Need toploader info. for SBF 302

289 - 351 cid Small Block Performance

Need toploader info. for SBF 302

Postby ArkansasComet » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:54 pm

I apologize if this has already been covered, I did a search & didn't find the info I needed. I plan on putting a 4 speed toploader trans. behind my SBF 302 & I am wondering what I should look for when buying a toploader? The car will be a street car with occasional racing. Here are a few questions I have:

1. 28 or 31 spline? Can a 28 spline be converted to 31 spline? Is that worth doing?
2. Close or wide ratio? (I have not purchased my rear axle gears yet if that helps)
3. Is a toploader with overdrive a good trans. to use?
4. Can a big block trans fit a SBF?
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Re: Need toploader info. for SBF 302

Postby poboyjo65 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:17 pm

Comethead is the toploader man but I can tell you,,, Do not get an overdrive toploader!!! aka ''toploader imposter''. bad weak trans & no good for any kind of racing. Go with a T5 if you want OD,some are pretty stout,some are weaker. I think you can change the input shaft of a bigblock trans on a smallblock. close ratio might be better for racing but wide is more street friendly & still could race for fun now & then. I 'm sure Joe will tell you the details about spline counts,but I think the 28 is pretty stout. the early TLs had a smaller one,I think 25 spline that was weaker.
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Re: Need toploader info. for SBF 302

Postby ArkansasComet » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:16 pm

Thanks for the info. Johno! I don't think I need overdrive but I found some really cheap overdrive toploaders so I was wondering if it was worth getting one, now I know why they are priced so low! I will keep looking for a regular toploader, from the research I have done so far, it sounds like a 28 spline, wide ratio trans. from a small block will work best for my application.
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Re: Need toploader info. for SBF 302

Postby comethead » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:42 pm

Don’t get the big block trans for a small block. The nose on the input shaft is too short. Some say you can run a longer bushing to account for the shorter snout. I tried it and it didn’t work out well. The only big block ones with the short snout are the original ones. All the aftermarket input shafts use the longer small block snout (fits big and small blocks).
Small block used the 1 1/16” diameter input and big used the 1 3/8” diameter.
If your going super duper hp (like over 500 I’d guess) or plan on sticky launches get the 1 3/8” input and 31 spline main shaft. Otherwise the 28 spline/1 1/16” would be ok.
Close ratio trans are a bummer on the street. 1st gear ratio is 2.32 compared to 2.78 on the wide trans.
You can convert a standard small block wide ratio trans to be super stout. Just gotta swap the right parts.

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Re: Need toploader info. for SBF 302

Postby ArkansasComet » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:50 am

Thanks for the info. Joe!
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