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Thread: 4 Speed Conversion Question

  1. #1
    Registered Member scorpion1110's Avatar
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    4 Speed Conversion Question

    So I am seriously considering a 4speed conversion in the 1955 2-door wagon. Muncie M20 and a Mcleod hydraulic clutch setup. I know exactly what parts I need but had a bellhousing question.

    If I use a 1955 Chevy 3733365 mid-mount bellhousing that takes a "snout-mount" starter, there should not be any issue using a block mount mini starter right? Its brand new and Id prefer to keep using it since I already have it.

    Just curious. Anytime I make a guess with the 55 I guess wrong

    Thx, S
    Scorpion1110

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    The block mount starters with an aluminum "nose" housing are bulkier and won't fit in the starter pocket of the stock bellhousing. Some block mount starters with an iron nose housing might fit the pocket.

    The 57 starter is still sold through auto supplies. Napa is one place that has them. Another option is if you have a good "old school" block mount starter and a dead 55-57 starter (or just the nose piece), you can swap the 55-57 nose piece onto the block mount starter. A mini starter will usually also work.

  3. #3
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    Chevy used the bell housing mount starter until 1973 on light trucks with manual trannys. The aluminum nose starters in 70s were for auto and cast iron were manual. you could use a cast iron nose on either but aluminum on auto only. You can change the nose between all three. Aftermarket you will have to try and find out for yourself
    Last edited by markm; 07-29-2018 at 09:53 AM.

  4. #4
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scorpion1110 View Post
    So I am seriously considering a 4speed conversion in the 1955 2-door wagon. Muncie M20 and a Mcleod hydraulic clutch setup.
    Why an out-dated 4-speed? Why not go with a TKO 5-speed? It's a lot better choice, imo....more expensive but worth it.
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension

    You can see my 56 Nomad build here http://www.picturetrail.com/chevynut

    For affordable C4 Corvette Suspension conversions for your car, visit http://www.classicedgedesigns.com

    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
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  5. #5
    Registered Member scorpion1110's Avatar
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    I will take a look at a 5speed.

    I have built so many 4speeds I could do it asleep so since I had a core M20 lying around and all the tools, and a supplier for the parts and upgrades at cost, I figured it was an easy route. The Muncie never really bothered me and mine have been raced a lot and are generally a solid box. A lot of guys still ask me to rebuild them though I dont do it much anymore.

    Haven't really looked at some of the contemporary 5speed swaps but will take a look. Its definitely not cheap to run a manual box, I think the conversion with the McLeod stuff and just the basics will be around $2k.

    S
    Scorpion1110

    Rides:

    1955 Chevy 2-door Wagon
    1970 Honda Trail 70

    I lost my best friend on 10/3/2018. Rest in Peace Dear Lucy. I will miss you.

  6. #6
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    No doubt a 5 speed is better for cruising but the TKO doesn't shift as good as a Muncie, plus the huge $ difference.

  7. #7
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    It's possible that by now you might be able to pick up a good used 5-speed on the used parts market (eBay or others). Even if it needs over-hauled, it sounds like you could tackle it easily. I really think it's a LOT better solution than a 4-speed, especially if you drive at highway speeds very much. I'm pretty sure the TKO bolts right in with no tunnel mods, and it has the Muncie pattern for the bellhousing so any Muncie bellhousing should work. You'll probably have to change the yoke on your driveshaft and shorten it. Check the shifter location options too as they allow a few to fit various cars.

    As for starters, it seems to me that if your block is drilled for a block-mount starter any of the mini-starters should work. Not sure about a PMGR starter, but they might work as well.
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension

    You can see my 56 Nomad build here http://www.picturetrail.com/chevynut

    For affordable C4 Corvette Suspension conversions for your car, visit http://www.classicedgedesigns.com

    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax

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