With Pro-Touring sweeping the nation, enthusiasts are
finding it easier than ever to swap late model components into their vintage
rides. T56 six speed swaps are no exception- There are about as many ways to
tackle this conversion as there are boxes available today.
You know you’ve fantasized about tearing across the open
road, rowing through gear after seemingly endless gear. But then the reality
of the ‘complicated’ swap shows its ugly face- There are hydraulics to adapt
at weird angles, the pushrod doesn’t meet the pedal in the right spot, and
the crossmember has to be cut apart and re-welded to fit the long beast.
Well lay all those problems to rest. American Touring Specialties just made
bolting in a production T56 possible. ATS designed this kit around the 93-97
LT1 style T56’s found in thousands of production F Bodies today. Sticking to
the factory designed parts, and modifying them to bolt to a 1st Gen F-Body
is the key to completing the swap.
No more fabricating complicated brackets, rigging up
factory hydraulics, and piecing together crossmembers. The firewall mounted
bracket adapts the ATS modified F-Body hydraulics right to the 1st gen
firewall and clutch pedal. No welding and no fab work needed. Follow along
as we point out the specific features of upgrading this big block equipped
68 Camaro with a hydraulic clutch, and six forward gears via a T56 from a 95
A complete installation guide and video are provided
with the kit. As with any old car, factory tolerances and 36 years of age
can make for some minor differences in the fit and finish of the kit. Make
sure after completion to check the clutch pedal travel and look for binding
or sweeping in the push rod. It should be straight and steady, with a max
pushrod travel of 15/16”. If it goes beyond that, you will need to make a
pedal stop either on the floor or attached to the pedal. Make sure the brake
pedal is firm and tested before going out on the open road. The last things
to complete before taking off on your maiden voyage is to hook up the VSS
pig tail to your electronic speedometer (this car is getting the full
Autometer gauge upgrade) and wire the back up lamps to the pig tail. After
you go through the install guide again, take your new T56 for a spin.
ATS’s kit includes all the custom parts you would otherwise have to
fabricate - The 3pc tubular crossmember, the firewall mounted hydraulic
clutch bracket, and the custom length hydraulic master and actuator
assembly. Also included in the kit is the special socket cap screw to
attach the hydraulic clutch master pushrod to the clutch pedal, full
written instructions, and a CD-ROM installation video.
In preparation to mark
the hole for the shifter, strip the case of the mounts, bellhousing and
shifter stub. Install bellhousing to block with no flywheel or clutch
assembly, and install T56 onto bellhousing. Mark floor and remove T56
and bellhousing for cutting. Be sure to remove interior items before
Press in pilot bearing, and install flywheel, torque to specification.
Clean flywheel surface with brake cleaner, and install new clutch
(noting engine side) with alignment tool. Hold clutch in place, and
install pressure plate and bolts. Torque to spec and remove alignment
Install the bell housing to the back of the block, and tighten all 6
bolts. Using safety strap and tranny jack raise the T56 into position
for installation. After aligning the T56 with the bellhousing, install
and tighten all 8 case to bellhousing bolts. Jack T56 into final
position, and install turbo 400 mount.
Install both crossmember frame rail brackets loosely. Align tube with
frame rail brackets, and install ½ bolts. Align crossmember pad with
turbo 400 mount, and install mount bolts. Allow T56 to rest on
crossmember then tighten tube, and frame rail bolts.
Install aftermarket shifter using manufactures provided instructions.
Don’t forget to apply a thin bead of RTV around the base of the shifter,
and set the shift stops.
the correct size line wrench, remove the hard lines to the brake master
the 2 nuts that retain the brake master to the booster (or firewall in
manual cars) and set master aside. Remove the brake pedal pushrod clip
and clevis, and then removes the vacuum booster.
Install ATS firewall bracket onto booster studs. Install 2 nuts diagonal
from each other and tighten to hold bracket in place, and prevent
Remove old pedal assembly from the under dash area. Assemble new
clutch/brake pedals. A small amount of WD-40 helps slip the pads onto
the pedals, and some disc brake grease on the bushings helps install the
assembly easily under the dash. Hang the assembled pedals under the
dash, and retain with new clip.
Install the pre-bled custom length hydraulics to the
firewall bracket. Take care to make sure clutch master pushrod goes in
between the clutch and brake pedals. Line up push rod front to back on
clutch pedal. Mark location with an automatic center punch, and remove
pedal assembly for drilling.
Drill small pilot hole in pedal. Then drill out to 15/64”. Tap hole to a
RH thread ¼”x 28 NF. Re-install pedal assembly under dash securing with
retaining clip. Bolt hydraulic push rod to clutch pedal with ATS
supplied ¼”x 28 NF socket cap screw.
Snap clutch fork onto throw-out bearing. Slide actuator spacer onto the
2 studs on bellhousing. Install the hydraulic actuator onto bellhousing
securing hose clip on top stud. Shipping strap will break automatically
when pedal is depressed for the first time.
Remove the 2 nuts holding the bracket to the firewall. Re-install the
vacuum booster and brake pedal pushrod to the pedal. Make sure to adjust
the brake pedal pushrod for the added ¼” bracket depth. Reinstall the
brake master cylinder and hard lines using correct size line wrench.
Remove all 4 wheels to prepare for bleeding the braking system. Bleed
all 4 wheels checking the master cylinder level often. Start at the
passenger rear, driver’s rear, then on to the passenger front, followed
by the driver’s front. When firm pedal is achieved, re-install and
Measure from the rear of the transmission, to the center of the rear end
pinion yoke to get your local driveshaft shop the correct length. After
driveshaft is made up, install into tail shaft, and rear end. Secure
with new U-straps and bolts.
Reinstall carpet, sill plates and seat belts. Cut out small hole in
carpet for shifter stick. Finish off interior with the front
seat, and shifter boot and knob.
Remove the fill plug with a 3/8” drive ratchet and pump ATF into case
until it seeps out the plug hole. Re-install plug and tighten.