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Re: Converting from Manual to Automatic transmission?

From: Kenny J.
Date: January 04, 2001


Well, if that's a V-8 tranny in there, you already have a buyer because I'm looking for one. I have found removing the steering column to be a straight forward project. If you have the shop manual, it is a big help. I couldsend photocopies from mine if you need them. The brake pedal assemby for an automatic is the same. The longer pedal for an automatic will bolt right on. From experience, I can tell you it is easier to remove the hanging pedal bracket from the car to remove the clutch pedal than to try to do so with the bracket still mounted to the dash and firewall. You may be better off changing the entire assembly out from a donor car. Ditto for the steering column. While you have these assemblies out, check the internal bushings and bearings. It would be a good time to rebuild whatever steering column you use before putting the car back together. If you have the original type carburetor for a manual transmission car, you may not have the attachment on the shaft for the Torqueflite mechanical kickdown linkage. This is very important. I can't be sure if the tranny mounts are different betwen a stick or Torqueflite car, but I know that in the case of a '59, the crossmember is the same, so even if the mounts differ from each other, the automatic mount should fit the crossmember itself. I am pretty sure the transmission mounts are still available both new and N.O.S. I believe all '58 engines were internally balanced, so it shouldn't be a problem replacing your stick flywheel with the proper assembly for the Torqueflite's torque converter. I do not know if the starter tooth count varies between a stick and automatic car if all other variables are the same. You may also want to check and see if the Torqueflite cars had additional brackets mounted on the frame for the shifter and kickdown linkages. The parking brake cable may be different since automatics used internal expanding parkingbrakes and the sticks used an external contracting type. You will have to install a radiator that accepts automatic cooling lines, unless you plan to use an external air cooler for your transmission. Rear end gearing was sometimes lower for stick cars since an automatic used a torque converter. As for the push button assembly, I plead ignorance on that subject since I have never serviced or installed one. I will have to leave that aspect to someone with experience with those things. I welcome corrections and opposing opinions to my posting. I hope this information at least gets you started. If you have access to a donor car with a complete Torqueflite setup, all the better. They were (and are) very dependable transmissions.


Last changed: July 19, 2018