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L series bellhousing to A series box?


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Hi I have an 88 vanette truck with an A series and 5 speed, I would like to put an l18 or l20 in it but 5 speed column change boxes are hard to find here so I was wondering if an l series 4 speed front housing would fit on my a series gearbox? I understand it may be a weaker box but I don't plan on thrashing it I just want better all round performance thanks

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I would say no.  The relative transmission strength can be roughly estimated by its 'series' The A engines used a 56, 60 and here in N America at least, a 63 series transmission. The number 56, 60 or 63 is the distance in mm between the main shaft and the countershaft. The larger the number the larger diameter the two meshing gears can be. Larger will be stronger. Here, there were two L series 4 speeds, a 63 series which is all one piece used in the 510, 610, 710 and A10) and has no front removable case and the 71B (used in the 620 truck and the Z car) which does. So as you can see an L series transmission is stronger than the 56 and 60 series boxes. No way it would fit the smaller input and countershaft bearings on an A series box. Sorry. 


Five speeds are great for highway cruise speeds to reduce RPMs and not much used if you drive primarily in town. They don't go faster, in fact you will go faster in fourth. 


I can't think of an L series 63 or 71B (4 or 5 speed) that was remotely shifted. 



Did not know that the Vanette also came with an A series engine. What about modifying your A series to make more power? Cam, twin SUs and a low restriction exhaust system.

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Without reading Mike's undoubtedly accurate reply, I am going to say no. The only gearbox that ever shared engines between the A series and L series was the "dogleg" 5 spd, and they are rare enough, so finding the correct bellhousing will be more difficult than swapping in the L series trans.


Yes, it actually can be done, but you'll need to find the right trans first.

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