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Old 02-08-2008, 10:58 PM   #1
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Brand new tremec TKO 600 shifting problems

Just bought a brand new tremec tko 600 from ford racing. New trans, new bell housing, new billet steel flywheel, new spec stage 3 clutch, new throw out bearing, and new ford racing clutch cable and quad, new aluminum driveshaft. Just completed the install. Everything is installed correctly, and clutch is adjusted correctly. (I work on 5.0/4.6 mustangs every day I know how to adjust a clutch) I have drove the car and put around 200 miles on the trans. The transmission shifts horrible very notchy and hard to go into gear mostly 2nd and 3rd. Oh yeah I'm also running the stock tremec shifter. I know that tremec recommends a 500 mile break in. But I really don't see any improvement after the 200 I have put on it. Is this normal? Has anyone had this problem before? Any help would be great.
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:02 PM   #2
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the tko-600 has a shifting problem from the factory, the will send you the parts to fix it at your expense..it seemed to be a hit or mis deal with that tranny
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:13 PM   #3
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Update:

I have found a few other post on this topic. So just to clear up a few questions that may be coming my way.

I'm running an aluminum bell housing

First I adjusted the clutch just like I have done on 100 other mustangs in the past. About a 1/8" to 1/4" of free play at the clutch fork. After driving about 30 miles I checked the clutch and it was way out of adjustment so i re adjusted it the same again. Put another 40-50 miles and checked the clutch and it looked great. I drove the car and it shifted like crap. Now I have adjusted all the free play out of the clutch thats the only way I can get it to shift decent. But I am still very un happy. It just doesn't feel right!!!
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Old 02-09-2008, 01:34 AM   #4
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Many guys I know with those boxes had to put over 1000 miles before they broke in and shifted better. Also Tremec recommends GM Synchromesh. Dont use ATF in it!
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Old 02-09-2008, 04:31 AM   #5
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Yes, GM Syncromesh only. I have almost 1500 miles and mine does seem to shift a lot better now.
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Old 02-09-2008, 12:56 PM   #6
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Yes it has the correct fluid in it. Wow 1500 miles huh? I just feel like I'm wearing out the rest of the car just to break in the transmission. OK will put more miles on it and see how it feels. I'm also going to switch to a longer shifter handle and see if that helps.
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Old 02-09-2008, 05:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1qwkchp View Post
Yes it has the correct fluid in it. Wow 1500 miles huh? I just feel like I'm wearing out the rest of the car just to break in the transmission. OK will put more miles on it and see how it feels. I'm also going to switch to a longer shifter handle and see if that helps.
I had one of the original Tremec 3550's and had to put over 1000 miles on it before it shifted smoother. I also installed a longer handle since the Hurst I had on my T5 didnt give enough leverage when shifting. My trick that I still use in my current Mustang is to get a stock handle from an 83-88 T Bird Turbo Coupe (84-86 Cougar XR7's as well). It is a shorter version of the handle used in the Mustangs. Just remember the 3550/TKO's will NEVER shift as smooth as a T5 so dont expect it to.
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Old 02-09-2008, 05:27 PM   #8
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Be there done that....pain in the ass.
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Old 02-09-2008, 05:45 PM   #9
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same problem with my 3550 but it went away after about 800-1000 miles.... BUT it's always gonna be notchier and more firm than a T5 like said above
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Old 02-09-2008, 08:49 PM   #10
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Tremecs are very notchy at first and even after they break in are still much notchier than a T5 .
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:44 PM   #11
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I had the same issue - it caused major missed shifts at the track. I also adjusted the clutch very tight (no play) based on a search here and haven't had a shifting issue since.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:45 PM   #12
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I hated my TKO (with the stock shifter) until I installed a Steeda Tri-ax shifter. Night and day difference.

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Old 02-10-2008, 11:35 AM   #13
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hmmm, my TKO with stock TKO shifter feels just like my old T-5.
it's not butter smooth by any means, but it shifts nice at any rpm.

I had some headaches at first with it being hard to get into
gear also, but some clutch adjustment took care of it right away.

I'm betting on clutch adjustment or ..........

did you index your bell housing ??????? bet you didnt
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Old 02-10-2008, 12:18 PM   #14
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this makes me want to get a g-force or a astroperformance a-5.. I like the rattings on the tko but don't like how people say they shift
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Old 02-10-2008, 03:56 PM   #15
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Well I went out and put 300+ miles on my car yesterday. I was so pissed off I just had to get away. Easy driving at first, then I was able to sneek in a few quick hard shifts. I now have over 500 miles on the transmission and I feel it is breaking in nicely. I know that the shifting has improved quite a bit from the miles I have put on it. But I think some seat time in the car with the new setup has helped too. I agree with the other post that a tko will never shift as nice as a t-5. But its all about learning your car. You just have to learn to be more aggressive with the shifter and not be afraid about slamming gears. Just after all those years of driving stock t-5 cars where you can just slap the shifter in gear with out any effort at all is gone. Thanks for the help guys.

Oh yeah i was also able to back off the clutch adjustment where I feel it should be. Its not the best shifting transmission in the world, just takes some getting used to. I'm sure with more miles and a fluid change, and possibly a pro 5.0 shifter. I'll be able to bang gears just like that old t-5
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:42 AM   #16
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The 2-3 shift is disgusting on them trannys.
I ripped 2 shifter handles off mine on the 1-2 shifts w/my short short shifter.

Short shifters suck on them trannys
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:55 AM   #17
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My TKO 600 had third gear go out. put new upgrade shift lug in with only 2000 miles even put a MGW shift in it. They all have said clutch adj. Now my thrust bearing is out from having it to tight. I have the same problem when I have 1/2" of play shifts like dog with it tight its good and now my thrust bearing is fubar

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Old 04-05-2008, 08:39 PM   #18
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Never mind I changed my mind this transmission is a piece of crap. I now have 650 miles on it. Just put some slicks on the car and attempted to do a test pass. Car now grinds going into 2nd gear and its a 50-50 chance of it even going into 3rd gear. Transmission has also developed a nice bearing whine now in 1st and 2nd gear. This transmission sucks, my stock 140k mile t-5 transmission shifted sweet.

Called and spoke with Liberty gear about this wreck of a transmission. I talked with a guy for almost an hour about all the problems that these tko transmission have. Yes they are messed up and from what I was told tremec is well aware of these issues, and plan on doing nothing about it. Make a long story short its going to cost me another $700 to make this $2000 transmission go into gear like it should. I should have just put a auto in this thing and got it over with.
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Old 04-05-2008, 09:59 PM   #19
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Listen man ...I said it these trannys bite the schlong

That whine your getting in 1/2 will go away if you shim your trans mounts properly and have your pinion angle right maybe.
So long as your input bearings are not shot,your shims are proper your output bearings arent shot.

What happens is these dont fit right on mustangs in the 1st place.

They whine because they arent aligned properly.
So basicly,you have twisted force ont he input shaft and force on either the out/in bearings the whole time things arent smooth.
So in a way....thay are strong,cause they last a while as they absorb that abuse.
They shift like pure ####!! 2 to 3 will make your heart skip and dont think your gonna be downshifting these!!! Hell no,they hate it and wont even let you in unless your really low in rpm or you slam it in like KING KONG ON CRACK . The gates are supertight/close and u could do a 4 to 3 shift if your excited,or a 3 to 2 shift . Missing a gear is common especially if you got powa and your car goes up/down far between gears.

pro 5.0 shifter on these help alot.

I would much rather have t-5 anyday!
But you got a small spline in them.
Maybe a t56 ,theyre smooth and got 6

Yea,go auto.... If you got stupid amounts of horsepower,the clutch and stick arent needed so much to have fun anymore.
Your more consistent
You can relax in trafic
It sucks to have to rebuild an auto.......its so much easier to pop a clutch in

I think I had more fun in my built aode than i did in the tkoII

Seriously,the problems they have from the factory.....in addition to so many people not understanding how to put these on properly gives you a high percentage of POOR TKO in MUstang results
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:53 PM   #20
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The only people i have seen that liked the tko 600 or 500 for that matter are guys that race in pure street and the trannys are dog ringed. Otherwise i think most people who go from a t5 to a tremec are gonna hate them. Most are stuck with them or eat a bunch of money re selling it to some other guy who didnt research before he bougt one. Good luck. Get rid of it and get a dog ringed g force or a syncrod one would be way better than what you have. Kevin
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:32 PM   #21
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Ive had tko's in both of mine and loved them both (tko in the 99 and a tko 500 in my 90) Both shifted great..Installed the updated lugs from tremec and the tko 500 shifted even better.

Never even had issues shifting at 7k and 600rwhp(killed third gear after 5 years of street/strrip abuse -but i knew it was coming).
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:52 PM   #22
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Yeah I'm too deep into this transmission conversion now to turn back. I'll just shell out another $700 and do the liberty face plate gear upgrade and eliminate the synchros. As my experience has proved these transmission are not desinged to be shifted at high rpm. And I'm not even talking super high I shift my car at 6500 rpm The tech at liberty assured me that its not just me that is unhappy with the performance of this gear box. Don't get me wrong its strong as hell no doubt.

But I only have one question for tremec? What good is a super strong 600 ft lb torque rated transmission in a drag race car that won't go into gear under high rpm shifting? It would be great in a car that makes power from idle to 4500 rpm's LAME

Tremec tko transmission = Crap
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:56 PM   #23
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I have a tko 600 with maybe 700 miles on it. I installed a pro 5.0 shifter took to the track last yr and couldnt hit 2 , 3 shifting at 6000 RPM my car has 429 RWH it was hit and miss .my time was very disapointing for my mods. I was thinking of selling my tko it seems very strong but shifts like crap. I was also thinking it was just me but now after reading this i may wait a few more miles.

My t5 shifted so much better but i broke 3rd gear at the track..good times.lol

P.S . I'm gonna change my oil on it , I cant remeber what was put it in last yr. what should I get and wieght?

thanks
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:09 AM   #24
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I run the Pennzoil synchromesh - it meets the GM synchromesh specs but is less expensive and I was able to pick it up a Autozone.

http://www.pennzoil.com/products/gea...cro_fluid.html
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:35 AM   #25
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I must be one of the lucky ones. No problems here, no missed 2/3 shifts and it will downshift fine at any RPM.
Its deffinitly stiff/notchy compared to a T5 but nothing to cry about. Its a race transmission and was expected to be rough. I didn't buy it hoping to have it shift like a ford focus.
(also using a tri-ax handle like f2fast4u)
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:43 AM   #26
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how many quarts does it take?
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:59 AM   #27
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Quote:
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how many quarts does it take?
takes 2qt plus so get three
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:16 PM   #28
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Made a call into tremec customer service dept. on friday spoke with someone about my problems. They needed the numbers off the ID tag. Will be calling them back tomorrow. Can't wait to hear what they have to say.
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:40 PM   #29
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Made a call into tremec customer service dept. on Friday spoke with someone about my problems. They needed the numbers off the ID tag. Will be calling them back tomorrow. Can't wait to hear what they have to say.
They helped me seem to be good people sent new upgrade and gave me alot of info. I don't know much about face plate the trans I think thats for drag racer's no for street driving
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:54 AM   #30
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Tremec will send you some shift lugs free of charge, but be warned it probably WONT fix the problem. The tko's are just ####ty at shifting fast...me and my friends both had problems and eventually got rid of them.

Sell the tranny's and do a t56 swap, its really easy and costs the same amount of money and shifts like its supposed too.
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:31 AM   #31
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I'm having the same problems 2 to 3rd....Just won't go in anymore at WOT!!! I think I'm gonna call Tremec and see what they can do for me, definitly can't afford this #### again.....Blew my original AOD, then converted to this 3550....Was that a mistake?? I hope not...
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:51 AM   #32
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The only luck I have had in improving the shifting of the 3550/TKO500 (I've had both) is adjusting the clutch really tight. This is adjusting it so that there is very little slack in the cable. I think this allows the sooner disengagement of the input shaft & gives synchros just a tad more time to bite when doing high-RPM gear banging. I've had both trannies and this is the only thing that seems to have any significant effect on the shifting issues (I used to miss 2-3 so often I was ready to give up trying to get into the 11's )
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:00 AM   #33
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tko-600

I am using this transmission with a Pro 5.0 shifter; over 600 rwhp no missed shifts. It's important to get the bell housing indexed properly.
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:33 PM   #34
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Do you need to index the bellhousing on the 4.6s? I just bolted mine on and have loved the tko for the last 5 years. But I do have the clutch adjusted tight.
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Old 05-04-2008, 11:52 PM   #35
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Are any of you guys having these problems indexing the bellhousings at all?
clementsn34 is offline  
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