I am doing a ground-up rebuild on a '46 Fleetline Aerosedan. I bought this car at an estate auction. It had been sitting outside for many years, and did not have an engine when I got it. It did have the stock 3 speed transmission, which I have rebuilt and installed to a freshly rebuilt '53 Powerglide 235.
What I'm needing help with is the shift mechanism / linkage. It had vacuum shift and I have (I believe) all of the components, but I'm somewhat puzzled about how they all go together. Note that the linkage/ shift rods were not completely hooked up when I picked up the car. Anyway, I'm hoping somebody can help with a diagram, photos, or video showing exactly how the linkage rods connect to the end of the shifting rod (? the rod that sits on top of the steering column). In my initial efforts to piece this back together and make sure everything shifts right (before I put the body back on) I am finding that the smaller linkage rod is bumping into the brake pedal shaft.
I think a couple of good pictures would really get me set straight here! Thanks very much!
While I cannot offer any direct guidance related to your ‘46, here are a few ideas to consider.
If you are a VCCA ember you can directly contact the Technical Advisor for your era vehicle. You can also locate other members who have similar vehicles. Many of them are very willing to help but they do not use Chat.
Review the shop manual as well as the Illustrations in the Master Parts List. They often will have information to help you determine the proper location and orientation of the parts.
Remember that orientation is often critical. For example, what happens if you flip a rod end for end or attach it to the other side of the arms or pivot points?
Look on the internet for pictures of similar cars. I do a search for similar cars that are for sale. Depending upon the listing there might be pictures that show the details you need.
I often tell people that Bring A Trailer is the best photographic library available. A listing there often has 100+ pictures of a vehicle showing lots of details. The limitation is that there are not many of these older classic Chevy’s sold through that auction site.
Thanks Russell! Yes, those were indeed helpful. I will compare them to mine next time I'm in the shop. I also have a conversion kit (to eliminate vacuum shift) on the way from COT40s, so I think that hardware will help with my brake pedal interference problems. I might look into rebuilding the vacuum shift at some point, but my priority now is to make sure the shift mechanism is working right BEFORE I put the body back on--much easier to see and adjust everything with no body in the way!
The vacuum shift makes shifting easy and is right for the car.
The secret to it working properly lies in whether it is adjusted correctly.
CofTF and/or FS have a tool for this purpose. When trying to adjust the vacuum in and out this tool will make its just right and make your car shift like a dream. The tool looks like a washer but is milled to such an exact specification that no other washer would do the trick.
As to the hookup of the shifter unit, it would be difficult to assemble it in improper order.
I encourage you to forget the elimination lever. That, of course, is your call but for my two cents nothing more than shortsighted/small thinking. And, I mean that in a most respectful way. With the vacuum working properly you will understand. Good luck with it.
Your points are well taken. I have heard from many others that a functioning vacuum shift is quite desirable. I do have the vacuum shift components, but as I mentioned in the OP, this car had been sitting outside for possibly decades, and hence everything not either enclosed or caked in greasy dirt was heavily rusted or seized. So I'd love to rebuild the vacuum unit down the road. I didn't see any parts for rebuilding the vacuum canister at COT40s--might you know if and where a rebuild kit is available? Thanks!
Chevy b has a vacuum unit listed in the "For Sale" forum here on Chat. Scroll on down the list of forums.
He wants 50 bucks for it and that is a right good price I would think.
Also, I have some parts if you need a piece or too.
It is important to get the tool I mentioned for adjusting the in and out piston.
BTW: There is an old saying that goes, "If you put up with something you abhor long enough, you will learn to like it." Or words to that effect. It's similar to using the elimination arm instead of the vacuum unit. Chances are that you will never get the vacuum unit replaced because you will get used to it and, not knowing what you're missing, never get around to going back original.
I purchased and installed a rebuild kit, from COT40s, for my vacuum shift last winter. Great kit and went together without problems. The hardest part was getting the rubber boot installed. Works like a champ!
My ‘46 was purchased as a field car and had been converted to vacuum-less in its first life. I can attest to the fact that shifting gears is not pleasant without. First and reverse are difficult to find. I’m not likely to replace it and find the correct components though. Grin and bear it!