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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey Folks,

I promised myself (and my wife) several years ago that I’d only have one ”Play Car.” Once upon a time I had a 6,000 sq’ garage that was nicely filled, but at 60 years old I’m no longer interested in being owned by a bunch of cars screaming at me to fix or upgrade this or that. Sooo... I settled on a ‘68 El Camino SS a little less than two years ago. I’ve only had it “finished“ for less than a year and was already bored with the automatic transmission. I decided that if I can only have one “toy” it should have a stick shift. Yesterday I ordered a T56 Magnum “kit” and started getting ready for its arrival.

In the interest of helping others who may contemplate this transition I figured I’d go ahead and document the transition. My ‘kit” is likely not going to arrive for another week, but today I pulled the dash because I still had a few other things to clean up. Luckily I have a friend who has a ‘68 Chevelle with a TH400 but his car still had the manual transmission pedal set. Yesterday I pulled my brake pedal and put it in his car and stole his clutch & brake pedals as a straight swap. More to follow...
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Today I pulled out the brake master and booster along with the pedal mounts and the dashboard. I will have to modify the firewall in order to add the hydraulic clutch master so all of this removal was necessary. Please ignore the jumble of stray wires. I sent my Dakota Digital dash controller in last week for a firmware update so every possible wire is marked and hanging free right now.
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Hey Folks,

I promised myself (and my wife) several years ago that I’d only have one ”Play Car.” Once upon a time I had a 6,000 sq’ garage that was nicely filled, but at 60 years old I’m no longer interested in being owned by a bunch of cars screaming at me to fix or upgrade this or that. Sooo... I settled on a ‘68 El Camino SS a little less than two years ago. I’ve only had it “finished“ for less than a year and was already bored with the automatic transmission. I decided that if I can only have one “toy” it should have a stick shift. Yesterday I ordered a T56 Magnum “kit” and started getting ready for its arrival.

In the interest of helping others who may contemplate this transition I figured I’d go ahead and document the transition. My ‘kit” is likely not going to arrive for another week, but today I pulled the dash because I still had a few other things to clean up. Luckily I have a friend who has a ‘68 Chevelle with a TH400 but his car still had the manual transmission pedal set. Yesterday I pulled my brake pedal and put it in his car and stole his clutch & brake pedals as a straight swap. More to follow... View attachment 129644 View attachment 129645 View attachment 129644 View attachment 129645
Good friend.
Nice trade.
Cheers to the both of you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well Shoot... for some reason my pictures showed up twice in the first post. I went back and deleted two and they all left. So let me try this again....
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Got rid of my auto trans in the elky in the mid 90's for a tpi/ t-5, then an LS1/ T-56. My modified & now adjustable factory hydraulic clutch setup still isn't perfect for the monster stage 3 setup, but other than that no regrets.
Going from a th350 to a stick really freed up some rear wheel hp, from a th400 should be wow.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wiring is all cleaned up and the car is running again. So now it’s time to kill it.
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
After UPS freight sat on my transmission for four days I finally went and got it from them today. Their small freight warehouse is literally right across the street from where they were supposed to deliver it last Thursday. And this morning it still wasn’t on a truck. Oh well. The only thing I’m waiting on now is the flywheel and the clutch master cylinder.
I checked the offset of my bellhousing today and discovered that I was right at the edge of the acceptable limit so now I’m waiting on a pair of .007 offset dowel pins. I sucked it up and cut my transmission tunnel open. Now I wait....
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Today I made good progress. My goal was to knock out my stock bellhousing alignment pins and get the transmission mounted so I could get a driveshaft measurement. I managed to press out the passenger side pin in about three minutes with a C-clamp. But the driver side pin hole is situated so that it was impossible to do that. I spent the next 2 1/2 hours drilling, reaming, grinding, chiseling, punching, and of course, cussing. But I finally got it out. Most of it is shavings but there’s a little of it left.

I managed to get the transmission into place so I could get my driveshaft measurement. As it turns out I’ll be needing to do some minor cutting and welding on my crossmember now. Once the transmission is in place at the proper angle there’s only about 1/4” of space between the mounting pads on top of the crossmember and the bottom of the transmission. The mount is about 1 3/4”. The good news though is that I don’t have to drill any additional frame holes for the crossmember. Even though I’ll have to shorten the driveshaft about 7”, the mounting pad is only slightly farther back than on the TH400.

Anyway, here are a few pictures of today’s progress. My apologies, as I’m unable for some reason to add pictures to a single post. They either come in twice or not at all. So I have to clog the thread with one-picture-posts.
 
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