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Old 02-12-2013, 09:12 PM   #1
Team Rockfish
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Default Auto to Manual Conversion

I was going to be buying the complete conversion kit from Keisler to get rid of the automatic tranny and install the Tremec.
Has anyone run into problems doing this?
I have two specific questions.
I have a ZZ4 series engine in the car and would having headers with sidepipes be in the way of the bellcrank or linkage?
Second, does the dash need to come out to install the new pedals?
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:16 PM   #2
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If need be you can get a hydraulic clutch linkage from Keisler to avoid any header problems but I think you should be able to get headers that fit with the stock mechanical clutch linkage.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:13 PM   #3
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I see you have a 78, I just did this last summer.

To change the pedals you'll have to remove the column, brake booster and gauge cluster.

It's not horrible as long as you're methodical.

Click the image to open in full size.

That's as bad as it gets. I took the time to clean up some wiring that had been hacked by previous installers and also cleaned up some of the rusty stuff under there. Good time to lube the speedo cable, check all of your bulbs, fix your clock, etc.

I posted a thread on this a couple months back and if I remember when I get home tonight I'll link you back to it.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:23 PM   #4
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Thank you much!!! appreciate your effort
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Priya View Post
If need be you can get a hydraulic clutch linkage from Keisler to avoid any header problems but I think you should be able to get headers that fit with the stock mechanical clutch linkage.
Only thing is it's had the headers since the engine swap so I guess we'll find out about clearance once the tranny sway begins.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark Racer View Post
I see you have a 78, I just did this last summer.

To change the pedals you'll have to remove the column, brake booster and gauge cluster.

It's not horrible as long as you're methodical.

Click the image to open in full size.

That's as bad as it gets. I took the time to clean up some wiring that had been hacked by previous installers and also cleaned up some of the rusty stuff under there. Good time to lube the speedo cable, check all of your bulbs, fix your clock, etc.

I posted a thread on this a couple months back and if I remember when I get home tonight I'll link you back to it.
How many hours do you think it took you to do the pedal install and get everything back together?
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Team Rockfish View Post
How many hours do you think it took you to do the pedal install and get everything back together?
If your goal is to just do the pedal swap, you can get it done in a day.

Make sure you have new pedal bushings, I replaced those, the spring, descaled the box and put a coat of paint on it.


Here's my thread:
http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c3-g...-pace-car.html

Note how I organized everything, real critical for this.

To do the shifter, you're going to have to have the center console off and you'll need to cut a hole in the floor, and come up with a way to cover the hole. Keisler sells a kit for that I believe.

You'll also have to figure out a clutch safety switch or neutral safety switch if you're interested. I used the neutral switch wire on the TKO but set it up as a feed to a relay. My 78 will only start if the shifter is in neutral.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:50 AM   #8
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I'm doing this conversion as we speak. I bought the Keisler RS 500 instead of the Tremec. I went with the hydraulic clutch set up to avoid the hassle of welding a ball to the frame for the clutch linkage. I have sand rails with hydraulic clutches and they work great. The hardest part of the swap is removing and reinstalling the pedal assembly. You need to remove the steering column which is not to hard. I'm not sure that you need to take the dash completely apart but in my case I removed the entire dash because I'm re-wiring and installing Vintage air. The Keisler kit comes with what you need to convert the pedal assembly which is fairly simple. The kit does not include the plastic bushings so order those ahead of time. I also replaced the brake switch since everything was apart. The kit does not include a clutch alignment tool. I don't know why they don't include it. I guess they save four bucks. Do not use a universal alignment toll. They're worthless. My kit came with the Quicktime bellhousing and the fit is tight so the clutch alignment has to be dead nuts on.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:56 AM   #9
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If the headers are made for C3 Corvettes, they will most likely clear factory clutch linkage
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom00799 View Post
I'm doing this conversion as we speak. I bought the Keisler RS 500 instead of the Tremec. I went with the hydraulic clutch set up to avoid the hassle of welding a ball to the frame for the clutch linkage. I have sand rails with hydraulic clutches and they work great. The hardest part of the swap is removing and reinstalling the pedal assembly. You need to remove the steering column which is not to hard. I'm not sure that you need to take the dash completely apart but in my case I removed the entire dash because I'm re-wiring and installing Vintage air. The Keisler kit comes with what you need to convert the pedal assembly which is fairly simple. The kit does not include the plastic bushings so order those ahead of time. I also replaced the brake switch since everything was apart. The kit does not include a clutch alignment tool. I don't know why they don't include it. I guess they save four bucks. Do not use a universal alignment toll. They're worthless. My kit came with the Quicktime bellhousing and the fit is tight so the clutch alignment has to be dead nuts on.
The ball has to be welded to the frame, it's not a bolt on deal?
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Team Rockfish View Post
The ball has to be welded to the frame, it's not a bolt on deal?
If you get the '80-81 bracket its bolt on. The earlier ones were weld on. I bought a bolt on one for the conversion I'm doing on my '79 but I'm thinking about making one from heavier steel - some on this forum have said the stock ones are flimsy and will flex, making the clutch mechanism sloppy.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:35 AM   #12
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I did some work on my trans tunnel as well. When the auto shifter is removed, there is a rather large indentation.

I flattened all that out, cut the hole to size, and welded in some new metal. Stock rubber boot and all wiring looks good. Took some work though.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:59 PM   #13
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Pics of the hydraulic clutch master install?

How do you like it?

Im looking at doing the same for my Pace Car...

What other hurdles besides a different clutch and starter, and cutting a hole in the Tunnel?
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:32 PM   #14
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Hi mate, haven't seen it mentioned although I may have missed it?

Does your block have the threaded hole for the linkage ball thing?
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:13 PM   #15
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Here's pics of the hydraulic clutch set-up.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:00 PM   #16
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Some pics of the bolt on bracket on my 81. And more pics of how I did the tunnel.

Hope it helps.


Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:10 PM   #17
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commander 47 - did you weld in a new plate for the tunnel?


Quote:
Originally Posted by DucatiDon View Post
Pics of the hydraulic clutch master install?

How do you like it?

Im looking at doing the same for my Pace Car...

What other hurdles besides a different clutch and starter, and cutting a hole in the Tunnel?
My conversion was on a pace car as well.

Are you starting with a manual? (the "different clutch and starter" part of your question threw me off.)

If you're starting with a manual, the TKO 500/600 will pretty much bolt in if you get one with the right housing (Keisler, American PowerTrain and others). You'll need a crossmember adapter and a new driveshaft.

If you're starting with an auto, you can likely re-use your starter, but you'll need to fabricate a plate. The 78 floor pan has a different setup for autos than manuals, and they don't play nicely. I don't know about later years, but earlier years the floors were the same.

Last edited by Shark Racer; 02-18-2013 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:24 PM   #18
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As another option, you could pick up a T56 6 speed if you don't mind doing a few mods and cutting the tunnel for the shifter location. Here's a thread I did on mine.

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c3-t...gs-list-7.html
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:26 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKE80 View Post
As another option, you could pick up a T56 6 speed if you don't mind doing a few mods and cutting the tunnel for the shifter location. Here's a thread I did on mine.

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c3-t...gs-list-7.html
Honestly after doing my TKO I wish I'd just done the T56, as I had to cut the floor anyways.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:02 PM   #20
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[QUOTE=Shark Racer;1583158780]commander 47 - did you weld in a new plate for the tunnel?




I didn't weld in a plate. I know some guys to that.

There is a large indentation where the automatic shifter goes. Unfortunately I do not have a good before picture.

I used my hammer and body anvil to beat the indentation up. Because the metal had been stretched to create the bulge, I cut a slot to remove the extra metal and make it all nice and level.

Then I welded the seam together.

After all that work, you still have to enlarge the hole for the four speed.

I made a cardboard template and cut the hole to stock specifications and it all fit together perfectly.

I will say something else that was a real PITA. I dropped the motor and trans in together.

You will never get the new trans in this way with the crossmember in place.

You have to bring the cross member up, with the linkage attached to it.

Once it's all up, you cannot place the little tool in the shifter to adjust the forks.

If I ever were to do this again, I would try to bring the tranny up with the crossmember and linkage already attached and adjusted. Not sure this is possible.

But I'm just one man in my home garage. I don't have fancy lifts or anything.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:02 PM
 
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