Convos With My 2 Year Old Season 2 Episode 6 Tremec TKO Transmissions Part 3 – The Ideal Muscle Car Overdrive Transmission

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Tremec TKO Transmissions Part 3 – The Ideal Muscle Car Overdrive Transmission

The real joy of owning a muscle car is in driving it. Muscle car owners who want to get the most out of their cars often drive to distant car shows or other events, but without an overdrive transmission a long trip on the highway becomes tedious. If the car has a performance rear axle, it’s even worse. I love the sound of a V8 at speed as much as any guy out there, but a constant 3600 RPM for three hours solid with a loud exhaust gets tiring. Most of us have gotten used to being able to have a conversation and/or listen to the radio on long drives, and we’d like to be able to pass at least a few gas stations without stopping to fill up! An overdrive transmission solves those problems, and provides many other benefits as well.

The Tremec TKO is an overdrive manual five speed that is ideal for retrofitting in the classic muscle cars of the sixties and seventies. With your choice of 0.82:1, 0.68:1 or 0.64:1 overdrive ratio depending on the model, you can really get those revs down to a manageable number. Lower engine RPM on the highway provides several benefits.

First of all, as already mentioned, there is the noise level. If you have a 3.73 axle ratio with a 235/60-15 tire (26.1″ tall), 75 MPH equals 3600 RPM with a non-overdrive four-speed. The TKO-600 with a 0.64:1 fifth gear (the most popular version). ) will bring that 3600 RPM down to a quiet 2300 RPM at the same 75 MPH The sound level at 2300 RPM is much easier on the ears after a couple of hours or three than 3600 RPM would be!

Another benefit of the lower RPM that I already touched on is increased fuel economy. All other things being equal, the engine will obviously use less fuel at 2300 RPM than it will at 3600 RPM, but with a muscle car engine that was built for performance there is another factor that comes into play. At 3600 RPM, some 4-barrel carburetors may have the secondaries partially open. If you have a steeper axle ratio, it’s even more likely that the secondaries are open at highway speeds. With a 4.10 rear gear, that 75 MPH number I use results in almost 4000 RPM with a non-overdrive transmission. At that point, many carburetors will have the secondary barrels dumping fuel. Reducing the RPM needed to cruise on the highway will reduce the throttle angle, closing the secondaries and making a huge difference in fuel economy. I’ve actually seen fuel mileage on the highway double by installing a TKO, due to being able to cruise without having the secondaries open!

Engines wear faster at higher RPM. In simplified terms, every engine has a lifespan that consists of a certain number of revolutions, barring abuse, neglect or catastrophic failure. If you use fewer of those revs every time you drive 200 miles to a car show, your $5,000, $10,000 or even $20,000 engine will last longer. That way everything will be attached to it that rotates with the motor. Your alternator, water pump, mechanical fuel pump, power steering pump, and AC compressor will all turn less RPM on the highway, and their life will increase.

High-performance engines produce more heat than normal passenger car engines do. Many muscle cars have heat problems due to high RPM on the highway. Reducing the RPM with overdrive can reduce engine temperature and prevent overheating on long trips.

The intangible benefit of all of the above is that overdrive will enable you to drive your muscle car more. You’ll be able and more likely to drive it to more distant car shows, or even on vacation! Overdrive allows you to enjoy your car more by driving it to places you wouldn’t consider going with your 4-speed (or 3-speed automatic) revving the engine at 3600 RPM.

The TKO is strong enough for most muscle cars. It is rated for either 500 or 600 lb.-ft. continuous input, and those numbers are very conservative. There are a large number of cars running well in excess of the rated torque with the TKO, and failures are rare. While I can’t officially condone using the TKO in an application that exceeds the torque capacity, I can tell you from experience that many people have done this and had no problems, even under race conditions.

The Tremec TKO will decrease the noise level on the highway, increase your fuel mileage, increase the life of your engine and everything connected to it, could reduce or eliminate temperature problems, and allow you to drive your car to places you wouldn’t drive. with an old four speed. It is stronger than the old Muncies, T-10s, Toploaders, and A-833s. Versions are available that will bolt right up to a common GM or Ford 4-speed bell, and custom Mopar bells are available to fit a TKO to a Mopar small block, big block, or late model Hemi. All in all, it’s an ideal transmission for a muscle car that’s driven on the highway. For more detailed information on TKO specifications and options, check out my other articles in this series.

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