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    • Manual Transmissions

      Authored by Wes Vann, revised January 8, 2001​

      • Opening comments;

        January 8, 2001; I've gotten some additionalinformation on the Tremec transmissions and in the future there will be a pageadded that covers Mike Pell's installation (written by Mike). I've also fixedthe fact that I was spelling Tremec wrong!

        On this page, I'm going to try to gather information on manual transmissionsthat are currently available. I'm not going to go into transmissions thatare specific to racing, such as the Lenco. I'm not going to go into "rebuilding"type data.

        The idea here is that you should be able to make a logical decisionon what you want to buy. If I feel that a price is real (and repeatable),I'll quote it. That's part of the buying decision!

        Although I don't like listing suppliers, I kind of have to in orderto validate a price. This may change.

        This is going to be a long "text" page and in it's finalformat, there will be "jumps" to the desired sections.

        Please give feed back! If you have done a swap,I'd like to hear about it! Just don't send me big, huge scan files.

        Personal thoughts;

        1) Years ago, I had a pretty nice 69 Camaro with 350 engine, and puta Muncie 4 speed in it. I really miss being able to shift! I'm more ofa "pro-touring" type guy than drag racer. Nothing wrong withthe drag racing guys, I just want you to know where my mind is at.

        2) We are talking about cars with V8 engines here and not some highrpm, narrow power band 4 cylinder. As such, I really don't see any reasonfor a 6 speed transmission.

        3) Any transmission with an overdrive will give you better fuel economyand lower the rpm while on the freeway. That lower rpm means that the enginewill last longer! I don't see the need for two overdrives.

        4) Even a swap to a "factory option" transmission requiresa lot of forethought and hunting down of parts. As with almost everythingin this hobby, it will cost more than you expect. There are no exceptions!

        Things you need know!

        1) When GM went to the latter model engines, the changed the end ofthe crankshaft so that a one piece oil seal could be used. As a result,there is a different flywheel used. They also went to a different typeof clutch that is call a "pull-off" style. You can't justswap this stuff around freely! 93 was the first year of the "pull-off"clutch.

        2) Count on having to have the driveshaft modified or a new one built.This may not be the case, as in installing a Muncie in a car that had ashort TH350, but don't count on it working.

        3) If you need the pedals and clutch "Z" bar stuff, you canget them from our sponsor, Ground Up Restoration and others.

      • Directory; (andfuture jump point)
        • 1. Formulas
        • 2. Muncie four speeds
        • 3. Richmond T10 4 speed
        • 4. Richmond / Doug Nash 5 speed
        • 5. T5 5 speed
        • 6. Tremec 5 speed
        • 7. Richmond 6 speed
        • 8. Aftermarket T56 6 speed
        • 9. GM production T56 6 speed
        • 10. Links to suppliers and manufacturers

        1. Formulas;

        The "formulas" section moved to it's own page. That way, itcan be found by guys (and girls) that are interested in automatic transmissionsalso.

        To get to the "Gearing Formulas" page, click here.

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        2. Muncie 4 speeds;

        General data;

        This is the factory high performance transmission. If you are after"original" equipment for an older GM car, this is the thing touse.

        Getting parts may be difficult and if you find what "sounds"like a killer deal, be careful.

        There is the wide ratio M20, close ratio M21, and the "rock crusher"M22 is also a close ratio.

        Shift linkage;

        External. Get a Hurst Comp + shifter. Summit sells them, but they arenot shown in their catalog.

        Gear ratios;

        first; 2.52, second; 1.88, third; 1.46, fourth; 1.00

        first; 2.20, second; 1.64, third; 1.28, fourth; 1.00

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        3. Richmond T10 4 speed;

        General data;

        This is new direct replacement for a Munci (or other original transmission).You can get them through Summit for around $1300.

        Shift linkage;

        External. Get a Hurst Comp + shifter. Although they are not shown inthe Summit catalog, they do sell them.

        Gear ratios; (four different set-ups available)

        first; 2.43, second; 1.61, third; 1.23, fourth; 1.00

        first; 2.64, second; 1.75, third; 1.34, fourth; 1.00

        first; 2.64, second; 1.60, third; 1.23, fourth; 1.00

        first; 2.88, second; 1.91, third; 1.33, fourth; 1.00

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        4. Richmond / Doug Nash5 speed;

        General Data;

        This transmission bolts to a stock bellhousing. Due to it not havingan overdrive, they recommend that you run a rear-end ratio in the rangeof from 2.73 to 3.36.

        Summit sells them for around $1800.00.

        Shift linkage;

        External. There is a Hurst Comp + shifter specific for this transmission.It can be ordered from Summit. ($272)

        Gear ratios; (there are options on first gear ratio, 3.27 isstandard)

        first; 3.27 or 4.06 or 4.41, second; 2.13, third; 1.57, fourth; 1.23,fifth; 1.00

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        5. T5 5 speed; (with singleoverdrive)

        General Data;

        This is the weak puppy that nobody seems to want. Personally, unlessyou are just looking for something that will give good fuel economy (andyou have low engine torque), go elsewhere.

        Shift linkage;


        Gear ratios;

        first; 2.95, second; 1.94, third; 1.34, fourth; 1.00, fifth; 0.74

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        6. Tremec 5 speed; (withsingle overdrive)

        General Data; The Tremec 5 speed transmissions are manufactured by TTCfor Ford, for usage in their High Performance cars. (the standard 5speed Ford transmission is the weak T5) There are three different Tremec's,the 3550 with a 400 ft-lb torque rating, the TKO with a 489 ft-lb torque ratingand also the TKO II or TKO+ (I don't know the torque rating of the TKO II). Thefirst two listed have the same gear ratios, with a single overdrive ratio of0.68. The TKO II was intended for road racing and the third and fifth gears arestronger, plus the overdrive can be a ratio of 0.68. When ordering a normal TKOfrom Fortes, they can change the gears to the TKO II version.

        They have to be modified for installation on a "standard"GM bellhousing, using the standard clutch. The companies that do this areForte's and Dark Horse. They will only do it on a transmission that theyare selling you (in other words, they will not retrofit a transmission thatyou already have).

        The transmissions come set up for an cable type speedometer however you willneed an adapter to hook it up to the G.M. speedometer cable.

        Forte's is the only "authorized" dealer (this was confirmed bytalking to the people at TTC)! This came about due to the fact that Mike Fortespaid for the tooling for the correct G.M. input shaft and input bearingretainer. In other words, TTC manufactures the input shafts for Fortes andthey will sell them to nobody else. Places like Dark Horse modify the Fordtype input shaft and (in my mind) there could be a loss of strength!

        Shifter Linkage;

        The Tremec has an "internal" shifter and the shifter can bemounted in three different positions along the top of the trans. You haveto let the people, whom you buy the transmission from, know what positionyou want. The most rearward position is "stock". According to thepeople at TTC, moving the shifter to the center position is easy to be done bydisassembly and re-assembly. Relocating it to the front position requiresdifferent internal parts.

        Gear Ratios;

        first; 3.26, second; 1.98, third; 1.34, fourth; 1.00, fifth; 0.68 (fifth canbe 0.82 in the TKO II)

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        7. Richmond 6 speed; (withsingle overdrive)

        General data;

        Bolts up to standard bellhousing and is set-up for cable speedo. Summitsells them for around $2800. They come with the shifter linkage.

        Summit sells them for around $2800.00

        Shift linkage;

        External and comes with the transmission.

        Gear ratios;

        first; 3.27, second; 2.13, third; 1.57, fourth; 1.23, fifth; 1.00, sixth;0.76

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        8. Aftermarket T56 6 speed;(with two overdrive ratios)

        This is not the same transmission that you would get out of a latemodel Camaro!!

        General Data;

        There have been two articles written over the years about this transmission(that I know about). The first was in the January 1994 Car Craft. The secondwas in the April 1997 Hot Rod.

        In the Car Craft issue, it states that you have to use a T5 bellhousingand then the adapter plate that comes with the transmission. The bellhousingis no longer available from GM however you should be able to locate oneat the junk yards.

        In the Hot Rod issue (keep in mind that it was written almost 3 yearsafter the Car Craft issue) the requirement of a T5 bellhousing isn't pressed.

        I contacted Sallee Chevrolet (who sells the transmission and adapterplate) and used a 69 Camaro as a "sample" conversion and theysaid that the original bellhousing could be used.

        So, I think that BorgWarner changed or modified the adapter plate sometime between the two articles so that an older style bellhousing couldbe used.

        You still use a standard "push" type clutch but you have tobe sure to get a 26 spline clutch disk.

        The transmission as sold by Sallee is set up for a standard cable speedo.

        These transmissions are LARGE! I have no idea what changes to a floorpan may be required.

        Shifter Linkage;

        The shifter linkage in "internal" and I don't believe thatthe location can be changed. The shifter comes out of the tail shaft housingand from what I understand, they can't be changed from one style T56 toanother. (as an example, the Viper T56 has the shifter in a different "distancefrom the bellhousing")

        Gear Ratios; (note that these ratios are different than the OEMT56)

        first; 2.97, second; 2.07, third; 1.43, fourth; 1.00, fifth; 0.80, sixth;0.62

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        9. Factory GM T56 6 speed;(with two overdrive ratios)

        General Data;

        It's this transmission, out of a Camaro, that has been covered by ChevyHigh Performance in the February 1999 and September 1998 issues. Geta copy of the February issue! It's a "must read". And, learnto read between the lines!

        To use this set-up, you have to have a "pull-off" clutch,and that means that if you have an early V8, you need a custom flywheel(big bucks!). You have to use the GM hydraulic clutch hook-up with specialmounting bracket.

        The transmission has an electrical speedo connection and it can be convertedto cable by JTR.

        You need a smaller size starter.

        This is a costly conversion in spite of your maybe locating a used transmissionfor around a grand. As an example, in the February Chevy High Performance,they showed a cost break-down on the installation in a camaro. The costfor the used transmission was $1200 and the final total cost came to betterthan $3000. (I really commend Chevy High Performance for adding this informationabout a "real world" installation!)

        Shifter Linkage;

        Internal, see T56 notes above.

        Gear Ratios;

        first; 2.66, second; 1.78, third; 1.30, fourth; 1.00, fifth; 0.74, sixth;0.50

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        10. Links to suppliers and fabricators;

        Ground Up Restoration; variousrestoration parts, "z" bars, clutch pedals, etc.

        TremecTransmissions, MikePell (the Team Chevelle guy who wrote the Tremec installation in the TechnicalReference section) is now an authorized distributor for Tremecs as modified byFortes. The site is new (2/8/02), but check it out and be sure to say that youare a Team Chevelle or Team Camaro member.

        Dark Horse; they sellTremac's and other stuff

        Fortes; Tremac (convertedto GM) and other transmissions

        Jags That Run; (JTR)transmission modifications and engine swap stuff

        Sallee Chevrolet; Chevyhigh performance dealer and they sell T56's, in Oregon

        Summit Racing Equipment; thename says it! If you don't have one of their catalogs, get one.

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