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Old 10-11-2017, 12:44 AM   #14
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Ramona, CA
Posts: 43
Re: 1957 Chevy 3600 Mild Custom Build

As far as the drivetrain goes, I really wanted to stick with a manual tranny. This really only gives a few options, as we all know. Either stick with the original sm420, which has few gearing options and really wont perform like desired, or shell out $1000-$1500 for a t56 out of an LT1 or LS camaro. Niether of those options seemed super appealing to me, and i was able to find a World Class t5 out of a 90s camaro. I knew i had to have the World Class, but I was still very unsure about the ability of the gearbox to handle the torque of a 350 with any sort of longevity. I wasnt very impressed with how the gearbox seemed strength-wise when i was going through it. I did swap the input shaft to a 10 spline from a 14 spline original so i could use a standard clutch however, using the input shaft from a Jeep t5 and swapping that first gear synchro to the older brass style instead of the fiber lined later style in order to match the taper of the synchro- race. The swap was completed by cutting down and tapering the input shaft pilot snout for chevy dimensions. I did rig up a very reliable and sturdy shifter relocation to move the shifter forward for use with a bench seat, however I really wasnt sure I wanted to stick with the t5. I posted it for sale and quickly was able to sell it for much more than I paid for it and the parts to swap it over for use with chevy, and make a little extra money for my labor so I wasn't too bothered.

A couple months down the road, while still checking craigslist every couple days looking for a good deal on a t56, I found a guy selling an S10 NV3500 with the 4.3 vortec v6 that he had actually pulled from a TF truck himself. I was able to buy the tranny and engine together and sold the engine for much more than triple what I paid for both, so I was pretty excited and I had heard while not bulletproof, the NV3500 was likely to be able to handle the torque from the 350, had correct shifter location, and had the all important overdrive 5th gear.
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