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1960 Lark VIII Trans Rebuild?

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  • Transmission / Overdrive: 1960 Lark VIII Trans Rebuild?

    How difficult is it to rebuild 3 speed the manual trans from a 1960 Lark? What trans was in there stock? Was there an OD option? Was there an AT option that bolts in? If I do this right, I want the car to be a decent little DD that will hit 55-60 on the highway comfortably.

    if I am out of my mind in thinking about rebuilding it myself, just tell me lol
    Last edited by cultural infidel; 02-13-2014, 12:45 PM.
    1960 Lark VIII Regal Wagon


  • #2
    There are probably a number of those trannys out there that people might be more than happy to part with - unless you really wanted to get into rebuilding it. Three speed is the T86 and it did have the OD as an option. Flight-o-Matic was also an option. With OD, 55 is probably lopping along - Dad's '53 V8/OD had a 4.56 rear and at 90 mph he said the tach would show around 3000 rpms (he liked to drive a little fast when he was younger )

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    • #3
      The transmission in your car could be a straight 3 speed, 3 speed with overdrive or an automatic transmission. A standard transmission isn't all that tough to rebuild, but if you don't have the correct tools, the shop manual for your car and a source for parts, a transmission rebuild is best left to a shop that specializes in standard transmissions. An auto transmission swap can be done if you can obtain all of the parts, drop the engine oil pan to swap the flywheel bolts for shorter ones that bolt to the flex plate and dial indicate the alignment dowels in the back of the block to the auto transmission bellhousing. Otherwise leave the 3 speed in the car or find an overdrive transmission to swap for the straight 3 speed. Also what engine is in the car as an automatic transmission hooked to a 6 cylinder engine isn't the greatest as far as acceleration and it could lower the gas mileage a bit. Bud

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Bud View Post
        The transmission in your car could be a straight 3 speed, 3 speed with overdrive or an automatic transmission. A standard transmission isn't all that tough to rebuild, but if you don't have the correct tools, the shop manual for your car and a source for parts, a transmission rebuild is best left to a shop that specializes in standard transmissions. An auto transmission swap can be done if you can obtain all of the parts, drop the engine oil pan to swap the flywheel bolts for shorter ones that bolt to the flex plate and dial indicate the alignment dowels in the back of the block to the auto transmission bellhousing. Otherwise leave the 3 speed in the car or find an overdrive transmission to swap for the straight 3 speed. Also what engine is in the car as an automatic transmission hooked to a 6 cylinder engine isn't the greatest as far as acceleration and it could lower the gas mileage a bit. Bud

        I'm still thinking about the automatic. The wagon currently has the original v8 in it.
        1960 Lark VIII Regal Wagon

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        • #5
          OK,if you follow the manual closely and WATCH your FINGERS the manual trans is doable. parts are around and you will need some snap ring pliers, get the stout ones. if any bearings are suspect replace them now , if trans is grumbly in neutral, engine running, replace counter shaft bearings. Good Luck Doofus

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          • #6
            Well, my '60 wagon with the flathead six in it, 4.27 rear, 3spd and OD does 60-65 fine at around 2600rpm. It's rattly and noisy at 65, but smooth. The noise and such is more likely due to it being a station wagon with the original suspension, replacement shocks and no front sway bar than because the engine's struggling.

            My vote is, look for a sound 3sp w/od and install that. It'll work great and be one less restoration hassle for you. Of course, that is if it originally had 3spd o/d in it. Otherwise you'll need the cabling, kickdown switch and brackets to add the OD lever in the car.

            Plus, I like the idea that a 3 speed manual column shift is a 21st Century anti-theft system in and of itself, except of course for 50 year old and older car thieves.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by cultural infidel View Post
              How difficult is it to rebuild 3 speed the manual trans from a 1960 Lark? What trans was in there stock? Was there an OD option? Was there an AT option that bolts in? If I do this right, I want the car to be a decent little DD that will hit 55-60 on the highway comfortably.

              if I am out of my mind in thinking about rebuilding it myself, just tell me lol
              Why do you need to rebuild? noisy, gears grinding?? They are rather simple to build, just get all the new bearings lined up first and change the synchros at the same time. A couple hours work once out. Follow the shop manual, keep some petroleum jelly around to hold loose rollers in place and some beer to wash it off your hands. Have fun!!!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by karterfred88 View Post
                Why do you need to rebuild? noisy, gears grinding?? They are rather simple to build, just get all the new bearings lined up first and change the synchros at the same time. A couple hours work once out. Follow the shop manual, keep some petroleum jelly around to hold loose rollers in place and some beer to wash it off your hands. Have fun!!!
                I mainly thought about rebuilding it since it has sat for so long. It may be perfectly fine. But I guess that I am asking in case it ends up being something that needs to be done.
                1960 Lark VIII Regal Wagon

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