Corvette Forum : DigitalCorvettes.com Corvette Forums banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I own a 1979 corvette and during the restoration I went with what it originally had in it which was a Muncie 4spd. For a year now its been fun but combining the fact that I have a 3.70 rear end, an unbalanced driveshaft and just the inherant nature of the M21, I'm afraid my engine and my hearing won't last long. So I took the plunge and got a Tremec 5 spd. Let me say that for anyone considering this transplant, make sure you talk to whoever you buy it from very carefully( I bought mine from Kiesler out of Knoxville, Tn) They are very reputable and you can get help over the phone but in my case it was not a 2 hour job as the testimonials lead you to believe.
Make sure you know what spline you have in your current clutch( mine was 10..they sent me a 26 spline....bought a new clutch..make sure bolt pattern of new clutch matches your flywheel or you'll be buying a new one of those too) U- joints for rear that came with shaft were 3 5/8x3 5/8, I needed offset 31/4 x3 5/8.
Make sure you test fit shaft yoke into rear of transmission...mine had burrs which prevented it fitting by hand.= 2hrs of filing spline edges and knocking off burrs before it would go on by hand. Kiesler was willing to send me a new yoke but I was on a time limit for finishing and couldn't wait for the part...as it turns out I didn't need it.

If you don't have a removable cross-member, you will be moving your engine 4-5 " forward in order to get the transmission into the tunnel. But if you get the 5 spd , the stick shift is identical to the original and the throw is actually shorter so no problem fitting in the same location( at least on my 79 it was perfect)

So if all of that seemed like the bad, here's the good.....I have a brand new "modern " car. I can run down the freeway at 75mph pulling a mere 2,000rpm's and have a conversation with the passenger sitting next to me!! How cool is that ( just for comparison , with my Muncie at 70mph I was close to 4,000rpms and with the unbalanced drivshaft, you got a full body massage!
Now its smooth as silk , and quiet except for the headman headers topped off with Flowmaster super 40's ( but hey, you want to hear those , right?)

I have a few pics but unfortunately this was like a Chip Foose "overhaul"
build deadline as I was headed to Myrtle Beach to a car show and needed the car to be ready( no I don't always plan things this poorly...Kiesler neglected to inform me that when I ordered the transmission, the drive shaft would not come for another 2 weeks!...suppose to come as one complete ready to install package...again ASK!!!)
Between myself and the "real" mechanic we busted our humps for 3 days to get it ready to role so there wasn't much time to stop and take a picture.
I will be glad to answer any ??? that anyone may have. All in all, I'd have to say it is well worth it , if you plan to drive your C1-2-3 vette alot (hwy miles). Its better for the engine and now I can run thru the gears and not feel as if I'm straining the motor. Side note...They make a 6 spd but the stick shift is about at the location of the e-brake handle and that just won't work. Also, 1st gear is a little short for my personal taste but once you hit 2nd it really takes off and the same with 3rd, a quick 4th and into 5th and then start looking for blue lights!
I've had trouble posting pics lately too so when I get that resolved I'll post some if anybody wants.....if all the parts fit , it is a pretty straight-forward job.


Marc
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,260 Posts
hey marc, glad you're happy with it in spite of the extra effort :thumbsup: One of these is definitely on the wish list, but I think it'll be next summer or fall if I'm lucky. Gonna start at the back (U-joints, halfshafts, diff) and work my way forward.

at least you made your deadline! Would have been a shame to put in all the effort and still miss the show.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Funny thing...I did the same tranny swap in a 69 Camaro about 2 months ago,wrong clutch,wrong flywheel and wrong rear u-joint on the driveshaft that was supplied. On a positive note, it made night and day difference with that car. It had 3.42 gears, it just seemed to idle it's way down the highway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,196 Posts
I have done 4 of these swaps and find they are not that difficult. If you have a 10 spline clutch disc and need a 26 spline you can just go out and buy the disc. No need to replace the pressure plate as well. Ford is usually 10 spline and chevy is 26. Again the pressure plate for ford and chevy are the same and you need not replace both.
The removable crossmember is a must and is easy enough to cut the solid one and make it removeable.
The tremec with the .68 overdrive drops the rpm about 1000 rpm
An example, I only have the charts for 308,355 and 410 in front of me but with 355 if you are running a 4 speed the rpm at 70 would be 3200 and with the tremec in 5th it would be 2200.
The tremec is definitely a great addition and far superior to the 4 speed.
I also find if you shop around for just the tremec they can be had for under $2000 and the other parts to complete the swap are not that bad. Shorten the driveshaft under $100, the clutch disc and the speedo adapter about $60.
Everything else is fabricated with just a little welding required.

I did this 10 years ago and never ever regretted going that route.:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,196 Posts
Funny thing...I did the same tranny swap in a 69 Camaro about 2 months ago,wrong clutch,wrong flywheel and wrong rear u-joint on the driveshaft that was supplied. On a positive note, it made night and day difference with that car. It had 3.42 gears, it just seemed to idle it's way down the highway.
Why would the flywheel be wrong?? The clutch disc between 10 and 26 splines are interchangable, the same pressure plate can be used??
Maybe you were upgrading from a 10 to a 10.5 or 11 inch clutch???
 

·
DC Crew
Joined
·
4,751 Posts
I installed a TKO 600 from Keisler in a 69 last summer.

I also got the wrong flywheel from them. The problem was I was also installing a new Vortec 330 crate engine at the exact same time. There was a mix up on part numbers and they sent me a pre-87 flywheel. They were good about taking it back - and I found the correct one at a local store at 1/2 price.

In my case I dropped engine and trans in together and didn't make the X member removable (was previously a muncie 4).

There were some problems with the instructions. Keisler had yet to update the instructions to match the new shifter design that DOES NOT use a roll pin. I was about to lose my mind because what I was reading didn't match what I was holding in my hand.

Everything fit as promised and the car was night and day with 4:11 rear gears, the TKO 600, the new crate 330 vortec and Edelbrock EFI - low 20s on the highway and cold a/c from Hot Rod Air.


The o/d makes ALL the difference - well worth the time and effort.


BTW - I have a ROD 6 in my 69 - and have very satisfied with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Why would the flywheel be wrong?? The clutch disc between 10 and 26 splines are interchangable, the same pressure plate can be used??
Maybe you were upgrading from a 10 to a 10.5 or 11 inch clutch???
It was not the original flywheel, was not the company's fault on this one, I was just stating that it had to be changed as well...I did not word it right.:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
588 Posts
I use a 4.11 rear and the TKO 600 .064 OD. I did the manual to auto conversion so it was a little more involved to do the keisler kit.

You said that 3.73 made first gear too short? Because I was considering 3.73 just to make the first 4 gears more usable. I think that the 4-5 jump is way too much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I have to agree with you that the 4-5 jump is too much...I tend to run in 4th a lot just because I'm use to only having 4.

The reason I mentioned about the flywheel and clutch plate is that my original clutch came from who knows where...I think it may have been a Ford Tractor anyway it worked with my Crate Vortec engine. But when it came time for the new transmission , that's when I learned that a 10 5/8 diameter clutch was not standard Gm parts...so yes to make my 26 tranny spline fit the clutch I had to buy a GM clutch kit. I was sweating the bolt pattern match on the flywheel but lucky for me it matched.

Glad others have found it worth the trouble.
Marc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
550 Posts
I run the ROD 6 with at 3.27 first and a 0.80 sixth with a 3.08 rear and find it MUCH better than my old ST-10 3.70 set up.

The gear spacing is close...

75 mph in 6th is 2250 RPM

:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
445 Posts
I'm def. lookin ginto a new tranny next after I finish up my front suspension and steeroids install. With 3.9's out back in my '69 its quite noisy and hard on the engine at anything over 65mph.:nuts:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,196 Posts
You can pick up a Tremec TKO for $1795 new from Hanlon motor sports.
This is a complete tranny converted to chevy ready to go. You make up the other parts for the conversion. That is driveshaft shortening, speedo adapter and if you choose shift handle relocation.
What does a kit cost??? YOu can do alot of fabricating for the difference.

For the FORD haters tremec never made a chevy transimission. Any one running a tremec is actually running a ford part in thier cars.:laughing:
Amazing how most love there tremecs.:laughing: :crazy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,933 Posts
For the FORD hates tremec never made a chevy transimission. Any one running a tremec is actually running a ford part in thier cars.:laughing:
Amazing how most love there tremecs.:laughing: :crazy:
Wow, thats strange. I was under the impression that all the S-10, Silverado, C5, C6, SSR, Camaro, Firebird, GTO, and CTS-V transmissions Ive been working on all these years were Tremecs.... Thanks for clearing that up for me. :rolling:





Anyway, all the units used in the kits available these days are new units and some of them were never even available in any car(like the TKO which is a replacement for the old TR3555) Dodge, Aston Martin and Holden all use Tremec trans' also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,196 Posts
Wow, thats strange. I was under the impression that all the C5, C6, SSR, Camaro, Firebird, GTO, and CTS-V transmissions Ive been working on all these years were Tremecs.... Thanks for clearing that up for me. :rolling:





.
Check Hanlon motorsport's site. They state the tremec was never made for chevy and all the units that are chevy compatable are conversions.

http://www.hanlonmotorsports.com/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,196 Posts
I took this from the hanlon site /questions and answers

Q: I've heard that Tremec makes a 3550/TKO for GM muscle cars. Is this true?



A: Tremec does not make a transmission for GM's, but we can modify a 3550 or a TKO to replace any Muncie or T10. We recommend starting with a TKO for the added strength. Be careful when dealing with other companies for a GM Tremec. Most use the 3550 and not the TKO. The TKO has a 26-spline input and a 31-spline output. We have converted Tremec TKO's available for $1,749.99.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,933 Posts
Regardless of what the Hanlon webiste says I can assure that all the vehicles I listed most certainly come from the factory with Tremec transmissions. All GM light duty rear wheel drive vehicles use either Tremec or Aisin transmissions, the Last time a Borg Warner unit was used was in the early or mid 90's, they sold their business to Tremec.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,933 Posts
All those use T56s
The T56 is the most widely used Tremec unit, but S-10's and its siblings as well as the V6 motivated "F" body twins used the T-5. the TR3450 and TR4050 were also used in the full sized GM trucks.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,873 Posts
Yes I know, tremec bought the BW tooling. That's why I added that, the Hanlon statement is wrong. Dunno about the V6s, don't mess with that stuff ;)
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top