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TKO-500 & TKO-600 vs Richmond (Street) 5sp Comparison

This page provides a comparison of the TREMEC TKO-500 and TKO-600 5 speed transmissions and the Richmond (Street) 5 speed transmissions.

The facts presented on this page regarding the Richmond (Street) 5 speed were gathered from the RichmondGear.com website.

Read more about the TREMEC TKO transmissions here.

Click here for Dimension schematics for both transmissions.

5th Gear Comparison:
1st Gear Comparison:
Price and Torque Rating Comparison:
About the Shifter:
Shifter Locations
5th Gear Ratios and rear-end Gear Comparison:
Misc. Comparisons:

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Gear Comparison:

 

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

Rev

TKO-600

2.87

1.89

1.28

1.00

0.64

3.00

TKO-500

3.27

1.98

1.34

1.00

0.68

3.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richmond Street 5sp

3.28

2.13

1.57

1.24

1.00

4.79

Notice how the TKO-500 and the Richmond have a nearly identical 1st gear ratio, but the 5th gear ratios are considerably different.   The TREMEC has a wider range of gears, whereas the Richmond has a closer set of gearing.  The TKO-600 offers a taller 1st gear at 2.87:1, which will work much better with lower rear-end gears (such as a 3.73 - 4.11).

With the Richmond transmission, you’ll be shifting each gear sooner than you would with the TREMEC.   Now, this is up to you whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.  If you’re racing with a small cubic inch engine, then maybe you want the gears closer together to keep the engine RPMs within the torque band.   On the other hand, if you’re primarily driving the car on the street, the wider ratios of the TREMEC would be more convenient as you’re not shifting to the next gear as soon.

The TREMEC is a true overdrive transmission, with a 5th gear ratio lower than 1.00. 

How will the 5th gear ratio work with my rear-end gear?

In general, the TREMEC’s 5th gear ratio of 0.68 or 0.64 will work better with a lower (higher numerically, i.e. a 3.73) rear-end gear, where the Richmond will generally work better with a higher (lower numerically, i.e. a 2.73) rear-end gear ratio.

When referring to “rear-end gear ratio”, one must consider the ring and pinion gear ratios along with the tire height.

You can use the Gear ratio calculator on this site to make some of your own calculations (click here).
  Here are some real-life examples to give you an idea:

 

Tire Height

Rear-end gear

5th gear

RPM at 60mph

TKO-500

31.5

4.33

0.68

1884

TKO-600

31.5

4.33

0.64

1774

Richmond

31.5

4.33

1.00

2771

 

TKO-500

27.5

3.08

0.68

1535

TKO-600

27.5

3.08

0.64

1446

Richmond

27.5

3.08

1.00

2258

 

TKO-500

27.5

3.73

0.68

1859

TKO-600

27.5

3.73

0.64

1751

Richmond

27.5

3.73

1.00

2734

 

TKO-500

27.5

4.11

0.68

2049

TKO-600

27.5

4.11

0.64

1929

Richmond

27.5

4.11

1.00

3013

How will the 1st gear ratio work with my rear-end gear?

The 1st gear is also very important to consider.  If you end up with too low of a 1st  gear, the 1st gear could be a nuisance, or worse. 

The 1st gear ratios are nearly identical between the Richmond 5 and TKO-500, at 3.27 and 3.28 respectively.  So this paragraph isn’t really a comparison, but rather an informational section that applies to both transmissions.

Tire Height

Rear-end gear

RPM @ 15mph

RPM at 25mph

RPM @ 35mph

Start Line Ratio

27.5

3.08

1,847

3,078

4,309

10.07

27.5

3.73

2,236

3,727

5,218

12.23

27.5

4.11

2,464

4,107

5,750

13.48

27.5

4.56

2,734

4,557

6,379

14.96

 

Now the same info with the TKO-600’s  2.87 first gear:

27.5

3.08

1,621

2,701

3,782

8.84

27.5

3.73

1,963

3,271

4,580

10.71

27.5

4.11

2,163

3,605

5,046

11.77

27.5

4.56

2,399

3,999

5.599

13.09

You can use the Gear ratio calculator on this site to make some of your own calculations (click here).  There is also an optional graph that graphs out your shift points.

Notice that the Starting Line Ratio is very important.  Read more about it here.

My ‘69 Chevelle has 4.33 rear-gear with 31.5” tires, and is comparable to 3.73 rear-gear with 26.5” tires.  Here’s my shift points, and I’m very pleased with the combination.

Going easy
                         1-2 shift at 16 mph at 2,300rpm
                         2-3 shift at 26mph at 2,500rpm

Going my usual
                         1-2 shift at 20mph, 3000rpm (drops to 1,850 rpm)
                         2-3 shift at 32mph at 3000rpm (drops to 2,000rpm)

 Going flat out:
                         1-2 shift at 42mph, 6500rpm
                         drops to 3,900 (just below my peak torque)
                         2-3 shift at 70mph, 6500rpm

I cruise at 1,884rpm at 60mph.

Slip Yoke:

Slip yokes for both transmissions are about $70.00 - $100.  The Richmond has a TH400 slip yoke, and the TKO has a 31 spline “C6” slip yoke.

*Shifter and Shifter Locations:

Note that the TREMEC prices includes a shifter, and the Richmond Street 5 speed price does NOT include a shifter.  A Richmond shifter for the Richmond Street 5 speed is $299 at Jeg’s. 

TREMEC:

The TREMEC 5sp shifter is centered in the tunnel, and the stock rearward position is 19.5” from the bellhousing, and the shifter can be rotated 180* and relocated to 16.75”.  The Richmond shifter of offset to the left by about 2”, and is about 20” from the bellhousing.

Additionally, with the TREMEC 5sp, we can offer 8 different shifter locations!  See more about it here.

Richmond:

There are two shifters available for the Richmond, a Hurst and a Long. Thus far I’ve not found a reverse light switch for this trans. The Hurst does have three 1" increment front-rear shifter mounting positions on it's mounting plate.  The Hurst shifter is a bit too high and to the rear for a std Camaro use without cutting the tunnel, but a home made mounting  plate can be made to lower it. The Hurst stick where it comes through the floor, is about an inch and a half to the left, and rearward, of a stock first gen Camaro location.  The Long shifter is very highly mounted on the trans. There is a spacer available to move the stick forward and to the right for console use, but the shifter will probably protrude through the trans tunnel but be hidden by the shifter boot. It will not fit through the stock shifter hole. If a new hole is cut for non-console use, the location is convienent.  Here’s some measurements that were given to me for the Long shifter location

    Tranny mount flange to centerline of shifter housing (front to rear):  21 1/2"
    Centerline of tranny to centerline of shifter housing (left to right): 4"
    Centerline of tranny to centerline of shifter housing (vertical): 3 1/2"

On the ‘68-’72 Chevelle, with the Long shifter, the tunnel must be cut and rebuilt to allow the external shift linkages to fit.  Be aware this comes close to interfering with the gas pedal, so you’d need to minimize the cutting and rebuilding in that area.  If you’re considering a Richmond, please further investigate this topic.

 

Misc comparisons:

TREMEC transmissions are more square on top than the Richmond.  

The TREMEC has a “toploader” shifter, meaning that protrudes out the top.

The TREMEC shifter mechanism is an internal rail system, where the Richmond is the GM style external shifter.

The TREMEC offers 8 shifter locations on the trans from the factory, and Forte’s custom shifters adds the same 8 variations, but with a much smaller sized shifter.  The Richmond offers one position, and depending on which shifter you purchase, can be repositioned slightly.

The TREMEC rearward shifter location is at nearly the same position as the Richmond, and is centered in the tunnel, where the Richmond is offset to the left.

Both use the TH400/TH350 transmission mount.  And the TREMEC is also drilled/tapped for the Ford sized trans mouns (dual bolt pattern).

The TREMEC requires some modification to a GM crossmember.  The exact modification depends on your application.   We offer a custom crossmember for the 1st Gen F-body and ‘68-’72 Novas.  See pics here.  Generally speaking, the Richmond doesn’t require crossmember modifications.

The Richmond has a GM TH400 output shaft, where the TREMEC TKOs has a C6 small seal 31 spline output shaft. 

The TREMEC has an electrical backup light switch and a neutral safety switch.  I’ve not seen evidence of this on the Richmond Street 5speed, although it wouldn’t surprise me if it has one.

Both transmissions are available thru many suppliers.  Naturally, we hope you purchase your TREMEC from us.  :-)

Both transmissions have a dry weight of 95 lbs.

From what I can tell from others, the overall length of the Richmond is about the same as the Muncie 4sp, which means you have a chance of not having to alter the length of your stock driveshaft.   The TREMEC on the other hand, is a longer than the Muncie 4sp, and you’ll most likely have to shorten your driveshaft.

There is a Road Race Richmond five speed that has upgraded front retainer and syncros.  TREMEC offers a TKO-600R that is meant for road racing.  It has a 0.83 5th gear.

Interested in reading up on driveline angles?  See here.

If you’ve made it this far on this page, congratulations.  It was a bit of a long read!  :-)

 

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This website is a comprehensive collection of information regarding the installation of TREMEC transmissions into various vehicles. Material contained in here may be reproduced for PERSONAL USE ONLY. No material may be redistributed in electronic or printed form without the written permission of Brad Wedan (owner). Owner believes to the best of his knowledge this information to be correct, however no warranty is made as to its accuracy. Owner also disclaims any liability for financial loss, property damage or injury in connection with use of this information. Not affiliated with, endorsed or compensated by TTC, or any sanctioning body mentioned within. Any trademarked names are property of their respective trademark holder and are used for identification purposes only. Portions of this website may be copyrighted by other individuals or organizations.

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