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Is it possible to convert a 3 speed manual overdrive to automatic?
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Indigo Lucifer
Posted 2019-02-17 10:47 PM (#578350)
Subject: Is it possible to convert a 3 speed manual overdrive to automatic?



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Is it possible to convert a 3 speed column manual overdrive to an automatic overdrive unit in a 1957 Plymouth Fury? I know the GM Hydramatics had no overdrive because all the forward gear ratios were 1:1, but what about the A488 Torqueflites? I noticed the tail casing on a 56 Powerflite is bolted on instead of welded, is this the case on the 57s and 58s? If so could someone bolt an overdrive unit onto a 57 or 58 torqueflite and make the necessary modifications to make it operational? Or would it need a completely new customized transmission to work?

I have a friend who's working on a project for a client of his and he isn't used to working with models made before 1967.
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mstrug
Posted 2019-02-18 6:09 AM (#578355 - in reply to #578350)
Subject: Re: Is it possible to convert a 3 speed manual overdrive to automatic?



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wizard
Posted 2019-02-18 7:28 AM (#578358 - in reply to #578350)
Subject: Re: Is it possible to convert a 3 speed manual overdrive to automatic?



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The cast iron hog (A466 is the correct denomination, not A488) has 1:1 on the direct drive.


It should be possible to make a new rear strut and outgoing shaft and with some fiddeling, perhaps even being able to fit the overdrive - but the od will most probably crack open as it's built for a weaker Engine.
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56D500boy
Posted 2019-02-18 10:14 AM (#578361 - in reply to #578350)
Subject: RE: Is it possible to convert a 3 speed manual overdrive to automatic?



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From what I have read on this forum and others, the most likely way to get to an automatic trans with overdrive (and lock up) is to use a 1980's or 90's GM or Mopar rear wheel drive automatic transmission. For example the company, Hot Heads Research (sometimes called Hot Hemi heads) makes an adapter PN 26000 that will mate a GM 700R4 to at least some early Mopar V8s.

The downside if the client is trying to stay somewhat OE looking is you lose the transmission mounted e-brake, meaning that if the client wants an e-brake, you have to swap in a newer style rear end with cable operated drum parking/eBrakes. You would also lose the tapered axle thing which to some people would be a plus.

The other upside on the 700R4 swap is you would have a transmission-based "PARK" (based on a "pall" /dog in the trans).

Hope that helps.

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58coupe
Posted 2019-02-18 11:20 AM (#578365 - in reply to #578350)
Subject: Re: Is it possible to convert a 3 speed manual overdrive to automatic?



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I am a little surprised to hear of a 57 Fury with a 3 sp. OD trans. Yes they were built with a manual 3 speed but I am not sure you could also get OD in the Fury. Anyway, the old hotrodders saying is you could make anything fit with enough time and money and a big hammer.
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57chizler
Posted 2019-02-18 11:54 AM (#578369 - in reply to #578350)
Subject: RE: Is it possible to convert a 3 speed manual overdrive to automatic?



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This topic has been discussed before and, yes, it is possible to hang an overdrive on the rear of just about any automatic transmission but it's far from a "bolt-on" without an aftermarket kit such as the Gear Vendors. Otherwise, lots of fabrication is required and machine tools/welders needed.

I have installed a B-W overdrive unit on the rear of the 727 Torqueflite but it's a lot of work, better to adapt a modern OD trans.



(TFR11lh.jpg)



(TFOTFR11 exp view01.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments TFR11lh.jpg (68KB - 31 downloads)
Attachments TFOTFR11 exp view01.jpg (69KB - 29 downloads)
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59 in Calif
Posted 2019-02-18 5:44 PM (#578380 - in reply to #578350)
Subject: Re: Is it possible to convert a 3 speed manual overdrive to automatic?


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Back in the day, 70's maybe, there was an overdrive unit that could be bought and installed midship of the dr line. In other words, there would be a dr shaft from the trans to this overdrive unit, then a dr shaft from this overdrive unit to the rear end. Also would have to fab mounts inside the frame rails to support it. Seems like there was a solenoid to shift it from under to over and back again. It's been too long ago so don't remember the, who, what & where anymore. I was thinking about doing it myself but just never got around to it. Maybe some other 'over the hill gang' member may remember it. Jerry
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mstrug
Posted 2019-02-18 6:17 PM (#578383 - in reply to #578350)
Subject: Re: Is it possible to convert a 3 speed manual overdrive to automatic?



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57chizler
Posted 2019-02-19 3:39 PM (#578398 - in reply to #578380)
Subject: Re: Is it possible to convert a 3 speed manual overdrive to automatic?



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59 in Calif - 2019-02-18 2:44 PM

Back in the day, 70's maybe, there was an overdrive unit that could be bought and installed midship of the dr line. In other words, there would be a dr shaft from the trans to this overdrive unit, then a dr shaft from this overdrive unit to the rear end. Also would have to fab mounts inside the frame rails to support it. Seems like there was a solenoid to shift it from under to over and back again. It's been too long ago so don't remember the, who, what & where anymore. I was thinking about doing it myself but just never got around to it. Maybe some other 'over the hill gang' member may remember it. Jerry


That was the Hone-O-Drive, offered in either an inline or bolted to the front of a 9" Ford rear end. The unit for the 9" is available again, about $3500.
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1960fury
Posted 2019-02-19 5:41 PM (#578403 - in reply to #578398)
Subject: Re: Is it possible to convert a 3 speed manual overdrive to automatic?



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57chizler - 2019-02-19 3:39 PM

59 in Calif - 2019-02-18 2:44 PM

Back in the day, 70's maybe, there was an overdrive unit that could be bought and installed midship of the dr line. In other words, there would be a dr shaft from the trans to this overdrive unit, then a dr shaft from this overdrive unit to the rear end. Also would have to fab mounts inside the frame rails to support it. Seems like there was a solenoid to shift it from under to over and back again. It's been too long ago so don't remember the, who, what & where anymore. I was thinking about doing it myself but just never got around to it. Maybe some other 'over the hill gang' member may remember it. Jerry


That was the Hone-O-Drive, offered in either an inline or bolted to the front of a 9" Ford rear end. The unit for the 9" is available again, about $3500.


Oh, that looks cool and as if it could be bolted to the back of a TF with an adapter and some bracket welding! Always thought, 3 gears are not enough for these cars.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-Hone-O-Drive-Overdrive-Unit-Baldwin-Mo...
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Powerflite
Posted 2019-02-19 9:04 PM (#578410 - in reply to #578398)
Subject: Re: Is it possible to convert a 3 speed manual overdrive to automatic?



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57chizler - 2019-02-19 12:39 PM

59 in Calif - 2019-02-18 2:44 PM

Back in the day, 70's maybe, there was an overdrive unit that could be bought and installed midship of the dr line. In other words, there would be a dr shaft from the trans to this overdrive unit, then a dr shaft from this overdrive unit to the rear end. Also would have to fab mounts inside the frame rails to support it. Seems like there was a solenoid to shift it from under to over and back again. It's been too long ago so don't remember the, who, what & where anymore. I was thinking about doing it myself but just never got around to it. Maybe some other 'over the hill gang' member may remember it. Jerry


That was the Hone-O-Drive, offered in either an inline or bolted to the front of a 9" Ford rear end. The unit for the 9" is available again, about $3500.


Also, the lay**** overdrive (same as gear-vendors) was used as a stand-alone, or divorced unit too. I have one of those that I was planning to put behind the 4 speed in my '57 truck.
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wayfarer
Posted 2019-02-22 1:13 PM (#578517 - in reply to #578350)
Subject: Re: Is it possible to convert a 3 speed manual overdrive to automatic?



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Assuming that your car has the original 318 the you can install an O/D auto by using an EarlyHemi to TF adapter (or gm trans if you want).
The pre-62 A series engines use the same block bolt pattern and crank flange design as the Hemi/Poly engines. Obviously, this adds several layers of
complexity to the swap, not just the p-brake issue, but how to shift the trans.
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jboymechanic
Posted 2019-02-22 3:54 PM (#578520 - in reply to #578350)
Subject: Re: Is it possible to convert a 3 speed manual overdrive to automatic?



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If that Fury really has a 3 speed manual with overdrive from the factory, you just might have the rarest Fury ever built. Sure you want to change that?

Also, Chizler that custom transmission you made is really neat! Does it work well?

Edited by jboymechanic 2019-02-22 3:56 PM
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