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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

so I finally bought a sky, 08 with LSD and the AR5. I am looking at swapping out the transmission as soon as I can, despite the car being bone stock (with OE GM stage 2) and 30K miles (pictures as soon as they become available).

I am going with a T56 Magnum and have read almost everything I can find regarding this, including about 20 threads from this forum and 20 or so more from the soltice forum (along with others I found googling).

I found that the QuickTime bellhousing RM-7042 fits and so I'm trying to replicate the kit that DDM offered several years ago. I will keep the LNF until the block dies on me (hopefully it wont for at least 100K) and then will consider an LS swap, if the motor is still available that far into the future.

My plan is to call DDM and ask them for part numbers they used (at least for the OEM GM parts) as well as trying to convince Perf Autowerks to sell me the trans crossmember and other parts I may need (another member here did the same).

So my questions would be:

1) what is a "good" clutch/flexplate combo? Good is of course subjective, but I am looking to have zero chatter from the shifter and have a nice weighted feel. I feel this rules out a lightweight flywheel combo.

1a) since I mentioned weighted shifter feel, any feedback on the DDM short shift kit? Any other recommendations?

2) whats a good fluid to have? Again, good is subjective, but since the trans shares the fluid with the power steering rack, I am looking to lighten the steering feel. I don't know if its this specific car, but found it was very heavy, almost as if the PS system was non-functional. The previous owner was a retiree and he was the second owner, he said its always been like that (heavy).

3) Also, I am not gonna be tracking the car. It'll see street use and maybe, maybe the odd auto-X duty once every Feb 30th. Should I go with the wide ratio or not? I do plan on taking it on road trips somewhat frequently.

Very interested to get feedback from all here. Thanks again, looking very much forward to driving this bad boy in spring.
 

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I'm just curious, but what is your motivation for replacing the transmission?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Same reason why I moved from XP to Windows 10, better, more efficient, modern trans. And dont want to deal with broken syncro's that wont be able to be repaired. This is stage 1 of 3, 3 being LS swap later on.
 

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It seems like a lot of work for very little, if any, return. I think I would wait until I did the LS swap and actually needed a strnger transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Appreciate the feedback John, what you dont know is that I can get a t56 magnum, new, for 1k, ive priced most of the parts needed for the conversion and its hovering around 1500 so far, with only one or two critical parts missing (trans crossmember). I'm not letting go of a brand new T56M at 70% discount.
 

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Fair enough, but i am not a fan of change for the sake of change, and a 70% discount on something that isn't needed is still 30% wasted.
If the deal on the gearbox is time-sensitive I would maybe buy it now, but would still wait until the change was necessary to install it.

For what its worth, (not much, actually) i disagree about your assertion concerning XP vs 10, and still use it on my diagnostic computer.

Clearly it is your car and your time and money, and you should do what makes you happy, but you did ask for feedback .....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I still have XP on my Tech2/TIS laptop as well, guess it was a bad analogy, lol. I do appreciate the feedback John. Now to the original question, close ratio for street use or wide ratio? I have been leaning towards close ratio.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ive read that anything approaching 400 hp and the trans starts to complain, loudly. Its super easy to get to that number on a stock LNF before you need to build the engine
 

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There are a number of people running built LNFs and even LSs with the AR5, so it is possible if you aren't brutal with your shifting, but my original statement was to not change the transmission until you need to, not to avoid it altogether. Changing the transmission simply would not be my first step, unless i didn't know how to shift properly.

Anther point with either of the T56 options is the change in first gear ratio from the AR5. Both of them put first very nearly into the territory of the AR5's second, so acceleration off the line will suffer. Does this matter to you? It becomes moot with the LS (another reason to wait) but could be an issue with the LNF.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
There are a number of people running built LNFs and even LSs with the AR5, so it is possible if you aren't brutal with your shifting, but my original statement was to not change the transmission until you need to, not to avoid it altogether. Changing the transmission simply would not be my first step, unless i didn't know how to shift properly.

Anther point with either of the T56 options is the change in first gear ratio from the AR5. Both of them put first very nearly into the territory of the AR5's second, so acceleration off the line will suffer. Does this matter to you? It becomes moot with the LS (another reason to wait) but could be an issue with the LNF.
Appreciate the info John. Happy to learn new things from you and this forum.
 

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Something else you might consider - after the LS swap - is swapping the drive axle to one from the CTS-V (or maybe it is the STS). It has a taller ratio and a proportionally higher torque capacity.
 

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John and for the power steering feel? what do you suggest? a light/light-ish fluid?
I can't really answer that, as my steering feels perfectly adequate. It is certainly not as light as the un-assisted steering in my British sports cars, but its not heavy enough to go to any particular effort to change it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I can't really answer that, as my steering feels perfectly adequate. It is certainly not as light as the un-assisted steering in my British sports cars, but its not heavy enough to go to any particular effort to change it.
Thanks
 

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1 - I agree with John - acquire the T56 now if the deal is good enough but don't bother putting it in the car before you V8 it..

2 - I'll disagree with Sahein to the extent that I'd modify his statement that a built LNF can destroy an AR5 to "A fool in a Kappa with a built LNF can destroy an AR5 - possibly in 10 minutes." But then that also holds true for a fool in a Kappa with a stock engine.

3 - Have you ever driven a car with a T56? I have and the shift quality often sucks compared to the AR5. It is a warrantable mod if you go for a V8 swap, but IMHO not for a street driven LNF powered car.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
1 - I agree with John - acquire the T56 now if the deal is good enough but don't bother putting it in the car before you V8 it..

2 - I'll disagree with Sahein to the extent that I'd modify his statement that a built LNF can destroy an AR5 to "A fool in a Kappa with a built LNF can destroy an AR5 - possibly in 10 minutes." But then that also holds true for a fool in a Kappa with a stock engine.

3 - Have you ever driven a car with a T56? I have and the shift quality often sucks compared to the AR5. It is a warrantable mod if you go for a V8 swap, but IMHO not for a street driven LNF powered car.
Thanks for the feedback spohn.

1) I will buy the trans monday at that price.
2) I guess I agree with you to an extent. The biggest concern I have is the block going, which is a well-documented issue on LNF blocks and its variants. I had one go on a 9-3 convertible, and was replaced under warranty.

3) I have, but I am not getting a standard T56, I'm getting a Magnum which is an evolution of the TR6060, which that is a very nice trans to shift. I have driven the old-school TR56 on a terminator cobra, and yes, it could be better. I have not driven an AR5 yet, but have driven an R154, and that left me with a sore taste in my mouth. Granted the cars were completely different, probably because it wasnt a 2JZGTE.

Let say hypothetically money was no object. What 6-speed manual transmission would you get for a kappa, if you dont like Tremec's offerings?
 

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Let say hypothetically money was no object. What 6-speed manual transmission would you get for a kappa, if you dont like Tremec's offerings?
For use with anything under the mid 400s, a BMW Z series ZF trans - close ratio six speed with only one OD ratio, or for more than that the Toyota/Getrag V160 5 speed used in the last Supra turbo models. But then that is just based on transmissions I have personally used - there are probably others just as applicable that I haven't driven.

I do know that there are many high output LNF powered cars using the AR5 successfully though.

On the LNF block issue I don't think it was very common (someone will speak up if I am wrong) and there is always the later and reputedly stronger LDK version.
 

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For use with anything under the mid 400s, a BMW Z series ZF trans - close ratio six speed with only one OD ratio, or for more than that the Toyota/Getrag V160 5 speed used in the last Supra turbo models. But then that is just based on transmissions I have personally used - there are probably others just as applicable that I haven't driven.

I do know that there are many high output LNF powered cars using the AR5 successfully though.

On the LNF block issue I don't think it was very common (someone will speak up if I am wrong) and there is always the later and reputedly stronger LDK version.
Like minds think alike it appears. I started going down the GS6-53DZ path, and it is limited to 440 Tq, but I dont think people have done that kind of swap, so I dont know the technical challenges of attempting this swap.

Thanks again for your feedback, appreciate it.
 
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