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700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth
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Powerflite
Posted 2015-01-10 12:01 AM (#467134)
Subject: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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I am most of the way through converting my '56 Savoy with a 331 hemi motor from the 2-speed powerflite to a 700R4 overdrive trans. I decided to use the adapter from Hot Heads. It is 1" thick and is pretty sturdy. There are other adapters out there that are only .25" thick that are better suited to cars with t-bar constraints, but since this car has no such issues, this one is good to use. The flange below the starter may need to be trimmed to provide more space for custom headers. You also have the option to put the starter on the passenger or driver side, but I chose to leave it on the driver side.


Edited by Powerflite 2015-01-10 12:55 AM




(TransFit.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2015-01-10 12:20 AM (#467135 - in reply to #467134)
Subject: RE: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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I am planning to design a shifter mechanism to shift with my original push buttons. I will not be able to access 2nd or 1st gear with the 2 speed push buttons, but I am willing to live with that. The first step to accomplishing this is to reduce the amount of force required to move the shifter arm. I removed the tempered spring steel detent and heated it up orange-hot and then bent it mostly flat. Then I quenched it in oil. Originally it has quite a bend in it. Then I cleaned the steel and re-heated it until it blued and quenched in oil again to re-temper it. This has dramatically reduced the amount of force required to shift the trans. With a washer underneath it, I can reduce the force even further such that it is possible to turn the shift shaft with your thumb and fingers.

From Reverse to Low gear, the original cable only moves 11mm. The 700R4 shift mechanism rotates approximately 32 degrees counter-clockwise from Reverse to Drive and moves 128mm with a 233mm radius. That means that we need to hook up the push-button cable only 20mm below the shift center to get the proper direction & amount (11mm) of movement out of it.

Edited by Powerflite 2015-01-10 12:23 AM




(Softened Detent.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2015-01-10 12:33 AM (#467136 - in reply to #467135)
Subject: RE: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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The 700R4 trans has its mount far back on the tailshaft of the transmission. This means that it is necessary to move the trans cross member back 2". Unfortunately, there is no way around this because the cross member interferes with the oil pan otherwise. If I had chosen to install a 200-4R, it's trans mount is further forward, and this might not have been required. Too late to consider now that I already have the trans & stuff for it. I left the mount at the stock height. It comes out at 1/8" higher than what I had before, but my old powerflite trans mount was literally falling apart and probably too low anyway.



(700R4 X-member.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2015-01-10 12:43 AM (#467137 - in reply to #467136)
Subject: RE: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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This is how it looks from the backend. Plenty of space for a much bigger trans if you want to go nuts and use a newer 8 speed or continuously variable monstrosity. The world without T-bars is looking pretty good from this angle

The stock speedometer cable plugs right into the 700R4 speedo drive, but I will be using a speed sensor from Ron Francis Wiring that will automatically lock up the converter at 42-47mph. I am using a similar sensor from B&M on the 700R4 in my '70 Satellite wagon and it works flawlessly. The '56 speedo cable just screws into the back of this sensor to drive it.

Edited by Powerflite 2015-01-10 12:46 AM




(Trans Installed.jpg)



(RFW-TC70.jpg)



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55coronet440
Posted 2015-01-10 3:05 AM (#467143 - in reply to #467137)
Subject: Re: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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Very cool, Powerflite!
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Rodger
Posted 2015-01-10 8:50 PM (#467219 - in reply to #467134)
Subject: Re: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth


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Hola Nathan

What is the advantage of using GM's700R4 overdrive trans vs using MoPar's A500 ???



Rodger & Gabby
COS
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Powerflite
Posted 2015-01-11 2:45 AM (#467240 - in reply to #467219)
Subject: Re: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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The GM overdrive trans was designed as an overdrive from the beginning, starting from scratch, so to speak. Whereas the A500 and A518 are overdrive add-ons to a 904 and 727 respectively. It is my opinion that because of that, the GM trans will likely be a more efficient design and there is some limited evidence that that may be true. Of course, I know many may not share my opinion. Also, A518 transmissions are much harder to come by. I do have one that I am planning to put into my '57 Chrysler, if it will fit; and I will be able to make a more direct comparison when I do so.
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60 dart
Posted 2015-01-11 4:24 AM (#467242 - in reply to #467134)
Subject: Re: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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at what degree/pinion angle did you setup the motor -------------------------------------------------later
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Powerflite
Posted 2015-01-11 12:43 PM (#467269 - in reply to #467242)
Subject: Re: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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It is approximately 4 degrees down, relative to the frame rails. That is the easy one. The hard one for me is the side-to-side angle because I put the hemi in there. In order to fit a hemi motor in these cars, you have to mostly center the motor in the bay. That means moving it toward the driver's side 1 to 1.5 inches. Now I have to make sure that it is straight at the backend too. But I know that it isn't that critical because I didn't have any nasty vibes before with the Hemi/Powerflite combo.

I should correct one of my earlier statements. I said that the 200-4R trans had the mount further forward. That is incorrect. It is actually further back. So choosing to use that trans wouldn't prevent having to move the cross member back.
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Powerflite
Posted 2015-01-11 1:39 PM (#467275 - in reply to #467269)
Subject: Re: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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I did manage to get the TV cable mounted to the carb in between the rain yesterday. I took a typical mounting bracket and bent it 45 degrees or so and used that to mount the TV cable to the intake bolts. Locate it back until it just starts to pull the cable out of the sheath. I also welded a small plate on the AFB linkage to extend the flange down low where I needed my linkages to mount. I mounted the TV cable & carb linkages on opposite sides of the flange.

Looks like it might be time to change the air filter

Edited by Powerflite 2015-01-11 2:57 PM




(56TVCable.jpg)



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Mopar1
Posted 2015-01-11 2:28 PM (#467279 - in reply to #467269)
Subject: Re: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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Powerflite - 2015-01-11 11:43 AM

In order to fit a hemi motor in these cars, you have to mostly center the motor in the bay. That means moving it toward the driver's side 1 to 1.5 inches. .
On older cars a V8 has to be moved an 1 to 1.5 or so to the pass. side. Think I have my 331 in centered on my '60.
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Handygun
Posted 2015-01-11 8:03 PM (#467311 - in reply to #467134)
Subject: Re: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth


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Nice work Eric, The 700 has to be more efficient than a 518 it definitely is easier to package. Does the gm trans use a external lever for the TV? Noticed the cable and the pic shows you are are still using the rod carb linkage and assuming the firewall mntd bellcrank? I like the started as a o/d trans rather than adapted also, I just happened to have a 518 when I did mine. The short first gear will really push that 56 like the P/F never did.
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MOPAR-TO-YA
Posted 2015-01-12 12:46 AM (#467340 - in reply to #467134)
Subject: RE: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth


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Powerflite, very cool conversion you are doing, I expect as a bonus you will reduce weight. What rear gears are you going to run with that?...............................MO


HAY HANDYGUN !!!!!



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Powerflite
Posted 2015-01-12 11:20 AM (#467370 - in reply to #467311)
Subject: Re: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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Handygun,

Yes, I am still using the stock carb linkage although I should modify the mount for it to pull it up 1/2 inch to get better geometry on it because the bolt location moved. I'll probably leave it as is for a while since it does work where it is. But, no, the cable mounts to the trans and pulls up on an internal lever, not an external one - and it is on the passenger side of the trans.

Mopar-to-ya,

I currently have 3.23 gears in it. That gives really low rpms at highway speeds, making it nice for cruising, but I may change to 3.55 if I decide to get a little better performance out of it. As far as weight goes, I was surprised that the powerflite was actually not very heavy despite having an iron case. I didn't weigh them both, but just from the heft factor, I would guess that they are about equivalent. I may even be adding a bit of weight. But the 2 extra gears will be well worth it
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Powerflite
Posted 2015-01-12 10:47 PM (#467429 - in reply to #467370)
Subject: Re: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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I got the cooling lines done. Hopefully, I can get a flexplate cover to fit under the new lines. I got lucky and already had a cooler installed in my old replacement radiator core. Otherwise, I was considering a replacement radiator from a '56 Ford Truck. That one seems to be similar enough to work well in these cars. If you have the water pump inlet on the other side for some reason, a '56 Chevy truck looks like it should work. I was looking at these replacement radiators because all of the "bucket" style headers for the top tank are obsolete so that re-coring an original can be difficult to do.

The filter on the end of the down-pipe didn't fit anymore so I removed it. Please ignore the oil filter. Pretend it's blue. :P

Edited by Powerflite 2015-01-12 11:17 PM




(CoolingLines.jpg)



(56PlymCooler.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2015-01-13 6:05 PM (#467502 - in reply to #467429)
Subject: Re: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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I don't like paying a lot of money for driveshafts so I purchased a '68-'70 B-body shaft from Fall Fling with large 7290 joints on it. I then purchased a GM slip yoke from Denny's Driveshafts with "3R" joints that was a little longer than what I needed. Then I just cut the slip yoke down to give me 3/4" of play till it bottoms out in the transmission. Then use a 7290/3R conversion joint to mount it up. I chose a 3R joint because it uses internal clips and is essentially the same size as a 7290. Joints that use external clips like the 1350 or 1330 result in extra rotating mass just to hold the clips.

Anyway, this way, I have a custom driveshaft that I put together without having to pay for anyone else's labor. The only exception is that I now need to take it in and get it balanced. Anytime you change a yoke around, it needs to be re-balanced.



(ComboJoint.jpg)



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1959Dodge
Posted 2015-01-15 7:01 AM (#467654 - in reply to #467134)
Subject: Re: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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I saw a 57 or 58 Plymouth that had the 700 R4 conversion at the "Spring Fling" in Van Nuys, California, several years ago.

It looked pretty neat, except he put a "touch pad" in where the original pushbuttons were.

Had I done that conversion, I would have used micro switches that were actualed by the original push button mechanism
just to keep the dash looking stock.

(One could even hide a couple buttons say for manual selection of 2nd and 3rd gears).

Gary
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Powerflite
Posted 2015-01-15 6:58 PM (#467725 - in reply to #467654)
Subject: Re: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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Yeah Gary, that would make a nice solution to be able to access 1, 2 and park. In the back of my mind, I am still considering an electric actuator, but I thought I would give the cable idea a try.

I finished my least favorite part of the conversion, the brake switch. Welding under the cramped dash next to wires, paint & upholstery is not my favorite thing to do, but I got it done. It is pretty tight under there, but I managed to fit a long brake switch intended for cruise control. The cruise control portion is used to disable the lockup when braking. I currently still have a working hydraulic switch so I will keep the brakes there until it dies.



(BrakeSwitch.jpg)



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59 in Calif
Posted 2015-01-15 10:05 PM (#467748 - in reply to #467134)
Subject: Re: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth


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Nathan, Nice Work !! Moving that crossmember like you did was a great idea. Jerry
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60 Imp
Posted 2015-01-20 5:07 AM (#468087 - in reply to #467134)
Subject: RE: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth


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Powerflite, are you going to change your username to '700R4 Overdrive' ?

Nice work by the way.

Steve.
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Powerflite
Posted 2015-01-20 11:06 AM (#468113 - in reply to #468087)
Subject: RE: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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Thanks Jerry

That's funny Steve. Since this is the last powerflite trans I had in service, I probably should change it, but I definitely won't. Powerflite is such a cool name for a transmission, much better sounding than Torqueflite and far better than some number/letter combination like 700R4. The Chrysler hemi combined with a powerflite has the best name combo, fire-powerflite. How cool is that?

But my transmission will live on in another member's car. My original 277 motor is also being used in another '56 Plymouth.
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Powerflite
Posted 2015-01-28 5:37 PM (#468837 - in reply to #468113)
Subject: RE: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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I finished the parking brake cable. I welded an L-braket to the floor to hold the original front cable in place, and used a standard connector to hook up a short section of cable with an adjuster on the end of it. For this short cable, I just bought the cheapest cable I could find - one from an '89 Dodge truck. It cost $10. I cut it to length and welded a bead to the end of it. It would be better to use a cable crimp, but this should work too. At first I connected the ground for the welder at the bottom end. That was a bad idea as the cable acted like a large resistor, heated up the entire thing and melted the plastic coating that was on it. After connecting it closer to where I was welding, there were no issues.

The backend is from a '74 Valiant that I cut off and welded a plate to it to mount it to the spring shackle. There is also a small plate welded to the backside to prevent it from rotating against the spring mount. I tried it out and it works quite well.



(FrontCableConnection.jpg)



(CableRearConnection.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2015-01-28 5:40 PM (#468838 - in reply to #468837)
Subject: RE: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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I also installed a flex-plate cover. I purchased a steel one from Summit instead of the typical plastic cover. I had to cut the front flange off the cover in order to get it to fit up against the adapter, but it came out pretty well after that.



(TQCover.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2015-01-28 5:48 PM (#468839 - in reply to #468838)
Subject: RE: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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All I have left is some wiring details and the shifter. I should have been working on that, but I decided that my car needed a new look to match its new-found freeway cruisability. The old paint was REALLY oxidized. Your hand would turn completely blue if you touched it. Any buff & polish job would only last about a month until it needed to be done again and the paint was getting thin.

So I wet sanded it and gave it some fury stripes. These are pretty close to the same shape of the side panels on the '56 Fury, except that I took them to the top of the fin and the front is modified a little to match the Savoy side trim. What do you think? Actually I don't really care what you think because I really like it. I then painted over the entire thing with a coat of clear. The car is still partially disassembled from painting, but rest assured that all the trim will be going back onto the car.



(56NewLook.jpg)



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hoodinki
Posted 2015-01-28 11:23 PM (#468870 - in reply to #467134)
Subject: Re: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth


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Here's a similar one.



(Painted On 56 Fury Stripe.jpg)



(Chevy Side Panels.jpg)



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Ron
Posted 2015-02-17 4:07 AM (#470253 - in reply to #467134)
Subject: RE: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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What are you using for rear emergency brake. I have two 56 Fury's one stock and one with a 58 Hemi 392 Chrysler 300 D engine dual quads and cam and solid lifters 390 HP engine from the factory with a La Sale 3 speed transmission. I drag raced the 56 stock Fury powerflite trans back in 1957.
The LaSalle transmission needs a emergency brake? Any ideas?

Ron Allyn Swartley



(TWO 56 FURYS 449.jpg)



(THE LEGEND.JPG)



(56 Fury at York.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2015-02-17 10:48 AM (#470280 - in reply to #470253)
Subject: RE: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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Hey Ron, I've always liked your 392 Fury. Here is a pic for you of the hemi I put in my '56 Plym.

To deal with the E-brake, I installed a '68-'70 B-body (Road Runner, Charger, Coronet, Satellite etc.) rear axle into my car. I moved the spring perches in to 41" and welded them in at the same angle as the original B-body by keeping part of the original mount in place (shown in the picture). After that, you will need to use a regular U-joint on your driveshaft and shorten it a little. And then you can hook up the original front cable to the rear axle brake like I showed previously.

Edited by Powerflite 2015-02-17 10:52 AM




(HemiSavoy.jpg)



(56PlymRear.jpg)



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hoodinki
Posted 2015-02-17 3:50 PM (#470306 - in reply to #467134)
Subject: Re: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth


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That hemi has the AC water pump, hard to find.
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Adventurer 60
Posted 2015-02-23 4:43 PM (#470741 - in reply to #467134)
Subject: Re: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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Nice work Powerflite. Few things came up to mind. Since you have only 4 positions in pushbuttons and TH700 has 7. You have to have OD on everytime you go forward, You cant use D.
Might be a problem if towing, climing, heavy load etc. becouse depening on gear ratios th700 will sift 4th under 35 miles i quess if TV-cable is adjusted right.
Are you gonna use turbine lock (get much better mileage) and how you gonna control its on/off?
As far as know sifting th 700 takes much more force than pushbutton Pf or TfA, it is designed for heavy duty shifters not like 50's or 60's pushbuttons.
Have you tested yet that button system can move proberly the shifter axle?
You know that right adjustment of the TV-cable and right geometry of carburetor lingage is very essential for TH700. Othervice you might broke it.
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Powerflite
Posted 2015-02-23 5:24 PM (#470748 - in reply to #470306)
Subject: Re: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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hoodinki - 2015-02-17 12:50 PM

That hemi has the AC water pump, hard to find.


Thanks for the info. I had no idea. It came from a '55 Imperial. Good to keep in mind if I ever want to get rid of it.
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Powerflite
Posted 2015-02-23 6:09 PM (#470751 - in reply to #470741)
Subject: Re: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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Adventurer 60 - 2015-02-23 1:43 PM
Since you have only 4 positions in pushbuttons and TH700 has 7. You have to have OD on everytime you go forward, You cant use D.
Might be a problem if towing, climing, heavy load etc. becouse depening on gear ratios th700 will sift 4th under 35 miles i quess if TV-cable is adjusted right.

You are right about the number, but not about what would be available. On the 700 trans, you would omit (Park, 1st, & 2nd). You would still have Drive that you could use for towing.


Are you gonna use turbine lock (get much better mileage) and how you gonna control its on/off?

Yes, I have a speed sensor that will engage the torque converter lockup at 42mph. It will disconnect when applying the brakes, or going slower than 42 mph. See post #4


As far as know sifting th 700 takes much more force than pushbutton Pf or TfA, it is designed for heavy duty shifters not like 50's or 60's pushbuttons.
Have you tested yet that button system can move proberly the shifter axle?

Yes, that is why I flattened out the detent spring in post #2. Without the spring, there is NO force required to shift the trans. The detent spring determines how much force is required and by flattening it, you can reduce it significantly so that the push buttons can shift it.

I have tried it in an experimental setup and it works. But I didn't end up using it that way. I had a change of use plan for my car. I originally didn't care that I wouldn't have 1st or 2nd, but my wife and I have decided to use the car to tow our camping trailer around. We go high into the mountains and I need 1st & 2nd to limit my speed going downhill with the trailer attached. So I have hooked up a cable to shift the trans, but I mounted a pull handle along the right side of the steering column. The cable has the ability to twist & lock the handle into any position. So that is what I am using now. It is a shame, because I wanted to use the pushbuttons. I may try to use an electrical setup sometime in the future, but this is what I have for now. If I decide to not use the car for camping in the future, I will go back to the original plan.



You know that right adjustment of the TV-cable and right geometry of carburetor lingage is very essential for TH700. Othervice you might broke it.

Yes, this is actually my 3rd 700 trans conversion so I am well aware of what is required. I didn't explain much about it because if anyone wants to know, they can ask or find out in other forums. But the adjustment is actually pretty simple in principle.

1. Start pulling on the internal trans mechanism immediately with any throttle movement. The first bit of pull is just taking up slack, so zero out the slack when sitting at rest.
2. Synchronize the full throw of the cable to match the full throw of the carburetor.
3. Make the cable move tangentially to the carb linkage rotation so that the movement is linearized as much as possible.

And that is pretty much all that is required.
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Adventurer 60
Posted 2015-02-24 5:28 PM (#470833 - in reply to #467134)
Subject: Re: 700R4 Overdrive Swap To '56 Plymouth



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I should have read all your posts at first Share us your experiece when it is all done. This is very interesting cos TH700 is good reliable and inexpensive trans and there are lots of old mopars out there
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