There are few parts that we truly lust after. There are the all-aluminum Donovan big-blocks and the 15-inch Baer brakes or that set of twin turbos, but what we are concerned with in this story is the T56 six-speed transmission. With the countless benefits that can be had with a T56, its hard to resist not bolting one in. Unfortunately, there is one major headache involved with the installationthe late-model factory hydraulic-clutch package. Setting up the factory clutch master with its compound angles is anything but easy. So CHP went in search of an alternative. What we found is the T56 OEM Conversion Kit from Weir Hot Rod Products.
Designed to adapt a production T56 transmission to any 55-96 Chevy V-8 with a standard bellhousing bolt pattern, the Weir T56 OEM Conversion Kit offers a number of benefits beyond the elimination of the factory hydraulics. Not only does the Weir kit retain your existing standard flywheel and clutch combo, it will also allow you to reuse your block-mounted starter in most cases. The Weir Hot Rod Products T56 kit can reap the T56 benefits while reducing some of the installation hassles and costs.
Before we get to the installation, we will note that some fabrication is necessary for this kit to work. Since the system uses a hydraulic throwout bearing, it will necessitate that you obtain and install a clutch master. This may require a fair amount of creating, fitting, and drilling to attach it to your pedal assembly. Or you may choose to use one of the various pedal assemblies available through companies like Wilwood and Coleman that can make the swap a little easier. (We used a pedal assembly from Coleman that is designed to use the required race-style master cylinder.) Whatever way you choose to go, just remember some fabrication skills are required for this system to work, but this may be an easier alternative to the factory hydraulics.