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1963riviera

1963 Buick riviera Dynaflow transmission swap for Super turbine 400

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Hello I have a 1963 Buick riviera with the 401 CI Nailhead engine and the car has a Dynaflow 2 speed transmission and I would like to swap it out for a Super turbine 400 transmission. I know that the Super turbine 400 was standard in the 1964 and 1965 Rivieras but does anyone know if the Super turbine 400 transmission was longer then the Dynaflow and if the 1964 to 1965 Rivieras used a shorter driveshaft? Because if that is the case I would have to change the driveshaft too. Thanks for any help.

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Besides the driveshaft lenght, you'll also need a '64 crank in the engine because of the hub size on the end of the crank that bolts to the torque converter. You'll need the ST400 flexplate, the ST400 starter motor, the ST400 carburetor, ST400 kickdown linkage which is electric rather than mechanical, a shifter out of a '64 with the PRNDL quadrant (the dynaflow has the PNDLR quadrant) along with the cosole plate, a different transmission crossmember for which you'll have to drill holes in the frame, the console wiring harness because the neutral safety switches are in different locations. If you're thinking about swapping a '64 driveshaft for the '63, you should be aware that the 63 driveshaft attaches to the rear end with a u-joint and the '64 attaches with a bolt on flange. I'm sure that I've forgotten a couple of things. Are you sure you want to do this? :)

Ed

PS - Dynaflows might have a D and an L on the quadrant but they're single speed like today's constant velocity transmissions. From 0 to top speed, you'll never feel the transmisson shift. According to the chassis manual, L is to be used only for getting out of mud, sand, or snow. DO NOT power shift a Dynaflow from L to D.

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I vote for installing a 5 or 6 speed manual transmission in a 63 Riviera. I know this probably is not possible but I keep waiting to hear from someone who does it. :o

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I swapped to a 64 frame from a donor car For my 63 and it was a bolt in.

Carrier bearing bolts in a different location on the 64 frame to 63 frame.

Find a 64 donor car or adapt a 700r4 and get overdrive to boot.

You will need all the parts listed above, but the car will perform completely different than before.

Burnouts on demand.

Thanks,

Ron Pyles

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has anyone put the 700r4 in a 63-ive got one and going to do the swap in the future but a review article leaned towards the 200 because of size and gear ratios.thanks for any help on this.T.Nugent roa 12969...

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The 200-4r dimensionally appears very similar to the st400.

The 700-r4 is larger and longer

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Burnouts on demand.

Thanks,

Ron Pyles

I wrote an article which was published in the Riview about this swap. One thing you need to remember is that the 200-4R and the ST400 both have about the same first gear. Burnouts will be the same with both transmissions unless you put a higher numerical gear ratio in the rear end. If you have a stock 3.07/3.08 rear end, and add an overdrive transmission, then you get a real benefit from having a o/d final drive of around 2.06. That's almost too deep for cruising because you're not in the torque band. If you install 3.73 or 3.90 gears, you'll get the "burnout" gears and you'll have a decent final drive ratio of either 2.49 for the 3.73 gears or 2.62 for the 3.90 gears. Best of both worlds.

If you do go with the o/d, use an aftermarket controller that locks up the torque converter only in o/d or above 55 mph. Both the 200-4R and the 700-R4 need a Throttle Valve cable connected to the carburetor to control shifts, and line pressure. Without a TV cable you'll burn up the trans within the first 1/4 mile you drive it. Neither of these have a vacuum modulator on them. They operate in a completely different manner.

I have seen a couple of 1st generation Rivieras with standard transmissions. Full sized LeSabres could be ordered with a manual three speed in these years so there should be a way to do it. Before going that direction, look at how the hot rodders are using floor pedals and under body master and slave cylinders on the K-members in their hot rods. It could probably be emulated on the X frame of the Riviera.

Ed

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The reference to the burnouts is when the original poster changes from a dynaflow to the st400.

My personal 63 w/dynaflow, would not spin a tire from a dead stop, but after the tranny swap to the st400, its hard to leave a redlight without chirpping the tires. (makes my wife angry, but it makes me smile)

The dynaflow is a great strong transmission, but lacks the mechanical leverage to utilize the torque from the nailhead. the st400 will plant you back in the seat under full acceleration.

I thought i read somewhere, that the dynaflow was originally designed for military tanks?

Thanks,

Ron Pyles

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I was surfing the net and found a shifter upgrade from Shifter Works ?

It appears they make a kit to retrofit our floor shifters to 3 speed and/or overdrive autos, but you still need an adapter for the bellhousing mount.

off topic: i installed a T-5 5 speed manual (.70 od gear) in my 1966 Ford F-100 pickup. It has a 352 FE big block with a 3.23 rear gear and 275/60/15 rear tires, which are about the height as the 215/75/15 on my Riviera.

the cruise rpm's dropped about 600-700 rpm's. It's nice to cruise at 70 mph w/ac and only turn 1800 rpm's. My truck went from 13 to 18 mpg on the highway

These torque monster nailheads will definitely pull our first gen Riv's around at 1750 rpm's on the highway and it would be nice to pickup a few mpg's along the way, not to mention the added longevity of engine and component life due to the reduction of rpm's at cruiseing speed.

Thanks,

Ron Pyles

post-70949-143141852305_thumb.jpg

post-70949-143141852338_thumb.jpg

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Having a 63 for years, I have to say I am very found of the dynaflow. I have always liked the smoothness of the drivetrain in my car, regardless if I am going 40, 70, or even 100. But, if I decided to swap it out, it would be for an overdrive unit. For all the effort to change it, it should be for a significant upgrade.

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Basically all I know is that the maximum torque (445 lb. ft for a 401, 465 lb. ft. for a 425) comes on at 2800 rpm's. I would think that at 70 mph (2700 rpms - based on a 27" diameter tire with a 3.23 gear) you'll have somewhere close to the max torque on tap. I've never seen a chart, but from other torque curves I've seen, torque never comes on quickly, it usually a pretty flat band. Not the exact answer you were looking for but perhaps someone does have a graph of the nailhead's torque curve.

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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Seems that if the 200-4r overdrive would drop the 70 mph cruise rpm's to about 2000 and if you had to rapidly pass anyone the transmission should kick back down to drive which would be 2700 rpm's. That would be perfectly at the starting point in the torque curve and should only get deeper into the torque curve as you accelerate.

Im about to talk myself into a 200-4r.

Thanks,

Ron Pyles

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I wrote an article which was published in the Riview about this swap. One thing you need to remember is that the 200-4R and the ST400 both have about the same first gear. Burnouts will be the same with both transmissions unless you put a higher numerical gear ratio in the rear end. If you have a stock 3.07/3.08 rear end, and add an overdrive transmission, then you get a real benefit from having a o/d final drive of around 2.06. That's almost too deep for cruising because you're not in the torque band. If you install 3.73 or 3.90 gears, you'll get the "burnout" gears and you'll have a decent final drive ratio of either 2.49 for the 3.73 gears or 2.62 for the 3.90 gears. Best of both worlds.

If you do go with the o/d, use an aftermarket controller that locks up the torque converter only in o/d or above 55 mph. Both the 200-4R and the 700-R4 need a Throttle Valve cable connected to the carburetor to control shifts, and line pressure. Without a TV cable you'll burn up the trans within the first 1/4 mile you drive it. Neither of these have a vacuum modulator on them. They operate in a completely different manner.

I have seen a couple of 1st generation Rivieras with standard transmissions. Full sized LeSabres could be ordered with a manual three speed in these years so there should be a way to do it. Before going that direction, look at how the hot rodders are using floor pedals and under body master and slave cylinders on the K-members in their hot rods. It could probably be emulated on the X frame of the Riviera.

Ed

Ed, is your article archived? I would like to read it.

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I looked in the Tech Tips section of the website and didn't see it. I don't remember which issues it appeared in; I'll try to find it and let you know.

Ed

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My next question would be : how do we order a copy of that review? Sounds like good information for anyone considering the swap.

Riview Not misspelled, the title of the ROA's magazine. Member's of the ROA can request past articles of the Riview from the ROA office in Denver.

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