Justin Friel, Henderson, Nevada,
1965 El Camino
, Web Site

Info on his 4 speed swap

From the El Camino List 3/11/07


 All in, runnin good. No major issues, just a bunch of lil stuff now I have to go through, like covering up the gaping hole in the floor boards I can crawl through...lol

Per JC's request, I have included a detailed parts list for those wanting to do a manual tranny swap in your factory automatic Elky... most of this is geared (pun, haha) toward the Muncie tranny I threw in mine and my experiences so I may have missed a few things. This can be a bit long and boring, but for the first timer, this will help a lot.

The Muncie tranny is the same length as the "slip-n-slide" powerglide and the TH350, no mods to the driveline or crossmember needed. My headers worked fine, I remember a few people said they had issues with pipes in the way, I didn't and these are run of the mill headers. The speedo cable on mine was about 4 inches short. The Muncie speedo is opposite sides and I prolly could have yanked and cranked the end in there, but it would be a very hard crease and stretch in the cable, I didn't risk it. I will see if I can get a short extension or something. ( I didn't measure the full length either)


-easy to change, one fat pin up under the dash where spine and neck injuries could occur if under there too long. And one smaller, similar pin for the master cylinder rod to go to the brake pedal (this one brings on a lot of cussing when trying to install it). The fat pin has bushings where the metal meet up under there and may as well grease them up.

*You can use the stock brake pedal if ya have to and slide a clutch pedal up through it all, but ya gotta shave a lil off the brake pad on each side or the clutch pedal will rub.*

I did notice the clutch assemb. brake lever and stock auto. brake lever did have (not much) different angles, but easy to adjust for braking activation.
-you'll need to drill a 1 1/4" (mainly for travel) hole for the clutch pedal rod on the firewall near the steering shaft. This rod gets a cotter pin type deal and installed on one side of the z-bar.

-You'll need the ball stud (greased up) that bolts to the engine block and a bracket on the other side that bolts (supposed to weld it) to the frame. I made a custom one outta stainless steel, resto shops do have them for about
25 bucks...)
-you'll need a clutch fork rod for the other side of the z-bar, and it just sits in the dimple of the clutch fork. This will be something that will need to be adjusted after everything is installed, this rod adjustment determines how quick your clutch fork engages the pressure plate when you hit the clutch pedal.

-Instead of turning the old one, I just went and bought a new one. It was 10 bux more... I had a 153 tooth flexplate, and had to buy the 168 tooth flywheel coz of core charges. I just had to buy a different starter to match the flywheel.

-I bought all new stuff too, just coz its only goin in once...
In the kit was a new pressure plate, clutch disk (there is a flywheel side and pressure plate side, and its marked) clutch alignment tool, pilot bearing, throw out bearing and the INSTRUCTIONS.
-The pilot bearing IS NOT IDIOT PROOF, it will go in both ways, but only one way IS CORRECT... INSTRUCTIONS they make a tool to do this, highly recommended for installing, grabbing the 13/16" deep socket and pounding it in can knock it outta shape and the tranny wont shove into it... causing more cussing.
-Same with the throw-out bearing, its gotta face the correct way...

So the shopping list is as follows:
Tranny, bellhousing, manual shifter, clutch pedal assembly, clutch pedal rod, z-bar, z-bar bracket, z-bar ball stud, clutch fork rod, clutch fork, throw-out bearing, pressure plate, clutch disk and tool, flywheel and pilot bearing.

It seemed like a huge job at first...well actually, it was... but it went smoothly and its another lesson in the books. You sure see in your head what goes on every time you bang them gears too.