Installing a late model manual transmission, specifically the TREMEC T56 six-speed, is one of the most popular upgrades for a classic car these days. Especially when something is being rebuilt in a pro touring style. Besides offering more strength and gear selections over the old-style four- and three-speeds the old cars have, these transmissions use a hydraulic clutch actuation that’s way easier on the driver.
With the T56, the hydraulic slave cylinder that activates the clutch is mounted on the bellhousing. This places the slave unit in very close proximity to the exhaust, especially when long tube exhaust headers and true dual exhaust are installed, which is the case with most vehicles the T56 is being retrofitted into. The body of the slave cylinder is plastic, so the constant exposure to such high temperatures increases wear on the slave unit which shortens its life and causes failure. Thanks to the versatility of Heatshield Products Sticky Shield thermal barrier material, protecting the slave cylinder from exhaust heat is extremely easy and taken care of in less time than it takes to order a pizza.
We were at Antivenom Performance in Plant City, Florida, testing some stuff when they showed us the issue on a ’67 Camaro that was having its original Muncie four-speed replaced with a T56 from a 4th Gen F-body. After a quick measurement and trimming of some Sticky Shield with a pair of scissors, we had the slave cylinder protected from the exhaust heat and ready to go. Didn’t even have to remove the slave cylinder for the install. See for yourself in our pics.
ABOVE: The hydraulic slave cylinder for the clutch on a T56 six-speed manual transmission is mounted on the bellhousing of the transmission. When long tube headers and dual exhaust are installed, the slave cylinder ends up being extremely close to the exhaust.
ABOVE: How close is the slave cylinder to the exhaust? Using a finger to give perspective and scale, you can see how close the exhaust runs to it.
ABOVE: Sticky Shield can withstand a continuous 1100 degrees F of radiated heat, easily handling the amount put out by the exhaust pipe and deflecting it away from the slave cylinder. All we did was measure the length of the slave cylinder, then using a pair of scissors cut a piece of Sticky Shield to size for fully encasing the slave in thermal barrier material. Problem Solved!