Dan Williams: The Best toploader help ever.

Discussion in '1965 - 1973 Classic Mustangs -General/Talk-' started by BullittStangV8, Jan 11, 2010.


  1. BullittStangV8

    BullittStangV8 Founding Member

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    Just got off the phone with Dan Williams from Dan Williams Toploader Transmissions (828-524-9085). Great guy! I had a few questions about putting a toploader in a fox body, and Dan was very very knowledgeable about the swap, toploaders in general, what years fit what models, gearing, etc. It literally was the best tech call that I ever had, and he went out of his way to help me and provide information for the swap. If you ever need toploader support/parts/rebuilds, please consider them. I will be sending my toploader for a rebuild when the time comes to them due to how well it went. :nice:
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  2. 1995cobraR

    1995cobraR Member

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    Dan is very good with toploader transmissions. :nice:

    But why would you put one in a Fox-body car? :shrug:
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  3. BullittStangV8

    BullittStangV8 Founding Member

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    Long story why the toploader is going in the fox. But here it goes:

    Have had a 65 for a while, and blew up the motor (previous owner did not put in the right size valves/pushrods/etc, and some spirited driving blew it up.) So I pulled the motor out, and built up a DSS racing 331 roller motor with AFR 185 heads, pro-systems carb, etc. to go in the 65. Went to do a scarebird disc brake install on the 65, and found some nasty front frame rust that needs replacement. The fix was more then I could afford. SO, I found a local 89 notchback 4 cylinder thats clean and straight for very cheap.

    Gutted the notchback (it should be VERY light, even with me in it), and now I'm dropping the 331 with the toploader into the fox for an all out strip car. the toploader was in the 65, and is way stronger then the T-5, and actually bolts in just fine except there are no trans mounts, so you have to fab a little. Even the drive shaft is the same as a t-5.

    The 65 meanwhile, is going to end up having the front end pulled, and the frame rails fix. I'm not sure yet if I will go stock frame rails, mustang 2, or go crazy and do a tube chassis type front end with a big motor (the car is a run of the mill 65, nothing rare, original or special btw, so we can all exhale). At that time, ill find a new toploader. In honor of the 65 donating its guts to the 89, I'm thinking a I may paint the fox the same color scheme at the 65.
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  4. 1995cobraR

    1995cobraR Member

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    That certainly makes sense. You use parts that you already own.

    On a drag strip, can you get by with using a lighter-grade gear lub? I know the toploader's heavy weight gear oil robs us of a lot of power.

    Do you use the big-shaft input and output shafts (big block) or the smaller shafts (small block)? Do you use the 8" or 9" drive shaft (one is shorter so wouldn't swap with a T-5 drive shaft)?

    I had no idea that a Mustang 2 frame rail would fit. We usually just weld in an entire early stock front clip (we usually bend everything). We don't mind tearing up the rare and original ones. :D They usually work better after a new fix (maybe metal fatigue, who knows?).

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  5. BullittStangV8

    BullittStangV8 Founding Member

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    regarding the mustang 2: I meant the mustang 2 front suspension set up, not the frames. From what I remember it allows you to get rid of the shock towers in the engine bay, and run some bigger motor combinations. I've been kicking around the idea of a supercharged 351 like the saleens of the mid 90's (s351)
    Driveshaft: the driveshaft for a t-5 works with a toploader in a fox. Not with a 8 or 9 inch in a 65. I'm going with an aluminum ford racing driveshaft, with an 8.8 out of a 96 gt with disc brakes.

    The inputs outputs are for a small block ford. the toploader is out of a 67 mustang, and the output is the same count as a T-5.

    for oil: Right now I have some royal purple in it. David Kee has some interesting information about weight. Evidently some rob more power, but allow smoother shifting vs lighter weights. I think its going to take some experimenting to find what works.

    Eventually the 65 will be rebuilt. I just need to get some funding stashed away to do it correctly. If the cars in your pics can be saved, then mine certainly can. I just need to find a shop to do it right and not rob me at the same time.
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