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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm converting from column shifter to the horseshoe floor shifter on my '69.How hard is this to do,and do I need some sort of template for drilling holes?I bought the shifter off of ebay and its for the powerglide but my tranny is the TH350 so will I be able to convert the shifter? :confused:
 

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KC,
A horseshoe shifter is the same for TH350/TH400/Powerglide. Give Shiftworks a call or check out their site at the URL yellow69z28-1 posted and get their adaptor kit for converting the PG cable to adapt to your TH350. It's $35.

Then take a look at the middle picture on this page. It shows the dimensions for where the shifter and cable are on the trans tunnel:
http://www.geocities.com/hwystarjoe/index5.html

If your trans tunnel doesn't have the factory nut plates already mounted in those locations, use bolts with lock washers or Nylock nuts.

Good luck!
 

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you don't need a kit all you have to do is grind the metal plate on the shifter so it will slide back into 2 without going into first. If you just use it as is it will work fine as long as you dont atempt to put it back into 2nd from third manually and accidently hit first with a good shift kit you can put it in drive and leave it there

the floor of your car will have dimples where the bolts should go. originally there would be threaded insert but of course a nut under the floor should work you will also have to drill the hole for the shift cable its a few inches in front of the shifter more towards the drivers side

Good Luck
Vic
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the help guys.I will probably be on this website asking a ton of questions if you guys don't mind.Hey what can I say I'm a newbie to this stuff,but I believe in doing the work myself.
 

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Originally posted by Vic_68:
you don't need a kit all you have to do is grind the metal plate on the shifter so it will slide back into 2 without going into first. If you just use it as is it will work fine as long as you dont atempt to put it back into 2nd from third manually and accidently hit first with a good shift kit you can put it in drive and leave it there
Since the factory used the same detent plate for 2 speed and 3 speed I don't see where there would be a problem or a need to grind on it to fix it. Here are the parts that are different...

 

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I just sold one of these last year and I looked at the gates or detents long and hard before selling it. Like Vic says there was only one stop in the gate for drive, the next stop was the bottom which was first gear, that to me is designed specifically for a powerglide, not a three speed automatic. But maybe some of the guys here who run autos can jump in here, I run four speed usually. If going from second to first does require squeezing the release on the shifter then like Vic says you need to modify the gate for a stop between second and third. If second gear stop doesn't require squeezing to get into first and it is a function of the trans input shaft then maybe it's possible there is not suppose to be a stop on the shifter at second. If you don't plan on manually shifting ever, then it will work by just leaving it in drive.
 

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I have seen the detent plates out of a 2 speed and a 3 speed car... They are the same!!! There is only 1 stop and that seperates drive from 2nd or 1st. Three speeds there is no detent between 2nd and 1st. On my overdrive the modified detent plate cuts a detent (stop) between overdrive and drive and the factory stop between drive and sec. Like the 3 speed there is no stop between 2nd and 1st.

My '86 El Camino is the same, a stop between drive and 2nd but nothing between 2nd and 1st. My '96 Z28SS has a stop between OD and Drive but moves freely between drive, 2nd and 1st!!

It's just the way it is!!
 

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KC69camaro
I didn't mean to mislead you if I said something incorrect in my statement above. Keep doing it all yourself and don't let anyone tell you can't do something. I built my first camaro ground up from a piece of junk while in high school everything in the backyard paint interior engine trans susp axle everything. I used pletty of parts people will say don't work together and spent lots of time in junk yards test fitting all sorts of stuff


I run a four speed myself now. I was just giving advice from an experience I had when letting my uncle drive my car with a shift kit(allowing you to go into any gear you want). He tried to shift into 2nd with the shifter in stock PG config he hit 1st then way forward into revese looked the wheels killed the engine ... few month later my trans stopped working( I never bothered to take it apart to see what broke) I went to a four speed saginaw later to a muncie

What is original I have no idea. Original has lots of meanings and interpretations. When I went from my PG to a t350 I didn't need a kit. the t350 was from a 71 monte carlo with the -S- shaped clip on the detent piston on the inside of the trans don't know if this has something to do with it but it worked with the stock pg cable and t350 brakets on the trans

Again good luck with your project
Vic

Dennis
Pretty sure classic camaro had a few different plates and of course others sell one for the 700R4


If I was going to run an auto with the stock shifter I would make a plate that required you to pull up to go into second then release to go back into 1st of forward into 3rd

the plate would look like the trim piece in a Mercedes that goes side to side instead of up and down If that makes any sense
 

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Ive glanced at my shifter over the year Ive owned it, but never really studied it until reading this discussion. Mine is a TH350 original shifter. I snapped this pic since I had it in plain view while painting, in case others are also curious about the detents or 'notches' that the locking plate glides through when you shift it.
Im guessing that the cable and brackets in the tunnel and along the side of the tranny do the downshifting when I 'manually' pull down from 3rd to 2nd and then 1st, since there are no 'dents' for this in the shifter itself. Is that the kit you guys are referring to? Something underneath that does the chore? In photo its in PARK now.

 

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Jim - I marked the shifter positions for each gear. The detent plate only allows the shifter to register the proper gear on the display, locks the shifter in park and doesn't allow you to pull it down into 2nd from drive or back into neutral from drive or reverse from neutral. The tranny actually clicks from gear to gear or position to position.



I think what Vic is doing is is removing some material as shown below to add a stop from 2nd to 1st.



All I was trying to get across in my other posts is the plate is identical for both 2 and 3 speed transmissions.

Adding the step Vic suggests would be good with existing 3 speeds as well as a conversion but doesn't solve the conversion from 2 speed to three. You are adding a another position for the tranny to shift to and you can't reuse the 2 main parts in this little pic
from the powerglide on the th350/400. If you have the parts from the 3 speed no need for the kit. The amount the arm moves between gears on each type tranny prohibits the reuse of them. The part on the left in the little pic moves where the cable casing is held which effects where the end of the cable attaches to the linkage arm (on the right in the little pic) which mounts at a slightly different angle and is just a bit different length.

I fought this with no resolve when I installed the 700r4 from a th400 and tried to reuse the two parts in question from the 3 speed to the 4 speed. I could never get 1st manually until I changed the linkage arm and bracket...

Hey Vic, I learned the hard way, some vendors package the same detent for each, PG, Th350 and Th400. I guess that's so the customer gets what he wants... ;)
 

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Dennis
Great pics that is exactly what I was tring to describe. But it is still posible to pull too far an hit first. I wish I had a digital camera handy I would draw an improved version of the detent plate that would also go above the bar as seen in the park position in your first pic this modification would make the shifter much more foolproof.

Thanks
Vic
 

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Dennis nice job on the pics. Yes it seems there is definitely no "stop" between first and second just the internal "detent" built into the trans input shaft inside the trans. Seems like grinding a stop for second gear stop like you show on the second pic would certainly be a good idea.

Please read my post again. I said it seemed like it was designed for a two speed, not a three speed but not being certain I wondered if the only safety is the detent inside the trans or if there was a shifter with a stop for a three speed. After looking at the service manual you are absolutely correct there is only one shifter for the 2 or 3 speed.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok so what you are saying is that the conversion kit really isn't needed if I have the linkage on the th350.Are you saying that the shifters are the same with the powerglide and the 3 spd it is the linkage on the tranny that is different?Bare with me I'm a newb.OK right now I have a column setup with the linkage set for the column.Do I need to buy the conversion kit since my car didn't originally come equipped with the floor shifter?
Also I know the linkage on my th350 used to be in a firebird with the floor shifter so the linkage probably doesn't change right?Also do you think I can use the shift cable from that firebird.The bird was also a '69.Thanks for all the great help in advance.I expected some replies but I didn't expect pictures and the works.You guy's kick a**
 

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The thanks goes to Jim (click) for the pic, I just scribbled on it. KC - that is correct, if you have the 350 parts no kit is needed. The nice thing about the kit is if you don't have the 350/400 parts you can get everything new in kit form, no scrounging around for washers, mounting stud, retainer clips, cotter pins and nuts along with the linkage arm and cable positioner bracket.

SY1 - From a safety view point the downshift from 2 - 1 and in modern times 3 - 2 - 1 doesn't seem to be a GM concern.

Vic - You could make a killing making a kit that uses the horseshoe handle but allows slamming gears with out over shifting or hitting the wrong gear on a down shift.
 

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I believe that one will work fine. Make sure it moves freely (no binding) in the casing and has not frayed anywhere. Strech seems to be the biggest problem with old cables.

If you can get to Joe's site (thanks Geocities) for installation measurments your good to go... When you have it installed and are ready to hook the cable to the tranny shift arm (last step of installation) put the shifter in the neutral position (might need a second set of hands to hold it there) then get under the car and shift the tranny by hand into neutral. If the hole in the end of the cable doesn't push on and off the pin perfectly then adjustment needs to be made. On the left arm of the shifter right at the base is a nut you can loosen to make the adjustment. With it loose see if you can pull or push on the end of the cable so it lines up and goes on the pin. Once you get that done tighten the nut back up and your good to go. If the cable is streched you may not acomplish this perfectly. The better the hole and pin line up in neutral the better your shifter will work...
 
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