Fox Here we go. New Transmission Tomorrow.

93CalypsoConvert

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I need help trying to decide what the best option is for my transmission. Its a 1993 lx 2.3 swapped to a 5.0. The tranny is the original t5 WC and it needs a rebuild (whining, bad syncros, oil looks like a pound of glitter was poured in). I've done some research and it looks like I've got a couple options here.
  1. Rebuild myself
  2. Have it rebuilt professionally
  3. Find a donor
  4. Buy a refurbished unit.
  • For option 1, it should cost me $500 parts + whatever tools I need like a hydraulic press.
  • For option 2, it should cost around $1000. I've called 5 places and all quoted $900-1100 (wow since when did manuals become so expensive to rebuild?:bs:)
  • For option 3, I've got couple of salvage yards around where I might be able to find a t5 suited for more HP. While this option may be cheaper, you never know what you will get.
  • Option 4 would probably be best, but this is pushing what I feel like spending on it.
These are my options as I see it. I know some of you will recommend a TKO or some other alternate transmission, but my wallet says no. I am hesitant about rebuilding the original since it will still be rated for probably 40HP less than my engine. Has anyone had experience with any of these options? Thoughts? What should I do?
 
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Mustang5L5

Put lubricant all over the balls
Mod Dude
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Is this a 4cyl T5?

I think you are underestimating option 1. Parts for these transmissions have gone up. A decent rebuild kit with bearings is $400. If you find your mainshaft is scored (which is common in noisy T5s) you’ll be adding another $100. If a syncro is damaged, or a gear, it’s going to climb from there. If it’s a 4cyl T5 you should at least put a 90-93 3.35 gearset in it, or a 2.95 gearset. Now you are up over $1k in parts.

if you could find a good donor or two, you might be able to rebuild one decent trans out of them. All depends on what you find wrong with the donors.

my worry with suggesting you let a shop do it is that $1k estimate balloons once they open the trans up and see what’s wrong with it.

and at the other end of the spectrum, a brand new 2.95 T-5Z trans is $1900-2k plus shipping with a warranty.
 
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Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
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I would also suggest the T5 rebuild series. Here's the first one.

View: https://youtu.be/XREsRG9Y1mU


These are by far the best rebuild series I've ever seen. I have the whole thing saved in case they "Youtubly" disappear.
 
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nickyb

WAIT,you now have a pair?
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Agree with the vid from Paul C. It's what I use with a kit from his fivespeeds.com company.luckily mine only needed a new second gear , and kit,gear,tools( already had $99 hf press) was like $550 bucks. I started with a v8 t5 , something I recommend you do.
 

90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
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My 4 cylinder t5 lasted behind a nitrous 306, my 347, and the current 331 turbo car. I've upgraded to a tko600 but that 4 cylinder transmission would not die. I went through a regular v8 t5 and a zspec t5 before putting the 4 banger t5 in the sprayed 306. I thought it would be just something to get the car moving until I could find something else. That was 15yrs ago and I wasn't nice to it.

My advise would be to find a 4 banger t5 used. They usually aren't beat on much. Use the Federal Bearing s202 bearing for the back off the crank. Fill it with dexron v and drive it if on a budget as thin as you say.

I've rebuilt a bunch of 5 speed transmissions. If your fluid is glitter and it was hard to shift into gear then you need roller bearings, blocker rings, synchronizers, and possibly gears due to dog teeth wearing down ( if the teeth themselves aren't damaged ). Hard to get out of gear or gear lock out can be caused by the detent springs and keys. If its grinding in neutral with the clutch released you may need a front bearing and the main shaft may be damaged. It is easy to rebuild a t5 but its getting more and more expensive. You can use a t5 from a sn95 mustang but you'll need a 94- 95 bellhousing.

Either way, when buying a used t5 inspect it thoroughly. I guarantee if you look inside yours you'll decide to buy another one. The fluid usually tells the story. If it isn't red don't buy it. If it looks like a pink bowling ball don't buy it. If it looks like a fairy took a dump in it....don't buy it unless you know magic.
 
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93CalypsoConvert

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My 4 cylinder t5 lasted behind a nitrous 306, my 347, and the current 331 turbo car. I've upgraded to a tko600 but that 4 cylinder transmission would not die. I went through a regular v8 t5 and a zspec t5 before putting the 4 banger t5 in the sprayed 306. I thought it would be just something to get the car moving until I could find something else. That was 15yrs ago and I wasn't nice to it.

My advise would be to find a 4 banger t5 used. They usually aren't beat on much. Use the Federal Bearing s202 bearing for the back off the crank. Fill it with dexron v and drive it if on a budget as thin as you say.

I've rebuilt a bunch of 5 speed transmissions. If your fluid is glitter and it was hard to shift into gear then you need roller bearings, blocker rings, synchronizers, and possibly gears due to dog teeth wearing down ( if the teeth themselves aren't damaged ). Hard to get out of gear or gear lock out can be caused by the detent springs and keys. If its grinding in neutral with the clutch released you may need a front bearing and the main shaft may be damaged. It is easy to rebuild a t5 but its getting more and more expensive. You can use a t5 from a sn95 mustang but you'll need a 94- 95 bellhousing.

Either way, when buying a used t5 inspect it thoroughly. I guarantee if you look inside yours you'll decide to buy another one. The fluid usually tells the story. If it isn't red don't buy it. If it looks like a pink bowling ball don't buy it. If it looks like a fairy took a dump in it....don't buy it unless you know magic.
Wow. Thats a lot of useful information. So here is a couple of questions if you don't mind. 1. Would it be worth rebuilding mine or finding a better condition junked yard one and rebuilt it? It a 1993 WC T5 designed for 2.3l. It is paired to my 302, which is nothing special (probably under 300hp and under 350torque). Here are the problems right now.
  • 3rd synchro is completely gone, absolutely nothing left. (I don't force it into gear. I either grandma shift or skip to 4th.)
  • All other synchros except 4th gear are hard to get into/doesn't feel quite right.
  • Whines in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th.
  • Fluid color looks normal, but has glitter in it.
2. If I decide to rebuild it, will I need a 2.3L-specific rebuild kit or are T5s fairly universal (besides gear ratios of course)?
Would at kit like this fix most of the issues besides gear wear?

Thanks.
 

90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
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Find a JY one or good used and run it. The sychros are the same but the front bearing is different. The bering retainer itself is also different.

I've seen 4 cylinder t5s fail because of not using a pilot bearing. It causes the front bearing at the bearing retainer to wear out. Also causes alignment issues. Before you buy one pull yours apart and see what actually failed. I've used JY t5s to rebuild several t5s. A few years ago a friend had 2 bad ones and I took them both apart and built him a good one.

If it was mine I'd take it apart and check it. Any replacement would also need to be taken apart and inspected unless you felt it in the car driving or it's a new rebuilt t5.
 

93CalypsoConvert

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Hello. So this is post of a mixture of my previous posts and some research I've been doing. I am deciding to finally replace my old beat up T5. So some backstory, previous owner swapped a 2.3 Fox to a 5.0, but kept the original transmission. Well long story short he beat the piss out of the transmission, and now the car is somehow in my hands. Tomorrow I am going to (hopefully) buy a used T5 from another 2.3 fox. I am buying it from a salvage yard for a decent price. The man says it works like new. He uses a 30 day money back guarantee for all of his sales, so I'm and not worried about being scammed. Don't worry, I will ensure this guarantee is legit and I will thoroughly inspect the transmission before purchasing. This is another 4cyl T5, NOT a V8 T5, but I believe that the way I drive mine, this won't be an issue. My 302 isn't anything special, probably less than 250 hp. I'm not too hard on these transmissions, but I'm tired of skipping third gear and using the might of Zeus to get into 2nd.

My transmission right now has quite a few problems. Completely destroyed 3rd synchro, and 2nd isn't far off. It whines like a dang supercharger. Don't forget about the pound of glitter in the oil. I've decided to take the easy way out and buy another. I considered rebuilding it myself, but what I've seen is that you can end up spending a crazy amount of money if your gears are bad. Now with swapping the whole unit, the hardest part of the whole thing will be getting those rusted exhaust flange bolts out. I think the PO installed the proper pilot bearing to use in the 302, so I don't think I'll have to buy one of those. This is my weekend car anyways, so its not like I will have to rely on it too much.

Anyone want to give me second thoughts?

Update: Well tranny didn't work out. I don't know what the guy was on telling me this was an original mustang transmission. While this was a T5, the ID tag suggests it came from a 1996 Camaro v6. Input shaft was 26 splines rather than the correct 10 splines. It was near impossible to shift into any of the gears, something was binding hard. Additionally, reverse gear was completely gone! So I FOed pretty quick. Oh well, the hunt continues!
 
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Mustang5L5

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I'm sure it will hold up fine if you drive it as easy as you say you do, but are the gear ratios optimal for you? Those 4 cyl boxes have some pretty short gearing. That's a 3.70 first gear compared to 3.35, or the even the 2.95 first in the V8 gearboxes. Those 4 cyl T5's are only rated for 240 ft-lbs as well, due to the short gearing.
 

96pushrod

I think they're a little easier to get off
May 15, 2018
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Soaking exhaust bolts with some penetrant overnight usually helps them come off easily.

Why don’t you just plan on replacing the pilot bearing while you’re in there? In fact I’d be prepared to just do a whole clutch kit change while you’ve got the trans out. At the very least have the whole setup on hand, and by some chance everything is fine then return it.
 

93CalypsoConvert

Active Member
Nov 26, 2020
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Southern Virginia
I'm sure it will hold up fine if you drive it as easy as you say you do, but are the gear ratios optimal for you? Those 4 cyl boxes have some pretty short gearing. That's a 3.70 first gear compared to 3.35, or the even the 2.95 first in the V8 gearboxes. Those 4 cyl T5's are only rated for 240 ft-lbs as well, due to the short gearing.
I don't mind the ratio change that much. Combined with my rear end, it is a nice set up. Good acceleration and cruising rpms stay low enough for me.
 

93CalypsoConvert

Active Member
Nov 26, 2020
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Soaking exhaust bolts with some penetrant overnight usually helps them come off easily.

Why don’t you just plan on replacing the pilot bearing while you’re in there? In fact I’d be prepared to just do a whole clutch kit change while you’ve got the trans out. At the very least have the whole setup on hand, and by some chance everything is fine then return it.
Thats not a bad idea. I considered replacing the clutch while I was in there, but I decided against it because believe it or not, this car only has 41,000 miles on it. For most of it's life, it was a garage kept, weekend cruiser. But you never know, something could still need replaced.
 

90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
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4 cylinder transmissions can handle more abuse than most people think. 1st is a lot shorter but still better than a broken transmission.

I'd replace the pilot bearing anyway. The correct bearing is federal mogul s202 advance auto had them next day. Very cheap also.
 

revhead347

Apparently my ex-husband made that mistake.
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You are on the right track. There aren't any significant differences between a 4cyl T5, and a V8 T5. Manual transmissions are actually really easy to work on, and for the most part, you can do it with basic hand tools. I used to fix them all the time for money. Even if the gears are screwed up, T5s are getting parted out on ebay multiple times a day, and you get gears pretty cheap. You will probably be just fine with a salvage T5.

Kurt
 

nickyb

WAIT,you now have a pair?
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If the previous owner beat the hell out of the trans, he beat the ever living hel l out of the clutch too. But a clutch set with TOB and pilot bearing,flywheel too.It's cheap insurance.You don't want to do this twice!
 

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