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1964 Skylark with 4-speed advice needed

Guest joetunick

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Guest joetunick

I bought a 1964 Skylark convertible with a 300 V-8 and 4-speed for my wife. The car is an original 4-speed car. I can drive the car without an issue but for my wife the clutch is very hard to push and the shifter is notchy and ambiguous. The clutch linkage is in good shape so I think it's the pressure plate that's too hard. The shifter is in good shape-it's just the nature of these shifters.

I have made many modifications to this car but they are all bolt-on mods. I have saved all of the original parts in the event that we (or anyone) restores this car to original in the future. I added disc brakes, replaced all of the suspension, stiffer springs, added sway bars, a quicker steering box, electric fan, electronic ignition, and after market 4bbl carburetor.

My first thought is to put in a 5-speed and hydraulic clutch from a later car. My wife is more used to this kind of shifter and clutch. However, I'd have to put another hole in the floor. The car is far from perfect but I don't know if this extra hole will irreversibly de-value the car in the future should we decide to sell it. Any thoughts on this?

Does anyone know of an after market shifter that will be an improvement? When I was in high school we'd replace the factory shifters with Hurst shifters. They were just as notchy but less ambiguous.

Does anyone know a good clutch that has a minimum of pedal pressure? This would help quite a bit.

Many thanks for your input.


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Guest wildcat465

If another hole bothers you, don't do it.

If you don't care, frankly, most of us don't either.

It's YOUR car, find out how to enjoy it the most and do just that!

If you want to keep the original set-up, disassembly and inspection of pressure plate and throw-out bearing is necessary. Sounds like you may not have enough grease on the inside of the throw-out bearing. Shifters do wear and can be rebuilt, or replaced. Find a way for you both to have fun with this car.

Edited by wildcat465
speling (see edit history)
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It sounds like you have a car I would love to drive. My dad bought a '64 Special new when my sister got her license. It was a 3 speed with no power options. A couple years later she went off to college and it became my car. I remember that clutch gradually became stiffer until I was the only one who could drive it. We took it in a few times to be adjusted but it never became a soft touch. I think it had about 70,000 miles on it when it was totaled in a chain reaction line if cars on interstate 94 in Minneapolis.

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Another option?

Keep your Skylark as you prefer...

buy a nice looking convertible with a soft clutch, or even a Hydramatic for your wife to enjoy,

or if you must -- convert to a "His & Hers" shifter - Did Buick have these? or was it only Oldsmobile - should carry over...

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