Rowing Gears Like A Boss! ’76 K30 with a 4-53 4&2 Detroit!
I’m gonna tell you, right off the top, this transmission absolutely had my mind ...
I’m gonna tell you, right off the top, this transmission absolutely had my mind tripped up. I spent my childhood riding in eighteen wheelers across the country, including some with two-stick transmissions that I was able to figure out relatively easily. But this trans is unlike anything I’d ever seen, although I have to say, after watching it in action, I’d love to d give it a shot myself.
What I do know is this voodoo transmission is bolted inside a 1976 K30, which is a massive Chevy pickup platform. Under the hood resides a torquey Detroit Diesel engine, perfect for hauling the 12,000 capacity offered by the K30. The transmission, labeled a 4&2, utilizes two gear selector sticks that double the number of available gears from 4 to 8. This shifting pattern seems to downright confusing at first, at least until you watch it a little more closely.
You’ll notice, the driver shifts the one stick back and forth, basically hitting a 1-2 shift over and over. Couple that action with him moving the other stick through a typical four-speed “H” pattern, with a 1-2 shift from the other gear selector between each stop on the “H” gear layout. This gives the driver a full selection of 8 gears to choose from, although if this truck is anything like other heavy-duty rigs, a keen driver can probably change up that pattern to something a little easier to manage, especially if there’s no massive load on the truck that necessitates the need for the closer gear ratios.
We love seeing videos like this, especially as the world loses touch with manual transmissions. There will always be a very special place in my heart for true manual transmissions, regardless of the fact that modern automatics are both faster and more efficient. There’s something truly special about rowing gears that will never get old, and I intend to always have a manual car on hand for when I need my gear-banging fix!