'55 Chevy Hardtop Project, Page 7....

T56 tranny mod...

Using a 1993 T56 six speed, needs the shifter moved forward to clear the bench seat....
Pulled the shifter off and looked inside, there's a shifter shaft with a fitting on the end that has a cup on it that the ball on the end of the shift lever fits into...
There's a switch there that is activated in reverse to light up the backup lites...
Once this is removed, then the bolts holding the tailshaft housing on to the main case are removed and the tailshaft housing can be removed...
With the rear housing off, you can see the reverse gear set, and on the mainshaft the magnetic speedometer indicator...
This is the idler gear for the reverse gear set....

Below is the shifter shaft, it runs all the way through the transmission.
In front of the reserse gear set is sixth gear and fifth gear. You can see the shifting fork for the reverse gear, it is on a secondary shifter shaft that is activated up front in the main case by the primary shifter shaft...

All these gears have to be removed, then the main case can be lifted off of the front gear box base...
With the main case off you can see the mainshaft, the front portion of the countershaft, the primary shifter shaft, and the shorter secondary shifter shaft that shifts the 5/6 gear sets and reverse, and 1st through 4th gear sets.
This mechanism that connects the primary shifter shaft to the secondary shifter shaft is pretty complex, I don't pretend to understand how it works...

The primary shifter shaft can now be removed, and the special piece from Keisler Engineering that is mounted in the middle under the forward inspection opening can be installed. I forgot to get a shot of that modification, but it puts a special piece in the middle of the shaft, under the forward inspection plate, with a socket for the ball of the shifter to fit into. A section of the shaft is cut out to allow the shifter ball to fit into a socket such that it can operate the shifter shaft. As that forward opening in the main case is a different shape then the rear shift lever opening, a special shifter base from Keisler Engineering is provided.
As parts are removed, they are washed, dried and laid out in order of reinstallation to make things easier...

For this modification only 5th, 6th and reverse need to be removed, then the main case is lifted off vertically. 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th remain on the front base plate...
The rear portion of the main case, where 5th, 6th and reverse are located...
The front portion of the main case, where the first four gears are located...

After the modified primary shifter shaft is installed, then everything goes back together...
LINK to page eight
LINK back to page six
Now, just mount and seal up the shifter, put it back in the car, put on a stick, and drive 'er.....

More later....
Just showing the removed old piece compared to the new piece...
The original shifter ball socket is moved to the end of the new shaft, so it will operate the reverse lights....
I've now swapped out the shifter shafts, this is the new shift lever ball socket that came on the new shaft, in the new forward location. This piece can be installed on the original shaft after some precision cutting on the original shaft, but I just ordered it already installed on a new shaft....
Here you can see the original shifter shaft still in the tranny, and the new one next to it. The end piece on the original where the shift lever was, also controls the backup lights, so it needs to be moved to the new shaft....
You can see the opening where the original shifter was, the new shifter is about 9" forward, and should clear the bench seat in my '55...

I've used this particular shift lever before, have one on the Doug Nash in my '55 gasser, had to cut the base and angle the whole stick slightly forward so it would clear the bench seat in 2nd, 4th and reverse. Might have to do the same to this one !!

More later....


LATER: Found a few more photos, thought I'd post 'em
Got a new shift lever I like, it should clear the '55's bench seat just fine....
LINK to T56 Tranny Page 2