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'58 Desoto Fireflite 4 door trans update advice:
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DieselJeep
Posted 2017-07-07 3:28 PM (#543710)
Subject: '58 Desoto Fireflite 4 door trans update advice:



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Hello all,

I am updating the drivetrain in our Fireflite to modern, reliable, easy to service, parts. We want to pickle/preserve the 47,xxx original drivetrain for a long nap, cause no more wear, and have it slumber in a dry safe spot in the garage. For now. I refuse to cut, weld, or drill anything on the car or frame itself.

The Rear diff is already done, updated to a '67 Newport, with moved perches.
Have a few leads on a late 70's low mileage 400, for a wet FI 451 stroker, with roller everything and aftermarket aluminum heads, build.

Problem is the transmission. I MUST keep the push button shift, and want a trans with a modern style torque converter to match with the cam in a heavier car.

From what I gather, MOPAR made significant changes every year from '57-65, each with its own challenges. I have been recommended to use a '61-'62 trans. But a few sites say that is a bas***d trans, many shops won't touch? "Confirmed" by many calls to local Ohio trans shops, who have no idea about interchange, and won't touch the factory '58 TF, OR a '61-'62. A yard advised a '65 cable shift big block 727 trans, but I am worried about retaining the typewriter shifter. I have been researching the trans for almost a week, and there is little straight forward info, if the website and businesses that deal with the push button shift cars(like the imperial site) are even still operating...

A custom transmission crossmember and driveshaft is no issue, if I can find a "modern" transmission with easy and common to find modern parts, that I can retrofit the pushbutton shift with little fuss.

thanks mopar gurus for your help, thoughts, ideas, advice, and warnings in advance!


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1960fury
Posted 2017-07-07 6:29 PM (#543727 - in reply to #543710)
Subject: RE: '58 Desoto Fireflite 4 door trans update advice:



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DieselJeep - 2017-07-07 3:28 PM

Hello all,

I am updating the drivetrain in our Fireflite to modern, reliable, easy to service, parts.



"UPdating".... so the OE big block and t-flite is not a reliable drivetrain and not easy to service?
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DieselJeep
Posted 2017-07-07 8:57 PM (#543734 - in reply to #543710)
Subject: Re: '58 Desoto Fireflite 4 door trans update advice:



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Posts: 86
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I can buy EVERY service part on my rear brakes, at EVERY parts store, inexpensively. Put them on, adjust once, and done till life of shoe.
AND, shocks, shoes, slaves, hoses(fronts too) and lines cost me LESS than $100 bucks through Rock Auto, ALL high quality name brands. AND looks stock.

THAT'S "easy".

I called about 10 local transmission shops. Not ONE will touch the original transmission for overhaul, for lack of service parts and so darn obsolete. Doesn't need it, but leaks, no filter in pan, ect ect.

I AM not wasting mad money shipping a 150 lbs trans and paying some specialist across the country 2K when updates can be done for LESS that will massively gain reliability and servicability, AND at LEAST one gear, FOR LESS. WAY less. AND at least I won't be wearing out MY 47,xxx original drivetrain. It will be well oiled, dry, and napping, while your distributor shaft bushings were oiled 5 times in the last 40 years with .050+ slop and spark scatter, and rocker arms are sawing into your aluminum standoffs, if not "updated". But "factory original".

Vomit.


Thanks for the helpful insight, and reminding me what a wonderful, helpful group lurks here, as the good hearted, skilled folks know better, and if not are generally run off posthaste...


Took ya all of a few hours. Congrats.



Edited by DieselJeep 2017-07-07 9:14 PM
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57chizler
Posted 2017-07-08 2:54 PM (#543759 - in reply to #543710)
Subject: RE: '58 Desoto Fireflite 4 door trans update advice:



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DieselJeep - 2017-07-07 12:28 PM

A yard advised a '65 cable shift big block 727 trans, but I am worried about retaining the typewriter shifter.


Not a problem, and that would be your best choice. You'll have to change the shift cable to one from a late '59-'64, it will plug right into the '65 but you must use the '65 cable adjustment procedure. You'll have to fabricate a rear mount and driveshaft.

Since you already have the '67 rear end, you can hook your existing parking brake cable to the rear brakes and just remo0ve the Park mechanism from the '65 trans.
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wizard
Posted 2017-07-08 3:13 PM (#543760 - in reply to #543710)
Subject: Re: '58 Desoto Fireflite 4 door trans update advice:



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What Engine do you have in the car?
If it's a RB, then the crank won't fit a "modern" transmission.
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57chizler
Posted 2017-07-09 3:29 PM (#543837 - in reply to #543760)
Subject: Re: '58 Desoto Fireflite 4 door trans update advice:



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Location: NorCal

He's installing a late 400 stroker.
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wizard
Posted 2017-07-09 4:05 PM (#543840 - in reply to #543710)
Subject: Re: '58 Desoto Fireflite 4 door trans update advice:



Board Moderator & Exner Expert 10K+

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Location: Southern Sweden - Sturkö island
Oh, thanks'!
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Shep
Posted 2017-07-11 6:57 PM (#543980 - in reply to #543840)
Subject: Re: '58 Desoto Fireflite 4 door trans update advice:



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Location: Chestertown, NY ( near Lake George)
Anyone that can do a 727 should have no issues with a powerflite or early TF, granted the aluminium trans is easier to work on and get parts for. I have done both and the earlier transmissions are more difficult to to do, but I don't see why a decent shop refuses to do them other than lack of hard parts availability.
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