Tremec’s New T-56 Magnum XL Shifter Is All About NVH

Twenty years ago we could care less that our plastic dashes rattled in our Mustangs and that the transmission sounded like a rock crusher. Forty five years ago we really couldn’t care less that our metal dashes rattled and the engine sounded like it wanted to come back through the firewall. In 2012, quality and technology has changed, putting a large emphasis on three magical words – Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH). One company that understands the need to keep things quiet is Tremec Transmissions and their redesigned T-56 Magnum XL shifter.

The isolator is the big piece in the center with the shifter handle locating off to the right, placing the handle perfectly centered in the vehicle.

When you drove a Fox body Mustang 120mph, it sure as heck felt that fast. Now driving a 2011 Mustang at the same speed feels like the cruise control might as well be set at 75mph. There are a myriad of factors that go into feeling comfortable in your late-model musclecar, and one of those aspects is reducing the NVH that you experience. Pull the center console off on a 2011+ Mustang and look at the layers of sound deadening material that Ford installed around the transmission tunnel to help reduce drivetrain noise. When it’s time to upgrade to a new transmission, typically your vehicle isn’t going to sound like stock anymore. That doesn’t mean that companies like Tremec can’t help reduce the noise of their go-fast goodies.

The Magnum XL shifter is a brand new design that spotlights a pressed on isolator that was pulled from Tremec’s OEM technology, like the SRT8 Challenger. “It’s a perfect blend of OEM sound and a racing-style shift feel that makes this shifter special,” said Tremec’s Nate Tovey. “Any time you have gear-to-gear mesh,  you are going to create more NVH. Though with this new isolator design, it dramatically reduces the transmission noise in the vehicle.”


Outside from being quieter, the shifter utilizes a new “wave spring design” tension spring for good side-to-side feedback. When released into neutral, the wave spring locates the shifter between the third and fourth gear gates. This means when you’re looking to make a fast up shift from second to third, the transmission is going to help naturally guide you there. Even the signature “Tremec Red” hard anodized base plate helps increase rigidity in the shifter for more precise shifts. It’s amazing how much technology can go into a truly simple design!

About the author

Mark Gearhart

In 1995 Mark started photographing drag races at his once local track, Bradenton Motorsports Park. He became hooked and shot virtually every series at the track until 2007 until he moved to California and began working as a writer for Power Automedia. He was the founding editor for its first online magazines, and transitioned into the role of editorial director role in 2014. Retiring from the company in 2016, Mark continues to expand his career as a car builder, automotive enthusiast, and freelance journalist to provide featured content and technical expertise.
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