Silver Sport Transmissions Shows The Benefits And Ease Of Installing A Six-Speed In An Early Corvette

Let’s face it, we all like driving our Corvettes. Fact of the matter is that technology has moved on and later cars have comforts such as overdrive transmissions, which lower engine rpm and improve gas mileage. Thanks to companies such as Silver Sport Transmissions (SST), now earlier Corvettes can benefit from having additional gears as well.

We came across this video from SST that focuses on adding two more gears to a ’76 Corvette. Known as a Tremec Magnum 6-Speed PerfectFit Kit, it puts this fine C3s shifting right up there with the best of them and, SST reports you can get a 30-50% rebate on your fuel bill by making the switch.

Of course, saving fuel is always appreciated, but also having less noise and revs of the engine while trying to communicate inside the cockpit is also nice on those long trips down the highway. We’ve driven a few Solid-axles, Midyears and Sharks with overdrive transmissions and the right trans can literally change the car on the highway.

The photos tell the story. At 60 miles an hour, the rpm dropped significantly from 4th gear (1:1), 5th gear and 6th gear. Overall, a 1,000 rpm drop is achieved just by going from the factory top gear to the new Tremec's top cog.

This video helps to illustrate that by taking tachometer readings in 4th, 5th and sixth gear at 60 miles an hour. The reduced revs are great at 60, and you’ll have to keep in mind that when is the last time anyone has travelled on the highway at such a speed. As the speedo goes up, the benefits keep piling on!

The new trans is held in place with a modified cross member for the '76 Corvette, which now bolts in place, making future maintenance much easier.

The exact steps to install a five or six-speed trans in your early Corvette will depend on the year, and whether your car was originally equipped with a standard or manual transmission from the factory. Also, SST offers five and six-speed overdrive standard transmissions and an overdrive automatic, should you choose to let the transmission row through the gears. As a benefit, the kit comes with an additional crossmember section that is removable, making any future maintenance easier.

Topside, the trans tunnel is modified, but thanks to the shifter configuration, the end result is factory-appearing with the shifter in the original location. The shifter plate does show a few more gates for those with a keen eye.

SST offers kits to convert both automatic and standard-shift cars, as well as options for those who jump into the deep end and upgrade their engines also. They even have a fluid-operated clutch assembly that smooths out the shifting chores with modern efficiency. Check out this video and imagine what another gear or two could do for YOUR Corvette. Then, check out their website and start enjoying a life of less noise, more fuel efficiency and an all-around better driving experience.

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About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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