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Old 03-22-2020, 10:40 PM   #1
Isaiah92260
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Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

Hey Fellas, Iím trying to do research, I found a good deal on a 1955 3 Speed Overdrive that I was told that came out of a Bel Air.
Would this Transmission fit into my 235 straight 6? My 235 I believe is a 1957 based on the serial number. And my truck is a 1961 Apache.
What modification am I going to need to do?
So far what I have found that I may need to shorten my drive and possibly change the input shaft depending on the size of the tranny?
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:10 PM   #2
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

Post up some pics of your current transmission and the one you're looking at getting. If it's a good deal, go ahead and grab that transmission

Here's a couple pics to show some of the differences between my 63 ish 3 speed and my 65 overdrive trans
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:25 PM   #3
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

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Originally Posted by cwcarpenter98 View Post
Post up some pics of your current transmission and the one you're looking at getting. If it's a good deal, go ahead and grab that transmission

Here's a couple pics to show some of the differences between my 63 ish 3 speed and my 65 overdrive trans
Here is the one Iím looking at.
Iím gonna get a picture of my current tranny tomorrow, but I know I looks pretty darn close to your old 3 speed. Yes I think itís a good deal, I have not come across overdrive at all, and the ones I have seen for sale which I would have had to gotten shipped were damn expensive
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:33 PM   #4
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

That will probably fit, and you might not have to mess with your driveshaft at all
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:48 PM   #5
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

as long as you have the long trans (same as the OD) it will bolt right in. If still 3 on the tree you might have to use the side shifting plate on your old trans or change the shift arms. Shift arms might be different.
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:55 PM   #6
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

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as long as you have the long trans (same as the OD) it will bolt right in. If still 3 on the tree you might have to use the side shifting plate on your old trans or change the shift arms. Shift arms might be different.
Yes I have a long tail Trans 👍🏽
Okay awesome I will post a side to side picture when I get the trans this weekend
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:47 AM   #7
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

I have a 57 od trans in my truck. I had the short shaft 3 speed so I had to have my shaft shortened. The trans will not be threaded to accept the lower bolts (I believe the lower holes) so you will have to use some longer bolts with some nuts. You will also have to use your shifter plate from your 3 sp trans as they are different from the car. I put the OD trans in my 65. You should also energize the solenoid and make sure it is working.
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Old 03-25-2020, 12:19 PM   #8
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

I installed this exact setup in my '62 C20 with 235 and 3speed. Trans was out of a 55 Belair and had just been rebuilt. It fit like a glove, no mods. I may have had to find the correct splined yoke for the trans, if I remember correctly. It's been awhile.
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:54 PM   #9
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy Fleetside View Post
I have a 57 od trans in my truck. I had the short shaft 3 speed so I had to have my shaft shortened. The trans will not be threaded to accept the lower bolts (I believe the lower holes) so you will have to use some longer bolts with some nuts. You will also have to use your shifter plate from your 3 sp trans as they are different from the car. I put the OD trans in my 65. You should also energize the solenoid and make sure it is working.
Thank you for the info, I am going to double check all that and get some hardware ready just Incase for the bottom bolts like you mentioned.
Okay, if it so happens the Solenoid doesnít work, would I be able to rebuild it?
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:58 PM   #10
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oem4me View Post
I installed this exact setup in my '62 C20 with 235 and 3speed. Trans was out of a 55 Belair and had just been rebuilt. It fit like a glove, no mods. I may have had to find the correct splined yoke for the trans, if I remember correctly. It's been awhile.
Sweet! Thatís great to know thank you for sharing.

Where would I be able to find the correct yoke that I would need?

Do you know where is the correct placement for the overdrive cable? I have been trying to find original pictures or something of where the cable would have gone inside of a 60-63 truck.
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:51 PM   #11
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

This reply is kinda long, but hopefully it will provide good information to you and other readers.

If you end up having to change the yoke, a local driveshaft shop should be able to provide you with what you need. That's the route I had to take, but I went from a 63 trans to a 65 trans. The driveshaft shop I went to had the yoke I needed in stock and they didn't even charge me to press the old off and install the new one. My U joints were still good, so I didn't need to change those.

On the cable, it kinda depends on what cable you end up with. On my truck, the cable was installed in the dash and used a factory knob. What I don't know is if my truck came like that from the factory or if the overdrive was a dealer add on. In the pic, the knob pulled out from the dash is the lockout cable. If you get a cable that has a T handle, most I've seen have been mounted to the bottom of the dash where my trailer brake controller is mounted.

The only way that I have found to repair the solenoid is to replace with a good, used unit, have yours rebuilt, or buy a new one. Here is a company that I found while researching during my overdrive swap. I think their prices have come down a bit since the last time I looked.

I'm not sure if there is a difference between the shift arms of the 60-62 trucks and the 63-66 trucks. I do know that the shift arms from a 63 trans and a 65 truck overdrive are the same. Important thing to know is that the overdrive transmissions have a lockout rod that locks the transmission out of overdrive automatically when you shift into reverse. If you have to swap side covers, you might not have that functionality anymore, thus you would have to use the lockout cable each time before going into reverse. If you try to back up without going into reverse, you'll turn your overdrive into some crunchy soup. The pin looking thing that is facing the front of the transmission in the picture is the lockout rod. The shift linkage inside the side cover is what makes contact with that rod.

Pick up the book about these overdrives. It helped me a ton when I was troubleshooting my electrical system and gave me plenty of pointers on what and what not to do.

I've had the overdrive working as GM intended for the past year, and I absolutely love it. Some days I wish I had gone for an s10 5 speed, but then I remember that I can just buy another truck some day and have both!
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Old 03-26-2020, 01:25 PM   #12
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

the rear yoke on the 55 trans will be a course spline, same as your tk. Later all syncro trans had fine 27 splines
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:59 AM   #13
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

One more thing to watch for - the bearing retainer in the input side of the passenger car 3-speed MAY be smaller diameter than the same piece on a truck 3-speed. The retainer has to fit tightly in the hole in the rear of the bellhousing. If your OD transmission does have the smaller diameter retainer, you can just swap it out for the one from your truck 3-speed.
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Old 03-27-2020, 01:59 PM   #14
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

they will be the same. tk's changed in 68 to the bigger retainer.
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Old 03-27-2020, 05:25 PM   #15
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

Here is a website with the original Borg Warner manuals via pdf's.

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http://devestechnet.com/Home/HowTo#driveline
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:56 PM   #16
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by slorio View Post
Here is a website with the original Borg Warner manuals via pdf's.

Regards
Steve
New Orleans

http://devestechnet.com/Home/HowTo#driveline
Wow that website is worth in Gold. Thank you so much for the link!!í
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:59 PM   #17
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

Thank you @61K10 and @MikeN for the info! I just got the overdrive. What do you guys think?
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:01 PM   #18
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

1955 Overdrive
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:02 PM   #19
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwcarpenter98 View Post
This reply is kinda long, but hopefully it will provide good information to you and other readers.

If you end up having to change the yoke, a local driveshaft shop should be able to provide you with what you need. That's the route I had to take, but I went from a 63 trans to a 65 trans. The driveshaft shop I went to had the yoke I needed in stock and they didn't even charge me to press the old off and install the new one. My U joints were still good, so I didn't need to change those.

On the cable, it kinda depends on what cable you end up with. On my truck, the cable was installed in the dash and used a factory knob. What I don't know is if my truck came like that from the factory or if the overdrive was a dealer add on. In the pic, the knob pulled out from the dash is the lockout cable. If you get a cable that has a T handle, most I've seen have been mounted to the bottom of the dash where my trailer brake controller is mounted.

The only way that I have found to repair the solenoid is to replace with a good, used unit, have yours rebuilt, or buy a new one. Here is a company that I found while researching during my overdrive swap. I think their prices have come down a bit since the last time I looked.

I'm not sure if there is a difference between the shift arms of the 60-62 trucks and the 63-66 trucks. I do know that the shift arms from a 63 trans and a 65 truck overdrive are the same. Important thing to know is that the overdrive transmissions have a lockout rod that locks the transmission out of overdrive automatically when you shift into reverse. If you have to swap side covers, you might not have that functionality anymore, thus you would have to use the lockout cable each time before going into reverse. If you try to back up without going into reverse, you'll turn your overdrive into some crunchy soup. The pin looking thing that is facing the front of the transmission in the picture is the lockout rod. The shift linkage inside the side cover is what makes contact with that rod.

Pick up the book about these overdrives. It helped me a ton when I was troubleshooting my electrical system and gave me plenty of pointers on what and what not to do.

I've had the overdrive working as GM intended for the past year, and I absolutely love it. Some days I wish I had gone for an s10 5 speed, but then I remember that I can just buy another truck some day and have both!
Thank you for the info! Iím going to start writing all this stuff down lol. Iím going to start looking into that wire harness kit they have on that website
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:03 PM   #20
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

This is the serial number?
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Old 03-29-2020, 07:50 PM   #21
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

So now I got the Transmission cleaned and painted. First thing off that bag I noticed that I will need to swamp out the 4 bolt gear shift plate.

On my current 3 speed the shift rods coming from the plate are way longer.

Second. Does anyone know how I could mount a kickdown switch onto my single barrel Carter Yf?
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Old 03-29-2020, 07:51 PM   #22
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

Looks brand new
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Old 03-29-2020, 07:55 PM   #23
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

The solenoid works as well. I checked it with my battery and to rod actuated freely, also I opened up the top of the governed and the contact point looked very clean likes it was brand new
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Old 03-29-2020, 08:25 PM   #24
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

Before you swap the side covers completely, see if you can bolt your old 3 speed shift arms to the overdrive. It might work if the slot for the bolt is in the same place.
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Old 03-30-2020, 01:07 AM   #25
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Re: Will a 1955 3 spd OD fit my truck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwcarpenter98 View Post
Before you swap the side covers completely, see if you can bolt your old 3 speed shift arms to the overdrive. It might work if the slot for the bolt is in the same place.
I was thinking about that, but I noticed that the 2 shafts where the shift arms bolt onto are longer on the truck than the bel air transmission that I have, which makes me believe that has to do with the linkage positioning on my truck.
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