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Username Post: Aluminum vs. Cast Iron PowerGlide        (Topic#144790)
Anonymous 

11-21-06 11:42 AM - Post#1037761    

A mechanic told me my '55 sedan has an aluminum powerglide tranny. That brings up several questions. Help on any appreciated:

--Does that mean my car doesn't have the original tranny?

--What year did Chevy replace the cast iron PG with the aluminum PG?

--Does replacing a cast iron PG with an aluminum PG affect drive shaft length?

 
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Royer 
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Re: Aluminum vs. Cast Iron PowerGlide
11-21-06 11:53 AM - Post#1037762    
    In response to MrMudBay

The cast iron case Powerglide was used on the Chevy cars and trucks with the 6-cyl. 235 cubic inch engine through the end of the 1962 model year. On V8 equipped Chevys, I believe the aluminum case PG came in around the beginning of the '62 model year. An aluminum case PG is definitely not original on a '55-'57.

I'm not certain about the overall lengths, but I believe they are the same - so no driveshaft change would be required.

Royer

 
67SS427 
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67SS427
Loc: Lawrenceville, GA, USA
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Re: Aluminum vs. Cast Iron PowerGlide
11-21-06 12:25 PM - Post#1037763    
    In response to MrMudBay

In addition, while the driveshaft can still be the same length, the front yoke is not the same. The 55-57 powerglide uses a coase splined yoke, while the aluminum powerglide uses a fine spline yoke, like a Turbo 350.

Other than not being original to the car, I think the aluminum powerglide is a better transmission and I'd rather have it than the iron one, if given a choice.

Also, of course, the aluminum powerglide has the later shift pattern, which is different from the 55-57 automatic shift pattern.

An unlikely possibility would be that you have an aluminum TurboGlide too, which was newly available in 57 and lasted thru about 61. Again, it was not used in 55/56 originally though.
Steve F., professional resto work since 1985, http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v159/67SS427/E xa...




 
Gene_Schneider 
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Re: Aluminum vs. Cast Iron PowerGlide
11-21-06 12:41 PM - Post#1037764    
    In response to MrMudBay

Is it an aluminum PG or did some one install a Turbohydramatic 350 or 400 in it?...The PG will up-shift once and the TH twice.This would be a more common change over.The performance and shifting characteristics of a cast iron and aluminum PG are about the same but the aluminum is about 80 pounds lighter.
ChevGene 1934 Master sedan 1939 Master DeLuxe Town Sedan 1950 Styline DeLuxe Power Glide 1957 Nomad 283 PG 1963 Corvair Convertible


 
Anonymous 

Re: Aluminum vs. Cast Iron PowerGlide
11-21-06 01:17 PM - Post#1037765    
    In response to 67SS427

SteveF -- Is the later shift pattern P R N D L? My car has the P N D L R pattern so maybe it is an original cast-iron PG.

 
brad_bb 
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Re: Aluminum vs. Cast Iron PowerGlide
11-21-06 02:57 PM - Post#1037766    
    In response to MrMudBay

A cast iron power glide does not have a removeable pan. I'm not an expert in Aluminum glides but I believe they all do have a removable pan. That may be a quick way to tell. Also if you just get under there with a flashlight, it's not hard to tell the difference between aluminum and cast iron.
If someone else can design it, I sure as heck can figure out how to fix it!


 
Rick_L 
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Re: Aluminum vs. Cast Iron PowerGlide
11-21-06 03:16 PM - Post#1037767    
    In response to MrMudBay

PNDLR would be a cast iron Powerglide.

Aluminum 'glides do have a removeable pan. It's rectangular and wider than it is long. A TH350 also has a rectangular pan but it's almost square with a big chamfer on one rear corner.

 
67SS427 
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67SS427
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Re: Aluminum vs. Cast Iron PowerGlide
11-21-06 03:43 PM - Post#1037768    
    In response to MrMudBay

Quote:

SteveF -- Is the later shift pattern P R N D L? My car has the P N D L R pattern so maybe it is an original cast-iron PG.




Yes, the later ones are PRNDL. Sorry for stating the obvious, but you may have the PNDLR on your dash indicator, but does it work that way? Does your reverse actually function in the far right position?
Steve F., professional resto work since 1985, http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v159/67SS427/E xa...




 
Coley 
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Re: Aluminum vs. Cast Iron PowerGlide
11-21-06 08:17 PM - Post#1037769    
    In response to MrMudBay

Only the 1964 and up Chevelle aluminum glide will fit in a tri 5, as it is the same length as a 5/6/7 iron glide, or 4 speed or overdrive,(uses same driveshaft length).
The cast iron trans was used by both the 283s and 235s thru 1962.
The aluminum glide came out behind the new 327 in 1962.
They were shorter, just as the 1958/62 iron case trans was shorter than the 5/6/7s.
Not sure of the length of the Chevy IIs, but they were air cooled.
Any man that thinks he is too old to learn new things, probably always was....


 
Rick_L 
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Re: Aluminum vs. Cast Iron PowerGlide
11-22-06 04:09 AM - Post#1037770    
    In response to Coley

All the aluminum Powerglides from 65 and up had the long tailshaft, including full size and Chevy II. Only the 4 and 6 cylinder Chevy II Powerglides were air cooled. There may have been some other 6 cylinder models that were air cooled also. By far the most common cores for aluminum Powerglides are the long shaft models, and most are not air cooled. You can tell an air cooled unit by the big holes in the bellhousing for airflow, and of course they don't have the cooler line fittings on the side.

 
brad_bb 
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Re: Aluminum vs. Cast Iron PowerGlide
11-24-06 10:30 AM - Post#1037771    
    In response to Coley

Strange...When I bought my 55 it had a 57 283 and and a 62 glide all mounted stock positions. When I resotored and installed the 265 and iron glide, I used the same drive shaft....
If someone else can design it, I sure as heck can figure out how to fix it!


 
Rick_L 
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Re: Aluminum vs. Cast Iron PowerGlide
11-24-06 12:19 PM - Post#1037772    
    In response to brad_bb

If it was indeed a 62 trans, someone must have swapped out the output shaft and tailshaft housing for a 55-57 one. I don't even know if it can be done, but it is commonly done on later transmissions.

 
jeffs55 
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Re: Aluminum vs. Cast Iron PowerGlide
11-24-06 05:42 PM - Post#1037773    
    In response to Rick_L

The first 55 I had I put a 327/aluminum PG out of a 65 Impala in it. My Dad (machinist at the time) made me a new plastic plate to replace the dash insert and I used rub on lettering for the PRNDL. The biggest problem I had was: the engine used the stock front mounts and I had to add a crossmember for the trans mount. This made the engine rock easily. As some of you may know, when the engine torques it can jam the throttle linkage, scarey!
I used a turnbuckle on the engine to the upper A arm bolt.
This broke a couple times. I eventually put a small length of chain to limit the engine rock. Hey, I was 16 or 17.
Does your trans mount at the fire wall or at the tail?
That's another tell tale.
Jeff
55 Handyman
66 F100 project
32 3 Window Coupe project
1996 Silverado short bed extended cab
1948 Studebaker Champion
1977 Toyota Celica Coupe
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Coley 
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Re: Aluminum vs. Cast Iron PowerGlide
11-24-06 08:09 PM - Post#1037774    
    In response to Rick_L

They would have to have changed the tail shaft and housing from a later alum glide. Nothing on the housings will change from an iron to an alum.....
OR it might not have been a 1962....
Any man that thinks he is too old to learn new things, probably always was....


 
Rick_L 
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Re: Aluminum vs. Cast Iron PowerGlide
11-25-06 03:32 AM - Post#1037775    
    In response to Coley

You're right, I was thinking cast iron glide, which apparently was last used in 61. The aluminum and cast iron pieces obviously would not mix.

 
raycow 
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Re: Aluminum vs. Cast Iron PowerGlide
11-25-06 07:41 AM - Post#1037776    
    In response to Rick_L

A 62 283 or 235 could still have a cast iron PG. Only the 327 (or a Chevy II) would have had an aluminum PG in 62.

Ray
Bacon is the gateway drug for vegetarians - Bridget Lancaster


 
Coley 
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Re: Aluminum vs. Cast Iron PowerGlide
11-25-06 06:33 PM - Post#1037777    
    In response to Rick_L

Cast iron were used through 1962, but only on the 235 and 283...
Any man that thinks he is too old to learn new things, probably always was....


 
brad_bb 
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Re: Aluminum vs. Cast Iron PowerGlide
11-30-06 02:21 PM - Post#1037778    
    In response to MrMudBay

So what did he actually have in his car??
If someone else can design it, I sure as heck can figure out how to fix it!


 
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