Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Gastonia, NC - Born & raised in Connecticut - 31 years
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Nice pics. Choice depends on your purpose for the car. Local driving or longer/highway runs?
Budget comes into play. Inexpensive/reliable would be a TH-400, or with a mild engine I would go with an aftermarket/rebuilt TH350 as they are lighter and use less HP to turn them. Get a good quality "tight" 2500 RPM converter and have fun.
The 4-speed is a good and an easy choice, but 4-speeds are getting harder to find, not inexpensive, and you don't always know what you are getting - regardless of the seller's claim.
Shifting is great and I am a manual trans guy when it comes to high performance builds. But, it'll cost.
Next up is an overdrive which will give you lower gearing for acceleration use, and the OD when on the highway so the engine can loaf at 75-80 MPH in traffic. You can go automatic or 5-speed manual. Both of these will up your costs considerably and you will find yourself needing to do some fitting and fabrication. Your floor may need cutting on the tunnel depending on what brand 5-speed you select.
Next on my list, if you wanted to shift and go inexpensive, is the factory HD 3-speed. It was used in the GTO as a base transmission. It was made by Ford and referred to as a "Dearborn" transmission. Fully synchronized, and rugged. I have owned a couple and really like 'em. You can generally get these inexpensive as most will pull them and install the Muncie 4-speed. It's a good compromise if you want a manual trans car without the costs of a 4-speed, or 5-speed.