Jump to content

Some sort of factory documentation for a Muncie 4 speed shift lever


Gary V
 Share

Recommended Posts

Saturday at Hershey we showed our recently restored 1969 Malibu 350/300 4 speed.    I ordered the car new, and it is done to perfection, all correct.
A judge questioned the "Muncie" engraving (factory of course) on my bench seat 4 speed shift handle.   My original window sticker only shows M20 4 speed, no mention of "Muncie", likewise, all my other factory documentation only shows the option code "(M20, 4 speed wide ratio").  None of the judges on the team knew that Muncie was GM's transmission division, but after going through the other extensive, but not productive documentation (for this issue), we were given the benefit of the doubt    We still got our Senior,  but was advised to have documentation for the future, just in case. 

 

I have since found a grainy sales catalog picture of a "Muncie" engraved shift lever, but it is difficult to make out the word.  I've searched online in the GM Parts Wiki but for that shift handle, there is no mention of "Muncie", just that it is for a 4 speed, bench seat.   "Muncie" is all over the parts catalog, for gears, bearings, etc, but not a shifter handle.

Can anyone point me to something better the judges will accept that I can use if this comes up again ? 

 

Thank you in advance,

Gary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try the 1969 Chassis Service Manual. My 68 manual mentions both Muncie & Saginaw under 4-speeds.

May not mention the shifter handle in the 69 manual, but it follows that if it is a Muncie transmission it would be a Muncie shifter.

What are the odds you would have a judging team with no one that knew Chevy used Muncie and Saginaw transmissions in the muscle car era... ☹️

Edited by Phillip Cole
additions (see edit history)
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would that info be on the build sheet, if you have one?  What is the issue, the fact that is has Muncie written on it?  Hypothetical, but if it cleared this hurdle and you got your senior then the future judges should respect that, but I understand your dilemma. 

Have you seen any other cars of this vintage with the same shifter? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Get an Assembly Manual. That will document exactly what the factory used. Is the issue the Muncie trans vs a Saginaw, or the fact that it is a Muncie branded shift lever instead of a Hurst branded shift lever?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, TAKerry said:

Would that info be on the build sheet, if you have one?  What is the issue, the fact that is has Muncie written on it?  Hypothetical, but if it cleared this hurdle and you got your senior then the future judges should respect that, but I understand your dilemma. 

Have you seen any other cars of this vintage with the same shifter? 

I have 2/3'rds of the build sheet, nothing on it to indicate "Muncie".   Yes,  all of the untouched (meaning not replaced with a Hurst shifter) ones I've seen over the years all had "Muncie" engraved on it.  There's a ton of aftermarket references (repro shift handles) but of course, those aren't "factory" documentation.   Sigh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, 8E45E said:

Put it on a hoist, clean the transmission with some Greez-off, if you haven't already, and look for all the factory castings and paint markings on it.  Then photograph it thoroughly.

 

Craig

Transmission is fully restored, exterior is perfect.   Will do that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, joe_padavano said:

Get an Assembly Manual. That will document exactly what the factory used. Is the issue the Muncie trans vs a Saginaw, or the fact that it is a Muncie branded shift lever instead of a Hurst branded shift lever?

The issue, according to the lead on the judging team evaluating my car, was the word (engraving/stamping) "Muncie".  I guess, since they didn't know about Muncie at all, and it being Chevy's transmission builder, perhaps they must have thought  "Muncie" was an aftermarket item and engraved as such.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm friends with three brothers who are very knowledgeable about 64-70 Chevelles. Posed the shifter question to one of them last night and the answer is 68-9 Muncie 4-speed equipped cars got the MUNCIE stamped shift lever.

 

I know that's not the proof the judging team is looking for but when people who bought these cars new and have driven and restored them for decades tell you this is how they were, it carries weight.

 

Push the question to the AACA VP-Judging along with any reference you can find. I'm sure Chevrolet had dealer tech bulletins and service publications that would cover this same as Olds did. A 1964 Olds tech bulletin covering the 1964 442 put the red line tire availability question to rest several years back, as AACA wisdom at the time was redlines were not available prior to 1966. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey they asked, which is is the right thing to do. What is presumed to be common knowledge to some is not to all. 

The information is most likely in located the Products Information Booklet or in the Engineering Features Book, I would just just call the AACA Library and ask to get a copy of the page to keep with the car for next time to present the captain before judging.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I don't know if this was the judges' issue or not, keep in mind that RPO M20 could have indicated either a Saginaw or a Muncie four speed. The low HP cars got the Saginaw, the high HP cars got the Muncie.

 

This is a page from the 1970 dealer manual, but 1969 would have been similar. Note the first gear ratios. The trans with 2.52 first is the Muncie wide ratio trans (aluminum case). The two with the 2.54 and 2.85 first gear are Saginaw (cast iron case).  All of them were designated RPO M20.

 

1817376603_Screenshot2021-10-15at04-10-57TheOldCarManualProjectBrochureCollection.png.3facf8e8abf23c37f76c7a0cd521d924.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, Gary V said:

Can anyone point me to something better the judges will accept that I can use if this comes up again ? 

Maybe you need better judges. Can I ask their approximate ages? If they're about 90 or 30's, then they wouldn't know a Muncie from a munchie.

Go to Chevytalk.com & join if you're not a member. Some of them are very anal & have superlative knowledge of everything Chevy.

Edited by George Smolinski (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I posted the question on a chevelle forum. No answers yet. Hopefully for your sake it was the (bad) luck of the draw with judges this time around. Maybe next time they will know better. I had a 1939 motorcycle judged one time. They deducted points thinking I had chromed the fenders and the chain guard. I had been told they were correct but no evidence other than that. The judge, an older gentleman that was supposed to be an expert in the marque said 'no way they were ever chrome'.  I took his work for it. After doing some research I found out indeed what I had was factory correct and the 'expert' was wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/15/2021 at 7:12 AM, 1912Staver said:

Hard to believe that AACA Judges would be unaware of Muncie transmissions. If they are not up to speed on something as basic as this , how can they possibly judge a car for correctness ?

This.

I believe the muscle car era's proliferation of factory equipped cars with Hurst shifters to be axiomatic at this point in time unless, as George said, the judges were far too old, far too young or they spent all of the 1960's and 70's living in a cave.   And if that's the case the problem is their lack of expertise and knowledge which makes them unqualified to be judging cars of this era.   You may feel my judgement of them sounds harsh but consider this;  how many here would be completely at ease with a 20 year old judging your 1930's era car on the Hershey Field?  No matter how many books he may have read on the subject or how many on-line courses he may have completed, related to early cars, there is simply no replacement for experience.

If the judges in pk's case did not possess this basic knowledge of a 1969 Malibu, one of the most common, well known and documented muscle cars of the era, how could they ever consider themselves qualified to judge a similarly equipped Nova, Cutlass, GTO, Buick GS, Mustang, AMC, etc...

Joe makes a good point in the application of the Saginaw vs. the Muncie but in 1969 the 300 horsepower Chevelle was considered a high performance car by every standard of the day, which would rule out the Saginaw transmission for this application and anyone judging this car should have that easily accessed knowledge as well. 

 

 

1829279754_hurstrambler.jpg.f0a5c3b0ebca82ef1d0a77c13787bb94.jpg

Edited by GregLaR (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, John348 said:

Joe,

That is not going to be much help, they will need some sort of paper stating that the muncie manufactured transmissions receive shifters supplied by munice, this might even be in the shop manual. Something with a photo would be best 

 

Agreed. Thus my prior comment about the Assembly Manual. That's a compendium of factory engineering drawings, which call out part numbers for specific applications.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, GregLaR said:

Joe makes a good point in the application of the Saginaw vs. the Muncie but in 1969 the 300 horsepower Chevelle was considered a high performance car by every standard of the day, which would rule out the Saginaw transmission for this application and anyone judging this car should have that easily accessed knowledge as well. 

 

Right, which is exactly what that table shows.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see what you're saying John. 

It is as simple as this, a Muncie supplied transmission included a Muncie shifter.  They considered it an integral part of the transmission. 

Greg

Edited by GregLaR (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, dalef62 said:

Wouldn't period sales literature show the shifter handle as an option?  Try asking the AACA Library for documents.

The shifter handle wasn't an option.   The transmission option ordered (automatic, M20, M21, M22 4 speeds, 3 speed) had the shifter handle as part of the whole option.  (At least that was true for 1969).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

BTW, to one and all.....I sincerely appreciate ALL of the replies, suggestions and leads.   I was surprised at the amount of discussion this topic generated.   Good to know there are so many out there familiar with this. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, GregLaR said:

Gary, I think Dale was referencing periodocals, like magazine ads, dealer brochures, etc. for photgraphs.

You are correct though, it was not an option.

Greg

Yes, sales brochures that show interiors and details, might get lucky with a picture of the shifter handle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been down this road before, just a different situation. The owner has to supply a copy of factory documentation and it should be as cut and dry, year and model specific as possible. I would think it would  be rather easy to find and the library would be a great source for that information. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, John348 said:

I have been down this road before, just a different situation. The owner has to supply a copy of factory documentation and it should be as cut and dry, year and model specific as possible. I would think it would  be rather easy to find and the library would be a great source for that information. 

At a seminar at the annual Muscle Car & Corvette Nationals show in 2015, a GM executive stated all the documents from Chevrolet Motor Division in that era were destroyed (Not including Corvette!!).  Iron Mountain had the contract to dispose of these now priceless records once the IRS retention time limit was up and apparently did a thorough job of destroying them.  To date, no 'backup' records, either paper copy, or on microfilm/fiche have been found to exist.  

 

It should be noted, if the car was made in Canada, or sold new in Canada, records are still available:  Vintage Vehicle Services

 

Craig

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, 8E45E said:

At a seminar at the annual Muscle Car & Corvette Nationals show in 2015, a GM executive stated all the documents from Chevrolet Motor Division in that era were destroyed (Not including Corvette!!).  Iron Mountain had the contract to dispose of these now priceless records once the IRS retention time limit was up and apparently did a thorough job of destroying them.  To date, no 'backup' records, either paper copy, or on microfilm/fiche have been found to exist.  

 

It should be noted, if the car was made in Canada, or sold new in Canada, records are still available:  Vintage Vehicle Services

 

Craig

 

Craig

I think we are talking two different types of documents. We are not talking RPO Codes or cowl tag codes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, John348 said:

Joe

I guess I am missing it, the chart is not specifically showing Muncie shifter, it has to be simple and fast in that situation 

 

No, it shows the Muncie trans used on the 300 HP motor as opposed to the Saginaw trans. The shifter stick usage documentation is likely only available in the Assembly Manual. I can't speak to the Chevy documents, but as an example, the equivalent Oldsmobile manuals call out the different stick part numbers depending on whether the car came with a Saginaw, Muncie trans with Muncie shifter, Muncie trans with Hurst shifter, or Hurst shifter with the "442" logo stamped in the stick. Also, where the console, non-console, or bench seat shifters differed, those part numbers are called out as well.

 

This website isn't factory documentation, so take the info with a grain of salt, but it does show the various Chevelle shifter sticks, part numbers, and claimed usage. The P/Ns can lead you to the factory parts book and the Assembly Manual, however.

 

68-72_shifters_1.JPG

Edited by joe_padavano (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There should be other cars with the Muncie engraving and those owners might be able to supply you with he documentation.  Monday i will have our library do further research to see if we have a picture showing the engraving.  What I am VERY pleased with is that the judging team made the right call.  In a case where the team is not sure they are right then the call goes to the owner.  That is what is taught and this team handled it correctly.  

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/15/2021 at 9:31 AM, Gary V said:

The issue, according to the lead on the judging team evaluating my car, was the word (engraving/stamping) "Muncie".  I guess, since they didn't know about Muncie at all, and it being Chevy's transmission builder, perhaps they must have thought  "Muncie" was an aftermarket item and engraved as such.

This is the proper and very common shifter on this era Chevelle, Nova, Beaumont, etc. If it didn't have the "Muncie" stamping it would be incorrect. M20 code is all they should need to verify. Judging error, not yours.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

There should be other cars with the Muncie engraving and those owners might be able to supply you with he documentation.  Monday i will have our library do further research to see if we have a picture showing the engraving.  What I am VERY pleased with is that the judging team made the right call.  In a case where the team is not sure they are right then the call goes to the owner.  That is what is taught and this team handled it correctly.  

More importantly, they asked the owner!  How many times do they just take points off without knowing and asking?  

PS.  I was a judge for a while...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...