Jack Silver's 1986 El CaminoIn 2012, I decided the time was right for me to have the “Muscle Car” I had always wanted, but I didn’t want to just go out and buy one that someone else had built; I wanted to feel the pride of ownership which comes from doing most of the restoration myself.  So, I purchased a 1986 El Camino with a 350 engine and an automatic transmission and started deciding what to do with it.

One thing I wanted was a manual transmission.  I wanted to be able to smoke the tires and having an overdrive gear would also allow me to drive it like a pleasure car. I began thinking about all the things which would need to be changed to replace the automatic transmission with a manual one, and there were a lot of parts required and a lot of modifications required to my car. I have some mechanical ability (I have replaced engines and transmissions before), but I am a novice when it comes to something like this.  It was a very daunting task.

After doing a lot of research in magazines like Car Craft and on the internet, I learned there were a few companies which provided kits to help with this task.  But just as you are no doubt pondering now, which one should I choose?  Are these kits the same?  Are all the providers the same?

A decision was made, a kit was purchased and the installation done…but the process was far from flawless.  There were many things, from a customer’s standpoint, which should have been better.  So in 2014, we started SST with a business model designed to dramatically improve this experience for our customers.

I took the good and bad experiences I had as a customer and developed a company philosophy that kept the good parts while righting the wrongs.

Knowledgable Sales Representatives
Updating the drivetrain of my El Camino was no simple task and I had a lot of questions about how the products would fit in my car and which transmission and rear axle combination would give me the driving experience I desired. It was important to me to have a sales representatives who knew the products, knew the vehicles and who understood the effect gear ratios, clutches and other elements of the kit would have on the launch, performance, and drivability of my car. SST’s sales representatives not only have years of experience with these kits, they’ve watched as they were developed in house by our engineering team and they have worked hand in hand with the engineering team to bring the best products to our customers with a complete understanding of the installation and gearing.

The Order Process

Several companies make you wait weeks or months to get your transmission. In fact, I had to wait 6 months for my transmission and I had to pay 50% down and when the company went bankrupt, I still didn’t have all the parts I had ordered and paid for. When we opened Silver Sport Transmissions, it was a primary concern that our company not be in the habit of collecting deposits and putting the risk of default on the consumer. It’s also quite ridiculous to not be able to nail down a ship date that is within a reasonable amount of time. At SST, you’ll know what day your products will ship the day you place the order. You won’t pay for the products until the order ships and if you order from SST, you’ll be ordering from the company with the fastest ship times in the industry.

The day your order ships, SST will also send photos of your shipment and tracking numbers to you in an email so you can see your products are shipping complete and in pristine condition.

The Most Complete Kits

When I made my decision, the quality of the kit components and completeness of the kit were very important to me. I was converting from an automatic to a manual and I needed everything, but most companies didn't supply everything I needed. At SST, you’ll get a driveshaft, pedals, cutting templates, and all the other components you’ll need for the conversion. If we don’t have all the parts for your car, we’ll tell you up front – no surprises. The installation manuals are complete, illustrated, and car specific to make the installation as easy as possible for the average guy working on his own car. A generic manual could never include all the details you’d need to know for your car.

Support / Customer Service

If I need to call customer service, I expect the person on the other end of the phone to know the products and how they fit in my vehicle. I want an answer quickly and I don’t want to have to wait a week or more for a call back. I expect to be updated and to know my problem is important. If I have a refund coming, I want it to be made quickly, not weeks or months later. At SST, we pride ourselves on our customer service and complete our refunds immediately.


All of these things are just a bunch of talk without a actions. When I was shopping around, I made sure to check to see what the customers thought of the company they chose. Because SST focuses on a customer centric business model, we have a sterling reputation in the market. You’ll find good references for us online and zero complaints on BBB’s website.

Because I was once in your shoes, I’ve insisted we treat our customers well and with integrity and that’s why you should consider SST when you do your own research.