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Installing a '66 or newer 727 Torqueflite into a 1964 Polara (console shift only)

Matt wrote:

This modification was not the easiest thing that I have done. I hope that this procedure makes it simpler for others.

The transmission mount does not work without some modification. Schumacher makes a new mount especially for this job. It costs $75. I had mine modified at a welding shop. It involved cutting off the mount, turning it around and rewelding it (see below).

The stock shifter only moves the cable approximately 7/8 of an inch. With the new 727 stock shifter lever, the cable must move over 2 inches. Thus, the shifter must be modified to increase the length between the pivot point and the cable mounting pin to increase the shifter cable movement. This does not compensate entirely. There is not enough room to increase this movement sufficiently. Thus, the transmission lever must be re-drilled to shorten the distance between the shaft and the cable pivot pin on the lever.

The driveshaft will be the wrong length now. I used a drive shaft out of a '65 Fury and had the large counter weight machined down one half inch per side. It's best to check the dimensions again.


Please note that you can buy the shifter cable and hardware kit separately from B & M for about 75 percent of the cost of the whole Unimatic shifter kit. I bought the whole kit as it was readily available and I'll sell the shifter and hardware to a Chevy or Ford guy. In hindsight, it was not the cheapest way to go. As an option, I have been told that a shifter cable from an '80 Omni or Horizon could be used. Also, a transmission bracket could be fabricated quite easily.

Tools As usual, we make due with the tools we have.

Transmission Support Bracket

I took the bracket to the local welding shop and told them to cut off the front box which holds the rubber mount, turn it around and re-weld it to the bracket. The measurement from the transmission bolt holes to the centerline of the bracket should be 2 3/4 ". New transmission mounting holes must also be drilled but I can't remember the distance although I think it was also 2 3/4 " from the axial centerline. I did have to grind some of the metal away where it hit a boss on the transmission but otherwise it worked well.

Steps- Shifter Modifications

1. Remove the shifter from the console and discard the 2 cables.

2. Fabricate a shifter extension using the 3/4" flat bar x 3.25" long approx., to be welded to the shifter. It is to be welded above the pivot point at the bottom of the shifter and extends past the old cable pin, up to the top of the shifter on the front side of the switch. I notched out 2 areas at the old pivot pin and on the other side for clearance. A hole must be drilled near the top of this lever, before it is welded on. This hole is 2.75" from the center of the pivot point to where the new cable pin is to be fabricated and welded into the bracket. A 1/4" steel dowel must be cut, drilled for a retaining pin and welded into the extension. Before and after welding the extension on, move the shifter back and forth to make sure that the extension does not interfere with any parts of the shifter, the top plate, or the floor; (there is not much room between the floor hump and the shifter).

3. Using 1/2" flat bar, fabricate a cable support bracket to be bolted and welded to the shifter at the old cable securing location. I made a "looped" bracket and welded in a brace for rigidity. There is not a lot of room in the console so this brace is angled to the driver's side so it fits in along the side of the floor tunnel.

4. For the cable bracket which bolts to the transmission oil pan, I redrilled the 2 holes to move it forward 1/2". If I had to do it again I would of moved it at least another 1/4"

5. Install the shifter cable.

6. Transmission lever - this was a trial and error thing for me even using some trigonometry. I ended up drilling a new hole for the cable to attach to the lever at 3/4" (center to center) from the old hole. This should work if the shifter cable has a 2.75" pivot point to cable pin measurement. Another guy who did a similar modification ended up shortening the lever by 1/2" but I do not know if this was center to center or any other details. It helps to have an old expendable lever to experiment with.

7. Adjust the transmission cable per B & M recommendations. Damage can occur if it is not adjusted properly. Ensure proper shifter operation by repeating shifts and checking for proper operation.

Good Luck!

Thanks for the tips, Matt!

Gary H.

July 1, 2002

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