Six Weeks With A New 5.0 - Some Observations

Discussion in '2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk-' started by ScottyG00GT, Sep 5, 2013.


  1. ScottyG00GT

    ScottyG00GT Member

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    So I've been driving my 2013 5.0 for over a month now and it has been great. I did have the dealer perform the O-ring crankshaft sensor TSB but otherwise it's awesome. Some things I find interesting . . .

    - Before my purchase, I spent way too much time agonizing over my gear choice. The 3.31s are fast enough for what I do, first gear winds up in the blink of an eye, and I shift frequently as it is without a steeper gear. I may feel differently down the road, who knows.

    - The interior is way better than the motoring press would have us believe. Granted, I ended up with a 401A, but there's not much to criticize in my mind except for the shallow and nearly inaccessible door panel pockets, and unlike with my 2000 GT I won't be wanting to spend a small fortune on billet dress-up parts. One question I do have, though. With all this safety legislation these days, how is it that I am allowed to change the color of my gauges and footwell ambient lighting at 80 mph if I want to?? Not complaining, just sayin' . . . don't anybody tell Ralph Nader . . .

    - Is it possible that I am getting better gas mileage at 75 mph than at 60-65? Time will tell, but that seems to be my pattern so far. Not that I bought this car for the mileage (or that I can really tell where the needle is on the speedometer graphics; some things from the '60s are best left in the '60s).

    - I thought the MT82 transmission was notchy and missed third a few times under moderate acceleration until I figured out that the trick for me is to not hunt for the gear. All I do is push the lever gently forward and it clicks in beautifully more or less on its own. Once I got over the initial learning curve it was great.

    What an awesome car.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
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  2. RWDtech

    RWDtech Member

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    I regret not getting 3.73's, but I got mine off of a lot.

    I can get 33mpg at 55mph, but that drops way down to 27 at 70mph. Not sure how u are getting such good mileage at the higher speeds...

    I think the interior is good except for the really ugly, flat, wide center console. It sticks out like a sore thumb and is so boring and flat...like ford didn't spend any time on it.

    I agree with you on not being able to see where exactly the Speedo gauge is pointing.
    you get that parallax error if you aren't at the perfect angle.

    overall these are good quick cars. I'm pretty happy with mine, just wish it had more low end torque or I got 3.73's
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  3. mbuckcoyote

    mbuckcoyote Member

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    "- I thought the MT82 transmission was notchy and missed third a few times under moderate acceleration until I figured out that the trick for me is to not hunt for the gear. All I do is push the lever gently forward and it clicks in beautifully more or less on its own. Once I got over the initial learning curve it was great."

    This statement, in a generic sense, is why I think most people who have the M82 think it's a trash tranny. They try to rip through the gears as if it were a top loader Ford or a Muncie and end up breaking things. I believe also that this tranny is limited as to how much power it can handle so, that may have some bearing on their reliability. It's a stock tranny. Who'd of thought. Granted, some M82's are trash as are small percentages of any manufactured product. I've had 2 GT's with this tranny and never have had any of the issues associated with the complaints. My current tranny is as noiseless, for example, as my last one.

    One problem: Smooth shifting, but does have a narrow margin for shifting error. The fact that the shifter is separated from the tranny using a shifting rod does present a unique problem under hard accelerating and shifting as it puts somewhat of a bind or twist on the shifter and makes it a harder shift. I've experienced this in both of mine with the stock shifter. In my last GT, I installed an MGW shift assembly and it took care of much of the binding. However, I believe some sort of 'torque relief' perhaps engineered into the shifting rod could neutralize the binding. Not being an engineer, I would not know how to go about this or even if it's plausible. Maybe incorporating a rubber damper in a two piece rod? Other than that, IMO, the tranny is great.

    As far as 3.73's go. I had them in my '11 GT and couldn't justify using 1st gear under normal driving conditions. It's a granny gear in these cars. I have the 3.31's in my '13 now and it is a better gear match with the tranny and many who drag race prefer them because they only have to shift four gears going down the track rather than hitting 5th at the last minute before crossing the line. There is a formula out their that shows how this tranny acts with the rear gears and shows that, for example, having 3.31 gears, translates into having 3.73's, 3.73's translate into 4'10's, etc.

    As far as 'low end torque', these engines are high revers and so the torque band is higher. If you want to take advantage of the torque in these engines, you have to launch at a high rpm, about 3k. However it's done, having a car that will hit 60 in 4.5 seconds in a 3600 pound car is nothing to complain about IMO. Not to many cars out their can make that claim. Good cars, indeed!:cool:
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  4. ScottyG00GT

    ScottyG00GT Member

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    Yeah, I wondered about that mileage, too. Part of it may be that when I am doing 60-65 I am typically in heavier traffic and I wonder if my speed is varying more even though I think it's not? Right now my car has 1700 miles on it so the engine is not fully run in. Plus I had been tanking up with lower octane than 91 because I hadn't had time to research if the 93 all the stations around here seem to have instead of 91 was OK (anything over 89 made my '00 GT run funny). So time will tell; maybe it's a fluke.

    And on the tranny, people trash-talked the Tremec T-45 in my '00 as well, yet it was still going strong at 177k miles, albeit with a little bearing noise (and I bet my Steeda Tri-Ax made it sound worse than it was). I agree it's all in how you treat it. This MT82 shifts as nicely as any I've ever driven but I don't beat on it.

    The one complaint I had about the console was the big chrome release button is positioned exactly right where my elbow was always deploying the lid, until I discovered I could lock it with the ignition key!

    The other thing about this car that surprised me is how much attention it gets. Truly insane - I've had people I don't know taking pictures of it. Have I been "car stalked"?
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  5. Bojingles

    Bojingles Well-Known Member

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    Like @mbuckcoyote I installed a MGW MT82 shifter on my 2012 GT and it really does help shifting into third and fifth. This transmission isn't bad really, but you can't rush it. I've heard a lot of people have great success matching a good shifter with motor mounts that doesn't allow the motor to shift so much under load. The only down side is you can feel the vibrations from the engine more. Downside for some... Some like it :D
    #5
  6. Coyote5.0

    Coyote5.0 Active Member

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    I've got similar car, just a 2011. It's a 3.31 car with the 401A package. Overall, I like the interior. Subtle...not showing off, but not cheap looking either. I love the darker metal finish on the dash.

    I got the 3.31 gears, because a lot of the driving I do is highway driving, and being able to roll leisurely down the interstate at about 1900 rpm is nice. I can get about 30 mpg at 70 using ethanol-free pure gas. I've found it has enough torque to get away with it, and when you want to have fun, the lower transmission ratios provide plenty of gear on their own.

    I do have some concern with 2nd gear in the MT82. 2nd can be hard to get into, particularly when cold and when shifting at higher RPMs. Hit it just right at lower RPM's, though, and it is smoother. 3rd through 6th are all very smooth and easy, though. For 3-6, the shifting takes very little effort, so a light touch works best. You don't want to push/pull it into gears, but rather gently guide it in the right direction with your fingertips (down), or open palm (up).
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  7. GDMCSMITH

    GDMCSMITH Founding Member

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    I had a 2012 GT and now a 2014 GT and the MT82 is adequate but was a bit notchy....I installed a SR Performance Shifter Bracket from American Muscle and it made all the difference...And wait until you see the stock bracket!! Amazing that Ford would use something so cheap on such a great car...I mean, it uses wire ties??...WTF!! The SR Performance piece is a great upgrade for less than $50 and about 30 minutes...
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  8. gotven0m

    gotven0m Founding Member

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    It's been engineered. Meet the Barton Industries two post shifter bracket.

    http://www.americanmuscle.com/barton-2post-shifter-bracket-1113.html

    Watch the videos for the product on the left. It explains how the bracket has been engineered to prevent binding while still allowing movement under hard acceleration or braking.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    #8
  9. Noobz347

    Noobz347 Stangnet Facilities Maint Tech... Er... Janitor Admin Dude

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    I was thinking as I read the portion that you quoted, that there has to be some way to tie the shifter into the tranny so that they stay mated. Good find on that Barton piece. :nice:
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