The T-56 six speed manual transmission was originally designed and built by Borg-Warner for the Dodge Viper and came to be used in a wide range of performance oriented of vehicles from General Motors, Dodge, and Ford Motor Company. The transmission later was built by Tremec Corp, although nothing changed internally. The T-56 has been succeeded by the Tremec TR-6060 transmission in many former T-56 applications, as well as applications requiring greater strength than the T-56 could offer.
Tremec is Transmission Technologies Corporation which specializes in manual transmissions. Currently building some of the Borg Warner Manual transmissions. Being one of the first high performance 6 speeds on the market made it very popular with hot rodders, who were the first people to adapt this transmission for custom usage.
As 6 speed stick shift transmissions became more popular, the above manufacturers started adapting them for use in certain factory ”muscle” cars. It was the only 6 speed manual transmission capable of handling high horsepower at that time.
A local friend of mine (Don) and a shop owner has a small personal collection of the early 60′s and 70′s Mopar/Dodge/Plymouth oddball muscle cars and products. He transplanted one of the original 426 cubic inch Hemi head engines in a 1977 Dodge pickup truck. Well he wanted something more modern than a 4 speed transmission, so we consulted and the T56 was very easily adaptable.
To say the least, so far it has held up well under unimaginable horsepower and weight, and provided the convenience of 2 more forward gears to take advantage a tiny bit of extra fuel mileage and overall drive-ability improvements.
By and large, the T56 was a heck of a good manual transmission with very few if any upgrades are needed upon repair or rebuild other than making sure you buy factory made replacement parts, especially the bearings.
So, if you are looking for something to replace the old 4 or 5 speed in your older car, what a great choice, minimal differences to perform a swap and a pick up of perhaps 3 to 6 miles per gallon of gas.
If you have a vehicle that came from the factory with a T56 manual transmission, the stage is already set. We have the factory replacement units in stock and ready for immediate shipment. If your interests surround a high performance application like my friend Don, call and speak with a trained transmission counselor about how to choose the best T56 application for your custom project.