T-45 Tranny in my '97 Cobra w/46k miles is already a mess!

Discussion in 'SVT Tech Forum' started by Craig Mack, Dec 12, 2003.


  1. Craig Mack

    Craig Mack Busted Buffing the Bishop Founding Member

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    I just picked up my '97 Cobra two weeks ago, not knowing that the transmission was jam-packed with problems. My only warning was grinding on a hard 1-2 shift on the test drive, which I thought was MY error. Every car i've looked at to buy, we take it to a mechanic before hand for an expection. This is the only time we didn't, and low and behold the transmission is a mess. :bang:

    Anyways, check out what AAMCO found out:

    1)1-2 gear slider is messed up, needs to be replaced

    2)1-2 gear synchronizers are shot

    3)2nd gear ruined (broken teeth)

    4)The reverse fork is messed up

    5)Fifth gear slider is messed up

    6)Clutch is fried

    My rear end is also whining. But it whines under acceleration, and not during de-cceleration, so I am told that's a "good" thing. The Cobra is completely stock. I have put about 800 miles on it, and all i've done is tint and exhaust.

    I ordered a SPEC clutch that got here yesterday to be put in, with a lightened pressure plate. So it looks like I'll be carless for a little while. I'm already going t hrough Cobra withdrawel. :chair:

    What do you guys think about that? I've heard split opinions about the T-45, some saying that it is a strong tranny, others saying that it's a pile of crap. I am the third owner of this car. The first owner was some fat guy who used it as a weekend toy. The second owner (18 yrs old) picked it up two years ago with 13,000 miles on it. Two weeks ago, I became the third owner. So it could be the driver beating the car up. The only "problem" I have with the engine is that you can here the valves chatter a little bit at idle. A ticking sort of sound. Other then that, the car is ok I guess.
    #1
  2. sinisterblack98

    sinisterblack98 Sometimes I just lay on my garage floor and look u Founding Member

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    Don't be too disappointed, the T-45 does not handle abuse or missed shifts well, it was only a matter of time. Mine has 15,000 miles on it and the 1-2 shift is notchy, I ground it one good time during a power shifting street race. It doesn't grind now but I'll end up going through it or upgrading before long, it's my only complaint about the car!

    Even a mechanic might not have picked up on it unless it was doing it all the time!

    And what where you thinking buying a Cobra off an 18 yo? I wouldn't buy a Mustang after I drove it when I was 18! :bang:
    #2
  3. COBRA90GT

    COBRA90GT Mod Dude

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    What he said. :D
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  4. Craig Mack

    Craig Mack Busted Buffing the Bishop Founding Member

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    [​IMG]

    So, we are going ahead with the rebuild. I guess I shoudn't have? The rebuild, clutch install, rear end check, fluid change, x-pipe check, is going to cost $1180. Hopefully this will LAST since I could have gotten a new T-45 all together for around $1000.
    #4
  5. 103

    103 Founding Member

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    I'd just buy a new one or upgrade to a stronger tranny. You can get a hold of a T-45 for cheaper than that rebuild.
    #5
  6. Craig Mack

    Craig Mack Busted Buffing the Bishop Founding Member

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    There are soo many stangers from Florida on this board....there needs to be a huge stand meet in Central Florida sometime. :nice:

    They are already in the process of rebuilding....new sliders, synchros, forks, etc. I just have to hope it won't crap out on me anymore. I do get a 6 month warranty on the tranny, which is pretty cool. If the transmission every goes out on me past that point, it's getting thrown in the trash completely, and a T-56 or new T-45 will be thrown in.

    The only thing is, I heard this transmission is good for up to ~350rwtq. I don't plan on boosting, so I don't think i'll be exceeding that limit.

    The 18 year old that I bought it from was really mellow and the family was very wealthy. He didn't do ANY mods to it, which also made me think he took care of it. He also had the maitnance records. Who knows for sure though....I have always had a love for Cobras, and love my car too much to care. :nice:
    #6
  7. 98KOBRA

    98KOBRA New Member

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    I am also going through problems with my T45. I let a friend drive my car and he gave it back to me with the tranny stuck in first gear. I am still not sure what is exactly wrong with it but a couple of people have told me that it sounds like a shift fork. I saw a T45 for sale on ebay for 200.00 so I dont plan on spending anymore than that to fix it. You paid a lot of money to fix yours, I really hope it works out. I plan on going straight for the T56. Does that bolt right up or would I need a new yoke? Thanx, Matt
    #7
  8. rdmustangkid

    rdmustangkid New Member

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    I chickened out on my 97 cobra. Ford dealer said they fixed my tranny but I don't think they did. After a thousand miles it was back to the same problem. So I traded it in on a 03 cobra.
    #8
  9. Craig Mack

    Craig Mack Busted Buffing the Bishop Founding Member

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    Well, that's nice...but some of us don't have that glorious option :p
    #9
  10. rdmustangkid

    rdmustangkid New Member

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    The bank dosen't mind that I drive the car as long as I keep making payments. :p
    #10
  11. J's98Snake

    J's98Snake Founding Member

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    I'm on my second T-45. The first one lasted 7x,xxx miles and the second lasted 7,xxx miles before the syn went south. Next time a TKO. BTW SPEC clutches are a very good choice.
    #11
  12. lethalbite

    lethalbite New Member

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    yeah im having a few issues with mine as well(97 cobra), especially when it's first cranked up. I have to be careful shifting into 5th for some odd reason, i have to go into fifth slowly otherwise it will grind bad...hmphh. A T56 would be a nice replacement!! Later
    #12
  13. sirhisss

    sirhisss Founding Member

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    Since you are staying with the T-45 then before driving another mile
    add a Steeda Triax or Pro 5 shifter to the job. This will save your tranny by preventing bent shift forks. The stock shifter is pure junk.

    I have 67K miles on my 96 and road track as often as I can. Still running same stock tranny.
    #13
  14. Craig Mack

    Craig Mack Busted Buffing the Bishop Founding Member

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    Too late now, but i'll see if I can't get one for Xmas. :)

    Is the clutch pedal supposed to vibrate like mad when the clutch is new? I just got a SPEC stage I clutch put in with the lightened pressure plate option, and a resurfaced stock flywheel. At low rpm cruising, you can feel the clutch pedal vibrating like MAD. Even if I BARELY touch the pedal with my foot, it shakes like mad. There is a tiny bit when the car is in neutral. What could be the problem? There arent any ackward sounds when engaging in gear.

    Note: This clutch grabs a lot harder than stock. It feels like my ACT stage II clutch on my Max. There is very little travel and it clamps instantly. It will take some getting used to. I know the clutch will soften up once broken in. It's kind of scary right now. ;)
    #14
  15. Thunder5.0

    Thunder5.0 New Member

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    Why spend 1100 on a rebuild? If you can save another few hundred go with the TRC-3550. My T-45 is still running strong at 50k but I put a Pro 5.0 shifter/HD kevlar Ram clutch kit and 3 1/2 quarts of Redline MTL to keep it safe.
    #15
  16. unwritten

    unwritten Founding Member

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    Yeah, what is this all about??? does anyone know?, mine is the same way.
    #16
  17. Craig Mack

    Craig Mack Busted Buffing the Bishop Founding Member

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    It could be a bad synchronizer, or a bad slider.

    Oh, and something I didn't know: Always put the shifter into third before going into reverse. It lines everything up and prevents grinding when going into reverse. Has worked like a charm for me everytime. :nice:
    #17
  18. darkhorse1

    darkhorse1 Founding Member

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    I've also noticed that when I get on it in 1st shift into 2nd it grinds,also going into 5th it grinds,just thought that I might need a clutch though.guess not huh.Will the 6-speed tranny bolt right up?
    #18

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