Some standard transmission upgrade ideas

September 1, 2016 | By Staff


I’m restoring my 1957 Chevy 1/2-ton truck and would like to upgrade the transmission from its original three speed to an overdrive tranny so I can cruise on the freeway. It has its original inline 6. I purchased and read your book “The Classic Chevy Truck Handbook.” You recommend using a Mopar A-833. I did a little research and found that the 23-spline U-joint yoke that I would need is hard to find.

I also talked to some old-time restorers in my area and they recommend using a T-5 from an S-10.

My questions are: What tranny would require the least modifications to fit in? There were many changes to the A-833 so which model year would fit the best? I scoured the Internet to no avail for the 23-spline yoke; do you know of any source for one? If I decide to use the T5 tranny what year works best with the least amount of mods? Thanks for your help


The aluminum-case Mopar A-833 transmission recommended in my book is a fourspeed, with the fourth gear being an overdrive. It was used in Plymouth Feather Dusters and Chevrolet vans and trucks, and is more rugged and heavy duty than the T5 in service. The fine-spline rear yoke you need for the A-833 is available from the source listed below. This transmission puts the shift lever pretty far back in the cab, but it can be bent forward and then back again for convenient shifting.

The T5 is a five-speed with the fifth gear being an overdrive. To make it work with your truck an adapter gear needs to be installed by a technician, and you will need to adapt it to your Chevy’s mechanical speedometer, or have Dave Waugh (see below) do it for you. Neither of these adaptations costs much, but they are important. The T5 is just fine for normal use in your truck, but if you were going to be hauling heavy loads on a regular basis, the A-833 would be a better bet.

You do not want a T5 from the S10, however, because it is too long and the shifter would wind up under the seat in your truck. And with any T5 you will also need to find the correct yoke to work with your driveshaft. There are a number of T10 versions to choose from, but I recommend you call a knowledgeable source for transmissions near you or contact Dave. His knowledge is encyclopedic and he can help you select what you need and adapt it to your truck. You can reach him at:

Dave Waugh Remanufacturing 11965 Rivera Rd. Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670