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I have a 81 SS El Camino 305 with a factory Saginaw 4 speed. The shifter and linkage causes it to get stuck in 3rd and 4th gear but is actually in reverse. I have had a terrible time locating a new shifter and linkage(as i know these are the issue) due to the year and the one Hurst i have found will cost me $550. Instead of spending that in just the shifter i think id rather stick a Muncie 4 speed in so do not have the Saginaw issues. What i need to know is what kind of Muncie to use and what changes i would need to make or if maybe i should stick with the Saginaw and what kind of shifter i could use
Thanks for all the input
 

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while Muncies are excellent, you'll pay a very premium price for one, if you can find one.
I'd go with a nice T-10. Easier to find, plenty strong for a 305/350, and a lot cheaper than the Muncie. (hint: don't forget to look in 70s-80s 1 ton trucks for one too!)

:nanawrench:
 

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man hats a tough choice, and i am afraid the final choice will depend on your wallet,
if i had the $$ i would go with a muncie m-21 close ratio,,if ya want more zip ya can step up to a tko 5 speed but if your stuck on 4 gears start hitting up cl or ebay they are out there just dig,,,:beer:
 

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The shifters are fairly simple and re-build kits are in-expensive. They come with all the nylon spacers and bushings. I'm not sure how you are getting reverse and either 3rd or 4th since those shift arms are on opposite sides. reverse and either 1st or 2nd would be easier to understand.
Make sure the arms on the transmission are not loose. they have a tendency to work their way loose and then the shifter has to move too much to actually make a change. 1 -2 and 3 - 4 arms stick up, reverse sticks down. On the tranny 3-4 is the front arm, 1 -2 in the middle and reverse is the most rearward arm.
At the bottom of the shifter the arm closest to the tranny is reverse, the middle is 1 -2 and the furthest from tranny is 3 -4.
Put it up on stands and have someone shift it while you watch. Something is loose.

It can be confusing especially laying upside down under the car.
Maybe too much info. Hard to decipher my ramblings this morning.
 

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The shifters are fairly simple and re-build kits are in-expensive. They come with all the nylon spacers and bushings. I'm not sure how you are getting reverse and either 3rd or 4th since those shift arms are on opposite sides. reverse and either 1st or 2nd would be easier to understand.
Make sure the arms on the transmission are not loose. they have a tendency to work their way loose and then the shifter has to move too much to actually make a change. 1 -2 and 3 - 4 arms stick up, reverse sticks down. On the tranny 3-4 is the front arm, 1 -2 in the middle and reverse is the most rearward arm.
At the bottom of the shifter the arm closest to the tranny is reverse, the middle is 1 -2 and the furthest from tranny is 3 -4.
Put it up on stands and have someone shift it while you watch. Something is loose.

It can be confusing especially laying upside down under the car.
Maybe too much info. Hard to decipher my ramblings this morning.
the arms above highlighted in purple are along the front to rear axis of the vehicle, the ones in blue on the side to side axis.

Mr Gasket used to sell steel bushing kits for their shifters (also fit hurst shifters) that took ALL the slop out of the linkage. I used those steel bushings to rebuild the linkage in my column shoift 3 spd manual C 10, worked great!!!



http://www.jegs.com/p/Mr-Gasket/Mr-Gasket-Shifter-Bushings/747146/10002/-1


http://www.jegs.com/i/Hurst/530/332-7302/10002/-1


:poke: :nanawrench:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I checked the linkage rods like you guys suggested(i have a lift at home)and i believe that is defiantly the problem they were extremely loose and almost hanging by the bushing
 

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I had a similar issue of getting stuck between 4th and 3rd on the downshift of the M21 in my Chevelle. After checking many things, re-bushing the linkages, etc, I discovered that a previous owner had bolted the Hurst Shifter on with a very very short bolt in the upper rearward hole. This ended up chipping the bolt hole boss on the case for the first 3 or 4 threads about 5/8" long. Enough so that the bolt wasn't really holding anything (like I said a super short bolt.) A longer bolt was able to grab good threads deeper down, and with a good firm mounting, the problem went away. Something to check. Hope this helps.
 

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If you do decide to swap to a Muncie it's pretty straight forward. You would need to change the clutch, and then bolt it up to your existing bell housing. Should also use your current crossmember. Biggest issue would be trimming the hole in the floor because the muncie is in a little different location. I used a 68-72 A body Hurst shifter. Pretty close to factory location
 
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I agree with an earlier comment that you should be looking for a Super T-10, it is a direct bolt in , like the muncie, is more than strong enough, and is far more accessible than a muncie is.

Though both are direct bolt-ins they only will be so if the trans you get matches the spline count of your existing trans. Otherwise a new clutch disc will be required, also the slip yoke from your saginaw might not work with either as well.

The cost of the shifter you have quoted, as pricey as it is, is significantly less than the swap you are considering, you might be able to come by a tranny for that kind of money (though doubtful you can get a muncie for that), but factor in a new clutch disk, slip yoke, and the fact you will still need a shifter (the saginaw shifter will NOT work with either choice (muncie or T-10) and the few other miscellaneous things that always you will quickly exceed $550
 

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Mr. Gasket shifters are stocked at Advance Auto, they are under $100, they probably have one for saginaws

I would just get another rebuilt Saginaw if you dont wanna buy the shifter, since you aren't putting out torque/hp that would require something stronger. You can easily get one for $100 off craigslist in working order too.

Now if you do swap to a BW or Muncie, be mindful that even though they are around the same length, the shifter mounts in different places. So if you have a bench seat, this may be an issue, since the shifter will pop up from under the bench, rather then a saginaw which is much farther forward.

The only remedy for this would be a "bench bar", which is an arc shaped shift handle to get around the bench.
 

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That's why you use a '68-72 a body shifter, there are no clearance issues with the seat or the dash
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks guys i re-adjusted the shifter correctly and and fixed the slop in the linkage and problem solved!
 

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WTG...always fix the cheapest/easiest stuff first.
You have a lift? I have a jack and stands.
Man...life just ain't fair.:poke:
Congrats on the FIX.:You_Rock:
 

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Congrats, man. A $10 pit pack of shifter bushings is a lot cheaper than a Muncie! :poke:
 
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