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  1. 1. 5 Speed Manual Transmission Installation "I outrun ships, not just the bulk freighters mind you I'm talking about full imperial warships..... She's fast enough for you old man." - Han Solo, Star Wars *** (Download this article as a Word Document) *** I love manual transmissions. It makes the car a lot more fun to drive: giving the driver great control over the speed and engine power of the vehicle. Something about slapping a car into drive isn't synonymous with "fun" in my book. With my old workhorse C4 three speed automatic beginning to leak and slip, I figured I might as well bite the bullet and install the manual transmission I always wanted for this car. After all, why bother driving the "nice weather car" if it isn't fun to drive? As I dove head-first into installing my new five speed, I found that there is a plethora of companies and internet groups that have information and specialize in this swap for older classic cars. To my surprise I also found that little information existed on a step-by-step installation process for this transmission. I hope to rectify that here. But first, A WORD OF CAUTION: PLEASE, PLEASE consult a certified mechanic and have detailed directions on this installation before going ahead with it! Please do not use this guide as a SOLE installation guide! I do NOT guarantee that this installation write up is complete or accurate for your installation!
  2. 2. Why a Five Speed? After deciding upon using a manual transmission, a good question to ask is "why a five speed"? Here are a few reasons: 1.) The fifth gear is an overdrive, allowing for better gas mileage at cruising speeds, use of steeper rear gear ratios, and a decrease on engine and driveline wear. 2.) The Borg Warner T5 is a tried and true transmission used by several automotive companies for various vehicles. Parts for these transmissions are plentiful and rebuild services are abundant. 3.) The T5 is a modern transmission, and can take advantage of modern materials, clutch, and gear technologies compared to the old three and four speeds offered in original 60s cars. 4.) The T5 was used with Ford 302 V8s and later on 5.0 engines for several years, providing junkyard resources as well as shop manuals and technicians familiar with using the T5 in Ford cars. 5.) The T5 (if used with the S10 tail shaft) will fit into the Falcon with very little transmission tunnel modification. Please remember the T5 is smaller than the 5 and 6 speed trannies, which normally need tunnel mods. 6.) These T5 transmissions can be built to handle up to 600 HP! The First Step: Where Do I Get The Parts? Just by looking through one's favorite Ford magazine or doing an internet search for 'T5 Transmission' will supply an interested party several aftermarket companies and even Ford itself. Use of the T5 in some circles is considered a given: a tried and true method of getting overdrive into classic cars, with the newer Tremec TKO and T56 transmissions being more on the bleeding edge of modern transmissions for classic cars. However, just because the T5 isn't the latest and greatest doesn't mean it shouldn't be considered. Far from it, the T5 is now in the arena as a well known swap and companies have leapt up to the challenge of supplying everything from simple needed brackets to entire kits to 'bolt-in' the transmission to your car. All you need to do is ask around to find the suppliers that most fit with your budget, the required quality level, and who you deem professional and knowledgeable. A word of advice: There is a lot to know about these transmissions. The T5 was used in many forms and in many vehicles, so make sure to do your homework before heading out and picking something up that might not be what you want, or worse yet what you can't use!
  3. 3. Where Did I get My Parts? After searching and seeing examples of kits, along with customer testimonials, I decided to go with Modern Driveline. In hindsight I am not at all upset with the choice. First off the parts were top notch, with good quality and use by other satisfied customers, along with use in magazine articles. Secondly, the customer support was great - the owner, Bruce Couture, not only walked me through installation on a phone call, but gave me his personal pager number to contact him about questions as I installed! Very cool. Modern Driveline's bread and butter are several parts for the T5 swap into classic Ford cars, with a T5 'kit' that can be purchased and allow a classic Ford owner to do a complete T5 installation from soup to nuts. What Did I Do? I ordered the T5 kit for a 1965 Ford Falcon and had three boxes at my door in about a week. The parts were well packed and all the parts were brand new, with the exception of a rebuilt 1990-1993 T5 transmission and bell housing. All fasteners were included and parts which required grease and lube are pre lubed by Modern Driveline. The kit contents (as I ordered them) are as follows: Front shift T5 rebuilt 1990-93 T-5 with steel bearing retainer - In the early 90s the T5 in the Mustang was beefed up to handle the 5.0's 225 horsepower, and is rated at 300 ft/lbs of torque. As my 289 will be making numbers around there, I requested this transmission. The steel bearing retainer replaces the aluminum stock unit, and stops the galling problem the aluminum unit suffers from over time. I'll cover the front shift later on. Used Late Model T-5 Bell housing - A cleaned bell housing that is checked for correct tolerances is supplied. I opted for a more modern bell housing and clutch assembly as my 289 has the same 6 bolt pattern as the later model 302 and 5.0 engines. Clutch lever cover - Also known as a dust cover, this part covers the clutch lever and hole in the bell housing allowing the clutch lever a full length of travel. Block plate - The thin metal plate that fits between the bell housing and engine block. Bell housing bolts/Trans Bell housing bolts - All new hardware. Grade 8. Flywheel lightened billet steel 28oz - The flywheel and ring gear for the motor. Notice the 28 oz balance. On older Ford small blocks the motors were externally balanced by means of a front damper and balance weights on the flywheel/flex plate. Later engines use 50 oz weights. Make sure you purchase the right part or you will have drive train vibration problems! Clutch kit - The friction plate and clutch itself. I went with the later model 10
  4. 4. 1/2" clutch. Clutch lever - Correct lever for the later model clutch and bell housing used for cable clutch. Flywheel bolts/Pressure plate bolts - All new hardware. Grade 8. Hurst Chrome lever/Hurst shift ball 5 sp. Pattern Clutch cable kit - A clutch cable kit supplied by Modern Driveline that modifies your original Falcon or Mustang clutch linkage into an adjustable cable system. All the parts, along with the installation instructions (with pictures) comes with the vacuum sealed kit. Speedo cable & Speedo gear and insert - 19tooth gear - The gear comes installed in the transmission. Modern driveline will supply you with the correct gear for your application. T-5 cross member - A Modern Driveline built piece. Sturdy construction and well designed to hang the transmission at the correct angle, allow maximum clearance for headers, and allow the emergency brake to be connected back up. T-5 transmission mount - Standard GM rubber mount (since I have the S10 tail shaft the GM unit is used). Let's Get Started First a word about the clutch cable kit. My car was an automatic, so apart from this kit I also needed a set of Falcon brake and clutch pedals. I procured these through eBay. I am going to skip past the installation of the cable kit for a few reasons. First off, my car sports other modifications like a tilt column and power brake unit, so pictures and instructions on installation of the kit in my car might confuse more than help. Secondly, this kit has very good directions.
  5. 5. A few words of advice (read 'Brake Cable Kit Installation for Dummies'): 1.) Follow the directions to the letter - do NOT take shortcuts. 2.) Make sure the nuts on the clutch cable at the clutch fork are both on the back side of cable. 3.) The stock clutch pedal return spring should be removed - it is not needed with this kit. 4.) The pedal bracket that comes with the kit is adjustable. Make sure you adjust this bracket else your clutch will be too loose or tight. Remove the Old Transmission (Out with the old. A tired C4 [left] and mounting hardware [right]) Now its time for out with the old. For the old C4 its fairly straight-forward. After disconnecting the battery and draining the transmission, 6 bell housing bolts, a driveshaft, a vacuum line, 2 electrical plugs (Neutral safety switch), and a filler tube bolt free the old C4 from the car. With a jack under the transmission, a lift and tug of the transmission frees it from the engine.After
  6. 6. the transmission is removed, the torque converter, flex plate, and block plate can be removed from the engine. At this point I also took the liberty of removing the old vacuum fitting on the engine's intake manifold and installing a plug. Won't need that line anymore! A quick inspection landed a startling realization: My front seal on my transmission was leaking. This is big news as once they start to leak your transmission is much like a time bomb - that seal could have gone and left me stranded at anytime! A Look at the New Transmission (The new T5 has been modified with a steel bearing retainer [left] and a tail shaft for a Chevy S10 [right]) Now in with the new. The new T5 is a lighter unit than most 60s transmissions because of its aluminum case. The folks at Modern Driveline rebuilt this 1990 unit that has the later T5's stronger gears and synchros allowing the transmission to withstand up to 300 ft/lbs of torque. I also added two other options: A steel bearing retainer, a sleeve that covers the transmission's input shaft shown in the picture above and to the left. This part is the section the throw-out bearing slides upon, and in stock form is aluminum. Over time the aluminum piece begins to gall and makes clutch engagement harder and harder. I figured it was good insurance to step up to the better part now. The second modification done to this transmission was the use of a Chevy S10 tail shaft. Yes, the Borg Warner T5 was used in the General's vehicles as well, and many parts destined for Bow Tie duty will work in other applications. With the S10 tail shaft the shifter is relocated to the front of the tail shaft, which allows the shifter to enter the cab compartment almost exactly as stock (shifter is centered on tunnel instead of to left nearer to driver). This mod also stops the need to do some creative engineering to the tunnel sub frame support on the earlier Falcons to fit the late model Mustang tail shaft and shifter.
  7. 7. The Pilot Bearing The first thing to install is the pilot bearing. This bearing is normally a brass insert that the tip of the transmission's input shaft rides upon. The folks at Modern Driveline supply a roller bearing to replace the one piece pilot bearing. It comes pre-greased and ready for installation. (The pilot bearing comes pre-greased from Modern Driveline and is a roller bearing design) Installation of the bearing is easy. The pilot bearing fits into the center of the crankshaft's rear. Place the bearing into the center of the rear of crank (only fits into center of crank one way), use a socket and hammer, and drive the bearing into the rear of the crank until the ringing noise from driving the bearing changes to a dull 'thunk' noise. Please note that the bearing's will completely seat within the crank's center. The bearing's will be higher than flush by about 1/16". (Notice the hole in center of crank [left]. With the pilot bearing installed [right])
  8. 8. The Clutch and Flywheel The first items to install are the flywheel and clutch. With the flywheel, make sure you are starting with a new part, or if you are using a used flywheel, have it resurfaced and inspected for imbalance and cracks. Please note the box with the flywheel was labeled telling the installer what type of flywheel it is. Throughout the years Ford used not only different flywheel balances (28 oz and 50 oz) but different ring gear teeth counts (157 vs. 164). Make sure you get the right flywheel for your application! (The new flywheel, block plate, and flywheel bolts [left]. Make sure you have the right flywheel! Ring gear tooth count and flywheel balance are important! [right]) The kit came with a new flywheel, a reconditioned engine block plate, and new grade 8 fasteners to mount the flywheel to the crank straight from Ford. The bolts come with sealer applied. Before mounting the flywheel make sure to clean the friction surface (part clutch disc will contact) with brake cleaner and a no lint rag or Brillo pad, and make sure the surface is completely clean. Do the same after installation as well, as any grease or dirt can affect the clutch wear over time.
  9. 9. (The six needed flywheel bolts with pre applied sealer [left]. Some brake cleaner and rags clean the flywheel mating surface [right]) Now its time to install. Start with the block plate, making sure the starter hole is on the correct side of engine and the bottom lip of the plate is curled toward the rear of the car. Mount the plate on the two aligning pegs in the block. If they are missing, check the transmission bell housing that was previously removed from the car or acquire new ones. After getting the block plate flush with the back of the engine, mount the flywheel and torque the flywheel bolts to 85 ft/lbs in three stages.
  10. 10. Now for the clutch. I opted for a newer style clutch assembly, a 10.5" clutch with the more modern design used in late model Mustangs. Instead of three "fingers" to actuate the clutch disc as on older 60s style clutches, several are used to give a more uniform engagement of the clutch, and a more comfortable clutch pedal. To install the clutch one needs a clutch alignment tool. This is included in the kit and is simply a plastic splined piece of plastic about 5 inches long. It fits into the splines of the clutch disc and tapers to fit into the pilot bearing. The clutch and clutch disc are all installed at the same time. Fit the alignment tool into the clutch disc center splined hole with the disc's "hat" facing toward you and the tools back end facing you as well. The hat will ultimately face the transmission (rear of car) Now take the time to clean the clutch friction surface with brake cleaner to remove the factory rust inhibitive chemicals. Place the clutch disc in front of the clutch, lift onto flywheel, aligning the clutch with the mounting pegs and the clutch disc with the center of the crank using the alignment tool. When the fitting is complete torque the clutch to flywheel bolts up to but NOT more than 22 ft/lbs. A good tip is to align the clutch disc and then point one of the spline grooves in center hole to 12 o'clock. This will make the installation of the transmission much easier.
  11. 11. The Bell Housing Now we need to cover up the clutch with the bell housing, but first let's get some parts installed onto the bell housing. The clutch arm (or clutch lever) and the throw-out bearing are installed first. The throw-out bearing fits into the clutch arm and only fits one way. Make sure that the black metal "fingers" are tight against the throw-out bearing when you install the bearing and that both are engaged on the bearing. If the fingers are not fully engaged it makes transmission installation a lot harder. Now GREASE the inside of the throw-out bearing with axle grease or synthetic. Make sure to fill in the ring on the inside surface with grease. Do NOT grease the input splines of transmission - this is not needed and just adds the possibility of grease getting on your clutch!
  12. 12. (The throw-out bearing installed on the clutch arm. Note how the "fingers" on the clutch arm clip the throw-out bearing into place [upper right].) With that done it is time to mount the clutch lever onto the bell housing. This is done at a ball stud mounted inside the bell housing, and again two metal "fingers" on the clutch arm snap the end of the clutch arm onto the ball stud. Be SURE the two fingers are fully engaged onto the ball stud. Failing to do so will make the final transmission installation very tricky. (The bell housing, clutch arm, throw-out bearing, and dust cover [left]. The arm mounts in the bell housing using similar "fingers" used on throw-out bearing [right]) After these parts have been installed simply bolt the bell housing over the clutch/flywheel installation.
  13. 13. Bring on the Pain Onto the fun part: installing the transmission. With those of us with access to a lift and transmission jack, please read on. However, for the many of us without, a few pointers before going through some excessive lifting: 1.) The transmission weighs about 75-80 lbs without the fluid. Do yourself a favor and don't put fluid into it until you're done installing it. 2.) Use a floor jack to assist getting the transmission into position before installing. 3.) Turn the input shaft splines on transmission so one spline is facing 12 o'clock (to match the clutch disc center hole as described on last page) 3.) The transmission should be slid into the bell housing steadily and at the right angle. Be sure that the clutch arm, throw-out bearing, and clutch plate all are engaged correctly by the transmission. 4.) If the transmission will not slip completely into the bell housing, leaving a 1/4 - 1/2" gap before bottoming out, it simply is the clutch plate and clutch not absolutely in line with the pilot bearing installed in the crank. Actuate the clutch lever while jiggling transmission to get transmission to fully seat. 5.) Get some cheap 12mm threaded rod and cut 4 lengths about six inches long and thread them into the bell housing. use these rods to align the transmission upon installation. (Lengths of threaded rod or long bolts with the heads cut off make great aligning rods for the transmission.) The Rear Mount
  14. 14. Apart from the trick clutch cable kit Modern Driveline also has a very nice rear transmission mount for this swap. Not only does it allow for good clearance of the exhaust system, but it also allows the owner to retain the emergency brake in their car. (The mount is heavy duty and nicely welded up. Notice the slot for rear transmission mount adjustment and the arm to retain the emergency brake on the car.) After installing the rear transmission mount, simply jack up the rear of the transmission, slide in the new bracket, and install with two bolts. Because my transmission came with the S10 tail shaft, the speedometer cable inserts into the transmission right at the rear of the front sub frame.
  15. 15. Because the tolerance is so tight between the rear of the front sub frame and the speedometer cable, one needs to modify the sub frame to make room for the speedometer cable so it won't be kinked. Modern Driveline is aware of this problem and is working on a fix at the time of this writing, but advises Falcon owners to use a hole saw or Dremel to cut a hole in the sub frame, fish the cable through, and install it into the transmission. I decided to simply create a notch in the sub frame piece, and then fabricate a removable plate that covers the notch (not shown). Buttoning It Up Now the last of the little things: Reverse Lights: The reverse light switch is on the side of the transmission. I headed out to the junkyard and looked for cars with the T5 so I could get a factory wiring loom with the correct reverse light plug. After some searching I found that the reverse light plug is used on all T5s - so do yourself a favor and look in the engine/transmission pile for a T5 and yank the reverse light harness instead of crawling under some cars. Retrofitting the reverse light plug was easy. Using an old neutral safety switch the Neutral safety switch wires were soldered together, while the reverse light wires were soldered to the original switch's reverse light wiring. With this done the modified loom is plugged into the car and the installation looks stock from under the hood.
  16. 16. ( The reverse light switch [left] accepts the plug supplied by the local wrecker [right]. A little soldering and electrical tape makes a clean installation [bottom]) Plug old vacuum lines: If you had an automatic don't forget to plug the old intake manifold vacuum lines! Exhaust work: Don't be surprised if there is some interference caused by exhaust systems after this swap. The new bell housing a bit different than an automatic and old style manual. After a clearance problem appeared on this project, a quick trip to the local muffler shop was in order to get some needed clearance in the driver's side exhaust pipe where it meets the manifold. Fill the transmission: The T5s did NOT use gear oil, rather they used simple ATF fluid because of the more intricate roller bearings used with in the transmission. After doing some reading the transmission here got Amsoil ATF synthetic transmission fluid. About 2.75 quarts of this pure synthetic ATF was pumped into the transmission. Don't forget to install that driveshaft yoke or you'll have a mess on your hands!
  17. 17. ( Amsoil is a well known synthetic and is recommended by Modern Driveline ) Driveshaft: Since you had your driveshaft out, its a good time to check the universal joints and if zealous, the driveshaft balance. If you had a 3 or 4 speed in your Falcon, your driveshaft will need to be shortened by an inch or so. For my 65 Falcon I measured a needed 52 - 52 1/2" driveshaft length for my swap. The driveshaft pulled out of this car looked original and pretty beat up. I went ahead and ordered up an Aluminum driveshaft at a local builder here in Chicago. The aluminum driveshaft weighs about half of a steel shaft and are known to help deliver more power to the rear wheels as well as offer less vibration at higher speeds. I supplied the driveshaft builder with the required measurement and the original driveshaft yoke. In about a day I had a new balanced driveshaft with new universal joints and it slid right into place.
  18. 18. Clutch cable adjustment and fine tuning: Now that the transmission is in the final clutch cable connection can occur. Simply follow the clutch cable kit directions and connect the cable to the clutch arm, making sure that both cable nuts are threaded onto the back of the clutch arm. After this step is complete, remove the stock clutch pedal return spring and adjust the cable actuation bracket to the appropriate height (detailed in the cable kit's directions) After this the clutch arm travel was measured and found within the specifications set by Modern Driveline's instructions. After that check it was simply a matter of installing the dust cover over the clutch arm ( The dust cover protects the clutch arm, cable, and clutch internals from dust and debris [left]. It is held in place by a clip and screw [right]) Starters: This is a tricky area on Ford V8s. In the mid 60s Ford used two types of starters, one for manual transmission cars and one for automatics. This trend continued until the mid 80s when Ford started using the same start for both. To muddy the waters further Ford used different body sizes, nose lengths, and styles of starters throughout the years. Make sure you choose the correct starter for your application. Remember, the old starter might not work! (The 65 Manual start below silver starter is a bigger unit with a shorter 'nose' than the early 70s starter above it [left]. Ford used 157 and 164 tooth
  19. 19. flywheels. If the wrong starter is used, this little gear will chew up your flywheel! [right]) Engine Tuning: Engine characteristics like idle and carburetor settings will probably need to be modified with the new transmission. The Conclusion After a quick firing of the motor I slid the clutch in, selected first gear, and off the car went! No clunking of the clutch or slip or grinding noises. Compared to the automatic that was in the car the car is quieter (no whirring automatic transmission) and more fun to drive. The overdrive is also a welcomes treat - with the 3:25 rear gear set the car is built to cruise! The additional 10% engine power to the rear wheels doesn't hurt either. Without that automatic there isn't any transmission slippage or pump to run - the power goes straight through! (Please pardon the mess - but you can see the shifter and how it enters the cab just to the right of the stock shifter position)