Project SC300 Road Racer: Part 32- Getting sequentially better with S1
by Erik Jacobs
The W58 transmission that comes behind the 2JZ in the Z30-chassis SC300 is not known for ruggedness. In the first outing with the new wiring, I grenaded 3rd gear quite well. Out came the W58 and in went an awesome Tremec T56 via a swap kit from Grannas Racing.
Don’t get me wrong, the T56 is an excellent transmission. It will likely outlast the rest of the car at the power levels I’m putting through it. The one thing that I hate about it, though, is that reverse and 5th are in the same place.
OK, well, they’re not EXACTLY in the same place. You have to push the shifter over farther to the right to get it into reverse. In almost all OEM applications, an electronic lockout solenoid prevents you from accidentally doing this. However, with a longer shift lever, it’s still possible to accidentally engage reverse (instead of 5th) because of the torque you can easily generate. This tiny little Hurst shift lever does the trick. Without powering up the reverse solenoid to disengage it, you really have to muscle the shifter to engage reverse.
I still really was not a fan of this design. Sure, it’s safer-ish with a shorty shift handle and the reverse solenoid. Wiring the reverse solenoid and remembering to turn it on and, more importantly, turn it OFF? That’s a pain. Maybe there’s something I could do to make this whole reversing thing easier.
Australians are known for being a little… eclectic… when it comes to automobiles. The eclectic engineering wizards at S1 Sequential figured out how you can push forward and backward and somehow make the T56 go through all the gears, just like on a fancy sequential racing transmission. It’s also a predominantly bolt-on affair!
You may have seen me talk about it after having seen it at the 2019 PRI show. I liked it so much that I got one for myself.
As there are several versions of the T56 transmission, be sure that you figure out which particular version you have before ordering your adapter. Grannas Racing uses the Magnum version of the T56, so I ordered appropriately.
You can also make out the little gear position sensor hanging off the side. Since I have a fully programmable dash, I simply ordered the bare sensor. However, S1 also sells an LCD-segmented gauge that can be wired independently to show you the gear position – including reverse!
I guess you don’t really have to remove the shift handle, but it seemed convenient. It also made a nice photo op to show you that the S1 adapter is quite a lot bigger than the standard shifter. Cutting and drilling of the car would be required.
Not to give the end away at the beginning, but if you are considering a T56 swap and have not pulled the trigger yet, and you are considering the S1 Sequential, you should definitely just get the S1 sequential and then install that at the same time as your T56 swap. Trust me, it will make your life a fair bit easier.
But I don’t do things the easy way, so onwards and upwards, right?