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btanner 01-27-2013 07:30 PM

Strong 4x4 Manual Transmissions
Hey guys I have a question. I have a 56 Chevy truck that I want to turn into my do it all truck. I have an LS7 to drop into it, as well as a line on an air suspension setup. I want a Hot Rod, and the LS7 should provide the muscle for that, but I also want to take my car to my favorite trailheads to go mountain biking, skiing, etc. So I need 4WD. But I also want a Manual because I enjoy driving. I know this is a complicated checklist, so ill simplify it:
Does anyone have any ideas? thanks so much!

AutoGear 01-28-2013 08:11 AM

ROCKLAND Std Gear makes a T56 conversion. Never used it, know nothing about it. Someone else (Transdapt, Novak or Advance Adapters) makes a kit to convert a Muncie 4spd to 4WD use. This involves changing out the mainshaft on the Muncie. Otherwise your choices are T5 (too weak) SM465 (3spd and not suited for hotrodding) and a few others. Im a stick guy and I'll slap myself for this but you're probably better off going with a 4L60e 4 speed Automatic.

The problem with converting a non 4wd stickshift to a 4wd stickshift is the short-run, low availability and unknown quality and lifespan of the non-oem mainshaft necessary to make it work. The OD automatic covers a lot of your trouble areas; its readily accessable, easily serviceable and a common swap. They can also be easily built to handle the LS power with a long service life. Just make sure to use a fluid cooler and a quality ATF in the proper quantity


53fordguy 01-28-2013 09:07 AM

I would also take the time to check out the Chevy NV4500 option, its a super strong transmission with a couple gear options. With that super low first you could crawl to any biking spot. just my .02c

kso 01-28-2013 10:36 AM

Yeah, GM already did it for you, the NV4500, and you get a great low-1st which most 4x4 guys would want. Just step up with the $...:)

Note if you go shopping, the GM and Dodge versions do not interchange.

AutoGear 01-29-2013 07:02 AM

Hope you have plenty of room under there and a strong back LOL. The NV4500 is VERY finicky when it comes to lubricant. If you can find Castrol Syntorq LT 75w-85, its what you need. If you can't, then get the dealership equivalent. I've heard from Dan @ Quad in Roberts, Montana that guys have had good luck with the proper Amsoil equivalent. Personally, Id use the stuff from the $tealership and keep the receipt that way you have a leg to stand on if theres a service issue. A lot of rebuilders will blame the oil; to be fair, an improper lube will kill a 4500 in short order, its what Syntorq was designed for.

matt167 01-29-2013 06:41 PM

Could go with the old standby. SM-465. Strong transmission, very close to the SM-420 that could have come in a '56 Chevy pickup, but GM used them from '73? until the NV-4500 came out in '90ish. No overdrive is the only hangup there. The NV-4500 will get you simmilar ratio's + an OD

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