We love the "latest and greatest" as much as the next gearhead, so when Classic Motorsports asked for a volunteer to try swapping a T-56 Magnum in place of a standard T-56, we were on it like a fat kid on a free donut. Our '68 project car is regularly flogged around the track, and while we really liked the current T-56 in the car, the Fifth and Sixth gear ratios weren't optimal. We also liked the idea of the Magnum's purported silky-smooth shifting.
What showed up to our shop was one of the first Magnums to hit the street (PN TUET7477, serial number 77). At that time Classic Motorsports Group was putting their swap kit together and wanted to know what differences there were between the two generations of Tremec six-speeds. The T-56 is a hugely popular, aftermarket transmission, and knowing the differences would greatly help those looking to upgrade their T-56 to the Magnum, or those who were ready to buy a T-56, but are now considering the Magnum. It's nice to know that Classic Motorsports does their homework before shipping orders to customers.
While we expected some drama, the overall swap went pretty smoothly and the tweaks required were well within the average gearhead's skill set. After getting the transmission in the car and hitting the road, we were immediately impressed with how smooth the Magnum shifted. It's great when the marketing hype actually pans out to be accurate. With a 0.63 Sixth gear ratio, we're now able to actually use Sixth gear on the freeway without bogging down the engine. Since the install, we've logged a few track events and the new Magnum hasn't missed a beat. Looks like Classic Motorsports and Tremec have hit one out of the park with this new-generation six-speed transmission.
Technology In A Box Since we were swapping out a T-56 for a Magnum, we were able to reuse many of our parts. But what if you're going from a TH350, Muncie, or some other trans, to the new Magnum? Well, Classic Motorsports has made the swap a far less painful event by bundling together complete swap kits. The Basic kit ($3,095) includes the trans, mechanical cable or VSS pigtail, electrical connectors for reverse lockout and light, 31-spline yoke, Hurst shift knob, Energy Suspension trans mount, pilot bearing, and hardware. The Deluxe kit ($3,745) adds a custom Inland Empire Driveline steel driveshaft, crossmember, console emblem, and an optional Hurst offset shifter. The Elite kit ($4,260) adds a nodular iron flywheel, performance clutch assembly, and aluminum bellhousing. They also offer a hydraulic kit ($545), and you can upgrade both the clutch and bellhousing to suit your application.