“Out of sight, out of mind.” It’s a phrase that’s just perfect for transmissions. After all, tons of thought goes into squeezing out every possible pony from the engine, but often times the chosen transmission isn’t up to handling the extra output. This is especially common with LS engine and T56 six-speed transmission combinations. The stock T56 is a great trans and is easily capable of handling the output from a stock LS engine, or one that has been juiced up a bit. But as the power output is ratcheted up, or when the driver screws up a shift, weak links in the T56’s internals start to rear their ugly heads. Shift forks bend, output shafts twist, and gears grind into new and horrifying shapes. In short, it gets ugly.
Just like you can beef up an engine’s internals with fancy forged parts, the guts of a T56 can be made stronger too. This brings us to Rockland Standard Gear. They’re in the business of making transmissions stronger with smoother shifting. How much stronger is directly proportional to how much cash you have stuffed under your mattress. They have everything from a budget-minded, nearly-stock trans capable of handling 550 lb-ft of torque, all the way up to their mack daddy Tranzilla. It’s capable of handling an astonishing 1,200 hp and a 1,000 pounds of twist..
Since we didn’t have over five grand to spend on the one named after the big Tokyo-smashing lizard, and selling organs is illegal here in the US, we decided to have Rockland Standard Gear (RSG) toss together something a bit more in tune with the wallet of the average gearhead. Their Son of Tranzilla T56 has many of the same upgrades as the full-tilt Tranzilla and can easily handle up to 750 lb-ft of torque. Do you really need more than that?
So with camera in hand, we headed over to RSG for a look at what goes into their Son of Tranzilla transmission. After all, engines get all the glory, so the rest of the driveline deserves a little attention too.
The Tranzilla Difference The Tranzilla T56 is designed to handle up to 1,000 lb-ft of torque and is offered in a wide array of ratios. They come as steep as 2.29, or as short as 2.98 for first gear. All the remaining gear ratios can be suited for your specific needs, whether it’s drag racing, road racing, or just tearing up city streets. The gears have a less helical profile, which enables them to handle more torque. This makes the trans a bit noisier, but who cares? Strength is king when you’re at these power levels.