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Transmission and DriveLine Questions
Ask all your Transmission and DriveLine Questions. Tranmission, Drives shaft, Rear End, Gears, etc
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Old 05-01-2017, 04:27 PM   #1
iveys57
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Default Trans upgrade

I have a '57 with gen1 SBC and an M-21, bench seat. I want overdrive. Currently running original style engine mounts (fronts are actually poly and drivers rear mount has diagonal bolt through it to strengthen). I was considering a Liberty modified TKO600 (Liberty mods are supposed to clean up shifting issues and this would allow me to keep my present engine mount system) ~3K in expenses. A friend suggested that I should instead switch mounting systems (install side engine mounts and a transmission crossmember) and adapt a t-56 six speed from a late model Camaro, GTO, G8, etc. (Tremec t56 stronger, already shifts good and double overdrive). What all is involved in swapping in a t56 into a TriFive, mech. vs hyd. clutch. Any thoughts? Has anyone else swapped a junkyard t56 inti their trifive? Does the t56 require floor cutting, mid-mount shifter to clear bench, spacers to compenstat for flange difference between gen 1 sbc and LS, is the hyd. linkage easier than aftermarket scattershield that allow mech. linkage? I am running 3.50 diff. gears now, but with a .50:1 sixth gear I could have streetable 4.11s again. Just trying to get ready for fun runs at the nationals, anyone that watched me last year knows there is LOTS of room for improvement, like a 60' under two seconds and actually having a shifter that allows a third gear power shift... Someone else has surely done this swap before on the cheap, please share.

Last edited by iveys57; 05-01-2017 at 09:56 PM.. Reason: add more questions
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:37 PM   #2
carls 56

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I'll move it back to top for you Ivey.
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:27 AM   #3
iveys57
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Answered a bunch of my own questions with a search on Super Chevy. There is an adapter flywheel for gen 1 SBC to ls based t56, looks like adapting the juice linkage is the easiest way, mid mount the shifter is better for the bench seat, floor will likely have to be modified, trans is longer by about 5 inches, newer trans have different yoke than early versions, newer ones are stronger, older ones are easier to adapt. Take home for me is the TKO600 will be easier, a t56 out of a lt-1 ~1996 Z-28 would be easy enough and a good option only if complete and cheap initial price.
Still like to hear from someone that has done either swap/upgrade.
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Old 05-03-2017, 08:02 PM   #4
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Default Overdrive Transmission

If you are going to do a transmission swap for a five or six speed i would suggest spending a lot of time doing some home work on the different transmissions. Lots of information on this site and others. Look at all of them for pro and cons and maybe it will save you a lot of grief later on. Use the search tool on the trifive site for TKO, Tremec, T56, t5 ect and a lot of threads will come up. Also google searches will bring up a lot of info on other forums. I just went through this for about three months and learned a lot about the different combinations. Most everyone likes the extra gear. Find some buddies that have them in their car and drive them. Helps with the decision on which way to go. Good luck with the swap.

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Old 05-03-2017, 09:58 PM   #5
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There are several ways to do a T56 behind a "traditional" engine. All fairly involved.

One way is to get a T56 from a 93-97 LT1 Camaro. It will bolt right up to your engine. But, you need to use the clutch from that setup, and it's a weird "pull off" setup. You'll need the flywheel for that setup too, or an aftermarket one if you have an 85 or older 2 piece rear main seal engine. Also you'll need to adapt the hydraulic clutch master cylinder for that setup.

Another way is to get an aftermarket T56 (now "Magnum" or "TR-6060") and get the bellhousing/adapter plate sold for conversions. This lets you use a more conventional clutch assembly. This gets pretty expensive.

Either way, the transmission tunnel will have to be raised around 1-1/4" in the shifter area.

There's some other choices out there. McLeod used to have a modular bellhousing that offered some flexibility. They no longer show it on their website. Also a company called Weir Hot Rod Products had some bellhousing stuff but I don't know if they are still around.

One of the deals with adapting OEM transmissions is that input shaft length varies, and you need to make sure you adapt correctly to that.
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:50 PM   #6
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Get in touch with Jody at https://www.trifive.com/forums/member.php?u=31583 he is a member that does 5 & 6 speeds or

Give American Powertrain a call and ask them questions.
http://americanpowertrain.com/
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:57 AM   #7
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I talked to the owner of Weir Hot Rod Products, (it took some work to find him).
He talked about wanting too start producing the bell housings again, but needed to do his own foundery to cast them... I think he would do a killing if he reintroduced the bell housing but I seriously do not think it would happen as I happened to talk to him twice over 1 1/2 years with no movement.

I myself also researching this, you'll want to get a magnum, so you can move the shifter to the forward location.

QuickTime offers 2 bellhousings, one for mechanical linkage, one for hydraulic.
Both accept your 10.5 or 11 inch flywheel. You'all need to switch your clutch plate from 10 spline to 64.

You'll pretty much need to ditch the front and bellhousing mounts and go to side mounts/trans cross member.

In all you you'll looking around $5000.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black_57 View Post
.

In all you you'll looking around $5000.
If it would cost THAT much I think the OP might consider looking at a Muncie kit from Gear Vendors instead. https://www.gearvendors.com/hrgm4sm.html
No tranny tunnel or clutch hassles either.




To iveys57,
There's a lot of interesting info in that link. Read through it, and be sure to read the "For more details on this subject" link about a third of the way down the page also. Hard to argue with the reasoning there.
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