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8/23/14 2:46am - Original Message: '81 C3 auto to 5 speed conversion'
kbrin
Former Member
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coral springs, FL - USA

Vette(s):
81 beauty all original (not anymore!!) Its more fun now!

Joined: 3/25/2014
Posts: 71
Hi all
I am thinking about converting my 81 3 speed auto to manual.
#1 to reduce my running RPM at speed
#2 its just fun....
any advice including do it or not and what brand of Tran to go with is great.
thanks


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8/23/14 9:00am - Reply: 'Re: 81 C3 auto to 5 speed conversion'
Sarge81 Lifetime Member
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WEST SENECA, NY - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Blue Ice Met. w/pearl ghost flames TKO500 5speed. LS1 Swap 3.45 Dana 44.

Joined: 12/3/2001
Posts: 2377
There are a few companies out there that offer 5 speed kits. I'm not sure if they carry the pedal assemblies but pretty much have everything else needed to convert it. Getting a set of pedals (clutch/brake) plus any odds and ends are obtainable from vette salvage yards or eBay. 

I know nothing about these guys, but they seem to offer the most for a conversion. Pedals, linkages and they do offer a 4 speed to 6 speed double overdrive kit. 

These guys are pretty good. They seem to offer a lot of parts needed for a conversion.

I know nothing of these guys but list a Auto to Manual conversion kit.

These guys were pretty helpful with any of my questions. They bought out most of the now defunct Keisler Engineering transmission IP stuff.

These guys aren't very good in answering emails if you have a problem.

Just so you know, Tremec TKO500 are good for easy cruising and road course racing. Drag racing or power shifting they suck. I had to have mine tore down and have carbon fiber syncro's and brass shift fork pads installed so I could marginally power shift it. If I had to do it over again I'd do the T56 Magnum 6 speed instead.








|UPDATED|8/23/2014 6:00:15 AM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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GEN III 5.7L "LS6" Engine swap
TKO500 5 spd.
3.54 Dana 44
'69 "N11" Sidepipes
Borgeson Steering Box
Born 8/1981
Sequence #3975




Click here to see more pics of my Vette on CarDomain.


Lifetime Member #26
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8/23/14 11:48am - Reply: 'Re: 81 C3 auto to 5 speed conversion'
knotacare
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Newark, DE - USA

Vette(s):
1968 Conv, 454HO,500HP-600TQ, TKO-600,3:70 HD rear,hotrod air, custom paint & suspension,1973 Ruby Red,T-top, 383 Stroker, TK)-500,frame off restro, 1977 Yellow (1 of 51 ) L-48 4 spd, 99% original.

Joined: 7/26/2004
Posts: 458
I have a TKO-500 in the 73 which has a stroker w/450hp & a TKO-600 in the 68 which has a 454..500+hp.  I bought the TKO-600 from  http://www.5speedtransmissions.com/   but they had a different name then.  It's a pain in the butt to install all those pedals , but it's been done by many & well worth the effort in the end. A plus is the auto trans cars have a removable cross member which makes the trans install much easier. The TKO-600 has better gears for cruising. If you are planning on cruising at 75+mph then a 6speed  could be considered. It also depends on your rear axle ratio.  If your engine is stock I would stick with the 5 sp
Alan


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8/23/14 1:24pm - Reply: 'Re: 81 C3 auto to 5 speed conversion'
F4Gary Gold Member
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.

Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 933
These guys bought out all the Kiesler stuff:

http://shiftsst.com/welcome-to-sst


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8/23/14 5:41pm - Reply: 'Re: 81 C3 auto to 5 speed conversion'
Sarge81 Lifetime Member
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WEST SENECA, NY - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Blue Ice Met. w/pearl ghost flames TKO500 5speed. LS1 Swap 3.45 Dana 44.

Joined: 12/3/2001
Posts: 2377
F4Gary said: These guys bought out all the Kiesler stuff:

http://shiftsst.com/welcome-to-sst


You are correct Gary. SST says they bought their stuff too. Sorry I didn't list that. 

Liberty also has it listed on there opening page they bought Keisler IP in association with their PerfectFit Kit. 


____________________________________

GEN III 5.7L "LS6" Engine swap
TKO500 5 spd.
3.54 Dana 44
'69 "N11" Sidepipes
Borgeson Steering Box
Born 8/1981
Sequence #3975




Click here to see more pics of my Vette on CarDomain.


Lifetime Member #26
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8/23/14 8:03pm - Reply: 'Re: 81 C3 auto to 5 speed conversion'
F4Gary Gold Member
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.

Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 933
Sarge81 said:
F4Gary said: These guys bought out all the Kiesler stuff:

http://shiftsst.com/welcome-to-sst


You are correct Gary. SST says they bought their stuff too. Sorry I didn't list that. 

Liberty also has it listed on there opening page they bought Keisler IP in association with their PerfectFit Kit. 

Wasn't correcting you, I didn't even see that in your post.  Beer



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8/23/14 9:12pm - Reply: 'Re: 81 C3 auto to 5 speed conversion'
Sarge81 Lifetime Member
Lifetime Member
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WEST SENECA, NY - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Blue Ice Met. w/pearl ghost flames TKO500 5speed. LS1 Swap 3.45 Dana 44.

Joined: 12/3/2001
Posts: 2377
F4Gary said:
Sarge81 said:
F4Gary said: These guys bought out all the Kiesler stuff:

http://shiftsst.com/welcome-to-sst


You are correct Gary. SST says they bought their stuff too. Sorry I didn't list that. 

Liberty also has it listed on there opening page they bought Keisler IP in association with their PerfectFit Kit. 

Wasn't correcting you, I didn't even see that in your post.  Beer


No harm, no foul. We're cool man. Thumbs UpBeer



____________________________________

GEN III 5.7L "LS6" Engine swap
TKO500 5 spd.
3.54 Dana 44
'69 "N11" Sidepipes
Borgeson Steering Box
Born 8/1981
Sequence #3975




Click here to see more pics of my Vette on CarDomain.


Lifetime Member #26
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8/24/14 1:18am - Reply: 'Re: 81 C3 auto to 5 speed conversion'
kbrin
Former Member
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coral springs, FL - USA

Vette(s):
81 beauty all original (not anymore!!) Its more fun now!

Joined: 3/25/2014
Posts: 71
Thanks.
The power plant is a jasper 350 at approx 220 hp and with the 3 spd auto its chirps in all  shifts if I nail it. the issue is at 75 i am turning close to 4000rpm.
Ideally i would like to keep the nice acceleration so I am not sure if I should change to 5 spd manual or change the rear. I would like a turn at min of 3000rpm at 80mph, lower is always better. Any advice??
Thanks guys.



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8/24/14 3:36am - Reply: 'Re: 81 C3 auto to 5 speed conversion'
johnu
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Eagan, MN - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Corvette Two-Tone Claret color, 4 spd, C7 Vert

Joined: 5/23/2007
Posts: 517
What about a 4 spd automatic? I forget the name they go by but check the final ratio and compare.

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8/24/14 8:19am - Reply: 'Re: 81 C3 auto to 5 speed conversion'
kbrin
Former Member
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coral springs, FL - USA

Vette(s):
81 beauty all original (not anymore!!) Its more fun now!

Joined: 3/25/2014
Posts: 71
I will definitely check this out.
But the stick would be---FUNNRR---
Right!!!!!
 


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8/24/14 8:24am - Reply: 'Re: 81 C3 auto to 5 speed conversion'
kbrin
Former Member
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coral springs, FL - USA

Vette(s):
81 beauty all original (not anymore!!) Its more fun now!

Joined: 3/25/2014
Posts: 71
just for fun, My plate is-----GRR8WHT---
What do you all thing? ( I think its just right on my Arctic white beast  :-)  )



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8/24/14 10:27am - Reply: 'Re: 81 C3 auto to 5 speed conversion'
Sarge81 Lifetime Member
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WEST SENECA, NY - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Blue Ice Met. w/pearl ghost flames TKO500 5speed. LS1 Swap 3.45 Dana 44.

Joined: 12/3/2001
Posts: 2377
If you lower your gear ratio at the rear end your gonna lose bottom end acceleration. The car will become a real dog off the line in other words. If you still have the stock 2.72 gear in the rear end, a gear change isn't really going to help you out. I'm not even sure you can get a lower ratio for that Dana 44 IRS unit. There was a 2.72 and 2.87 gear offered in '81 and '82. '80 vettes all had 3.07's. 
So the only way your going to get the results you want is to bite the bullet and spring for a overdrive kit. Expensive yes, but the final result will be worth it especially if you are going to drive the car a lot like I do with mine. 
Speaking of your license plate, good old "dads2vette" from Hamburg, NY has a similar plate. He stopped by the shop for new u joints in the halfshafts. Here's a pic of his car w/ plate "GRTWHT81" Dave is the one on the right. The other guy is the riff raft that stops by every so often. lol.


____________________________________

GEN III 5.7L "LS6" Engine swap
TKO500 5 spd.
3.54 Dana 44
'69 "N11" Sidepipes
Borgeson Steering Box
Born 8/1981
Sequence #3975




Click here to see more pics of my Vette on CarDomain.


Lifetime Member #26
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8/25/14 6:53pm - Reply: 'Re: 81 C3 auto to 5 speed conversion'
kbrin
Former Member
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coral springs, FL - USA

Vette(s):
81 beauty all original (not anymore!!) Its more fun now!

Joined: 3/25/2014
Posts: 71
Love the plate----Great minds think alike! 
I have decided to swap auto to Tremec TKO 5 spd with od.
Should be a good weekend project.
I think it will give the blast of the line and a low RPM cruise.
Plus it should be fun!!
What do you think? 

Here is a pic of my GR8WHT looks familiar right!!





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8/25/14 7:43pm - Reply: 'Re: 81 C3 auto to 5 speed conversion'
kbrin
Former Member
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coral springs, FL - USA

Vette(s):
81 beauty all original (not anymore!!) Its more fun now!

Joined: 3/25/2014
Posts: 71
forgot, its a TKO 600---0.64 5TH gear

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8/25/14 7:52pm - Reply: 'Re: 81 C3 auto to 5 speed conversion'
kbrin
Former Member
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coral springs, FL - USA

Vette(s):
81 beauty all original (not anymore!!) Its more fun now!

Joined: 3/25/2014
Posts: 71
Guys,
Any advice on weather striping?

I need to do my window pillars, glass t-tops and doors. I have heard that the aftermarket stuff isn't that great. 
What so the experts think??
Thanks again


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8/25/14 8:19pm - Reply: 'Re: 81 C3 auto to 5 speed conversion'
Sarge81 Lifetime Member
Lifetime Member
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WEST SENECA, NY - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Blue Ice Met. w/pearl ghost flames TKO500 5speed. LS1 Swap 3.45 Dana 44.

Joined: 12/3/2001
Posts: 2377
Good choice. Just get ready to cuss a lot and throw some wrenches on occasion. Lol.
It'll probably be a couple "weekends" project. Just take your time and follow the instructions to a "T." Keep us posted on your project. Great looking car! 


____________________________________

GEN III 5.7L "LS6" Engine swap
TKO500 5 spd.
3.54 Dana 44
'69 "N11" Sidepipes
Borgeson Steering Box
Born 8/1981
Sequence #3975




Click here to see more pics of my Vette on CarDomain.


Lifetime Member #26
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8/25/14 11:15pm - Reply: 'Re: 81 C3 auto to 5 speed conversion'
kbrin
Former Member
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coral springs, FL - USA

Vette(s):
81 beauty all original (not anymore!!) Its more fun now!

Joined: 3/25/2014
Posts: 71
yup i am getting my family ready for the event!! I already have new Spackle for the upcoming LOLholes in the garage walls

Thanks she is a looker now. Kind of looks familiar right!


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8/29/14 9:26pm - Reply: 'Re: 81 C3 auto to 5 speed conversion'
patsaddict Lifetime Member
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East Bridgewater, MA - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Red Corvette Coupe T-Tops

Joined: 8/11/2014
Posts: 11
KOOL

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