72 Cutlass Manual Trans Conversion - ClassicOldsmobile.com


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Old May 24th, 2011, 01:31 PM   #1
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72 Cutlass Manual Trans Conversion

Hello. I was wondering if anybody on here has swapped a TH400 out of a console car and installed a M22. I want a M22W and was wondering what parts I will need...I have an idea and a list I made, but figured if somebody has done this before and had a parts list with part numbers and vendors it would make this a whole lot easier.

I was looking and found Midwest Muncie in Wisconsin (where I live) that sells new Auto Gear units...anybody ever dealt with them?

Pics of the pedal setup or trans install would also be helpful.

Thanks.

BTW: my car is a 72 Cutlass S with a console, 455, 3.42 rear gears, and currently has a TH400.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 01:48 PM   #2
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Sounds like what I am contemplating (as opposed to rebuilding my blown TH350). I have a hard time picturing an 'M22' style trans in a Cutlass Supreme though for some reason.

I have a 350/350 with 3.42's and column shift, and was considering an original M20, or the AutoGear M20?, M22W or M22Z. Not sure if driveshaft has to be changed though, or the crossmember moved back or drilled new holes.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 03:52 PM   #3
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Do a search here.

I did a M22 swap in my 70 442 using 100% GM parts.

Figure about $4k and 30 hours of your labor.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 05:16 PM   #4
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I know it's going to cost me some good money. I just thought somebody on here knew exactly which parts they used which would help me a lot. I found a lot of the parts, mainly aftermarket or reproduction, but would really like to know which ones will work the first time so I don't have to mess around.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 05:28 PM   #5
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4k? Man, ferget that, that is a major turn off, for me anyway.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 05:59 PM   #6
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The parts list I have now including the new M22W is about $4000, and that's with repro or aftermarket parts. If I could find all GM parts for that price I would definately take that anyday! If you have the part numbers for those GM parts I would appreciate it, for I'm not having much like finding GM parts.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 07:04 PM   #7
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auto to standard

Hi , from an old `A` body nut. The transfromation you want to do will need to take some time and study . For one you'll need to find a 72 Old 's A body chassis manual. This will put you in sight of the components you'll need. But then you may need a Fisher Body manual to help you with counsoles ,wiring and such. I've done a few of this over the last 20 years or so and it is a project just to find the correct shifters , hardware,ect..Are you just after 4spd or trying for better fuel milage? The cost would be about 3K plus. And that is on a conservative side.I've installed some 700r4 s with great luck!!! You can keep any gear and tire size you want and increase fuel milage without losing performance. Something to think about.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 07:08 PM   #8
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I'm going for a 4 speed, and I love the "rockcrusher" whine. Fuel economy isn't such a big deal for this is only a nice weather fun car for me. I do have a body manual which shows where to cut the auto console to make it into a manual console. I also have a service manual, but couldn't find any real specifics on the parts I will need. I'll dig into the service manual again tonight and look again.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 07:52 PM   #9
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Here is the spill. If you really want the 4 speed thrill ,you will be facing the 4 speed bill. For one you'll need a Olds bellhousing or aftermarket housing ,then clutch setup and on and on. I had a 67 GTO that I equiped with a 421HD with the M21 Rockcrusher. The whine of the helicut gears is awsome. But do you want to spend all this on a car that may not in the end give you a return?
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Old May 25th, 2011, 07:50 AM   #10
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I assume you're aware of the problem with the crank not being machined for the pilot bearing, right?
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Old May 25th, 2011, 11:31 AM   #11
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Yeah, that's the biggest problem I can think of...the crankshaft. I've been told that an FA 455 block (which I have) may or may not have the pilot bearing hole drilled in the crank on both auto and manual models. I can't remember if it had this hole when I took it out last. I hope it does, as this would save a big headache. My 455 block does have the threaded hole for the z-bar pivot on the engine side.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 08:03 PM   #12
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Just as I was trying to tell you, the walls you're going to run into. Like the pilot hole!!! Do you have the 'Z' bar bracket on the frame to complete the 'Z' bar (cross shaft linkage) installation? If not that will need to be welded on correctly in the right position. I'm not trying to steer you away from your dream, but it's going to take a lot of old time knowhow, without all the numbers you want. I always enjoyed these kind of projects (kept the mental juices flowing) but now the parts are harder to find. Nobody really wants to do a project unless it's all in front of them. Then they think they're pro's just because that got some info online. I hope that I given you a better insight on your project.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 08:34 PM   #13
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Done it numerous times,and doing another one right now.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 10:20 PM   #14
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Jimbo, my car does have the zbar holes pre-drilled into the frame..I think all 72's do. Most everything will be bolt on, so this shouldn't be that hard as long as I find the right parts. I'm trying to find somebody that's done this swap before to find out which parts fit propertly. I know some aftermarket parts need tweeking to fit, which I'm trying to avoid if possible. It's going to be expensive, but worth it in the end. My biggest and only foreseeable obstacle is the crankshaft, which I don't remember whether it came out of a manual car or not. Guess I'll find out when the auto trans is laying on the ground!

Brian, I was hoping you would tap into this conversation. It sounds like you've done this plenty of times...any parts suggestions?
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Old May 26th, 2011, 11:19 PM   #15
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Is the crank hard to machine or something? Easy to screw up? Other than the issue of removing it from the engine to have it done properly at a machine shop... what else is there?

I am going to be rebuilding my engine (again) very soon, and was considering having the crank drilled out for the pilot bearing just for the heck of it, just in case I go the manual route.

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Old May 27th, 2011, 06:43 AM   #16
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OK.Let's start with the issue with the pilot bearing hole.If you or anyone has their engine out of the car,and the crank out of the block,have it machined for the polit bearing.It needs to be dead-nuts,so you just can't drill it while the engine is together,or in the car.This is the best way to do it.
If you are doing a conversion,and the engine has already been done,and in the car,you can do the conversion,but the way that you adapt the pilot bearing,is important.the car that I am currently doing,fits that description,and the crank is not drilled.You could spend $70.00+ on one of Mondildos adapter bearings,but I don;t think they are a good design,and the size of the bearing that they use,which is very small,is not intended for this type of use,thus the reason you hear of them failing.They also suggest that you trim the end of the input shaft of the trans.NO! If you do end up using their adapter bearing,just drill a relief hole in the crank,so the input shaft has somewhere to go,without bottoming out against the crank.
Below is a picture of my adapter bearing set-up,along with one of Mondildo's adpater bearings.I start with a piece of bronze,and have the outer diameter machined to press-fit inside of the automatic crank.The inside diameter is machined to press-fit the original design pilot bearing.
Why not just make one piece? The good pilot bearings,or the ones that came in there origonally,are a bronze oilite meaterial.You want to use one of these,or a roller-bearing style.Do not be confused with the cheaper bushings that look like bronze,but are steel with bronze tint.The stock that I use for the adpater is not the oilite material,so therefore I do not make a one-piece adpater bearing.Before installing any of this,take a good drill,with a large bit,like 5/8" or possibly larger,and drill a relief hole in the back of the crank,to give room for the input shaft.You can use a clutch aligment tool to give you an idea if you have enough clearance,rather than trying to hold the whole trans up in there.Once the hole is good,clean the area,and install the adapter.This will press into the part of the crank that was originally machined for the torque converter hub.This is the same place that Mondildo's adapter goes.Once the adpater ring is in place,install the pilot bearing.When finished,the adapter ring,and the pilot bearing,will be flush with the crank flange.I will post more pictures of the install,along with the rest of the 4-spd swap.I don't work with a camera in my pocket,so I'll do my best to get some pictures.

Pilotbearingadapter001.jpg

Pilotbearingadapter002.jpg


Pilotbearingadapter003.jpg


All of the A-body frames have the holes for the z-bar bracket.You just need to make sure your block has the tapped boss for the z-bar stud.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 09:52 AM   #17
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I used the BCA7109 bearing that is designed for an Olds.

The conversion bearing I used first failed.

Get the crank drilled for the BCA7109, nad you won't be disappointed.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 10:04 AM   #18
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Yes,again,if you are able to get your crank drilled,do it.What I pictured above is the next best alternative.
Any time I have an engine built,I have the crank drilled,if it is not already.You just never know if you might need it.That was the first thing I had done to the 507 crank,before I even had it stroked.I haven't needed it after 11 years,but it will come in handy if/when I ever decide to stick it in my 70 W30 4-spd.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 11:18 AM   #19
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Mine started out as an auto but now have a muncie. The pedal swap is probably the most time consuming part.
Check out the parts place, OPGI, year one, etc. They have pedal, z bar kits. Beyond that, it's mostly trans parts, console adapter.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 01:52 PM   #20
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Here's a preliminary list of the parts I need:


clutch/brake pedal assembly, z-bar, z-bar frame bracket, clutch pedal pushrod, pushrod boot and retainer, clutch fork boot, clutch fork, adjustable clutch fork pushrod, clutch fork ball, clutch return spring, z-bar hardware, flywheel, bellhousing, console insert/boot for shifter, hurst shifter with ****, shift linkages, steering column plate and seal, neutral safety/reverse light switch, 2 piece woodgrain trim for manual console, clutch kit, trans hump, pilot bearing (adapter style most likely).

Anything I'm missing?
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Old June 1st, 2011, 05:52 AM   #21
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Here's a picture,to get an idea.I think it's all here.I know I used this picture before,so I should update,but I don't always have time for family photos. The original GM parts are still the best,but there are more & more repop parts being made.I have sampled every piece out there,and they are doable,but I'd rather still recondition a GM piece.The only piece I have not found being remade,is the switch on the pedals.

70724-spdparts001.jpg
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Old August 7th, 2011, 12:05 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by 72442clone View Post
Here's a preliminary list of the parts I need:


clutch/brake pedal assembly, z-bar, z-bar frame bracket, clutch pedal pushrod, pushrod boot and retainer, clutch fork boot, clutch fork, adjustable clutch fork pushrod, clutch fork ball, clutch return spring, z-bar hardware, flywheel, bellhousing, console insert/boot for shifter, hurst shifter with ****, shift linkages, steering column plate and seal, neutral safety/reverse light switch, 2 piece woodgrain trim for manual console, clutch kit, trans hump, pilot bearing (adapter style most likely).

Anything I'm missing?
Why is it necessary to change the steering column plate & seal?
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Old August 7th, 2011, 12:17 PM   #23
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Why is it necessary to change the steering column plate & seal?
Because the manual trans version has a hole for the clutch linkage.

Also note that the driveshaft is different. The AT driveshaft uses two concentric tubes with a rubber isolator molded between them. The MT driveshaft is a single solid tube. The AT driveshaft from a TH350 will work with an MT, but it won't be correct.
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Old August 7th, 2011, 11:41 PM   #24
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Because the manual trans version has a hole for the clutch linkage.

Also note that the driveshaft is different. The AT driveshaft uses two concentric tubes with a rubber isolator molded between them. The MT driveshaft is a single solid tube. The AT driveshaft from a TH350 will work with an MT, but it won't be correct.
Ok, that makes sense about the clutch linkage. What I find interesting is my '72 is an auto car, and it has a one piece driveshaft. So it must not be the original like I had thought it was.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 08:23 AM   #25
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A couple comments to add to the above excellent info:
Up through 1967, the z bar bracket is not a bolt-on and will be found welded onto manual trans car frames only. Locating the bracket (repops are available) onto the frame isn't easy. It is best to have the engine and trans in the car, and set up the Z bar for perfect alignment, then weld the bracket.
Early Muncies have the Turbo 350 (27 spline) output and 10 spline input. Late Muncies have 26 spline input, 32 spline T400 output, and are 1/2" longer overall than the early transmissions. All Muncies use the forward frame holes for the crossmember, like Powerglides and T350s.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 09:59 AM   #26
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The aftermarket pedals do not have the pin that actuates the clutch safety switch.

My suggestion is to get original parts and refurbished them like Brian said.

That way, you will be sure that everything fits.

I had my Muncie done by Ed Hartnett in Philly. It is a M21 case that has Masiero M22 gears in it.

It was a lot of work to get the 4 speed installed, but well worth it.

The gear noise is well worth it.

Sent you a PM - would be happy to discuss on the phone.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 06:37 AM   #27
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I just finished this conversion in a 71 442 convertible last week.All reconditioned/rebuilt factory parts.It has the correct 71 M20,with the fine-spline input,and large output. Run to rund is correct about the lengths.The large output shafts use a different tailhousing,and these are longer than the small output style.If your car has a TH350,and you use a Munice 4-spd with the smaller TH350 style tail,and you don't change the style of rearend,then you can reuse your existing driveshaft.If you have a TH400,and you use a Muncie with the larger TH400 style tail,and you don't change the style of rearend,then you can reuse your existing driveshaft.Basicly,anything with the smaller TH350 style tail,uses a longer driveshaft,and anything with a TH400 style tail,uses a shorter driveshaft.The crossmember location is the same for all of the Muncies.The speedo cable is longer,due to the speedo outlet being located on the passenger side.there are some Muncies,from Chevys & Pontiacs,that have the outlet of the driver's side.It just isn't correct for the Olds,but can be used.If your car originally came with a TH350,then all of your E-brake cables can be reused.If your car originally came with a TH400,then you will need a shorter front cable,a longer intermediate cable,and the shorter crossmember hook,due to the crossmember being moved forward.


KenCerri4spdswap001.jpg

KenCerri4spdswap003.jpg

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Old August 9th, 2011, 07:08 AM   #28
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That is a beautiful sight Brian. Perfect job. Got any extra tunnel humps?


STeve
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Old August 9th, 2011, 08:02 AM   #29
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I was looking and found Midwest Muncie in Wisconsin (where I live) that sells new Auto Gear units...anybody ever dealt with them?
Auto Gear has a very good reputation. I haven't had to make any major purchases from them but when I do it will be from them. When I needed a speedo gear they were very helpful at getting me the correct one & my speedometer is within 2 mph.

My442 posted this changeover list years ago on ROP:

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Here is the list for my 70 442 conversion:

4-speed transmission - GM rebuilt
Floor hump - GM used or repro
Console for 4 speed - Convert an auto console with aftermarket parts
Muncie compatible driveshaft - GM rebuilt or aftermarket
Bell housing - GM Used
Bell housing inspection cover - Repro
Shifter and correct ball - GM Used
Shifter linkage - GM Used
Shifter to transmission bracket - GM - Used
Flywheel - GM Used or Aftermarket
Pedal Assembly and pads - GM Used for pedals, Repro pads
Neutral Safety switch - GM Used
Z-bar - GM Used
Z-bar to clutch fork rod - GM Used or Aftermarket
Z-bar frame bracket - Repro
Back-up light switch - GM used or Repro from M+H Electrical
Clutch fork - GM Used
Clutch pedal to z-bar rod - Repro
Speedometer cable - Aftermarket
Engine ball stud - Repro
Clutch pedal to z-bar rod boot & retaining ring - Boot is repro, ring is used GM
Shifter boot & retaining ring - Boot 1s repro, ring is used GM
Steering column lower support with hole for clutch pedal to z-bar rod - Used GM
Pressure plate, clutch disc, throw out bearing, pressure plate bolts, flywheel bolts - Aftermarket
Reverse lockout rods and bracket - Repro
Battery Cable - Repro fro American Autowire
Battery cable tube - Used GM
Firewall boot - Repro

You will also need to have a 4 speed crank that is drilled for a pilot bearing, or drill an automatic crank for a conversion bearing. I bought my conversion bearing from Supercars Unlimited.

The wiring is simple for the clutch switch and the back up lights.

The console harness from an automatic car can be used in the manual trans console.

There are 2 push in sheet metal nuts that are used on the base of the steering column to hold the back up light switch. My auto column did not have them.

Part Numbers from v8buick.com

68" Speedo Cable - 88959477 For 68-72 manual shift cars

Clips for shift rods - 12338114 Also used on the reverse rods too

Z bar and pedal bushing - 406172 Upper bushing and pedal bushing

Wave Washers - 9428369 Used to take out play in the linkage

Lock out rod bushing (upper) - 1394293 On the steering column

Bushing, reverse linkage (on frame) - 1377083 On the "L" shaped rod

GM has discontinued the rubber bushings on the shift linkage. Theses are being reproduced.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 07:59 PM   #30
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Bearing vs Bushing

Pilotbearingadapter001.jpg
I have the top bushing in hand and a 7109 Bearing in hand. The bearing looks to fit nicely into the outer indent of the crank. THe bushing looks to fit only marginally into the deeper indent of the crank. The bushing may only be supported 1/3 of it's overall depth, and not a tight fit at that. The way I read these threads it is only the input shaft clearance that is drilled and not a much wider hole for the bushing to fit deeper into the crank? I am attempting to do a conversion on a motor in the car. I

At this point I am leaning to the bearing because of the better fit. Am I missing something?
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Old August 21st, 2013, 08:05 PM   #31
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A couple comments to add to the above excellent info:
Up through 1967, the z bar bracket is not a bolt-on and will be found welded onto manual trans car frames only. Locating the bracket (repops are available) onto the frame isn't easy. It is best to have the engine and trans in the car, and set up the Z bar for perfect alignment, then weld the bracket.
Early Muncies have the Turbo 350 (27 spline) output and 10 spline input. Late Muncies have 26 spline input, 32 spline T400 output, and are 1/2" longer overall than the early transmissions. All Muncies use the forward frame holes for the crossmember, like Powerglides and T350s.
the lRGE (m40) output is 1" longer than the t-350 etc.not 1/2 inch.the shaft was made to be stronger and one shaft did the job.why didn't Olds put a pilot hole for manual in the crank?the countershaft location is the same for all 68-72 A bodies and it bolted in place by 5/16's sheet metal screws and some applications threaded bolts.simple,
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Old April 30th, 2014, 10:26 AM   #32
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Just went through this conversion on my '68 CS. Certainly easier than '69+ with '68's still having the key in the dash and no reverse lock out.

The Parts Place had a decent kit to make the conversion using their "NOSR" reproduction pedals and zbar. They claimed it to be complete but was far from it. Nothing a little shopping on eBay couldn't fix though

-Michael

Last edited by mcalvo; April 30th, 2014 at 10:29 AM.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 04:52 PM   #33
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Have parts

Hi. Read your post. I have most factory conversions for change over. Plz call to discuss. 262-321-4632. In Wisconsin
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