View Full Version : Shifter Options For 700R4 With Bench Seat?

05-28-2017, 04:36 AM
Well, like it or not...... Looks as if I'm going to have to take a serious look at changing my '57 over to automatic. Left knee has been giving me quite a time of it lately.

My car is a '57 210 sedan and currently has the stock 3-speed manual transmission and column shift. And bench seat.

I have determined that with my proposed engine and gearing, a 700R4 with 2400 stall lockup converter will do the job.

* So I am looking at...... Changing existing column shift mechanism (will retain stock steering box and column, no plans to cut column nor add an IDIDIT column and rag joint).

Q: What is involved with changing column shift over from stick to automatic and adding gear indicator that works with 700R4?

* Or...... Simply installing a LOKAR floor shift for 700R4.

Q: Anyone here using a LOKAR shifter in their car with the original bench seat? If so...... Which shifter and shift lever fit these cars?



05-28-2017, 09:09 PM
Harry, I'm going thru some of those same questions (column shift or floor shift) currently on my '57. My understanding is that you can purchase the different lenses to correllate to the 4 speeds of the OD trans.. but I can't help any more with that at this time. My '56 Nomad has the factory bench seat and a Lokar floor shifter for a T350 trans, but I didn't purchase it as it was already installed when I bought the car. I'm 6'1" and don't drive with the seat forward, so I don't have any interference issues, but for a short person, I'm suspecting it might interfere with the seat forward?? Attached is a photo showing the Lokar shifter position on the floor with the seat 'back'... in my driving position.

05-29-2017, 03:53 AM
Thanks, Bama! That is exactly the info I am looking for. I'm close to the same height and bench seat in my '57 sedan will be all the way back, as well.

Best regards,


05-29-2017, 07:38 AM
Can't help much. I did an Ididit. I did switch out the lens for the shifter to indicate the 700R4, but haven't connected it to the shifter yet.

05-30-2017, 12:37 AM
Thanks, Buster! If I had my druthers, I'd much rather do a column shift and change gear indicator to work with 700R4. Just don't have the factory automatic parts including speedo with automatic gear indicator here to do that.

Have tried staying off feet and left knee is less painful, but still using 2 canes to walk. Pretty sure I'll have to do the automatic changeover.

Appreciate the info,


12-12-2017, 11:20 AM
Doesn't Lokar make a shifter that will accommodate the bench seat, like the old Hurst with the bend in the handle? I hope because I'm switching from the TH700 to the 700R4 and hoping to use a Lokar shifter and boot. It is my understanding that Lokar doesn't have gear selectors for their shifters but to honest I haven't searched yet. If anyone knows please advise.

12-12-2017, 05:20 PM
You can make one too. I installed some nutserts in floor. I have a Prostick in mine on a 4l80Ehttp://www.jegs.com/images/photos/500/555/555-61620.jpg

12-12-2017, 07:26 PM
Doing a column shift automatic with a stock column is not all that difficult. The major difficulty is that you'll need to acquire and install a stock automatic column to replace the 3 speed column, and you'll also have to swap in the instrument cluster pieces with the shifter indicator for an auto trans. This is a lot of work but it's straightforward. Beyond that, you'll need a linkage piece from the column to the trans - you can buy one or it's not too hard to fab. Last thing, you'll need a shifter arm on the transmission that is shorter than stock so that you get full throw from park to low, all positions. Kugel and Lokar make adjustable ones or you can make your own.

Floor shifters are even easier. They bolt to the floor not to the transmission, so you have some discretion on mounting it. No need for special sticks or anything like that. Some are cable linkage which makes that part even easier. They also come with an appropriate shifter arm for the transmission.

12-14-2017, 07:35 AM
I did this exact conversion in my (now sold) 57 9 passenger wagon back in 2009.
Here's the writeup on it.
It was a somewhat extensive conversion. There are many aspects that will need to be changed. Read up and decide if you have it in ya for all of that.
Then go for it.

Going from a 3 speed column shift to a 4 speed overdrive automatic made the wagon much more enjoyable to drive. For sure.