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Never ran ran one myself. I may know someone who has. I'll ask him.
 

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Always thought about them but as the true automatics and conveters got better and better there was less need for the clutch. The newer much better converters make all the difference. The biggest downfall of a coverter is the percentage of slip on the top end. Hughes (and maybe others) have come out with a clutch Powerglide lock up converter that will end even that problem. Plus with the clutchless manuals too, if you need or want a clutch you can get the clutchless manuals and never miss a shift. So the clutchflites/clutchturbos went away. As far as an oldy though, it would be fun running one. As long as it is not for an organized racing situation, but then you might as well go to a regular 4/5/6 speed trans. Mark L
 

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A clutchflite is a much better alternative to a stick if consistent times are the goal. They basically only use the clutch at the starting line, so you can rev the engine to a correct launch rpm, then dump the clutch. After that you don't use the clutch to shift gears so times are consistent as with any automatic.
 

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That's why I mentioned the newer clutchless manuals. You dump it at the line and no need to punch the clutch thru the gears. Mark L
 

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This is another "decision" that must be made with PLENTY of THOUGHT before committing to doing it.

As some of us here discussed in other threads.... How far does a hot rodder carry the I want it to be ""just as it was back in the day" theme.

There are so many things that modern day car builders have right at their finger-tips that are "far superior" and often less expensive to use than vintage, NOS parts, accessories, wheels and even the kind of welding done (MIG or TIG over Arc/Stick brazing...)

No doubt modern day transmissions work better than those of the "good old days"..... but then whose to know?????

Throw an old B & M decal on the window and most will never know....
 

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One of the good things about a clutchflite vs. the newer autos with a trans brake, is the clutchflite can be eased into gear just like a stick with a clutch. The trans brakes simply engage the trans at whatever speed your engine is running, so they're not as streetable as the clutchflite.
 

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Not sure of your comment. Theres little call for use of a trans brake on the street. If you do use it, it would be from a stopped postiion and then it does not matter. Plus most trans brakes only work in the first gear position. What makes the modern autos so good is the newer technology in the torque converters. They give you a normal auto trans operation for street use but can stall up at footbrake and higher on a trans brake, for fun mode. And with the right builder that really understands the size versus stator and turbine fin angles etc, can be really efficient on the top. The really nice thing is the trque multiplication of the converter during stall. A good converter can be multiplied as much as 2.1 to 2.5 times your torque if designed correctly. The real winner is the softer punch at launch of the converter where you are rippping things apart with a clutch drop. Don't get me wrong. I will for ever love the launch of a properly built manual/clutch car and the real banging thru the gears. And I really love doing the shifting on the street. But a correctly designed (for the application) converter and trans brake is hard to beat. Now you throw in a turbo application like mine will be, to truly get the most out of it you have to use a converter and brake (or footbrake under certain situations) to get the most out of the turbo. The turbo really needs the engine to work and make exhaust pressure to spool up the turbo. Freereving the engine will usually not be enough to get boost up unless it is under sized at the turbo.
OK enough babbling. For a pure fun car you can run anything. A full manual for the shifting fun. A clutch turbo/flite for the fun and nostalgic side, and a built auto/converter for fun and a little seriousness if you want to run some at the strip. If I were not building a turbo car I would be running a manual. But the turbo, to be able to really wring it out at the strip, needs a converter and auto trans. My '73 TA had a full manual TH400. Which required me to shift it up and down all the time. So it did give me some control and something to do while driving around. Nice thing was, my left leg never got tired, heh. Mark L
 

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Sooooo that's how they work. It is amazing how the "history of Hot Rodding" has so many pieces to it.

I remember a time when NO ONE thought "powerglides" were worth using. Back then many drag racers switched to 4 speeds or the turbo 350/400's. Now look!!!! Progress!!!

Even so having "three" pedals is the way to go!!!!
 

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I'm still not a fan of Powerglides, but I do see their benefits on a strictly drag car. For a street strip car I'd rather have more gears, and in today's economy I'd really like a 4 spd. auto over a 3 spd. like all my cars have now. Many of the newer 4 spd. autos not only have a overdrive top gear, but 1st gear is lower for a better launch. Whenever my TH350 goes south in the Austin I'll probably go with a 700R4.
 

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I'm still not a fan of Powerglides, but I do see their benefits on a strictly drag car. For a street strip car I'd rather have more gears, and in today's economy I'd really like a 4 spd. auto over a 3 spd. like all my cars have now. Many of the newer 4 spd. autos not only have a overdrive top gear, but 1st gear is lower for a better launch. Whenever my TH350 goes south in the Austin I'll probably go with a 700R4.
I agree..... As most know the car I traded the Opel for was an El Camino. I had a built SBC 358ci hooked to a 5 speed. I was a ton FUN to drive. Now the Opel has built-up TF350. A little trade-off!!!! Plus my wife wants to drag race it (with me as the pit crew.... Ha!!!!).

With the automatic trans in the Opel she'll be right at home. Couldn't get her to drive the El Camino. Way too wild to drive with the 5-speed.

But that still has me missing the 3rd pedal !!!!

Wonder how hard it would be to put one in the Opel ???? With its "short wheelbase" it would be a wild ride.....I LOVE "rock crushers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the opinions, I kind of figured it would be polarizing. I would love a bullet proof manual but that gets plenty pricey, and I have this already. I understand the 1-2-3 shift will be seriously harsh as there's no 'fluid dampening' effect. I'm no serious racer, just having some kicks.
 

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In my discussion I mentioned the torque multiplication of the converter. That is what makes the powerglide so popular in a big torque/horsepower/light car. The high first gear of the powerglide makes the torque converter stay in the stall range longer to use the torque multiplication longer. But I totally agree that 3 gears is much better in a street application. Mark L
 

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In my discussion I mentioned the torque multiplication of the converter. That is what makes the powerglide so popular in a big torque/horsepower/light car. The high first gear of the powerglide makes the torque converter stay in the stall range longer to use the torque multiplication longer. But I totally agree that 3 gears is much better in a street application. Mark L
Thanks Mark for the info. My first car was '61 Chevy ragtop (red)..... It had a powerglide and as well a '67 SS Camaro ..... today my wife drives a Avalanche with the trans/engine that switches to either to a V6 or V4 depending on the demand placed on the engine to maintain speed. I know the 1st attempt with this technology (Caddy and???) was a bust. But the modern day version is really something. You would never know it was switching except for the status mode info on the dash board.

There is no doubt the technology of today is really impressive and getting more so every model year. BUT no matter what I NEVER want an "electric car". Hopefully we will never be "forced to"!!!!
 
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