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Thread: Viper Gearbox in a 'kota. in-depth how-to

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    Default Viper Gearbox in a 'kota. in-depth how-to

    When I wrote up the post that ended up in the sticky in this sub forum, I was "reverse engineering" Patrick Friel's T56 truck after the swap had already been done. Now that I did the swap myself in my own truck, I decided to do up a more in-depth how to, offer up sources for parts, etc. and of course, PICS!!!

    lots of them.



    First off, my truck was already an NV3500 Y-code truck. this means I already had a hole in the floor, I already had a 3rd pedal and clutch hydraulics. If you start with an automatic truck, the only differences that you will need to do is cut a hole in the floor yourself, and swap out your brake pedal for the brake and clutch pedals from a stick shift truck. The brace and hole are already on the firewall to install the clutch master cylinder--it's where your shift cable passes through for the column shift automatic.

    Also, the CPS is different from auto to manual. if you use the auto on a manual flywheel, it will eat the sensor. you need to buy the stock CPS for a 5-spd truck. any 5-spd truck will work...3.9, 5.2 Dakota, Ram, etc. It costs about $80

    as for PCMs, you'll have to source a V8 5-spd PCM, easy to do for the 97-99 trucks, but I think it's 2000 when the 4.7s came out? For those trucks, Sean says you can use the PCM out of an '01 or '02 Ram 3/4 ton truck, which had a 5.9L and 5-spd from the factory.


    Ok. On to the swap!


    After removing everything, you'll need to add a pilot bearing for the input shaft. The stock Dakota 5-spd bushing/bearing will work on the T56, part is available at your favorite parts source -- Rock Auto, Advance, Autozone, Pepboys, etc.

    it fits into the recess of the crank for the hub on the converter. a rubber mallet will drive it home:



    (this picture is actually the bushing/bearing on a big block crank...great thing about this part is that it fits ALL Mopar cranks not just the 5.2/5.9 magnums.)

    After that, you'll need a flywheel. I went with a custom billet 130 tooth flywheel with the tone ring on the backside. balanced to stock 5.9 specs. It's a pretty piece!




    Pick a clutch of your choice based on the power level of your build. My motor is only lightly modded, so I went with a "stock replacement" from Ram clutches. I bought the pressure plate separate from the disc. I use quotation marks because by "stock replacement" I mean that it's not a high tech dual disc, special friction material type clutch. a stock Dakota clutch will not work. You need a 10.5" or a 10.95" clutch to fit this flywheel. the stock Dakota clutch was a 12" If I remember correctly. Clutch disc needs to be 26 spline in same size as the pressure plate.


    Bell housing--quicktime part 8074 is the one needed. it's for a small block chrysler to the viper T56. ...unless you get a GM or Ford T56, then you'll need the appropriate quicktime bell. Each version of the T56 has their own input shaft, and front transmission plate, which may require different bell housing patterns. --They may all have the same bolt pattern, I don't know, but I do know the input shafts are different lengths, so you can't use a viper trans on the GM bell, or vice versa.


    Now. Time to start putting it together.

    here's where we start--back of the motor with everything removed:



    First step... Notch the bell housing for the CPS unless you plan on going carb/stand alone with your own custom crank trigger.

    To do this, first, put the block plate up onto the back of the motor. Once that's in place, use a bolt to hold it from falling off the dowels. Next, bolt on the crank position sensor, and use a marker to trace around the outline of the CPS.








    Now, remove everything.

    Take the block plate to your workbench, use a grinder, and cut out the marked area:




    Next, get the bell and place it "transmission side down" lay the block plate over the top of the bell like this:



    Now you know where you need to cut on the bell.

    Use your grinder again to cut out the area on the bell to match the cutout on the block plate. use your CPS to know when you have gone deep enough into the bell so that it fits. only need to go about 3/4 - 1 inch "deep"






    Here you can see the bell mocked up with the CPS installed:





    Now, bolt it all together!


    Block plate first, again, use a bolt to temp it in place, and next install your flywheel you can also install your CPS again at this point:



    Next, install the clutch to the flywheel:




    and finally, the bell:



    Now you can put your starter back in too if you want so it's not hanging there by the cables anymore. FYI...when messing with the starter, unhook the battery cables, or you may weld the starter to the block or frame as you remove or install it with hot cables attached to it!
    Last edited by Filthy Filbert; 11-01-2013 at 02:02 AM.
    --Tom
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    next--Transmission modification. The stock Viper T56 uses a shift location on the rear of the transmission. There is a kit available for about $400 that allows you to move the shift position up to the front inspection cover. This requires you to take your T56 apart, so if you're not comfortable doing that, get a local shop to do it for you.


    IN this pic, you see the stock shifter location and an inspection cover just infront of it. that inspection cover will become the new shifter location:




    I used this kit:

    [ame="http://www.ebay.com/itm/TREMEC-T-56-6-SPEED-MID-SHIFT-CONVERSION-SHIFTER-/110934313583?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories &hash=item19d4334a6f&vxp=mtr"]Tremec T 56 6 Speed Mid Shift Conversion Shifter | eBay[/ame]

    Note...if this ebay link stops working because auction ends, it's called "quik stik T56 front shift conversion" I haven't found this kit anywhere else than Ebay.

    However, this kit requires you to cut and drill the shift rail yourself, but I'm working with Core-shifters to hopefully make a kit that is "all inclusive" so all you have to do is cut your original shift rail and bolt the new parts in.

    http://www.core-shifters.com/servlet/StoreFront

    First step, remove the tail housing of the T-56. 15mm bolts/nuts, then knock out the roll pin from the shift receptical and it lifts right off:

    This pic shows reverse gear, syncro, speedo tone ring, bearing, and reverse shift fork already removed as well:



    You'll have to also remove the 5th/6th gear cluster, syncro and shift fork. Then, remove the bolts from the front of the transmission. This allows you to lift off the main case, to reveal the main shaft, countershaft, and the 1-4 gear cluster, and the shift rail/forks.






    Now, remove the shift rail:




    I got in a hurry here and forgot to take step by step pics, but, once the shift rail is on your workbench, remove the part on the shift rail that holds the ball detent spring and has the tab that fits into the shift pattern guide plate on the case, then slide the new shift receptical onto the shift rail and secure it with a roll pin--this is for mock up, so no need to drive it all the way in.

    Once the receptical is on the rail, use a drill bit to mark the stock rail where the rear pin hole is on the new shift recptical. it's hardened steel, so use a new, fresh, quality drill bit and a steady hand! You need this location marked before you cut/section the original shift rail!!

    Once you have the location marked, also mark the rail that is over the hole of the shifter recptical. you'll make 2 cuts. one to cut off the rear section of the rail, and a second cut to remove another inch or so of the front section. You're removing a section of the rail, and replacing it with this new shift receptical.



    This allows you to retain your reverse lock-out.

    Now, reassemble the transmission according to the T56 manual, which is available in .pdf in various places on the net. Google will help you find it

    When finished, this is your new shifter location:




    FYI...you can avoid all this internal transmission work if you get a TR6060, which is the newer upgraded T56 found in Vipers after about 2006 or 2007. Or, if you buy a TR6060 or a "T56 Magnum" from Tremec for $3,000 brand new. Those transmissions already have this "front shift conversion" done from the factory. The earlier T56s do not.
    --Tom
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    Next up: Clutch Hydraulics.

    T56 Viper uses a telescoping hydraulic throw out bearing. One would think that a Viper uses the same bearing as the Ram SRT-10 trucks, because they have the same engine, same transmission, same clutch...but they don't. The bore on the bearing out of the truck is a tad smaller than the bore of the bearing on the viper, and the truck hydraulic bearing is better suited to the stock Dakota Master cylinder.

    I tried to use the viper bearing at first, but could not get the clutch to release. Either I had a little air left in the system, or the Dakota master just wasn't big enough to get the viper bearing to extend far enough for the clutch to release. Regardless...I ended up using the SRT-10 TRUCK bearing and it works perfectly.

    Here's how to install it.

    Start with stock Dakota master cylinder. If you have the complete master/line/slave, knock out the roll pin on the Master and remove the stock hydrualic line:



    Now, take the new hydraulic TO bearing, and knock out the roll pin on the straight hard line coming out of the plastic housing:






    Now, go to Jegs, and buy these parts:

    http://www.jegs.com/i/Russell/799/640281/10002/-1

    http://www.jegs.com/i/Russell/799/656072/10002/-1

    Before you can install the fitting into the throw out bearing, you'll have to remove some of the plastic, I used a 9/16" drill bit to make it fit:



    and install the fitting, securing it in place with the original roll pin



    Install the second fitting in the package into the master cylinder, again, securing it with the roll pin.

    Then, connect the master to the throw out bearing with the braided hose. Bleed the system like you would a brake system. start with the master cylinder (may need to invert the master cylinder to get the air to bleed out by cracking the fitting on the AN hose) Then, use the bleeder fitting on the throw out bearing to bleed the air out of it.

    hard to see in this pic with the clutter, but there's the master with the new fitting and braided steel line connected:



    I went long on the hose so that I had length to work with while truck was up in the air and trans was on the floor, giving me hose to work with while moving the trans around and installed into the bell. Once installed, you can loop the hose like I did, and secure it to the brake lines with zip ties to keep it from hitting the exhaust.



    After that, I fabricated a hybrid transmission mount by cutting and welding on the Viper T56 mount, allowing me to bolt it to the stock Dakota NV3500 mount: it's Ugly, but it works:





    Sorry, should have used flat black paint instead of gloss, so that it photographed better


    That's about it on the fab work, the rest of it was as simple as bolting in a stock manual transmission.

    Order of assembly is:

    Hydraulic TO bearing onto front of transmission

    install transmission into the bell, rotating it as you slide it home to line up the splines with the clutch disc. Bolt transmission to the bell.

    Use floor jack and lift up on tailhousing of transmission and install the transmission mount.

    Slide the stock transmission cross member back into location and secure it with the 4 bolts per side through the frame.

    Lower the transmission onto the cross member, pay attention that the bolts on the mount line up with the hole in the cross member and secure with the lock nuts.

    install the driveshaft, and shifter mechanism, and drive away!



    Some other notes:

    I took my stock NV3500 driveshaft and cut it down 1" to make it fit. Patrick's truck was supposedly using the stock driveshaft, but I didn't do the work to it so I don't know. I used the Viper slip yoke, but any 727 yoke will work.

    To adapt the slip yoke to the Dakota drive shaft, I had to use a conversion joint. This joint is not available on the normal market, however Cass aka "Dr. Diff" has them available. You can find him on Moparts, Ebay, and I believe he's recently launched a new website. If you go with a 727 slip yoke, you can probably find one that uses the same U-joints as your stock driveshaft.

    When installing the T56, fill it with 4-4.5 quarts of ATF III (Merc/Dex). Even if you have a newer version that says to use Castrol Syn Torque. You can use the Castrol stuff, but it's only available at the Mopar dealer, and it's about $25 a quart. ATF is available everywhere, the GM and Ford T56s and Tremec "after market hobbyist" T56s all call for ATF III, and internally, they are ALL the same. ATF is what...$4 a quart?

    Your choice!

    That's about it. once you do the hard work of the CPS notching, front shifter modification, and make a new trans mount, it's a pretty easy straightforward swap.
    --Tom
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    by the way, mods, I suggest un-stickying the other "Viper gearbox in a kota" thread, and stickying this one instead, since it (in my opinion) is a much better "how to" than the first thread

    just a suggestion
    --Tom
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    OH...electronics....


    Reverse lock out. Cars with T56 from the factory use the PCM to control reverse lock out. once speed is above 3 or 4 mph, the computer locks out reverse by deactivating power to the solenoid. (unpowered condition is locked out. add power to the solenoid and you can shift into reverse)

    we can't do that on the Dakota to my knowledge. so, we'll use the brake pedal. In order to shift into reverse, you need to step on the brakes. it's the most intuitive way to control the reverse lock-out.

    tap into the brake light circuit at anywhere you wish. I chose to tap in at the brake pedal switch, but you can also use the wires running along the frame rail. Simply splice the power side that turns on the brake lights when you step on the brakes, and run that to the RLO solenoid. then ground the solenoid to the chassis somewhere.



    Reverse lights. The T56 uses the same exact reverse light switch and harness plug as a manual transmission Dakota. If you have a stick shift Dakota already, nothing needed other than the plug it into the reverse light switch on the passenger side of the transmission.

    If you have an automatic, you'll have to figure out which wires in the NSS are powered and control the reverse lights, and then adapt those wires to the stick shift Dakota reverse light switch.
    --Tom
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    My opinion of the T56:

    I love it. At first, I felt 6-speed manuals were too many gears, too much shifting. But, that was based on other 6-speed manuals, usually found in the small econobox imports like the Nissans.

    In this T56, I also put in 4.56 gears in the axle. on hard street radials on the street, first gear is a bit of a smoke show, but with good tires/slicks and track prep, it should be very nice. 4th gear at 1:1 is good for 35-45 mph in town, 5th gear works well up to 55, and 6th gear allows me to cruise down the highway at 73 mph turning 2000 rpm. and that's with tires that are just under 27" tall. RPM would be lower if you are using stock 28 or even 29" tall "truck tires" or slicks.


    I plan on getting some videos in the near future.



    Source for the flywheel, bell, clutch, etc.

    Contact Geoff Gerko:
    Geoff@gerkoenterprises.com
    http://gerkoenterprises.com/

    He can source you all the parts and put them into a "kit" that saves you a few dollars over shopping for everything independently.


    Total cost of my swap:

    T56 -- $1500 off Ebay, Viper take-out.
    Bell, Flywheel, Clutch -- $1200
    Front shifter relocation mod kit -- $400
    SRT-10 Ram TO bearing -- $120
    Hydro lines/fittings from Jegs -- $50
    Driveshaft shortening/rebalancing -- $75
    Conversion U-joint from Dr. Diff -- $50

    Total: approx $3500 after all shipping fees and misc. stuff.

    Viper T56s can be found as low as $1200, and as high as $2500 depending on condition/rebuilt or not, etc.
    --Tom
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    Great write up!

    My R/T build (rebuild) thread

    http://www.dakota-durango.com/forum/...d.php?t=133167
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    So you could your a TR6060 from a '09 + Challenger?

    2012 RAM R/T
    Belltech.

    2010 Challenger R/T
    Hurst. Billet Tech. Hop Not. SLP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbyD View Post
    So you could your a TR6060 from a '09 + Challenger?
    Rephrase?

    Did you mean use a new challenger trans? Probably could, as long as it has the same length input shaft as a viper T-56/TR6060
    --Tom
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    Great write-up Tom! I am wanting to do this one day, and this will be very useful.


    Quote Originally Posted by RobbyD View Post
    So you could your a TR6060 from a '09 + Challenger?
    Quote Originally Posted by Filthy Filbert View Post
    Rephrase?

    Did you mean use a new challenger trans? Probably could, as long as it has the same length input shaft as a viper T-56/TR6060
    I have searched a lot about doing a Challenger TR6060 in my truck, mainly because they can be found for around $800 and are basically a T56 Magnum (700 ft lb tq). The Quicktime bellhousing for that trans has a depth of 7.5". The Quicktime bellhousing for a Viper T56 has a depth of around 6.5". Therefore, it seems as though the Challenger trans input shaft is 1" longer than the Viper T56/TR6060. Solution is to just use the Challenger bellhousing, right? No, the Challenger bellhousing has a passenger side starter location. I guess the Challenger trans input shaft could be machined down 1" to work with the bellhousing that Tom is using. Ok, that possibly fixes the bellhousing issue. The Challenger trans will also need a mid shift location, and will cost roughly the same as the Viper T56. Another issue with the Challenger trans is it does not really have a trans mount. The trans bolts directly to the crossmember. A crossmember could be made like the Challenger one, but a little longer to fit the Dakota frame. Another issue is the driveshaft. The Challenger trans does not have a slip yoke. It uses a pinion flange. Ok, a custom driveshaft is needed anyway, so a custom driveshaft with a bolt-on flange, with a built-in slip yoke is possible, but pricey. The Viper TR6060 has the same pinion flange, so if you was using a Viper TR6060, you would need to consider that also.

    I do believe that it is possible to put a Challenger TR6060 in a Dakota, but there will be more custom work than using an older Viper T56. Is it cost efficient? It probably depends on your resources. Like I said, I have seen them for $800. A Viper T56 is going to cost more, but require less custom stuff. It is probably a wash either way honestly. I do like the way that a TR6060/T56 Magnum shifts, especially at high rpms. My Challenger is a 6-speed and would love the same trans feel in my truck. I will probably just try to find a used T56 Magnum when I get the money to do my swap. I know it adds to the cost up front, but the shifter location adaptivity helps with the cost some.

    2012 Grand Cherokee Limited Wife's car - 4X4, Hemi
    2003 Dakota RT RC, Hughes intake and throttle body, D1SC Procharger, 5-speed
    2009 Challenger RT, 6-speed, sportlines, x-pipe, Dynatech mufflers.

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    I think I would swap out the front input shaft for one from a viper spec T56 (or the Viper TR6060 if it's the "old viper T56" length) into the challenger gear box before cutting one down to shorten it. cutting an inch off the front end of the input shaft would likely leave you with nothing left for the pilot bearing, and you'd have to then put it on a lathe to turn down the splines and make a new spot to fit into the bearing.

    Interesting that the new transmissions use a bolt on flange for the driveshaft, but I'm not surprised, I was glad the Viper T56 used a slip yoke even though there should be no slip needed with an IRS system where the rear diff is hard mounted to the chassis and not moving with suspension travel.

    anyone got pics of how it looks? it's got to be something that is easily changed? how does the transmission come apart if there's a giant flange on the end of the output shaft that does not allow the tail housing assembly to come off?
    --Tom
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    I think the flange is pressed on, so removal is not that easy. Here are a couple of pics of a Challenger trans. The Viper TR6060 trans has the same type of flange. I do think that for maybe a year or two, that the first Viper TR6060's had a slip yoke, but that yoke is hard to find.





    You can see the crossmember bolted directly to the trans in this one, along with the front part of the driveshaft.

    Last edited by 2dakotas; 09-24-2013 at 02:35 PM.

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    Here is a better picture of how the trans mounts to the crossmember. This is an aftermarket crossmemeber, but it works the same way. As you can see, there is a bracket/mount that wraps around the bottom of the trans, and bolts directly to the crossmember.


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    Out of curiosity... If one were to use a GM or ford t56 and used the correct QT bell housing as they do make a mopar small block to GM and ford bell ... Would your flywheel and Dakota clutch work correctly or would the different input shaft lengths screw that up?
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    no. there is no way to use your stock Dakota flywheel or clutch with any T56.

    GM and Viper T56 both use a 26 spline input shaft, there are some Ford boxes that use 10 spline input shafts.

    the dakota manuals use 10 spline input shafts, but I don't know if it's the same size/pitch as the ford 10 splines.

    Regardless, all the quicktime bells require a 130 tooth flywheel, the stock 143 tooth Dakota flywheel will not fit inside any of the quicktimes and will require the custom flywheel and a 10.5" clutch
    --Tom
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    ok i guess i should have rephrased the question... clearly there arent any stock dakota parts in the clutch and flywheel, I guess my question was would I be in uncharted territory using a GM/Ford T56 versus the viper spec t56 (assuming i use the correct BH) and not able to use the same flywheel from Geoff and the same clutch you got.
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    Ah ok. Yes you can use a ford/GM t56 with the correct bell. You could even swap a viper input shaft into the ford/GM box and use the viper bell. The main case/gears, etc are the same across all the T56s. The input shaft and output shafts are all that changed.

    And the custom flywheel will work in any of the QuickTime bells, pretty sure all 3 brands share a pressure plate bolt pattern--I know the GM and Mopar ones are the same, then the only issue is matching the clutch disk to the spline count (and again, GM/Viper 26 spline inputs are the same pitch and can interchange disks, even though the shaft lengths are different)
    --Tom
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    Viper spec is cool but is it necessary? I personally know of a camaro that can keep up with liter bikes. He has broken one rear.

    I'd be willing to bet he is making more pah than most on the sites. I'd be interested to see how one would hold up to the weight and high power though.

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    No, true viper spec isn't needed for 95% of the trucks on this site.

    Especially when everything from the front plate back is all the same, to include the main case. The input shaft, output shaft and the tail housing are all that changed

    However, prices aren't that different between the GM/Ford and Viper spec units when shopping. It's just that the viper boxes are not as easy to find.
    --Tom
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    Ah makes sense. I have never checked prices.

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    Yeah, LS1 T56s around here are bringing $1500-1600, and I can get a fresh Viper box for $2000. If I'm doing it, an extra $400-500 is worth it for piece of mind.

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    Mine was a 2004 viper model, has the solid 1 piece countershaft, 25k miles on the box, and it had a 30 day warranty

    I paid $1350 plus shipping.
    --Tom
    **Photobucket can suck my nut**

    I'm a douchebag

  23. #23

    I like free kittens

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    Here's a great start to a T56 swap!

    http://www.viperalley.com/classified...2&cat=5&page=1
    --Tom
    **Photobucket can suck my nut**

    I'm a douchebag

  24. #24
    dakrt23's Avatar
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    ahhhhh do want!!!!!
    HI. I like beer, burnouts, and boobies...


  25. #25

    I like free kittens

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    $1,000 transmission
    $550 bell
    $500 flywheel
    $300 clutch
    $100 SRT-10 slave/TO bearing... You could do it got under 3 grand!
    --Tom
    **Photobucket can suck my nut**

    I'm a douchebag

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