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Cars > Forums > Tech Garage > PLEASE HELP! 56 chevy bel air issues (shifter, engine miss)

 

Forum: Tech Garage

  • Topic: PLEASE HELP! 56 chevy bel air issues (shifter, engine miss)
  • Started by first_timer Dec 28, 2007 at 12:59 am
  • Last post by JBurt Jan 1, 2008 at 8:28 pm
  • This topic has been viewed 639 times and has 6 replies
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Topic: PLEASE HELP! 56 chevy bel air issues (shifter, engine miss)

Forums > Tech Garage > PLEASE HELP! 56 chevy bel air issues (shifter, engine miss)

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  1. #1 Dec 28, 2007 at 12:59 am

    first_timer’s Profile Photo
    first_timer
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    FIRST: i'm 21 and wish i knew more about this stuff.
    if you answer this, please be specific. (links to diagrams would be a blessing).
    i just got a 56 bel air 4 dr.

    PROBLEM #1:
    broken column shifter w/ a 3 spd manual tranny.
    does anyone have ideas? advice? a website/company with simple solution? someone told me a screwdriver might work as a shifter, but i'm weary. i prefer (at the moment) to experience the 3 spd column. i've heard its difficult, i've heard its fun. please don't tell me to switch it to the floor quite yet.

    PROBLEM #2:
    the 283 was rebuilt 20 years and about 50,000 miles ago. previous owner (said) he let his son drive it for a little while. the son himself told me gas was ridiculously priced, he couldn't afford it. the father told me he suspects his son put that new ethanol 85 (w/ corn fuel) in it, and thats why the miss is happening. he replaced the fuel pump + filter. tell me what you think.

    --i'm more worried about the shifter right now, mostly because it is stuck in 2nd gear.

    tell me what you know.
     

     

  2. #2 Dec 28, 2007 at 9:18 pm

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    thejudge
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    Quote:
    Originally posted by first_timer  FIRST: i'm 21 and wish i knew more about this stuff.
    if you answer this, please be specific. (links to diagrams would be a blessing).
    i just got a 56 bel air 4 dr.

    PROBLEM #1:
    broken column shifter w/ a 3 spd manual tranny.
    does anyone have ideas? advice? a website/company with simple solution? someone told me a screwdriver might work as a shifter, but i'm weary. i prefer (at the moment) to experience the 3 spd column. i've heard its difficult, i've heard its fun. please don't tell me to switch it to the floor quite yet.

    PROBLEM #2:
    the 283 was rebuilt 20 years and about 50,000 miles ago. previous owner (said) he let his son drive it for a little while. the son himself told me gas was ridiculously priced, he couldn't afford it. the father told me he suspects his son put that new ethanol 85 (w/ corn fuel) in it, and thats why the miss is happening. he replaced the fuel pump + filter. tell me what you think.

    --i'm more worried about the shifter right now, mostly because it is stuck in 2nd gear.

    tell me what you know.


    old chevy colum shifts were famous for hanging but good news there adjustable
    find any one over the age of 60 and they should be able to show you how just be sure to pay attention because it will happen again
    most people changed them to hurst floor shifters in the 60's
    dont worry about that motor its tuff just change the plugs to a litter hotter burning for the new un leaded fuels
    ps
    great car
     

     

    MONEY CAN'T BUY LOVE, BUT IT CAN BUY LOADS OF HORSE POWER

    PAVEMENT POUNDING GAVEL KNOCKER
  3. #3 Dec 29, 2007 at 5:48 pm

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    JBurt
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    Hi First timer: We need more info.
    1 - Where is the shifter "broken"? Someone told you to use a screwdriver. Is the lever missing? There are a number of things to check but give us more info to help narrow it down.

    2 - How long has it been sitting? Does it miss under load or while idleing? Do you hear the lifters clacking? May be bad gas, or fouled plugs, bad plug wires, or moisture in the distributor, or any number of other things, or all of the above.
     

     

    I shoot cars. and trucks,and bikes,and boats,and...
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  4. #4 Dec 29, 2007 at 7:04 pm

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    1.) the shifter literally snapped off the column. there is the shifter, the little boot, then basically a curved plate that was part of the column, and the little knob of the column that went into the hole of a 1/2in X 1in section of the column. the previous owner's brother tried to weld it back together with no luck.
    my only idea is to put another column in it. if thats the case, what columns would fit? are there any exact matches besides a 56 chevy? how difficult would this process be for a beginner? can you think of any simpler solutions?
    if that isn't a good enough explanation (wouldn't surprise me) i could upload a picture of the situation.

    2.) the car was a daily driver up until some time this year. the registration + inspection ran out in august. i don't know what a clacking lifter sounds like, but maybe if i listened to the motor long enough i could figure it out? the wires were replaced within the past 3 years (it looks--should i change them?). i plan on filling up the tank with new gas + stabil or engine product of some sort (is this a good idea?). he replaced the plugs summer 2006. how often should spark plugs be replaced? i'll probably buy some new ones anyway.
     

     

  5. #5 Dec 30, 2007 at 1:24 pm

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    Ouch, sounds like someone was doing some speed shifting. Unless you are really lucky, this won't be a quick fix.

    A picture would be nice.

    It is not difficult if you are mechanically inclined, take your time, and have someone and/or a manual to refer to.

    If memory serves me correctly, pieces from 55, 56, or 57 columns are interchangeable.

    Killeen used to have a thriving hotrod community. It's time to make friends with those local hotrodders as they may have your pieces laying out in the junk pile and willing to give you a hand. Most oldtimers want to encourage and teach the next generation of hotrodders.

    Now, it would take a long article (or short book) to go through the steps to R&R and refurbish a column. And, it has been quite a while since I've had one apart. I would have to have a car in front of me and walk through the steps before I would write a how-to. So, find an old Motors Manual with the 55-57 Chevys in it. (Preferably a 1957 manual) It will have details of the steering column and possibly R&R instructions.

    Disclaimer: Always follow all safety procedures when working on your car. Block the wheels so it won't roll and use jackstands when working under the vehicle.

    It is sometimes possible to get the trans in neutral by moving the shift levers on the end of the steering column under the hood. If that doesn't work you will have to get underneath and manually move the shift levers to find neutral.

    There is a drive pin that holds the handle in the column. You can drive that out and simply pull the handle out of the column. Looking into the hole, you should be able to see a couple of blocks with slots. This is where the end of the handle fits. When the two slots are lined up in the middle, your trans should be in neutral.

    If you get the slots lined up and you are in neutral, (heave a big sigh of relief) you can insert the new handle, replace the pin, and go merrily down the road.

    The most common problem is the column cover is cracked, usually at the drive pin boss. You will have to replace it. It is made of pot metal and doesn't take to welding.

    You will have to disassemble the column so, I would look for a complete steering column and refurbish it. The car is over 50 years old so there is wear and tear. Plus, if it has been banged around hard enough to cause the boss to split, other damage may/probably will be present.

    This will get you started. More to come
     

     

    I shoot cars. and trucks,and bikes,and boats,and...
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  6. #6 Dec 30, 2007 at 1:35 pm

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    Quote:
    Originally posted by first_timer  2.) the car was a daily driver up until some time this year. the registration + inspection ran out in august. i don't know what a clacking lifter sounds like, but maybe if i listened to the motor long enough i could figure it out? the wires were replaced within the past 3 years (it looks--should i change them?). i plan on filling up the tank with new gas + stabil or engine product of some sort (is this a good idea?). he replaced the plugs summer 2006. how often should spark plugs be replaced? i'll probably buy some new ones anyway.


    Is the engine a 6 or V8? Do you know what size it is?

    Is there any knocking noise coming from the engine?

    Don't just start replacing parts willy - nilly. Hmmm... willy - nilly... that dates me. scratchchin image

    Check your plugs against this chart to see what if anything is going on inside the engine. A compression check would help also. We can go from there to diagnose the miss.
     

     

    I shoot cars. and trucks,and bikes,and boats,and...
    [url]http://jburtphotos.com[/url]
  7. #7 Jan 1, 2008 at 6:29 pm

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    update on the column, i need a "lever support housing," as seen here:
    http://www.tr...anual/7-3.gif
    looks like part number 3711675. i'm assuming i also need the screw and locking plate. anybody got one? know where i can find one? will this part number be current today?

    thanks
     

     

  8. #8 Jan 1, 2008 at 8:28 pm

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    Quote:
    Originally posted by first_timer  update on the column, i need a "lever support housing," as seen here:
    http://www.tr...anual/7-3.gif
    looks like part number 3711675. i'm assuming i also need the screw and locking plate. anybody got one? know where i can find one? will this part number be current today?

    thanks


    http://www.ye...t.asp?page=80

    Your welcome
     

     

    I shoot cars. and trucks,and bikes,and boats,and...
    [url]http://jburtphotos.com[/url]

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