GN and T-Type Performance Enthusiasts (GNTTYPE) Forums GN and T-Type Performance Enthusiasts (GNTTYPE) Forums
This is a general site search and does not include list archives.

Go Back   GN and T-Type Performance Enthusiasts (GNTTYPE) Forums > FAQ and General > Turbo Regal FAQs

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-04-2010, 02:53 AM
farmike85 farmike85 is offline
Farmer Mike
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: IA
Posts: 5
farmike85 is on a distinguished road
Default Manual Transmission behind the 3.8

Will the 3.8 bolt up to a T-5 manual trans? Having wild ideas about replacing the anemic 2.1 L Peugeot (god i hate spelling that) turbo diesel in a piece of farm equip. Don't want to pull the engine out of my GN just to try. P.S. it's cold here gets my mind thinking crazy things! Thanks
Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2010, 11:47 AM
kenmosher's Avatar
kenmosher kenmosher is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: CO
Posts: 3,984
kenmosher is on a distinguished road
Default RE: Manual Transmission behind the 3.8

Not a trivial task ... mainly because the 3.8 was almost exclusively fielded with automatics from the factory.

You'll need flywheel, throwout bearing/pilot bearings, clutch, linkage, etc. I *think* the old H body (think Monza, Skyhawk) might have had a 3.8/manual option back in the 70s. That might be a place to start.

However, better start stuffing your pocket book because this will be a fairly expensive adventure and many of the parts will be difficult to find.

Here's a link to some info about a swap like this:

Originally Posted by popular_hotrodding
Manual Transmission Swap Into A Buick T-Type- The Last Word
Readers' Feedback Finding Out You Can Swap A Manual Trans Into A Buick T-Type
By Liz Miles

I want to start off by saying "thank you" for all the feedback. A couple of months ago, I received a letter from a reader asking if it was possible to transplant a manual transmission into a T-Type Turbo Buick Regal. I pillaged the internet, called every part manufacturer I could think of to ask for an answer, chased every lead I could find, only to find myself chasing my own tail. I wrote back to this reader that, to the best of my knowledge, no one has a kit, or detailed instructions on how to put it together that were reliable enough to print.

Since that particular Q&A column hit the newsstand, I got several emails back with suggestions on how to make the swap happen. To my amazement, they were all consistent with each other, giving me the sense that it has been done successfully many times before. The first thing I thought is how I can get this back to the readers who were left unanswered in the first mention of the swap.

Obviously, we can't know everything, but this proves with a little help, any piece of knowledge you desire can be acquired if it's out there. So here it is.

Since the T-Types came with automatic transmissions,the flexplate needs to be replaced with a flywheel. The non-turbo 3.8L V-6 came with a manual transmission in other cars, so the replacement parts are out there. McLeod carries the required '77-87 even-fire 160-tooth flywheel in steel and aluminum. These part numbers are 467100-6A, and 567100-6A, respectively. The clutch part numbers depend on what transmission you end up using, but put in a call to McLeod, and you'll have some part numbers to work with.

Pedal Assembly
Again, since other A-/G-bodies had manuals, the pedal assemblies fit right in, with only a few new holes to be drilled. These assemblies can be borrowed from '78-81 Malibu or other A-body cars.

Bell Housing
There are basically two different GM bellhousings, the Chevrolet and the Buick-Olds-Pontiac (BOP). The BOP found in '78-81 A-body cars can be used behind the 3.8L motor with a 10.5-inch clutch disc. Marc of found this interesting option: the '82-83 F-body came with a manual transmission that was not a T5-it used a very unique bellhousing (casting 14037657). The transmission is mounted in a "straight-up" fashion, not rotated at 17 degrees like the T5. The fork geometry is correct for use in a '78-88 A-/G-body. This bellhousing has both the Chevrolet bolt pattern, and the BOP bolt pattern, like on the TH 200-4R.

Throwout Bearing/Clutch Fork
If you have decided to stick with a linkage-style clutch, you will need to graft the donor A-body's linkage to your Regal. There are many mechanical parts in this system that have not stood the test of time as well as we would've liked. Another option is to use a cable-operated clutch. It's much simpler to install, and has fewer moving parts. For example, that era Chevy Monza has a cable-operated clutch you can take the parts from. A third option is to use a hydraulic throwout bearing from Keisler. This would mean installing a clutch master cylinder, lines, and the bearing.

The most attractive swap is the T56 from the Dodge Viper. It is a BorgWarner-built six-speed that is one step tougher then the T56s found in Camaros and Firebirds. Gilbert Chevrolet modifies these transmissions to replace the T5 found in third-generation F-bodies. The T5 is an option as well, and won't need to be modified. A common crossmember used for this application is from a '79 V-6 Malibu. It is used on the '78-87 A-/G-body, and is part number 473725.

The driveshaft length will need to be changed, depending on the transmission of choice. Call your local driveshaft shop for measuring instructions to have your driveshaft adapted.
Ken Mosher
1987 GN original owner 650+ HP Black
2015 BMW 328xi XDrive wagon
2012 Volkswagen Tiguan (the Tig!) Night Blue Met (sold)
2006 Trailblazer SS Red Jewel Tint 395 HP AWD (sold)
2014 Silverado LTZ Crew 4WD
2012 Honda VFR 1200F Tahitian Blue (sold)
2015 BMW S1000R Racing Red
2013 Honda CBR500R Red (wife's bike)
2014 Triumph Bonneville T100
2003 Harley Davidson V Rod Anniversary Edition

Last edited by kenmosher; 01-04-2010 at 11:52 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2010, 07:16 PM
chuck121566 chuck121566 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1
chuck121566 is on a distinguished road
Question Re: Manual Transmission behind the 3.8

I've given this some thought as well. Didn't the Camaros of the 93-2001 vintage come with 3.8s with a manual (non)option? Maybe this is an entirely different bolt pattern...I have no idea.
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:26 PM.

This page maintained by:

The content, images, text and multimedia displayed and contributed by the members of the Grand National and T-Type Performance Enthusiasts Organization are Copyright ©1996-2005. No part, section, image, article or whole of this site may be reposted or redisplayed without permission of the author/contributor and/or the Grand National and T-Type Performance Enthusiasts Organization.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.