Cheapest way to convert 4 speed 2nd gen car to T-56

Discussion in 'High Tech Retrofits' started by z2871rsbb396, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. z2871rsbb396

    z2871rsbb396 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Reading, searching, opinions and all the different ways to accomplish a swap. I think I am more confused than I was when I started.

    Here is what I have: 71Z28, BBC 396, and all the factory 4 speed stuff installed, EXCEPT for a scatter shield which I am pretty positive is a Lakewood.

    What I want to do is install a T-56 (would like the magnum option) as cheap as possible. I cannot swallow the price of a 5000 plus dollar turnkey kit if you will, (I have the quotes from a couple vendors)

    I want to install the transmission, and retain everything from the trans forward. I understand I will need drive shaft shortened, different trans mount, and an adapter plate. However reading, I don’t understand what trans I need to purchase. From all the searching and stick threads, the easiest seems to be a LS1 trans. I also want the shifter as close to original as possible.

    Reading the numerous posts from what I retained this seems like the best options.
    Find a LS1 T-56 core and send it off and get it upgraded. (this option seems like the cheaper of the options to get close the the T-56 magnum

    Buy an adapter plate – any suggestion on which one ? I have seen some on ebay, summit, and the one from ATI
    Measure and have the driveshaft shortened locally
    Buy a trans mount (again, there seems to be a few choices)
    Buy a shifter
    Put the smile back on my face when the car is much more highway drivable. !

    Here is some informtion I found from my hours and hours of reading threads

    Does any one have any information on this?
    Trying to get all of what I have digested in order, and I am stuck on the main part. (the tranmission) and I would like to have .50 overdrive. I don't want this to turn into the 6 speed final ratio debate topic. Traffic in Kentucky runs 80 plus on the interstate and the rear end gears will also be changed to adapt to the trans once it is installed.

    Viper T-56 or LS1 T-56? From what I have read, the difference is the ratio and output shaft. From those that have done this swap. what would you recommend.

    I have read John Wright build thread. among others. I am just ready to pull the trigger.

    Any help or pointing to links is appreciated.

    Kirt
     
  2. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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    Kirt,

    I have one question...Why T56?

    May I suggest, if you want a clean, easy install, Shifter in the stock location, retain stock appearence....Go TKO 600! (plenty strong)

    Its a direct bolt in! All you will need is the correct driveshaft, crossmember, and a Hurst stix shifter.

    It will cost less than $3K and it will be just like you have a 4 speed. AND You can always go back to origonal.


    The LS1 can be done , but your going to have to cut the floor and the shifter will not be in the stock location.

    If you want to go LS1 T56, Email me, I have done it and it cost me about $1800. IMHO I will never do it again.
    Rob
     
    joseph lamb likes this.
  3. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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  4. Steve's 74

    Steve's 74 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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  5. z2871rsbb396

    z2871rsbb396 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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  6. Steve's 74

    Steve's 74 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Hurst (formerly Classic Chevy 5 Speed) is a sponsor here. You may get a discount. Plus they've done 2nd gen conversions 1st hand and provide excellent customer service.
     
  7. BonzoHansen

    BonzoHansen Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

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    What shifter problem? I did exactly what you want. All OE style clutch, linkage, bell, etc. McLeod adapter, McLeod extended pilot bushing, 99 Z28 T56, shifter comes up right through the automatic console shifter hole. Shifter is in a better place IMO. Shorten the drive shaft, modify the crossmember, cut holes in the floor. Done. I have a long thread in the transmissions section on this. With trans and a decent shifter I'd guess ~$2000 if you DIY.

    Im not saying that is the best method, but it fulfills your needs to a tee.
     
  8. Aceshigh

    Aceshigh Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Mind you, I'm not the expert, but I've been researching like a maniac to get my T56 in my '70 A-body.
    So this is what I've found.

    Cheapest way is to get a used T56 for ~$1,000 with everything (i,e, Bellhousing, Hydraulic throw out bearing, shifter)

    Then call ATS and get their adaptor plate for $90 to bolt it up to a Chevy.
    http://www.americantouringspecialties.com/downloads/files/4.pdf

    OR you can just buy their kit which includes everything you need
    http://store.nexternal.com/shared/S...reType=BtoC&Count1=874248683&Count2=791389107

    Mind you they were just bought out by a newer Canadian company in Nov 2009.
    So they haven't gotten replacement stock in just yet for many items.
    But you can call and ask them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
  9. BonzoHansen

    BonzoHansen Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

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    Then he loses his scattersheild and all the parts he said he wants to keep.
     
  10. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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    I wouldnt cut up an origonal 4 speed car. Thats my opinion and I will stop there.
     

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