Download or print a PDF version of this article here:  Get the Best Shift

Installation and performance tips

Tremec TKO 5 Speed Overdrive Transmission

TKO Install

The Tremec TKO 5 speed overdrive is extremely popular with classic car enthusiasts and works well in a wide variety of applications. 

  • Street Rod
  • Muscle Car
  • Classic Truck
  • Kit Car

Just like a body shop preps for paint, the time you spend preparing for and performing the installation is linked directly to the performance. 






Be sure to read your installation manual and follow these tips for years of fun!

  • Proper fluid use - The best performing fluid we have seen is Pennzoil Synchromesh.  Standard Dexron III ATF or compatible equivalents can also be used.  DO NOT USE GEAR OIL.
  • Bellhousing runout - Bellhousing runout must be checked prior to installation.  .005” is the maximum acceptable runout measurement and anything more will create shifting issues and accelerate internal wear.  SST provides detailed instructions on this procedure and they can be found on our website.   ALL INSTALLATIONS REQUIRE THIS PROCEDURE TO BE PERFORMED REGARDLESS OF THE BELLHOUSING TYPE. 
  • Clutch adjustment - Improper clutch adjustment will wreck shift quality.  Typical release bearing air gap should measure 1/16” (.0625”) and all linkages should move freely without binding. Consult your factory service manual for proper linkage and release bearing adjustments.  If using hydraulics, consult your hydraulic manual for proper bearing setup. 
  • New transmission, new characteristics - Your Tremec will feel and shift differently compared to an old 3 or 4 speed.  You’ll notice closer shift gates and a much more precise and connected feel while shifting though the gears.  Don’t overthink the shift - the best technique for nailing the 2-3 upshift is to push forward on the handle with an open palm letting the shifter do the work for you. 


Follow these tips and you’ll get miles of smiles out of your new Tremec!


© 2014 Silver Sport Transmissions LLC