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Thread: Found a weak point on the Z06.

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    Registered Member Potent68's Avatar

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    Found a weak point on the Z06.

    Last night at the drag strip we toasted the 3/4 synchro keys. Apparently they are pretty weak hollow little things. Now she grinds whenever you reach for 3rd gear.

    I did my research and it's quite common apparently. So I'll probably order the billet keys, the brass shift fork pads, and the steel 3/4 shift fork (they used aluminum until early 2003 and it's known to bend) and tear it all down. It's probably going to sit for 3-4 months before I start tearing it apart but it should handle my stock power levels way easier when I'm done.

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    What the cluck? GldRush98's Avatar

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    DANSBIRD's Avatar

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    When I had to get my T-56 freshened up, I had a local guy do it. Afterwards, I found out that I could have spent around the same money and had Tick Performance make a T-56 magnum out of it and I was kicking myself for not finding that out sooner. I say that as a suggestion to you if they can do the same for a T-56 in a Corvette.

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    Registered Member NHRATA01's Avatar

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    Yeah mine is overdue for a rebuild, only 50k miles but a lot of abuse and 1/4 passes and the input shaft is rattling lot. I should've done it when I had the motor out last winter but spent enough on the build. It's making 570/540 on the dyno now so I'm sure it's going to get shredded one of the days on a hard 1-2 shift.

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    DANSBIRD's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by NHRATA01 View Post
    Yeah mine is overdue for a rebuild, only 50k miles but a lot of abuse and 1/4 passes and the input shaft is rattling lot. I should've done it when I had the motor out last winter but spent enough on the build. It's making 570/540 on the dyno now so I'm sure it's going to get shredded one of the days on a hard 1-2 shift.
    Making that much power, I'd definitively look into going the T-56 Magnum route.

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    Smart A$$ Level 3 kasim's Avatar

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    be like arnold and have no weak points


  7. #7
    Registered Member Potent68's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by DANSBIRD View Post
    When I had to get my T-56 freshened up, I had a local guy do it. Afterwards, I found out that I could have spent around the same money and had Tick Performance make a T-56 magnum out of it and I was kicking myself for not finding that out sooner. I say that as a suggestion to you if they can do the same for a T-56 in a Corvette.
    I wasn't aware of this Magnum option but here's an interesting explanation from Tremec.

    https://tremec-blog.com/the-differen...agnum-6-speed/

    Of all the misnomers we encounter in the automotive aftermarket, one of the most common stems from the confusion surrounding the TREMEC T-56 6-speed transmission and its Magnum 6-speed protégé. Granted, one could argue that the two models have more in common than not; however they are in fact completely different transmissions. If you are considering a TREMEC for your car, it’s important to know the differences in order to make sure you don’t waste money on the wrong transmission, or one that falls short of your performance objectives.

    Background

    Appreciating the differences between the Magnum and its T-56 predecessor starts with knowing the history of both transmissions. We’ll start in the late 1990s, when TREMEC was well on its way to becoming a household name among stick-shift enthusiasts, thanks to the growing popularity of our TKO transmission in the budding 5-speed muscle car conversion market. During this same period, following the acquisition of BorgWarner’s manual-transmission business in December 1996, TREMEC was successfully producing the T-56 for use in just about every rear-wheel-drive performance car being offered by the Big 3 automakers – and even a few outside of them.

    As the hot rod restomod market continued to explode, the TKO – re-released in 2004 as the TKO-500 and TKO-600 – continued to lead the charge, particularly among those with early engine combinations. The T-56, however, had garnered appeal among enthusiasts who embraced the more recent GM LS and Ford Modular engines. At the same time, salvage yards had become flush with the factory offerings, making LS1/T-56 conversions from wrecked Camaros and Trans Ams in particular a very popular swap.

    Much like today though, the factory T-56s were tailored specifically to the OE applications from which they came, meaning that gear ratios were sometimes undesirable and shifter locations were often less than ideal for an early muscle car – forcing the use of awkward-looking custom consoles. Last but not least, speedometer provisions on the transmission were typically incompatible with classic applications. In short, these swaps left a lot to be desired. Add to that, the limited torque capacity of some factory units, as well as, the fact that many had been severely abused before ending up in a boneyard, and the need for an aftermarket solution was clear.

    Fortunately, the timing was right for a response from TREMEC. Prompted by ever-increasing torque demands and the desire for improved shift quality from our OE customers, in 2004, we began working on a replacement for the T-56. Debuting in the Ford Shelby GT500 for model year 2007, the new TR-6060 6-speed quickly became the go-to performance transmission of the industry. By 2008, it had superseded the T-56 in pretty much all OE performance applications.

    Addressing the need for a more flexible solution for the custom car market, our engineers also went to work on an aftermarket-only version of the TR-6060. Working with input from the TREMEC marketing team, they took swap-friendly features from the TKO and modeled the input side of the trans after the popular T-56 applications in order to leverage existing market support. GM versions of the Magnum were modeled after 1998-2002 F-bodies and Ford versions after the 2003-2004 Terminator Cobra. In 2009, TREMEC released the new T-56 Magnum. Using T-56 in the name was intended to let customers know the trans was not some brand-new, unproven design; the name Magnum signified that this new unit was indeed something special – unique from all T-56 transmissions that came before it.

    Unfortunately, the naming strategy confused large portions of the market that didn’t know the Magnum was actually more TR-6060 than it was T-56, and that there was little in common application-wise with either OE model. In addition, the T-56 name itself had so much goodwill in the market that many enthusiasts chose to ignore the Magnum part altogether and continued to use the T-56 moniker instead, rather than the other way around.

    Now that you know some of the history leading up to the Magnum, and are clear that it is not a T-56, let us take a deeper look at what separates the TREMEC Magnum and its TR-6060 sibling from the T-56 that came before them.

    The TREMEC Magnum and TR-6060 utilize 2-piece speed gears. The clutching ring and gear are forged and machined separately. They are then interference-fit and laser-welded together. This type of construction does away with the previously wasted space in the T-56 design. Combined with the new synchro design, the TREMEC engineers could substantially increase the face widths of the gears, thereby increasing torque capacity.

    The improvements made to the synchronizer were much more than a simple trimming of fat. The T-56 used a hoop-style retainer to hold three stamped-steel keys in place, attempting to put equal pressure at three points of a circle. Although it worked reasonably well, the design was prone to uncontrolled movement that in extreme cases could allow the keys to dislodge.

    Though narrower in design, the blocker and friction rings in the TREMEC TR-6060 and Magnum have an increased diameter and a standard triple-cone arrangement for substantially more surface area and strength than the double-cone setup found in the majority of T-56s. In the case of the TR-6060, the friction materials themselves vary by application. Here, the material shown is sintered bronze. The T-56 also used several different materials. The T-56 ring shown here is a ‘particlized’ carbon. All TR-6060 and Magnums feature triple-cone baskets in the 1-2 position, and double-cone arrangements throughout the rest of the box, including Reverse. The T-56, conversely, offered a mix of double and triple cones, depending on the application, for First and Second, and, in many cases, a single cone for all other gears.

    A common complaint from those who liked to abuse their T-56 was the unit’s propensity to bend aluminum shift forks; thus, the installation of steel forks was a common upgrade. The problem was not so much with bending the fork prongs, but rather an issue found at the shift-rail bore. A keyway cut into the bore for placement of the shift plates, or z-links, had a tendency to wallow out and allow the fork to deflect on the rail, opening the door to a host of secondary shift-related issues. In the TR-6060 and Magnum, these links have been cast into the fork, eliminating the concern and allowing the forks to be both light and strong.

    The most notable difference between the input shaft used in the T-56 and the TR-6060 and Magnum is the bearing hardware, which is much larger in the TR-6060 and Magnum. This helps the transmission endure significantly increased torque. In addition, all Magnums (and most TR-6060s) use a 26-spline input shaft for maximum surface area and subsequent strength.


    Perhaps the greatest difference between the Magnum and all other OE units (TR-6060s included) is its wide range of flexibility features with the explicit intent of being more swap-friendly. Other Magnum components include dual (electronic and mechanical) speedometer pickups, dual-pattern crossmember mount area and commonized 31-spline output shaft that trumps the toughest T-56 in strength.

    There’s still a lot of ground we could cover, and perhaps we will in a future story, but hopefully you now (if you didn’t before) understand and appreciate some of the critical differences between the T-56 and its replacement, the Magnum. Although the T-56 was a great transmission, and continues to faithfully serve in many heavy-hitting street cars, it is simply no match for the Magnum transmission that it ultimately inspired.

  8. #8
    Registered Member Potent68's Avatar

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    For now, at my stock power levels and with the car only having 18k miles on it, it will be cheaper for me to just pull it apart and install the upgraded parts. If I get hardcore enough I could go with RPM Transmission's TR6060 and C6 rear diff package.

    https://www.rpmtransmissions.com/page8.html

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    DANSBIRD's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Potent68 View Post
    I wasn't aware of this Magnum option but here's an interesting explanation from Tremec.

    https://tremec-blog.com/the-differen...agnum-6-speed/
    Good read. Thanks. I've always heard it was a TR-6060 guts inside a T-56 housing. I did not know about everything else.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Potent68 View Post
    For now, at my stock power levels and with the car only having 18k miles on it, it will be cheaper for me to just pull it apart and install the upgraded parts. If I get hardcore enough I could go with RPM Transmission's TR6060 and C6 rear diff package.

    https://www.rpmtransmissions.com/page8.html
    I like my TR-6060

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    Quote Originally Posted by Potent68 View Post
    For now, at my stock power levels and with the car only having 18k miles on it, it will be cheaper for me to just pull it apart and install the upgraded parts. If I get hardcore enough I could go with RPM Transmission's TR6060 and C6 rear diff package.

    https://www.rpmtransmissions.com/page8.html
    How much did you pay roughly if you don't mind me asking? You can pm me. I've been having the itch for a low mileage c5z lately.

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    Registered Member Potent68's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeverFastEnough View Post
    How much did you pay roughly if you don't mind me asking? You can pm me. I've been having the itch for a low mileage c5z lately.
    With 8,600 miles I paid $23,xxx I think. That's not counting the cost of diesel, trailer rental, or hotel stays from driving out to get it. I may have got a better deal because it was January and the car was in Colorado.

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    Damn, 8600 miles, that's hardly broken in. Nice! I woulda bought that too!

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    Registered Member Potent68's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeverFastEnough View Post
    Damn, 8600 miles, that's hardly broken in. Nice! I woulda bought that too!
    I thought it was pretty unique with so few miles but as it turns out they are everywhere. Tons of old timers bought them and parked them in their garage that you can always find several for sale. They may not be very realistic on their asking price though.

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    Yeah, I've seen them but they're at decent mileage c6z prices most of the time. I'm torn between a low mileage c5z and a higher mileage 08+ c6z. Been looking at a 08 c6z in JSB on eBay for 25k, so tempted... But it has 86k miles or so.

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    Make it three yards... redy2kss's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeverFastEnough View Post
    Yeah, I've seen them but they're at decent mileage c6z prices most of the time. I'm torn between a low mileage c5z and a higher mileage 08+ c6z. Been looking at a 08 c6z in JSB on eBay for 25k, so tempted... But it has 86k miles or so.
    Just talk to Berman...he can find you some cheap C6Z's.

  17. #17
    Registered Member Potent68's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeverFastEnough View Post
    Yeah, I've seen them but they're at decent mileage c6z prices most of the time. I'm torn between a low mileage c5z and a higher mileage 08+ c6z. Been looking at a 08 c6z in JSB on eBay for 25k, so tempted... But it has 86k miles or so.
    I would definitely drive both before you decide. The C5Z's were stripped of sound deadening material, thinner windshield and rear glass, etc to save weight. It's not a quiet car on most roads because of the noise from the tires. Most of the 02's and I think early 03's had issues with valve springs breaking so people (myself included) upgraded from the "yellow valve springs" to the blue (LS2 GTO springs I think they were). Obviously, based on this thread, the keys on that 3rd gear synchro suck if you're shifting hard. The battery is right above the PCM in the engine compartment so if it's ever had a battery leak it could be problematic for the PCM and wiring. Also, the stock deck is the GM 1.5din size as is the surrounding trim so if you want to upgrade you'll have to keep that in mind.

    It's a very fun car though. We usually take it if we're going anywhere together. We drag race and autocross the car. It does all of that very well, especially for the price point.

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    Good info, thanks man. Yeah, I really should I guess. I have a bad habit of buying cars online sight unseen. It's like gambling I guess lol. I have a base c5 auto with a d1 so I'm familiar with the platform but want a manual.

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