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Old 04-28-2016, 12:48 PM   #1
71_C10_
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1971 C10 Manual transmission options

Hello all!
My goal is to install a manual transmission into my 71' C10. It must have an overdrive as i do a good amount of highway driving and I like to cruse without hearing the engine scream. Currently, I have a 700r4 in the truck paired to a built sbc 350. My question is, what transmission should i go with? I am mainly looking for something that i can find from a junk yard or craigslist. I assume, depending on the transmission, that i will have to purchase the appropriate bell housing.
Thanks!
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Old 04-28-2016, 01:28 PM   #2
SS Tim
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Re: 1971 C10 Manual transmission options

IMHO just stick with what you have. Most "junkyard" OD transmissions are not up to the task and about any cheap CL trans is being sold because it has a problem.

A stock manual trans in your 71 would have used bellhousing mounts and a crossmember at the rear of the block. Since you have an auto that is gone or was never there depending on the originality of your truck. The good news is a more conventional bellhousing and trans tailshaft mount/crossmember works just as well. Drive shaft length and fittment need to be considered. Clutch linkage can be easy or difficult depending again on engine originality and location. Headers of any sort can be a wildcard too.

Like I said if you have a good 700R4 keep it. If it needs a rebuild then do it with quality parts. If you need a floor shift there are many options as well.
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Old 04-28-2016, 02:12 PM   #3
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Re: 1971 C10 Manual transmission options

To answer your question... I would recommend a T5 out of a camaro with a S10 tailshaft swapped on it. This is what i am considering behind my 292. Alot of the factory manual trans parts can be used with this OD trans so even if you're starting with an automatic, it won't be cost prohibitive. Also the T5 has a mount like an auto trans so you can use your current crossmember and you have alot of bellhousing options. For more information search this site - there are alot of threads to give you more detail.
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Old 04-28-2016, 02:32 PM   #4
lts70
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Re: 1971 C10 Manual transmission options

I run a nv3500 with a hurst shift kit behind my 327 with 3.73 Posi rear. Works great for me. But you have to do the s10 speedo conversion as it is electronic pulse.
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Old 04-28-2016, 04:39 PM   #5
jocko
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Re: 1971 C10 Manual transmission options

I've swapped in T5s before. I would NOT put it behind a "built" 350 (or torquey 292, unless you plan to not haul with it and do plan to baby it). I write that as "built" in quotes not necessarily because it's built, but usually folks that refer to their built this or that also usually like to do burnouts... T5s are NOT made for that, I don't care what our Mustang buddies say.

The only benefit of the Camaro trans is the input shaft - i.e. no need for a spacer plate. But then you have the added cost of finding a tail shaft housing from an S10, which often means buying an entire extra trans - because these are getting a bit harder to find as everyone and their brother is doing this swap. If you HAVE a Camaro trans, then sure. Or if you HAVE an S10 tailshaft - then sure also, makes sense and IS the best of both worlds for ease of install.

Strength-wise, a Camaro box is not necessarily stronger. WC and non-WC trans were available in both Camaro and S10. WC is stronger and has some bearings on the countershaft if I recall - but it's still not a strong trans if you're planning on more than 1 burnout - I personally would not put it in a full size truck with a V8 (even though I kinda did that in my little swb 66)

Like Tim suggested, I'd stick with the 700R4 also, personally - am assuming it solves your desire to not hear your gears screaming - close to the same o/d ration as the T5 and other o/d manuals. I got lucky with my T5, it was a WC from an S10 and had a mech speedo drive - pretty much as good as it gets when scrounging a used T5 - it was a swap meet find. But you NEVER know what you'll get for sure unless you really rip it apart to inspect it. I did that only because accidentally stripped a bolt in the aluminum and shavings got in the box in the heli-coil install.. Duh. But, like I said, I put it in a tiny 66 swb and babied it - so it did fine in that scenario - but I knew I would not be hauling anything and I'm old enough that burnouts aren't my bag anymore (well, ok, not really, I was just afraid I'd munch my trans...)

Here's a link to the swap if you're still interested (i.e. if we haven't successfully talked you out of it yet) - this for a 66, but same applies for others. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=482069

EDIT: one more note - you should only use a Camaro S10 shifter on a Camaro tailshaft hosuing - it has a built in cant or twist in the mounting train and the stick has a kink in it in order to make it come up straight thru the offset console opening in a Camaro. So, even if you use a Camaro main gear box, and an S10 tailshaft housing - use an S10 shifter also (or, what I mean is a shifter designed for an S10). Lokar makes a great stick that fits nicely in a Hurst shifter setup - round stick, etc. Unless you want the flat Hurst stick, then just stick with it (so to speak). Choose the stick carefully though, unless you have buckets - need to plan for seat clearance.

Last edited by jocko; 04-28-2016 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 04-28-2016, 04:47 PM   #6
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Re: 1971 C10 Manual transmission options

Great post jocks! Thanks! This helps with my swap too.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:22 PM   #7
71_C10_
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Thankyou everyone for the feedback! To update on my
Current situation...when I purchased the truck, it had a th350 so I wanted an overdrive transmission and installed the 700r4 and shortened the drive shaft myself. I do like the current setup, however i have always driven manual and want a change. Also, I plan on installing twin turbos, low compression heads, and blow through card as a learning project. So I would need a trans that would hold up assuming I would produce some decent power. I don't expect the swap to be a "drop in and go"
Thanks again!
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