Speed Gems Transmission Adapters
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We are currently building adapters for many of the great but overlooked nostalgic motors of the Ď50ís and Ď60ís. Over the years, many rodders have switched their cars over to small block Chevy motors simply because there werenít any decent transmissions available for the motor that was already in the car. Who could blame them? After all, why would you keep a 394 Olds if all you could run behind it was a Slim Jim? Or, a 401 Buick Nailhead with a Dynaflow? How about a í53 331 Hemi with a Fluid Drive? YUCK.
Bendtsenís Transmission Adapters started as businesses often do, to fill a void or a need in a market place. We evolved from a full service transmission shop that grew to specialize in antique and obsolete transmissions.
I started building engine to transmission adapters for two reasons. One is that it is getting extremely expensive to rebuild the old transmissions. Not only are some of the parts getting scarce (try buying a new sprag or roller clutch for a Dynaflow or Turboglide torque converter), but the knowledge level of the people available to rebuild these units competently is falling by the wayside. Transmissions had more internal changes back in the 50ís than they do today. Four speed Hydramatics to most people appear to be the same from the outside, but many of the internal parts (mostly hydraulic control) were not interchangeable from year to year, or from model to model. These transmissions had extremely touchy throttle pressure linkages that required them to be adjusted correctly or a failure would occur. Carburetor swaps usually made adjustments very difficult if not impossible. These adjustments are very similar to the detent cables used in 700R4 and other modern transmissions. They control all internal pressures inside the transmission. Throttle pressure must raise quickly when engine load increases. Out of adjustment one way (low pressure) and you will have burned clutches and bands. Out the other way (high pressure) and you can break shafts and splines. Vacuum modulators changed the way transmissions received their information about engine load. Linkage & cables became just ďkickdownĒ devices. This is why people still donít understand the difference or relationship as to why the 700R4 and similar transmissions require such precise adjustments, they are simply going back to the way things were 50 years ago!
Electronics made external adjustments obsolete. There are no longer any mechanical adjustments. All pressure and shift timing is now taken care of by computer.
Changes internally to todayís transmissions are usually well documented not only by the manufacturer, but also by technical subscription to a number of aftermarket companies. Not so in the past. When the old mechanics die, a lot of knowledge goes with them. I listen closely when I find an old transmission mechanic that still remembers fixes for old transmissions.
The second reason that Iím designing and building adapters is that I would like to see more people run alternative engines in their cars rather than small block Chev motors.
The V8 engines that many of us fondly remember from our youth are making a long overdue comeback in the way of the Resto-Rod. Personally, I loved 348ís and 409ís, but the Ford Flathead, the Buick Nail head, the Olds rocket, the Hemiís, the straight 8ís, & many more popular multi-carb motors are all still very popular. Just check the number of websites on each of these different makes and you will find a huge following.
Rodding started as a very creative hobby/sport. Working with what one could afford at the time, we all built our cars with a lot of imagination. This trend, of late, to plop a small block Chev motor into every rod built has made me feel that the hobby/sport has totally changed. Car shows are getting boring due to the rubber stamp/production line type of car building going on around the country today. Is anyone besides me tired of looking at what seems to be the same car over and over and over again? Every car in the world it seems has a Chev small block in it. Iím partial to seeing drive trains that are unusual. I like to see what the next guy has done to his car that no one else has ever done before. It doesnít matter if it looks like itís been cobbed together or if it even works, at least somebody tried something different. We here at Bendtsenís Transmission Adapters plan to adapt the old motors of the Ď50ís and Ď60ís to modern transmissions, so you can use a motor with some personality/Attitude?
I plan to lead a one-man revolution against the BORING and UNCREATIVE trend of planting small block Chevy motors into everything that moves. Enclosed you will find a small list of alternative nostalgic motors, along with a few new motors, that we now provide adapters for. Most of our adapters arenít made by anyone else, anywhere. None of my adapters require any block or transmission case modifications! They are easy to bolt on at home. They are high quality, and expensive. Well worth the money.
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Bendtsenís Speed Gems Inc. 763 767 4480
13603 Johnson St NE, Ham Lake, MN. 55304
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Copyright © 2002 Bendtsen's Transmission Center Inc. All rights reserved.