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Old 03-19-2010, 11:57 AM
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Heavy Duty 3 Speed Saginaw

My 72 C-10 was originally a 250 ci 6 with a 3 on the tree. Shortly after installing a 350 the original tranny gave up. The tranny shop happened to have a 3 speed available that they referred to as a heavy duty version. They installed it along with a nice Hurst 3 speed shift master shifter on the floor. I have had no issues with this tranny and until I can afford an automatic with overdrive I plan on using it with my new 383 with which be in to 375HP range with about 425 ft/lbs give or take. This heavy 3 speed has an casting provision for an extra bolt that is positioned on top of the casing. The bell housing from the old is not drilled or molded for this extra bolt but the tranyy shop said that the other four bolt holes will do as far as providing enough support. What is the deal with these "heavy duty" 3 speeds? are they OK to handle my new 383? At the time of installation they installed new bearings which they told me were heavier than the standard 3 speed. Just looking for extra info on this version I am running thanks.

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Old 03-19-2010, 12:51 PM
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Hi,
That trans will handle your engine with ease, some guys use the Saginaw 3 spd for racing, the link is for gear ratios.
Rich

http://www.dandltransmission.com/saginaw.html
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:32 AM
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my KARMA ran over my DOGMA
 

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I am reviving this thread because I am putting this trans back into service. I am curious to know more. Last night I got some casting numbers off of the thing and I am drawing a blank on finding any really good info on this trans, eveything from applications on camaro's, GM trucks, even suggestions it is a mopar trans made for GM?. But I can't find any real history on these, no one that can add any detailed info. Once again it has 5 bolts that are used to connect to a bell housing? Every old saginaw or old muncie I have ever seen has 4 bolts

I opened up the case plate last night and the thing has massive gears and bearings in there, all gears and syncro's are in great condition

Casting numbers on right side, GM15 6273245, shift link side 326568 GM11, tail piece 3952645

The ID tag plate stamping is so faint I cant make it out 100% but I know the first few are T4150_9_ _ appears to be 9 digit.

RS3 link only shows some ratio's

Come on guys >>> have a go at this and tell us what these are all about please, a 5 bolt saginaw (I assume saginaw) mystery, pictures to follow. Thx

TJ
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Old 03-25-2014, 12:16 PM
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As near as we can tell (Im missing some books and they aren't infallible anyway) If it looks like a BIG saginaw, its a WT306 series, commonly called a SM330. But a lot of your identifying numbers are close to saginaw parts. Used in fleet trucks and disappeared almost overnight.
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Old 03-25-2014, 12:35 PM
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I can't help you much, other than to say I took one out of a 1/2 ton '73 Chevy Short, with the 250 straight six, looked just like a regular 3-speed Saginaw and seemed to be the same size but seemed somewhat heavier, and had that 5th ear on the top of the case. Never looked inside, no idea what ratio's were in it.

I have no idea if it was stock to that truck, but it was hooked to stock column shift linkage. I sold it for $125 to a dirt tracker in 1999 or so, he said that they are looked for for circle track use on local tracks.
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Old 03-25-2014, 12:54 PM
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I've had 5 bolt Saginaws before, nothing really more HD about them other than the heavier case. Overall, they are basically the same strength (power capacity) as the Sag 4 speeds, as the cases and many internal parts are the same. Both 3 and 4spds use the same 29 tooth 1st gear, and the input shafts are interchangable among 3spd and 4spd gearsets that share the same 1st gear ratio.

If it's got an oem 1-1/8" x 10spl input shaft...
...no grooves means 2.85 1st gear ratio
...1 groove means 2.54 ratio
...2 groove means 3.11 ratio
...3 grooves means 3.50 ratio

I've also swapped the no groove 1" x 14spl 16 tooth input shaft that typically came in these 5 bolts (3.50 ratio) for the 3 groove 1-1/8" x 10spl 16 tooth input shaft, no problems.


As for the main case, I just cut the extra "5 bolt" top ear off with a sawzall, and ground off as much extra material as i dared. Never broke a Saginaw case even when lightened.
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:00 PM
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I found a photo on googe image....
http://i575.photobucket.com/albums/s...uckSaginaw.jpg
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techinspector1 View Post
That's what I had.

Aisr, the 3.50 low gear makes sense in my case, had a 250 six banger in front of it, and I believe 3.07 in the 12-bolt Truck rear axle.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:38 PM
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my KARMA ran over my DOGMA
 

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Thanks for the input guys, I will try and snap a pic or two soon.

As far as the comparison to the old original 3 speed in the 72 it is physically bigger that is for sure. I had been using it and it bolted right up to the original bell housing using only the 4 side bolts.

Its one of those un common situations when you have something interesting and cant seem to find allot of info on the web at all? makes me wonder is all, inquiring minds and all that.

I found info on a SM326 saginaw that seems like a close fit but no reference to the 5 bolt pattern
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:41 PM
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The Saginaw case is 9-11/16" long. If that is what you have, then all you have is a Saginaw with a different case.

If your case is around 1/2" longer and looks like a Saginaw, then you have an SM330, which is darn near bullet proof and quite rare.

I see no reason for the top bolt hole so I would not worry about it. Leave it empty or cut it off if you have clearance problems.

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You might want to check your picture. Half hour later the image loading pinwheel is still spinning even though everything else on the page, including the ads, loaded almost immediately.

Last edited by mmerlinn; 03-25-2014 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:06 PM
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HD 3 speed

I also have one of the five mounting bolt HD 3 speeds, I would like to know what new shifters are availible. Mine did not come with a shifter. What shifter did you use and how good does it work? Thanks in advance for any info.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:14 AM
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my KARMA ran over my DOGMA
 

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I have the 3 speed hurst mastershifter for truck. Works like a dam, solid. There are other similar hurst for car.

Picture of the beast.
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