View Full Version : Transmission: Auto trans for '63 Lark

07-27-2017, 12:35 AM
My wagonaire has three on the tree, which is getting loose and is a real hassle to wrestle with. After 15 miles or so, going into 3 rd gear from 2nd is grinding gears. I want to change it.
My question is: does anyone have experience in replacing my manual trans with o/d to a modern auto trans that will be an easy (relatively) swap out?
If so, what needs to be replaced? (Drive shaft, bell housing etc etc.) Does the x member chassis present any particular problem?

thanks mucho, in advance.


07-27-2017, 01:13 AM
Here is a write up on a 200r4 conversion in an Avanti. It also has the X-frame. Pro/Cons and cost.. Looks like the drive shaft was lengthen. Doing the swap with the engine in car with an X-Frame may require a few sentence enhancers, but do able.


07-27-2017, 01:30 AM
I know it's pretty common to swap to a GM 200-4r or 700-r4 automatic overdrive. There are adapter plates available for the swap. I'm planning this swap in my GT. I'll be using the 700r4, I'll get it next month. I expect to have to change or modify the drive shaft and do some wireing for the converter lockup as well as a cable linkage for the throttle position valve in the trans. I don't anticipate any real problem with frame interferance or anything like that, but will probably need to make a rear trans mount. There was no problem when we put a turbo 350 auto in my dads '53 coupe.

There are also adapters available to use a modern OD 4 speed. It's likely with any non factory swap a drive shaft change/mod and a rear mount mod will need to be made.

Mrs K Corbin
07-27-2017, 07:44 AM
STOP! before you condemn the 3 speed, check to see if the rubber Bushings on the linkage are missing or deteriorated.

I once sold a 57/56 (Johnny Cash Style) Commander that had this exact issue. The day I sold it, I figured out what was wrong and fixed it before the buyer got there.
However I had already promised the car, so it was sold.
I miss that car.

41 Frank
07-27-2017, 08:42 AM
If the fixes mentioned here fail and you need a transmission.The most economical way to get your transmission operating properly is to purchase an exchange 3 speed transmission from SDC member Jerry Kurtz. He can also rebuild yours.

07-27-2017, 03:15 PM
STOP! before you condemn the 3 speed, check to see if the rubber Bushings on the linkage are missing or deteriorated.

Could be he would like the Auto transmission not only for the overdrive, but not having to shift..shift..shift..shift..shift..shift..shift..shift..shift.. on CA freeways and roads due to heavy traffic.

Last year I took one of my car that was stick, to a car event.

Started off in Point Mugu and Went through Mulholland Hills where it was a blast shifting, then ended up on the '1' off to our next rally point, Point Vincent Lighthouse, unfortunately that is Lincoln Blvd where I shifted more times than I care to count just to get through one light.