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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, rookie here. I've been searching for a few months of trying to satisfy my dream of owning a 65/66 fastback. I'd like a good driver car with a manual trans and V8. I've always been considering 4 spd cars, as sort of a no-brainer, but have recently come across a few good cars that are 3 spds and besides the additional gear, wondering what the pro's and cons are. Can the 3 spd trans take torque numbers of a built 289? What are the ratio differences? The car would see some highway miles driving to shows, cruises, Carlisle (from NJ) etc.

thanks for any comments

steve
 

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why not exchange it with a t-5 after you buy it. if your going to use alot of highway time then it will pay for itself in gas milage realy quickly.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
that sounds fine to me. T-5's are cheap to come by. I understand that the conversion is fairly straightforward.
 

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I'll second Johnbear's comment. If you find the right car, regardless of transmission, get it. I swapped out my c4 for a T-5. My mileage went from 13 to 19 on the highway and I have no more red puddles in my garage. :D
 

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I agree with others regarding the T5's...... HAVE ONE NOW ::

But to answer your original question. YES, a top loader style 3spd will hold up to a built motor. I had one bolted to my Stroker for a while.

The problem with the 3spds are that there just isn't enough gear, and they're spread too far apart ratio wise. They start out too low, so you fry clutches, or bog the motor when starting and they cruise at too high an RPM, even with 2.8 highway gears. When I was breaking in my Stroker with the 3spd. I could get up to 40 MPH in 1st gear without much trouble, and up to 65 in 2nd. Once in 3rd, cruising at 60/65 was something like 3200 rpm.

3spds are nothing special so if the car is in good overall condition, I say go for it and drop in a T5. You wont be disappointed ::

Ken
 

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OK, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say something different than eveyone else:

Buy the 3 speed (should be cheaper than the 4 speed) and put a T5 in there. Oh wait. That's what everyone else said isn't it?

My coupe came with a 3 speed and I dropped a 4 speed in it (that was back in the early 80's when there weren't any reasonable options for swapping to a 5 speed - at least not that I could afford!). Now I've made the switch to a T5 and I love it!

I don't know for sure, but I'll bet you could come close to the cost of the swap in what you save by getting a 3 speed car.
 

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I'm old school and like TLs. I used a sb Mustang (Rug-E????) and it bolted in no trouble. Did have to get a TL speedo cable. One point to make is TL are starting to get pricey. The 3 speed is fairly strong, but you will want a 4 or 5 speed eventually.
 
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