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Old Guys Rule!...EVERYTHING!
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You sure it has a 4th gear overdrive? ...I don't have LOTS of experience with Saginaw's but I have some. I have one now behind a 327 Chevy truck. This is the one with a cast iron case ...not fun doing and R and R on it, but pretty strong, never ran across one with overdrive!!?
 

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Some Saginaw 3-speeds came with overdrive units, but Saginaw 4-speeds did not. Some owners did convert the 4-speeds to use the overdrive unit from the 3-speed, but the factory did not do this. Are there 2 shift levers on the left side (going through the side cover) or 3? If there are 2, it's a 3-speed, if 3, it's a 4-speed. Each one came with different available gear ratios. Here's a site with ID info: www.dandltransmission.com/saginaw.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for the link

So far I have had a suggestion that the trans came out of an S-10. There are 3 shift levers on the side, it is an iron case and it has the factory shifter. the shift knob says R, 1, 2, 3, OD. The fellow I bought it from said he used it behind a 305, but who is to say. I am doing a restore on a 55 chev and the 400 small block is going in, as far as the trans?????? I have a 350 auto, a 375 auto, a orginal 3 speed stick 55, and this one. I would prefer a stick shift in this build up. The problem is, Is it an OD? Was one made? How strong is it.
Thanks for the replies.
 

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machinest & A&P Mechanic
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yeah the saginaw OD has 2 levers on the side of the gearbox, and one in the tail for the OD. the saginaw OD's are easy to spot as they have a big ol' solinoid and a governer on it, solinoid on the side with the cover and the governer on the opposite side. the popular modification on these trannys is to use a saginaw 4 speed box with the OD tail on it. this would mean that their would be 3 levers on the gearbox case cover. the OD tail is made by borg warner and it might even say so on the governer (made out of alluminum on these trannys) they were used from 1965-1968 in chevelles,concours, biscaynes, bel air, impala, malibu, and nomads acording to my 73 chiltons... i have one out of a 68 biscayne, it had a 307 in it. which is the biggest motor they put it behind acording to my book. however mine is going behind a 350. wanna sell your tranny???? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
tranny sell???

Let me get the numbers off the tranney. I may sell it. I may also sell the 55 chev with the 400 4 bolt small block as well. It is in the middle of a frame off restore and the new floor and all new braces are already in. I ran a compression test on the engine before I pulled it. Over all 8 cylinders the number were 124 to 126 pounds. so the valves and rings are good. The low numbers are because of the low compression ratio back then. I would still put in rod and mains while the engine is out as well as an oil pump to be on the safe side. There is also a 4 door 55 as a parts doner as well. all would have to be trailered. Plus loads of other 55 parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
casting number

The only number I came up with is on the side of the case....
C 15453. All 3 shift levers are on the case side cover. The case is iron and the tail housing is alum. It has a normal speedo connection. There are no groves in the shaft. I still am not sure it will hold up to a 400 small block.
Den
 

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It'll live behind the 400 as long as you don't bolt on some slicks and hammer it. Yours has a 2.84 1st gear, 2nd and 3rd are 2.01 and 1.35 and 4th is 1.00. None of the four speeds had an overdrive.

I used one like yours and one with a 3.11 first gear, two rings on the input shaft. They both performed very well until I put the slicks on and tried to launch. Both of them let go without moving the car more than a few feet.

Bolt it up and enjoy it.

Larry

PS, Spend the $150 bucks for a rebuild kit with new shift forks, it's worth it.
 

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yeah if it has 3 shift levers on the side cover it is NOT a factory overdrive but a converted OD. however i have never seen one with an alluminum case, maybe an aftermarket OD tail?? got any pics? would be interesting to see this beast!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think I will sell the Saginaw trans, bell hsg, flywheel., 2 pressure plates, throw out bearing, clutch fork and clutch disks. any interest? i think I will go with the 375 automatic seeing I have already rebuilt it. i think the 400 is a 73. It has 3 freeze plugs on the side of the block. Any idea on the compression ratio?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Ok I got some more numbers from a milled pad on the side of the trans:
CFG387613
15590100
1 24 86
I checked the OD gear which is the middle shift lever on the
trans cover. (all three levers are on the cover)
For one turn of the input shaft the output shaft turns 1.4 revolutions. I am beginning to think that this is not a saginaw. There is a cast of dots in a circle with what looks like a C over an N in the center. Now what? iron case, AL tail. There is a 2 prong electrical outlet on the iron case just below the shifter.
 

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i do not beleave it is a saginaw OD eather. the saginaw OD had 2 levers on the main gearbox cover and one lever (for the OD) on the tail, the converted trannys had 3 levers on the cover and one on the tail... everything was made of cast iron minus the governer. the 2 prong swtich is more than likely a backup light switch, i also beleave that some had TCS switches BTW i am realy only interested in a true saginaw OD tranny..
 

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Shop Owner And Troll Hunter
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If it is a OD it will have a large solenoid on the tail housing.

Troy
 

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If I remember correctly, Chevy-By-The-Numbers lists the OD Saginaw as being used only behind 283s. I always thought meant it wasn't strong enough for the higher hp engines.

I may have gotten lost in this discussion, but I have an impression that we're discussing a regular Saginaw 4-speed.
 

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thats incorrect, acording to my book the saginaw OD was used behind 250 and 230 CI 6 cylinders as well as 307's, and 283's. as for strength i dont know. but Troy is right if it is a OD their should be a huge solinoid hanging of it as well as a governer unless it was taken off.

BTW i have one taken of a biscayne with a 307 and the internals all looked like new minus the freewheeling clutch, synchros looked good to. seamed to hold up fine.
 
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