Chapter 5   <  ^  >

Subject:   Return of Rustpuppy report 33

Date:       Sunday, August 06, 2000 8:46 PM


After all the excitement about the gray/silver slime in the pan of Rustpuppy’s TH350 things settled down to the weekend project.  The consensus of the knowledgeable list members was that the slime was just the normal clutch material deposits.  Not a big deal as I had thought.

So the next step is putting in the B&M shift kit street/strip stage.  The first thing those rascals do is have you enlarge two holes in the steel separator plate they provide.  (cheap, there should be two separate kits for heavy duty stage and street/strip stage)  I couldn’t help but think of ol’ Ray for some reason while I was drillin..  (ror33-1.jpg)  I deburred the holes to avoid trouble later..

Ror33-2.jpg shows the sacrificial lamb just before the kit went in.  The pan is on to keep the dew out..

  The view under was pretty nice with good acess to everything.  (ror33-3.jpg)  I really like doing this kit on the ground with the tranny inverted versus trying to do it in the car..   What a nightmare that must be..

Ror33-4.jpg shows the gasket footprint of the valve body on the separator plate and it looks good..

Ror33-5.jpg is the valve body with the gasket adhering..  (Notice the S-link just before losing itself in the grass below..) 

Ror33-6.jpg shows the transmission casting with the four check balls in place..  B&M has you discard three of them for the Street/Strip stage..   The balls in this tranny were brass so I had to fish them out with longnose pliers instead of a magnet (with nightmare thoughts of losing one down in somewhere bad..)  My three brass balls will be the subject of a later post..

The valve body looked pretty and the everything about it seemed in tip-top shape..  (ror33-7)  I have an ugly story about the accumulator piston showing in this pic but will cover it in another post later..

The nice gasket provided by B&M went in first.  I had left the one needed brass ball..  (ror33-8.jpg) 

Pressing on recklessly the separator plate went on. (ror33-9.jpg)  The pen is pointing at the location of the one brass check ball.. 

Then the valve body gasket and the two strange metal diversion plates went into place.  (ror33-10.jpg)  I found traces of gasket material located in odd places all through the previous steps and scraped and sanded it off in each case. (about 9 places)  I am going to have to give Tracy trouble about that..  He was the one who last rebuilt this tranny.. 

The stock separator plate was cleaned up and went on top of the two B&M trick plates..  (ror33-11.jpg) 

Then the valve body went back on after frantically searching for the S-Link lost back in ror33-5.jpg.

A real pain in the butt was the little spring clip pivot pin thingie.  (pointed to in ror33-12.jpg)  It is a three hands thing to install this simple little part..  I guess experience is helpful for some of this stuff.. 

I remembered to install the filter (thinkin of Dave McLelland for some reason.. ror33-13.jpg)


Then it was time for some fun stuff.  Installing the B&M drain plug kit.

You can see the neat deburred ” hole I popped into the pan..  (drillpresses is good, see ror33.14.jpg)   A little wrench work and some good ol’ teflon paste on the plug and it was done..  (ror33-15.jpg)


B&M sent a pretty nice cork/rubber gasket in the kit but it was distorted and took a lot of fooling around to get the pan bolts lined up..  (ror33-16.jpg)

Last (I bet you are happy to hear that.) the pan is on and torqued and ready for the next “Transmission Madness Episode”..  ror33-17.jpg..

Rick Draganowski

(more to come..)




Subject:   Return of Rustpuppy report 34

Date:       Monday, August 07, 2000 9:29 PM


After the fun installation of the shift kit I pressed on to the final details of getting the TH350 ready to mate up to Goody.  I have been told and it makes sense to me that regardless of the condition of the transmission seals to replace them every time you get a chance.  It is a royal pain in the butt doing the rear one and impossible to do the front one in the car.

So you can see the first step in ror34-1.jpg..   Good NAPA seals for about six bucks..  (cheap insurance)

  Ror34-2.jpg shows the front one after removal.  (they always look bad after my removal technique..  hehehehe..)

The new front seal ready for the precision installation.  (ror34-3.jpg) Note the shine on the seal.  That is from the transmission fluid wiped on the mating surface to help with the installation. 

Ror34-4.jpg shows the high-tech precision installation tool..  And the removal attachment too.. 

Ror34-5.jpg shows the new seal safely in place with tiny marks all around the circumference.. 

Ror34-6.jpg has the old seals and the complete removal/replacement tool kit..   The new seal is installed in the rear too..

Next a layer of self-etching primer on the bottom..  (love that stuff..  ror34-7.jpg) 

And the neat Silver “Commercial Coating” from NAPA..  (real good paint, ror34-8.jpg)

Then it was time to flip the tranny over and get it up to working height for masking and painting topside. (ror34-9.jpg) 

Then two coats of that great primer.  (ror34-10.jpg and ror34-11.jpg) followed by two coats of the Silver (pretty fast too as the primer dries in about 5 minutes)..  That baby is starting to look like something from the engine room of the Starship Enterprise..   (ror34-12.jpg and ror34-13.jpg)


More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(Beam me up, Scotty)




Subject:   Return of Rustpuppy report 35

Date:       Tuesday, August 08, 2000 9:04 PM


Things are coming together for Goody and the TH350 so today some thought was given to the place Goody goes.  I have sworn never again to pick a motor up as high as I did when removing Knocker.  So the grille and top crosspiece in the “Core Mount”  (source C. Butcher) had to go.  First the grille (ror35-1.jpg) was out in a jiffy (6 sheet metal screws) and then the hacksaw fetched to attack the crosspiece.  (see ror35-2.jpg and ror35-3.jpg)

Naturally since ol’ Dumbbutt Draganowski was pressed for time (due to an unusually large “real” workload today and darkness falling) he plumb forgot about the headlight harness running through the thingie he was cutting until he could see it pushed down below the cut..  Some damage was done..(ror35-4.jpg)   I feel so stupid sometimes.  Whenever I get in a hurry I just make more work for me to do..  Duhhh..

Anyway the lift height for the motor went from a dizzying 47” hurdle to a much more reasonable 35” hurdle.  And if I pull off the front bumper it drops to 28”..   (I probably will pull the bumper assy and weigh it too..  Tomorrow...)

More to come...

Rick Draganowski

(sawing up his wiring harness..  )




 Subject:  Return of Rustpuppy report 36

Date:       Friday, August 11, 2000 12:31 AM


A nice sunny day to make up for yesterday and the promised bumperectomy took place.  The eight nuts on the stud plates were off in a jiffy after some wd40 hit them and the bumper was free and laying next to Rustpuppy.  (ror36-1)The last time I had the front bumper off was back in 94 when I did the first motor transplant.  I can’t believe how much heavier it has become.  I weighed it to make sure and with the tin bumper trim and it’s three brackets and the license plate it weighs exactly 70 lbs.  The hydraulic shocks are probably another 20 so the Disco bumpers add about 180lbs to the car.


You can see that Goody will not have to go very high as it is a straight shot into the motor compartment.  (ror36-2.jpg and ror36-3.jpg)

I used the balance of todays Nova moment to clean up and paint the steering box and master cylinder.  You can see the results.  I used a brush on Polyurethane Enamel which for some reason is no longer available locally.  Probably EPA regs or something..  (ror36-4.jpg)

Much better now...  (ror36-5.jpg and ror36-6.jpg)

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(governor madness next..)




 Subject:  Return of Rustpuppy report 37

Date:       Sunday, August 13, 2000 9:55 PM


Having the transmission all buttoned up and shiny with silver paint naturally I scarred up the paint taking it apart again.  It is governor stuff this time.  Back when this TH350 was a respectable light truck transmission GM blessed it with a transmission governor which caused the 1-2 shift at 3800 rpm and the 2-3 shift at 4400 rpm.  Not the hot setup for a small block with a cam..  I replaced the truck governor with a replacement generic TH350 governor from NAPA.  This raised the 1-2 shift to 4800rpm but left the 2-3 shift still at 4400..  Naturally the second or third time I used the raised shift points the old Target Master in Rustpuppy started knocking..  Last December..

Anyhow ror37-1.jpg shows the freshly painted governor area ready to be scratched up.  The wire bale did not fit tight and I was concerned about the cap leaking later.  More on this later..  

Ror37-2 shows the home of the governor.. 

Here the governor is just before tearing it apart. 

The next pic shows why the wire bale fit so loose.  Someone (not me!) pounded the center of the cap in.  (ror37-4.jpg)  A couple of hits with a long socket and a ball peen hammer put it right in a jiffy.

The best way of getting the case-hardened finishing nails that GM uses for flyweight pivot pins is to grind the flattened ends off.  Note that the governor is encased in a shroud to prevent grit from gettin in the works..(ror37-5.jpg) 

Here it is with the pins ground off and the shroud discarded.. (ror37-6.jpg)

Next post will continue the Governor modification saga..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(finishing nails?   yup..)




 Subject:  Return of Rustpuppy report 38

Date:       Sunday, August 13, 2000 9:56 PM


After the ground off finishing nails were pulled the governor came to pieces on my desk.  You will note the four inner weights in the rear,  The two on the right are the (still dirty) old standard weights and the two on the left are the modified replacements.  (ror38-1,jpg) About 15% of the mass involved in the governing effect has been ground off.  Since the action of the governor (based on centrifugal force (centripetal to the purists)) is a second power function I estimate that the 1-2 shift will be put off till just above 7000rpm.. Hoo haa!

Putting the springs between the inner and outer flyweights is a lot easier with the governor apart.  (ror38-2.jpg and ror38-3.jpg)   Thinking of Ray at this point and the complaining he done on the spring changing..

Ror38-4.jpg shows the governor going back together with custom polished finishing nails..  (had to polish them in a drill with 220 grit wetordry to get them to fit)   

Next you can see the springs lurking inside and the extra long custom racing finishing nails..  ( ror38-5.jpg with wetordry in background)

Then I placed the “Super Racing Modified Governor” in a cocoon to protect it while grinding off the extra length of nails and pounding them flat..   (my kinda work..   ror38-6.jpg and the finished product ror38-7.jpg)



Then the “Super Racin Modified Governor” found it’s home and the door closed followed by some touch up spray of sliver and we are done..  (ror38-8,jpg and ror38-9,jpg..)


More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(in low impact working mode, not ready for strenuous stuff..)



 Subject:  Return of Rustpuppy report 39 (was Re: [nova] Return of Rustpuppy report 38)

Date:       Monday, August 14, 2000 10:01 PM


I pulled it out and put the stock weights back in this evening, thanks Chuck, Craig, Tom, and I think Bruce..

Rick Draganowski

(ol’ dumbbutt..)

(learning the hard way..)


P.S. the picture shows the governor with the stock weights back in and the modified ones laying on the desk..

P.P.S.   Duhhhhh...




----- Original Message -----

From:      Chuck Butcher <>

To:          Rick Draganowski <>; Craig Watson

               <>; <>

Sent:       Monday, August 14, 2000 9:34 PM

Subject:   Re: [nova] Return of Rustpuppy report 38



| Yes

| Chuck Butcher

| 62 Chevy II Nova 400 2dr Sedan

| 74 K5

| Don’t force that, son, get a bigger hammer


| ----- Original Message -----

| From: “Rick Draganowski” <>

| To: “Craig Watson” <>; <>

| Sent: Monday, August 14, 2000 4:26 PM

| Subject: Re: [nova] Return of Rustpuppy report 38



| > Oh nuts!  This means having to undo the modification I just made..

| >

| > Are you sure?

| >

| > Rick Draganowski

| > (learning the hard way..)

| >

| > ----- Original Message -----

| > From: Craig Watson <>

| > To: <>

| > Sent: Monday, August 14, 2000 4:08 PM

| > Subject: Re: [nova] Return of Rustpuppy report 38

| >

| >

| > > The governor controls the automatic shifts.  If its set up to shift at | > 7000, | > > then if you move the shifter from 1st to 2nd at less than 7000 rpm, the | > > tranny will wait until 7000 rpm (if full throttle is still applied) to | > > shift.

| > >

| > > Now that you have a ratcheting shifter (so that you can’t blame your | > column | > > shifter any longer), just shift it manually.  This will require a | governor | > > set to shift lower than your desired shift points.

| > >

| > > For instance, my tranny’s governor is stock and shifts at 4500 at WOT.

| > But

| > > I shift manually at 5500 with the 307 and expect to shift at about


| > with

| > > the new and improved 383.

| > >

| > > Craig

| > >

| > >

| > > ----- Original Message -----

| > > From: Rick Draganowski <>

| > > To: <>; <>

| > > Sent: Monday, August 14, 2000 4:49 PM

| > > Subject: Re: [nova] Return of Rustpuppy report 38

| > >

| > >

| > > > Huh?

| > > >

| > > > Explain please.

| > > >

| > > > Rick Draganowski

| > > > (always learning, sometimes the hard way..)

| > > >

| > > >

| > > > ----- Original Message -----

| > > > From: <>

| > > > To: <>

| > > > Sent: Monday, August 14, 2000 9:33 AM

| > > > Subject: Re: [nova] Return of Rustpuppy report 38

| > > >

| > > >

| > > > > but if you modified the governor to shift at 7,000 the trans won’t

| > shift

| > > > into

| > > > > second till 7,000 even if you put the shifter in second at 5,600.

| > > > > tom

| > > > >

| > > > > In a message dated 8/14/00 1:29:07 AM Eastern Daylight Time, | > > > > writes:

| > > > >

| > > > > << I agree 100%.  I will be shifting at 5500-6000 with the neat

| Hurst

| > > > > Pro-Matic

| > > > >  rachet shifter Ray and Scott talked me into I did not want to be | > > > overruled | > > > >  at 4400 rpm by the governor..

| > > > >

| > > > >  Rick Draganowski

| > > > >  (Goody has a 6000rpm redline..)



 Subject:  Return of Rustpuppy report 40

Date:       Wednesday, August 16, 2000 10:02 PM


Have been feeling better the last couple of days and was able to horse some stuff around getting ready to mate the TH350 to Goody.  (ror40-2.jpg, ror40-3.jpg and 40-4.jpg)

Since I have no stable way of raising the tranny to mate to the motor I blocked up the tranny higher that the motor and will lift up the motor and mate it to the tranny..  Backwards but effective..

Ror 40-5.jpg shows the stock 12” truck converter that Rustpuppy was stuck with next to the neato 11” TCI Break-A-Way 2800rpm stall job I got from Jeg’s for 200 bucks..  I expect that it will be money well spent..

By the way, I forgot to take an exact measurement, in my excitement during disassembly, so could someone tell me the distance from the transmission bellhousing flange surface and the mounting ears on the converter when it is fully mated into the pump dogs? (long sentence.. better watch that)  I want to be really sure I don’t mess it up..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(progress is good)



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