It is such a versatile 5 speed manual transmission that it has become a very popular replacement in hot rods, older cars and trucks. Originally it was designed as an aftermarket replacement transmission, however because of it’s ease of installation, both General motors and Chrysler made good use of it.
As a matter of interest, New Process Gear, was a joint-venture automotive transmission company set up by General Motors and the Chrysler Corporation in February 1990.
With an aluminum alloy housing and unusually large in circumference shafts, we have the base of a great recipe. Because this was in essence going to be generic as far as it’s intended usage was originally concerned, the transmission was an overkill in durability. The engineers never figured it would become possibly the most popular 5 speed manual transmission ever.
What I mean by the above statement is that it is very adaptable to car builders. Folks who engineer and build hot rods take advantage of it’s ease of adaptability of installation, and of course it’s obvious fuel savings with 5th speed being an overdrive gear.
Another area of popularity is for owners of older trucks who like their vehicles and want to upgrade the transmission and improve fuel mileage and drive-ability. I did the equivalent to my truck. It had a 3 speed automatic transmission in it, I installed an overdrive automatic transmission in it and picked up 4 miles per gallon and improved it’s highway drive-ability 100%.
It is not an unreasonable thought to keep a nice old truck and upgrade it somewhat when the transmission needs to be replaced. As cars become more expensive, I’m sure this type of thinking will become more popular. We did a lot of this type of work at my transmission shop.
Realistically speaking, the bulk of people who opted to keep their trucks and take a chance on a conversion to a more modern manual transmission, were quite enthusiastic about it once they drove it. In fact we had many referrals for this type of procedure. It’s almost like buying a new car. Simply put, it’s that dramatic of a change.
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