The rock solid T56 Manual Transmission

The rock solid T56 Manual Transmission

The T56 is a high-capacity, high-torque; six-speed TREMEC manual transmission designed for custom installations and retrofitted with Chevrolet Performance cash register engines.

Brute force

With a maximum torque of 700 lb/ft, the T56 has an outer casing similar to the fourth generation, all you need to know about selecting a T56 for your GM project.

The heavy-duty T56

This six-speed wonder was originally designed and built by Borg-Warner but was moved to Tremec in 1998. Recently, the T56 transmission became synonymous with MS engine Pro Touring but made its debut on the 1992 Dodge Viper and 1993 Camaro Z/28.

It eventually replaced the Corvette’s six-speed ZF when the C5 was developed with a transaxle. Over the years, the T56 has taken many different forms in the world of GM, from F-bodies to Corvette, GTO, CTS-V and SSR vans. Each of them had its own nuances, including different transmission relationships. And of course, just as everybody got used to it, Tremec released the TR6060.

Of the different units, the T56 is almost the same from the outside for all units except the Corvette.

T56 Manual Transmission

The position of the gear lever

Each frame has a unique shifting position. The Corvette mounts the gear lever on the torsion tube, not on the gearbox, so it uses a completely different shifting lane. The body of the F is screwed directly to the gearbox in the rear housing. However, the GTOs are mounted in a similar position, moved and pushed back. The gear lever is located behind the gearbox, which means that the gears are “indirect.” The CTS-V gear lever is an even more exaggerated version of the GTO and positions the gear lever another 2 inches back, completely behind the rear casing (as such, it has a unique rear casing). The TR6060 on the 2008-2014 CTS-V and 2010-2015 Camaro SS models used this remote mounting scheme.

For a better feeling of gear shifting, it is preferable to mount the lever directly on the transmission as an F-body. This places the gearshift handle 29½ inches from the edge of the roof edge of the F body or 24 inches from the middle of the plate. From the roof to the gearshift lever, the CTS-V measures 35 inches and the GTO 33 inches. The Magnum (essentially a TR606060), the Tremec Magnum is about 1.5 inches more in length than the F-body.

The GTO and F body use the same exhaust housing, so you can start out with a GTO core and convert it to an F-body gearshift. And with any T56, you also have the option of using the front gear lever position, which is about 13.5 inches from the rear of the bell housing. Ideal for trucks and some weird exchanges!


Whether for a GM, Ford or Dodge, all T56 and TR6060 transmissions are mounted on the main shaft as a four-speed transmission in first to fourth gear. The fifth and sixth are both overdrive units that are retrofitted, like a two-speed shuttle. It is easier to assemble one in several ways than to assemble an old four-speed engine.

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