Chrysler A-833 four-speed manual transmissions —... (2022)

Chrysler A-833 four-speed manual transmissions - history, tech, and swap

BY RICHARD EHRENBERG. Copyright © 1989 Richard Ehrenberg. Reprinted by permission.
First printed in Mopar Action

Any transmission can expire, but Chrysler's A-833 4-speed is much less likely to do so than others. When surgery is required, however, it is helpful to know the patient, its problems, and which internal organs can be transplanted.

To ensure the continued well-being of your Chrysler 4-speed, let's take a guided tour of the various versions produced, from the grandfather of performance Mopar gearboxes in 1964 up to today's aluminum youngsters.

Chrysler A-833 four-speed manual transmissions —... (1)

It's the spring of 1962. Dodge's 413 Ramcharger and Plymouth's Super Stock are cleaning house at the nation's drag strips. The new but already legendary A-727 Torqueflite automatic transmission has made Chrysler the undisputed ruler of the S/SA class. In S/S, though, things aren't so rosy. The hard-shifting, ratio-short manual is proving to be somewhat less than the hot ticket for trophy gold. Something needs to be done, and fast.

Back in Highland Park, the drivetrain folks are burning the midnight oil. They try the Warner Gear T-10 used by the Brand "C" and "F" boys, but it just can't handle the Max Wedge's MoPower. The die is cast and plans are made for a new gearbox that will be able to take the abuse of anything the engine boys can dish out. Unfortunately, designing an all-new gearbox takes something that Chrysler is short on: time.

Chrysler A-833 four-speed manual transmissions —... (2)

For 1963, Chrysler has to sell some cars with the T-10, mostly to counteract the street charisma of the 4-speed 406 and 409 cars. Still, Chrysler knows better than to sell 413s with the T-10, as this would result in blown-up boxes from coast to coast.

A-833 Transmission Gear Ratios1st2nd3rd4th
6-cyl (also 64-65 273, 74-75 318)3.091.921.401.00
Fine-spline V8 (most pre-1971)2.661.911.391.00
Coarse-spline V8 (1966-70)2.651.931.391.00
Coarse-spline V8 (1971-74)2.441.771.341.00
Road Race T/A; most 1971-74 fine spline2.471.771.341.00
Overdrive (mid-1970s and newer)3.091.671.000.73
(Video) Assembling a Mopar A-833 Transmission | Redline Update #58

New model intro time, fall of 1963: At last! An all-new transmission, designated the A-833, is available in everything from 6-cylinder Valiants to rip-snortin' Max Wedges. Equipped with a standard Hurst-Campbell "Competition-Plus" shifter and four fully synchronized forward speeds, it is built in Chrysler's Syracuse (New York) New Process Gear plant. Even in 1989, it was the largest, strongest, and heaviest four-gear passenger car transmission ever built in America.

From day one, there were two distinct versions of this box: A-body (later to be used in F-bodies) and B-body (also to be found in later C- and E-bodies). Initially there were three main version-to-version differences: extension housing and mains haft length, low-gear ratio and rear-flange size. The A-car box, while every bit as strong as its larger cousin, carries a 3.09-to-1 low gear, to launch small cars with even smaller mills.

For 1965 there was only one noteworthy upgrade: the 1-2 shifter fork is redesigned to ease second-gear powershifts.

In 1966, though, several important changes appeared. First (and worst), the Hurst shifter was eliminated, replaced by a hollow-shaft Inland unit. Enthusiasts generally agree that this was a giant step backward, but Joe Average liked the reverse lockout feature. Second, the ball-and-trunnion front U-joint flange was gone, replaced by a more typical sliding-spline yoke arrangement.

A new speedometer pinion setup allowed more precise calibration (earlier ones were on a small cable-mounted adapter; starting in 1966 they use larger pinions and adapters). Also, except for the very early production cars, the 8-cylinder A-bodies came with the B-car's 2.66 first-gear ratio.

Most importantly, another gearset was incorporated for the new Street Hemi models, featuring Oilite™ bushings lining each gear and new gear tooth angles for more strength. Hemi cars also had a new, larger main drive pinion (input shaft), with a larger (No. 308) bearing and retainer, and a new coarse-spline clutch disc. A unique, beefier clutch release bearing completed the package.

For 1967, a major flaw was corrected: The synchronizers and brass stop rings were redesigned to eliminate stop ring breakage on hard shifts. Luckily, these upgraded synchros can be retrofitted into the earlier transmissions. (This basic synchro design has survived right up through 1989!)

Chrysler A-833 four-speed manual transmissions —... (3)

Then the 1968 models hit the streets. Gearjammers coast to coast were dismayed to find that the new Road Runner muscle car was stuck with the same lousy Inland shifter. Soon, though, Chrysler seemed to have had it "up to here" with the complaints, because shortly after the introduction, the Hurst shifter reappeared across the board, now dressed up with a new simulated-walnut shift knob.

The next noteworthy revisions came in 1970. First, a new 2.47-low close-ratio gearset was introduced for the T/A and AAR E-bodies (it later becomes standard in most 4-speed cars). Then the outrageous "pistol grip" shifter was released; this has become a much-sought-after restoration item. It consisted of a beefy, flat chrome stick with two woodgrain grips attached to each side and a shift-pattern logo cap on top. Cars equipped with this shifter also enjoyed a new set of transmission levers, punched with an extra set of holes for those who want extra-short-throw shifting.

(Video) How to restore a Mopar 833 four speed transmission full disassemble and assemble

Chrysler A-833 four-speed manual transmissions —... (4)

The major change for 1971 (actually a late-'70 running change) is a redesign of the side cover and interlock mechanism. New sheet-steel interlock levers replace the old pin-and-balls type. The setup required new internal shift forks, which were now made of cast steel instead of brass. The entire side cover setups can be interchanged either way, which is useful, since the '70-down type is generally regarded as better for drag racing and serious abuse.

Chrysler A-833 four-speed manual transmissions —... (5)

Jeff Crane added: "I worked on some of those overdrive transmissions. The slant six would easily outlast the overdrive gear set. I rebuilt a few of them, changing the gears that wore out, to make them stop jumping out of 4th gear. Perhaps lubricants were not up to the task of lubing a gear set that drives continually for over 100,000 miles; or maybe the metallurgy was not up to the task."

Another event for 1971: Chrysler's Performance Parts Services released aluminum cases and extensions to the general public. A few had been made for the '65 drag Hemis, but they were, for all practical purposes, nonexistent.

Also for '71, 440 and Hemi cars with the coarse-pitch gears receive a new gearset with a 2.44 low. This applies only to cars with these engines, and they continue to feature the bushed mains haft gears and coarsespline clutch input.

Through the early '70s, Chrysler sort of coasted with the A-833, no major revisions being introduced. Is that bad? Not really. Can you improve upon perfection?

Chrysler responded to fuel crises with the 1976 Dart Lite and Feather Duster. Lightened with several aluminum panels and other "dietized" components, the major new mechanical piece was a revised A-833 with drastically different gear ratios. [Editor's note: this was launched during the 1975 model year, according to contemporary documents.]

Chrysler A-833 four-speed manual transmissions —... (6)

The 3.09 first gear of the former 6-cylinder cars remained intact, but third gear was changed from 1.40- to 0.73-to-1. That's right, third is overdrive and fourth is direct. A simple flip of the gear lever on the side cover gives the driver the illusion of three normal speeds and a fourth that is overdrive.

(Video) How a 4 speed transmission works. What's going on in there? Mopar A-833 heavy duty 4 speed breakdown

Editor's note: Chrysler described the change as "an A-833 four-speed transmission, converted over to a three speed manual transmission with an overdrive gear ratio." It was used with both the 318 V8 and 225 slant six. After the 1975 run, Chrysler switched to a finer-pitched gear tooth design to reduce the noise of the 1975 models, and changed the overdrive from 0.73:1 to 0.71:1. It used a steel housing except on the Feather Duster and Dart Lite, where it had an aluminum case and extension housing.

Chrysler A-833 four-speed manual transmissions —... (7)

This transmission switched to a new superlarge front bearing retainer, even larger than the old "Hemi" models. This eased servicing as the main drive pinion was now removable from the front. The case and extension were cast in aluminum; the redesigned box bushings pressed in rigidly to support the countershaft, but the overdrive unit had no such bushings. In fact, the countershaft holes were reamed oversize, allowing the countershaft to "float" (supposedly for "gear rattle suppression"). It then required a shorter countershaft and cupped plug at the front to prevent oil leakage.

Chrysler A-833 four-speed manual transmissions —... (8)

Many swaps are feasible within the Chrysler manual transmission family.

Chrysler A-833 four-speed manual transmissions —... (9)

First, all 1970-and-up 8-cylinder clutch housings are drilled for both 3- speed and 4-speed bolt patterns. Except for the '65-down cars, nearly all models used the large output-shaft spline, the exception being some late 1970s Slant Six A and F bodies. There were only two rear motor mount locations, and crossmembers were available to accommodate each. The bellhousings generally contained enough "meat" to allow remachining for either the Feather Duster or Hemi-size bearing retainer.

When buying a used box, make sure it has the shifter mounting bosses where you need 'em for your vehicle. Select a transmission that will mate with the clutch disc you'll be using, and be sure to have the correct release (throw-out) bearing to fit your box's front bearing retainer. The mainshaft rear spline (output shaft) must also mate with your prop shaft, but, as we've said, that is generally not a problem area.

The accompanying photos should help guide you through some of the more common swaps, differences, repairs and upgrades and clue you in as to what to look for at the local boneyards and swap meets. We've pretty much ignored the one-off race pieces, such as the slickshift synchroless conversion and the full race "red-stripe" gearsets, to concentrate on the more readily available, mass-produced parts.

If you're tired of being shiftless and winning automatically, get out the tools and bolt in another gear!

(Video) Winter Loving Muscle Car - Nick Tears Down 4-Speed Gearbox

See more articles by Rick Ehrenberg at allpar • at Mopar Action

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(Video) Chrysler A 833 overdrive trans


What is a 833 transmission? ›

The A-833 was reconfigured as an overdrive transmission using an aluminum case in 1975 and was used in Chrysler cars and trucks for added fuel economy. The overdrive version of the transmission reduced the third gear ratio to . 73:1 to be used as the overdrive, and the 1:1 fourth gear became third.

How do I identify a 4 speed Mopar? ›

All factory (original equipment) Mopar/Hurst 4-speed shifter mechanisms can be identified by the four digit number on the reverse lever, which is the longest of the three.

Is 4 speed automatic enough? ›

If you're going to be stuck driving an automatic, four gears are fine. the benefits are: more efficiency and better acceleration because the engine spends more time in it's best revolutions window. each engine has a window and a point of optimum torque which is not the same like the point of maxium horsepower.

Are 4 speed transmissions slow? ›

A car with a 4 speed automatic transmission will accelerate slower than a 6-speed transmission because it has to cover more speed (mph or kph) before shifting to the next gear.

How do I identify my Chrysler transmission? ›

Using a good flashlight, look for part numbers stamped into the transmission pan or the transmission itself. Your local auto part store or dealer will be able to cross-reference the numbers to determine the kind of transmission the part belongs to.

How do I identify a Borg Warner 4 speed transmission? ›

The easiest way is by knowing the construction of each unit, and the differences are obvious. If the case and side cover are made of cast iron, that would make it a Saginaw transmission. If it has a cast-iron case with an aluminum side cover and tail housing, that will mean you have found a Borg Warner.

What did t10 transmission come in? ›

Ford installed it in their full-size models (both Ford and Mercury), Mustangs, Falcons, Comets and Fairlanes until '65. AMC continued to use it in their Javelin and AMX cars until '74.

How can you tell a Muncie from a Saginaw? ›

At a quick glance the Muncie can be easily distinguished from the Saginaw since the reverse lever on the Muncie is mounted on the extension housing of the transmission, whereas on the Saginaw transmission the reverse lever is mounted in the side cover of the transmission.

How do I identify a NP435 transmission? ›

Identification. This transmission is 10.8" long and features an aluminum top cover that is retained by eight bolts. The NP435 case is of cast iron. The Ford NP435 has a 1-1/16" diameter, ten spline input shaft that has a stick-out of 6-1/2" from the front face of the transmission.

What does 4 speed manual mean? ›

Four-speed definition

A vehicle with a transmission that has four forward speeds. It might or might not be a manual transmission.

Is it better to have more or less gears? ›

As a general rule, the more torque an engine has, the less gears the transmission needs to provide performance. Some of the most powerful drag cars have only two or three gears in their transmissions, but on the street, having additional gears will give you smoother performance and better fuel economy.

What's the best gear ratio for drag racing? ›

If we have a daily driver, 2.55 to 3.25 gear ratios typically work best, whereas a street/strip application we would usually use a 3.42 to a 3.90 gear ratio, and race applications most commonly use a 4.10 and above gear ratios.

How much does it cost to replace a gear in a transmission? ›

Average transmission repair costs range from $300 to $1,400. For example, if your manual transmission needs a new clutch, you can reasonably expect to pay around $800 to $1,500. On the other hand, transmission replacement is one of the most expensive repairs you can get. Replacements can range from $1,800 to $3,400.

How does a 4 speed gearbox work? ›

Constant-mesh four-speed gearbox

The gears are selected by a system of rods and levers operated by the gear lever. Drive is transmitted through the input shaft to the layshaft and then to the mainshaft, except in direct drive - top gear - when the input shaft and the mainshaft are locked together.

What manual transmission do I have? ›

The simplest way to find your transmission type is to look in your owner's manual. Your manual should have the name and type of transmission, along with service information. If you've misplaced your owner's manual, most trucks have a white label printed on the inside of the driver's door.

What digit in a VIN number is the transmission? ›

Digits in position 4 through 9 make up the Vehicle Description Section (VDS). The fourth through eighth digits describe your vehicle's model, body type, restraint system, transmission type, and engine code.

Does the VIN number tell you the transmission? ›

Unfortunately, this is not required by the NHTSA VIN standard. Some OEMs still use the same 10-digit VIN patterns for automatic and manual transmission vehicles, meaning that VIN alone will not be enough to determine the vehicle's transmission type.

How do I know if I have a Borg Warner T5? ›

Identify T5 borg warner - YouTube

Does Borg Warner still make transmissions? ›

Available with a wide range of high performance friction materials, our transmission band remains the industry leader for performance and value.

What is a Saginaw transmission? ›

This is a GM light-duty car transmission used from 1966-1985 model years. It has a cast-iron case and extension housing, and a 7 bolt side covers with reverse shift lever on this side cover. The Saginaw is often mistaken for a Muncie.

What cars use T5 transmission? ›

  • 1982-83 AMC Spirit.
  • 1982-83 AMC Concord.
  • 1982-88 AMC Eagle.
  • 1982-86 Jeep CJ-7.
  • 1984-86 2.5L Inline 4, 2.8L V6, and turbo diesel Jeep Cherokee XJ/Comanche MJ.
  • 1984-86 Ford Mustang SVO (World-Class T-5 1985-1986)
  • 1983.5-1995 V8 Ford Mustang (World-Class T-5 1985-1995)

Is a Borg Warner a good transmission? ›

The Borg-Warner T90 transmission was one of the most common transmissions found in 1946 to 1971 Jeeps. Because of its long production span, it is nearly legendary. It is a good transmission when well maintained and has often been adapted to V8, V6 and I4 power.

Who makes the Super T10 transmission? ›

2) New High-Quality Gears

The gears of Borg-Warner's regular production Super T10 were constructed of 8620-alloy steel—an affordable material that is quite durable.

Who made Saginaw transmissions? ›

The Saginaw Michigan SM465 is a heavy-duty, four-speed manual transmission built by General Motors for use in light and medium duty trucks from 1968 to 1991 at the factory in Muncie, Indiana; it was designed to replace the somewhat similar Muncie SM420 transmission, which had been in production since just after World ...

What are the gear ratios in a Muncie 4 speed? ›

Guide to Muncie M20, M21, and M22 Four-Speed Transmissions
Muncie Four-Speed Gear Ratios
M20 Wide-Ratio 1963-'65
First Gear2.56:1
Second Gear1.91:1
Third Gear1.48:1
20 more rows
7 Aug 2018

What is a top loader 4 speed? ›

"The Top Loader four-speed transmission is a fully synchronized type in all gears, except the reverse sliding idler gear that is in constant mesh. All forward-speed changes are accomplished with synchronizer sleeves, instead of sliding gears.

How do I know if I have a T18 transmission? ›

The Ford versions can also be identified by its casting numbers cast into the driver's side of the case, commonly "T18-1E" for earlier units and "13-01" for later units.

What vehicles came with a NV4500? ›

General Motors used the NV4500 as RPO MT8 & MW3 in 8500 + GVWR light trucks.
  • 1991–2000 GMC & Chevrolet C/K 2500 and 3500.
  • 1999 & 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and 3500.
  • 2001–2006 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and 3500 and 2007 Silverado Classic.
  • 2001–2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD and 3500.

What is a NP205 transfer case? ›

The NP205 transfer case is a heavy-duty, gear-driven unit manufactured by New Process Gear in Syracuse, New York. It was introduced in 1969 and used until about 1993. The part-time, manual-shift T-case was found in GM, Ford, Dodge, and International Harvester vehicles, and in some construction/industrial equipment.

How do I identify a NP435 transmission? ›

Identification. This transmission is 10.8" long and features an aluminum top cover that is retained by eight bolts. The NP435 case is of cast iron. The Ford NP435 has a 1-1/16" diameter, ten spline input shaft that has a stick-out of 6-1/2" from the front face of the transmission.

What vehicles have a-727 transmission? ›

The A-727 transmission is ideal for use in four-wheel-drive CJ and YJ Jeeps, too. The AMC V-8 engines used in 1972 and newer models were drilled to the correct small-block bell housing bolt pattern, and the rear output shaft will fit into existing Jeep transfer case assemblies.

How do I identify a Chrysler 727 transmission? ›

An A-727 can also be identified as being a 1978 and newer lockup units just by examining the transmission's input shaft. It was built with a lockup if the shaft is smooth at its last half inch, on the contrary, if it is splined to the end of the input shaft, then it is a non-lockup transmission.

How do I know if I have a T18 transmission? ›

The Ford versions can also be identified by its casting numbers cast into the driver's side of the case, commonly "T18-1E" for earlier units and "13-01" for later units.

What vehicles came with a NV4500? ›

General Motors used the NV4500 as RPO MT8 & MW3 in 8500 + GVWR light trucks.
  • 1991–2000 GMC & Chevrolet C/K 2500 and 3500.
  • 1999 & 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and 3500.
  • 2001–2006 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and 3500 and 2007 Silverado Classic.
  • 2001–2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD and 3500.

What does sm465 stand for? ›

"SM" stands for "SAGINAW MICHIGAN". GM literature also often referred to this as a CH465, referencing Chevrolet. Gear ratios are: First - 6.55:1.

What is the strongest transmission? ›

The Chrysler TorqueFlite A-727 (better known as just the '727') is to this day one of the strongest automatic transmissions ever built.

How much horsepower can a 727 transmission handle? ›

The 727 is a relatively simple piece when compared to other automatic transmissions, and its strength is a function of that simplicity. We've put stock TorqueFlite transmissions behind big-blocks pushing upwards of 600 hp and found they not only survive, but perform quite well.

What is the best transmission for drag racing? ›

ATI Powerglide - Superglide 4® Drag Racing Transmission. ATI's new Superglide 4 is the strongest Powerglide in the industry, exclusively from ATI! For use in high horsepower race cars, pullers and monster trucks, the Superglide is available for popular Chevy, Ford, Mopar and Toyota applications!

Can you add overdrive to a 727 transmission? ›

If you own a car with a TorqueFlite 727 or 904 3 speed auto or a 4 speed 833, you own one of the best transmissions ever built. By adding the Gear Vendors you get to keep this great trans and add overdrive and performance gear-splitting ratios to it.

How strong is a 727 transmission? ›

The strength of the 727 is rarely contested. From the factory, they came against engines ranging up to the 426 Hemi. They are unusually strong transmissions, seeing service with hotrodders and heavier truck applications. The duty range of the 727 is often likened to the GM TH400 and Ford C6 automatics.

How much is a 727 transmission? ›

$1,879.99. Ships Directly From Manufacturer Timing based on Manufacturer's availability.


1. Chrysler Master Tech - 1965, Volume 65-11 4-Speed Manual Transmission
(MyMopar. com)
2. A833 overdrive transmission walk around
(Fred Buhay)
3. Crossing my fingers on a 1969 B Body A833 Mopar 4 Speed I scored HHG
(Halfway House Garage)
4. 360 4 speed dart
(derek d)
5. The a833 4 Speed is in the 1972 satellite!
(LunarOutlaw’s Garage)
6. Magic Trick That Shouldn’t Work - Mating An A833 To A Magnum - Three Pedals Pt 3 - Dead Dodge Garage
(Dead Dodge Garage)

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