Hello. I'm new to the forum. Recently purchased a 61 automatic car and want to install a Muncie 4 gear. I don't have a doner car yet. Has anyone done this? What would be a good doner for parts? Anything aftermarket for this conversion? Help!!
Your cross-member for your automatic is the same. A three speed donor car has everything you need except a floor console. You will need a floor consople if you want to maker your car an SS clone. A four speed out of a 1961 era car would have used the weaker cast iron case Borg-Warner T-10 transmission as the Muncie didn't appear until 1964.
You will need a new floor shifter (as there was no four on a tree shifter available) and I would specify a Hurst Super Shifter. The factory Muncie shifter is absolute junk and shouldn't be considered unless it is to be a period correct show car. I wouldn't discount a Super T-10 tranny (the aluminum version Borg-Warner transdmission that the GM factory switched over to in 1975 and up after they stopped making Muncies, as many Muncies are long in the tooth and seriously abused by now).
I would also invest in an explossion proof SFI rated scatter shield (puke bucket), and SFI rated flywheel and pressure plate. Feet and toes are valuable comodities (just ask Don Garlits the poster child for safety in this arena).
Thank you for your input. Big Dave, that Muncie I have has not seen the light of day since 1978....I figured it's due for a pounding!! And yes it will be a SS clone with a 409. The problem I'm trying to overcome is the interior body brackets that hold the pedals. Early impalas for parts are non-existant in my neck of the woods. I was wondering if there was an alternative.
You could mount a third generation Camaro pedal assembly and use a hydraulic clutch master and slave cylinder (or an expanding hydraulic throw out bearing) instead of using hard to find mechanical linkage. Another advantage is that the line can be run out of the way of header tubes.
You should be able to find a good set of pedals on ebay for about $150. I see them all the time. I think there are two up for auction right now. Show Cars has most of the parts you would need.http://www.show-cars.com/
The problem I'm trying to overcome is the interior body brackets that hold the pedals.
The pedals swing on the same support. You just take out the Auto Brake Pedal and slide in the Clutch and Brake Manual Pedals. Be careful of the Bushings. Make sure they are installed correctly. You also may need some smaller parts that go with it, like a Bumper Stop, Clips, etc.
Also want to point out the the '61 Pedals and Linkage is by itself. Some other years may or may not fit, but the '61 Pedals are by themselves, especially if you want to make it original.
Also, I usually mind my own business, but just to pass on little info in case you possibly are not familiar with it, if you are going to "make" a '61 SS, be ready for controversy. There is no other car out there that creates more "heat" among hobbiest, like the '61 SS does. They actually only made 453 "Real" '61 SS's and the "fake" ones are really frowned upon.
As you can tell by now, I am new to the Impala scene!! You guys have already given me some really good information. I have restored many many cars over the years but have always wanted a 409 4 gear car. The 61 came out of Texas with a 283 and is rust free. I could'nt even dream of owning a real Super Sport!! Clones are everywhere. I'm just pretending for my own sake its an SS.... Not trying to pull the wool over someones eyes. A little bit of debate keeps the cruise nights interesting.
You can buy everything you need to build a 425 409 brand new except the timing cover. World Products is casting brand new high nickel content 409 bore four bolt main blocks (the original was a two bolt only). Edelbrock has brand new aluminum heads and intakes in either a dual AVS or three twos. CompCams has new hydraulic roller grinds and valve train parts and those ultra rare Edelbrock old time cast aluminum "W" ribbed valve are being recast with the original molds. Of course why stop at a 409 when you can install a turned down a 454 crankshaft (great way to save a scored BBC crank) to get 481 cubes out of one:
Big DaveAs much as I want a 409, I'm discovering its pretty difficult to find one!!Even if I find one ,who's to say the block is not cracked. Building that 409 using the new aluminum block is huge dough. $6000 or more for the block with taxes, shipping etc. Found a guy wanting $4500 for a 409 on Kijiji. After running the casting # it turned out to be a 348!! Hmmmmmmm, What to do.
Sorry to find out that the World Merlin 409 is being cast only in aluminum instead of nodular iron like they annouced in the car mags (don't believe everything you read a wise man once said). Looks like there wasn't much interest in a new 409 block motor after all (though the Merlin 409 is actually a BBC that uses only the 409 pistons, heads, and 409 style water pump with everything else being a Mark IV BBC in the short block (which solves the problem of the missing timing cover).