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PERFORMANCE

Tremec T56 & TR6060 Upgrades for Increased Performance

Q: What are the Most Popular T56 Upgrades?

A: There are several popular T56 upgrades. These include the shift keys, shift fork pads, shifter isolator cup bushings, and the shift fork 3-4. We dive deeper into these upgrades below. 

1. Shift keys

The first area to upgrade on the T56 transmission are the shift keys. Constructed of thin stamped steel, stock shift keys are prone to breakage. The solution is to upgrade to billet shift keys made from 4340 Chromoly alloy.

Old OEM billets keys compared to the new upgraded ones.
OEM T56 billet key vs. new upgraded ones.

Benefits of Billet Shift Keys:

  • Designed specifically to handle high stress/high heat applications
  • Made from one of the highest grades of machinable alloy
  • Stress-relieved and hardened to ensure durability and longevity

Reminder: Install new shift keys throughout the entire transmission.

2. Shift Fork Pads

Another component of the T56 upgrades is the shift fork pads. You will see these used in the T56 build kits. The stock shift fork pads are plastic which is not adequate for optimal performance. Stock fork pads tend to get creased. This leads them to completely wear through, eventually falling apart. A failed shift fork pad causes further issues with the synchro sleeves and gear engagement teeth. The solution for this is to replace the OEM T56 plastic fork pads with billet bronze ones.

Benefits of Billet Bronze Shift Fork Pads:

  • Made from the highest grade of bronze available
  • Better wear resistance

Reminder: Install upgraded shift fork pads throughout the entire transmission.

Stock plastic shift fork pads vs. upgraded bronze ones.
Stock plastic shift fork pads vs. upgraded bronze ones.

3. Shifter Isolator Cup Bushing

The T56’s stock bushing can get damaged over time and come apart. This is due to the fact that it is simply epoxied into place. Once this epoxy ages, it becomes brittle and does not hold the bushing in. This in turn causes it to get loose and worn out. The solution for this is a billet press-fit bronze bushing. The press-fit ensures that it won’t ever come loose. As an added bonus it also eliminates the need for epoxy.

Upgraded bronze shifter isolator cup bushing
Stock vs. upgraded bronze shifter isolator cup bushing.

Benefits of an Upgraded Shifter Isolator Cup Bushing:

  • Made with the highest grade of bronze available
  • Virtually wear-resistant

4. Shift fork for 3-4

This is probably the most popular T56 upgrade. A steel shift fork replaces the OEM aluminum one. When measuring the distance between the synchronizer assembly and shift rail, the 3-4 fork is about twice as far from the shift rail as the 1-2 fork.

This equates to more strain on the 3-4 fork. Hence, stronger steel will increase the shift forks’ longevity.

Benefits of an Upgraded Shift Fork:

  • The steel fork is much more rigid eliminating flex
  • Excellent cost-effective upgrade in any rebuild
OEM aluminum shift fork vs. upgraded steel one.
OEM aluminum shift fork vs. upgraded steel one.
Tremec T56 & TR6060 Upgrades for Increased Performance - Texas Drivetrain Performance

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Q: What can be upgraded in the TR6060/Magnum Transmission?

A: The simple answer is there is not much that can be upgraded. The TR6060 is already a new-and-improved unit over the T56. Outlined below are the few enhancements that are available. 

Not much can be upgraded on the TR6060 since it is already an improved version of the T56.
Stock plastic shift fork pads vs. upgraded bronze ones.
Stock plastic shift fork pads vs. upgraded bronze ones.

1. Bronze Shift Fork Pads

Similar to the T56 the TR6060 OEM shift fork pads are plastic. Upgrading these to the bronze ones ensure better wear resistance and increased transmission longevity.

2. Carbon-hybrid Synchro Rings

Switching to carbon-hybrid synchro rings is a great way to get the most out of your TR6060. These rings will replace the sintered metallic rings throughout the transmission. Done correctly these rings will greatly reduce the chances of a synchro ring overheating. Used in the 14-19 C7 Corvette TR6070 7-speed transmission, the new style of carbon-hybrid rings are designed with performance in mind.

Reminder: Convert the advanced engagement tooth style gears and synchro assemblies to non-advanced. This only applies to 2nd gear, 3rd gear, 1-2 synchro assembly and 3-4 synchro assembly.

Stock metal synchro rings vs. new carbon-hybrid ones.
Stock metal synchro rings vs. new carbon-hybrid ones.

Q: Is it possible to change only 5th and 6th ratios in my T56?

A: The T56 gear ratio is governed by the main drive ratio which is the input and countershaft tooth count. The T56, whether is a close or wide ratio, has the same 5th and 6th gear tooth count. Therefore, the only way to change the ratio is to change the entire gearset. This would get so expensive that it is a more cost-effective option to buy a new Magnum with the correct ratios. So, yes it can be changed, but it is just not feasible.

Q: Is it possible to change only 5th and 6th ratios in my TR6060?

A: It is much easier to change ratios on the TR6060. This is because the majority of these units, regardless of ratio have the same 31-tooth input shaft (main drive gear). For example, the 0.80/0.63 can be swapped to 0.74/0.50 and vise-versa. These can also be independently swapped. For example, 0.80/0.50 or 0.74/0.63.