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Old     (alanp)      Join Date: Apr 2001       03-21-2011, 4:03 PM Reply   
i just bought a 61 with 2 speed powerglide tranny that leaks a little and also thumps hard at times when shifting into park. how hard is it to drop the tranny. its going to save me a lot of money if i can drop it myself. other than that the car is in great shape.
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Old     (alanp)      Join Date: Apr 2001       03-21-2011, 4:04 PM Reply   
i guess i should mention its bolted to a 283 engine. 2speed auto tranny.
Old    SamIngram            03-21-2011, 4:28 PM Reply   
should be fairly easy. It's been a long time since I have R&R'ed a Powerglide but it should be very easy. Make sure they use a good rebuild kit!
Old     (phatboypimp)      Join Date: Apr 2005       03-21-2011, 4:33 PM Reply   
On my GTO's powerglide - it was six or eight bolts on the bellhousing, four on the torque converter and a cross-member and it was out of there. Had a stubborn u-joint - but nothing a little hammer couldn't fix. I paid to have it rebuilt - but it is a common tranny in those years.
Old     (alanp)      Join Date: Apr 2001       03-21-2011, 4:49 PM Reply   
anyone recommend a rebuild kit? id rather just take them the stuff they need than guess what they put in there.
Old    SamIngram            03-21-2011, 5:20 PM Reply   
I like the Hughes kit, because it is ALWAYS complete and has the best steels and clutches IMO.

If that car has the original transmission in it though or has a lot of original parts I would get the TCI Pro Super rebuild kit and replace everything in it. I believe the '61 is the funny year though! '58, '59', and '60 all had cast iron cases, while '62 and up had an aluminium case. In '61 you could have either (This is from memory, so double check!) This is important because the bands and case seals are different sizes! They might look the same, but they are not! Trust me, been there done that!

If you have any inkling to learn to rebuild a transmission yourself, this is the time to learn. The aluminium powerglide is by far the easiest to learn on. The cast iron job ain't bad either, bust heavier. Get a good manual and go to town! You will need a section of all-thread and some nuts and washers in order to get the reverse piston out, don't buy the tool, just make it.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       03-21-2011, 7:52 PM Reply   
I've rebuilt a couple 4L60E's, successfully both times, but IMO it's not worth it to rebuild a tranny yourself. There are a lot of things you have to get just right, you don't do it every day, and it's a long way back in there if you screw something up. Find a good 1-man-show type shop that will rebuild it for about a grand and provide a warranty. They do a couple trannies a day and don't like comebacks, so they usually get it right the first time. The 4L60E in my truck cost $1200 to rebuild with a few upgraded parts about 18 mos ago, and I didn't have to R/I anything.

I have had great experiences with Transgo shift kits in 700R4 / 4L60E's, but never owned anything with a Powerglide in it.

Last edited by trace; 03-21-2011 at 7:55 PM.
Old     (alanp)      Join Date: Apr 2001       03-21-2011, 8:56 PM Reply   
sam ive read that these are relatively easy to rebuild but i think im more inclined to pay someone to do it. from my research it looks like the 61's had steel casings. thanks for the info trace.
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       03-22-2011, 8:20 AM Reply   
Dropping that trani should be cake.

Anyone else think a T350 would be a worthy upgrade? I'm not sure I would want a powerglide.
Old    SamIngram            03-22-2011, 8:30 AM Reply   
The Powerglide is bullet proof and will last another 50 years if the motor isn't built up. I would never call a TH350 an upgrade. Swapping in a 4L60E with a stand alone controller or even a street/strip 700R4 with the Lokar shifter would be just as easy.

But the Powerglide, after rebuild, should be able to handle 4,000 RPM neutral drops and still be fine. The rest of the car might fall apart, but the tranny will be fine.

If was going to do an "upgrade", I would go with the Powerglide and add a Trans Brake! I had one in a Ford Ranger and could load it up and pull the front right tire about 8" off the ground on launch.
Old     (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       03-22-2011, 8:55 AM Reply   
Nice, I'm a huge 58-68 chevy Impala fan. 63 being my absolute favorite and will own one day.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       03-22-2011, 9:06 AM Reply   
Just be aware that it's pretty easy for a trans guy to blame your installation for any problems. IMO spend the extra couple hundred and have them do it, so they have no excuses if something goes wrong. I always have the torque converter rebuilt or replaced, too.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       03-22-2011, 9:08 AM Reply   
And I agree with Sam - Powerglides are the tranny of choice on drag strips, and they last forever. IMO an upgrade would be a 700R4, but the only real advantage would be fuel economy.
Old     (alanp)      Join Date: Apr 2001       03-22-2011, 2:27 PM Reply   
the engine is the 283 it has 50k original miles on it. im not going to replace anything until major issues arise with the engine. i dont think having the 283 would warrant any sort of upgrade.
Old     (alanp)      Join Date: Apr 2001       03-22-2011, 2:32 PM Reply   
heres a pic of the car all the way lifted, engine and interior
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Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       03-22-2011, 4:14 PM Reply   
I must have missed the part where the car was supposed to be a drag strip car.

I was thinking for daily driving, the 2 speed would get old.
Old     (alanp)      Join Date: Apr 2001       03-22-2011, 4:50 PM Reply   
no no its not a drag car it is a daily driver for me. the 2 speed is just fine for me.
Old    LR3w8kbrdr            10-08-2012, 8:55 PM Reply   
I know Im bumping an old thread but I love the impala!!

If I come across a '61 deal on a running one I will seriously consider purchasing. Just need to find one in decent shape, running doesnt matter about the paint or interior. Those things I can handle. Just cant be rebuilding in my condo parking lot.

If you dont mind me much did you pick that one up for?


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