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Old 09-04-2009, 09:10 AM   #11
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if you stay with a gas engine I'd go with a 5.0 efi. If you want to stay auto go with the AOD that will help a ton if you want to switch to a manual go 5 speed there will be little advantage to using a 4 speed without an overdrive.
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:26 AM   #12
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An old 4 speed might have an add on aftermarket electrical OD available though that will give a better ratio. Or practically gives you 6 gears to play with because they often work on 3rd and 4th.
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadWarrior View Post
An old 4 speed might have an add on aftermarket electrical OD available though that will give a better ratio. Or practically gives you 6 gears to play with because they often work on 3rd and 4th.
Now that's extremely interesting for me. How does something like that work? Got any examples or brand names I should look up?

That would be perfect for my Buick. I don't want to replace its transmission but I do want it to do better than its 3 speeds with non-overdrive high gear.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:36 AM   #14
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I would absolutely not change it to a standard transmission. No cutting holes in the car, not allowed.

I just need to be sure the vehicle I pull the engine/trans out of has column shift so I can have both linkages and can fabricate what's needed. If I get an AOD transmission it'll be easier, if I end up with the A4LD or 4R44 or 4R70 I might need to do some fancy work to make it go right.

No diesels. And sticking with a Ford motor of some sort. I think now that staying with a V8 will be easiest to fit and will sound correct as well. I'm off to fueleconomy.gov to find all the 302/AOD combinations and see which one gave the highest mileage as far as year and car/truck/suv goes.

And evidently I need to use a mechanical speedometer vehicle, too. Junkyard time for determining that maybe. I'm not changing out the cluster in something like this.

If I were using a 67-72 Ford pickup, though, the 96-03 Taurus clusters fit nicely in the dash.
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
Now that's extremely interesting for me. How does something like that work? Got any examples or brand names I should look up?

That would be perfect for my Buick. I don't want to replace its transmission but I do want it to do better than its 3 speeds with non-overdrive high gear.
Look here for a start...
http://www.gearvendors.com/index.html
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:54 PM   #16
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HC - I replaced the stock TH350 tranny in my Buick with a M400. With your car being somewhat larger I'd recommend a T700R4. If you go either of these routes, make sure the tranny you get is 1987 or newer. There were refinements introduced in the 87 model year that made them more durable. Rusty had his stock TH350 replaced with a T700R4.

-Jay
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Old 09-04-2009, 03:08 PM   #17
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Jay, I really don't want to replace my Buick's transmission, and you may laugh at the reason why. One of my favorite things about the car is the way shifting from P->D feels; I don't want to change that.

Looking at the price on that unit, though, I guess I should either just enjoy the 3 gears or accept a change in feel.
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Old 09-04-2009, 03:34 PM   #18
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As somebody who owns 2 vehicles that have undergone that change, there is no different feel. On Rusty I was able to go to the parts department and order a gear indicator with overdrive, on the Buick I just adjusted the linkage to compensate. Here's how the Buick is setup:

P = P
N = N
D = OD
L2 = 3
L1 = 2

1 is all the way at the far end, beyond L1 on the indicator.

I believe that later models of your car had the T700R4, so you may be able to go to a junkyard and take the gear indicator from a later model car if it really bothers you. As someone who's fairly anal, my Buick's setup does not bother me.

-Jay
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Old 09-04-2009, 03:44 PM   #19
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No, it's not the indicator I'm worried about. It's the feel of the linkage and the feel of the transmission's detents. It doesn't feel like any other column shifter I've ever used...there's a certain springy/smooth feel that I can't describe. My 1987 Cadillac's column shifter felt dead by comparison, as if it was shift-by-wire (it wasn't). In fact, so does my 2002 GMC's (which is also not shift-by-wire).

I told you it's weird.
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Old 09-04-2009, 04:02 PM   #20
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Over the years I've had 3 different model transmissions in my Buick. The original TH350, a M200 pulled from a parts car I bought for $200, and later I put a M400 in it when that finally died. All of them shifted the same, however, if it is the feel of the transmission detents you are referring to, you can certainly "test drive" the feel of the shifter before the tranny is pulled from the junk car.
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