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Old 09-28-2005, 02:28 PM
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Saginaw questions

Hi,
I've built a 357 vortec to which I would like to attach an old 4-speed Saginaw tranny before dropping everything in my 64 C10. Here's what is stopping me:

- Unsure of what clutch kit I need. The 350 came from a 69 Caprice and the Saginaw's origin is unknown to me.
- The transmission crossmember has been cut out of my truck for some reason. Should I replace it with an identical crossmember? Will this be compatible with the Saginaw? Where should I shop for a crossmember?
- I want a tall shift handle like the one that came out of my old top-loader; does anyone know of an aftermarket 4-speed shifter with a pretty tall handle, or is this something I should consider customizing?

If anyone out there can help answer any of these questions, that would be awesome. Thanks for reading this.

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Old 10-06-2005, 04:40 PM
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Sag trans...

You need to replace the crossmember so the trans will mount. It should bolt right in to the stock one.

As for a shifter, you can get them still from B&M or Hurst, but they're pricey. I bought used, and got some used shift rods to fit. Try to get a Hurst shift head that takes a bolt-on shifter, then you can add whatever you want. I have a nice tall handle I got cheap on Ebay, and added a beer tap handle for a shift knob. Should look neat in my '49 pickup (with 350 and Sag 4 speed).

Tom
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Old 10-07-2005, 10:12 AM
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Just about any Chevy clutch will work as long as the spline count is the same. You probably have a 10-spline.

You should know that there were at least two Saginaws. One was used with low-power engines and has a first gear ratio around 2.80:1 and will wind up pretty fast depending on your rear gears.

Also, Saginaws were not known for their strength, compared to the Muncies and Borg-Warners.
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Old 10-10-2005, 10:02 AM
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Thanks.

I appreciate the suggestions. I've found the right shifter in the hurst catalog, and it's about $200. Will probably go with eBay route. This is a 3.11 saginaw (two grooves on input shaft), is that the better one?
Thanks.
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Old 10-11-2005, 06:45 AM
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Sag trans...

The 3.11 1st gear trans is excellent for a 3.08 or similar rear.
There are four versions I'm aware of:

no grooves: 2.84 1st; one: 2.54 1st; two: 3.11; three: 3.50.

They're not terrribly strong, but fine for a mild street smallblock or similar.

Tom
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Old 10-12-2005, 01:35 AM
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try LMC or borthersonlinestore.com for your cross member. If you go lmc you will probably have to order a catalog. I love them and use them for a lot of stuff on my 71 c-10. You could call lmc for the part, last i checked there website was pretty much only a place to order, and you had to have a magazine to know all the part numbers.
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Old 10-12-2005, 03:57 AM
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Sag

Check for a cracked main case at the top mounting lugs. Saginaws' were not known for their strength but I still have a 3 speed I used as a spare whenever I blew up my Muncies. I blew m20s and an m22, even a 31 spline toploader, but not the sag. yes i drove more gently - 'bout 80%.
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Old 10-15-2005, 09:04 PM
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Just a suggestion that may help the Sag live longer: use a stock clutch, maybe even a passenger-car-sized unit. It won't shock the tranny as hard if your foot accidentally slips off the pedal while your other foot's standing on the gas pedal. Slippage can sometimes be your friend. My '72 Nova has a the stock 10.4" clutch, and I have had no catastrophic failures with either of the Saginaws that have been in it.
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