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Down right shift pattern. Identification

397 Views 15 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Injuneer
Hi all.
First post here. But I was looking at my neighbors 74 firebird for sale. He doesn't know much about it because it was a project car from a relative .(I know. Typical story) It has a 350SBC

It has a down lower right reverse 4 speed shift pattern. Some research leads me to believe it could be a truck transmission like sm465 , because the throws do feel kind of long. It also needs a lot of clutch just to get the car moving. Like it has no power down low. I wasn't sure if it was a timing issue or perhaps someone regeared the rear-end drastically juat to work with the 6.55 first gear if it was indeed a sm465

First gear doesn't seem to run out of speed/gear too soon , and 4th seems to cruise around 60mph no problem. It just needs a lot of throttle and clutch to get it moving in 1st. Other than that it seems to drive fine. Except sometimes when I accelerate it feels like a bowling ball in the trunk just rolled and slammed into the left side of the car , with a bang. I'm thinking thats not related to this transmission but Maybe just a bad axle or wheel bearing. Or diff perhaps.

Any one have any ideas of whats in this car before I start bothering him to tear around his car again?

I have attached a picture of the shifter. It is round and straight and comes out of the floor on the correct location.

I am a little worried buying this from him as a project because I don't know how much "custom" work was done to get this odd transmission in there. And if it'd turn into a money pit just to drop a muncie back in.

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LOL. A 465? I have that in my 83 C-30 6.2 diesel dually truck. Like mentioned above, I would be surprised if it fit the tunnel.. Plus the crossmember mod, along with the driveshaft and yoke. some-one must've had a lot of extra parts, and time to fab that. And why? Were they pulling a boat with it?. You need-ta crawl under there and snap a couple pics of it, from a couple angles. Amazing what some of these cars had-ta endure in their lifetime.
Granny low needs no torque at all. It's mostly useless.
Congrats on your new acquisition. A 2nd gen FB to play with. Lots of parts availability for ya, as long as you have the "long green". (Or in todays currency, would that be bitcoins?)
Anyway, you went from one end of the tranny spectrum, to the other. A 465 is practically indestructible, and a T5 is made of glass. Not rated for anything more powerful than a snail on crutches. But as long as you keep it a 2bbl carb., and don't push on the go pedal too hard, you'll; probably be alright. At least that's what I've been told. I have 2 T5s. A WC, and a non WC. Haven't been able to test them out...yet.
You mention something about the rear mount, and made me think of what I had-ta do, to make mine work.

If your T5 is from an 80s F body, then for some God forsaken reason, GM engineers decided to tilt the tranny CCW about 7° (?), and the bolt pattern on the chebby bellhousing provided that angle. But they tilted the tailhousing mount back the other way, to make it fit the flat cross member. I'm using a WC T5 behind my light duty 301T motor, (in an 84 T/A) and used a conventional BOP bell housing, which necessitated a "wedge" to bolt it to the cross member. Sounds like yours might be the same way. It may sound bush, but it's the logical option, compared to others. At least you got a stick shift.
Here's a photo of my rear mount

It's not pretty right now, but in the "experimental" stages. You'll notice the problematic torque arm that also needs ta be hooked to the tail. Fortunately you don't have-ta deal with that.
Anyway, good luck with your project. As for driving it W/O 5th? If it's not making any noises, you should be OK. And with a 2.41 gear, (?), who needs an OD anyway?:)
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Haha thanks I'm actually excited. Finding lots of small issues. But it'll be a project that's for sure. Yes! My trans mount looks exactly like that. So seems like mine did come out of a late 80s camaro. I changed the trans oil with atf and seems to shift well. It grinds putting it into reverse seems to be the only issue
You probably don't know if it's a world class, or non-world class T-5, but the older T5s took gear oil. The WC uses a composite syncro assy, which requires the ATF. Maybe the ATF is affecting your reverse (?).
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