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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm considering a swap to a Tremec or some other 5-speed tranny to replace my old Saginaw 4-speed in my 57. Rear gears are stock '57 3.55s. I figure that the Tremec 2.87:1 1st gear would be best with the 3:55s. I'm considering a TKO500 or 600 with around .68 or .64 5th gear which would yield a 2.27 or 2.4 final drive so it should be good for cruising. I'm tired of cruising at around 3000 RPM. I used to run a stock overdrive with the same gears and I could cruise at around 2000. Since the OD ratio was around .7, either of these options sounds viable. I got tired of having to double-clutch to shift into 1st, so swapped for the 4-speed - not to mention that the old 3-speeds are easy to grenade.

I have a friend who says that he put a TKO500 into his 57 using the stock bell housing and stock motor mounts (front and rear). If this is possible, I'd do the same. I don't weld, so I'd rather not need to install the cross member and rear mount and/or side motor mounts. I also want to keep my bench seat.

Other than a very occasional stop light grand prix, I don't intend to do any racing. Current motor is a .060 over 283 built for torque, not high RPM. I'm also considering a swap to a mild 350 (around 320 HP). I'm looking for a very reliable but strong cruising car.

Questions:
1. Will it really just bolt up to my stock bell without needing to be dialed in?
2. What slip yoke is necessary? Will the one for the Saginaw work?
3. Will my driveshaft need to be shortened?
4. What shifter option to clear the bench seat?
5. I see raised transmission tunnels in the Ecklers catalog for these, but I've seen in other threads that they aren't always necessary?

I know that I'll need to change my clutch plate as the one that's in there is 10 spline.

I have no desire for a later model Chevy 5-speed or 6-speed. Richmonds seem very pricey, so I'd rather stay away from them.

Keislers sound interesting, but I don't know anyone who has used them.

I'm guessing that many of you folks have already gone through this. Your experience/suggestions in this regard are most appreciated.
 

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Questions:
1. Will it really just bolt up to my stock bell without needing to be dialed in?
2. What slip yoke is necessary? Will the one for the Saginaw work?
3. Will my driveshaft need to be shortened?
4. What shifter option to clear the bench seat?
5. I see raised transmission tunnels in the Ecklers catalog for these, but I've seen in other threads that they aren't always necessary?

1 I was already running a Lakewood Scattershield & Super T10 with a 26 spline clutch. so I skipped this step.

2 I used a 76 Ford 1/2 ton pickup C-6 slip yoke, why it was free correct spline[off breed junk] and used a 1310 joint.

3 Yes

4 I run 65 Impala buckets, dont know.

5 I had to move shifter hole to center, but no other mods.

I have no issue with keeping stock bell and mounts but these trans are heavy. I would add a crossmember. I run a TKO-600 with a 3.54 rear gear.
 

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You have to go to a TKO-600 to get the 2.87 first gear. The 500 has a 3.27 first.

With the 3.27 first, that would be like having a Muncie (wide) with a 4.60 rear. I don't think that is good.
With the 2.87 first, that would be like having the Muncie (wide) with a 4.04 rear. That's a lot better combo with the 3.55 rear.

I think the TKO-500 would make much better sense with a 3.08 rear. That would be like a Muncie with a 4.00 rear in first (almost the same as the TKO-600 and 3.55 rear). It would be better on the highway for engine noise and gas mileage too (2.09 final). The gear splits are wider but since you are not racing, that's not a problem.
 

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Questions:
1. Will it really just bolt up to my stock bell without needing to be dialed in?
2. What slip yoke is necessary? Will the one for the Saginaw work?
3. Will my driveshaft need to be shortened?
4. What shifter option to clear the bench seat?
5. I see raised transmission tunnels in the Ecklers catalog for these, but I've seen in other threads that they aren't always necessary?
1. Will it really just bolt up to my stock bell without needing to be dialed in?
I dialed mine in. I had some issues because of my McLeod scattershield (the opening is actually egg shaped). It's not that bad, it only takes a couple of minutes once you get things figured out. The warranty on the trans depends on you dailing in the bellhousing = so you should probably do it.

2. What slip yoke is necessary? Will the one for the Saginaw work?
You'll need a Ford C6 yoke if I remember right.

3. Will my driveshaft need to be shortened?
Yep. You'll need to get the trans in the car, measure from yoke to yoke and then shorten the driveshaft accordingly.

4. What shifter option to clear the bench seat?
I got cheap on this step and went with the standard Tremec shifter location (not one of the fancy Keisler modified transmissions). Then, I bought a Tremec shifter for a 64 chevelle with a small offset. The shifter was supposed to have a shorter throw... I'm not really sold on it though. My seat clears the stock Tremec shift location but the seat is pushed almost all the way back.

5. I see raised transmission tunnels in the Ecklers catalog for these, but I've seen in other threads that they aren't always necessary?
Mine was raised maybe 3/4ths and inch? I suspect that if my body mounts were new then I would not have needed to modify the floor.

The Tremec trans was one of the best modifications I've done to my car. That said, I'll pass on some information. Tremec transmissions can be "notchy". I really like the positive feel of it. Also, Tremec transmissions have a long, long break in. Third gear in particular can often be a challenge when speed shifting during the break in. I've got about 10K miles on my Tremec and I think it's "mostly" broken in. As I understand it, Tremec gears are cut in a way that doesn't promote fast shifting - once the gears edges round off a bit with use is when they can be shifted fast.
 

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As I understand it, Tremec gears are cut in a way that doesn't promote fast shifting - once the gears edges round off a bit with use is when they can be shifted fast.
I don't believe gear edges should ever "round off". I wonder if your long break-in period is more just getting used to the way it feels. The synchro rings might have a wear-in period and make it feel a little different but I wouldn't think it would take that many miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks

Thanks to everyone for the helpful info.

It sounds like a TKO-600 will work best with my 3.55 gears and the wide ratio one will suit my non-racing needs (2.87 1st, .64 5th).

Has anyone installed a Keisler RS-600? Any info on these? Ratios are similar to the TKO-600.
 

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1. Will it really just bolt up to my stock bell without needing to be dialed in?
I dialed mine in. I had some issues because of my McLeod scattershield (the opening is actually egg shaped). It's not that bad, it only takes a couple of minutes once you get things figured out. The warranty on the trans depends on you dailing in the bellhousing = so you should probably do it.


Which dial indicator did you use for this? I can't seem to get mine to fit into the bell housing.
 

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Almost any 1" travel dial indicator with approximately 2" face, along with the typical magnetic base will work to measure the runout. Obviously you don't have to have a 1" travel indicator, but it's probably the easiest to set up and use, and it's also widely available and cheap.
 

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Almost any 1" travel dial indicator with approximately 2" face, along with the typical magnetic base will work to measure the runout. Obviously you don't have to have a 1" travel indicator, but it's probably the easiest to set up and use, and it's also widely available and cheap.
Well, Rick, I do have a one inch dial indicator so "obviously" that's not the case.
 

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Well, Rick, I do have a one inch dial indicator so "obviously" that's not the case.
LOL.

The one I used was a cheapy from Harbor Freight, I think. I had a tought time getting everything to fit too. Also, I seem to remember finding a "sweet spot" because the magnetic base would often loose it's grip.
 

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I don't believe gear edges should ever "round off". I wonder if your long break-in period is more just getting used to the way it feels. The synchro rings might have a wear-in period and make it feel a little different but I wouldn't think it would take that many miles.
A few years ago (when I looked into this last) the answer to the 2-3 shift issue with TKO500/600's was to have the gears re-machined. As it was explained to me, they weren't rounding off the gear face but something where the synchro and gears come together.

http://www.trifive.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28684

The hot ticket was sending your trans to Liberty Transmission for this service.
http://www.w8ji.com/tko_600_shifting_problems.htm

I did a search tonight and I found a (new to me) answer. This should be a real plus to anyone buying a transmission now - it seems like they fixed the 2-3 gear shift issue.

Tremec is "paying a little more attention to detail" to the shift rail lugs.
http://www.modularfords.com/f4/my-tko600-notchy-3rd-gear-fixed-113625/index3.html

http://www.modularfords.com/f17/tko500-600-non-shift-fix-contact-114395/

Now I guess I need to figure out how bad I want to fix this... I gotta pull the transmission anyway for a hydraulic clutch install. :(



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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Keisler

Anyone have experience with Keisler transmissions? Just curious.
 
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