June 1, 2005

Horse Sense:
Tremec threw everything but the kitchen sink at its latest TKO models. The TKO-500 and TKO-600 both feature multiple shifter mounting positions and the capability to use manual or electric speedometer pickups. This means no matter what you put this transmission into (now, or later when you decide to swap your drivetrain into something else, even a kit car) you'll be able to hook your TKO up and be running in no time.

It’s your decision as to where to start, but one area we always hear people having problems with, after trying to put big power to the ground, is the transmission

It's no secret that with elevated horsepower and performance comes the necessity for stronger parts across the board. If you put all your money into a 700hp turbocharged mod motor and drop it into your Mustang with a stock transmission, stock axles, and stock brakes (yikes!) you're going to have breakage. We're not saying that you can't do what we just described, but unless you drive like ex-Publisher Shiver with an egg under your right foot, and we'd venture a guess you don't if you're reading this magazine, then you're inevitably going to be coming home from the drag strip or autocross on the back of a wrecker.

Sure, you can nurse your project along as budget allows, going easy on the power shifts, not using sticky tires, and so on. Then, as your budget allows, upgrade the rest of your project to match that mountain of horsepower you're making so your ride will be tough as nails, dead-nuts reliable, and of course, be as quick and as fast as your wallet can allow.

It's your decision as to where to start, but one area we always hear people having problems with, after trying to put big power to the ground, is the transmission. In all credit to Ford, they've stepped up and put much better transmissions in the Mustangs as power has increased, but we're talking stock power here, not 500-plus hp with an aggressive driver. As such, when you have the problem of making that much power in your street car, you'll want a transmission that can handle it, and that transmission is a TTC-Tremec.

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With decades of OEM installations under its belt, TTC-Tremec has always come through with a solution for the needs of the performance aftermarket. Its line of TTC-Tremec series transmissions, including the TKO and TKO II are consistently mentioned in magazine features, tech articles, and build-ups of all kinds. Now, TTC-Tremec has introduced its latest salvo in getting your horsepower to the ground-its TKO-500 and TKO-600 transmissions. We gave you the synchros and bearings on the new TKO-500 and TKO-600 in the June '04 issue (New Contenders, p. 100) and we finally got our hands on a TKO-600 for our 3g GT project.

We also had TTC-Tremec send us the proper bellhousing and driveshaft yoke for the swap and we gave a shout to Dave Norton at SPEC clutches since the TKO-600 requires a 26-spline clutch disc in place of the stock 10-spline unit. We had a SPEC Stage 3 in our 3g GT, but on Dave's recommendation we upgraded to a SPEC Stage 2 with its new aluminum pressure plate option. This option will lower our clutch weight by five pounds (making more horsepower for us) and has more clamp load than the steel plate, allowing us to keep our torque capacity while keeping the clutch effort streetable.

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