Convince me to put a TKX in my Dart

Arthur Sperotto

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Hey Arthur did you just wind up having to do the 2 cross cuts on the center hump or did you have to do the third that is up closer to the firewall?
Just those cuts. One front to back, and one side to side.

1668392275676.png
 

ESP47

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Just those cuts. One front to back, and one side to side.

View attachment 1716010345

Thanks the picture wasn't loading for me when I was looking over the thread yesterday. Not bad at all. I did the second cross cut already so I'll see how it fits after.

I need to call SST today. Noticed one of the ears has some strange machining marks on it.

IMG_20221113_155959082.jpg
 

BrianT

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I received an email today from Silver Sport Transmissions offering a 10% discount on Tremec TKX, T-5 and Magnum kits through cyber Monday.
 

ESP47

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Just to add to the TKX info...

I'm in the process of fabbing up the console location using a stock auto console with a 4 speed top plate.

If you use the standard shift location (closer to the tail shaft) and a standard 45* Hurst type shifter, the console will have to be moved too far toward the rear to where the front seats will both have to be pushed back pretty far with no adjustability forward because the console will block their ability to go forward. Also the console will be sitting too far on the passenger side since the shifter comes out of the center of the transmission tunnel and the transmission tunnels aren't centered in these cars.

The fix is I built a bracket that moves the shifter about 1 1/2" closer to the driver side and about 4" forward. This allows the console to move forward and sit a little closer to the driver side, which centers the console between the two seats. I'll get measurements later, once it's all fully fabbed up.

There are two issues left. One is if the shifter isn't fabbed far enough forward, when you shift into 2nd, 4th or reverse, the shifter bracket coming out of the transmission will hit the bottom part of the ash tray section of the console. You really have to fit the shifter in the console with the boot and make sure that the shifter is completely centered in the boot or even a smidge forward. A smidge backward and it'll come into contact with the ash tray.

The last issue is that the shifter will rub on the metal frame of the console shift boot when going into reverse because reverse is just a little more to the right than the pattern to get into 5th. I had to heat up the shift boot a bit and used a wood chisel to carefully separate the rubber boot from the metal frame. Then I used a die grinder to grind the inside of the frame by a 1/4" or so. I put the rubber back on, installed in the console and now the shifter doesn't rub on anything when throwing it over to reverse and you'd never know the work was done when looking at the top of the console.
 

340sFastback

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Just to add to the TKX info...

I'm in the process of fabbing up the console location using a stock auto console with a 4 speed top plate.

If you use the standard shift location (closer to the tail shaft) and a standard 45* Hurst type shifter, the console will have to be moved too far toward the rear to where the front seats will both have to be pushed back pretty far with no adjustability forward because the console will block their ability to go forward. Also the console will be sitting too far on the passenger side since the shifter comes out of the center of the transmission tunnel and the transmission tunnels aren't centered in these cars.

The fix is I built a bracket that moves the shifter about 1 1/2" closer to the driver side and about 4" forward. This allows the console to move forward and sit a little closer to the driver side, which centers the console between the two seats. I'll get measurements later, once it's all fully fabbed up.

There are two issues left. One is if the shifter isn't fabbed far enough forward, when you shift into 2nd, 4th or reverse, the shifter bracket coming out of the transmission will hit the bottom part of the ash tray section of the console. You really have to fit the shifter in the console with the boot and make sure that the shifter is completely centered in the boot or even a smidge forward. A smidge backward and it'll come into contact with the ash tray.

The last issue is that the shifter will rub on the metal frame of the console shift boot when going into reverse because reverse is just a little more to the right than the pattern to get into 5th. I had to heat up the shift boot a bit and used a wood chisel to carefully separate the rubber boot from the metal frame. Then I used a die grinder to grind the inside of the frame by a 1/4" or so. I put the rubber back on, installed in the console and now the shifter doesn't rub on anything when throwing it over to reverse and you'd never know the work was done when looking at the top of the console.
Kind of surprised that shift handle does not come out of console centered as shipped from SST? SSST claims they modify the tail shaft of trans and shifter so that shift handle will be centered in the console opening. But apparently that is not the case with yours. I would call SST and call them out for making that claim and then not delivering on it. Maybe they didn't ship a trans with the correct modification?
 

340sFastback

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Just to add to the TKX info...

I'm in the process of fabbing up the console location using a stock auto console with a 4 speed top plate.

If you use the standard shift location (closer to the tail shaft) and a standard 45* Hurst type shifter, the console will have to be moved too far toward the rear to where the front seats will both have to be pushed back pretty far with no adjustability forward because the console will block their ability to go forward. Also the console will be sitting too far on the passenger side since the shifter comes out of the center of the transmission tunnel and the transmission tunnels aren't centered in these cars.

The fix is I built a bracket that moves the shifter about 1 1/2" closer to the driver side and about 4" forward. This allows the console to move forward and sit a little closer to the driver side, which centers the console between the two seats. I'll get measurements later, once it's all fully fabbed up.

There are two issues left. One is if the shifter isn't fabbed far enough forward, when you shift into 2nd, 4th or reverse, the shifter bracket coming out of the transmission will hit the bottom part of the ash tray section of the console. You really have to fit the shifter in the console with the boot and make sure that the shifter is completely centered in the boot or even a smidge forward. A smidge backward and it'll come into contact with the ash tray.

The last issue is that the shifter will rub on the metal frame of the console shift boot when going into reverse because reverse is just a little more to the right than the pattern to get into 5th. I had to heat up the shift boot a bit and used a wood chisel to carefully separate the rubber boot from the metal frame. Then I used a die grinder to grind the inside of the frame by a 1/4" or so. I put the rubber back on, installed in the console and now the shifter doesn't rub on anything when throwing it over to reverse and you'd never know the work was done when looking at the top of the console.

The SST web site states "factory-correct shifter location so your car will retain factory look". They definitely did NOT deliver on that promise. So I would be on the phone telling them nope you need to fix it and do what you promised. I would NOT let them make a promise and then NOT deliver on it totally unacceptable:

TREMEC TKX, TREMEC Magnum & SST A41 Conversion Kits for 1967-1976 Mopar A-Body: Dart, Valiant, Barracuda, Duster, & Scamp

SST Shifter Position.jpg
 

Arthur Sperotto

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Mine is not a console car, but just to add my data to this. My shifter comes out perfectly centered on the tunnel, and SST told me this over the phone. Now, if the console in a bucket seat car is not centered over the tunnel, then I agree it will not be centered in the console. They were also clear with me that it would not come out in the factory opening of a 4 speed car (with the 4 speed hump), which I was okay with since I was going auto to manual.

If this is a true mistake they made, I am sure they would send you a correct shifter at no charge. They have a plethora of different designs for different cars.
 

ESP47

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The SST web site states "factory-correct shifter location so your car will retain factory look". They definitely did NOT deliver on that promise. So I would be on the phone telling them nope you need to fix it and do what you promised. I would NOT let them make a promise and then NOT deliver on it totally unacceptable:

TREMEC TKX, TREMEC Magnum & SST A41 Conversion Kits for 1967-1976 Mopar A-Body: Dart, Valiant, Barracuda, Duster, & Scamp

View attachment 1716024336

Appreciate the info but I'm honestly not too worried about it. I mean the 833 is a side loader and the TKX is a top loader so I wasn't expecting the shifter to be even close to the same position as the factory 4 speed would. I don't know what they mean about retaining the factory look because like Arthur said, the shifter is centered in the tunnel so the 4spd hump isn't needed. They didn't make any claims on the phone that the transmission would work out of the box with the console even though it looks like the website makes it possibly seem that way.

Maybe SST makes an adapter that changes the shifter position but I already finished making mine so I'm good with what I've got.

I might be doing a little extra work to get the shifter position perfect for the console but I'll have to do much less tunnel work. I'll probably only wind up using about 1/4 of the sheet metal they sent me for the tunnel because all I've got to do is patch up the rectangular hole I cut for the shifter and then use a small strip of metal to weld up the slits I cut further up the tunnel toward the firewall.
 

GoGrnDvl340

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Havent seen anyone mention exhaust. Does anyone have TTI headers and x pipe exhuast with this swap? Assuming it clears fine?
 

GoGrnDvl340

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Also, does anyone see a reason to buy a 4 speed console? I currently have the auto console? but dont see why I just couldn't get either an original 4 speed console TOP or buy the reproduction 4 speed console top and just use my auto console housing....seems like with the modifications to the tunnel you just weld the front and rear bracket in place wherever it is needed....
 

Arthur Sperotto

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I have TTI 1 7/8" race headers. I have more clearance than I did with the 727. Removing/reinstalling trans and headers is a breeze with the bellhousing being its own part, instead of being cast into the trans.

I run 3.5" mufflers after the collector with turn-downs, no X-pipe. I honestly think their full system would fit, since TTI says their x pipes clear TKO-500 and TKO-600 transmissions, which are larger.
 

340sFastback

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Appreciate the info but I'm honestly not too worried about it. I mean the 833 is a side loader and the TKX is a top loader so I wasn't expecting the shifter to be even close to the same position as the factory 4 speed would. I don't know what they mean about retaining the factory look because like Arthur said, the shifter is centered in the tunnel so the 4spd hump isn't needed. They didn't make any claims on the phone that the transmission would work out of the box with the console even though it looks like the website makes it possibly seem that way.

Maybe SST makes an adapter that changes the shifter position but I already finished making mine so I'm good with what I've got.

I might be doing a little extra work to get the shifter position perfect for the console but I'll have to do much less tunnel work. I'll probably only wind up using about 1/4 of the sheet metal they sent me for the tunnel because all I've got to do is patch up the rectangular hole I cut for the shifter and then use a small strip of metal to weld up the slits I cut further up the tunnel toward the firewall.
Sounds like you have aptitude/skills to get it to fit/work which is good. I am getting ready to order a T56 Magnum kit from them in a couple of weeks. Thanks to your feedback I now know this shifter coming up in middle of console opening is something that needs to be discussed with them. I know how to weld/fab ect but I would like for them to deliver on what they promise.
 

ESP47

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Also, does anyone see a reason to buy a 4 speed console? I currently have the auto console? but dont see why I just couldn't get either an original 4 speed console TOP or buy the reproduction 4 speed console top and just use my auto console housing....seems like with the modifications to the tunnel you just weld the front and rear bracket in place wherever it is needed....

I don't see a reason why you would need to buy a 4 speed console. The tunnel is going to wind up being much more similar to an auto tunnel rather than a 4 speed tunnel so I would think that the auto console with a 4 speed top plate would be a better fit unless there's something I'm not thinking of here.
 

ESP47

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Sounds like you have aptitude/skills to get it to fit/work which is good. I am getting ready to order a T56 Magnum kit from them in a couple of weeks. Thanks to your feedback I now know this shifter coming up in middle of console opening is something that needs to be discussed with them. I know how to weld/fab ect but I would like for them to deliver on what they promise.

Now that I think about it, I bet if you flipped the shifter position to the position closer to the firewall and used the shift adapter that places the shifter closer to the driver side (Tremec TKX conversion in A-body!), I bet that would put the shifter in about the same position as stock and around the same position mine is in with the home made adapter.

But what I forgot to mention in my first post was that I used the BHS578 crossmember hoop instead of just merely cutting the torsion bar crossmember and leaving it disconnected at the top. If you use this hoop, you can't flip the shifter position because the hoop blocks it. You'd have to fab up something much more difficult than a shifter adapter in order to be able to have some sort of hoop across the top as well as the shifter position flipped. That or buy that bigger crossmember hoop but that means your floor hump is going to be quite a bit bigger.

The fabrication was pretty simple. I just cut two small pieces of flat stock and put them together to create a spacer. Then I cut another piece long enough to move the shifter forward. Tacked the flat stock together, drilled 4 holes and that's all it took. I'm not very good at this so if I can do it, anyone can lol
 

72bluNblu

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The 4-speed console just has a section cut out of the side so it clears the A-body 4 speed hump and shifter, using a 4 speed console plate with the auto console is no problem (same thing I did).

And the console itself is still pretty much centered, I think the factory measurements only offset it slightly. The rest of the large offset in the shifter opening in the 4 speed hump is taken care of the by the shift lever itself, an A-body 4 speed console shift handle has a large offset to bring the stick back to the middle.

SH055-1.jpg


With my T56 the shifter is dead center in the transmission tunnel, and other than moving the console back to deal with the shifter location being further back on the T56 I didn't have any issues with getting the shift handle to sit in the middle of the 4 speed top plate on the console. If anything my B-body pistol grip shift handle is still offset slightly to the driver side and it still clears ok. And I would have been time and effort ahead to start with just a plain automatic transmission tunnel. I had converted my car to an 833 and added the holes and 4 speed hump and I basically had to make it back into an automatic transmission hump and then modify from there when I did the T56 install.

There are a few pictures back a couple pages showing the shifter opening and handle and the console location on my Duster
 

GoGrnDvl340

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I have TTI 1 7/8" race headers. I have more clearance than I did with the 727. Removing/reinstalling trans and headers is a breeze with the bellhousing being its own part, instead of being cast into the trans.

I run 3.5" mufflers after the collector with turn-downs, no X-pipe. I honestly think their full system would fit, since TTI says their x pipes clear TKO-500 and TKO-600 transmissions, which are larger.
so just in review, you bought and used this on your swap?

Hurst 67520001 Hurst Transmission Crossmember & Floor Brace for 1967-1976 Mopar A-bodies
 

ESP47

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The 4-speed console just has a section cut out of the side so it clears the A-body 4 speed hump and shifter, using a 4 speed console plate with the auto console is no problem (same thing I did).

And the console itself is still pretty much centered, I think the factory measurements only offset it slightly. The rest of the large offset in the shifter opening in the 4 speed hump is taken care of the by the shift lever itself, an A-body 4 speed console shift handle has a large offset to bring the stick back to the middle.

View attachment 1716024571

With my T56 the shifter is dead center in the transmission tunnel, and other than moving the console back to deal with the shifter location being further back on the T56 I didn't have any issues with getting the shift handle to sit in the middle of the 4 speed top plate on the console. If anything my B-body pistol grip shift handle is still offset slightly to the driver side and it still clears ok. And I would have been time and effort ahead to start with just a plain automatic transmission tunnel. I had converted my car to an 833 and added the holes and 4 speed hump and I basically had to make it back into an automatic transmission hump and then modify from there when I did the T56 install.

There are a few pictures back a couple pages showing the shifter opening and handle and the console location on my Duster

After messing around with it, I'm genuinely surprised that you are able to use the factory top plate with the T56. If the spacing in the shift pattern between 1st and 5th is the same on a TKX vs. a T56, then I just can't see how you are able to get the T56 into reverse without running into clearance issues. My 5 speed pattern basically takes up the entire shift opening.

With my shifter centered in the boot as perfect as I can get it and the console sitting on the hump without the brackets being tacked in, I still can't seem to shift into reverse without the shifter pulling the entire console toward the rear a bit. I felt underneath and I have clearance. What I think is happening is the boot itself pulls so tight in reverse that it pulls the entire console backward. It doesn't do this in 2nd or 4th. I can hold the console down tight and shift into reverse without it moving but I can definitely tell its tight and would probably cause premature damage to the boot at some point. I guess the one saving grace is that you're not in reverse very often.

Had the wife sit in the car and she can't really reach the pedals well enough with the console centered the way I have it. I think the only way to do it would be to shorten the shifter bracket by about an inch, but then that would put the ash tray an inch closer to the shifter and I'd have to try cutting away the ash tray area as much as possible to get the clearance I need without it ever being noticeable from the top. Not sure if that's possible.
 

340sFastback

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After messing around with it, I'm genuinely surprised that you are able to use the factory top plate with the T56. If the spacing in the shift pattern between 1st and 5th is the same on a TKX vs. a T56, then I just can't see how you are able to get the T56 into reverse without running into clearance issues. My 5 speed pattern basically takes up the entire shift opening.

With my shifter centered in the boot as perfect as I can get it and the console sitting on the hump without the brackets being tacked in, I still can't seem to shift into reverse without the shifter pulling the entire console toward the rear a bit. I felt underneath and I have clearance. What I think is happening is the boot itself pulls so tight in reverse that it pulls the entire console backward. It doesn't do this in 2nd or 4th. I can hold the console down tight and shift into reverse without it moving but I can definitely tell its tight and would probably cause premature damage to the boot at some point. I guess the one saving grace is that you're not in reverse very often.

Had the wife sit in the car and she can't really reach the pedals well enough with the console centered the way I have it. I think the only way to do it would be to shorten the shifter bracket by about an inch, but then that would put the ash tray an inch closer to the shifter and I'd have to try cutting away the ash tray area as much as possible to get the clearance I need without it ever being noticeable from the top. Not sure if that's possible.
Could it be that bracket you had to fab up causing the issues because SST failed to provide a trans that centered the shift handle in the console opening like they promise in writing on their web site? 72blunblue does not have any "adapter" to move his shifter on his setup. I would imagine a bracket that moves the shift handle 3 inches also changes the angles under the console when the shifter is moved? Just my two cents I feel it is totally unacceptable for SST to claim "factory like appearance" and "we custom make shifters tail housings for perfect fit" and then you have a shift handle 3 inches off? Its looking to me like I won't be giving SST my business because of your shifter being that far off despite SST claims of "perfect fit". But I do thank you for posting up your experience struggles for the rest of use to learn from and use as part of our own purchase decisions.
 

ESP47

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Could it be that bracket you had to fab up causing the issues because SST failed to provide a trans that centered the shift handle in the console opening like they promise in writing on their web site? 72blunblue does not have any "adapter" to move his shifter on his setup. I would imagine a bracket that moves the shift handle 3 inches also changes the angles under the console when the shifter is moved? Just my two cents I feel it is totally unacceptable for SST to claim "factory like appearance" and "we custom make shifters tail housings for perfect fit" and then you have a shift handle 3 inches off? Its looking to me like I won't be giving SST my business because of your shifter being that far off despite SST claims of "perfect fit". But I do thank you for posting up your experience struggles for the rest of use to learn from and use as part of our own purchase decisions.

It could be possible but the bracket doesn't change the throw of the shifter itself. Once I center the shifter in the boot, it doesn't move anymore to the right or left with the bracket than it would without it. It's workable, but it's tight. Which is why it seems crazy to me that you could then throw the shifter another link to the right to get into reverse with a T56. Not that I don't believe 72blu because he's one of the most knowledgeable posters on the site. It's more me wondering if I'm missing something on my install.

Remember my post above, I'm using the crossmember hoop that blocks the ability to move the shifter on the tailhousing. That in itself "voids the promise" that SST can give the perfect fit. I wouldn't sour on them before you call them and ask them. Flipping the shifter position and using an offset shifter like in the post I linked to could be all that is required to have a perfect fit. So far their customer service has been excellent.
 

DionR

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I'm a little surprised SST would make that claim for an A-Body. Even when it was Keisler, they didn't have the shifter over to the left like stock. They modified the TKO to make it fit better in an A-Body, but nothing more than that unless I am forgetting something.

I do see some TKX pictures showing a custom shifter and modified housing, but as far as I know that was only American Powertrain doing it.

Powertrain-Announces-BaconShift-Promotion-1024x512.jpg


No idea if the above setup would fit in the stock hole or not.
 

DionR

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I stand corrected. SST is doing offset shifters for B and E-Bodies.

TKX_Mopar_B_E_Body_1971-1974.png


Looks too far back to work on an A-Body, and doesn't appear they do anything similar to the tail housing or shifter for the A-Body trans.

The American Powertrain mod'ed trans kind of looks like it might fit in the right spot.
 
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