|My car has been running pretty good since 2006 when it
went on it's maiden voyage Christmas day back then and I've had a lot of
fun with it so far. I've done a few upgrades here and there but nothing
really big to speak of. That is until now!
What I'm referring to is
the transmission that I chose when I put the car together, which has
run fine for the past five years. On the other hand, I miss having three
pedals ever since I sold my Camaro over 12 years ago and have been
tossing around changing it for a couple of years now. I'm an old school
hot rodder which means having a clutch to mash and a stick to row gears
is how I grew up. Well it looks like that time has come because I
ordered a few things last week but not before putting a lot of thought
into what I had to do first.
The list of things to change over an automatic to a manual trans is
pretty long once I really sat down and thought about it. I mean I don't
have one thing that will swap over which means I'll have to start from
scratch with all this. And I'm not going to remove the body (which would
make life so much easier) but that would mean tearing down most of the
car like cage, interior, engine...etc. Now if I took out the motor that
would mean taking apart the whole front-end which I don't want to do so
I'll bite the bullet and work from underneath and smile as I do it.
The choice of manual transmissions out there are vast and choosing
one over another was a hard decision for me but once I started reading
about them I made up my mind and went with a
Tremec TKO 5 speed. Now
Tremec also makes a six speed (called the magnum) that I almost went
with but after thinking about it, they're really designed more for a
road course setup with the close ratio gears and the double overdrive
they have. The magnum can take more torque than it's cousin the five
speed but if I don't ever put slicks on it, I should be fine. The TKO
five speed is rated at 600 pound feet of torque and only weighs in a 100
pounds which should be fine for my setup. That is unless I decide to
make more horsepower someday because the six speed is rated at 700 lb.
ft. of torque.
After looking at Summit Racing's website and figuring out the cost of
everything needed, I found out that the Tremec transmissions are also
Hurst Driveline Conversions.
Now Hurst had all kinds of different kits available which makes it
pretty much a one-stop shopping experience. Well....almost. I'll need a
few more things that Hurst won't be able to supply which is where Summit
will come in. I ordered the transmission on Jan. 13th and they told me
they were backordered for two weeks. While I wait I'll have to keep busy
so let's get started.
The first order of business was to get my old trans out which
is easier said than done because that 4L80E it's huge! Before I can
lower the trans out I'll need to support the engine somehow which would
normally be a floor jack with a piece of wood under the oil pan. But
I'll need that jack to deal with the old trans when the time comes so I
had to come up with an alternate method for supporting the motor.
Here is what I came up with for supporting the engine. I started with
a cardboard template to make sure I had the right size and shape.