Manual transmission swap questions

Status
Not open for further replies.

FrankyB7984

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Jan 30, 2016
19
3
hey guys,
So I'm trying to figure out what I need to to switch my 79 elco from automatic to a manual. I'm building a 355 and plan to pair it up with a t56 magnum and a hydraulic clutch setup. I haven't bought any transmission stuff yet. My questions I have right now are:

Do I need to have a neutral safety switch on the pedals? Why or why not?

Do I need to swap out the steering column?

Can you use an LS bellhousing on a small block?

Thank you guys for the help in advance.
 

marcar1993

G-Body Guru
Aug 31, 2007
702
43
New Jersey
Do I need to have a neutral safety switch on the pedals? Why or why not?

No, older cars never had them, I don't have one on my t56 car, its not big deal, just don't start it unless you're in neutral or with the clutch down...

Do I need to swap out the steering column?

No, mine is the stock column. I removed the lever for the shifter, aside from that, you can also cut off the bump for the lever and smooth it out with some body work to make it look good, my friend's dad did that on his nova, but it will work fine left alone.

Can you use an LS bellhousing on a small block?


I believe 5 out of 6 bolts line up, so technically, yes.
 

FrankyB7984

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Jan 30, 2016
19
3
Oh, awesome. I got all the answers I was hoping for. I'm still not sure about the bellhousing, I might buy a quick time steel one but they are expensive. Well, thank you for the reply. I might post more on here when I come across a problem or have more questions. I can't wait to do this swap.
 

pontiacgp

blank
Mar 31, 2006
29,280
113
Kitchener, Ontario
No, older cars never had them, I don't have one on my t56 car, its not big deal, just don't start it unless you're in neutral or with the clutch down....

I don't have one in mine cause I don't want pressure on the thrust bearing by depressing the clutch pedal and turning over the engine.that is not lubricated with the engine stopped .
 
Last edited:

Geo's66

Master Mechanic
Oct 7, 2014
471
28
That's a good point, I never thought of that.

What are you doing for headers? I'm building a 78 and am at the mercy now of a custom shop to arrive to build a set for me... No one makes these off the shelf with 1,700 factory 4 speeds built- I never even considered that they wouldn't be available- but I also thought trim pieces, etc were also available like for my Chevelle.... Ha!
 

pontiacgp

blank
Mar 31, 2006
29,280
113
Kitchener, Ontario
I have a T5 WC, I had the chance to use a T56 but I like my 3.08 rear so I'd never use the 6th gear. At 75 mph I'm at 1900 rpm in 5th. Plus the T56 is 50 lbs heavier than the T5 WC
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

marcar1993

G-Body Guru
Aug 31, 2007
702
43
New Jersey
I have a t56 because I don't like breaking things and its stronger than a t5, hopefully enough not to break it. Plus it has that extra gear, makes my 4.10's cruise on the highway like my 2.14s did when the car was stock.

As for headers, with a mechanical linkage, I'm not sure what route to go. With hydraulics, its no different than an auto, run the hydraulic line away from the exhaust.
 

pontiacgp

blank
Mar 31, 2006
29,280
113
Kitchener, Ontario
I run 245 street tires so they'll burn off before the T5 WC blows up and I do not drag race. If I did want to beat on it there are upgrades which are under $1,000 that'll make the transmission ready to take abuse I'm not sure where you live but I'm in the city and I don't want to be shifting gears every 20 feet. I can cruise in 1st or 2nd in the city driving which is fine for me cause I am lazy..:mrgreen:

and being in Canada the parts are very scarce and very expensive so that's another part of making my decision....:(
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.

GBodyForum is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Please support GBodyForum Sponsors

Classic Truck Consoles Dixie Restoration Depot UMI Performance

Contact Admin@GBodyForum.com for info on becoming a sponsor