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AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/20/23 11:08 a.m.

Everyone loves LS swaps, and many of us love manual transmissions, but unfortunately the combination of the two tends to get expensive compared to an LS swap with an automatic transmission. There’s a lot of information out there, but I wanted to make an easy thread for manual transmission options. 

 

Please add any input you have: swap difficulties, driving/shifting characteristics, etc. I will try to update the main posts to reflect any added information to keep things organized. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/20/23 11:09 a.m.

LS T56: 6-speed, 450 lb-ft rated?

Found in 98-02 camaros, etc. Direct bolt-up to LS.

Find a wrecked car and you have the engine and trans already together and ready to go. Used T56’s often seem to have lived a hard life, so lifespan may vary. 

 

F Body LT T56: 6-speed

Found in older Camaros and other F body Chevys. Requires different front plate, bell housing, and input shaft to be able to bolt up to and LS block. 

 

TR6060: 6-speed, 600 lb-ft rated

Direct bolt up. Factory replacement after the T56, much stronger. Found in 2010+ Camaros, etc.

 

T56 Magnum: 6-speed, 700lb-ft rated

Aftermarket transmission, built with TR6060 guts, pretty highly regarded. 

 

TKO: 5-speed, 600 lb-ft rated

Aftermarket transmission from Tremec, multiple bell housing and clutch options. 

 

TKX: 5-speed, 600 lb-ft rated

The replacement to the TKO, apparently much improved shifting. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/20/23 11:09 a.m.

Aisin AR5: 5-speed 

Found in GM Colorado/Canyon, Solstice/Sky, Polaris Slingshot and some others. 

Available used generally for pretty cheap. 

Requires “FABbot” adapter, and factory LS 4L60e bell housing. Bare adapter is ~$400. The FABbot kit is designed to use any F-Body LS1-to-T56 clutch and flywheel.

Likely one of the most affordable swap options right now.

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/20/23 11:09 a.m.

Nissan CD009:

Found in the 350z, G35, etc. No official torque rating, but has been known to stand up to a lot of power and abuse. 

Used market is getting expensive between drift tax, and LS swap tax. Currently ~$1000 is common for a used CD009 transmission. Can be difficult to determine the exact iteration/model of the transmission without the VIN. 

Can purchase a new CD009/A from a dealership for under $2k

Requires an adapter to LS.

FABbot, Collins (poor customer service?), and ICT Billet have adapter plates that require cutting the factory bell housing off as it is a one piece transmission then uses standard bell housings.

LOJ Conversions and Sikky both have kits that do not require cutting the CD009 bell housing, but requires the corresponding custom flywheel. 

 


Racetruck Ron said:

Clutch choices suck for this. I love how mine shift but I loathe the stupid 6 puck clutch. And the berkeleyer is huge and the shifter is 18 miles behind the flywheel and it's not much cheaper than a T56 these days with Drift Tax

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/20/23 11:09 a.m.

BMW Transmissions:

ZF and Getrag are your main two BMW transmission manufacturers. In general the ZF transmissions are more highly regarded. Both are very compact, and in general are pretty good shifting transmissions. 

PMC Motorsport adapter plate requires the corresponding custom flywheel. ~$1500 for the full kit.

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/20/23 11:09 a.m.

Truck swaps / 4x4 swaps:

 

Nissan Frontier/Xterra:

GForce has an adapter to put an LS into your manual Frontier or Xterra. Not sure of any power ratings.

 

TR4050: 

Found in some 3500 series trucks…

 

NV4500:

Manual transmission found in GM trucks. Early models appear to need adapters similar to the LT t56 situation. Appears to be more of a truck transmission, not likely ideal for racing. 

 

AX15 / NV3550:

Jeep transmissions. Can be adapted to LS, doesn’t seem suited to racing

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/20/23 11:09 a.m.

TBD placeholder. 

RaabTheSaab
RaabTheSaab Reader
6/20/23 11:45 a.m.

Cool thread! I remember there used to be talk of using the WC t5 from fox mustangs which would hold up to lower powered (think stock 5.3/4.8 levels) swaps. I think the consensus was if you drove it with mechanical sympathy there shouldn't be too many issues, but I'm certainly no expert here. 

RacetruckRon
RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/20/23 12:17 p.m.
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) said:

Aisin AR5: 5-speed 

Found in GM Colorado/Canyon, Solstice/Sky, Polaris Slingshot and some others. 

Available used generally for pretty cheap. 

Requires “FABbot” adapter, and factory LS 4L60e bell housing. Bare adapter is ~$400.

Likely one of the most affordable swap options right now.

I believe this has the same input shaft spline as the T56/TR6060 so it works with all factory and aftermarket LS clutches. There's a couple more affordable options for the Fabbot style adapter if you look around the LS Facebook groups. 
The AR5 is very similar to the tried and true R154 in 2JZ platform. I know of a couple guys running this trans in high hp 4g63 and JZ builds

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Dork
6/20/23 12:18 p.m.

Would include shifting feel in your rankings. T56 the sucks based on my experience in my LS swap car.

ZF/Getrag BMW transmission >>> T56.

RacetruckRon
RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/20/23 12:26 p.m.
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) said:

Nissan CD009:

Found in the 350z, G35, etc. No official torque rating, but has been known to stand up to a lot of power and abuse. 

Used market is getting expensive between drift tax, and LS swap tax. Currently ~$1000 is common for a used CD009 transmission. 

Can still be purchased new OEM from Nissan or other suppliers, prices vary. 

Requires an adapter to LS. FABbot, Collins, and ICT Billet have adapter plates that require cutting the factory bell housing off as it is a one piece transmission then uses standard bell housings. Sikky has a kit that does not require cutting the CD009 bell housing, but requires their custom flywheel. 


Racetruck Ron said:

Clutch choices suck for this. I love how mine shift but I loathe the stupid 6 puck clutch. And the berkeleyer is huge and the shifter is 18 miles behind the flywheel and it's not much cheaper than a T56 these days with Drift Tax

Another problem with these is the iterative design updates that Nissan made to this trans over the years. The synchros and input shaft bearings changed throughout the years and are almost impossible to tell apart without looking up the VIN if the trans even has the vin plate anymore. This makes buying used difficult and makes getting a deal next to impossible. You can get a new CD009/A from a dealership for under $2k though. 
LOJ Conversions has a no cut adapter and has a great reputation in the Nissan world. Collins is really expensive for the part quality and poor customer service in my experience. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/20/23 1:06 p.m.
Olemiss540 said:

Would include shifting feel in your rankings. T56 the sucks based on my experience in my LS swap car.

ZF/Getrag BMW transmission >>> T56.

I highly encourage anyone with personal experience to share their opinions on shift feel, etc. I personally have not driven a T56 car, but I've had a few BMWs and they do shift decently, though not as good as a Miata in my opinion. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/20/23 1:07 p.m.
RacetruckRon said:
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) said:

Nissan CD009:

Found in the 350z, G35, etc. No official torque rating, but has been known to stand up to a lot of power and abuse. 

Used market is getting expensive between drift tax, and LS swap tax. Currently ~$1000 is common for a used CD009 transmission. 

Can still be purchased new OEM from Nissan or other suppliers, prices vary. 

Requires an adapter to LS. FABbot, Collins, and ICT Billet have adapter plates that require cutting the factory bell housing off as it is a one piece transmission then uses standard bell housings. Sikky has a kit that does not require cutting the CD009 bell housing, but requires their custom flywheel. 


Racetruck Ron said:

Clutch choices suck for this. I love how mine shift but I loathe the stupid 6 puck clutch. And the berkeleyer is huge and the shifter is 18 miles behind the flywheel and it's not much cheaper than a T56 these days with Drift Tax

Another problem with these is the iterative design updates that Nissan made to this trans over the years. The synchros and input shaft bearings changed throughout the years and are almost impossible to tell apart without looking up the VIN if the trans even has the vin plate anymore. This makes buying used difficult and makes getting a deal next to impossible. You can get a new CD009/A from a dealership for under $2k though. 
LOJ Conversions has a no cut adapter and has a great reputation in the Nissan world. Collins is really expensive for the part quality and poor customer service in my experience. 

Great info!

madmrak351
madmrak351 Reader
6/20/23 1:42 p.m.

In regards to the CD00X I worked at a Nissan dealer when the 350z first came out. I did at least 4 trans replacements for grinding shift complaints In the first year. 

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
6/20/23 2:14 p.m.

TKX/TKO/T5

https://images.holley.com/tkxgmall.jpg

(TKX in green)

The New TREMEC TKX - American Powertrain

The New TREMEC TKX - American Powertrain

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
6/20/23 2:23 p.m.

Good thread

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
6/20/23 2:27 p.m.

TR6060:

GM (General Motors) - 92236239 - 2009 G8 GXP TR6060 Transmission - Image 2

2010 SS TR6060 into 4th Gen FBody (PICS) - LS1TECH - Camaro and Firebird  Forum Discussion

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
6/20/23 2:29 p.m.

T56 Magnum:

https://i0.wp.com/americanpowertrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/TREMEC-Magnum-F-6-speed-2-623x1024-1.jpg?ssl=1

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/20/23 3:11 p.m.

In reply to STM317 :

Measurements are awesome, thanks!

84FSP
84FSP UberDork
6/20/23 3:27 p.m.

There are few manual trans, that I had driven, that can hold a candle to a Miata or S2K trans in terms of shift feel.  Most of the T56's are a bit blocky and heavy.  They take a lot of power and are easily and cheaply upgraded.  This thread has me wondering about the CD09 Nissan option as I didn't know adapting them was a thing.

buzzboy
buzzboy SuperDork
6/20/23 4:51 p.m.

SBC 4 Speeds: T10/Muncie for cars or SM420/SM465 for trucks

T10 and Muncie can handle stock power levels and shift better than some modern transmissions(looking at you T56).

SM420/SM465 are not easy or short shifting but can handle 6.0 torque fine in a light weight rig.

 

Require a aftermarket bellhousing and flywheel

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Dork
6/20/23 10:00 p.m.
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) said:
Olemiss540 said:

Would include shifting feel in your rankings. T56 the sucks based on my experience in my LS swap car.

ZF/Getrag BMW transmission >>> T56.

I highly encourage anyone with personal experience to share their opinions on shift feel, etc. I personally have not driven a T56 car, but I've had a few BMWs and they do shift decently, though not as good as a Miata in my opinion. 

Also consider weights as a t56 is a heavy beast. 

Jerico has some options. 

edizzle89
edizzle89 SuperDork
6/21/23 10:56 a.m.

The manual trans from a NA z32 300zx (RS5R30A) can be used as well and holds decent power.

 

There's a couple kits available but I used this kit when LS swapping my z31, I was able to use the turbo z31 manual trans but had to swap the bellhousing to a na z32 one to make it work.

https://www.crossmembers.com/products/ls-to-z32-adapter-kit

 

EDIT: the downside to this trans is the starter does mount on the side of the bellhousing on the passenger side, so the passenger footwell might need messaging depending on the chassis.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE SuperDork
6/21/23 11:36 a.m.

On the subject of T5 swaps, I have a quick writeup from someone in the past here named Novaderrik:

"novaderrik wrote: my research tells me that you can put any LS engine in front of any manual trans that can be put behind any other Chevy V8 by simply using a flywheel for a 99-03ish 6.0 2500HD truck ($75 or so anywhere) with a 5 speed and a pilot pushing from a 98-02 Camaro or Firebird with an LS1 and T56 (around $50 from GM as of a few months ago). the bellhousing bolts right up, you use whatever 11" clutch setup you want that's designed for a Chevy V8, and you can use whatever clutch fork/throwout bearing setup you want. hooking up any GM auto transmission is just as complicated- an aftermarket flexplate and a spacer where the torque converter fits into the back of the crankshaft and you can hook up any automatic from a powerglide to a 4L80E. GM really knows how to keep this stuff simple.. "

Not sure on how truthful it is, but I'm hoping so since I have a T5 sitting in my back barn right now :D

edizzle89
edizzle89 SuperDork
6/21/23 1:26 p.m.
GIRTHQUAKE said:

On the subject of T5 swaps, I have a quick writeup from someone in the past here named Novaderrik:

"novaderrik wrote: my research tells me that you can put any LS engine in front of any manual trans that can be put behind any other Chevy V8 by simply using a flywheel for a 99-03ish 6.0 2500HD truck ($75 or so anywhere) with a 5 speed and a pilot pushing from a 98-02 Camaro or Firebird with an LS1 and T56 (around $50 from GM as of a few months ago). the bellhousing bolts right up, you use whatever 11" clutch setup you want that's designed for a Chevy V8, and you can use whatever clutch fork/throwout bearing setup you want. hooking up any GM auto transmission is just as complicated- an aftermarket flexplate and a spacer where the torque converter fits into the back of the crankshaft and you can hook up any automatic from a powerglide to a 4L80E. GM really knows how to keep this stuff simple.. "

Not sure on how truthful it is, but I'm hoping so since I have a T5 sitting in my back barn right now :D

That's one thing I've always been curious about is why the LT1 T56 requires several things done to it to make it work with an LS when any other Chevy v8 manual trans is as simple as listed above.

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