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Street Race Truck More... The Toolbox

Speedway Chevy Engine to Chevy Transmission Steel Bellhousing

10/23/2020
Tags: Tech, Tech

Let’s face it, though they were once a dime a dozen, factory bellhousings that back a GM manual transmission up to a small block or big block Chevy are getting hard to find. Many of those OE versions are over 50 years old and even if you find one at the swap meet or junkyard, they’ve often been damaged over the decades. Combine that with the fact that most aftermarket bellhousings tend to be pretty expensive and it can be surprisingly hard to put a stick in your budget-minded street car or truck. This new steel bellhousing from Speedway Motors is made for everyone who wants to run three pedals without spending a fortune or rolling around in the dirt at the junkyard.

Speedway's new Steel Bellhousing makes it easy to run a manual transmission in your street rod, muscle car, or classic truck,

This bellhousing is designed with Muncie and Saginaw transmissions in mind. It will also work with non-World Class T5’s and Tremec TKO 5-speeds that use the GM four-bolt pattern.

You’ll notice that there’s not a huge window in the side for a clutch fork, only small holes for the feed and bleeder lines to a hydraulic throwout bearing. This makes such an installation nice, tidy, and fully contained. If you want to run a factory style release bearing, you will need to cut your own hole in the side for the fork. The threaded boss for the pivot ball is already there. (If you’re new to hydraulic bearings, don’t be intimidated. Check out this article for some advice and pointers on how to set them up.)

These are already powdercoated in gloss black, saving you the trouble and expense of coating or painting yourself.

There’s also a handy window in the bottom of this bellhousing that offers a place to inspect the clutch and throwout bearing. You’ll appreciate this window as you’re installing the transmission because it allows you to hold on to the throwout bearing as you slide the transmission into place. When you’re done, the included cover seals it up, keeping the dust from the clutch in and dirt and water out.

That inspection window in the bottom is a lifesaver.

This bellhousing is meant for an old-school Chevy small or big block. It is not designed for LS or LT engines. The relationship between the bellhousing flange and the crankshaft flange is different on Gen III and later engines and they require a different bellhousing. It’s also meant for the smaller 153-tooth flywheel.

This bellhousing is not SFI rated. It’s designed for street use, not racing. If you plan to hit the track, a rated bellhousing is recommended and likely required by your sanctioning body.

These are already coated in a black zinc finish, making for a bellhousing that’s ready to bolt in and won’t break the bank. If you’re on the fence about running a stick or an automatic in your street car, this bellhousing might just tip the scales in favor of a good old manual. After all, it’s more fun to row your own gears!

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