Converting the Slow-wagon to t-56

MISFITmalibu63

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Feb 21, 2004
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well, i decided that im going to swap the 200-4r out of the wagon and change over to a t-56. i have probably read about 10 hours worth of information regarding swaps and parts to use. I already have the John Bzdel pedal. the rest i'll get from a donor car or most likely, craigslist. I apologize in advance, this is my first stick conversion. actually, its my first time working on a manual transmission \:D/

What parts should i replace or upgrade while doing this swap?
with a 2 piece rear gen 1 sbc i should be able to get by with the stock flywheel from an LT1?
what clutch is recommended for my power levels?

heres what my motor made for power in the previous owners car





i know i will need a new crossmember and driveshaft, and i also came across this website, as an alternative to getting the conversion box


i think that covers the start of it, hopefully it goes as smooth as it looks!
 
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Doober

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I'm not sure how hard some of those parts are to find, but they do sell an adapter plate that allows use of an older style bellhousing with the T56 case, so you could run a hydraulic t/o bearing, or use the stock G-Body bellhousing/clutch linkage with a clutch disc that fits the input shaft, and pressure plate of choice. The LT1 flywheel won't fit a 2pc rms, and I'm not 100% sure the LT1 flywheel is required with the stock T56 clutch fork/hydraulics. If you want to just use the stock T56 bellhousing I'm pretty sure you could still use a hydraulic t/o... there may also be clearance issues with the stock bellhousing/clutch slave setup but I'm not 100% sure.
Or you might get lucky and stumble on an aftermarket T56
 
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t5montecarlo

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The aftermarket T56 requires several updates to be dependable. They are not as good quality as the OEM F body T56. A friend bought one and it broke within a few days of installing it; one of the synchro keys fell out while at the track. It was behind his stock L69 305 in his 1986 MCSS.

The rebuild kit prices are staggering. It just realized it has been almost 20 years since I rebuilt a WC T5, but the premium kit was $165 and had absolutely everything in it.

For a flywheel, I got one from a junkyard for a 1986-1992 F body. There is a heavy and a lightened version; I happened to get the heavy version.

If you get a flywheel that needs to be cut, consider buying a new one. I have had a number of flywheels cut at different shops and every one resulted in clutch chatter. The one I got from a junkyard was in very good shape; I just sanded the surface, cleaned it, and installed it. Engagement is wonderfully smooth.

I bought a Hays street/strip disc and a parts store reman pressure plate in 1992 and am still using it. I specified 1978 Malibu with 350 for the pressure plate. It is likely the same pressure plate that fits many different applications, but my pedal pressure is much harder than a friend's car.
 

Doober

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Also, the TR6060 that's in the new Camaros, Mustangs, etc. use the T56 main case, but have different tailhousongs for the remote style shifters... I have yet to find some worthwhile info in one spot but I believe with an output shaft you can put the T56 housing on. Those are rated for 500-600lb.ft. depending on the ratios used.
 

MISFITmalibu63

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t5montecarlo said:
For a flywheel, I got one from a junkyard for a 1986-1992 F body. There is a heavy and a lightened version; I happened to get the heavy version.

If you get a flywheel that needs to be cut, consider buying a new one. I have had a number of flywheels cut at different shops and every one resulted in clutch chatter. The one I got from a junkyard was in very good shape; I just sanded the surface, cleaned it, and installed it. Engagement is wonderfully smooth.

I bought a Hays street/strip disc and a parts store reman pressure plate in 1992 and am still using it. I specified 1978 Malibu with 350 for the pressure plate. It is likely the same pressure plate that fits many different applications, but my pedal pressure is much harder than a friend's car.

for the flywheel and clutch, i'd rather upgrade those while its all apart. i figure just get a new one, but im not sure if i should go with a 10.4" or an 11" clutch. will a 11" clutch fit with the t-56 bellhousing?
 

MISFITmalibu63

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Thanks, I might as well stick with the stock size. Already found a few complete setups with everything between 1300-1600.
 

MISFITmalibu63

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put a deposit on a complete t-56 setup from a 97 camaro with 50,000 miles, pick it up the 30th
 

MISFITmalibu63

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so, found out i need a special flywheel to adapt the t-56 to the older 2 piece rear main seal engine. this swap keeps adding up!!!

here are the choices i've found so far. anyone else know of anything available? preferably cheaper...




i'm leaning to the spec one basically due to the price, but would i be better off with steel or billet aluminum?

im also trying to figure out if i should get the shifter relocation kit to move it forward so it doesn't interfere with the bench seat.

also just need a crossmember, and either have a driveshaft made or buy a whole new one. the one that Strange made for the 2 door is awesome
 
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t5montecarlo

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The T5 shifter absolutely interferes with the bench seat location, so I suspect the T56 will, tool. You also have an option to notch and reupholster the seat base.

What makes the T56 flywheel different? Is it thinner?
 

MISFITmalibu63

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From the looks of it I think it's actually thicker
 

Doober

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That's strange... I wonder if it has to do with the clutch setup being a little different. I'm wondering if it's possible to use the correct diameter/spline clutch disc for a T56 and use a stock G-Body flywheel/pressure plate with a hydraulic t/o bearing.

You could also send 388bu a message (not sure how often he's on) and see what he did, I know he used to have an SBC with a T56 but I don't know if it was 1 or 2pc.
 

MISFITmalibu63

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there is sooo much information out there about these swaps and what people are using for parts, i'm actually sick of reading. once i pick up the parts on saturday, i'll figure out what i'll need to replace.
 

MISFITmalibu63

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Well, got the transmission yesterday. Almost 500 miles round trip, saw an old friend, and stopped at White Castle. I'm going to replace the clutch, pressure plate, throwout bearing, flywheel and also might as well do the hydraulics at the same time. Kid couldn't find the shift as well, so he gave me a different one that will work until I find one that I like
 

MISFITmalibu63

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i've picked up a few parts recently. grabbed a manual pedal setup, and swapped my john bzdel clutch pedal in. all is good except the bushings on the brake pedal need to be replaced, a little too worn for my liking. anyone know where i can pick these up?

i looked into a shifter relocation kit, and its $400!!! might just see how far back the stock location will be before i commit to it.

also found a way to "override" the electric solenoid for the reverse lockout.

I received the flywheel, 22 lbs of steel. it has weight bolted to the back, so im going to have to call spec and figure out if it should stay or go for my setup :roll:

i've been looking online, and i think i'll go with an upgraded "stock" clutch, seeing as how i don't plan to race this, and my engine doesn't make much more than the stock camaro setup.
 

t5montecarlo

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Doober said:
the only time it didn't grab hold was when I was shifting fast as I could, even then it was just a very short slip
That doesn't happen with the Hays disc that I have. At the track, I chirped 4th gear (the T5 will allow you to shift without lifting the gas pedal). the disc looks like it has wires in it, yet it still engages smoothly.

Mike, the pedal bushings are common for almost all GM applications for many years. Dorman/HELP has them.
 

RatMalibu

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as far as the reverse lock out, I just hooked mine up to the brake light switch...it disengages when I hit the brake
 

RatMalibu

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I just spliced into the brake light harness, but I suppose that using the other socket would be better
 
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