If you are doing a T-56 swap in your second generation Camaro, you’ll need to determine how you are going to support it in the car. You can modify your stock crossmember or you can go aftermarket. In this video, we give you a look at the Speedtech T-56 transmission crossmember and we install it back in to our 1971 Camaro RS/SS project.
Speedtech T-56 Transmission Crossmember Overview
The Speedtech T-56 transmission crossmember is a high quality piece. There is enough adjustability in the brackets to be compatible with most LS swap engine mounts. I also love the fact that I can drop the transmission without removing the transmission crossmember brackets from the subframe. Here are few bullets taken directly from Speedtech Performance’s website:
- It’s unique design is fully adjustable fore and aft in the vehicle to accommodate most engine positions and T56 variants.
- Our side brackets are made from precision CNC formed plates with slotted bolt holes for ease of matching your drivetrain’s centerline for the perfect fit.
- Billet Stainless Steel 2 piece side connectors separate for easy transmission removal and servicing.
- CNC formed center bar provides strength, plenty of exhaust clearance, and good looks.
- The precision laser cut center mount plate is also slotted for easily lining up the mount to the transmission.
- All steel components come powder coated gloss black.
Speedtech T-56 Transmission Crossmember Fitment Issues
I experienced two fitment issues with the Speedtech T-56 transmission crossmember. Both dealt with the brackets that sit between the subframe and the floor pans.
The first fitment issue I experienced was caused by my body mount bushings that were in poor shape. I received my Speedtech T-56 transmission crossmember and immediately went to install it only to find that I couldn’t fit the brackets between the floor pans and the subframe. Speedtech mentions in the instructions that you must have good body mount bushings for the brackets to fit. No problem, I ordered a set of Global West Suspension’s #800 solid body mount bushings. After receiving the body mount bushings, I installed them and the brackets fit perfectly. Note that you must have stock size body mount bushings.
Fast forward a few weeks, I experienced my second fitment issue. This one being a little more of a show stopper. I installed replacement AMD front driver and passenger floor pans and found that the brackets no longer fit. In fact, I had to remove the Speedtech T-56 transmission crossmember to complete the installation of the floor pans. When I finished installing the replacement floor pans, I tried getting the brackets to fit between the subframe and the floor pans. This wasn’t going to happen. The replacement pans are stamped differently than the originals. I decided to cut the floor pans to make the brackets fit. You can see how I tackled this in the following two videos.[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fG3ldMcUaY[/embedyt][embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RTjjMEziAs[/embedyt]
Speedtech T-56 Transmission Crossmember Installation
The Speedtech T-56 transmission crossmember is really easy to install in the 1970 to 1974 Camaros and Speedtech provides very clear instructions on how to do just that. You can grab those from their product page. Here are the installation steps that I took at a high level:
- Assemble the Speedtech T-56 transmission crossmember, leaving one bracket off and leaving the hardware loose.
- Support your transmission with a jack.
- Unbolt the transmission from the stock transmission crossmember mount.
- Raise the jack slightly to take the pressure off of the stock transmission crossmember.
- Remove the two bolts from each side of the subframe that are securing the stock transmission crossmember.
- Remove the stock transmission crossmember.
- Replace the transmission mount with the polyurethane transmission mount recommended by Speedtech.
- Place the Speedtech T-56 transmission crossmember in place and attach the other bracket to it, leaving it loose.
- Bolt the Speedtech T-56 transmission crossmember to the transmission mount, leaving the bolts loose.
- Attach the brackets to the subframe using your original hardware, leaving the hardware loose.
- Adjust the Speedtech T-56 transmission crossmember so that it is evenly positioned on both sides of the subframe.
- Work from the center out and begin tightening down the hardware.
- Lower the jack.
Overall I’m very happy with the quality of the Speedtech T-56 transmission crossmember. I was very happy with the fitment until I replaced the floor pans. I feel that a better version of the crossmember would have flat plates for the brackets or have the brackets flipped upside down. This way it wouldn’t matter if you had bad body mount bushings or replacement floor pans. You can’t change the existing brackets because the Speedtech T-56 transmission crossmember is wider than the subframe once assembled.