Installing a Borg Warner T-56 6-speed manual transmission into a Super Coupe.
By Daryl Cybulski
Yes, I have done it! It
wasn't an easy swap, but, I do feel it was worth it. It is a
stronger tranny, it has a higher first gear, and an extra
overdrive, so a lower gear can be run without loosing fuel
economy (I still have my 3.27's, but hope to switch to 3.55's or
4.10's soon). Plus it makes my SC unique! However the work
involved could hardly be imagined. Having friends in machine
shops, and friends that can TIG weld are the main factors in this
project. I started this project around 3 years ago, only working
on it occasionally, getting friends to do small bits at a time in
shop. When I first took possession of the T56, I tried several
performance shops, and even Borg Warner for help, they all
basically said the swap would be impossible. This making a
challenge, I vowed to make it work, one way or another.
Remembering that I bought my SC in '92, and was doing mods when
no performance parts were available and was running my car with 5.0's,
Irocs, and the occasional Vette. I was no stranger to making
things work in my SC, one way or another.
Like I said the task was not easy, fortunately I had an extra SC engine, and an old blown tranny to work with for compatibility tests, so I never really tied my car up over this time. Getting the T56 to mount was relatively easy, I had a 1/2 aluminum adapter plate made, However, the SC's fly wheel hit the bellhousing in several spots, so sections had to be cut out and changed (fabrication, TIG welding etc.). Then came the hard part, Clutch, pressure plate, throw out bearing, pilot bearing, fork and master and slave cylinders. Believe me this was the HARDEST part of the project. Heres what I did:
-Pressure plate from SC.
-Clutch disk 11" from older 400 cubic inch Chevy, with center hub reversed.
-Retainer bushing made
-Pilot bearing made for SC crank and T56 input shaft.
-Fork from T56
-Slave cylinder from '84 Z28 (external type).
-Master slave from SC.
-Custom double space throw out bearing
-Braided hose to adapt SC master to Camaro slave.*extremely difficult*
-Lots of playing around with spacing to make assembly work.
After this was accomplished the rest was down hill. Getting drive shaft made and modifying mounts, both easy.
Shifter location is NOT a problem, despite what everyone says, basically it comes up about an inch and a half ahead of the factory shifter. I simply cut my shifter hole the 1 1/2" ahead (nicely) and even reused the factory leather boot. All I have left to finish is my speedo, and I recently purchased the Cyberdyne calibrator, so hopefully I can use the GM sender to my speedo.
Any ways sorry so long, but, it is a detailed project. I would not recommend most to try it, but, all the challenges of the project is what drove me to doing it. Therefore be warned, it is not easy!