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Powerflite to Torqueflite conversion?

From: Adam Smith
Remote Name:
Date: June 19, 2003


I've got a '55 Chrysler New Yorker with, of course, a Powerflite transmission. It's been losing fluid too fast since I bought it due to a bad main seal (which the previous owner did tell me about). I can order a new seal kit or a full rebuild kit, but either way I have to completely remove the transmission, and depending on the difficulty, I'd prefer to install a later-model Torqueflite. A few companies offer an adapter plate to connect the 331 hemi to a 316-360 Torqueflite, and since they come in 3-speed plus overdrive configurations, I'd get an incredible improvement in performance and more importantly fuel economy. Actually installing the transmission is something I can figure out (meaning crossmember, any sheetmetal work that might be needed), but shifting, kickdown, and driveshaft alterations are foreign concepts to me. I think the main thing I'm concerned with is shifting. While I'd like to keep the dash-mounted shift lever, it lacks a "Park" position and since the '55 parking brake is transmission-mounted, I would definitely need that. How difficult would it be to adjust the kickdown linkage? Does it have to be done at the carburetor? Aside from that, how complicated or expensive is driveshaft alteration? What I may decide to do is get a '56 Torqueflite. They lack an overdrive, but aside from the push-button shifting and 354 engine, they were essentially installed in the same type of car. This route would let me continue to drive the car (and add ATF to it) while I rebuild a '56 transmission. Does anyone know what the specific differences in installation and mounting are between '55 and '56? I also read that there was a factory-offered conversion kit for late-'55 cars... Thanks in advance for any help! - Adam


Last changed: July 19, 2018