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LAME V6 Camaro


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v6buicks

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I don't remember if I ever brought this issue up the first time I did the clutch, but its a little more critical now. I'm having more F-body specific 3800 pains. The bolts for a flywheel are longer than those for a flexplate, and they are TTY. I'm willing to reuse them once, but I think twice would really be pushing it.
Flywheel bolt 1.jpg Flywheel bolt 2.jpg

I'm currently in contact with TA Performance about getting a custom bolt set. They really only deal with old school Buick stuff, but the son of the owner happens to be a 3800 guy as well. I don't know much of the details, but he claims to have a few custom sets of longer flex plate bolts for sale. They're still only 3/4" long, but I sent him these pictures and mentioned how GM TTY bolts are at least $6 a piece, so he said he would look into options for 7/8" or 1" bolts. I think this would be huge for the Fiero community. Buying these bolts over and over again really sucks! Even if they were cheaper, nobody selling them ever seems to have a full set of eight.

Is anybody else in here running a manual trans? What bolts are you using to hold the flywheel? bs009 bs009 ? M Mattstrike ? I've read some really old Fiero forum posts about people using ARP SBC cam bolts, but most others jeered at that idea. Something to do with being a lower grade bolt than the original GM stuff? I dunno, but what I do know is that I don't want my flywheel to try sawing my feet off at 7k rpm.
 

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I actually ordered a set of those ARP cam bolts myself, but haven't used them yet. I haven't had to re-bolt on a flywheel yet, I just removed mine and installed the flexplate.

FWIW, right now I'm using grade 8 bolts from lowes with blue threadlock for my flexplate. It's been working fine for the past few (3?) years, and probably 10,000 miles of ~20 psi boost levels.
 

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For the T56 swap, this is the adapter I'm looking at using when I'm finally caught up and ready to throw money at my car again:

It would use the t5 bellhousing and looks like it would bolt up to the mid-plate on the t56. Could still use the t5 flywheel/clutch and slave cylinder.
 
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I actually ordered a set of those ARP cam bolts myself, but haven't used them yet. I haven't had to re-bolt on a flywheel yet, I just removed mine and installed the flexplate.

FWIW, right now I'm using grade 8 bolts from lowes with blue threadlock for my flexplate. It's been working fine for the past few (3?) years, and probably 10,000 miles of ~20 psi boost levels.
Well I guess that's good to know. I'll keep this in mind if it comes down to it.

For the T56 swap, this is the adapter I'm looking at using when I'm finally caught up and ready to throw money at my car again:

It would use the t5 bellhousing and looks like it would bolt up to the mid-plate on the t56. Could still use the t5 flywheel/clutch and slave cylinder.
I looked at that for a while as well. To be honest I kinda forgot about it though. I have one big issue with it. T5s and T56s have a multitude of input shaft lengths. Do you know if theres a T56 shaft that's the same length as the V6 T5 plus the width of that plate? Otherwise, you may need a spacer or machine work. Then again, the Mal Wood Adapter may have the same issues being that it's for a Holden. There are so many questions when it comes to these damn trans swaps!
 
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I found a little write-up from that Firebird guy. It gives an idea on how to use the Mal Wood adapter, but ever that seem like a big PITA. I like that the adapter bs009 showed us will incorporate the stock bell housing. Lots of trade-offs I guess.
 

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I know the ls1 t56 input shaft is a bit longer, has the same spline count too. I was just going to grab the parts and send it haha!

I drove my GP again recently and forgot how much I hate having an automatic. I really want to go back to a manual
 
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You're a braver man than I! Then again we'll never figure these things out if we don't take the plunge. I kinda miss rowing my gears as well. I just hope that the new clutch and pilot bearing fix my shifting issues.
 
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For the T56 swap, this is the adapter I'm looking at using when I'm finally caught up and ready to throw money at my car again:

It would use the t5 bellhousing and looks like it would bolt up to the mid-plate on the t56. Could still use the t5 flywheel/clutch and slave cylinder.
Sorry if I'm getting annoying. Work is so watered down because of the virus that I have nothing to do other than screw around on the computer. Anyway, I just noticed that this plate only has the Muncie pattern on it. I would have to find a 60 degree bell with a Muncie pattern on the other side. Luckily the first generation S10s had these-
S10 Muncie T5 bell.jpg
This creates another issue though. Now the new bell needs to be hacked up to accept the Camaros HTOB plumbing and driver side starter. These old castings are not that great, so I'm not sure if cutting one up and putting a whole bunch of power through it is a great idea. I might be overthinking it though. If you decide to go that route, I hope you post the progress! Mal Wood's adapter requires a little bit of massaging on the engine side, so it's not exactly a cake walk either.
 

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honestly I hadn't noticed that before... it's been a while since I've even looked at the 3800 t5 bellhousing though.

In that case it might be better to just grab some 1/2" thick aluminum sheets and have them drilled out to the right specs then. I don't know what that could cost though to have it done by a machine shop. Right now that seems like a fairly simple option...

The biggest issue I have with going this route though is that I'm worried it could be limiting what clutch options can be used. AFAIK nobody makes twin or triple disc clutches for a 3800 so they would be pretty expensive to have done or get replaced. I think Ideally you'd somehow adapt the flywheel to use an ls-style clutch instead along with the ls-bellhousing
Honestly I haven't been that serious about looking into things though myself. I've spent so much money on my projects during the last 5 years that I've been forcing myself to stop so I can catch up on my debt from it and all of my student loans and other crap. It'll be at least another year before I start buying the parts I think.
I do have a lot of free time now with the covid19 crap though so maybe I'll look into this more tonight haha. I'm pretty determined to get this to work. I hate the 4l60e so much :ROFLMAO:
 
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Ha! I know the feeling. I don't like to think about how much time and money I've spent on these things. I guess the time part is fine, but the money.... o_O

I'm going to measure my input shaft when I get home. I have an idea... I THINK these 3.4/3800 input shafts are close enough to V8 shaft size in which case a TKO600 would be plenty beefy (although pricey) and be a nice fit. If the V6 shaft is longer then there's this.


I didn't notice until today how difficult it is to get any information regarding a 4th gen V6 T5. Everybody wants to talk about Ford, S10, and third gen stuff.
 

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Yeah tko is another good option. I figured if I'm already spending over $2,500 ish then I'd want at least another gear though lol.

You should be able to have it ordered however you need it to be too according to Tremec, but again I haven't looked into it seriously though because I didn't really want another T5 haha!
 
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Quarantine day 8 - My simple clutch job has turned into a full-on transmission swap research project.
Input shaft length.jpg
Input shaft length approximation its hard to hold the level flat on the end of the pilot shaft while adjusting the caliper.

I took a couple other measurements just in case I wanted them later.
Input shaft width.jpg
Input shaft width.

Pilot width.jpg
Pilot width

Both the input and output shafts have 26 splines. According to this chart, it oddly seems that the Ford unit is damn close to being a bolt-in unit. I would need a new driveshaft yolk, but it seems that I wouldn't even need to replace the driveshaft if I just wanted to wait until I did a rear end swap.
TKO Dimention Chart.png

There are still a few things that I'm assuming though. One is that the Ford TKO case is different from the GM and has a Ford trans pattern instead of a Muncie. I think that would be really silly to make all these "bolt in" claims if it didn't, but I haven't seen a picture of a Ford patterned unit anywhere on their page. Another assumption is that the input shaft dimensions besides length are are same. I haven't found those specs yet, but I think the worst case scenario would be needing to turn a custom pilot bushing or turn the pilot down to accept a stock bushing. Having an overall thicker input shaft would make clutch options tougher for the "bolt-in" guys. The last assumption is that I'll be able to bolt my stock HTOB mount in place of the TKO bearing retainer. Considering how this is really just a beefed up and updated T5, I have high hopes that my assumptions are correct. However, if it all checks out, I think this will be my easy way out.

The T56 idea is cool AF, but that's a lot of coin, more weight, and involves a lot more unknowns. 600 lb/ft is no joke for a 3800 build so I think I'd be happy with this for a while. This of course is all in the "honeymoon stage" as I call it. Nothing has been purchased, no questions have been asked, and everything is just a big idea. This will probably have enough stuff going on to warrant it's own thread, but I think I'll keep it here until I actually go forward with a swap.
 

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I'd call up Tremec or whoever sells the transmissions for them. I bet they can send you one that bolts in.
From what I've gathered, the world class t5's in mustangs should be pretty similar to the 3800's T5. they'd have different bellhousings and tailshafts obviously though. I think they have a different input shaft too.


I almost want to build a wiki for information like this. So little information out there is well documented with evidence or findings.

Input shaft diameters, lengths, pilot bearing depths, diameters, etc.
flywheel bolt circle diameters
flywheel diameters
bolt thread sizes and lengths

lots of things zzp sells are just sourced from other parts too and it'd be cool to have all of that info documented somewhere.
 
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Dude you and me both. Don't get me wrong. There is a lot of great info on the T5 out there, but it's so hard to get enough of it in one place. It was longest running production of a transmission ever and it's extremely versatile. The aftermarket has only made it better. Then compiling all the bell housings that fit on to a 3800 is a chore too. You have to remember that Jeep used the same bell pattern on their 2.5L for a little while. Isuzu and Northstars would fit in there too!

Another thing that would be nice to know is some actual torque ratings for each T5 combination. I've heard some different numbers thrown around from Mustang guys and their V8 WC units, but never anything concrete. None of the T5s made after Fox bodies and Third gens get talked about much at all.
 
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Welp... Just spent $38 on GM flywheel bolts. Then I remembered that I also reused the pressure plate bolts last time as well... 🤦‍♂️ I'll figure out what size they are and see if there's an ARP set that I can cross reference.
 
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In case anybody needs proof or confirmation the flywheel bolts are 5/16" - 18 x 7/8" Grade L9 and there are 8 of them.
1.jpg

The pressure plate bolts are M8 - 1.25 x 22mm There are 6 of them.
IMG_20200326_065658.jpg

I don't know what the grade of these are, but it appears that ARP 108-2201 will work assuming they are long enough. I'm just waiting to hear back from Summit on that one. Has anybody else seen these letters and numbers on a bolt head? These are new to me.
IMG_20200326_080515.jpg

bs009 bs009 regarding those SBC cam bolts I just noticed that they are the Pro Series which have a 200k psi tensile strength. That's good, but I was just informed that the underhead length is only 3/4". Bummer. That's shorter than stock. Although I'm sure there would be decent thread engagement, I would feel a lot better with the extra thread or two in there.
 

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Sorry I'm late to reply about bolts.

Everything on mine are high-strength socket head cap screws. That's all those fancy aftermarket bolts are anyway. I order off McMaster-Carr, listed under alloy steel, tensile strength is 170,000 PSI.

TTY is just an OEM installation gimmick - makes it nearly foolproof for them to assemble on an assembly line and always hit their torque numbers. You can get into arguments about head gasket crush and how the rotating assembly might cause certain issues, but for a clutch/flywheel a dab of loctite to make sure they don't back out (even OE bolts have that) and correct torque proceedure (stepping up to the rated torque) is all you need. Do not under-tighten them, and if one doesn't torque out properly replace it (quality control is never perfect).
 
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Today I learned that the stock pressure plate bolts don't use all of the available threads in the flywheel. Odd.
PP to FW bolt threads 1.jpg

PP to FW bolt threads 2.jpg

I could probably get away with buying bolts that are another 0.25" longer. ARP 108-2201 is a no go, because their their threads do not go all the way up to the head. I may just go grade 9 or reuse the stock stuff.

Oh yeah! I'm also officially done with sheet metal work! 🥳 I just have to seam seal a few spots and hit some areas with more undercoating. Then I will throw the interior back together.
 
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Wow! It's been a long time since I've seen the car look this complete. I'm pretty impressed with how well I did on keeping the parts together too. I'm only missing one seat belt bolt and one of those clothes hanger clip things that goes on the top of the B-pillar. Considering that I stored all this stuff this in my basement for the last two years I think I've done pretty well. Keep in mind that the basement has flooded twice in that time frame too. :oops: I'm lucky the carpet doesn't smell or look like complete crap. I did a lot of work to clean it though.
Interior back together 3-20.jpg
I'm just waiting on a flywheel now. I'll bet that it takes a week to get here. :( It should get drop shipped from the manufacturer tomorrow.
 
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I decided to try something. It turns out that my local Advance has a pretty good grade 10 bolt selection. When I saw these longer flanged versions of my original pressure plate bolts I thought I hit the jackpot! $6 and done. I thought it was strange that my original bolts weren't flanged nor did they have any washers.
New grade 10 PP bolts 1.jpg
New on left. OG on right.

Nice...
New grade 10 PP bolts 2.jpg

NICE!
New grade 10 PP bolts 3.jpg
Not that I was particularly worried about the original bolts... I mean if it was good enough for GM then it should be fine now!

While I was buying bolts I figured I would try replacing the missing seat belt bolt too. No problem. It's a little long, but I can deal with that.
Belt anchor bolt 3.jpg

If I didn't cut it down I might have ended up with a reverse circle track suspension! The control arm is at full droop in this pic and much closer to this bolt than it appears.
Belt anchor bolt 1.jpg
Cut down
Belt anchor bolt 2.jpg

I can't wait to drive the crap out of this thing!
All the seats in 3-20.jpg
 

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