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  #21  
Old 03-21-2013, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbnsingram View Post
I am restoring a 1960 convertible to a driver for my daughter's first car. The car now has the original 3 speed with overdrive transmission. My daughter would be most comfortable with an automatic transmission. I have two available in other project cars - '58 / 352 combination and a '60 / 430 engine combination. The original engine is locked up - so I am going to use the 390 from a '76 F250 that is running well with an automatic transmission - I think a C6.

1. Can anyone point me to someone who has converted from manual to automatic before? I know it will likely be a hassle with the column change and such (or perhaps a floor shifter for the automatic?,) so I would like to learn from someone's experience.

2. Also, would I be able to fit both the engine and transmission from the truck - and if so what would I need to be concerned with as to ratios and rear end?

By the way, I intend to keep the manual transmission for use in the automatic donor vehicle or for later installation in the convertible. I am not concerned with keeping these original. I just want to bring them back to life, pretty them up and drive them.
All of our members have great intentions but...
This is a seasoned restorer, evidenced by his parts and capabilities. He just asked for a little direction from our members who have swapped engines and transmissions.

I have two daughters who really prefer driving lighter, more modern cars, rather than heavy classic cars that are 'dad's pride' and guzzle gas. I'm sure the common sense part will work out somewhere between Dad and his daughter. In the mean time, it's great to see a project to restore another Squarebird convertible! I hope everything works out and the car hits the road. - Dave
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  #22  
Old 03-22-2013, 06:06 PM
Bill VE Bill VE is offline
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This is a bad idea all the way around. Why not keep the T-Bird as a fun car for her later and find something else for her to drive. That way the car will still be around the older that she gets and might even appreciate it even more. And not to mention just how rare a Squarebird w/ stick is in the first place! I would never change a stick into an automatic. I hate automatics! Every car that I own is a stick (including an Explorer & a Focus wagon). I've even gone to the trouble of changing 3 different cars from automatics into sticks. My belief is that ALL cars should be sticks today, that would certainly cut down on the applying of makeup, eating, cell phone use and texting. Just for the record, my old Squarebird was the best winter car I've ever driven in snow. Would go through anything and I never got stuck. But to drive one as an everyday car w/ drum brakes is a bad idea. Keep the car and take your time restoring it and find her another beater to drive.
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  #23  
Old 03-22-2013, 07:07 PM
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Dakota Boy Dakota Boy is offline
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A used Ford Focus would be a good car for a teenager.

And if my daughter drives like my WIFE did when SHE was in high school, I'll be installing a roll cage and nerf bars all 'round before handing her the keys...
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  #24  
Old 03-22-2013, 09:21 PM
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Default Converting from manual to automatic transmission

Good Golly, Miss Molly! I did not know that you, Bill Van Ess, was a member of this Forum! I see you joined Alexander back after he got this Forum going. But I also notice you have rarely posted! Thanks for your input. It is certainly valued, considering all your years of experiences with these old Birds of ours!
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  #25  
Old 04-01-2013, 02:07 PM
cbnsingram cbnsingram is offline
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Thanks for everyone's concern but as suggested, and thank you simplyconnected for that, the question was not should I help my daughter have the car of her dreams but rather, how can I do these bits of the work. She wants to drive it to school for two years and then garage it for a full restoration. She's not a makeup applying texting teenager. Sorry if the teenagers you deal with are. She is concerned about the car and so wants it to have an automatic while she's driving it and the original transmission will be reinstalled during the later restoration.

I really am trying to take all of the comments in a positive way, but re-reading some of these I have to believe that a lot of the negativity comes from a certain snobbery regarding what should be done with a classic. I happen to think that if they can be driven they should be, especially by someone who is passionate about them.

Thanks again for any genuine concern for my daughter's safety.

Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
All of our members have great intentions but...
This is a seasoned restorer, evidenced by his parts and capabilities. He just asked for a little direction from our members who have swapped engines and transmissions.

I have two daughters who really prefer driving lighter, more modern cars, rather than heavy classic cars that are 'dad's pride' and guzzle gas. I'm sure the common sense part will work out somewhere between Dad and his daughter. In the mean time, it's great to see a project to restore another Squarebird convertible! I hope everything works out and the car hits the road. - Dave
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  #26  
Old 04-01-2013, 03:39 PM
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Mike, we're here to help you. This conversion has been done by our members. I am surprised you have not been offered the parts to do this conversion because stick shifts are rare.

Some of our members have also changed from power windows to manual. Same thing happened, some offered their parts to swap for free.

As said, keep your old parts because they are GOLD (especially the 'Z' bar and brackets). You will need a Brake Pedal Support Bracket, a Steering Column, Linkage (both, Linkage from the trans to the Column and Linkage from the trans to the Carb), and a driveshaft, all for the automatic. I assume you already have a Cruise-O-Matic trans.

You might get away with using your existing Brake Pedal Support Bracket by removing the clutch pedal, but I'm going by what the factory supplied for each. Let's face it, these parts simply bolted on the same body.

When I did our Galaxie, I found the body was already set up for the COM, so I removed the crossmember for the stick trans. You may need to re-route your speedo cable (I did). Other than that, add a dashpot onto your carb linkage to keep the idle up when you lift off the gas. That's it! Good luck, and I really hope your daughter drives the 'bird. It's a great car. BTW, most of the Squarebird bone yards are PACKED with common automatic parts. - Dave
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  #27  
Old 04-02-2013, 05:00 AM
rrrrrmatey rrrrrmatey is offline
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Don't listen to any of these guys. Those manual transmissions were, are, and continue to be a terrible idea, and there's certainly no reason to keep a bunch of useless parts in the barn getting rusty. They'll just clutter up the place. You'll probably stub your toe on the trans one morning, stumbling around before coffee, which will just be God's way of saying "Told you so..."

You should find someone (me) idiotic enough to want to swap in a manual trans (me) from an automatic (me). If only I knew someone who might be foolish enough (me)...
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  #28  
Old 04-07-2013, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbnsingram View Post
I really am trying to take all of the comments in a positive way, but re-reading some of these I have to believe that a lot of the negativity comes from a certain snobbery regarding what should be done with a classic. I happen to think that if they can be driven they should be, especially by someone who is passionate about them.
Speaking for myself and what I've seen around here, I'd say that's absolutely not the case. Yes, I hate to see a rare 3 speed 'Bird modified to make it an automatic, but it's your car, you are free to do with it what you will. I said my piece above, you've considered it and that's it. I am encouraged that you intend to put it back after a few years, but again, it's your car, it you choose not to it's not my business, regardless of how sad it may make me.

One of the best things about this forum is how the hot rodders, the modifiers and the concours restorers all get along. I just joined a forum for my Dad's '57 Eldorado and they have two separate forums, one for stock and one for modified. They seem to coexist just fine, but not together. Made me appreciate this place all the more.

Stick around, please, all Squarebird owners are welcome here.
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