mounts. If the tailhousing has 3 mounting holes for the shifter, its 32-splines; if it has 5 mounting holes for the shifter, its 27 splines.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:30 AM
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Transmission exchange information very much appreciated

I want to thank everyone for that wonderful information. It has been about 25 years since I have done this so I needed a re-fresher course. I have printed all the posts and will use that information before, during and after the change out. Thanks so much. Was really glad to know about the 350 transmission, and spline count on the Muncie, and I had completely forgotten about the neutral safety switch.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:52 AM
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You now need a neutral switch.
I can't believe this slipped by me.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:06 PM
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Make sure the stall speed of the torque converter is compatible with the power band of the engine.



Duke
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:08 PM
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I can't believe this slipped by me.




Duke
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:28 AM
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The confines of the '30 are not all that large,best bet all around would be a 1988-91 2004R same length as a 350 with a smaller case than the 350 and 400 and has the benefit of overdrive for cruising.
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