June 02, 2020, 10:47:43 PM

Author Topic: T56 Transmission Fluid for Track Application  (Read 1835 times)

Offline PeakAlpha

T56 Transmission Fluid for Track Application
« on: October 07, 2019, 12:24:21 AM »
Fellow Pistards,

I wanted to ask a question of the track freaks on here. In the past I have run Valvoline Dex III synthetic which shifted horrible. After that, I read a bunch of stuff about how synthetic fluids didn't work great with the synchros on the T56 for whatever reason, so I switched to regular Valvoline Dex III. At the same time I did that, I also had heat wrapped my exhaust. At my next track day, the shifting was GREATLY improved, but the trans still tended to get a bit "sticky" at the end of a track session. What I mean by that is it would not want to go into gear on upshifts with the clutch fully depressed, and not synchronizing smoothly on downshifts (which gave me an opportunity to learn how to match my revs on heel-toe downshifts much more precisely, but still a pain in the schlong).

Anyways, I dealt with this most of last season, and then over the summer I have rebuilt my T56, so it is now installed without fluid atm. I bought a temperature sender so that I can start reading trans temperatures, and while I am waiting for that to arrive, I am wondering about fluid. I emailed Tick Performance and asked about which fluid they would recommend. I put the newer style carbon blocker rings in there. Here is what their rep said;

"We recommend the conventional Dex III when running carbon blockers. They don't agree well at all with the synthetic fluid. As far as a trans cooler, that's never a bad option per se. It isn't required but if heat seems to be your issue, that may solve the problem"

So I guess my question is; does anybody have some actual experience with this? Does synthetic not work with the carbon blocker rings? What is the best fluid for the track? I have heard synchromesh works for street driving, but is it hard on the synchros? Anybody with actual testing please chime in! Looking for people who have run their trans on a road course and put some heat into it. Thanks pistards! :police:


Offline Exidous

Re: T56 Transmission Fluid for Track Application
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2019, 11:32:18 AM »
I used Redline D4 in my T-56 at Spa, the ring and brands hatch. All were on cool days and I do not have a cooler. It held up well and does great on the street. I was never going more than 80%. On a hot day a cooler might be necessary but otherwise was fine.
94 BB Sleeved gen IV LS7, MS3ProU with TC, RONIN 8.8 and LT's with custom 3.5"single to VAREX muffler.

Offline Supe

Re: T56 Transmission Fluid for Track Application
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2019, 01:55:53 PM »
With carbon blockers, the Redline D4 is the ATF I hear with the LEAST complaints.  The Amsoil Syncromesh fluid is good for the track, but some complain it feels "notchy" in the cold because its at the high end of the kinematic viscosity index for trans fluids.  Some like the regular Amsoil ATF which ends up sort of upper-mid on the viscosity index. 

Synthetics were ALLEGEDLY an issue with the old style paper blocker rings, not the carbon ones, but I personally think that's BS and never met someone personally who had damage that couldn't be attributed to normal wear and tear.

Offline Exidous

Re: T56 Transmission Fluid for Track Application
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2019, 10:32:51 PM »
None of the Amsoil products worked for me as anecdotally as that is. A close second to the D4 is the AC Delco syncromesh. Not quite as nice cold but decent hot.
94 BB Sleeved gen IV LS7, MS3ProU with TC, RONIN 8.8 and LT's with custom 3.5"single to VAREX muffler.

Offline PeakAlpha

Re: T56 Transmission Fluid for Track Application
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2019, 03:33:00 PM »
Awesome! Thanks for the info guys. Yeah I am skeptical about the claims of synthetic being inexplicably evil. I am going to pick up some D4 and give her a shot next weekend at BW. I will report back on what I find.

Offline Exidous

Re: T56 Transmission Fluid for Track Application
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2019, 11:00:18 PM »
Looking forward to your results.
94 BB Sleeved gen IV LS7, MS3ProU with TC, RONIN 8.8 and LT's with custom 3.5"single to VAREX muffler.

Offline PeakAlpha

Re: T56 Transmission Fluid for Track Application
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2019, 11:52:38 PM »
Whelp,

I put D4 in my transmission and (drum roll please)...


My T56 still shifts like elk shit!!!!! I think it may have been slightly better than before, but it was still horrible. I actually put a transmission temperature sensor on the thing this time, and was monitoring them on track. I never saw anything above 190F, so that is well within the range of reasonable.

So that being said I think something else is going on with my trans. The thing has just never really shifted very well. It still fricken locked out of gear at high rpm and was sticky again when I came into the pits. I did a bunch of reading about T56's and whatnot last week and came to the conclusion that it is just not the most well-designed transmission and doesn't shift very nicely. According to Tremec (you know, the blowjobs who designed the T56) they made several changes when they designed the TR6060/Magnum to address some well known issues with the T56. Three of the notable ones were; 1) they changed from a double-cone to a triple-cone design on the blocker/friction rings which supposedly helps with smoother shifts, 2) They changed the design of the synchro from the old hoop springs to a ball-and-spring-loaded detent design that applies more even pressure against the keys, and 3) they incorporated the shift plates into the shifting forks so that they are now a single-piece design to minimize deflection and excessive wear. Article below if anybody is interested;

https://tremec-blog.com/the-differences-between-the-tremec-t-56-and-magnum-6-speed/

So now I am in the position of figuring out what my next transmission is going to be. I could go with a Magnum. I am also curious about Gforce transmissions. I think I will contact them some time in the next couple of weeks and ask some questions. Anyways, sorry I couldn't be of more help to people.

Offline gnx7

Re: T56 Transmission Fluid for Track Application
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2019, 09:05:10 AM »
If this is a track only car the GForce GSR 4spd dog box is quite amazing and is about 50lbs lighter than a T56.  All said and done once you factor in GSR, bellhousing, new starter, new clutch/flywheel it is around $6-7K to do it.

If this is a street car that you track just get the T56 Magnum F style.  I sell them and they shift like butter.  Where are you located?

norcalmotorsport@gmail.com

Mark
'93 FD: 441ci/AllPro LS7 heads/intake en route, T56 Mag, 8.8" IRS, HolleyHP, DavisTechTC 10.32@137mph cats/full exhaust. 165mph 1/2 mile (old LS7)
'93 FD LS9 turbo, T56 Mag, Samberg 8.8" solid axle, 9.35@163mph 197mph 1/2 mile
`69 Chevelle: alum 5.3, GTS76 turbo, ChiseledPerf A/W, T56 Magnum,Ford 35 spline 9".CTS-V interior http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=18234.0
old yellar....440rwhp/FD sold but not forgotten: http://www.ponycars.net/scc.htm
I sell new T56 Magnums/McLeod clutch/T56 rebuild kits/Holley EFI/FIC injectors and all BrianTooleyRacing parts.  norcalmotorsport@gmail.com

Offline Supe

Re: T56 Transmission Fluid for Track Application
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2019, 10:34:13 AM »
My T101a (now G Force since they acquired Tex) 4 speed ran me about $3600 rebuilt and ready to run with my choice of gear ratios.  Race weight with McLeod HTOB, shift linkages, shifter, and fluids (without bellhousing) was 90.2 lbs.  Don't need to touch the clutch once you get moving if you don't want to, just breathe off throttle to upshift or blip to downshift.  The clutchless upshifts are pure bliss.  The Jericos are the same way and a bit easier to find now.

Offline largeorangefont

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Re: T56 Transmission Fluid for Track Application
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2019, 02:09:41 PM »
Whelp,

I put D4 in my transmission and (drum roll please)...


My T56 still shifts like elk shit!!!!! I think it may have been slightly better than before, but it was still horrible. I actually put a transmission temperature sensor on the thing this time, and was monitoring them on track. I never saw anything above 190F, so that is well within the range of reasonable.

So that being said I think something else is going on with my trans. The thing has just never really shifted very well. It still fricken locked out of gear at high rpm and was sticky again when I came into the pits. I did a bunch of reading about T56's and whatnot last week and came to the conclusion that it is just not the most well-designed transmission and doesn't shift very nicely. According to Tremec (you know, the blowjobs who designed the T56) they made several changes when they designed the TR6060/Magnum to address some well known issues with the T56. Three of the notable ones were; 1) they changed from a double-cone to a triple-cone design on the blocker/friction rings which supposedly helps with smoother shifts, 2) They changed the design of the synchro from the old hoop springs to a ball-and-spring-loaded detent design that applies more even pressure against the keys, and 3) they incorporated the shift plates into the shifting forks so that they are now a single-piece design to minimize deflection and excessive wear. Article below if anybody is interested;

https://tremec-blog.com/the-differences-between-the-tremec-t-56-and-magnum-6-speed/

So now I am in the position of figuring out what my next transmission is going to be. I could go with a Magnum. I am also curious about Gforce transmissions. I think I will contact them some time in the next couple of weeks and ask some questions. Anyways, sorry I couldn't be of more help to people.

I've tracked my standard built T56 quite a bit. They don't have what some call a good "feel" but it never has locked me out of gear and I have never missed a shift. I dont care about the feel if it works.

You just can't bangshift the T56, you'll kill the blockers. So if you are diligent with the clutch, they will live behind reasonable horsepower.

That said, I have a T56 Magnum F sitting in my garage ready to go in the car. I got it from Mark, he is great to deal with.
Quote from: cool
Sell it to spacevomit.  He'll finish it.

Offline PeakAlpha

Re: T56 Transmission Fluid for Track Application
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2019, 09:49:29 PM »

I've tracked my standard built T56 quite a bit. They don't have what some call a good "feel" but it never has locked me out of gear and I have never missed a shift. I dont care about the feel if it works.

You just can't bangshift the T56, you'll kill the blockers. So if you are diligent with the clutch, they will live behind reasonable horsepower.

That said, I have a T56 Magnum F sitting in my garage ready to go in the car. I got it from Mark, he is great to deal with.

Yeah I hear ya. I have heard from others that a T56 should shift nice if properly set up. Like I said, I really think there is something else going on with my particular transmission. I got it cheap from a friend who knew nothing about where it came from. As far as my shifting technique, it's not like I am beating the crap out of it. I am shifting normally with plenty of clutch and not rushing things, and it still just seems to not want to cooperate. Usually the thing works fine for the first session, but then just turns into a pile of weiners near the end of the 2nd or 3rd session for some reason. I always thought it was heat related, but like I said it is really not getting that hot. It could still be heat related I guess; just the added heat is exacerbating whatever the problem is. Not sure.

I have driven my Evo on the track, and that thing shifts like a wet dream compared to the 56. I am able to rev-match and shift up and down and ALL around with no issues whatever. So I don't THINK that it is my technique. But it certainly could be. Haven't ever had an instructor critique my shifting though.


Mark; It is a 100% dedicated track car. If it were at all streetable I would definitely throw a Magnum in it ASAP. But since it sees zero street time, that is what is pushing me down the full-retard war path of looking at dog-ring transmissions at the moment. I would like to get a couple of quotes for the latter option and see what it would take. If I decide to do the (more) reasonable thing and get a Magnum, I will definitely buy from you. I am in the Kingman, AZ area. So basically middle of got damn nowhere.


Supe: Can you offer your opinions on your T101A? Is it a bitch to shift? I have never driven a dog-ring trans. I have only seen a couple of videos of idiots driving them on the street. Does it take a lot to get used to? How about reliability, how long do they last? You had any issues with parts breaking or anything? I have so many questions. I would L-O-V-E to see a video of you thrashing it on track if you have one!

Anything that you would do differently if you did it again? And did you get yours used and then have it rebuilt or what? Just wondering based on the price you cited. Haven't gotten a quote or anything yet. I heard from a buddy today that the Jerico's are EFFIN expensive! New that is. The four speed has enough gears to get you where you need to go, eh? Would you recommend the 4-sp or the 5-sp? Please let me know your thoughts. Appreciate the feedback.

Offline gnx7

Re: T56 Transmission Fluid for Track Application
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2019, 11:13:48 AM »
This guy has a few for sale and he has been listing them for years.  You can haggle him down for sure.  Don't forget to factor in the bellhousing (Magnesium $$$$ or quicktime steel), clutch/flywheel, and Tilton $$$ starter.  https://www.ebay.com/i/163803131839?rt=nc&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D20160908110712%26meid%3Dbd23cd5eb101434b88f1dbc35b68680c%26pid%3D100677%26rk%3D5%26rkt%3D19%26sd%3D303123196502%26itm%3D163803131839%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2386202

The GSR has the shift rails internal and better packaging.  The other ones have them external and floor mods required.  All of them whine like crazy due to straight cut gears.  Clutch to get going and then as stated breath to upshift which is a very violent one when you have a 438ci LS7 in a 2470lb FD running 18x12's all around.  I had a 3.31 gear out back and it worked out just fine.
'93 FD: 441ci/AllPro LS7 heads/intake en route, T56 Mag, 8.8" IRS, HolleyHP, DavisTechTC 10.32@137mph cats/full exhaust. 165mph 1/2 mile (old LS7)
'93 FD LS9 turbo, T56 Mag, Samberg 8.8" solid axle, 9.35@163mph 197mph 1/2 mile
`69 Chevelle: alum 5.3, GTS76 turbo, ChiseledPerf A/W, T56 Magnum,Ford 35 spline 9".CTS-V interior http://www.norotors.com/index.php?topic=18234.0
old yellar....440rwhp/FD sold but not forgotten: http://www.ponycars.net/scc.htm
I sell new T56 Magnums/McLeod clutch/T56 rebuild kits/Holley EFI/FIC injectors and all BrianTooleyRacing parts.  norcalmotorsport@gmail.com

Offline Supe

Re: T56 Transmission Fluid for Track Application
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2019, 09:24:35 AM »
PeakAlpha: I only have one race under my belt before I lost the old motor.  It is one of the easiest transmissions to shift on the planet.  You literally just slam it into the next gear to shift, and its smooth as butter.  You don't have to rev match to downshift, but if you don't, you are going to wheel hop like a sumbitch.  Really no different than a synchro-based trans in that regard.  The way the gears are cut, you're not going to miss a shift doing just about anything.  I choose to downshift with a clutch, because that's the ONLY thing that can save you if you somehow went from 4th to 1st, which is very hard to do with a good shifter.

Reliability-wise, they are about the most reliable trans out there.  BEEFY internals.  These things handled 800+ HP cup cars at 3400 lbs.  My builder says his road race guys can get multiple seasons out of a box, and even then, it's usually only preventive maintenance.  I don't even run a cooler, he said absolutely not necessary for 20 minute TT sessions.  Standard GM input shaft/clutch/flywheel, too, though I run a custom twin disc and flywheel because I didn't want to burn up a 7" road race clutch (I run hillclimbs, so lots of 3 point turns in paddock area, etc., which will nuke a road race triple disc in no time.)

I went through a guy who is a former cup car builder who now works out of his house.  He provided the core and rebuilt before giving it to me, I watched him seal it up and safety wire it shut.  Four gears for me is plenty.  I'm not sure a fifth would do me a ton of good - with the new motor, I'm looking at 160+ MPH in "parts saver" mode, and add 10-15mph to the top of that if I wanted to wind it out (former RCR SB2.2 cup motor), but I also make 500+ ft/lbs from 4000 RPM up and a fair bit over 700HP.  That's with 3.73 gearing. 

Shoot me a PM if you want my builder's contact info.  Honestly, it's the best money I've spent to date on that car, and is probably the one purchase I DON'T regret, since it's the last trans I'll ever need short of making the move to a sequential or DCT box.

Online MPbdy

Re: T56 Transmission Fluid for Track Application
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2019, 01:04:47 PM »
I want a faceplated T56 magnum and you're not helping.

Stahp.

Offline Supe

Re: T56 Transmission Fluid for Track Application
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2019, 02:10:00 PM »
I want a faceplated T56 magnum and you're not helping.

Stahp.

One look at my car, and it's pretty obvious that I am a super shitty influence when it comes to making terrible(y expensive) decisions in an attempt to make an outdated chassis competitive.  :grin: