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Old 09-04-2012, 06:38 PM
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Safe to tow a small trailer with a Powerglide?

I have a '57 Chevy BelAir with a stock '66 327ci (not much power!) and the stock '57 cast iron Powerglide (just rebuilt); I do have a trans cooler.
Is it OK to tow a small camping trailer (3300lbs fully loaded) without frying the trans? It will be the occasional week-end outing, never really far (200miles for the week end max) in hilly countryside.

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Old 09-04-2012, 06:48 PM
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A trailer that heavy behind your car should have brakes.The power glide is sturdy enough,but it really depends on launching the car with a low hp car and what gear ratio? The heat will build up fast if you are on the converter for any length of time.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:07 PM
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I wouldn't if it were my '57...maybe try it a few miles and see how it goes...but I wouldn't unless I had deep pockets to fix whatever breaks.
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:07 PM
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Hills ?

pulling up steep hills can be hard on any trans and coming back down windy roads with out trailer brakes can get scarry.
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:28 PM
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I did not say there was no trailer brakes, there are!
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:35 AM
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You're going to want some rear gear since the powerglide only gives you 2 gears to work with. If you lived in the florida panhandle or the plain states; no worries. Going up and down hill will be a killer. If you don't have modern brakes, or at least the HD drums, remedy this immediately. Also; if you only have a single-pot master cylinder on the firewall, don't bother, you're asking for trouble. Theres a Corvette dual master for manual brakes (if so equipped), I believe its 1968 or so. In fact the master itself is available at your local parts store.

Im going to ask a touchy question, please bear with me. If you replaced the motor, why not put a TH350 in the car. It'll make a world of difference in the cars manners, fuel economy and 1st gear performance will be night and day.

If you cannot go to a T-350; address the brakes and install a trans temp gauge and you'll probably be okay.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:35 AM
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Thanks for the comments!
The engine was changed by the previous owner, I indeed would not have kept the Powerglide myself, but I am trying to live with it for now, it is nice to use when not towing.
Anyone know where I can find a trans fluid temp gauge, by the way? Never had any luck with that in the past!
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:37 AM
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Google

"Automatic transmission temperature gauge" in google.
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