Powerglide Transmission: Good for Drag Racing?


LT1Silverhawk
01-07-2010, 05:58 PM
Hi All,

I have an í84 project Camaro with a supposed 383 (it has not been confirmed yet if it is; one guy says since itís not externally balanced, for the price I paid it most likely is not). The engine is backed back a Powerglide transmission.

The previous owner apparently tried to make the car a dragster (full stiff suspension, very simple engine setup, slick in the back, 5 gallon fuel cell). I picked it up pretty cheap to learn how to work on cars.

Im not at well-versed with transmissions so I wanted to ask if the Powerglide is a sound choice for this project. I may even step it up and go for a 454 so I want the right transmission for the job.

Thanks in advance...

silicon212
01-07-2010, 09:55 PM
Powerglide were used in lots of drag cars for their strength and if yours is properly built, should work good behind that engine.

LT1Silverhawk
01-08-2010, 12:35 AM
Powerglide were used in lots of drag cars for their strength and if yours is properly built, should work good behind that engine.

Thanks Silicon212,

Are there any sources you or anyone else knows of, that may be of help in identifying all variations of a Powerglide, if others exist? Im assuming I can tell exactly what version it is by checking the numbers.

As to the build, I guess we'll find out how good it is if it ever goes out on me.

Thanks again...

MrPbody
01-08-2010, 10:07 AM
PG is a great drag racing transmission within "limits". It's tough and the internals are relatively light for their strength. TONS of aftermarket parts available to make them tough enough for over 1,000 HP.

"Rule of thumb" In a car under 3,000 lbs., a 'glide will have a slight advantage over the TH350 or 400. Converter and gearing are critical. For cars over 3,000 lbs., and less than 600 HP, TH350 gets the "nod". When properly built, tough enough. The "deep" 1st gear makes for some good 60' times. For heavier cars with more than 600 HP or more than 500 lbs. of torque, TH400 is (IMO) the best choice.

For a street car with "taller" gears (in the mid "3s") and less than 500 lbs. of torque, TH350 is called for. IMO, PG is not a good street transmission when more efficient units are available. If you want the "lower" gears like a drag car, TH200-4R ("built") would be my choice, with TH700-R4 another consideration (keep the power lower with the latter). The OD makes it "drivable".

Jim

LT1Silverhawk
01-08-2010, 11:48 AM
PG is a great drag racing transmission within "limits". It's tough and the internals are relatively light for their strength. TONS of aftermarket parts available to make them tough enough for over 1,000 HP.
Wow, up to a 1,000 hp, huh? So I guess the previous owner had a good idea of what he was doing, at least keeping within the reasonable limits and specs of this project.

The reasons I wanted to ask the question that I did was because, not only do I not know anything about Powerglides (or transmissions in general, for the matter), but I was reading an old article from around 1966 in a magazine called "Motorcade" (I think), and it said the Powerglide was an outdated choice for transmission in the Chevelle they were testing. But I guess they meant that from more of a daily driver perspective.




"Rule of thumb" In a car under 3,000 lbs., a 'glide will have a slight advantage over the TH350 or 400. Converter and gearing are critical. For cars over 3,000 lbs., and less than 600 HP, TH350 gets the "nod". When properly built, tough enough. The "deep" 1st gear makes for some good 60' times. For heavier cars with more than 600 HP or more than 500 lbs. of torque, TH400 is (IMO) the best choice.
Not sure what stall converter or the gearing the car is has but I'll check on that as time permits.

On a side note, I am considering a built TH350 or TH400 as a possible swap into my '95 Impala SS with a 383. Transmission went bad Sunday.




For a street car with "taller" gears (in the mid "3s") and less than 500 lbs. of torque, TH350 is called for. IMO, PG is not a good street transmission when more efficient units are available. If you want the "lower" gears like a drag car, TH200-4R ("built") would be my choice, with TH700-R4 another consideration (keep the power lower with the latter). The OD makes it "drivable".

Jim
Thats the question I was originally sturggling with: street, street/strip, or strip? Then I decided since the previous owner did everything to make a pure strip racer, I might as well continue with the same plan (hence the possibility of a 454).

But yes, I agree that a properly built 700R4 will handle the power and give better gas mileage. However, if I install the 700R4, Im'm more like to keep the car longer and I am running low on space. :iceslolan

Thank you Jim! This info helps me alot!

ale8oneboy
01-13-2010, 07:22 PM
I agree with MrPbody. I've heard of similar rules of thumb, regarding PG. Especially when it comes to street cars.

PG is a great drag racing transmission within "limits". It's tough and the internals are relatively light for their strength. TONS of aftermarket parts available to make them tough enough for over 1,000 HP.

"Rule of thumb" In a car under 3,000 lbs., a 'glide will have a slight advantage over the TH350 or 400. Converter and gearing are critical. For cars over 3,000 lbs., and less than 600 HP, TH350 gets the "nod". When properly built, tough enough. The "deep" 1st gear makes for some good 60' times. For heavier cars with more than 600 HP or more than 500 lbs. of torque, TH400 is (IMO) the best choice.

For a street car with "taller" gears (in the mid "3s") and less than 500 lbs. of torque, TH350 is called for. IMO, PG is not a good street transmission when more efficient units are available. If you want the "lower" gears like a drag car, TH200-4R ("built") would be my choice, with TH700-R4 another consideration (keep the power lower with the latter). The OD makes it "drivable".

Jim

Magic 1
10-10-2015, 08:06 AM
I have a 3300 pound car with right around 600 HP. Knowing the general "3,000" pound rule, Would the PG give me more consistent times? The 1982 Malibu wagon is strictly a bracket racing car

maxwedge
10-11-2015, 08:34 PM
I would stay with a 3 speed auto.

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