trying to find an original 4 speed knob NOS for 73 Chevelle SS

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Post by clanceman427 on Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:28 pm

Well I thought I had a good replacement so I bought this one off Ebay, but it's the wrong knob for my car. I bought one for a mid-70's camaro thinking it might be the same or a factory replacement that went to a slightly different design.

What I need is a shifter knob for my 1973 Chevelle SS that came with a Saginaw M20, and had the funky-shaped ITM shifter stick that you need to lift for getting into reverse. The Camaro NOS knob pictured next to my old original shows the size difference. The internal thread of the Camaro one is smaller than the thread on my stick. Also, I'd guess that my original knob had maybe white paint inside the debossed area that has the shift pattern and the "LIFT" for reverse. Whereas the Camaro knob has a plastic insert with a clear lens over the pattern to protect it.

Anybody know about these, and what might have cross-referenced it? I'm guessing the Muncie M20's and M21's for 1973 came with a Hurst Shifter that did not require you to lift for reverse.

I am also copying a link to a 73 Poncho shifter site that shows the same style of shifter I have, but of course it's got it's Pontiac knob. Any help appreciated.

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Post by clanceman427 on Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:44 pm

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Post by Joe73 on Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:02 pm

I'm willing to bet that your pontiac shifter handle has a different thread (and diameter) than our chevy handles.  Last I looked at my original knob, it looks just like the one you bought, only older. Very Happy

My chevy parts manual lists 73-74 chevelle gearshift control (hand) knob as part number 488947.  And 73-74 camaro as 332606.  I'm willing to bet they are the same part.


Last edited by Joe73 on Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Joe73 on Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:04 pm

I think I'd heat your handle cherry red and bend it to our shape. Then have it chromed.
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Post by jerry46765 on Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:17 pm

You are searching for something pretty rare.

I dug through my shifter box awhile back to see if the V8 Monza saginaw shifter was the same.  It was not, the three production reverse lockout shifters I have, used a t-handle under the knob.

It may be easier to determine the thread size on the shifter and go from there.  

Do you realize why you can't find this shifter or parts?  It's because they were really crummy shifters,  and an aftermarket shifter made shifting a joy rather than a random event?

I totally understand originality, but once you banged second to third with a well gated shifter, you will wonder why you bothered messing with the oem unit.
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Post by clanceman427 on Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:24 pm

Joe73 wrote:I'm willing to bet that your pontiac shifter handle has a different thread (and diameter) than our chevy handles.  Last I looked at my original knob, it looks just like the one you bought, only older. Very Happy

My chevy parts manual lists 73-74 chevelle gearshift control (hand) knob as part number 488947.  And 73-74 camaro as 332606.  I'm willing to be they are the same part.  


Joe, did your car originally come with an ITM shifter, with the lift for reverse? What trans did your car come with originally? M20 Saginaw? M20 Muncie? or M21 Muncie? Thanks.
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Post by clanceman427 on Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:24 pm

Joe73 wrote:I'm willing to bet that your pontiac shifter handle has a different thread (and diameter) than our chevy handles.  Last I looked at my original knob, it looks just like the one you bought, only older. Very Happy

My chevy parts manual lists 73-74 chevelle gearshift control (hand) knob as part number 488947.  And 73-74 camaro as 332606.  I'm willing to be they are the same part.  


thanks i'll look into that
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Post by clanceman427 on Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:25 pm

Joe73 wrote:I think I'd heat your handle cherry red and bend it to our shape.  Then have it chromed.  

Hehe, no. Gotta respect the originality Smile
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Post by clanceman427 on Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:29 pm

jerry46765 wrote:You are searching for something pretty rare.

I dug through my shifter box awhile back to see if the V8 Monza saginaw shifter was the same.  It was not, the three production reverse lockout shifters I have, used a t-handle under the knob.

It may be easier to determine the thread size on the shifter and go from there.  

Do you realize why you can't find this shifter or parts?  It's because they were really crummy shifters,  and an aftermarket shifter made shifting a joy rather than a random event?

I totally understand originality, but once you banged second to third with a well gated shifter, you will wonder why you bothered messing with the oem unit.

Understood, but I must respect the originality. I always toy with the idea of having a "fun" alternate drivetrain to swap out for when I have the itch for a solid cam, high compression, and M22 music, which would of course use a high quality shifter and scattershield in that configuration, and mothball the original oem equipment.
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Post by jerry46765 on Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:38 pm

I respect originality too, trust me.  

That is why when I sell something, they would get the original shifter, exhaust manifolds, and misc. emission equipment in a cardboard box which would be in the trunk.

Originality doesn't always mean good or better.  An aftermarket shifter will not kill originality and definitely improve the drive.

The best thing about cars and hot rodding, you can do whatever you want and then enjoy it. Just trying to help ease the pain...

Thanks -
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Post by Joe73 on Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:46 pm

My car came from the factory with bench seat, muncie M20 with ITM shifter, lift for reverse.  My car had a hurst competition plus in the car when I got it.  But the owner gave me the original shifter, along with other parts, in a couple of boxes.  I eventually changed the competition plus to a Super Shifter III with the reverse lock out.  Ive driven cars with ITM shifters and they are ok until they get a little wear which is usually quite soon.  I think the Hurst shifters are night and day better quality and precision.  

Theres alot of confusion with the M20 designation.  M20 is only an option code designating a manual 4 speed trans.  In our years it was a toss up whether you got a saginaw or a muncie with a small block.  Muncies were being phased out in favor of the Borg Warner trans.   All big blocks got the Muncie M21 option.  

As for your shifter handle, the odds of finding an original one are REAL slim.  Thats why I'd at least make yours look correct until you find one.  Another easier option would be to grab a shifter handle off ebay for a 65-67 impala.  It has almost perfect curves to match our original one.  Although the impala one bolts onto the shifter.  I'd cut that base off and weld on the snap in base of yours.  Then chrome.  That would be the closest thing until you find the right one.
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Post by clanceman427 on Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:44 pm

Joe, remember my stick is correct for the Saginaw M20, which is different vs. The Muncie M20 stick.
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Post by Joe73 on Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:37 pm

Really? I don't remember different part numbers for shifters. Only for the shifter rods and levers. I'll take a look again. I thought you were using the pontiac stick?
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Post by Joe73 on Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:05 pm

clanceman427 wrote:Joe, remember my stick is correct for the Saginaw M20, which is different vs. The Muncie M20 stick.  

Ok, I checked.  If your still using that pontiac stick it is not correct.  Here's a pic of the 1973-1974 Chevelle/Nova/Camaro parts book.  I ran the part numbers and all 4 speed (big or small block) chevelles use the same shifter handle.  There are no listing stating close or wide ratio trans regarding the shifter handle.  

The only differences listed regarding the regular (M20) or the "close ratio" is for the shifter body (which I dont understand why or if there is really a difference) , shifter rods and the shifter mounting plate.  I did also see a section in the parts book that mentions 73 chevelle with "muncie wide ratio".  

trying to find an original 4 speed knob NOS for 73 Chevelle SS Shifter%20part%20numbers_zps2r2yty9w

Here's a pic of our correct shifter and mounting.  Item #6 in the pic is group 4.006. so you can check with the pic above.

trying to find an original 4 speed knob NOS for 73 Chevelle SS Shifter%20Part%20_zpslrwdetlz
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Post by clanceman427 on Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:30 pm

Thanks Joe! That is a great book you have. Man, maybe someone did switch out the original shifter stick with a Pontiac shifter stick way back when. Or maybe the plant (Oshawa) ran low on the correct sticks and substituted the Pontiac stick. I'm thinking there was more cross pollination of chevy and pontiac in Canada since they had the Beaumont and Acadias for a while?

Your book does list different shifter bodies, rods, and mounting plates which to me would explain a Saginaw vs. Muncie application, since they are setup differently, biggest difference being the reverse lever on the side cover (Saginaw) vs. being on the tailshaft (Muncie)

My car was wearing Pontiac rally 2 trim rings instead of the correct Chevy trim rings on the 14x7 rallys . Maybe a Pontiac donated some parts to this car at some point. I got some more digging to do and with this info you researched for me is very helpful!
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Post by Joe73 on Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:55 am

No problem at all. Glad I can share the info.
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Post by clanceman427 on Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:20 am

Man, I just found an old ebay listing for a Pontiac Lemans/GTO 4 speed setup that included all the parts including console, and I see the shifter stick matches mine. I never understood why my shifter stick had that goofy turn towards the passenger side before turning up towards the knob. I believe it's because on the Pontiac console, the opening for the shifter boot and shifter is centered with the middle of the trans tunnel of the floor, whereas our Chevelle consoles have the opening offset towards the driver, so no need for a left-right (driver to passenger) bend in the stick. The mystery is unravelling...Smile

http://www.ebay.com/itm/73-74-75-76-77-Pontiac-Lemans-GTO-Grand-Am-4-Speed-Console-Shifter-Pedal-Rare-GM-/400915627047?nma=true&orig_cvip=true
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Post by clanceman427 on Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:30 am

see how goofy/incorrect my shifter stick looks in my console? I think this stick is from a Pontiac!

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Post by clanceman427 on Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:33 am

also note on my last photo, that bend in the shifter stick has caused a localized dent/depression in the rubber opening of my console for when the shifter is in 2nd and 4th gear. That bugs me!
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Post by Joe73 on Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:34 am

I agree. I thought that all along when you posted that your shifter was hitting the console. I saw that stick and remembered it from the poncho site.
I'd mod your stick with one of the two methods I mentioned above. It wont hit you console anymore and it will look original. Then just keep looking for an original one.
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Post by Turly56 on Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:19 pm

Do you want to sell the knob that you bought? (That does not fit your shifter)
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Post by clanceman427 on Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:47 pm

Hi Turly56, sorry but I ended up using this knob once I located a correct 1973 Chevelle 4 speed shifter stick.
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