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Discussion Starter #41
I’m declaring victory.

I haven’t actually driven the car yet, but I did run it through all of the gears and confirmed that the reverse lockout solenoid and reverse lights all do their thing while up on jack stands. I’m using a GPS sender for my speedometer so I was able to skip that step.

But anyway, the car is on the ground and everything seems to be working correctly. I did pull it forward in the garage just a few inches under its own power, as dummy-me forgot to set the parking brake when I let it off the stands and it rolled back just enough to keep the garage door from closing. I guess I need to remember there’s no “Park” position any longer.

I would have kept going this evening and made it drivable tonight but I’m waiting on more Kilmat to show up so I can cover the new center console. I’m putting brand new seatbelts in also and I don’t want to mess with them and the carpet twice. So now it sits in the garage waiting for sound deadener, carpet, seatbelts, and seats to go in. Should be a quick process.

Funny thing is that once it’s all back together I still need to build the center console. This whole thing started a few weeks ago when I bought some materials for the console and took a long hard look at the automatic floor shifter. Oh well...
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Discussion Starter #43
How did you get your magnetic base exactly centered on the crank?
It doesn’t have to be centered. It just needs to be fixed an unmoving. Once the dial indicator is pointed at the circle it doesn’t care how far away it is. It is only measuring movement relative to its own position.
 

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Right! I remembered about a minute after I posted that. It's been a long time since I've done it.
Thanks!

You are doing a nice job on your install btw.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
On a side note, I discovered a VERY easy way to fill the transmission today.
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Discussion Starter #46
My sound deadener didn’t show up until about 4;00 this afternoon. But I jumped on it and got the tunnel covered. To install the carpet I merely cut the front piece right down the center. I knew there was no way it would be even close to fitting with the new transmission tunnel and I was right. There’s about a 3” gap right up the center now. I’ve been told that a Camaro front carpet will fit over the new tunnel, but since my plan is to cover it with a center console I really don’t care. I’ll lace it together to keep it from sagging then I’ll be golden. Anyway, seats are back in and the new seatbelts are in. But now I need to go take care of my father in law so no drive until tomorrow.
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Wow, you are moving right along. I'll be interested in your first impressions. Had an acquaintance just install a T56 Magnum in a '64 Malibu SS and he thought it was a little noisy. He asked me if I heard anything coming from the one in my '55 Bel Air. Nope, mine is and always has been perfectly quiet.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Wow, you are moving right along. I'll be interested in your first impressions. Had an acquaintance just install a T56 Magnum in a '64 Malibu SS and he thought it was a little noisy. He asked me if I heard anything coming from the one in my '55 Bel Air. Nope, mine is and always has been perfectly quiet.
Yeah; looking forward to driving it. Sadly, I already know my rear gears are wrong for this transmission. When I put the TH400 in I put 3.00 gears in the new rear. And the car ran really great with that combination. Right now I expect that I will only be using four gears, or maybe five until I re-gear. I’m leaning toward either 3.70 or 3.89, but I’m still juggling mental marbles. In any event, I hope it’s not a noisemaker.
 

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I have the original version of the wide ratio that has a 2.97 first and a .50 6th. I have 3.55 gears in my Bel Air. I really do like it but sometimes I think going 3.70 might have been a little better. I think I read on another thread that yours is also a wide but it is the newer version with the .63 6th.

Actually, my 3.55 with the .50 .6th is a litte higher final gear than your 3.00 X .63.
My Ramjet 350 has a lot of low end torque though and can handle the low rpms on the highway really well. I get around 25 mpg with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Stuck four 10-24 NutSerts into the tunnel and mounted the shifter boot this morning. And most importantly, I got the correct insert so that Mr. R. Fink is now back in his rightful place. I’ve go to go into work for a few hours but plan on driving it as soon as I get back home. Stand by for the next post...
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Discussion Starter #51
Well... I’m happy. This transmission shifts so smoothly. The closest thing I could compare it to is a new Camaro SS that I drove a few months ago. And it’s quiet. No gear noise whatsoever.

I drove it around town for a while but didn’t get out on the freeway. I did manage to get it up to 60 for a short bit and clicked it into sixth gear. It would cruise there, but was only turning about 1,200 RPM. I’d definitely not try to accelerate hard from that low rev area. So now I need to decide on rear gears. The quandary there is that the more useful I make the overdrive gears, the less useful I make first and second. Right now with the 3.00 gears I can break the tires loose at will in first without any effort at all. In second I may have to stab it a bit harder, but the tires won’t hold there either. So what to do?

Anyway, after my jaunt around town I came home and laced up the carpet over the tunnel so it’ll stay put. Until I build the center console I think a couple of hand towels will look just fine on top of the tunnel.
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Well that is some pretty good news. I'm sure you are excited.

Sounds like maybe you don't need to go as steep as 3.70 if it's that usable in 6th with the 3.00. 3.50 maybe?

I'd drive it the way it is for a while before deciding.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
Well that is some pretty good news. I'm sure you are excited.

Sounds like maybe you don't need to go as steep as 3.70 if it's that usable in 6th with the 3.00. 3.50 maybe?

I'd drive it the way it is for a while before deciding.
Yeah. I was surprised at just how well it accelerated with the 3.00’s. I’m definitely not going to swap anything without a lot more driving and research. Plus this swap kicked the crapsky out of my play-budget so I’ll not want to hit it again for a couple of months. For now I’m just happy that everything seems to be working well. This is probably the first project in a long time that came with no real surprises. My hat is off to Modern Driveline for putting together such a well engineered kit.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
I've now driven the car in all situations. While it's "acceptable" with the 3.00 rear gears, it really needs more to make 6th gear useful. After a lot of driving, steady cruising, note taking, and gear ratio calculating I've settled on a 3.70 ratio. A quick phone call to Strange to confirm my setup and gears are ordered.

Last time I set up a ring and pinion was in a Chevrolet 12-bolt with shims and a crush sleeve. I swore I'd never do it again. But the 9" uses shims for pinion preload and threaded collars for ring preload/runout so I'm going to give it a whirl. Now I'll at least know if investing in that 9" rear was worth it.

I just hope I don't completely lose the use of first gear with the 3.70 gears. With the 3.00 gears it's good for tire smoke at any speed at will in first and easy enough to produce the same with some thought in second. We'll see.

More to follow....
 

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Drive to Irwindale and meet up with Robert (HkdUp87) and Dale (Novelle)
They have a fix for 9" rear ends that spin the tires.
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Discussion Starter #56
Drive to Irwindale and meet up with Robert (HkdUp87) and Dale (Novelle)
They have a fix for 9" rear ends that spin the tires.
View attachment 130318
Exactly! I WAS running drag radials at first. Certainly not as sticky as those wrinklies, but I suspect I’ll be returning to another set once these Cooper Cobras give up the ghost.
 

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I've now driven the car in all situations. While it's "acceptable" with the 3.00 rear gears, it really needs more to make 6th gear useful. After a lot of driving, steady cruising, note taking, and gear ratio calculating I've settled on a 3.70 ratio. A quick phone call to Strange to confirm my setup and gears are ordered.

Last time I set up a ring and pinion was in a Chevrolet 12-bolt with shims and a crush sleeve. I swore I'd never do it again. But the 9" uses shims for pinion preload and threaded collars for ring preload/runout so I'm going to give it a whirl. Now I'll at least know if investing in that 9" rear was worth it.

I just hope I don't completely lose the use of first gear with the 3.70 gears. With the 3.00 gears it's good for tire smoke at any speed at will in first and easy enough to produce the same with some thought in second. We'll see.

More to follow....
It sure depends on torque curve, rear tire size and what you will use the car for for your choice.
As I say, I like my Bel Air with a 3.55 and even with the .50 6th, It's a good highway only gear for gas mileage and sound. I built the car to be a good highway car and feel I haven't given anything up off the line. Street tires are all I will ever run with the car.
My Ramjet engine has even better low end torque numbers than a stock LS3. I can say that because I've seen dyno graphs and first hand knowledge driving my Corvette with a stock LS3. The 2.97 first with the 3.55 rear seems like a good combination to me too. But for not knowing any of those things I mentioned in my first sentence, I can't advise you to go with a 3.50 instead but hope it may help you to hear what I've said about mine.
I will say one thing though. I do not think you will waste first at all with a 2.97 and 3.70 is that is what you end up getting. 10.99 total multiplication would be the same as a wide Muncie 4spd with 4.32 rear gears. A 3.50 rear would be the same as a Muncie with a 4.09 rear gear in first.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
It sure depends on torque curve, rear tire size and what you will use the car for for your choice.
As I say, I like my Bel Air with a 3.55 and even with the .50 6th, It's a good highway only gear for gas mileage and sound. I built the car to be a good highway car and feel I haven't given anything up off the line. Street tires are all I will ever run with the car.
My Ramjet engine has even better low end torque numbers than a stock LS3. I can say that because I've seen dyno graphs and first hand knowledge driving my Corvette with a stock LS3. The 2.97 first with the 3.55 rear seems like a good combination to me too. But for not knowing any of those things I mentioned in my first sentence, I can't advise you to go with a 3.50 instead but hope it may help you to hear what I've said about mine.
I will say one thing though. I do not think you will waste first at all with a 2.97 and 3.70 is that is what you end up getting. 10.99 total multiplication would be the same as a wide Muncie 4spd with 4.32 rear gears. A 3.50 rear would be the same as a Muncie with a 4.09 rear gear in first.
My mental coin toss had me first going between 3.40, 3.50, 3.70, and 3.89. The car makes peak torque of 581 Lbs.’ at 4,100 RPM. The builder told me my lowest cruise RPM should be right at 2K. In driving the car around I felt the lowest it was happy was just barely under 2K. It really wanted more like 2,100. The 3.70’s get me right there in 5th at my normal driving speeds in 55 zones and in 6th at my normal speed in 70 zones. I really looked hard at the 3.50 numbers. While they were so close, the 3.70’s just hit it right. I figured that I built this car for fun so I’d be happier making the ever-so-slight error on the performance side instead of on the mileage side of the equation.
And what the heck: if I want to change them again they’ll be making gear sets for a while longer. ;-)
 
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