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Old 07-05-2010, 11:19 AM
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TH350 case cracked.

I got lucky recently in a junker my nephew and I bought has a TH350 short tail, ever since the drag tracks around here opened TH350 short tails are next to impossible to find. However upon removal, I noticed the bell housing is cracked in 2 places. I have another case, a multi bell housing type but I didn`t want to use it yet. I know I can have the case welded as it`s easy to weld aluminum, my question is will it hold up behind a stout small block? Never had a tranny case welded before so I`m unsure. The trans has been gone through before, it worked and shifted great, the fluid was still pink, and according to the date it`s a 74 model. The endplay checks out good as well so I`m sure the tranny doesn`t need a rebuild and it seems like a lot of work just to swap it over to another case and if I`m going to do that I may as well build it. Cheap route would just be having the case welded. Any thoughts? thanks.

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Old 07-05-2010, 08:49 PM
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I have welded up many of these successfully. Just be sure that you don't make the same mistakes the previous owner did. There must be some "give" in the three point mounting or the housing will break again.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:01 PM
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Sure it can be welded and will hold up, just make sure you bolt it up to a dummy block so it aligns properly. The 700R4 in my 34 had a mounting ear broken off. I bolted it up to a bare block and a friend of mine Heli arc'd it...good as new.

Vince
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:03 AM
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Thanks for the info guys. Appreciate the tip Vince, I was asking myself how I was going to get it back in alignment since it`s cracked almost all the way around the bolt hole at the 2 o`clock position and it`s got a short straight crack down by the dowel pin. I checked the dowel pins on the block it was bolted to, they were okay. Many don`t know pushed in dowel pins or lack of them will cause the case to crack as well so it was the first thing I checked.
It had stock motor mounts, however, the trans mount was broken completely, when my nephew removed the engine, he was hoisting it up and heard a loud clunk, he found the trans just fell out. The truck was a 77 chevy flat bed with a 8 lug floating rear. someone had transplanted a roller cammed 305 in it. We bought the truck for $400. I wanted the trans, my nephew wanted the rear. We sold the engine for $400 and made our money back. After the truck is stripped for the rest of the parts wanted off it the rest goes to the scrap yard. The engine ran sweet, I wished I could have kept it, as it would have been perfect for a future cutlass I plan to build. I guess I`ll have to dig up another one later on. Thanks again for the tips guys.
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:27 AM
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A poor substitute for using an engine block to hold alignment as you weld, is to bolt the tranny case up to an engine stand that has been already set to fit a block. You need to use bolts and nuts and wrench them down tight before welding. Obviously, if a bolt hole is involved, having one of the stand's "arms" holding at that point will work better.

Nowhere near as good as a block- but better than nothing. I'm sure you have a block you can use, but possibly this will help someone else.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:57 AM
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No problem Cobalt. I made sure after I hauled off all my scrap blocks that I kept one to use as a fitment block, now I know a new purpose for it.
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