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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Need some advice

Greetings,

Brand new here.

I purchased a 1964 Tempest custom convertible about a year ago. The car has ZERO rust (crazy right?!) has the complete interior and is really a great start to a resto. It has the original straight six that is locked up and I am yanking out. I bought a 389 that needed rebuilding then found a killer deal on an already rebuilt, but never run, 400. The 400 is mostly stock just a mild cam to give a little lope. My question is this, the original trans is a three on the tree. I plan for this car to be just a cruiser, is it in my best interest to keep the car a manual since the pedals, linkage etc. are already there or should I go with an automatic which (I think) would be cheaper. If I kept it manual, I would have to move the shifter to the floor of course. This won't be a daily driver but will be driven! All opinions are welcome! Thanks to all!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 03:54 PM
 
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nice find, mine was a rust free high desert car. I would get a four speed and put it on the floor. Go with a 4 speed for drivability. not a first post until you show us pictures, As bear would say.

heres a few pics of my 66' w/462 dual quads and RA set-up
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 07:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20nascar View Post
Greetings,

Brand new here.

I purchased a 1964 Tempest custom convertible about a year ago. The car has ZERO rust (crazy right?!) has the complete interior and is really a great start to a resto. It has the original straight six that is locked up and I am yanking out. I bought a 389 that needed rebuilding then found a killer deal on an already rebuilt, but never run, 400. The 400 is mostly stock just a mild cam to give a little lope. My question is this, the original trans is a three on the tree. I plan for this car to be just a cruiser, is it in my best interest to keep the car a manual since the pedals, linkage etc. are already there or should I go with an automatic which (I think) would be cheaper. If I kept it manual, I would have to move the shifter to the floor of course. This won't be a daily driver but will be driven! All opinions are welcome! Thanks to all!
The 3-speed is most likely a non-synchronized 1st gear. It is most likely a light duty trans behind a 6-cyl engine. The 400CI may make it toast in short time and I guarantee you will dislike the non-synchro 1st as you have to come to a complete stop to put it into 1st, or clash the gears and force it in.

Food for thought.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
 
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That a nice ride Instag8tr! 👍🏻
Would the 4 speed wind up too much for potential long distance runs? I know that would probably be the easiest to match to the 400 but I really want drivability in any situation.
PontiacJim, the three speed was never a thought to keep. I had one as a kid and that was enough. I’m more looking to see two things y’all would do. Keep the car manual and if so, what would you put behind the 400 or convert it to automatic and what would you put behind the 400. Keep in mind I want to be cost effective, not cheap but smart. 😎

I attached some pics to make my first post “official”.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 06:40 PM
 
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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.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much PontiacJim. That's great advice and gives me something to think about. Not sure what I will do but this gives me options to think about. This thing won't be on too many long hauls. I truly appreciate your time sir.

Butch
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 04:49 PM
 
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Nice foundation for an economy sleeper with a rag top to boot. Cant go wrong there. get it drivable and have fun while you work on it in chunks. always good to have a car you dont have to take completely apart to restore/freshen up. the stock lead paint is a great base for new primer and paint so dont worry about stripping it to metal. Jim gave it all to you in readers digest form. i run a built TH350 w/2400 stall and it handles up to 500HP no problem. The dearborns are fun 3 speeds with the right rear end, a buddy had one in a hypo 289 mustang.

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  Pontiac GTO Forum > The 1964-1974 Pontiac Tempest, Lemans & GTO > 1964-1974 Tempest, Lemans & GTO Undercarriage, Frame, Transmission and Differential Discussions.

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