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Ed note: As you probably know, Mopar Max has an ongoing ‘Cuda project going on with our Director of Advertising and marketing Darr Hawthorne and his son Zach. Now that ‘Cuda is getting a Hemi four-speed with a restored Hurst Shifter. See the story here. But as it turns out, the folks at Hurst have their own ‘Cuda project going and it is getting a 4-speed Tremec with overdrive. They were kind enough to send along a tech story about how they installed the trans and shifter. We’re passing it along to the readers.
Pardon the pun, but this ’67 Cuda always seemed like a fish out of water. In a garage stocked full of manual transmission cars, the lack of a third pedal stood out like a sore thumb. Especially since this Barracuda was in the process of being restored as an homage to the legendary Hurst “Hemi Under Glass” exhibition drag car.
For this car a manual transmission transplant is a must. But since we’re not building an exact replica here, we decided to upgrade the original 3-speed TorqueFlite 727 automatic with a few extra gears. Rather than using the factory New Process 4-speed manual, we wanted to use something that has a good overdrive gear with similar gear ratios through the first four gears. (A Tremec trans was selected.) The overdrive gear will allow for a more civilized drive if the driver chooses, but the four speeds still allow the driver to be “racy” if he or she wants.
The lower cruising RPM from the overdrive gear also means better fuel economy, and similar gear ratios through the first four gears means no sacrifices in performance. Best of both worlds. Coincidentally, Hurst just happens to have a division called “Hurst Driveline Conversions,” formerly Classic Motorsports Group, that deals specifically with five-speed overdrive conversions for classic Chevys and Mopars.
A complete “turn-key” style kit can be sourced from Hurst Drivelines with matching components from custom cross-member to matching clutch and flywheel, with all the fastener hardware and wiring required to maintain accurate speedometer reading.
The Hurst Drivelines Elite Kit, one of their more popular “automatic to manual transmission conversion,” arrived in a couple of neatly packed boxes at Extreme Automotive in Canoga Park where the conversion work was being done. The box contained detailed and simple to read instructions. Clearly labeled and conveniently packaged boxes and bags of hardware makes a potentially difficult and time consuming install much easier.