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Old 12-15-2003, 06:47 PM
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Pontiac 2 Speed

Hello all,

I have a 1965 Pontiac Tempest Custom 4 door sedan (I know, jealous aren't you.) 326 2bbl, 2 speed auto. Daily driver w/ custom interior and 2.5" duals off factory exhaust manifolds.

Looking for opinions on tranny upgrade featuring: ease of swap, price, reliability and performance, in that order.

Car is daily driver and will probably get intake, 4bbl and maybe mild cam, so figure >350 hp / 400#'s.

I was thinking TH350 due to the availability and price. Do I need a 400, something else? What other parts should I be looking at changing - gears, converter, rear end? Things are fine as is, but you know how it is....

My ultimate goal is a reliable car that performs well and is fun to drive - which I have now, but I figure with a few more mild mods the 2 speed may start to become the limiting factor.

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Old 12-15-2003, 07:03 PM
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The 2 speed you refer to is a powerglide, while it is a excellent choice in a drag car it is not geared for everyday driving unless your running lots of hp. A th350 is a decent trans but a th400 is better although a th350 will probably suffice for your use.
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Old 12-15-2003, 10:05 PM
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with all due respect to my 16 year old counterpart, i may have to disagree just a teensy weensy bit

the car to your left is the next model year to paperairplane's: 66 tempest, 326 "powerglide" stock 2bbl blase' grocery gettin mambo.

first off, technically the 2 speed is not a powerglide, but #1because nobody can remember the real name, including myself, and #2 it's a two speed automatic and basically the same frikken thing; powerglide works for me

second, did you read the part about grocery getter? how about like 20 mpg no matter where you want to go. do the words "gramma's car" give you any better implication as to this vehicles driveablity? you couldn't even begin to think of a car with better driveability. fun to drive? NO! IT'S BORING! IT'S A 2 SPEED AUTOMATIC. GET RID OF IT!
as far as drag racing goes, if you aint gonna ever see 3rd gear with a th350 then a powerglide is just peachy. light cars with 500 plus hp love these things. they are INDESTRUCTABLE.

even with a 2bbl and a little tiny 326 pontiac big block, that's what i said, BIG BLOCK, this thing will scoot better than you might think. almost reminds me of me mammy's 472 coupe de ville. i havent been to the track in Abbotsford yet but i am going just to get a baseline for when i myself put my 4bbl on it. i also have plans to get the summit 2800 cam and that's about it. this motor will get it on but is NOTHING compared to the 400 or 455. i have been on pontiac sites and the overwhelming concensus is to run the 326 until you have a fully prepped 400 or 455 ready to install. THEN, maybe you will be able to utilize your "powerglide" at the strip. but personally, i would rather junk it or sell it to someone, what you want, is a th350 for ease of installation, I THINK it bolts right in instead. i am honestly NOT SURE of how long it is but i know for a fact that either the 350 or the 400 is the same length and will bolt right in (the 350 and 400 are different lengths with the 400 being longer. stock the 400 is much better but costs @15 more hp to run than a 350. with a stronger intermediate sprag the 350 is just as strong and preferred because of the hp savings). go with which ever it is (make sure it's a BOP tranny). the reason i am not sure is because (i dont care) i plan on yankin my 'glide out asap and putting in a muncie 4 speed. the poncho guys all say the same thing over and over: 1--th350; 2-lower gears = tons of fun. you can keep up with most of the jones'es and have a great car that gets great mileage. if you want to smoke the jones'es you need to getta 400 or a 455 because the 326 can NOT be punched out even to 350 because of the water jackets. any stories you heard of a smaller cube mill being punched out to say 421 or 428 was with a 50's block and isnt possible. btw, because of the very restrictive 2bbl exhaust ports, these engines do not respond very well to headers so they are a waste of money. also, because of the excellent design of pontiac 4bbl intakes, performers are no better. but you may pay less for an edelbrock than a stock intake. just fyi: one mo' tid bit. a big time poncho engine builder told me if i wanted to spend over a G on porting that those same 2bbl heads would outflow the best 4bbl pontiac heads. weird. but i think if i hadda 400/455 i'd go with edelbrocks for a sure thing

Last edited by bullheimer; 12-15-2003 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 12-16-2003, 08:47 AM
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Thanks for the replies, and I am not sure as to the name of the tranny - the shop manual just refers to it as 2 speed auto, but I think it is equivalent to the powerglide. And it seems fine, but I feel with a 3400 # car, another gear or two would help out a bit. I am aware that the 326 is externally the same dimensions as the 455 - Pontiac didn't build big or small blocks. Which to me seems a good thing - the 326 should never have overheating problems.

What I am really hoping to find is a similair generation Firebird with a 326HO and TH350 (which I think was an early option)- I think my block and crank are good, and I really would rather keep the 9.25 compression of my car, as it runs fine on 87 octane, but I would take the intake and Carter AFB 4bbl.

Another bit of trivia for Pontiac 326 owners, the main difference in the 326 and the 326 HO is compression ratio, intake and carb, dual exhaust and valve springs. They use the same cam and distributor.
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