Cheapest would be a 4speed. You'll need the proper trans to fit your rear axle ratio (or vice versa). You'll also need the pedals, a clutch kit, flywheel, perhaps a crossmember, Zbar, trans itself, bellhousing, shifter, shifter linkage. Some other things to check that may need to be addressed (depending on whats been done to your car) Trans tunnel, driveshaft, console, seats.
Its not hard to do if you have a factory service manual
If you get into 5 and 6 speeds (which you absolutely don't NEED), the cost goes up and it'll be more work.
My recommendation for a budget install? Assuming a basic smallblock; an M20 with a set of 3.23s to 3.55s.
If you have 3.08s in the back; a 2.88 1st T10 or an M22Z (2.98). These get the mileage everyone wants, with lots of strength and you can use mostly factory parts for the install.
Here's my current build, obviously your ability to fork out green is a factor.
I am running a Saginaw 4 speed (should be less than $500) behind a Chevy 305. Plenty of stout for the power I have.
You'll need a set of pedals which can be purchase aftermarket. Might need some modifications, but doable with a little fabrication skills
I recommend running a hydraulic TOB to make things easy and in my opinion, cheaper. Bought mine through Speedway and it works great. The first time I did this I set up a slave cylinder and the geometry was a pain. The hydraulic TOB was a breeze and I am running a stock master from Advance Auto parts, cheap too!
Don't buy a model specific bellhousing. Buy a new steel that will fit several applications in case you change your mind. Price will be comparable in any case.
You will probably need to modify your drive shaft and move your tranny crossmember.
Estimate $1000 for this route. I'd love to run a 5 or 6 speed myself, but that route will multiply your costs. I'm a little light right now to be specific. I hope this helps!
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