Drivetrain One Man T5 Tailshaft Housing Install In The Car


I will own your nuts! LOL
May 17, 2018
Over the last few months I have had to take the tailshaft housing off of my T-5 transmission 3 times. Each time I have removed the housing and reinstalled it, by myself, and with the transmission still in the car. I was asked to put together a short how to on this subject to help others out in similar situations. A few things to note before I get started. I have a lift, so getting under the car to work on it is easier for me than others working off of jack stands. This job is still very doable without the aid of a lift. I am not a mechanic. Take this advice for just that. The method I'm going to describe here uses materials and tools that might not be readily available to others. I believe it will illustrate the basic concept of how I do this to a degree that others, with a little creativity of their own, will be able to do this job in other ways.

I'm going to start this 'How-To" at the point that everything is ready to go back on the car. I'm going to assume if you want to attempt this you have the know how to take the tailshaft housing off of the transmission.

OK. The tricky part of putting the housing back on is getting the shifter shuttle back on the transmission shifter rod without someone else there to help. I get around this by making a strap using plastic banding that holds the detent ball in while I install the housing.

Here is the shifter shuttle.

In that picture you can see the "bump" on the bottom of the shuttle that rides in the gates, the bottom of the cup that the shifter rides in, the hole that the retainer roll pin goes into and the hole that the detent spring and detent go into.

These are the materials and tools that I use to make the retainer strap.


The idea is to wrap the plastic banding around the shuttle, going across the detent hole, then while not letting the strap move, you remove the shuttle and crimp the strap in place. I think it makes more since in the pictures.







I always make a couple extra with one being a little tighter and one a little looser. The tighter you can hold the detent in the easier it will be to install it along with the housing. The banding and crimping tool are things that I know everyone does not have access to. Now that you understand what needs to happen though I'm sure others can figure out a similar setup using different materials to get the job done. If you need to do this job and do not have a way of making something like I have illustrated just hit me up. I can make one for you.

Now on to the install.

The next trick is to get the detent spring and ball into the shuttle and the band around it all. The way I do it is I place the ball on the edge of a hard surface then hold the spring on it and set the shuttle down over it all. This will push the spring and ball up into the shuttle. You can then put the strap in front of the shuttle and push it into the strap. Be careful doing this and make sure that the strap has captured the detent before you rotate or pick up on the shuttle. If the detent is not captured properly the spring and ball can shoot off never to be seen again.



As you can see in the last pic the detent is being held in there pretty good.

Next get the mating surfaces of the housing and transmission cleaned and prepped. I use an anaerobic gasket maker for the housing. I like it because it remains pliable as long as it is exposed to air. Here is a pic of my housing all ready to be installed.


Next place the shuttle into the housing and slide the housing onto the output shaft and shifter rod.

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I will own your nuts! LOL
May 17, 2018
Here is the housing on the output shaft, but not fully installed.

Using one hand to guide the housing use the other to reach up and make sure that the shuttle stays in place. If you are lucky you can get the shuttle to go onto the shifter rod from under the car. If not all you need to do is get about 1/2 inch of the shift rod sticking into the area were the shuttle goes. Then get in the car and you can push it onto the rod the rest of the way. You can also reach down and pull the housing the rest of the way on to the transmission. You might have to get in and out of the car a few times repeating this process. I have to use a ladder to get up into the car. Pretty sketchy, but it works.

You need to make sure that the hold in the shifter rod, I know that isn't what it's called, but I dont know what else to call it, is lined up straight up and down. Not sideways like in this pic.


If it is sideways you can use a punch or small screwdriver to rotate it into the correct position. Like this.


Now just get the shuttle started on the rod and work with it until the housing is seated and the roll pin hole in the shuttle and rod line up.



As you can see in that last pic I had to use a punch to get everything lined up properly. Next install the roll pin.


We're almost done! Now the pin is fully seated. Dont drive it all the way though! It just needs to be flush with the top of the shuttle.


You can not get the band off of the shuttle. The "bump" on the bottom of the shuttle prevents it from sliding off. I use a razor blade and cut it loose. Once loose you can pull on the end and it will come right out.



All done!


I hope this helps someone down the road!
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I will own your nuts! LOL
May 17, 2018
@jrichker I would think so as long as it is wide enough. You might even use two side by side. The idea is to use something that has the strength not to stretch under the pressure the detent ball and spring put on it. If you use something too narrow it could roll off the ball and you know what happens then. Something like this would probably work.

I'm sure there are cheaper options for wide zip ties.

If done right you might even be able to get away with a hose clamp. Once the job is done you could just loosen the clamp until it comes apart and then just slip it out from under the shuttle.