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saginaw 4 speed

 
69_velle_
My first time was in a Chevy
Posts: 147
Joined: 06/09
Posted: 12/26/09 01:03 PM

i was wondering if anyone has ran a saginaw 4speed? are they strong? i can get one cheap and would rather run that then spend the money on a muncie if the saginaw can handle sum power? let me know thanx  

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idrivejunk
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 5119
Joined: 12/09
Posted: 12/26/09 01:23 PM

I have! In a 71 Ventura. Sadly, my report is not good.

With a stock 350 Chevy and a Q-Jet, I had to keep three transmissions in a rotation and constantly have one being rebuilt. I could break one on purpose. Laying on the gas and dumping the clutch for the 1-2 shift could turn one into a box of rocks.

Just my experience. Shoulda kept my Saginaw 3 speed, those are a different story.  
idrivejunk

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tuffnuff
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Posts: 7841
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Posted: 12/26/09 01:35 PM

Simply put 69,,, 4 forward gears plus reverse was stacked in a case the length of a muncie or Super T-10
Muncies and S T-10's have reverse in the extension housing,,, bigger/wider gears.

Smile  
When The Flag Drops.,.

tuffnuff

The Bull ***t Stops.,.
tuffnuff

P. Engineer, Engine Builder

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69_velle_
My first time was in a Chevy
Posts: 147
Joined: 06/09
Posted: 12/26/09 02:39 PM

ok well i have a buddy who says he is runnin a saginaw 4speed and he said he never had  a problem with it and he has a nice built motor the one im gunna get is a iron case i was jus wonderin if they really can handle power i hear ppl say they can then cant guess i will have to find out for myself thanx guys  

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idrivejunk
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 5119
Joined: 12/09
Posted: 12/26/09 02:47 PM

My rebuilder might have been stringing me along, you never know.

Hindsight is always 20/20!  
idrivejunk

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tuffnuff
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Posts: 7841
Joined: 12/09
Posted: 12/26/09 05:30 PM

69
Saginaws will handle quite a bit of power, horse power that is.
Torque is what the small tranny doesn't stand up to very well,,,
especially with big sticky tires that glue power to the ground.
IF,,, you preload your drive line before you launch,,, the Saginaw should hold up ok with mouse power,,, unless you insist on sidestepping the clutch at every red lite with Banzai starts.
I wouldn't even consider the small box with 383, 400 or BB Rat power.

Smile  
When The Flag Drops.,.

tuffnuff

The Bull ***t Stops.,.
tuffnuff

P. Engineer, Engine Builder

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Pontiacman2
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Posts: 8956
Joined: 09/08
Posted: 12/27/09 07:11 AM

+1  
Pontiacman2
Pontiacman2

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69_velle_
My first time was in a Chevy
Posts: 147
Joined: 06/09
Posted: 12/27/09 07:51 PM

ok sounds like i want a high rpm motor and low gears with this tranny?  

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tuffnuff
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Posts: 7841
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Posted: 12/27/09 08:43 PM

69,,,
The Saginaw is a cast iron box that comes with low gears already.
There are at least 4 different 1st gear ratios that came in the Saginaw 4 speeds. You can (usually) tell the ratio by the number of rings around the input shaft.

1 ring is a 2.54

0 rings is a 2.89

2 rings is a 3.11

3 rings is a 3.50

that was just a quick way to tell what you are looking at.
They were used in everything from Trucks to Vegas,,, were also used in the corporate equivalent cars.
With hi winding Small Block power, you should be fine with the Saginaw as long as you're not sidestepping the clutch at 5 grand,,, with monster tires hooking up.

Smile  
When The Flag Drops.,.

tuffnuff

The Bull ***t Stops.,.
tuffnuff

P. Engineer, Engine Builder

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69_velle_
My first time was in a Chevy
Posts: 147
Joined: 06/09
Posted: 12/27/09 09:40 PM

ok i got the 3.50 first gear thanx for the info tuff Wink  

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tuffnuff
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Posts: 7841
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Posted: 12/27/09 10:11 PM

You bet 69,,,
With that 3.50 gear multiplication you can safely run a cammed small block because you purposely shifted your power from bottom end, to mid range/top end with your cammed build. Use street tires with this gear box, this is very important.
These are real nice trannies for cheap, and hold up well, unless abused regularly.
I have rebuilt many 4 gears over the years and once a transmission crunches gears,,, the teeth fall down, between the slider and cluster below,,, the case spreads and It's never the same box again.
This goes for Muncies and Super T-10's too,,, not just the weaker Saginaws.
The argument is the same for the "weaker" TH-350 vs. the "stronger" TH-400,,,
how many TH-350's have you blown up lately,,, heard of any blow,,, lately.
If and when you do it's abuse/heat or they are miled out.
go ahead, you'll be OK until you can afford a Super T-10 <--- better gearing than Muncie and just as strong or stronger with more bolts in the side cover which is the weak spot area.

Smile  
When The Flag Drops.,.

tuffnuff

The Bull ***t Stops.,.
tuffnuff

P. Engineer, Engine Builder

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chevelle83
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
Posts: 2280
Joined: 11/09
Posted: 12/30/09 06:13 PM

I have a saginaw 4 speed in my 70 chevelle (that I rebuilt myself) , with a mild 350. It is the wide ratio with 3.50 first gear.  One problem with the low first gear is It will be almost like (granny) gear if your rear is any lower than 3.42.  My car has a 3.08 rear and it is in my opinion the best street driver combo. You have a low first to get it movin easy when your in traffic and good enough for a launch occasionally.  

  I drive my car like it is stolen quite often with no tranny issues. dont forget you gotta get the hurst competition plus shifter I have never missed a gear with mine  

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tuffnuff
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Posts: 7841
Joined: 12/09
Posted: 12/30/09 06:34 PM

chevelle,,,
The Hurst Competition Plus shifter has 2 "shift throw stops" in the shifter,,,
one in the front for 1'st, 3'rd and reverse,,,
and one in the back for 2'nd and 4'th.
these stops prevent OVER shifts when you are "pounding" gears,,,
the shift arms only travel until stopped by the adjustable bolt stops.
Without these "stops" your internal shifter forks would absorb the overshift,,, something they were not designed for. These forks break after such repeated abuse.
Hope that clears the fog on Hurst Shifters.

Smile  
When The Flag Drops.,.

tuffnuff

The Bull ***t Stops.,.
tuffnuff

P. Engineer, Engine Builder

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p2-72chevelle383
I mow my lawn and find Chevys
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Posted: 12/30/09 06:58 PM

definatly no muncie.  
p2-72chevelle383

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tuffnuff
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Posted: 12/30/09 07:29 PM

p2,,,
I will share a secret with you.
The Muncie is heralded as the best 4 speed out there.
I say,,, sure, with tongue in cheek.
The Ford toploader and Chrysler corporation boxes are both stronger 4 speeds.
The Borg Warner Super T-10 is every bit as strong as the Muncie and in the side cover area even stronger (more bolts)
chevelle83 will be ok until he finds a better 4 speed,,,, cheap Smile

Smile  
When The Flag Drops.,.

tuffnuff

The Bull ***t Stops.,.
tuffnuff

P. Engineer, Engine Builder

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