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Old 01-17-2019, 03:20 AM   #1
2bo.c10
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Transmission Fun

Hi Everyone -

I think I scored in buying my 58 fleetside from the 2nd owner! He bought it in 1962 for $500! I'm not sure about you guys, but Ive found that getting one of these trucks from the original owner (or near original owner) is a blessing and a curse. Its a blessing because you can get the full history of the truck, but a curse because they've had it so long that they've kept it running by doing funny, weird fixes to them. This brings me to my issue at hand:

The previous owner of my truck converted the truck from 3-on-the-tree to 3spd floor shift. I do not believe its the original trans. That in and of itself isnt weird - but what he did to the shift linkage is one of those funny, weird fixes that was unique to him. He changed the shift linkage so the shift pattern is now as follows:

Upper left: 1st gear (Where 1st gear should be)
Lower left: REVERSE (where 2nd should be)
Upper Right: 2nd Gear (Where 3rd gear should be)
Lower Right: 3rd Gear (where Reverse should be)

Has anyone ever heard of this and if so, how do I fix this?!

The trans that in the truck now does not allow for the speedo cable to be connected because the shift linkage is in the way. I will try to get some pics tomorrow of the trans and the linkage.

Thanks!

-T.
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Old 01-17-2019, 05:43 AM   #2
Jesse Z
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Re: Transmission Fun

Standard 3 speed on the floor pattern is as follows:

Reverse = forward and to the left
First = rearward and to the left
Second = forward and to the right
Third = rearward and to the right

So only your 1st-reverse are backwards. That can be rectified by inverting the 1st/reverse lever at the transmission.
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Last edited by Jesse Z; 01-17-2019 at 05:53 AM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:03 AM   #3
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Re: Transmission Fun

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Z View Post
Standard 3 speed on the floor pattern is as follows:

Reverse = forward and to the left
First = rearward and to the left
Second = forward and to the right
Third = rearward and to the right

So only your 1st-reverse are backwards. That can be rectified by inverting the 1st/reverse lever at the transmission.
Which would probably move the shift linkage out of the way of the speedo cable
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:35 AM   #4
2bo.c10
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any idea on how to switch the levers so it changes it back to the right configuration?

I didnít know that first was in the bottom left position. This configuration makes more sense that how it is now to prevent me from accidentally shifting into reverse.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:38 AM   #5
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Re: Transmission Fun

If you rotate the lever on the transmission 180 degrees, it will work opposite to what it does now
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:38 AM   #6
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Re: Transmission Fun

The 2nd and 3rd shift locations are correct.
The reverse and 1st are reversed and can be fixed by flipping the linkage.
If you climb under and have someone shift between reverse and 1st, you should be able to see what needs to be changed. Leave 2nd and 3rd linkage alone as it is correct.
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:32 PM   #7
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Re: Transmission Fun

The first time I built my truck, I put a Hurst Indy floor shift on the original transmission. If you hooked it up the way the kit was intended, the pattern was backwards. 2nd/3rd were on the left and 1st/Reverse was on the right. I eventually fabbed something up to switch which shift lever attached to which shift arm on the transmission. It worked but the linkage was ugly.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:22 PM   #8
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Re: Transmission Fun

Can you guys please help me identify what trans this is? I dont see a defined pan like I did with my last truck and everything I've looked up has used the pan to identify the trans type. Is it mounted upside down?!

Also pictured is the linkage and how it is currently set up where REVERSE and 1ST gear are switched.
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Last edited by 2bo.c10; 01-17-2019 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 01-18-2019, 04:21 AM   #9
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Re: Transmission Fun

Boy howdy you are new to this aren't you.
1. stick transmissions don't have "pans" like automatics do.
2. I think that the guys explained it but the shift pattern you "thought it should have" is for a 4 speed and not a 3 speed.
3. Looking at this, I think that is a stock transmission, Maybe not the "original" transmission but a stock for 58 transmission. This guys has one similar for sale and you can see he casting numbers on the pieces that you might find on yours https://www.ebay.com/i/401678700304?...3D401678700304

4. that particular shifter was a "universal" shifter that they sold for under 30 bucks in most places in the 60's. Great for hanging up and breaking a trans but not very great for shifting. Universal meant that they sent along instructions on how to bend the rods so they worked right with the various transmissions you might stick them on. It looks a whole lot like the Spark-O-Matic shifter I bought for 17.99 for my 51 Mercury when I was 16 and had broken the column shifter. In truth you either need to invest in a far better quality shifter or invest in repairing/replacing the column shifter.

No matter if you plan to keep it stock and just fix what needs to be fixed or restore it or go full tilt and swap engines and do updates I'd suggest ordering a factory service manual for the 58 truck. One like this reproduction of the originals that were used by the mechanics in the Chevrolet garages when the trucks were new. https://www.ebay.com/itm/CHEVROLET-1...U7Io:rk:7:pf:0 Those were written in very basic language with compete instructions on how to do a task. With basic mechanical skills If you can read and comprehend you should be able to do the task.
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Old 01-18-2019, 07:53 AM   #10
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Re: Transmission Fun

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr48chev View Post
Boy howdy you are new to this aren't you.
1. stick transmissions don't have "pans" like automatics do.
2. I think that the guys explained it but the shift pattern you "thought it should have" is for a 4 speed and not a 3 speed.
3. Looking at this, I think that is a stock transmission, Maybe not the "original" transmission but a stock for 58 transmission. This guys has one similar for sale and you can see he casting numbers on the pieces that you might find on yours https://www.ebay.com/i/401678700304?...3D401678700304

4. that particular shifter was a "universal" shifter that they sold for under 30 bucks in most places in the 60's. Great for hanging up and breaking a trans but not very great for shifting. Universal meant that they sent along instructions on how to bend the rods so they worked right with the various transmissions you might stick them on. It looks a whole lot like the Spark-O-Matic shifter I bought for 17.99 for my 51 Mercury when I was 16 and had broken the column shifter. In truth you either need to invest in a far better quality shifter or invest in repairing/replacing the column shifter.

No matter if you plan to keep it stock and just fix what needs to be fixed or restore it or go full tilt and swap engines and do updates I'd suggest ordering a factory service manual for the 58 truck. One like this reproduction of the originals that were used by the mechanics in the Chevrolet garages when the trucks were new. https://www.ebay.com/itm/CHEVROLET-1...U7Io:rk:7:pf:0 Those were written in very basic language with compete instructions on how to do a task. With basic mechanical skills If you can read and comprehend you should be able to do the task.
Mr48chevy,just read your post,what a great idea,buy the service manual!!!!!
I just ordered one for my 58 fleet,should have done this 3 years ago when I started building the truck
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Old 01-18-2019, 04:06 PM   #11
2bo.c10
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Re: Transmission Fun

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr48chev View Post
Boy howdy you are new to this aren't you.
1. stick transmissions don't have "pans" like automatics do.
2. I think that the guys explained it but the shift pattern you "thought it should have" is for a 4 speed and not a 3 speed.
3. Looking at this, I think that is a stock transmission, Maybe not the "original" transmission but a stock for 58 transmission. This guys has one similar for sale and you can see he casting numbers on the pieces that you might find on yours https://www.ebay.com/i/401678700304?...3D401678700304

4. that particular shifter was a "universal" shifter that they sold for under 30 bucks in most places in the 60's. Great for hanging up and breaking a trans but not very great for shifting. Universal meant that they sent along instructions on how to bend the rods so they worked right with the various transmissions you might stick them on. It looks a whole lot like the Spark-O-Matic shifter I bought for 17.99 for my 51 Mercury when I was 16 and had broken the column shifter. In truth you either need to invest in a far better quality shifter or invest in repairing/replacing the column shifter.

No matter if you plan to keep it stock and just fix what needs to be fixed or restore it or go full tilt and swap engines and do updates I'd suggest ordering a factory service manual for the 58 truck. One like this reproduction of the originals that were used by the mechanics in the Chevrolet garages when the trucks were new. https://www.ebay.com/itm/CHEVROLET-1...U7Io:rk:7:pf:0 Those were written in very basic language with compete instructions on how to do a task. With basic mechanical skills If you can read and comprehend you should be able to do the task.
Thank you for the reply - this is exactly what I needed. Yes, it is painfully obvious I am a noob.

The transmission you sent the link for is similar to mine - Theirs says GM 16, mine says GM 30 on place and GM 12 the other. It also has other number which dont match. Do you know what these numbers mean? If its as easy as getting a new shifter, I'm all for it. Seems like I'd need to know what model the trans is.

I will be purchasing a service manual right now to help. Thanks for the link and appreciate the response.
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Old 01-18-2019, 04:46 PM   #12
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Re: Transmission Fun

The pictures are poor so it's difficult to tell if that's the original style transmission. If it is an original style to the truck the cover on the left side of the transmission that the shifter arms come out of will be attached with 4 bolts to the case. If the cover has seven bolts attaching it to the case it's a later model three speed. If it is the original style transmission I would advertise here for a complete column shift three speed setup. Rebuild the column set up and throw away the floor shifter. Install and adjust per the service manual.

Steve weim55 Colorado
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Old 01-18-2019, 05:26 PM   #13
2bo.c10
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Re: Transmission Fun

Quote:
Originally Posted by weim55 View Post
The pictures are poor so it's difficult to tell if that's the original style transmission. If it is an original style to the truck the cover on the left side of the transmission that the shifter arms come out of will be attached with 4 bolts to the case. If the cover has seven bolts attaching it to the case it's a later model three speed. If it is the original style transmission I would advertise here for a complete column shift three speed setup. Rebuild the column set up and throw away the floor shifter. Install and adjust per the service manual.

Steve weim55 Colorado
I actually like the floor shifter. Just want the shift pattern to be correct. Does this picture help at all?
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Old 01-18-2019, 05:44 PM   #14
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Re: Transmission Fun

Think I got it identified.

Its a GM Saginaw 3 Speed Manual Transmission 3925647

Seems like it is native to the late 60s, not the late 50s trucks. Someone is selling one from their 67 Camaro
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:38 PM   #15
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Re: Transmission Fun

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Z View Post
Standard 3 speed on the floor pattern is as follows:

Reverse = forward and to the left
First = rearward and to the left
Second = forward and to the right
Third = rearward and to the right

So only your 1st-reverse are backwards. That can be rectified by inverting the 1st/reverse lever at the transmission.
Perfect!!
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:31 PM   #16
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Re: Transmission Fun

Will this work with my trans?

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/h...6809/overview/
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:35 PM   #17
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Re: Transmission Fun

Some of those casting numbers are date code (date the housing was cast) and there may be a shift code as to what shift did the casting. This chart somewhat gives you and idea of what trans you have if you look at the Chevy trans or the Saginaw or Muncie in the three speed section. Close enough that you can look at the trans and figure it out. https://www.flowmastermufflers.com//...ogs/Manual.pdf

Not sure how Flowmaster got involved in transmissions though.

There are guys who are really into the casting number thing and how to figure them out. I'm not so great at that as if I can't find it by a Google search of the number or a bit of Looking though casting number lists I'm lost.
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Old 01-19-2019, 03:24 AM   #18
2bo.c10
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Re: Transmission Fun

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr48chev View Post
Some of those casting numbers are date code (date the housing was cast) and there may be a shift code as to what shift did the casting. This chart somewhat gives you and idea of what trans you have if you look at the Chevy trans or the Saginaw or Muncie in the three speed section. Close enough that you can look at the trans and figure it out. https://www.flowmastermufflers.com//...ogs/Manual.pdf

Not sure how Flowmaster got involved in transmissions though.

There are guys who are really into the casting number thing and how to figure them out. I'm not so great at that as if I can't find it by a Google search of the number or a bit of Looking though casting number lists I'm lost.
Thanks for the link! It looks like I have a Saginaw 343. Now to replace the shifter!
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Old 01-19-2019, 05:00 AM   #19
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Re: Transmission Fun

This was SOP for a 16 year old wrench in 1972,we just made things work
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:02 PM   #20
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Re: Transmission Fun

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Z View Post
Standard 3 speed on the floor pattern is as follows:

Reverse = forward and to the left
First = rearward and to the left
Second = forward and to the right
Third = rearward and to the right

So only your 1st-reverse are backwards. That can be rectified by inverting the 1st/reverse lever at the transmission.
Here is a picture, just flip the bracket, you might have to adjust the length of the rod.
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