Need some advice

Early A-Body Discussions

  1. racepaul

    racepaul Member

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    I have a1964 Dart convertible that has a slant 6 with a 3 speed on the floor. I have been looking to put a 273 V8 in it for a while and came across one with a 904 transmission as a package deal. When I bought the car it came with an extra 4 speed transmission, bell housing and hump for the floor.
    I like the thought of an automatic for two reasons easier to drive and the wife would be more likely to drive the car. Part of me likes the 4 speed for nostalgic reasons and probably easier to make work.
    Questions
    What needs to be done to install the automatic?
    Do I go with a floor shift or look for a push button assembly?
    Is either better for the V8?
    The car was originally a three on the tree.
    This is not a high HP motor just a stock 273 non commando.
    Thanks
    Paul
     
  2. Dartswinger70

    Dartswinger70 I been North I been East to the California beach

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    I would put a cable operated aftermarket floor shift in it just because its easy straight forward and affordable /available. you'll also need a radiator with the trans cooler or an external trans cooler. You could leave the clutch pedal setup in it and just "floor" the clutch pedal. That would leave provisions to switch it back to manual. Youll ned a flexplate Oh and kickdown linkage for the throttle at the carb and I think that's about it.
     
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    • 65 Dartman

      65 Dartman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      You will likely need the “V8” centerlink, which has a drop in it to clear the oil pan. Finding a 64 V8 push button 904 might not be the easiest
       
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      • mopar head

        mopar head Well-Known Member

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        May need a different driveshaft too? not certain.
         
      • Cuda416

        Cuda416 Well-Known Member

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        I believe the 904 and the three speed put the end of the transmission in the right place if the slip yoke D/S is retained. When we did ours we opted to use the newer style and got one from a 69 dart shortened.
         
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        • 67Dart273

          67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          I would not use a push button under any conditions something you want to drive. They are simply too old and no parts. I agree, an aftermarket auto shifter. Something you need to be aware of---all 273's and 318's up to 68? had the so called "small converter bore" in the crank. A later trans with a big converter snout will not fit the 273. I guess there are ways around it but an early converter may not be compatible with some later trans "I believe"

          Frankly the car is set up with clutch pedal already, I would stick the 4 speed in. It may not have the 4 speed floor hump you'd have to deal with that
           
        • Professor Fate

          Professor Fate Push the button, Max...

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          It all depends on what year 273/904 you're getting.
          Your car uses a ball & trunion driveshaft. 904s up through '65 also used a ball & trunion output shaft. '66 and later used a slip yoke. Use of a later 904 in your car would require a new driveshaft in addition to some of the mods listed above. You will also need the early A body V8 cable operated pedal and throttle linkage, and the transmission kickdown linkage. Your '64 with a slant has a rod style throttle linkage that is incompatible with a V8.
          If it's a later 904, you can put a floor shifter in it, or swap in a '66 automatic column if you want to have column shift. The columns come in 2 different lengths- one for manual steering and a shorter one for power steering.
          If it's the earlier 904 you'll have to locate the proper pushbutton assembly and cables, and the proper dash trim.
          Aftermarket cable operated floor shifters are not compatible with the early transmissions- they're generally designed for the later model ones.
           
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          • KosmicKuda

            KosmicKuda FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            How committed is your wife to driving the car? If she is not very enthusiastic then I would not go to all the trouble of building a car she will seldom drive. I have a local Barracuda Buddy with 3 show quality 1969 Barracudas, all automatics. The green car, that he got in 1972, was recently rebuilt for her. Unfortunately, he got a little carried away and she has not driven it a single time. But she does go to all the shows with him.

            If you decide to go automatic:
            1964 was the last year for push button shifters and is not worth duplicating. The transmissions are PB specific. I'd probably source a factory 1965 automatic floor shift and adapt from there. Somehow a B&M or other after market shifter does not seem right for this car based on your goals. What about seats? If you have a bench, a floor mount auto is not right either. A 4 speed bench would be ok.
            1964 transmissions used a ball and trunnion output. Does your car retain the B&T? A floor mount 3 speed was not available in 64 so you need to figure out what was done there. Rather than "floor" the clutch pedal, it is not difficult to swap in an autonaic pedal assy.

            4 speed with 273:
            Does your 4 speed have the B&T output?
            Is the floor hump configured with the 64-65 round hole? Not a requirement.
            The early 273 used the small bellhousing for the little 9-1/4" clutch, weakest item in the whole drivetrain.
            Cooling system.
            Center link.
            Drive shaft.
            Shift linkage.
            Kickdown linkage.

            ******

            I'm changing over to a 4 speed in my 64 Val convertible retaining the /6 so Im going through this. Original 3-on-the-tree. I don't have a build thread but it has been challenging. Ready to put the engine and trans in early next week. (after Woodward)

            Edit: I see Professor Fate is on the same page.
             
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            • AJ/FormS

              AJ/FormS 68 B'cuda fb, Form S clone ... 367/A833/3.55s FABO Gold Member

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              automatic;
              the swap couldn't be easier.
              Either way you will need a shifter, and the slanty bell will not fit the 273 and yur gonna need a clutch and flywheel. plus a TO fork at the least, AND don't forget; the slanty pedal-ratio is not the same as the V8. So all that is starting to add up.
               
            • cudamark

              cudamark FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              To get specific advice, we'd need to know the year of each component, and if the engine came from an automatic or manual trans application.
               
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