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Old 12-07-2004, 11:13 AM
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chevy 3 speed problem

'65 el camino, stock 3 speed tranny.

once in a while, i get locked out of second, pull it back down into low, and then it will let me shift....usually. when i get under the car, the bolt holding the R/1st lever is loose, tighten it, it shifts fine for a little bit, and then same problem. what would cause that bolt to loosen up like that? anybody else have this problem, or know of a solution?

thanks.
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Old 12-07-2004, 12:24 PM
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trans

haven't heard of that before. Could you replace the bolt with a fat pin that has a split pin through the end of it. The bolt may be rotating a bit each time you move the shift linkages and thus undoing. or Try some loctite or a nylock nut on the end of the bolt
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Old 12-07-2004, 12:58 PM
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bolts

it's the bolt that actually holds the shifting arm on the tranny, so no nut. it's very strange, and only one bolt loosens at a time, but i think it's causing a bind on the arms, and if i push hard enough when they're bound, i can get the tranny in 2 gears, which is no fun at all. somebody told me about self-locking bolts, anybody ever used 'em?

maybe it is loosening the bolt when i shift, i just figured it was rattling out, but that makes more sense. thanks.
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Old 12-07-2004, 01:16 PM
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I'd try some thread lock fluid such as loctite on the bolt. Most thread lock fluids take around 8 hours to go completely hard so maybe do it at the end of the day and let it set over night. Your selector arms might be binding up a bit. Check your rear trans mount aswell incase it is broken and thus the trans is rolling under load.
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Old 12-07-2004, 06:03 PM
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sweet another 65 elky

I imagine its a saginaw 3 sp. Same as what I have..for now. I switched to an old 60's or 70's Spark-o-matic shifter (like a hurst) had a few problems at first. flipped my shift levers upside down to get rid of the linkage binding.


Ok now on yours, the bolt on the shifter bracket 2 the tranny keeps coming loose? (in pic the 3 holes up front)

I would say some kind of loctite/ (jbweld mabey?, not sure on what it can and will do) on the bolt, If that doesnt hold it there then I'd say some trick motorcycle guys use. I forget the name, but they drill a hole thru the bolt heads horizontally and lace wire through the bolts (connected) so that way they dont turn their way out of the hole. 0=bolt - =wire, -0-0-0- Looks like that. I think theres kits for doing it also. Wish i could remember the name.

Good luck with it man.
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Old 12-08-2004, 01:24 AM
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Spray the bolts & holes with brake cleaner, let them dry, then use blue Loctite.
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Old 12-10-2004, 09:53 AM
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i'm retarded, or high, or something. only one arm was coming loose, so i thought about it, switched bolts, and the other arm came loose. replaced the bolt with a brand new shiny grade 8, and now it stays. still something not right, but at least i've eliminated that.

it's a sag 3 speed, have no idea what it actually came out of, but i'm guessing 68 or so, has a hurst shifter. shifter was totally filled with gunk when i got the car, somebody had coated it with grease, nasty, cleaned it up and it works ok, but i can't tell if the arms are bent or not, i think i'm just going to keep adjusting it until it woks, crank the bolts down, and be done with it. i kinda like the 3 speed, i don't want to have to change it, but if the tranny keeps giving me ****, the elky gets a 4 speed.

1Fast65Elky, stock engine? what's it have?
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Old 12-10-2004, 10:32 PM
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Well I think originally mine came with a 6 cyl. in it, but someone changed that out and it now has a '72 350 in it. Stock internals for all I know, haven't tore the engine apart. Performer manifold, headers and glasspacks.


So your linkage is binding now?
I had a big problem with that, simple for my solution (couldn't get in reverse a lot of times) I dunno if it would help any on yours, but this is what i did. I just took the shift levers that are on the tranny, unbolted the bolt that holds em on and I turned them 180 degrees so that way they were hanging upwards instead of downwards. and re attached my linkage, so far so good
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Old 12-11-2004, 08:46 PM
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If you reverse the levers, you just might reverse your shift pattern. Low would be where reverse was, etc.
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Old 12-12-2004, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jimfulco
If you reverse the levers, you just might reverse your shift pattern. Low would be where reverse was, etc.
You know come to think of it, Jimfulco is right (good eye),
Before I did this, my shifter was bassackwards, I had totally forgotten about that, 1st was where reverse should be (left and up) and 2nd was right and down.
On top of that was the binding, when I flipped the levers I think I put them the way they originally go, it did switch my shift pattern around to 1st being down and left 2nd up and right, The way its supposed to be.

So I don't really think the flipping of the levers would do much but confuse you if your shift pattern is already correct.


Quote:
i think i'm just going to keep adjusting it until it woks, crank the bolts down, and be done with it. i kinda like the 3 speed, i don't want to have to change it, but if the tranny keeps giving me ****, the elky gets a 4 speed.
Thats basically what i did after getting it setup correctly, adjust and check adjust and check adjust and check until finnaly got it right. Took a couple hours stubborn thing.
It would be nice to have a 4 speed, I'm tired of having to stay in 3rd would be nice to have a 4th to catch.
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Old 12-12-2004, 10:39 AM
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I've got a saginaw-3 speed that came with my 76 GMC that came from an inline-6, and it has a 3.11 first gear ratio, the V8 version would plobleble have come with a 2.85 first gear ratio, and if you ask me i think the only difference between a 3 or 4 speed tranny is the 4 speed has an extra gear inbetween first and 1:1 final, which the 4 speed lets you keep rpm's up, whare the 3 speed has a much wider gap between the gears so you can wind the motor up a little more between gears. So dont sweat it because once you get in high gear, both trannies are the same (1:1)
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Old 12-12-2004, 09:04 PM
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Most 4-speeds amount to a 3-speed with another gear between 2nd & 3rd. Right where you wind out 2nd & shift to 3rd and it falls on its face. Like when you're trying to pass a log truck on a curvy road.
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Old 12-12-2004, 10:54 PM
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If you still have trouble with the bolt backing out, try cross drilling the head, and using an aircraft style, safety tie wire. I've always had good luck using a lockwasher, on the shift lever bolt.

You shouldn't be able to get it into 2 gears at once, as there are a pair of rocker bars, that actuate off the shift forks, to lock the oposite shift fork in the neutral postion. If your shifter rod has slid into the trans, it might be possble that one fell past the fork stub, which could account for the 2 gears at once.

Also, FYI....

There are at least 4 different ratios in Saginaw 3-speed, which replaced the SM318. They are easily identifed by counting the lines, or lack of, around the input shaft.

SAGINAW 3-SPEEDS (CAST IRON)

0 LINE INPUT -2.85/1.68/1.00

*1 LINE INPUT - 2.54/1.50/1.00

2 LINE INPUT - 3.11/1.84/1.00

3 LINE INPUT - 3.50/1.89/1.00
*There are 2 different gearsets at this ratio, one has 25 tooth 3rd gear, on the cluster, the other has 21 tooth.

Last edited by packratwrecker; 12-12-2004 at 11:01 PM.
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