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OK I am picking up my Valentine's day gift this weekend...1958 Chevy 3100 Apache! Right now it has the 235 inline-6 with 3 speed on the column. I plan on doing an engine swap to a 350SBC and would really like to put in a 700r4 automatic transmission in. The question I am having problems with is how can I use/modify the column shift as the shifter versus putting a shifter on the floor. I would really like to keep the floorboards clean.

Be gentle with me... LOL, I have searched through the threads already to see if I can find something to help. Loads of swap info but nothing for my particular question, unless I missed it.

Thanks Guys.
 

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I don't think it's a good idea. There will be no safety to keep it from getting knocked into or out of gear. With that said, I've done it, back when I was a broke newlywed and needed wheels to get to work. I used the 3-on-the-tree shifter arms to shift a TH350 in a 68 chevy pickup that I used to own. It worked, but not very well.

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That is what I was afraid of. I am guessing a new column or if I can scrounge up an old automatic column from a junkyard or something would be my best bet.
 

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The trouble with most columns since the mid to late 70's is all the plastic covers on them. A 3-speed TH trans column is not gonna play nice with a 4 speed auto .? For a trans cooler you can use a stand alone cooler .The old radiator is probably not a good choice to cool a 350. You'll need ALL new motor mounts and a rear cross member and a driveshaft .IIRC , a square body front end assy is pretty much a bolt in but you'll have to check on that ..
 

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Get one from a squarebody 73 to 87 pickup or up to 91 with a squarebody suburban. Things came with the 700 and you can pull the pump, and steering gear lessening fabrication. May even get tilt found more with the suburbans. Also the shift linkage can be moved over or upgrade to cable.

That being said a th400 or sm465 will give you fewer headaches. If you want overdrive a nv3500 is good for around 350ft/lbs in stock form.
 

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Opps, 86 to 91 squarebody had the 700r4 option.
May be able to play with a gmt400 up till 93 and still use the old pump with the old box.

Just a cheap parts option if you find someone parting one out.
 

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You have 2 arms currently.

If you mounted a cable to the firewall and ran if down to the transmission pan that would allow you to shift through the gears with your existing column.

The second arm would become useless.

Your going to need to play with the arm length to get the adjustment right kind of thing. But it would be far easier then playing around with installing a entirely new column.

As far as cable your going to want push pull aircraft cable with some adjustment in it.

I have ran a couple like this in the pictures below and have yet to have any binding. This current setup has the most extreme bends I have used. The cable goes down and hits the floor at a 70 degree angle then the cable makes a tight 90 degree turn over a 6" radius before dropping 20 degrees through the floor and being mounted to the pan.





Yours will not be as extreme you should be able to mount it at the firewall and go down along the frame before doing a 90 hugging the bottom of the cab to attach the cable to the pan. Using a coat hanger makes for a good template to find cable length required. They have 3" of travel. I am going to guess 5' should work perfect. But using the coat hanger thing will get you a good measurement.

I like using a winters shifter. This is a view of the of the cables available and linkage kits. The linkage kits are good quality and the cable has a good amount of adjustment in it.

https://www.wideopendesign.com/winters-shifter-linkage-kits

https://www.wideopendesign.com/winters-shifter-cables

One of those things your going to need to play with a bit. But once you get it the thing will last for years with no adjustment needed. The cable eliminates several weak links found in common solid shift linkages.
 

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Does the truck have a transmission crossmember? The ones with the 4-speeds did not, regardless you need to support the tail of the transmission.
 
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