In the latter months of 2000 I began entertaining the idea of installing an overdrive in the Challenger. I had already rebuilt the Dana 60 and replaced the 4.10 gears with 3.54 gears, but still wasn't happy with the high rpm highway cruising. I researched several options and the best one available in early 2001 was a new overdrive from Gear Vendors Inc. However, Gear Vendors would not have the new overdrive for the A-833 ready until roughly January of 2002.
I actually placed an order for one of the Gear Vendors units and was waiting for them to start production. In the meantime I discovered (in early December 2001) Keisler's new 5-speed kit for E-Body Mopars. This looked like a better solution than the Gear Vendors for several reasons. First, the Keisler kit uses a brand new transmission which has a built-in rail shifter, which would get rid of several nagging problems I had with the old A-833. My old 4-speed has been rebuilt but still has a problem of sometimes popping out of 2nd gear. Also, parts are beginning to get scarce for the A-833, some are not even available anymore. Plus, the old Hurst shifter with external linkage is prone to being sloppy and wears out. If I went with the Gear Vendors overdrive I would still have all the same problems with my transmission, except for the high-rpms. With the new Keisler kit I could eliminate all the problems.
So, I cancelled my order with Gear Vendors (who didn't even have any units produced yet) and placed an order with Keisler. I received the new transmission and most of the rest of the kit in late December 2001. However, I had ordered one of their newly designed big block bell housings, but they were in the initial stages of production for the first batch and I didn't get the bell housing until early March 2002. Once I got the bell housing I was ready to rock and roll on the transmission swap.
|Here we go... up on jack stands||Out comes the driveshaft||Disassembling the shift linkage|
|Out comes the center console||Out comes the shifter||Big hole in the floor ;-)|