NV3500 5-speed swap

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airboatgreg

airboatgreg

Royal Smart Person
Oct 2, 2016
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I just converted my 82 El C and put a Muncie in and it was not a hard swap. I put bucket seats in and took out a bench seat as there would have been some clearance issues with the shifter. Driving a stick makes me feel like a kid again
 
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Wageslave

Wageslave

G-Body Guru
Jan 25, 2017
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I am somewhat ahead of the game as I already have F-Body buckets installed in my EC. The project as a whole has not been hard as much as just time consuming. I managed to get the trans muscled onto the jack with a bunch of ratchet straps before work today. Hopefully, tonight I will try to mate it to the engine or at least find out what all needs to happen to net enough clearance to mate them.

I am really hoping I can get them to connect without having to do much to the engine.
 
Wageslave

Wageslave

G-Body Guru
Jan 25, 2017
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Good progress today, I got the hole in the floor cut and the transmission is bolted in place for good. The shifter comes through the floor in a pretty good place to reuse the factory shifter handle from the S-10. There were no clearance issues from the firewall and I had enough clearance between the bellhousing and the seam in the firewall that I was able to get my ratchet in between to get the top bellhousing bolts.

The one thing I did find was that you definitely want to have the starter installed on the engine before mating the transmission up. When I test fit to mark for the hole, I had the starter removed for clearance. When I went to install the starter, I hit the crossmember before I was able to get the starter clear of the transmission. You can probably get it out of there, but it will be a pain.

At this point, I still have to route the clutch hose away from the exhaust, install the frame extension and crossmember kit, install a shifter boot, and get the driveshaft cut down. IMG_20170911_133112.jpg IMG_20170911_133120.jpg IMG_20170912_010300.jpg IMG_20170912_010312.jpg IMG_20170912_010330.jpg IMG_20170912_010340.jpg IMG_20170912_012715.jpg IMG_20170912_020630.jpg IMG_20170912_020854.jpg IMG_20170912_020900.jpg
 
Wageslave

Wageslave

G-Body Guru
Jan 25, 2017
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93
Small update tonight.

I have the shift tower installed on the transmission now and the placement is close to perfect. I will probably just reuse the factory S-10 shifter and find a boot to fit it. I will have to cut the hole in the tunnel out a little bigger, as it hits the shifter tower on the drivers side.

IMG_20170912_132040.jpg


I did get my G-Force cross member and frame extension out of the package and test fit them. (I had originally bought it to do a 200-4r upgrade, but ended up going another direction, obviously.) The cross member looks like it will work well with the NV3500 mount position, but will have to be slid forward 2 or 3 inches on both sides from where it would have originally bolted on to the frame. I think I will be able to slide it so the back hole on the cross member is lined up with the forward hole on the frame and just drill new holes for the other two.

Unfortunately, I had to cut one of my exhaust pipes in half to get the cross member in position. Not a huge deal but annoying.

I will be making a trip to the parts store to pick up a new transmission mount before work, and hopefully I can get this thing off the jack and mounted for good.
 
Wageslave

Wageslave

G-Body Guru
Jan 25, 2017
984
93
Quick update:

It took two days to get my rear transmission mount ordered in, but I picked it up today. I got the cross member in place and positioned. I ended up having to open up the hole in the floor pan a little bigger to clear the shift tower when I jacked the transmission high enough to clear the cross member.

I rough fit everything and have started drilling holes to mount the frame extension and cross member in place. I had to stop for the evening when my cordless drill started getting that "hot brushes" smell. The cross member worked out to be right at three inches forward of where it would be mounted for a 200-4r. This way, I was able to only drill one new hole per side instead of two.

I think I have located a machine shop that will cut my driveshaft down, but that will have to wait until next week.

Quick question for everybody, do they make shifter boots that fit in around the sheetmetal to keep the water from getting over the top of the floor pan, or are they just the ones that screw through the carpet and sheetmetal? I just don't water splashing in and wicking in on my carpet and padding.

Thanks
 
Texas82GP

Texas82GP

Geezer
Supporting Member
Apr 3, 2015
5,375
113
Spring, Texas
Quick update:

It took two days to get my rear transmission mount ordered in, but I picked it up today. I got the cross member in place and positioned. I ended up having to open up the hole in the floor pan a little bigger to clear the shift tower when I jacked the transmission high enough to clear the cross member.

I rough fit everything and have started drilling holes to mount the frame extension and cross member in place. I had to stop for the evening when my cordless drill started getting that "hot brushes" smell. The cross member worked out to be right at three inches forward of where it would be mounted for a 200-4r. This way, I was able to only drill one new hole per side instead of two.

I think I have located a machine shop that will cut my driveshaft down, but that will have to wait until next week.

Quick question for everybody, do they make shifter boots that fit in around the sheetmetal to keep the water from getting over the top of the floor pan, or are they just the ones that screw through the carpet and sheetmetal? I just don't water splashing in and wicking in on my carpet and padding.

Thanks
I know that 4th gen Camaros had a lower 'boot' to seal between the trans. And the floor. I wouldn't be surprised at all if S10's had them too.
 
Texas82GP

Texas82GP

Geezer
Supporting Member
Apr 3, 2015
5,375
113
Spring, Texas
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DRIVEN

DRIVEN

Geezer
Apr 25, 2009
6,453
113
Owyhee County
If the hole had been cut round instead of square, I'd suggest a CV boot. They've worked well for me in a couple applications. IIRC the S10 used a big square foam boot that squished between the top of the transmission and the bottom of the floor pan. Then had a traditional shifter boot above the floor.
 
O

oldsmobile joe

Royal Smart Person
Nov 12, 2015
1,198
113
mpls
expanding foam, not the super rigid type but the softer stuff for house windows should work also.
joe
 
Wageslave

Wageslave

G-Body Guru
Jan 25, 2017
984
93
Well, the transmission and cross member is fully mounted into the El Camino now. I connected up the hydraulic clutch hose and after a few scary moments with nearly dropping the metal clip that retains the hose, everything seems to be working well. The pedal feel is good and there is a nice falloff in force at the bottom of travel, just as advertised.

The cross member went in pretty well and the frame extender mounted pretty much as the instructions said it would. I had to go to harbor freight to get a set of big uni-bits to drill out the 7/8" holes to get the bolts and washers into. My drill was not particularly happy with drilling holes through thick steel, but it got the job done. Between the new cross member and the final position of the transmission, I would say I gained a few inches of ground clearance in the middle of the car.

Looking at the bench seat that I used to use, I think it is totally possible to run this transmission with a bench seat as long as it is not scooted all the way forward. You can also reverse the shift tower to point the shift stub forward instead of backward if more clearance is needed.

I am still needing my driveshaft shortened but I have to put the back wheels back onto the ground to get an accurate measurement of how long. Also, I need to retime the engine as I had the distributor loosened and the cap off. Other than that, it is ready for a test drive.

I'll have a few pictures on in a bit.
 
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