Project V8 RX-7: Part VI – Installing the E-Rod LS3

Project V8 RX-7: Part 6 – Installing the E-Rod LS3

by Jeff Naeyaert

In our last installment of Project V8 RX-7 we took a look at the T-56 Magnum transmission from Tremec we’ll be using for our swap, now it’s time to bolt it up to our E-ROD LS3!  Close attention to the cover of our last article could have caught a sneak peek of the one remaining component we need before we marry the Magnum to the Quicktime bellhousing—the throwout bearing.

Often times the throwout bearing is an afterthought for enthusiasts and to be honest we only looked into it after learning our T56 would not come equipped with one, due to the wide variety of  applications the Magnum can work with.  Although a stock GM throwout bearing will no doubt work fine we decided to try McLeod’s 1400 series throwout bearing with integral slave cylinder.

McLeod T-56 Magnum Throwout Bearing
The McLeod kit comes supplied with a collar, bearing, spacers and gaskets.

We chose this TO bearing because it simplifies stuff in the bellhousing area by eliminating the need for a throwout arm.  This sort of throwout bearing keeps the bearing in contact with the clutch diaphragm springs at all times so the bearing itself is always turning.  It is also self-adjusting.  Surprisingly this makes for a longer lasting TO bearing because spinning all the time is easier on the bearing than being accelerated suddenly to high rpm all the time from a dead stop for shifts. The bearing also eliminates the need to fabricate clutch linkages and throwout arms for swaps.

McLeod T-56 Magnum Throwout Bearing
Adjustable spacers allow the McLeod throwout bearing to be set up for ideal fitment.

The McLeod bearing is machined from billet aluminum and hard anodized for long life.  The bearing comes equipped with quality braided steel lines and swivel fittings, which ease maintenance and installation. A really handy feature is the 11″ external bleed line, which makes clutch bleeding a snap even with the slave residing inside the bellhousing.

 measuring throwout bearing
The distance from the pressure plate fingers to bellhousing mating surface is measured…

…the ideal distance between fully retracted piston face surface and clutch fingers is about 1/8″ to allow the throwout bearing to self-adjust as the clutch wears.

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