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[C2] Manual to Auto in a 63

Old 11-29-2018, 06:55 PM
  #1  
TX63CONV
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Default Manual to Auto in a 63

After a year off the road for engine restoration and Muncie rebuild, I realized this fall that a huge part of the reason I don’t drive my 63 often is the manual transmission in Dallas traffic.

I have had the car for almost 10 years—there are a few things left but everything else has been R&R. There are a multitude of auto to manual threads as well as PG to 700r4 or 200r4 threads but only a few manual to auto. I think I have a good list of everything I need (please let me know if I have missed something).

Flex Plate
Transmission
Torque Converter
Auto Shifter
Speedo Cable
Pedal Assembly
Kick Down Linkage
Auto Console
Neutral Safety Switch
Drive Shaft
Trans Cooler
Trans Mount

I do have a few questions:
Are the 63-64 consoles the same for manual and auto—just need to change the plate?
Kick down linkage—I need to research this but is there a way to use my existing carter AFB?
NSS—I have a new dash wiring harness which if I recall was specific to manual and I assume no wiring for the NSS. Thoughts?
Pedal Asym—do I just need the bigger brake pedal or complete box?
Drive shaft--shorter/longer/same length?
Looks like trans cooler just bolts to existing radiator—could use aftermarket?

I have saved the worst for last: I am considering a TH350 for (a) cost (b) ease of installation—WILL NOT cut or modify my cross member and (c) something that is easily reversed for the next owner. I never get over 50-60 mph and never take it on the highway—at least not for extended periods. I know everyone will say go with the OD--and I have not ruled that out but the questions above I believe are independent of which transmission.

For those of you that have done this swap or the swap from AUTO to Manual, are there any other differences or things I may encounter?

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Old 11-29-2018, 07:06 PM
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Frankie the Fink
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Does your radiator core support have an oval hole in the area near the voltage regulator ?
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Old 11-29-2018, 07:46 PM
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Default what trans to use

I had a pg in my 65 sb replaced it with a turbo 350.every thing worked no need to change drive shaft.only had to buy a kit for t350 shift position selector.i love it
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Old 11-29-2018, 09:09 PM
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If you are thinking you might go to Holley EFI Fuel Injection someday. I would get either a 4L60E or 4L65E automatic transmission with overdrive.
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:34 AM
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Lets assume you are not considering a powerglide.

The simplest, easiest, cheapest way to go is a TH350. Bolts right in, no drive shaft length changes, and fairly cheap, all things considered.

The next simplest, cheapest, easiest was to go is a 2004R. Bolts in with very little mods, no drive shaft length changes, but can get a bit expensive.

For your intended use, the TH350 is clearly the right answer.
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Old 12-03-2018, 06:08 PM
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TX63CONV
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Frankie--are you asking about hole in core support for coolant lines? I would have to look but I dont think so. I thought the hole on the side was for FI?

I think the TH350 is probably best for me. I can start putting pieces together. Any thoughts on my remaining questions?

Are the 63-64 consoles the same for manual and auto—just need to change the plate?
Kick down linkage—I need to research this but is there a way to use my existing carter AFB?
NSS—I have a new dash wiring harness which if I recall was specific to manual and I assume no wiring for the NSS. Thoughts?
Pedal Asym—do I just need the bigger brake pedal or complete box?
Looks like trans cooler just bolts to existing radiator—could use aftermarket?
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:11 PM
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jv04
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Originally Posted by TX63CONV View Post
Frankie--are you asking about hole in core support for coolant lines? I would have to look but I dont think so. I thought the hole on the side was for FI?

I think the TH350 is probably best for me. I can start putting pieces together. Any thoughts on my remaining questions?

Are the 63-64 consoles the same for manual and auto—just need to change the plate?
Kick down linkage—I need to research this but is there a way to use my existing carter AFB?
NSS—I have a new dash wiring harness which if I recall was specific to manual and I assume no wiring for the NSS. Thoughts?
Pedal Asym—do I just need the bigger brake pedal or complete box?
Looks like trans cooler just bolts to existing radiator—could use aftermarket?
Console trim plate looks like it will need to be changed (console is fine). Also the retainers under the console trim plate will need to be changed.

I am fairly certain that your existing carb can be used, but you will need the lever with the hole in it to attach the kickdown linkage. Show us a picture of your throttle linkage.

The Neutral Safety Switch may need to be wired separately if the wiring harness does not account for it. It is not that hard to do.

You can remove the existing brake and clutch pedals, and install an automatic pedal. The pedal box is fine.

I would HIGHLY recommend an aftermarket cooler regardless of your transmission. If you existing transmission has provisions for trans cooler lines, then use them IN ADDITION to an aftermarket trans cooler. Heat is an auto transmission's worst enemy.

I do not recall if the driveshaft yoke will need to be replaced, but that is also an easy change.

This is actually a pretty easy swap. The biggest issue, as I recall, is getting the TH350 in the car. It is a bit tight sliding the TH350 back and over the cross member, but it can be done, and has been done many times.

One possible suggestion is modifying your cross member to make it removable, but that is sort of a permanent mod.

Keep us posted.
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:24 PM
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Obviously 63 console is unique to 63 and 64 is 64. But the automatic consoles are the same as the four-speed consoles just change the plates. The wiring harness is the same because in 63 + 64 there is a plug at the firewall that is for the neutral safety switch and it’s hooked on the transmission. The switch is unique if the car has back up lights or no back up lights. All as you have to do is change the brake pedal itself the box above is the same. Drive shaft is the same but the yoke is different if you have an original 63 transmission they use a course Spline output shaft and the turbo 350 has a fine spline. If you use a 63 powerglide The yoke will work.
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Old 12-06-2018, 05:12 PM
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TX63CONV
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Thanks everyone. I am going to start gathering parts. I'll have to do some investigating on my wiring harness. I have replaced both the dash and engine bay with lectric limited so if it was supposed to be there, it is.

I told my older die hard 'cheby' guy about my plans and he rolled his eyes and said why.
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Old 12-08-2018, 02:37 PM
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Interesting reason to swap. Original automatic transmission for 1963 was power glide. Power glide is only 2sp but has reputation for being stronger than TH350. I would think either would allow you to drive as you plan to. I guess I would compare total cost for each and use the one with the steepest first gearing which should be the 2.52 in the TH350 and allow higher freeway gears (numerically lower). Plenty of C3 corvettes came with the TH350 and make good donors for your parts as I see plenty of C3 part outs on Craigslist - not horded like C2's.

I would install a trans cooler with any automatic transmission as heat is the worst enemy of any automatic transmission.

Good luck.
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