Transmission identification is a common issue among classic car enthusiasts.

According to the Summit Racing technical department, it’s one of the most-asked-about topics when customers call for advice. We dedicated an entire post to the subject a couple years back, but the bottom line is you can identify common automatic transmissions by the shape and bolt pattern of the transmission pan.

There are other ways to ID your automatic transmission. Some trannys have a code stamped into them or a tag riveted to the housing. You can also measure the dimensions of the transmission, but it’s much easier to look at the transmission pan for telltale giveaways of a transmission’s ID.

Operating under this premise, OnAllCylinders’ Lori Sams created this visual quick-guide to help you easily ID an automatic transmission. 


Unfortunately, manual transmissions are little harder to identify. Our friends at Hurst put together some helpful diagrams and tips here:

Once you’ve identified your transmission, you can go about the business of maintaining, rebuilding, or upgrading it. Aftermarket companies offer a variety of transmission rebuild kits, shift kits, transmission pan gaskets, and more.

But the first step is making that positive ID.

Author: David Fuller

David Fuller is OnAllCylinders' managing editor. During his 20-year career in the auto industry, he has covered a variety of races, shows, and industry events and has authored articles for multiple magazines. He has also partnered with mainstream and trade publications on a wide range of editorial projects. In 2012, he helped establish OnAllCylinders, where he enjoys covering all facets of hot rodding and racing.