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Help with Trans for 318 Small Block LA

Discussion in 'Performance' started by Kifo201, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. Kifo201

    Kifo201 Member

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    I would like to mate a modern automatic transmission such as the 545RFE, 45RFE, or W5A580/NAG1 to a 1970 small block 318 from a Duster. I know PCS makes standalone controllers and harnesses for the NAG1 and 545RFE, but I am not sure what would be necessary to get this to work if it's even possible.

    I read over this thread and what I take from it is that the A, LA, and Gen III Hemi all share the same bellhousing pattern. Does this mean bolting a 545RFE to my 318 is possible?
    Engine/transmission Bell Housings
     
  2. Diz TheFiddler

    Diz TheFiddler New Member

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    Hi Kifo,

    since obviously nobody knows about it, did you find any info/help to the topic elswhere? I would like to bolt a 360 LA to a NAG1 from a 5,7L gen3 hemi. My main concern is the flexplate, converter, starter issue. But I didnt even take a closer look to the parts by now.

    Please let me know what you found out or which problems you ran into.

    Thanks and greets
    Diz
     
  3. chuzz

    chuzz Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a mechanic, but it seems to me that if you're going to try to use a modern trans with an older engine like that, you're going to need some computer control modules and the smarts how to wire it up and make it work properly. There's a lot more than bolting it up and installing it before it would properly work.
     
    Tony K likes this.
  4. dana44

    Ad-Free Member

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    I know the 4 speed can attach to an engine independently but had not heard the 5 speed could.
     
    Volunteer likes this.
  5. AC TC

    AC TC Well-Known Member

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    A500 or 42RH would be easiest to use, just a 12v supply and a switch for 4´rth gear. Bolts right up but needs cutting and trimming in the floorpan and tranny crossmember on older mopars.
     
    Volunteer and Adventurer55 like this.
  6. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    I agree with previous two posts. A500 would be first choice and 518 as second. Friend has '72 Challenger with a 360, with factory console, and nothing is visible to indicate tranny upgrade - except for two small, black, round 'rocker-type' switches on inside raised part of console - to the right of T-handle. One switch for overdrive and other for converter 'lock-up'. Very discrete, functional and works great (with 3.70 rear gears). But, she purchased car already converted so I do not know the details - except for minimum structural mods underneath.
     
  7. RalphP

    Level 2 Supporter

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  8. Diz TheFiddler

    Diz TheFiddler New Member

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    Thanks for your answers!

    as kifo mentioned in his first post, there are options for a standalone controller for a nag1 and i work with such things, so i think i can manage this.
    but i have to attach the tranny to the engine somehow and want to know if there exist adapter solutions. gearstar has it, but only sells it with a whole transmission kit for just under 6000€ plus shipping to Europe and taxes and duty...
    i already have the tranny and the whole car is a budget build. just dont want to design the flexplate on my own because its time consuming and expensive build.

    i dont take a 46rh because they are hard to get in austria/europe and when you get one, they are more expensive than the newer/better nag1.
     

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