Tremec TKO-600 (2)

rjleiker

Amateur Racer
Sep 24, 2008
261
0
0
Derby, KS
Ok, so I've been planning my self to death trying to get ready to do one of the most major modifications to my Cutlass yet. The TH-350 to TKO-600 swap. I've been organizing parts lists and contacts for almost everything to be able to do it with almost all bolt in pieces and hardly any fabrication during the install itself. I will be starting to buy parts in late February to March and start the install a little after I get everything in one location.

I know Meat Drapes' thread is legendary... so if you want some awesome inspiration to do this swap yourself, go read it. That's why I am doing this swap. And that's also why I am doing this thread. I know he struggled like crazy to get parts to work and piece together and things just seemed to sometimes be working against him. But I figure, if he can do it, I can do it.
So here we go... post 1...

To start, here's a basic parts list of what I am planning to include in the build. Let me know if you have any other ideas on what would be a good idea for any other parts as well. This is the product of about 2 months of being locked to my computer screen at work just reading and finding parts.

Bellhousing, Fork, Pedals, Linkage - Used - Private seller, I can't reveal this until after I get my set, so someone else doesn't buy it out from under me. These are used factory pieces but reconditioned and G-bosy specific.
Clutch set - New - 10.5 stock set from Autozone for SBC. I am doing this because
Autozone has a good unconditional lifetime warranty and my motor is all stock on the inside for now, so I figure it can handle the power for a while.
Flywheel - New - Stock piece from Autozone. Again, Lifetime Warranty.
Pilot Bearing - New - Extra Long Roller - why not for $20 - http://www.pitstopusa.com/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=2719
Transmission - New TKO-600 from Keisler. $500 more gets you the Chevy II custom shifter installed just like they shipped with the G-body custom transmissions when they offered them. Not sure what I'm going to do about the shifter yet, need to take some measurements and see what I've got to work with.
Driveshaft - Shortened stock piece - from local shop.
Crossmember - Iceman Racing - made for TKO for g-body for $150, he's got the measurements now.
Clutch Linkage - Speed Direct pieces - $65 - I hear they make a huge difference.
Transmission mount - Energy Suspension - you can get these anywhere

I might replace the carpet as well with a JC whitney black piece while I'm at it... we'll see...
And my 7.5 rear won't last long with a manual, so I'm going to put a housing cover/brace in soon after to just make it last a while longer.
Most of these items you all know about already, but I figured I would put them all in one place.
I know it sounds crazy but I hope to be able to do this swap in 1 weekend... yep, 3 days... that's why I'm doing my homework first. I want it to go together right the first time.

So ya... there it is... post #1... any ideas or input or questions would be great...
 

racecar77

Pro Stocker
Aug 11, 2007
2,438
0
0
Crete,IL
I don't know if it applies to these transmissions or not, but on a Muncie or Borg-Warner I was always told to use a stock bronze pilot bushing instead of the fancy roller bearing. I have followed this advice in every stick shift car I've owned and never had a problem. Here is the reasoning......when a bronze, oil impregnated bushing wears, it's just gets loose, but when a steel roller bearing wipes itself out, it can damage or destroy the input shaft on the trans. ( The bronze is softer than the input shaft. ) Just my opinion, I'm sure many have used a roller bearing without issue also. Lee
 

rjleiker

Amateur Racer
Thread starter
Sep 24, 2008
261
0
0
Derby, KS
Hey thanks for the pilot bushing info... that is true, when you wipe out a roller, they take everything else out with them...
I don't figure there is any power loss or durability issues with the non roller, since they've been used for decades and still using them...

Hey, tell your friends about this thread... I would love to get as much real world experience in on this project as possible, hence the posting and researching on this sight.
 

Meat Drapes

Dragway Regular
Mar 26, 2005
1,186
8
38
Stoutland, MO
Since I have pulled the transmission in and out a few times I had the pleasure of trying the bronze and roller pilot bearing just to see what worked out best.
I originally had the roller and it disintegrated into dust so I went with the bronze. I was unhappy with how tight the bronze bearing fit so I pulled it and put another roller back in.
I am thinking the first roller was damaged as I inserted the input shaft which caused the premature wear. Since the second roller has been installed I have pulled the transmission several times and it looks the same as when I installed it.
Ill help any way I can with your install.
 

rjleiker

Amateur Racer
Thread starter
Sep 24, 2008
261
0
0
Derby, KS
so pretty much just be nice to your roller when putting the shaft in. I figure there must be some good resons that maufacturers continue to make them and supply them with such a bold price tag for a small bearing.

MD: I noticed you have put the transmission in a couple different ways pertaining to with or without the bellhousing attached. What do you think would be the easiest way to put the transmission in for the first time?
 

Meat Drapes

Dragway Regular
Mar 26, 2005
1,186
8
38
Stoutland, MO
rjleiker said:
so pretty much just be nice to your roller when putting the shaft in. I figure there must be some good resons that maufacturers continue to make them and supply them with such a bold price tag for a small bearing.

MD: I noticed you have put the transmission in a couple different ways pertaining to with or without the bellhousing attached. What do you think would be the easiest way to put the transmission in for the first time?

With the hydraulic setup I was forced to install with the bellhousing attached. And I actually found it went in easier. But you need 2 people. I have done it alone with a floor jack and using my leg to pump the arm to get the jack to rise but that is no fun and you only get one chance to get it right. If you mess it up there is no going back down unless you have the other person to run the jack. Doing it alone I have dropped the transmission on myself. Very unpleasant.
 

rjleiker

Amateur Racer
Thread starter
Sep 24, 2008
261
0
0
Derby, KS
Here's a question, and I know I should know this by now, but I've never had to deal with it before...

When pulling just the transmission without the engine, how do you keep the engine from tipping backward and screwing up the distributor? Can I use something to control the tip of the engine while I'm stabbing the input shaft? And when putting the transmission in, is there a process or does it just fit up in the tunnel and poke straight in?

What I'd like to do is somehow get it straight and attached and then just lift it up to figure the exact spot for the shifter hole and cut it then. Of course, I could always install it without the clutch and such which would go faster and mark the hole and then pull it back out.
 

t5montecarlo

MalibuRacing Junkie
Oct 21, 2007
4,446
14
38
Lederach, PA
garage-scene.com
I use a small bottle jack and pieces of wood between the floor and the rear of the oil pan. I raise/lower the jack where I need it to remove/replace the transmission.

I also have pumped the floor jack with my leg and it works out very well. It is a bit scary when it has to be let down a little with the transmission still on the jack, but it can be done with care.

Make sure you have a clean smooth surface to work on or you will have trouble with the floor jack.

If you are using stock electric guages, you will run into interference between the bellcrank and the oil pressure sender. The OEM 3-/4-speed cars used an angled adapter between the sender and block. Using 2 45-degree adapters, you can relocate the sender where it is out of the way; or you could move the sender elsewhere on the block.
 

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