Along with upgrading a classic car with modern technology, there often comes the headache of trying to get everything to fit into the car. Sometimes, you get lucky and things bolt in place pretty easily, with only a few modifications.
But other times, you have to rely on someone with the experience and the tools to create whatever it is you need to make your modern parts fit in an older car.
Engine swaps are one of those upgrades, and when they become popular enough for a specific model, the necessary parts to make the swap go smoother are fabricated and they become available, saving you lots of time and wasted effort.
But what about swapping a modern transmission into an older car? That often becomes a troublesome task because modern transmissions tend to be a bit larger than classic units. This is primarily due to the additional gearing that’s been added for single or double overdrive units.
Then for manual swaps, there’s the added task of getting the clutch to work properly, let alone getting the right parts to mate the transmission to the engine. It can be a real nightmare if you’ve never done this before.
Silver Sport Transmissions is one of those companies that has done it before, and it takes the pain and effort out of the equation by doing all the hard work for you.
As we see in the video above, Dick McCord, VP of Engineering and Operations for Silver Sport, has spent more than three decades working with and designing transmissions, from the early Borg Warner T-56 transmission found in the first gen Dodge Viper, to the Legend Gear and Transmissions’ LGT-700.
Now with Silver Sport Transmissions, McCord spends much of his time developing PerfectFit kits, which help us install modern transmissions into classic cars. Getting these transmissions to fit takes a lot more than just pounding out or cutting some sheetmetal in the transmission tunnel.
Factors that go into the fitment of these newer transmissions include getting the driveline angle correct, getting the shifter as close to the factory location as possible, and creating a strong, custom transmission crossmember to keep things in place.
With some applications, Silver Sport has been able to modify the transmission housing to avoid performing too much surgery on a transmission tunnel, while other times it might be unavoidable.
But, as gearheads who love to tinker with our own cars, we often realize that installing parts in a car that was built long before those parts were ever created, can mean hours under a shop light, and many trips back and forth to the parts store, the local home improvement store, and even the wrecking yards.
With the assistance of high tech equipment, CNC milling machines, and 3D CAD programs, Silver Sport is able to design and engineer crossmembers, and determine when and where a dimple or cut needs to be made to install a modern transmission, such as the Tremec T-56 Magnum, into a car with a smaller tunnel.
For some of the PerfectFit kits, this engineering means getting the factory console back into location, and sometimes recreating the shift-pattern plate to maintain and all-original look and feel with all the luxury, comfort, and performance of today’s best transmissions.
Regardless of what transmission you switch to, the PerfectFit kit will provide you every component of the swap. Getting the transmission to fit is where all the labor is done, and mating it up to the rest of the driveline is where the parts come in.
Silver Sport includes things like flywheel, bellhousing adapters, torque converters, clutch assemblies and pedals, transmission mounts, switches, controllers, and even the driveshaft, to name just a few of the many components that complete a kit.
Essentially the PerfectFit kit is the most complete assembly of components that you’ll need to put some additional gears into a classic car. With dozens of applications for both manual and automatic transmissions for classic Fords, Mopar, AMC, and GM vehicles, Silver Sport continues to grow its application database and include more vehicles.