Go Back   Corvette Forum > C1 & C2 Corvettes, 1953 - 1967 > C1 & C2 Corvettes
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?
Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read FAQ Vendor Directory
Search
C1 & C2 Corvettes
General C1 Corvette & C2 Corvette Discussion, Technical Info, Performance Upgrades, Project Builds, Restorations Sponsored by
Flaming River
Industries

Welcome to Corvetteforum.com!
Welcome to Corvetteforum.com.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, join Corvetteforum.com today!


Corvette Store
 
 
C7 Parts & Accessories
C6 Parts & Accessories
C5 Parts & Accessories
C4 Parts & Accessories
C3 Parts & Accessories
C2 Parts & Accessories
C1 Parts & Accessories
Wheels & Tires
Sponsored Ads
 
 
Vendor Directory
  
Reply
 
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-27-2011, 11:09 AM   #1
66 Vette
CF Senior Member
 
66 Vette's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2005
Location: Greenville Ohio
Default Tremec/Keisler Transmission

I am ready to order either the Tremec TKO 600 or the Keisler RS 600. The problem I have is deciding between the two. Tremec is available for immediate shipment but approximately $400 more, Keisler has an approximate waiting period of 6 months before shipment. I will be putting up my car for the winter in the next month so the 6 month wait is not a problem as long as it ships at that time or before. Is the Keisler a better transmission and worth the wait, is it also an easier install than the Tremec? Of those of you that have driven both which one do you recommend?
66 Vette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2011, 11:31 AM   #2
tuxnharley
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
 
tuxnharley's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2004
Location: Los Gatos California
Default

I have the TKO 500 in my '67. I am very happy with the transmission, but installation was a b!tch w/o a removable cross member. I think that is the main issue (aside from sagging floor pans and the need for spacers) on installation of either transmission you mention. I understand that the RS has a smaller case and so may not have the same floor pan clearance problems as the Tremec.

I'm a little confused by the terminology you use. You know that the TKO 500 or 600 is a Tremec that Keisler modifies with a different shifter, right? The RS is much more highly modified, internally as well as externally.

tuxnharley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2011, 12:04 PM   #3
66 Vette
CF Senior Member
 
66 Vette's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2005
Location: Greenville Ohio
Default

In regard to your confusion, the Tremec TKO 600 is manufactured by Tremec and sold by various Distributors including Keisler. The RS 600 is manufactured and sold only by Keisler.
I am looking for information by those that have driven both and determined there is sufficient difference between the two to provide an opinion of which is better. I do not want this question to lead into an argument, only facts to help me make a decision, for some of us the cost for either is a great amount of money and I do not want to make the wrong decision.
66 Vette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2011, 12:17 PM   #4
Fred D. Zwiger
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Mar 2004
Location: Rockford Illinois
Default

I originally ordered a RS from Keisler. They keep pushing the delivery back and I got frustrated and exchanged the complete order for a Tremec. The Tremec was readily available. I've used a lot of Tremec Trandmissions and never had a problem. I don't know when the RS will be out.

Fred Z.
Fred D. Zwiger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2011, 12:19 PM   #5
tuxnharley
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
 
tuxnharley's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2004
Location: Los Gatos California
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 66 Vette View Post
I am ready to order either the Tremec TKO 600 or the Keisler RS 600. The problem I have is deciding between the two. Tremec is available for immediate shipment but approximately $400 more, Keisler has an approximate waiting period of 6 months before shipment. I will be putting up my car for the winter in the next month so the 6 month wait is not a problem as long as it ships at that time or before. Is the Keisler a better transmission and worth the wait, is it also an easier install than the Tremec? Of those of you that have driven both which one do you recommend?
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxnharley View Post
I have the TKO 500 in my '67. I am very happy with the transmission, but installation was a b!tch w/o a removable cross member. I think that is the main issue (aside from sagging floor pans and the need for spacers) on installation of either transmission you mention. I understand that the RS has a smaller case and so may not have the same floor pan clearance problems as the Tremec.I'm a little confused by the terminology you use. You know that the TKO 500 or 600 is a Tremec that Keisler modifies with a different shifter, right? The RS is much more highly modified, internally as well as externally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 66 Vette View Post
In regard to your confusion, the Tremec TKO 600 is manufactured by Tremec and sold by various Distributors including Keisler. The RS 600 is manufactured and sold only by Keisler.
I am looking for information by those that have driven both and determined there is sufficient difference between the two to provide an opinion of which is better. I do not want this question to lead into an argument, only facts to help me make a decision, for some of us the cost for either is a great amount of money and I do not want to make the wrong decision.

OOOOOOkayyyy, then............. You do remember you asked about installation issues, right? Sorry if you're not interested in that anymore.
In fact, I'm sorry I replied the first time............
tuxnharley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2011, 01:34 PM   #6
66 Vette
CF Senior Member
 
66 Vette's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2005
Location: Greenville Ohio
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxnharley View Post
OOOOOOkayyyy, then............. You do remember you asked about installation issues, right? Sorry if you're not interested in that anymore.
In fact, I'm sorry I replied the first time............
I am very interested in installation issues, if the RS 600 is easier to install that will be a very large plus. I have heard that in some cases you have to install new body mounts to install the Tremec, I am just trying to get facts from those that have installed them. I am sorry if I replied such that implied what you advised was not important.
66 Vette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2011, 10:28 PM   #7
jdk971
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
 
jdk971's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 2007
Location: columbus ohio
Default

installation i can not answer. i have had both tko and rs. the rs i have now shifts more like a muncie or t10. the tko is stiffer to me, like it
is notchy. jim
jdk971 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2011, 11:17 PM   #8
65tripleblack
CF Senior Member
 
65tripleblack's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 2003
Location: Ocean Township NJ
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdk971 View Post
installation i can not answer. i have had both tko and rs. the rs i have now shifts more like a muncie or t10. the tko is stiffer to me, like it
is notchy. jim
I heard the same from a few others as well.

"World Class Shift Quality: Through the adaptation of double cone, carbon fiber lined steel synchronizers, the RS Series provides a dramatically better shift quality than previous offerings using single cone brass synchro rings (Tremec TKO). The RS can cleanly shift at 7000rpm, with low shift effort. Additionally, the new guide plate and single rail architecture provides precise clean guided shifts..........."

I'm waiting until Feb. - Mar. 2012.
As long as I can have my car ready for the road by May 2012, then I'll be a happy camper.

Last edited by 65tripleblack; 09-28-2011 at 08:45 AM.
65tripleblack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 12:19 AM   #9
FastEddy
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
 
FastEddy's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2006
Default

No problem with the Tremec here...performance wise - love it. Shifter feels fine to me, but then I thought the muncie was too sloppy. But after 90,000 miles of bang'n on a muncie, it took some time to get use to the careful push forward needed to hit third gear, caused by the fact that there are now three forward shift "gates" instead of just two, so that you can't just push hard forward and hard to the right.... or you'll bang between "gates" and get no gear, or 5th gear - just the difference of going from a 4 to a 5 spd, not a Tremec issue. I was amazed that it was actually a habit I had to break!

Installation wise it's just too damn close to the tunnel - good luck getting your heat insulation to stay in one piece under there. I did the floor shim kit when I first installed it, and still had to file down the edges of the top cover plate to keep it from hitting the bulges in the tunnel where the center of the dash bolts down - then later, when I replaced the trans mount, I had to grind off some of the bottom of the new mount to keep it from hitting again - my body mounts were not new then, but they did not look squashed either.

Sorry, but I've got no personal experience on the new RS, but with everything I've read, and by looking at the pictures, it sounds/looks like it fits like a muncie. So just wait till the last minute, and see if it is available when you are ready. And I don't doubt Keisler's ability to put out a quality product.

BTW, check out the puny 64 yoke next to Kieslers!! The drive shaft for '64 was pretty small - no wonder I twisted the shaft in two one day....... without slicks!!
Attached Images
   

Last edited by FastEddy; 09-28-2011 at 12:36 AM.
FastEddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 06:48 AM   #10
66 Vette
CF Senior Member
 
66 Vette's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2005
Location: Greenville Ohio
Default

Great responses and pictures. I was all set to go with the Tremec TKO this morning but the comments of having problems fitting the Transmission in the Tunnel and possibly even having to file to obtain sufficient space has me reconsidering. I wish that the RS Transmission was available, I hate to make a deposit and then find out 6 months later it is delayed again. I plan on pulling my engine for a rebuild in the next several weeks then I will reinstall it with a transmission if I choose the TKO and without a transmission if I choose the RS until I receive it. One issue also is if you order the RS and decide to cancel the order there is a $300 cancellation charge. I would hate to be charged $300 if they can't meet their shipment date.
66 Vette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 08:17 AM   #11
wmf62
CF Senior Member
St. Jude Donor '07
Support Corvetteforum!
 
wmf62's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jun 2006
Location: Inverness FL
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 66 Vette View Post
One issue also is if you order the RS and decide to cancel the order there is a $300 cancellation charge. I would hate to be charged $300 if they can't meet their shipment date.
this is new news to ponder... not only are they backordered due to problems and HUGE demand, but they want a canceling fee too... on top of their HUGE deposit. seems like demand would 'cancel' the canceling fee.. :*****

if true, something is really wrong here....
Bill
wmf62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 08:21 AM   #12
redred65cpe
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: May 2008
Location: Leominster MA
Default

I'd be really surprised if they give you a ship date for an RS given what has happened. If you canceled before the non-binding estimate they give you, I could see them charging you the cancellation fee. If they say 6 months and you cancel after 6 months, then they probably would not. But, I'm not Keisler.

larry
redred65cpe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 09:31 AM   #13
KeislerSales
Former Vendor
 
Member Since: Jul 2007
Location: Rockford TN
Default

Guys, we are NOT enforcing the cancellation fee if we cannot meet the estimated ship date on the RS units.

As everyone knows, we have a long lead time on these and the 600 has the longest lead time of them all. Currently, the 400/500 will ship within 3-4 months and the 600 takes 6 months plus.

The 600 uses a different first gear/countershaft assembly and they arrive very slowly from our manufacturer. We are hoping that production will reach full swing soon.

As far as installation, the TKO and RS differ greatly.

The TKO can be installed without removing the engine but the distributor must be removed and the engine tilted down in the rear. Is it easy? No. R&R on a Muncie is no fun either with the welded crossmember.

Seat pan sag is common on C2 and we supply support bushings that go between the crossmember and the seat pan to help with this issue. Obviously, new body mounts help as well. Tunnel insulation may or may not have to be removed and results will vary from car to car due to floor pan sag/body mount condition. If it has to be removed you can either go with thinner aftermarket insulation or simply insulate the tunnel on the inside of the car under the carpet.

As far as RS goes, pull the motor. It cannot be installed without removing the engine or converting to a removable crossmember. In my opinion, it's easier to pull the motor anyway rather than do what it takes to tilt it down in the rear.

This applies to C2 and C3 4 speed cars only with the welded crossmember. If you have an auto car the crossmember unbolts so you're good to go. If you don't have a numbers car converting to a removable crossmember is an attractive option. There's threads here on the forum showing you how. Tunnel insulation can also be left in place with the RS and clearance issues are not a problem thanks to the rounded case design.

Shifting the two units differs greatly as well. The TKO relies on simple brass blocker rings in the synchros. Brass is ok but doesn't get the job done; if you plan to shift at 6000 rpms or higher it won't happen very well if at all. We do offer a carbon fiber lined blocker ring upgrade that will take the capability to 7500 and reduce lower rpm shift effort.

The multi rail shift design does make 3rd gear tough at times and as others have described a simple adjustment in technique will correct it 95% of the time.

The RS uses a steel synchro blocker ring and the carbon fiber lining comes standard. 7500 rpm shifts are not a problem. 1st and 2nd gears have a double cone synchro design for low effort, all other gears are single cone.

The RS has a single shift rail design just like T56 so there's no 3rd gear shift issues. It also has a guide plate that helps guide the shifter. If you overshoot a gate the guide plate routes the shifter back into the proper position. There's no way to miss a shift with this design unless you're a caveman.

RS also has a high mesh gearset for quiet operation. You cannot hear the trans when you're driving down the road. TKO will have a bit of whine but by no means is it annoying or unbearable.

You can't go wrong either way. Adding an overdrive to your Corvette will be the single most satisfying thing you can do!

Last edited by KeislerSales; 09-29-2011 at 10:19 AM. Reason: Changed comment on tunnel insulation
KeislerSales is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 09:49 AM   #14
65tripleblack
CF Senior Member
 
65tripleblack's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 2003
Location: Ocean Township NJ
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeislerJeff View Post
Guys, we are NOT enforcing the cancellation fee if we cannot meet the estimated ship date on the RS units.

As everyone knows, we have a long lead time on these and the 600 has the longest lead time of them all. Currently, the 400/500 will ship within 3-4 months and the 600 takes 6 months plus.

The 600 uses a different first gear/countershaft assembly and they arrive very slowly from our manufacturer. We are hoping that production will reach full swing soon.

As far as installation, the TKO and RS differ greatly.

The TKO can be installed without removing the engine but the distributor must be removed and the engine tilted down in the rear. The tunnel insulation will need to be removed as well. Is it easy? No. R&R on a Muncie is no fun either with the welded crossmember.

Seat pan sag is common on C2 and we supply support bushings that go between the crossmember and the seat pan to help with this issue. Obviously, new body mounts help as well.

As far as RS goes, pull the motor. It cannot be installed without removing the engine or converting to a removable crossmember. In my opinion, it's easier to pull the motor anyway rather than do what it takes to tilt it down in the rear.

This applies to C2 and C3 4 speed cars only with the welded crossmember. If you have an auto car the crossmember unbolts so you're good to go. If you don't have a numbers car converting to a removable crossmember is an attractive option. There's threads here on the forum showing you how. Tunnel insulation can also be left in place with the RS and clearance issues are not a problem thanks to the rounded case design.

Shifting the two units differs greatly as well. The TKO relies on simple brass blocker rings in the synchros. Brass is ok but doesn't get the job done; if you plan to shift at 6000 rpms or higher it won't happen very well if at all. We do offer a carbon fiber lined blocker ring upgrade that will take the capability to 7500 and reduce lower rpm shift effort.

The multi rail shift design does make 3rd gear tough at times and as others have described a simple adjustment in technique will correct it 95% of the time.

The RS uses a steel synchro blocker ring and the carbon fiber lining comes standard. 7500 rpm shifts are not a problem. 1st and 2nd gears have a double cone synchro design for low effort, all other gears are single cone.

The RS has a single shift rail design just like T56 so there's no 3rd gear shift issues. It also has a guide plate that helps guide the shifter. If you overshoot a gate the guide plate routes the shifter back into the proper position. There's no way to miss a shift with this design unless you're a caveman.

RS also has a high mesh gearset for quiet operation. You cannot hear the trans when you're driving down the road. TKO will have a bit of whine but by no means is it annoying or unbearable.

You can't go wrong either way. Adding an overdrive to your Corvette will be the single most satisfying thing you can do!
Are you saying that you're building/shipping RS600 units as we speak? If so, who's getting them.
What would be the advantages of my leaving a deposit now rather than waiting for production to go into "full swing".
Thanks.
65tripleblack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 09:58 AM   #15
VetteJohn
CF Senior Member
 
VetteJohn's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 2001
Location: Gloucester Point VA
Default RS 600 on order

'66 Vette,

I've gone through the same process as you concerning which 5 speed to install in my '66. While at Carlisle I got a chance to see the two styles offered by Keisler. The RS is noticeably smaller and had a much better feel when shifting (on their display, not in a car).
I have seen two of the TKOs installed in C2s and they were not a good fit. Both cars had to have the floors jacked up on blocks and one car had the transmission case ground to fit. Iím in no hurry to do the conversion so I opted for the RS with the full understanding I had a 6 month wait.
Some of the comments in this thread are kind of funny. Huge deposit, really? $500 on a custom built order that totals over $3,000. That didnít seem too high to me and still doesnít. The concern about getting the deposit back? I havenít heard of anyone not getting a deposit back. I would guess it depends on a number of factors: Have they started the build on your tranny? Is there a similar tranny order in their system? Are you switching over to a TKO from the RS? Everyone Iíve spoken to at Keisler seems up front and fair so I think this concern is misplaced.
__________________
VetteJohn
(A Corvette Nut! That's a car nut with fine threads.)

'63 Split Window Coupe, Red/Red 300 HP. 4 speed.


'66 Red/Blk Cpe, 327/350, 4 sp., PS, PB, AC
VetteJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 09:59 AM   #16
KeislerSales
Former Vendor
 
Member Since: Jul 2007
Location: Rockford TN
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 65tripleblack View Post
Are you saying that you're building/shipping RS600 units as we speak? If so, who's getting them.
What would be the advantages of my leaving a deposit now rather than waiting for production to go into "full swing".
Thanks.
Hey Joe! They are building/shipping but at a slower pace. We take orders on these daily so the advantage of putting a deposit down guarantees your place in line.

As popular as these are I suspect we will always carry some sort of lead time/waiting list.
KeislerSales is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 10:47 AM   #17
SLWRNU
CF Senior Member
 
SLWRNU's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jun 2004
Location: Witness Protection Program Somewhere, USA
Default

I guess I was one of the lucky ones as far as installing the TKO 600 in my 65. No problem with hitting the floor, fits great and the insulation is still in place. Shifting is, to me, precise and I like the feel. More precise than notchy. Yes there is a break-in period of about 500 miles and shifting will noticeably improve. And most important, it is in the car and I am actually DRIVING and enjoying my classic not waiting for some mysterious future delivery date.
Also consider potential servicing issues. Tremec's been around for years and can be serviced by any transmission shop. Not sure that will be the same for a one-of-a-kind trans like the RS 600.
SLWRNU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 10:59 AM   #18
KeislerSales
Former Vendor
 
Member Since: Jul 2007
Location: Rockford TN
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLWRNU View Post
I guess I was one of the lucky ones as far as installing the TKO 600 in my 65. No problem with hitting the floor, fits great and the insulation is still in place. Shifting is, to me, precise and I like the feel. More precise than notchy. Yes there is a break-in period of about 500 miles and shifting will noticeably improve. And most important, it is in the car and I am actually DRIVING and enjoying my classic not waiting for some mysterious future delivery date.
Also consider potential servicing issues. Tremec's been around for years and can be serviced by any transmission shop. Not sure that will be the same for a one-of-a-kind trans like the RS 600.
Installation results can vary from car to car due to the age. These cars are old and production/assembly wasn't exactly the best back then.

You are correct, Tremec was established in 1962 and began transmission production in 1965 I believe. The TKO is a derivative of the Ford toploader and a descendant of the 1960s truck transmission called the T170. You can take the blocker rings out of a TKO and install them in a T170.

The Keisler RS is based on the Borg-Warner T45, a 5 speed version of the T56 six speed. Borg-Warner began transmission production in 1922, just a few years before Tremec. I think it was just called Warner Gear in the beginning.

There were over 250,000 T45s built during its production run from 1996-2001. It was OEM certified unlike the TKO and parts are readily available just the same.

Last edited by KeislerSales; 09-28-2011 at 11:05 AM.
KeislerSales is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 04:41 PM   #19
KeislerSales
Former Vendor
 
Member Since: Jul 2007
Location: Rockford TN
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeislerJeff View Post
Hey Joe! They are building/shipping but at a slower pace. We take orders on these daily so the advantage of putting a deposit down guarantees your place in line.

As popular as these are I suspect we will always carry some sort of lead time/waiting list.
It will also lock in the price avoiding a potential price increase.
KeislerSales is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 04:45 PM   #20
KeislerSales
Former Vendor
 
Member Since: Jul 2007
Location: Rockford TN
Default

Comparison photos.

The TKO is on top and the RS on bottom. The TKO photo is older and the mid plate actually gets milled down for more clearance. See close up.
Attached Images
   
KeislerSales is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2011, 04:45 PM
 
Go Back   Corvette Forum > C1 & C2 Corvettes, 1953 - 1967 > C1 & C2 Corvettes
Reload this Page Tremec/Keisler Transmission
 
 
 
Reply

Tags
600, break, c2, c4, corvette, install, installed, keisler, productioon, review, rs, t170, transmission, tremec, update


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Click for Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Argh! Tremec TKO 600 backordered? pezter22 C4 General Discussion 4 05-25-2014 09:23 AM
Keisler Engineering Part II Plasticman C1 & C2 Corvettes 13 01-26-2014 07:41 PM
Keisler transmissions [Dispute] original Transactions Feedback 18 06-13-2012 05:50 PM
Transmission Advice 66 Vette C1 & C2 Corvettes 23 11-15-2011 01:45 PM
Tremec TKO 600 Trans Fluid Leaking from Vent Dave64 C1 & C2 Corvettes 11 08-31-2011 12:47 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:21 AM.


Emails & Password Backup