turbo to powerglide

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turbo to powerglide

Unread post by harryehlers » Fri May 05, 2017 2:22 pm

I'm attempting to put a 1965 180hp turbo on a powerglide trans. Besides telling me to stop, is there anyone that might be able to help. This set-up is going into a FiberFab GT15 kit car. What changes will be needed? I've read where it has been done, I just don't know how.
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Re: turbo to powerglide

Unread post by terribleted » Fri May 05, 2017 2:54 pm

Bolting them together is no problem. Just use all the parts from the powerglide transaxle and an automatic bellhousing and flex plate. Remove the input shaft bushing from the front of the crankshaft of the turbo engine and bolt it together. Pretty much any Corvair engine can bolt up to any Corvair transaxle (Not sure about 1960 models). The only issue will be what kind of performance will result from a turbo feeding the powerglide transaxle. I would bet it will be somewhat lackluster in stock form. Maybe someone can at least give you an idea on that.
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Re: turbo to powerglide

Unread post by bbodie52 » Fri May 05, 2017 9:02 pm

:welcome2: Welcome to the Corvair Forum!

Apparently GM considered using the Powerglide automatic transmission at one time in the Corvair turbocharged Spyder (or they considered offering the Spyder instrument panel as an option in non-turbo Monzas). The evidence of this is seen in the third picture below. The back of the Spyder instrument panel clearly has a casting boss for the Powerglide shift lever to be mounted there. This was never actually produced by Chevrolet with a Powerglide shift lever attached, but the thought was there.

In any case, testing of the turbocharged engine coupled to the 2-speed Powerglide apparently caused Chevrolet to decide to not offer this combination.
Spyder Instrument Cluster (1).jpg
Spyder Instrument Cluster (2).jpg
Spyder Instrument Cluster (6).jpg
Spyder Instrument Cluster (7).jpg
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Re: turbo to powerglide

Unread post by 64powerglide » Sat May 06, 2017 11:06 am

Don't bash the powerglide, I didn't think much of them back in 62 when I had my first Corvair. It was a 102 HP 4 speed but it was a 3:27 diffy but it was pretty fast for what it was. I met a guy one night & he wanted to race, well that powerglide he had stayed with me until I hit 4th gear. I was needless to say surprised, for a bit I thought he was going to beat me. The gears made a difference, with his 3:55's. I think a 180 turbo with a powerglide just might be a real sleeper. Should be fun to see just what it will do. :tu: This 110 powerglide I have with 3:55's and 22.7 diameter tires is pretty quick.
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Re: turbo to powerglide

Unread post by Scott V » Sat May 06, 2017 4:59 pm

like others said.........bolting it together is ez.

the not ez part is not letting it ping/detonate.

the problem is pg has 1 shift .........low to high. the 1 shift loads the engine pretty good.

if your turbo is working like it should youll get boost in low gear & when the pg shifts to high the engine will have a big load & high boost. your going to get pinging like crazy.

you need some way to take care of this. stuff like water/meth injection & electronic timing control etc.

you also need to get a vented check valve to feed the pg modulator. but thats ez.

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Re: turbo to powerglide

Unread post by notched » Sat May 06, 2017 6:08 pm

You will also need a higher stall speed torque converter or it won't make any boost in low gear.
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Re: turbo to powerglide

Unread post by PressurizedPancake » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:59 am

Don't forget you'll need a check valve in the "vacuum" line to the modulator. The modulator varies shift control function by identifying load via the vacuum line, and is never meant to see positive pressure (boost)

I'm sorry I don't have the p/n for that at the moment, but I know it exists as I discovered it when researching for my s/c application with a PG.
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Re: turbo to powerglide

Unread post by corvairsince70 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:43 am

My father and I tried this back in the 70's. It was not worth the effort and you will not like how it performs. It will have the power of a 95HP due to the turbo heads and no boost in low. A turbo only develops boost under a load which is why there is little or no boost in 1st gear with a manual. We tried it to find out, did not like it, would never do it again. Waste of a good turbo.
A 140 is the best performance you will get with a PG.

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