Here's a little 6 speed FAQ we've put together that answers the most common questions regarding the swap.
If you have a question you don't see answered, feel free to contact us.
What parts are needed for the conversion?
The BBHP-designed clutch pedal assembly is fabricated from scratch, and we modify a factory transmission crossmember. Additionally, you need a T56 transmission complete with bellhousing, clutch assembly, and flywheel. We sell factory-remanufactured T56's. You also need to have your PCM reprogrammed. The modification to your stock center console is included with your kit purchase - you mail your console out, and it comes back complete and ready to bolt in, and includes a custom made plastic insert and a 2001 Corvette leather shift boot. Click here for complete contents of the conversion kit.
Does the floorpan need to be modified?
The six-speed fits very nicely. The only floorpan "mod" needed is towards the back of the tranny, on top. The floor needs to be hammered a little from the bottom, to raise it up and make a little room.
Aren't there different T56 transmissions out there?
Yep, there sure are. The T56 is available in '93 and newer F-bodies (F-bodies are Camaros, Firebirds, and Trans-Ams), '97+ Corvettes, and all Dodge Vipers. Our choice is a complete tranny from a '94+ F-body. Here's why: the '93 F-body T56 has less desirable gear ratios, and is only rated at 350 lb/ft of torque, while the '94+ T56 is rated at 450 lb/ft. Additionally, the Corvette uses a different bellhousing, I believe, and may not share the same case. They are also not as common as the F-bodies. Besides, if it comes from a 'vette it always seems to cost more!! The Viper transmission has larger input and output shafts, and a different bolt pattern. Also, the shifter is located several inches farther forward.
What are the gear ratios?
See the complete chart here.
How can I get a clutch pedal and crossmember?
See ordering information here.
What about the computer & wiring?
Fortunately, Ed Wright of Fastchip does great computer reprogramming at a very reasonable rate, and can make your LT1-powered B-body work with a 6 speed. Other than the PCM, 1996 Impala's need to have 2 wires jumped to fool the PCM into thinking the auto shifter is in Park. Included in the BBHP kit is wiring needed to hook up a starter kill so that the car will not start unless the clutch pedal is depressed. Also included in the BBHP kit are new Weatherpak speedometer & reverse light connectors.
What about PCM trouble codes?
After the conversion, your PCM will set trouble codes, as it cannot detect the transmission. Additionally, the speedometer will not read correctly. However, the car will still run and drive fine. These problem can easily be corrected by reprogramming the PCM.
How does the shifter fit?
The shifter pops out in just the right place, so the stock shifter can be retained. However, I recommend an aftermarket shifter such as the Hurst Billet Plus, B&M Ripper, or Pro 5.0 models. The Hurst is our favorite. The B&M unit is nice, but the bends in the supplied shifter handle do not clear the center console (unless you really hack it up!)
What about my car's interior?
Either of the two different Impala center consoles ('94 - '95 version and '96 version) can be modified to work. Center console coversion is included with the purchase of the kit, and includes a custom plastic insert and a 2001 Corvette leather shift boot. You mail your console out, and it comes back all converted, ready to bolt in. The result is a factory look. The only other interior modifications required are removal of the column-mounted shifter on pre-'96 models, and, of course, the installation of the clutch pedal.
What about my warranty?
Your GM warranty will most likely be completely eradicated by this conversion. BBHP offers a one year replacement warranty on all BBHP-produced parts. Click here for full warranty information.
How long does the conversion take?
If you leave your car with us, it will take 2 - 4 weeks for the full conversion, depending on our current workload. Paul, BBHP #5, and I installed his kit in 24 hours - that 24 hours also includes sleeping time! So it can go quickly if you know your way around the car.
What else should I get if I get a 6 speed?
We highly recommend running 4.10:1 rear gears in place of the factory 3.08:1 rear. The 6 speed is marvelously flexible - I can smoke my tires all the way through second gear, yet I turn less than 2,000 rpm at 70 mph. At a minimum, go with 3.73's, and if you really like to shift 4.56's will keep your right hand and left foot plenty busy! Steeper rear gears will necessitate a high-speed balanced drive shaft - the stocker can be made to work, but I prefer an aluminum driveshaft. Gears will run around $200-250, and an install kit, if needed, will run another $90-100. If you want to run the 4.10's or 4.56's and keep your ABS, the ABS reluctor will cost $85. A 3.73 ABS reluctor can be bought at any GM parts counter for around $5-7.
Is this reversible?
Well yes & no. The conversion requires drilling holes in your firewall and cutting a big hole in your floor. Technically, you could, at any time, replace the 6 speed with the auto and remove the clutch pedal, and everything should work fine. Additionally, the mounting points for the '96 floor shifter are removed, as that's where the hole is. If you own an Impala for "investment" reasons don't do this. Unless you think it will improve the value ;-)
How much does the whole thing cost?
Click here for a complete pricing calculator.
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