It goes back to the root of who we are. It's part of the core of our souls. It was the drive of the earliest shade tree mechanics. It's in the makeup of every motorhead. I'm talking about the desire to do-it-yourself. We all know the deep satisfaction that comes from successfully tackling a project we've never done before. We take great pleasure in being able to say, "I did that myself." for most of us, there is also the need to know the job was done right. After all, no one cares as much about your project as you do.
Of course, things have changed a lot since the early days. We need a lot more than a box of basic hand tools today. There's more specialty equipment and special skills needed now. Who would have ever dreamed that some of us would be tuning our musclecars with a laptop computer? whatever skill level you possess, there will always be things that are best left for a professional. Still, there are a lot of basics that will always stay the same, so we want to take you back to those basics and show you one of the things that most anyone can do.
For you old timers, this will be a good review of something you might not have done in a while. If you are new to Mopar muscle, this may be just the thing to get you started down the road of a very satisfying hobby.
To help you identify what...
To help you identify what we're going to be working on, here is a photo of a freshly cleaned and ready to rebuild four-speed. a Hemi four-speed has 18 splines on the input shaft, while the more readily abundant small-block and not-so-high-performance big-block versions have 23 splines.
We put the word out we were looking for a back-to-basics-type project we could detail for our readers, and John Balow, owner of Muscle car Restorations, was quick to respond with the offer of an A-833 (Hemi four-speed) rebuild. He was kind enough to wait for us to get out to his Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, shop so we could follow one of his expert technicians through each step of the teardown and rebuild.
Probably the best advice we can give you is to take your time and to carefully notice how each part or subassembly goes together. Keep everything in order as you go and especially keep all the slider assemblies together until you are ready to replace whatever you need to. if you do one at a time you'll have the other one for a reference. It's also a good idea to take some photos just in case you need to step away from the job for a while.
Zumbrota Bearing and Gear in Zumbrota, Minnesota, supplied the parts necessary for this rebuild. They also provide countershafts for the cluster gear and can rebuild the input shaft to good-as-new condition.
Another service Muscle Car Restorations takes advantage of is their transmission dyno. They are able to thoroughly test a transmission, simulating in-car conditions, so when it's finally installed in your car you know it will work perfectly.