TKO swap thread

HarrisonTX

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Jul 11, 2003
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Burleson TX
I'm about to change out my ol' 4 speed for a TKO500.

I've only seen a few other malibu's on here with this swap, and only one other build thread, which is MEAT DRAPES, and his is 41 pages long. Way too much BS for anyone to follow.

Plan -
Remove old 4 speed. Install TKO500, cut new hole in the floor, install new cross member, and shorten the drive shaft.

PLANNED parts needed
TKO500
700R4 ICEMAN light Weight crossmember
Shorten the drive shaft (this will be the 4th time it's been shortened!!)
??

Since my car is already a 4 speed, I expect the swap to be rather straight forward. It seems as if there is a bunch of mystery surrounding the crossmember required for this swap. I'm certain that the mounting is the same distance back as a 700R4 so I'm just going to try that crossmember.

MANY people said I would be unable to run a bench seat with a 4 speed. There is no interference with my bench. The TKO's shifter is farther FORWARD than the 4 speed, so I look forward to retaining my bench seat.

The purpose of this thread is to act as a guide, and clear up some of the mystery. I hope there really isn't any voodoo required.
 

HarrisonTX

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Jul 11, 2003
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Well, that was easy.

I pulled the 4 speed, and came inside to take a break, and make this post.

At 8:57, a mere 31 minutes later, my crossmember problem is solved... for free.

Originally I had planned to mod the 4 speed crossmember. After a phone call with ICEMAN himself, I figured I'd need a new crossmember after we discussed a few clearence issues.

I wanted to stab the TKO at least, and start working on the new shifter hole. Once I had it in there I thought I might as well just toss up the 4 speed crossmember (the ICEMAN light weight that I was running) and see how close it was. The transmission mount has 3 holes with give a little bit of flexibility, and the slot in the crossmember is an 1.5'' long. I figured it was worth a shot.

BOLTED RIGHT UP

On a stock malibu, the crossmember mounts to the frame with 4 bolts, 2 per side. On an ICEMAN light weight, only one bolt per side is used, allowing several mounting options. With the 4 speed, I was using the front hole on the drivers side, and the back hole on the passenger side.
The TKO simply requires both back holes, and everything lines up perfectly.

I absolutely couldn't be more happy. Looks like all I need to do is shorten that drive shaft (for the 4th time), cut a new hole, patch the old hole in the metal, and sew in a new little carpet patch...

This is (was) my 4 speed set up. Bench seat, 4 speed. Lovin' it.
20121103_193831.jpg


Pile of transmission. In April I cracked the case (full power 2nd-3rd shift) on the super t-10 in the foreground, and installed that REALLY DIRTY one to just put around with.

My nice cheap TKO500, and a t-56 in the background for my.
Now that I think about it that's about $4,000 worth of transmissions in that picture.
20121103_203447.jpg


ITS JUST THAT EASY
20121103_205919.jpg
 

MISFITmalibu63

MalibuRacing Junkie
Feb 21, 2004
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The Sticks... Tewksbury MA
glad you had a simple solution!! as for the driveshaft, if you measure it out, is there a stock length one from a different vehicle you can grab out of the junk yard???
 

HarrisonTX

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Jul 11, 2003
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Doober said:
I'd love to do a TKO or T56, they're just so not in the budget :x
Well, I looked for literally years almost every week before I found a used (slightly, i think about 200 miles) TKO, I believe I paid $1300. Still a bit steep, but cheaper than $2200 new.

Small update today. I got my driveshaft back yesterday so I was ready to drive it today. Turns out the yoke I have seems to by a bit too thick. The seal is just too tight apparently. It's weird. The yoke is the correct spline, but it's from a truck and pretty beefy. I may just buy a new yoke specific for TKO's.

I pulled the carpet back and sewed up the old 4 speed hole. I also made the hole in the tunnel for the TKO shifter. It looks massive, but thats just how big they have to be.

Things remaining.
Yoke issue- probably just buy a new one
Weld up the old 4 speed hole.
Cut hole in carpet
some sort of shift boot to cover the large hole
20121124_144227.jpg
 

Supe

MalibuRacing Junkie
May 21, 2003
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Charlotte, NC
Looking good. I'd have already gone to a TKO600 if it weren't for the fact that I know as soon as I get one, I'll be convinced to put an LS motor in the Mazda and then want a T56.
 

HarrisonTX

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Jul 11, 2003
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Burleson TX
Supe said:
Looking good. I'd have already gone to a TKO600 if it weren't for the fact that I know as soon as I get one, I'll be convinced to put an LS motor in the Mazda and then want a T56.

I hear ya. You could just run the TKO with an LS if you got one too. The only reason I'm putting this in the malibu is because I got a t56 for the datsun. No LS motor, it's just going behind a mild roller 350.
 

HarrisonTX

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Jul 11, 2003
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Burleson TX
Got the driveshaft in. The yoke I had was the correct spline count, but it's OD was far too large. Just got my new spicer yoke in today, hung it on the driveshaft and stuck 'er in. I'm about to patch up the old 4 speed hole, and I just dont know what to do for a shifter boot. I'd rather not run that big "super boot" available at Autozone.
 

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