Laying patch and banging gears represents the most fundamental tradition of hot rodding, but it's awfully hard to practice without a clutch pedal or a shifter. Last month, our '65 Olds project car dumped its wheezy 330 small-block and two-speed automatic combo for a Pro Touring-certified 461ci big-block Olds and a Tremec TKO 600 five-speed from Hurst Driveline Conversions. The entirety of the powertrain swap was too much to cover in one story, so we're picking up where we left off. So far, the bulk of the conversion has already been completed, with the new motor ensconced between the shock towers and the Tremec trans bolted behind it. All that's left to address are the clutch linkage, pedals, driveshaft, shifter, and interior.
To recap, Hurst Driveline Conversions set us up with one of its Elite kits, which includes a Tremec TKO 600 transmission, a driveshaft, a speedometer cable, a trans mount, a pilot bearing, a bellhousing, a flywheel, a clutch, a tunnel patch, and a shifter and knob. This comprehensive setup eliminates all the guesswork out of swapping in a five-speed, and enables ordering up all the pertinent hardware under one convenient part number. Hurst offers five- and six-speed conversion kits for most popular GM, Ford, and Mopar muscle cars, and you'd be hard-pressed to piece together a similar setup for less money. Lending a hand once again with the install is Brent Jarvis and the crew at Performance Restorations (www.PerformanceRestorations.com). With hundreds of five-speed conversions under his belt, Jarvis was able to offer lots of insightful feedback on the nuances of getting manually shifted.