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I'm now shopping around for a parts car to get a TH350 and some other parts from (distributor, oil pan, starter etc), I need these parts to put on my vortec 383. I want to find a good used th350 and put a shift kit in it (I've given up on putting in a 4-speed for now). I don't want to get a transmission that will die on me when I start to abuse it a bit, what should I look for when test driving the car? I know to check the fluid and anything that seems abnormal. Is a th350 that was originally mated to a 305 any weaker than one for a 350?

This weekend I'm gonna go check out a '78 nova with a 305 that apparently has a good tranny and the parts I need, but has 100,000 miles and has been sitting for a while.

Any advice?

Russel
 

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Warm it up....Check the oil for being burnt and discoloured. If it drives and shifts well, .................Who knows. No matter what you are taking a chance.

Also, late 70s-early 80s, many of the 305 trannies were a cheaper weaker (metric) tranny. Many had no kick down cable and no vacuum modulator....something to look for. The pan was a different shape, I believe.

Here is a chart.....

http://go.mrgasket.com/pdf/trans_id.pdf

Looking at that chart, you will see that a turbo 250 and 350 have the same pan...............so you are still guessing to an extent.
 

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If you can drive it that will tell you alot. If not drivable, look at fluid color and also smell the fluid. Burnt fluid will have an obvious odor to it. I've had good luck over the years picking good tranny's just by smell. Pulling the pan is also a good thing to do. Some fine particles is expected but chunks of paper/fiber or metal is not good. New fluid may be a sign of a bad tranny too. There could have been a problem and the pan was pulled to check it out and new fluid was put in. Tranny still not working but has new clean fluid making you think it is ok.
Bob
 

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My advice would be to go to a parts yard and find one cuz unless you like counting on luck, youre gonna need to rebuild it anyway. They dont cost much in a junkyard and you can spend a couple hundred on a rebuild kit and that way youll KNOW what kinda shape its in. Or, you could just buy one and stick it on and keep your fingers crossed :D
 

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Trans

Just Exchange Your Old,i Use To Live In Ca,and I Exchanged My Smoked One For A Built One For 700 Dollars,save Time And Headache,just Get A Rebuilt One
 
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