Wednesday Rewind: Identifying A Vintage GM 4-Speed Transmission

The world is full of upgrade gear systems that are designed to bring your ride into the modern age, but there are still plenty of enthusiasts out there that desire the tried and true H-pattern of a traditional 4-speed transmission. Problem is, how do you know whether that trans you just unearthed is a previous Vega’s Saginaw, a Borg Warner T-10 or the holy grail Muncie? In this installment of Wednesday Rewind, we take a look at identifiers that shed some light on how heavy-duty that recent find might be.

GM built transmissions for low-powered daily drivers as well as hefty units like this Muncie for muscle cars and Corvettes. But how do you tell them apart?

While there are chapters of books written on all of the part numbers, casting codes and date identifiers that will tell you all but the first name of the person who installed it at the factory, this story we ran last year is designed to get you in the neighborhood of information. It’ll clarify what that cluster-gear-riddled casting is, and as such, will help you determine how long it might live behind your powerhouse.

M22 transmissions are things of legend, but can you tell them apart?

If you’re searching for a trans that checks off all the necessary boxes to suit a judging guide for your particular ride, then you likely already know how to tell them apart. But, for the rest of us, this guide is designed to give you enough info so you can scrounge, find and possibly buy with confidence that your so-called “Muncie” might not start to “Sag” in the end.

Did you know that even those grooves on the input shaft have a story to tell? Click the link and find out what it is!

Check out this week’s Wednesday Rewind and be sure to bookmark it, so that when you’re in mid-salvage yard or swap meet, you’ll have this info handy so you can decipher exactly what it is you’re looking at. When you’re staring over that recently-located box of gear-bangin’ with cash in hand, you’ll be glad you did!

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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