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Jay's 1997 MKIV Supra Automatic to GR-Series T56 Magnum Conversion

When I picked up Jay's car in upstate NY the plan was to just take out the factory automatic transmission and install the GR700 manual. Well it turned out to be a little more of a project... Since Jay also had a ETS intercooler he wanted installed along with the transmission, I told Jay it was worth the money to just make this car full BPU and do a downpipe, intake and tune as well. I also converted the car over to TTC and got rid of all the factory twin boost control and did a boost control solenoid which is controlled with the Haltech. The car is making 15psi on the stock twins and runs great.

Jay has big plans for the car, and he plans on bringing it back over the winter. He was considering just going right in and doing the build right away, but since he just bought the car I told him "It's summertime, enjoy the car for a bit, and do the build over the winter when you can't drive the car anyway!"... So he agreed. Jay was torn between starting out with the GR700, or just taking the plunge and doing the GR1000 right off the start. I told him we can upgrade the trans over the winter at the same time we are doing the engine build.

So in essence, this is a temporary build, something for Jay to enjoy for a bit. He plans on doing a wild build, and his eventual goal is to do a full build to make 1500HP. 

Big thanks to Darin Dichiara for doing a nice job with the remote tune on this car!


What I did on this "build":

  1. Enclosed transport pickup/delivery (I can do this within 6 hours of PA)
  2. Automatic transmission removal
  3. GR700 install with Clutchmasters FX850 twin disc
  4. Clutch pedal/brake pedal, Supra 6-speed interior panel, and Tilton Clutch Master adapter install
  5. Auto to manual swap wiring (speedo, nuetral switch, reverse lights)
  6. Installed a Grannas Racing auto to manual tunnel cover
  7. ETS Intercooler install
  8. TTC Conversion
  9. HKS Intake install
  10. Tanabe downpipe install, and welded on WB02 bung
  11. Haltech Sport 2000 install w/ 3-port boost control and AEM wideband


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Supra with T56 Magnum doesn't shift like a V160

Well, of course it doesn't shift exactly the same as a V160. The T56 Magnum is made by different company and has quite a bit different design, especially when it comes to the shifter.

If you want to experience the "feel" how the T56 Magnum shifts, you can test drive a 2010+ camaro SS, 2008-2013 Corvette, 2013+ Viper, 2007 Mustang GT500, or 2009+ Challenger. The same gearset is used in these factory cars, and this transmission is widely used by FORD, GM, and DODGE! Also, you may notice a recurring theme with all the car in the above list... High Performance!

The shifter is your connection to the car's heart, and you become very used to how the feel of each shift. I got very accustomed to the V160 after racing/driving it for 6 years, so when I first drove my car with the T56 Magnum I didn't love the shift feel. But after driving it for a short time, I got used to the feel and it became the new norm. I would describe the V160 as having long, loose throws. I say "loose" because the tripod design can give somewhat of a sloppy feel... which is totally different from the magnums integrated shifter, which has tight, super short throws.

I think this is why most of the auto guys who swap to this trans have no issue getting used to the shift feel. Only the guys who have driven the V160 for long periods like myself have gotten used to that v160 style shift feel, and at first may not like the change.

There are some people out there who say you degrade the value of your supra by putting a T56 Magnum in it. They believe the Getrag built V160 is some sort of God's gift to the world. I will admit, I AM one of those purists/weirdos when it comes to the 2JZ powerplant, which is the heart of the car. The TOYOTA made 2JZ quite possibly is God's gift. The Getrag made V160, while it is a great gearbox, it is just that... a gearbox. Swapping it out causes me no grief. Especially when it involves swapping it out for a trans that is capable and currently in production. I don't see the Supra purists having issue the factory auto guys who swap to a TH400.

Here is an example of the "clunky" T56 Magnum transmission on the highway LOL. This is Kyle's MKIV Supra from FL, he swapped from a factory auto to a magnum.

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Supra Automatic to 6-Speed Manual Conversion - Part Two

Jay's 40k mile 1997 Supra MKIV was originally an automatic car, but after some Grannas Racing magic it is now swapped to a manual transmission, specifically a GR700 magnum. Here is part two of the video of the swap progress. I hope this helps you guys to get all your ducks in a row to swap from an auto to a manual. Let's make supra's great again!

All of the parts shown in this video I also can provide for your swap. Even the OEM pieces, like clutch pedal, interior panel, and brake pedal.

In part two of the auto-to-manual MKIV Supra swap I will go over the following items:

  • Clutch pedal install (and the manual brake pedal as well - yes it is different)
  • Clutch master cylinder install (Tilton adapter) but also applies to using a stock master.
  • Driveshaft install
  • Wiring a Dakota Digital SGI-5E to translate the T56 Magnum speed sensor to the stock speedometer/odometer
  • Wiring the reverse lights, and neutral safety bypass.
  • Recommended transmission fluid for GR700 (T56 Magnum)

Outside the normal tools that are required:

  1. An angle drill, lowest profile you can find.
  2. 1-3/8" hole saw bit

Here is the video!



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Supra Automatic to 6-Speed Manual Conversion - Part One

A customer recently brought me his beautiful 40k mile 1997 MKIV supra automatic for a GR700 swap and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to document the manual swap process in a 1993-1998 supra. This is the first video in the series, and it will cover the removal of the stock automatic transmission, and install of the GR-Series swap kit.

The removal portion includes removal of the stock auto shifter assembly, removal of driveshaft, torque converter, transmission cooler lines, and flexplate.

The install portion includes modification of the tunnel to fit the 6-speed shifter, installation of my conversion tunnel cover, setting the proper gap for the hydraulic throw out bearing, installing the shifter, trimming the front case of the transmission, modifying the reverse solenoid, and crossmember install.

So, without further delay, here is part one! 


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GR Series Transmission Install: Part 2 - Clutch and Hydraulic Bearing Air Gap

In this episode we will be covering the install of my hybrid 2JZ to T56 FX300 clutch. This will include running a new line from the master cylinder to the hydraulic throw out bearing, as well as getting the air gap correct between the clutch fingers and the throwout bearing.

Air gap is of utmost importance. Too little gap and your bearing will be riding the clutch at all times... This can lead to clutch slippage and premature bearing failure. Too much gap can be just as bad! If there is too much gap, you can over-throw the maximum length of your hydraulic bearing and blow out the seal. When you do this, you will have to rebuild the bearing, and you'll be removing the transmission to do that.

Measuring air gap hydraulic throwout bearing t56 magnum bellhousing

So, measure twice and install once! The video will cover how to measure the block to clutch finger distance as well as the quicktime bellhousing to bearing distance. Then you will add 3mm of distance to the finger measurements, in this case I had a measurement of 61.5mm from block to clutch fingers. Add 3mm for an ideal bellhousing depth measurement of 64.5mm

grannas racing clutch line kit install guide sc300 mkiv supra lexus is300

For the clutch line, I wanted to eliminate any extra adapters and old fittings and ran a new line direct from the master down to the hydraulic bearing. I sell this clutch line kit on my site, which will work with any 10x1.0mm threaded master cylinder (is300, sc300, MKIV supra). The kit includes a 48" -3an braided line, a 10mm banjo bolt, and a banjo to -3an adapter fitting.


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GR Series Transmission Install: Part 1 - T56 Magnum Reverse Lockout Mod

As part of a short series of videos I will be doing a full swap on this Lexus SC300 that is currently in the shop. This series will act as a start-to-finish install guide for my GR-Series Magnum kits. Most of the this install information is also cross-compatible between other car makes and models (like the Supra, IS300, and others).

sc300 t56 magnum swap grannas racing gr700 gr900 gr1000

The video below will guide you through the first part of the install, which is four quick and easy steps:

  1. Install billet plug in mechanical speed sensor hole
  2. Modify the reverse lockout solenoid so we can use reverse without any electronics
  3. Trim the front case of the transmission for clearance in the Supra/SC300/IS300
  4. Install the relocation shifter (Supra/SC300)


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