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theholycow 06-01-2010 02:15 AM

Not a Camaro, but maybe someone here can help...
I've got a 1980 Buick LeSabre with a 4.1L V6 and a TH350 that I intend to put a T5 manual transmission in. I do not have the resources, the skill, or the knowledge required. I'm gonna try anyway.

The car will be slow. I do not intend to go fast. I am just making it into the car that I want to drive to work.

I'm researching how to do it, and planning for some of the difficulties I can predict.

1. My crankshaft is probably not drilled for a pilot bearing/bushing. There is an adapter at but I don't know how to find out if it will fit or not. It's marketed for Oldsmobile 4-4-2/Cutlass owners. How can I figure out if my crankshaft's end matches the one the pilot adapter is sold for?

2. The T5 will come with a GM Metric pattern bellhousing. My engine is BOP pattern...
2a. As I understand, any 1965-up manual transmission found behind a BOP engine will have the bellhousing that I need. Sounds easy but it's really quite difficult...apparently nobody bought any. I've located a decently priced 1967 Pontiac Tempest manual transmission. Any way to verify that it is BOP pattern without having to go see it in person?

2b. What about an adapter? Summit sells this: which is described as being for automatics but I wonder if it will work for a manual would a bellhousing adapter differ for an auto vs. a manual?

Shaggy 06-05-2010 03:30 AM

I have been hearing about this for awhile. Need to see some pics soon!!

theholycow 06-06-2010 12:54 AM

I bought the S10 donor vehicle today. Looks like I'm actually going through with this.

HMFDZ28 06-21-2010 06:48 AM

Nice nice... Yes there are adapters from BOP to GM so I dont think that will be an issue.

As far as the crank goes I wasnt aware of GM motors having the issues liek the fords of 2 diff cranks from manuals and Autos. Then again I havent ripped that motor down to say for sure. Should be a nice little project, just remeber the t-5 has a hydraulic clutch.

theholycow 06-23-2010 03:07 AM

Yeah, the hydraulic clutch should make things easier.

I haven't found any BOP->GM Metric for manual transmissions. I may just have one made.

HMFDZ28 06-24-2010 01:03 AM

I wonder if you may have better luck replacing the bellhousing

theholycow 06-24-2010 12:24 PM

Yeah, that was my original plan. If I do that then I'll have to improvise my clutch actuation, not to mention trying to mix and match clutch parts, but it still seems like my best option.

theholycow 06-25-2010 02:01 AM

Well, I might as well post my updates here as well as on the other site where I'm posting them.

1. I don't need to find pedals. The S10 clutch pedal will be perfect. I figured out how to make it fit and I don't know if a pedal exists that would work better. I think it will be a little close to the brake pedal but it should be ok.

I just thought of a couple things. I have to mock it up again and see if there will be room for my knee to come up at the top of the clutch pedal's travel. I'm afraid the dash or the steering wheel could get in the way. The dash may also get in the way of the pedal arm itself.

The whole assembly will be inside the car more than it was in the S10. On the S10, there was a sandwich: clutch master flange - firewall - clutch pedal frame. The clutch master will penetrate the firewall in the Buick. Luckily, the flange comes off:
I'll just have to flash around it. I might make a flashing out of sheet metal, or I might make a rubber boot out of something like a shifter boot or a roofing Witch's Hat, which is made for sealing pipes that stick out of roofs.

Here's approximately where it will go.

I had to trim some extra bits off the clutch pedal frame for it to clear the fuse block in the car. I decided to rig my angle grinder up into a sort of shop tool. Kids, don't try this at home!

Before I got the clutch figured out I tried trimming the S10's brake pedal bushing. I am terrible at freehand stuff but I was confident that I could do this one. I was wrong. Luckily I won't be using this anyway - I neither need to, nor am able to.

Here's what it might look like if I did use that botched brake pedal and the clutch pedal right next to it without the clutch pedal frame:

They look good there but they're way too close.

I won't be doing that. I'm mounting the clutch pedal more to the left, and the brake will end up about where the brake is in that picture.

Here's where the clutch pedal will be. Unfortunately I forgot to get everything in the picture but I was just trying to photograph the way it just barely clears the fuse block. I'll probably put a guard between the pedal and the wires coming off the fuse block so it doesn't abrade and fray the wires.

2. I got the driveshaft off the Buick. I guess the stuff I sprayed yesterday did its job because it came right off today. I stuck a crowbar in it and barely touched it when it came loose.

3. I got one of the bolts off the exhaust manifold -> cat pipe. I have no clue how to get the other one off unless I can get like a 2 inch cutoff wheel for the dremel. Maybe I can do that, actually.

Bad news: My wife just randomly got pissed off at me. I asked if she wants to go to the air show this weekend. She said no way, and then didn't want me to go. While searching for some kind of reason to give me why I shouldn't go she cited her friend's birthday party that I wasn't going to anyway...pfft, women...

theholycow 06-25-2010 02:42 AM

I thought of how I might cut off that bolt...either using the remote dremel attachment or the incresibly cheesy 12v mini-dremel I have.

theholycow 06-26-2010 07:18 PM

Question: How does one normally get bolts out of the top of the bellhousing when it's nearly touching the firewall?

theholycow 06-29-2010 02:47 AM

Removed crossmember, lowered transmission+engine (I was surprised how far down it went), got access to the bolts with wobble extensions.

T5 is out of the truck and in my basement. :)

theholycow 07-02-2010 12:14 PM

Got the TH350 out of the Buick. :pepper:

theholycow 07-05-2010 11:25 PM

I've got the "Can't find a decently priced appropriately balanced flywheel" blues. :(

Shaggy 07-09-2010 07:42 PM

Get this done already Holy!!!

theholycow 07-10-2010 12:15 PM

I'm getting it done way faster than I expected. I didn't think I'd be this far into it until like September.

For the past couple weeks the heat has prevented me from doing much of the little work I can still do outside. It was like Texas temperatures plus RI humidity...and an RI guy is used to RI winters.

I say "the little work I can still do outside" because I've come up to a roadblock. There has never been a flywheel for the 4.1. I'm struggling to find one that will even bolt up, let alone one that has the correct balance.

Yesterday I stopped at a Car Quest and they recommended a couple machine shops that specialize in flywheels and drivetrains. The first one they thought of for flywheels is near my house. I'm going there ASAP to talk to them about it.

theholycow 07-10-2010 06:19 PM


I spent the morning outside working on it. I found out that the little bit of finalizing the pedals that I needed to do is a lot of tedious work. I also failed in numerous ways. Today is not a good day for me to work on it...

theholycow 03-13-2011 02:25 PM

Oh...I forgot to update this thread.

I finished it up and got the car on the road by October. I've put 5,000 miles on it since then. I'm amazed that it still works.

The engine runs pretty bad now. I think the rotten carburetor is to blame. I want to convert to fuel injection but I may settle for rebuilding the carb.

theholycow 06-17-2011 03:37 PM

12,000 miles on it. Turns out that some of the worst engine symptoms were because of ignition issues related to a failed Spark Advance Vacuum Modulator and maladjusted timing. It's not running perfectly now but it's running way better. It's also not as slow as I expected...most auto enthusiasts would be unhappy with it but it can get up and go for some passing when necessary.

comar 08-23-2016 08:30 AM

Can u give more pictures?

KarlaB 10-25-2017 11:31 AM

Thanks for the pictures, everything very detailed!

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