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motormouth
Kris Palmer
Mpls MN
(63 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 03:13PM

Main British Car:
1972 Triumph TR6, Olds F85 V8, TR8 5-speed 'box Olds 215 V8

Bellhousing blues
Posted by: motormouth
Date: November 21, 2007 08:23PM

Has anyone modified a 3-speed bell to accept a 4-speed? After a lengthy search and some miscommunication, I got a 198 V6 bellhousing with three-speed holes. I have a friend who is an ace fabricator and could no doubt sew on some aluminum plate with the correct pattern....

If you get the holes right, does a factory 3-speed otherwise work--e.g., size is otherwise the same to accommodate shaft length and clutch--or should I sell this one and keep hunting?

By the way, here's the bellhousing:

198 Bellhousing.jpg

Kris



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/21/2007 10:31PM by motormouth.


motormouth
Kris Palmer
Mpls MN
(63 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 03:13PM

Main British Car:
1972 Triumph TR6, Olds F85 V8, TR8 5-speed 'box Olds 215 V8

Re: Bellhousing blues
Posted by: motormouth
Date: November 23, 2007 01:09PM

For the fabricators in the house, here's my exact plan to take the above 3-speed bell to 4-speed specs....

1) Place a 4-speed mounting-face template on top of the 3-speed face (treating it as a 2D image).
2) Mark the "missing" 4-speed-surface metal on the 3-speed bellhousing.
3) Cut out those areas and file all edges to be perpendicular to the transmission mounting surface.
4) Fashion (cut, file) the missing pieces from a suitable block of aluminum. The bottom two pieces will be easier because the flange-side face is flat (straight). The pieces to widen the top two holes will either have to be filed in a semicircular fashion around the original bolt-hole area, or that area cut out too.
5) Set the new pieces in place to replicate a factory four-speed mounting surface.
6) Weld from the inside and outside, grind the welds for acceptable esthetics, then make a light pass on a surface grinder for a dead level mating surface.
7) Mark, drill and tap mounting holes.

Will post photos of this effort. Kris


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(4516 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Bellhousing blues
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: November 24, 2007 10:43AM

Kris,

D & D makes an adapter for a 215 3speed bellhousing (looks like yours) that works with a Ford T-5.


motormouth
Kris Palmer
Mpls MN
(63 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 03:13PM

Main British Car:
1972 Triumph TR6, Olds F85 V8, TR8 5-speed 'box Olds 215 V8

Re: Bellhousing blues
Posted by: motormouth
Date: November 25, 2007 07:11PM

Thanks Carl. I'll check that out. Kris


motormouth
Kris Palmer
Mpls MN
(63 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 03:13PM

Main British Car:
1972 Triumph TR6, Olds F85 V8, TR8 5-speed 'box Olds 215 V8

Re: Bellhousing blues
Posted by: motormouth
Date: December 18, 2007 01:01PM

Problem solved. Got myself a 4-speed bell with some close attention to Craigslist and a quick email. Put it on my blog, if anyone's interested.
[nc.startribune.com]

Some folks might benefit from seeing the distinction between the 3-speed and 4-speed, so here's a shot of both. (Four-speed is on the right obviously--this is the version with the 3-speed holes as well.) Kris
2Bells.jpg



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/18/2007 01:02PM by motormouth.


NixVegaGT
Nicolas Wiederhold
Minneapolis, MN
(659 posts)

Registered:
10/16/2007 05:30AM

Main British Car:
'73 Vega GT 4.9L Rover/Buick Stroker

authors avatar
Re: Bellhousing blues
Posted by: NixVegaGT
Date: December 19, 2007 08:24AM

I think I might bring my bellhousing over, if you've got time to see if they are different. I "special" bellhousing was listed on the old D&D documentation from back in '76. It would be interesting to see if they are different at all.


motormouth
Kris Palmer
Mpls MN
(63 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 03:13PM

Main British Car:
1972 Triumph TR6, Olds F85 V8, TR8 5-speed 'box Olds 215 V8

Re: Bellhousing blues
Posted by: motormouth
Date: December 19, 2007 05:54PM

Sure he didn't just mean Special? I'm sure Special and Skylark have no difference. Not sure if Olds cast their own or used the Buick, but it must be very similar if not identical.



motormouth
Kris Palmer
Mpls MN
(63 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 03:13PM

Main British Car:
1972 Triumph TR6, Olds F85 V8, TR8 5-speed 'box Olds 215 V8

Re: Bellhousing blues
Posted by: motormouth
Date: December 20, 2007 11:22AM

Here's an interesting discovery: the flywheel cover holes on my "new" 4-speed ballhousing have never been tapped, which means this has never been mounted to a car, at least not by a GM dealer or mechanic, as they wouldn't put it on without the cover. And it's super clean as though it's just been sitting in an NOS parts pile. This thing is spotless.

The part number stamped into it is 1355746.


NixVegaGT
Nicolas Wiederhold
Minneapolis, MN
(659 posts)

Registered:
10/16/2007 05:30AM

Main British Car:
'73 Vega GT 4.9L Rover/Buick Stroker

authors avatar
Re: Bellhousing blues
Posted by: NixVegaGT
Date: December 20, 2007 01:27PM

WOW! That could be about the "Special" bellhousing. The implication is they were making their own... I'm hoping that's not the case... You around next week?


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(4516 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Bellhousing blues
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: December 20, 2007 08:55PM

Transdapt makes an aftermarket Buick 215 bellhousing that Dan LaGrou sells.

My 3/4 speed bellhousing must have been bolted to a 3 speed tranny, cause the 4 speed mounting holes were not threaded.


motormouth
Kris Palmer
Mpls MN
(63 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 03:13PM

Main British Car:
1972 Triumph TR6, Olds F85 V8, TR8 5-speed 'box Olds 215 V8

Re: Bellhousing blues
Posted by: motormouth
Date: December 21, 2007 09:51AM

I'm assuming your bell is bolted up.... Do you remember what year it's from? Another unexpected attribute of my 3/4 is that it's stamped "64." Everything I've ever read about the 215 says it was in production from '61-'63 (with development years previously of course).

Whence comes a 215 bell cast in '64? Buick had moved on to the 300 by this time, which doesn't share engine-side bolt pattern. Was GM still knocking out a small number of bells as parts stock? Were they produced for some other purpose--e.g., for some suitor (prior to Rover) interested in buying the freshly abandoned 215? Was a stickshift 215 a forgotten option in the (early?) '64 Skylark/Special?

Curiouser and curiouser....


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(4516 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Bellhousing blues
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: December 23, 2007 10:08AM

motormouth Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm assuming your bell is bolted up.... Do you
> remember what year it's from?

Yes, it's in the car. It was the first part I ever acquired for the swap. I don't remember even checking the date code.


HughH
hugh nutting
NW Montana
(8 posts)

Registered:
01/08/2008 05:19PM

Main British Car:
1951 MG TD MG 1250 cc

Re: Bellhousing blues
Posted by: HughH
Date: January 09, 2008 12:45AM

The BOP 215 3-speed bolt pattern goes back into the late 1930s or 1940s It is the same as the T-84 warner trans cases used on Willys and Studebaker champs.(which had OD available) The 215s and V-6 198s have been installed in 1940s and 1950s Jeeps quite easily. I hooked one up years ago. I required a 1/4" thick aluminum spacer plate to get the to get the input shaft the correct length and slightly longer bolts. At that time the 4 speed bellhousings were quite rare. Most were in Olds F-85s. The Buick Specials were mostly Automatics, some 3 speeds and very few 4 speed models. Sometime in the early 1970s Buick Division re-did their parts books. Somehow they dropped the 4 speed parts number. AND the 3 speed stick bellhousing number showed up as working for 4 speeds. I bought one from a noted Buick salvage outfit that advertised in Hemmings. We went round&round about his (Buick specialist) knowlege after I had talked to a long time Buick Dealer partsman. I paid a re-stock fee and shipping just to recover some of my money. I had a good 3 spd one off an early 1961 Olds (1960 casting date) that was just the same as the Buick one he sent. Later on I did find a 4 spd Olds one. I think they were all from 1962 or 1963 4 bbl cars. GM divisions sell parts to each other. Very likely Olds made the 4 speed bellhousing, creating the parts number and sold them to Buick since Buick need so few of them. The genuine Olds 215 4-spd bellhousing has the same bolt pattern as used on 55 Chevy cars on into the 1960s era Saginaw box pattern. It looks to me as though the 3-spd housing works better with a Ford T-5 since it requires a thicker adapter plate. I don't think I would try to hook a GM 4 or 5 speed to the 3-speed 215 bellhousing (the bolts are just to short to get enough threads) when assembled. Thats my 2 cents worth + I don't trust aluminum welding on die-cast unless it is heat treated after. then have ???s


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