TKO 600 ....Anyone done one?

Transmission and Drivetrain Tech

  1. kanders

    kanders Well-Known Member

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    Time to get this Mopar project moving again. I am ready to do the Tremec TKO 600 5 speed conversion and would appreciate any advice from someone who has done it. I know Quick time makes the bellhousing and the trans mount needs to be modified but I need details. I spoke to a fellow at Keisler who sells a complete kit but he's 3-4 weeks to ship and I'd really like to get the engine in and light this puppy. He also said I could use my Lakewood bellhousing and remachine the register hole and redrill mounting holes.Anybody? Kev
     
  2. Mr Man

    Mr Man Well-Known Member

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    Lots of discussion here:

    http://www.forabodiesonly.com/mopar/showthread.php?t=85637

    I'm halfway into my TKO600 install (I posted pics in the attached link), using a QuickTime bellhousing and fabbing my own crossmember. Not sure if I can be of any assistance but feel free to ask me questions.

    Scott
     
  3. kanders

    kanders Well-Known Member

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    Wow, kinda overwhelming. When keisler told me the TKO goes into an A body without cutting the torsion crossmember I didn't realise that their case is modified to do that, not a stock case. Just another fly in the ointment, if this keeps up I might not be driving the Duster till next year! Thanks for the link Scott, looks like you did some nice fab work but I'm trying to do mods that are easily reversible for a proper restoration later. Kev
     
  4. todd_f

    todd_f Member

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    I have installed the Keisler TKO 600 in my '70 Dart, and let me tell you it was no picnic. Although, that should not detour you from doing it because once it is in and running it is sweet! Are you stuck on using the TKO 600? I happen to have a never been used, still new in box TKO 500 with the hydraulic throwout bearing I'd sell to you. And yes, the hydraulic is the way to go, such a smooth and easy clutch pedal. I would even trace out the transmission mount so u could build it. Have you already had your Lakewood bell housing in your car? Only reason i ask is that some people say they have had fitment issues with them, not to the engines or the transmissions, but fitting into the tunnel. Quicktime is supposed to be much narrower. The fitment issue might have been on the early a bodies though......I don't remember. I ended up using the one that Keisler provided (which took about 2-3 months after i ordered it to arrive). If you have any questions, just ask.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Burntorange70

      Burntorange70 Well-Known Member

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      I talked to a guy at a car show that had a keisler TKO. He still had to cut his crossmember.
       
    • todd_f

      todd_f Member

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      Ya, i had to cut mine too. I didn't have to cut the whole thing out though, just the flanges on each side, then there was planty of room.
       
    • todd_f

      todd_f Member

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      planty of room? Wow i need to use my spell check more often.
       
    • kanders

      kanders Well-Known Member

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      Thanks for the input guys. Todd, I had decided on a TKO 600 because I will be drag racing the car and I wanted the extra strength over the TKO 500. I don't have the car on a hoist right now to check this but if one of you knows whether or not a person could completely remove the factory crossmember, fab a complete one like Scott did then later replace the original one with out pemanent damage to the car. This car was originally an automatic so somewhere down the road I would be replacing the forward part of the tunnel anyway. If this mod could be successfully done I would probably opt for a Gen III Viper 6 spd like I originally wanted to. The reason i dropped the Idea for the Viper trans is because Keisler said it requires a lot of mod to the crossmember. Kev
       
    • kanders

      kanders Well-Known Member

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      Todd, did you use the Keisler TKO or a stock one. If you used the Keisler, what kind of mod was made to the case? I do have the Lakewood bell in the car right now but no clutch linkage installed and no headers yet. Just mounted it in to get it off the shop floor for the winter. It fits fine to this point. Kev
       
    • LXguy

      LXguy Well-Known Member

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      TKO isn't the greatest for drag racing. Lots of them have problems locking people out of gear at decently high RPMs. There are mods to fix this, but I don't know the details.

      With the things they can do with T-5s these days, I'd seriously look into that instead. Much lighter, less horsepower to turn, etc. The G-force and Astro (A-5) T-5s will take as much abuse as a TKO, and shift better too.

      I think Quick Time makes a bell for that too.

      Steve
       
    • todd_f

      todd_f Member

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      Hey Kev, I used the Keisler TKO in my car. What Keisler does to the transmission is cut a chunk out of the front top portion of the TKO so that it will fit around the crossmember, then they put a new cover over the cut out. I have heard of the TKO's locking people out of gear, but i think that was with some of the first ones that come out. There is also a pretty precise bell housing run out you are supposed to have, that may have been some of the shifting problems in the past. I use mine on the street and the drag strip. So far it takes the abuse that my 408 can put out shifting at 6000 rpm. As far as the viper 6 speed goes, you have to put in a new transmission tunnel and build a new crossmember for it to fit. I am not sure how they get the shifter in the right place though. There are some pretty good builds on here that shows the process some of these guys have gone through to put the 6 speed in.
       
    • kanders

      kanders Well-Known Member

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      Todd, which final drive ratio did you get and why do you have the TKO 500. It sounds like you haven't had any shifting issues, what are the particulars of your car:
      HP, gear ratio, 1/4 mile times. Are you glad you did the conversion? I would love to see a picture of the modified case to do the mod myself, I have a machine shop and work with billet aluminum all day long so I don't have a problem cutting into the case so long as I know I'm not doing it in a place that would compromise the structural integrity of the transmission. Thanks, Kev
       
    • kanders

      kanders Well-Known Member

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      Steve I'm checking their website now, looks interesting. Kev
       
    • Longgone

      Longgone John/68 Barracuda & Dart

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      I`ve got the TKO-600 from Keisler in my Barracuda. It`s behind a 500 ci. RB big block with a Lakewood bellhousing and uses a hydraulic clutch. It required only minimal cutting of the tunnel (two small areas about 6 x 6 in. sq. each) and no modifications to the rear torsion bar mount. Keisler supplies a proprietary rear crossmember. It was very easy to install, Keisler did the machining of the bellhousing and supplied the driveshaft. They put together a great kit to do this modification. Although you may be able to piece together the parts to put this trans in your car the Keisler kit is comprehensive and makes it super easy to install.
       
    • kanders

      kanders Well-Known Member

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      I can do the machining of the bellhousing myself if necessary,would only take 3 or 4 hours. The problem with dealing with Keisler is that they say they have a 3-4 week backlog and from all I've read about them, it's more likely 6 weeks by the time it gets to me in western Canada. I'm not really prepared to wait that long and possibly longer, so I'm trying to find the quickest and most cost effective way to make this happen. Kev
       
    • kanders

      kanders Well-Known Member

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      I spoke to someone at American Powertrain today about Tko 600,s and T-5 5 speeds.
      Some really interesting information about both, pro's and cons. The T-5 is smaller and lighter but has the shift rail along the top so there seems to be some question about clearance to the torsion bar mount and shifter position. I'm on the hunt for a core T-5 to try a fittment in the Duster before I order a haevy duty (race modified) T-5. If anybody has any input, fire away. Kev
       
    • inkjunkie

      inkjunkie Well-Known Member

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      might want to pm mshred, he has a t-5 in his car i think....
       
    • kanders

      kanders Well-Known Member

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      Thanks, I'll contact him. Kev
       
    • kanders

      kanders Well-Known Member

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      Well, as usual I'm battling over the decision of which 5 speed transmission to install in the Duster. There is some good info on this site regarding TKO and T-5 transmissions. I've had some members PM me with some additional information and opinions about this subject and I appreciate the input. The way it stands, the TKO is stronger but needs a chunk of the case removed (which I can't see as a good thing) and costs alot just to do that mod and also needs mods to the torsion bar crossmember. The guys who sell both types of transmissions admit that alot of people who get a TKO don't like the notchy shifting but get used to it. The T-5 is lighter, smaller, shifts more smoothly and has less
      parasitic HP loss but isn't as strong. Even with internal modifications to make it drag race ready (G Force or American Powertrain) it's not as strong as the TKO 600. So, what to do, flip a coin? Stay Tuned! Kev
       
    • mshred

      mshred The Green Manalishi

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      Kev, you know my opinion already, but i forgot to mention that liberty for the time being is selling their modified tko's (upgraded shifter pads and rails to eliminate any and all chances of upper rpm shifting problems) for the same price as a regular new TKO. Definatly something i would look into...like i said, i wouldnt do the t5 again, im waiting for it to heave itself so i can stick a 4 gear in it...the problem with any of these aluminum case transmissions is that they cant take the abuse that the iron case trannies can i.e. 833, toploader, nash, jerico, etc....most all t5 failures are from case flex, and even with the upgraded g-force case its still a problem...you know my opinion, stay away, but whatever you choose goodluck and i hope it lasts for you! keep us updated!
       
    • mopar340dave

      mopar340dave Well-Known Member

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    • kanders

      kanders Well-Known Member

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      Richmond looks interesting but the 5 speed is 1 to 1 final ratio. No good for my 4:30 gears, the 6 speed is much larger. Interesting though is that when I took the pumpkin out to inspect it after buying the car, the ring gear had the double diamond stamped in it. I didn't know who the manufacturer was till looking on the Richmond gear site.... bingo! Kev
       
    • Revhendo

      Revhendo Master ACME Tech

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      Remember, the trick with the Richmond 5 speed isn't the final drive, but the first forward gears. I've done several Richmond swaps (non-Mopar) and changed the diff gears to something in the 3.0 range. Works like a charm. The downside is that the shift linkage takes up alot of real estate on the side of the trans and I don't know for sure where the shifter would end up in an A body.
       
    • kanders

      kanders Well-Known Member

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      Ya, I read the site info and it sounds like a good idea if you are starting from scratch, but to put more money and work into changing gears when the diff is new and ready to go doesn't make sense to me at this point.
      I honestly have to say that right now I'm leaning toward the T-5. All the info I've received up to now on T-5's is based on guys slapping a stock T-5 into a car cause it was cheap and then when it finally blows up (usually after a 2 or 3 years of street/strip use) they say the T-5 isn't strong enough. The strongest stock T-5 built was only intended for 330 FT Lbs.of torque and yet people are surprised how long they hold up behind a 450 or 500 ft lb engine in stock form. Now I just have to decide on the super
      T-5 from American Powertrain or the G Force(more money and longer wait but beefier case). If I was to go with the TKO 600 I would not use a stock one and by the time Liberty adds the mods to make it shift properly it's about the same cost as the G force T-5. Keep in mind that the quickest I can make this car run at our track without a roll cage is 11.5 sec. I'm not talking about a 10 sec car. Kev
       
    • inkjunkie

      inkjunkie Well-Known Member

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      one of the knocks i have heard about the tko is it does not shifting at high rpm. former co-worker had one behind a blown sbc, if care was not used when grabbing gears at full throttle it would just lock up, as he called it. anybody here anything on the mcleod unit yet? i know passon performance was working on a 5 speed 833 cased design, but i have read somewhere that it was going to be around $5k, and that was for just the trans......
       
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