TKO 600 install questions - Team Camaro Tech
Transmission & Driveline Transmissions and Differentials

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 14th, 17, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Bob
 
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Location: York, PA
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TKO 600 install questions

About ready to pull the trigger and get a TKO 600 for my 1st Gen Camaro. Really tired of not having an OD gear. Been thinking about this install all winter, I'm on the fence about doing this on my back in the garage. I don't have a transmission jack or dial gauges nor have I ever dialed in a bell housing for centering or adjusted for drive shaft angles. The cost of the transmission is already high and adding a installation cost may drive me out of this as an option. Has anyone had this transmission installed? What would be a reasonable estimate in the York, PA area?? Anyone installed this transmission as an amateur and what are your thoughts? As always Thanks in advance for any answers!

bob
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 17, 06:47 AM
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Don
 
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Re: TKO 600 install questions

Bob, the others will chime in here but I will tell you what I did in the process.

I started out with a 500 but switched to 600 with the first gear being lower on the 500. Trans are the same.
I installed my Tremec with a stock bell housing only to find when I dialed it into the centerline of the crankshaft, that the housing was throwing me off and it required more offset dowels than I wanted to deal with.
I went with a repop 621. large housing from classic motor sports. The housing put the trans with in .003 where my other was out some .045.

After that you have to deal with the shortened drive shaft. As for angles, you have to get it all in place before you determine angles.

You can do the angle check with a protractor type angle tool for Lowes , or you can use the Tremec angle finder App on your Iphone.

Lets see what the others say. Forgot to mention , you will have to have a fine spline clutch to match the Tremec input. So if you don't have , you need to change.

Don
TC # 349
Zdld17:69 Z/RS,306, NOR141111, 9N554XXX, 12A, X3G, 59/59,723, AFR 195,CCC282/290HR, TKO 600, BU1122B1E Owner since Dec 1968

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 17, 07:54 AM
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Chris
 
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Re: TKO 600 install questions

Bob,
You can definately install the trans in your garage with the car on jack stands or other form of support (To get mine higher I put it up on cement blocks resting on the tires). I installed my T56 this way without help (other than the trans jack referenced in the link below) and the TKO is lighter/smaller than the T56 so you can do this for sure. I strongly recommend bellhousing alignment and this is a definate must if your block has been align bored as the crank will be offset from the stock location. Verify the BH is parallel to the block face first before you check the runout and then check/adjust the runout. You can get an inexpensive dial indicator and magnetic stand from HF as well as a trans jack. The cost for these will be way less than the cost of having a shop do this for you. There are posts on this site telling you how to do it as well as youtube videos and othe sources, it's conceptually pretty easy. I had to shim my BH in both dimensions. It's a bit of a chore on your back (get a creeper if you don't have one), but with patience it can be done. I suspect many trans shops don't even bother with alignment. If you need to shim the BH for the parallel to the block dimension, you can get shims from Jody's Transmissions (you can search this site for his contact info.) I also had to get some offset dowel pins to adjust my runout. It may be too expensive to get a trans shop to install the trans if you require them to do all the adjustment too. By doing it yourself you can take the time to get it exactly where you want it. I also had to adjust my driveline angles, but again, not a big deal. This may be another thing that a trans shop might not do.

T56 Self-Installation - Trans Jack Tip

'69 Z/28, Lemans Blue/White Stripes, DZ302, T56 Mag., 4.10
Dynatech, 17" VWW V45's 235/45, 275/40
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 17, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Bob
 
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Re: TKO 600 install questions

Thanks Don & Chris for your advice. Since you both have done this a few more novice questions. The BB engine it would mate to has never been opened to disturb CS alignment, would this mean if i were to use the bell housing the vendor offers that CS to BH alignment should not be a concern and could be bypassed? Also the kits i have been looking at are SST which think is formally Keisler?? and Hurst Drive trains, both are listed on this website as sponsors. Which if any did you use and is there any issue with cross member alignment and mating to the subframe? My car has sub frame connectors on it, does this impede the installation? Also the two manufacturers speak about shifter alignment with a console, Hurst Drive lines talks about the need for "Black Jack shifter" for correct mating to the 69 camaro console, but SST does not?? Both claim perfect fit though.
Assuming the cross members fit correctly would this not assure driveline angles to be correct? Alot of questions sorry, but thanks for your help

bob
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 17, 02:50 PM
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Darin
 
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Re: TKO 600 install questions

I can tell you the Camaro shifter from SST (if you go with them) fits my console just fine.

American Powertrain is also another vendor that sells "kits" I used their cross-member with my subframe connectors, I liked the adjustability of it. I'm sure the others will work fine also.

They will all tell you to check bellhousing alignment, not only for shift quality and vibration free operation,but also warranty purposes. If you feel that task will be to daunting for you,I'd pay a reputable trustworthy place to do it,and not just say they did it. If there's not a shim in there someplace,they probably didn't do it.
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1968 Butternut Coupe,
TKO 600
9" narrowed 3"
421" Dart SHP block.
3" drop front and back.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 17, 03:38 PM
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Don
 
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Re: TKO 600 install questions

Bob, what you have read above is true.
As for me , I didn't have crossmember issues. I got mine from 5speed.com. Thats where both trans came from.
Croosmember is not like others I have seen , its a basic thick , flat , bat wing looking cross member with curves to go over exhaust.

As for alignment, it does make a difference. to the trans as well as vibration and warranty. This trans is not like a muncie , having a front ball bearing on the main shaft. Tremec , uses and cone/cup type bearing , and is shimed in at the factory. This bearing requires you to have that center of you crank to center of mainshaft with in .005. Its critical. You might want to ask your vendor for a better bellhousing than stock 403 or 621.
Mine was a Lakewood scatter shield and it was off as I mentioned. A new housing from Motorsports, took care of the alignment, but you need to check it any way. Some where on this site a member has a Brown tool, that is a go/no go tool I believe the loner tool was cheap rental. Not sure who had it but its out there. Maybe your vendor can help you with this, they may have a loner. Maybe your vendor has a rental.

Another thing, you need to buy the speedo adapter as well as a speedo cable. I had an issue using the stock cable, it allowed trans oil to wick up into the speedo and drips on my leg. I spoke to American Powertrain about this, they had the correct cable. Not sure if it had to do with the way speedo cable chain is wrapped or not , but I had no more problems and I drive PowerTours, thats abotu 3000 miles round trip.

As for the shifter, I kept the stock shifter , I modified my Hurst shifter stick buy drilling out the holes to accept the bolts that Tremec shifter stub was. The threads were metric.
I don't have a console as I have a base coupe, Could not afford all the bells and whistles these cars came with, I ordered a plain Z28 coupe , with stock interior.
Again, I would go with American as a kit, everything that your need , they sell.

If you need pictures, I have my car up on stands for winter and about to take it down. I can send you some but tell me what area are you looking for.
I didn't have to cut out my stock shifter hole as the trans shifter stub came right up into it.

Brown tool I was referring to is this.
http://www.camaros.org/images/bellho...haft_Mount.jpg

Good Luck.

Don
TC # 349
Zdld17:69 Z/RS,306, NOR141111, 9N554XXX, 12A, X3G, 59/59,723, AFR 195,CCC282/290HR, TKO 600, BU1122B1E Owner since Dec 1968

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Last edited by zdld17; Feb 15th, 17 at 03:51 PM.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 17, 03:43 PM
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Steve
 
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Re: TKO 600 install questions

Hi Bob,
the short answer to your question is No. You cannot assume another bell housing will center correctly just because of where you bought it.

67RSSS......owned since 69. A basket case for most of it.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 17, 06:08 PM
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Matt
 
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Re: TKO 600 install questions

Bob, I installed a TKO 600 kit in my 69 behind my big block. I did it in my garage laying on my back. It was not fun, but it was doable. I got my kit from SST. I highly recommend them. Their kit comes with everything you need for a complete installation. The speedometer cable adapter accepts the original speedometer cable. The cross member is a nice piece as well. The shifter came up perfectly centered in my console as well. Bell housing alignment is critical and must not be skipped. Trust me, once you take your car out for the first time and shift it into fifth, you will be grinning from ear to ear. It is hands down one of the best upgrades that you can do.
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1969 SS Garnet Red X55 350 Factory 4 speed
12 Bolt 3.55 Posi
461 BBC TKO600
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 17, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Bob
 
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Re: TKO 600 install questions

Don,

That Brown tool looks like ti would help to simplify things greatly?? did you use it? I will try to find out more about it. Thanks
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 17, 07:35 PM
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Don
 
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Re: TKO 600 install questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by bschnur View Post
Don,

That Brown tool looks like ti would help to simplify things greatly?? did you use it? I will try to find out more about it. Thanks
No, I did not use, didn't find out about it until I got through dialing in with a mic. It was easy but took me a while to convince myself that the Lakewood was .045 off. I had motor out at the time. The dial in topic came up here and someone mentioned it. To me , its go or no go. Just bolt to crank and try to fit the housing on the long end. If it won't go, you can see which way it needs to go and use offset dowl pins. They are available .

I used my jacks for support and could have used an extra hand but none in sight. I realized this trans was much heavier than the ford toploader trans I had used in other cars.
If motor is out, its easy , then you can mate all back up and use an equalizer of a cherry picker to put all back in together.

If you are on your back with the car 28" off the ground, or even a lift, things would be much easier. I couldn't do it today as I have had lower back fused. But I still have guys that can do it for me.

There are lots of members that have done this so , you gain the knowledge from them.

I posted a new thread, asking if anyone has one to rent. Might want to follow it , don't think they are too expensive.

Don
TC # 349
Zdld17:69 Z/RS,306, NOR141111, 9N554XXX, 12A, X3G, 59/59,723, AFR 195,CCC282/290HR, TKO 600, BU1122B1E Owner since Dec 1968

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Last edited by zdld17; Feb 15th, 17 at 07:51 PM.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 17, 08:06 PM
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Chris
 
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Re: TKO 600 install questions

Here's what the Browell tool looks like in case you've not seen it. This will only verify the runout and not the parallel measurement of the BH to the block. Also, the hole in the BH will need to fit tight with the Browell tool so if you're going to use a BH with a different configuration this tool won't work.

Browell Bellhousing Custom Builds Aluminum and Steel Bellhousings
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'69 Z/28, Lemans Blue/White Stripes, DZ302, T56 Mag., 4.10
Dynatech, 17" VWW V45's 235/45, 275/40
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 17, 08:58 PM
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Chris
 
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Re: TKO 600 install questions

Bob,
You definately need to verify the BH to block alignment, both parallel and runout. I used a Quicktime BH and even though some sources say this BH does not need to be aligned and just bolt it up, like I said above it was off in both dimensions. Do the parallel check first since if that is off you will have to redo the runout alignment check, trust me, I know from experience.

Subframe connectors should not create any problems for you. I used the American Power Train kit. Given that I installed a T56, I can't provide any input concerning fit of a TKO in your car. APT has their White Lightening shifter that has multiple shifter locations virtually guaranteed to fit. SST and Hurst have their versions too; I suspect that thay all work pretty well. I attached below a photo of my APT X-Factor crossmember. As you can see there are 3 positions into which the cross support can be bolted (you could drill other holes too) and it is provided with 3 different length cross supports (if the same X-Factor is used for the T56 and the TKO). Obviously, as you change the angle of the engine/trans from the stock position it will affect the working angles of the U-joints, but you'll need to check these as well. This all sounds like a lot to do, but take one step at tme and you'll get it done. I don't know how much a TKO weighs, but whereas I could press the M21 into position pretty easy, not so with the T56. You may be able to just put the TKO on your chest under the car and press it in.

I might suggest that you get your driveshaft made locally so if you have a problem with it you can simply take it back for adjustments. I'd spend the money on getting high quality made in USA yokes on both ends as import yokes can have poor tolerances and may not hold the U-joint bearing cups correctly and the metallurgy is unknown.

One other thing, it would be good to trial fit the BH to the trans to make sure there is no interference. I had to remove some material from my throwout bearing collar on the trans as it contacted a part of the BH. If the trans won't go in the last 1/4 - 1/2 inch you can have someone depress the clutch while you continue to push on the trans therey releasing the disc and it will usually slide right in.
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'69 Z/28, Lemans Blue/White Stripes, DZ302, T56 Mag., 4.10
Dynatech, 17" VWW V45's 235/45, 275/40
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