Installing a WSP Tremec Transmission into a 1969 F Body
This is a verbatim write-up by Matt Purdy. He originally posted it on Team Camaro’s tech discussion board on 05-24-2002 07:35 AM, Special thanks to Matt!
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Just finished the installation of the WSP GM TREMEC in my Z28. LOVE IT!!!! My car is a real Z with optional 4.10 rear and CE block DZ302, so I wanted to do a bolt in type conversion, and not have to molest anything. The M21 is fun, but when you are cranking 3000RPM at just 45MPH, highway use is totally out of the option!
OK- It took my roughly 16-20 hours to do this by myself, so this is a feasible long Saturday project if you get a couple of buddies to help. The Muncie was relatively simple to remove, however getting the crossmember out was a pain in the A$$ and took an hour or so of messing around. I ended up just dropping the driver side exhaust pipe from the engine, and loosening the exhaust hangers, and that gave me enough room to wiggle it out. You will need to remove the shifter from the Muncie too.
Once the trans was out, I measured the shifter location difference, and the TREMEC is Exactly 2" rearward of the Muncie, so I re-drilled the console mount holes back 2" and trimmed the shifter hole back 2" as well. I also had to widen the hole slightly. Save the pieces you cut out, so you can weld them back in someday if you want to restore the car. WSP is working on a new shifter that is 2" forward so you don't have to cut anything, however it is not available yet.
The TREMEC is about twice the weight of the Muncie (at 95lbs dry), so it is kind of a bear to get of in there. I had the back of the engine supported with a jack, so i let it down a bit to angle the back of the engine down, to make the installation easier. once the tremec is pushed in, I supported the tail shaft with another jack, and jacked it up into position.
This is where the turbo400 crossmember comes in. You need to cut the mount pad off of the trans and stick the crossmember into position and then measure how much of the mount pad you need to trim off before you weld it onto the other side of the crossmember. You can also just buy the crossmember from WSP for around $125, if you can't weld, but I have read you will want the tubular one, because the plate steel one flexes too much. once the crossmember is all in, I trimmed the aluminum chunk off of the bottom of the trans to avoid getting it caught on a speed bump. If you don't know what I am talking about, there is a chunk of aluminum at the very bottom of the case, that is left over from the manufacturing process that sticks right out below the subframe. Other than that little piece, you don't need to modify the trans. Before you put in the trans, it might be a good idea to install the reverse light switch and the speedo gear, and then snip the wires on the neutral start switch (unless you are running a late model engine with a computer).
Once the trans was in, I had to drill the shifter holes in the TREMEC a bit bigger, and then the Muncie shift handle bolts right in. Replace the rubber boot, and the console and you can't tell the difference! I bolted the shifter handle onto the left side of the TREMEC shifter, so it moves it over to the left, for more of a factory look. You fill the trans through the shifter hole, I used 3 quarts of GM synchromesh oil which is recommended.
I have been driving it for about 4 days now (as of 5/28/02), and the car is much more drivable than with the muncie. Barely give it a tap of gas to get going, and the shifts are smooth and effortless. Even with 4.10 gears, you really had to rev it to get that close ratio muncie going.
OK- TREMEC has the 3.27 first with the .68 OD. 1st gear shift is quick, but that little 302 has zero low end torque, so it likes the steep gearing. On the highway at 75-80, it puts the 302 around 3000RPM where it quiets down and has some good torque. I think the perfect gear would be the other Z28 rear with the 3.73's combined with the 302 motor. If you have a 350 or something with some grunt down low, a 3.55 or 3.42 would be real nice as well. I am definitely saving my $$$ to put a TKO in my 66 Corvette now that I see how easy the swap is.
I will hopefully post some pics when I get time to take some, but I hope this helps any of you that are considering the swap. $2000 is a lot of dough, but this is my daily driver, so that is how I justified it to myself! I live in the greater Detroit area,
So if anyone is considering the swap, or want's to see how it looks, come on over and we'll go for a ride.
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