GM T56 retrofit trans - LS1TECH - Camaro and Firebird Forum Discussion



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GM T56 retrofit trans

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Old 02-28-2017, 08:20 PM   #1
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Default GM T56 retrofit trans

I have a project car that has one of these in it. These were sold in the early 90's for retrofitting into 3rd gen f bodies etc. They have a thick steel adapter plate on the front that allows it to bolt to an old-style GM bellhousing (like a Muncie) and use an old style clutch and linkage etc.
The trans feels like it could use a freshen up. Also I am LS swapping the car and wondering if the trans can be adapted (sorta like an LT1 trans can be) But I can find NO info on these as far as what parts they use.
Anyone got any info ? Thx.
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:24 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gjestico View Post
I have a project car that has one of these in it. These were sold in the early 90's for retrofitting into 3rd gen f bodies etc. They have a thick steel adapter plate on the front that allows it to bolt to an old-style GM bellhousing (like a Muncie) and use an old style clutch and linkage etc.
The trans feels like it could use a freshen up. Also I am LS swapping the car and wondering if the trans can be adapted (sorta like an LT1 trans can be) But I can find NO info on these as far as what parts they use.
Anyone got any info ? Thx.
I believe D&D offered that adapter plate. Do you know if it was a LS or LT based T56?

Andrew
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:32 PM   #3
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Theres the problem. This was circa 1994 that this one was new. Long before the LS came out. It was offered by Borg warner dealers as a package. Its fairly different from any factory T56 as it has a different shifter location and mechanical speedo drive provisions.
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:55 PM   #4
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do you have any pictures of it?
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:02 PM   #5
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If it's circa 94, then it is a LT style with the front plate installed. There will also be a standard bearing retainer that indexes the trans to the bell housing.

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Old 03-01-2017, 03:02 PM   #6
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This trans was made as a retrofit box. I accepts the GM bell and 3rd gen clutch release linkage( guide tube, shift fork and external slave). The 3rd gen stock T5 trans was mounted at an angle ( 18 degrees or so) tilt towards the driver. This steel plate should have two bolt patterns to accommodate the 3rd gen and the older non-tilt installations. Yes, the shifter location was also different than what is available now.
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Old 03-01-2017, 03:27 PM   #7
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Is this the trans you have? Does it have the larger viper main shaft?

http://www.superchevy.com/how-to/148...-transmission/
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:54 PM   #8
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you should contact D&D...they would know what can be done to your particular T56
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Old 03-01-2017, 09:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by onebadbowtie86 View Post
Is this the trans you have? Does it have the larger viper main shaft?

http://www.superchevy.com/how-to/148...-transmission/
That's a similar idea,but built on Viper core. The aftermarket version was built around a 93 Camaro box, plus diff. machined castings, long maindrive (input) and the 27 spline mainshaft.
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Old 03-01-2017, 10:45 PM   #10
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Alas, I don't have pics as the car is in storage some distance away. The trans looks similar to the D&D unit, But I suspect (respectfully) that its was done by BorgWarner first long before they came along. JMD's info is right on.
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:07 AM   #11
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I was definitely around back then and don't recall BW offering anything like this directly to the aftermarket. This was also around the time that BW sold the transmission business to Tremec. I suspect what you have is a OEM replacement T56 that was modified by a company and sold to various customers. It was likely D&D but could also have been a company that specialized in 3rd Gen F-bodies...

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Old 03-02-2017, 11:43 AM   #12
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I am certain of its origin as I personally bought it back in early 94. I had read about it in a car mag, and special ordered it through a genuine BorgWarner dealer. The tailhousing especially is unlike any factory unit. It was made to put the shifter in the correct spot for 3rd gen f bodies.

Apparently not too many of them were sold as the net has little/no info on them. This was back before forums really took off tho. There was also a mustang version with the Ford T5 bell bolt pattern too.
Looks like trying to get specific parts for it may be difficult.
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Project GatTagO View Post
I was definitely around back then and don't recall BW offering anything like this directly to the aftermarket. This was also around the time that BW sold the transmission business to Tremec. I suspect what you have is a OEM replacement T56 that was modified by a company and sold to various customers. It was likely D&D but could also have been a company that specialized in 3rd Gen F-bodies...

Andrew
There was some coverage of this unit; Gene H. from Centerforce had one in his El Camino in an article in Car Craft or HR mag. It has a B-W tag number. Not guesses on my part. B-W also offered a couple Ford versions.

At the time, I should have bought one (and an LT4 crate engine!); I was obsessed with the 0.50 6th though and my first T56 was a 94-95 unit.
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:25 PM   #14
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I would think it would use 93-02 camaro synchro rebuild kit and parts for the freshen up? I guess you will know when you open it up. You could probably just change the input shaft/midplate and bell to use it in an ls application like an lt trans.
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