School me on 5 spds...

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by 87MustangGT, May 16, 2010.

  1. So it's been 5 years since the last T5 in my Mustang blew, and maybe 2 more years since I've really been actively researching/learning anything about the car - so 99% of the knowledge I'd once amassed has left my brain. I'm sick of having the ol' girl parked in the garage, so I need to get a new tranny (or get mine rebuilt) and get her on the road.

    Most, if not all, of my mods are in my signature. I figure I'm maybe putting out 300hp; certainly not more than that I don't think. And I don't anticipate building the engine up any more in the near future. So my question is, what is a reasonable transmission option for me? I don't want another stock T5 - I've gone through three already (blown 2nd gear each time). I've got a guy locally who rebuilds T5s (with some reputation behind him), who has 1990+ T5s (which he claims can handle more torque) for $895 rebuilt. Then I've been searching the classifieds and seeing lots of T5s, 3550s, TKOs...but I can't remember first which actually fit an 87-93 5.0, or which fit with x mods, or what would even be necessary considering my output. I'd love to do a TKO, something of that nature, just to have the "overkill" angle all set...but I can also find better ways to spend that money if it's really a lot of overkill.

    So, what are your thoughts on transmissions? Get mine rebuilt to World Class or T-5z specs? Get the rebuilt 90+ T-5? Go bigger?

    Sorry for the relative noob question :(
  2. I know I whore these guys a lot, but Astro Performance Warehouse built my last T5 and it's been great. They build a couple different T5s that handle up around 500hp, so you should look into them.
  3. A stock rebuild would be fine with a decent clutch, you don't need a z spec or anything
  4. Your trans is already a world class. 85-89 can handle 275 ft lbs of torque while 90+ can handle 300. A stock 5.0 can still snap a 90+ t5 like a twig so they aren't anything special.

    Btw, I think $900 for a rebuilt 90+ t5 is a little high when they are $1000-1100 brand new...1300 for a new z spec which is superior to the 90-93 t5

    If you search around you can sometimes find better deals perhaps from hanlon motorsports

    I have sold rebuilt 90-93 t5's for $400.

    Another option is a z-spec t5 gear set, an astro performance gear set or a g force gearset and put them in your busted trans
  5. So how do I know, for instance, that the tranny you linked is a T-5z? The ratios?
  6. Yup. 2.95 first gear is a t-5z.

    I think there are cheaper prices out there for it though.
  7. Perhaps a Z will be at the top of the list then...

    Briefly, what are the benefits to moving to a Tremec? 3550, TKO, etc? Just even greater strength?
  8. Yup, however it's a larger bulkier trans which has been noted to not shift as smoothly as a t5.

    I prefer the lighter more compact t-5 myself. There are gear sets other than the z spec to make it stronger
  9. I was in your shoes a while ago, and i went with a tremec tko, and I will NEVER go back to a T5.

    I found an original TKO including everything needed to swap (26 spline clutch, 31 spline driveshaft yoke, and trans mount) for $1000. Find a nice used setup from a reputable seller and you will be happy.

    I have gone through 5 or more T5s, and the TKO is just great. Mine shifts smoother than a T5 and the gear ratios are amazing.
  10. wow, $895 for a rebuilt t5????

    LOL, I charge $350 out the door for rebuilt t5' extra if any hard parts are bad, but i've NEVER build one that cost more than $600 for a stock t5.

    I charge $800 out the door for a t5 to t5z conversion......

    anyhow the t5 is plenty strong enough for your application, you've just got to learn how to drive right. Know what does and does not break a t5 and you'll never have issues.

    a t5z will by far handle your hp level. Even a stock t5 is sufficient if you're not on slicks every weekend. You don't need a tremec dump truck transmission to handle 300hp
  11. See, successive posts like the last two confuse/frustrate me...almost as much as the T-5s did! How could one guy (me) go through three, one guy go through five, and another guy tell us we're both crazy? Just frustrating...

    I assume your $800 would include the customer providing you the T5 donor...? If not, PM me with some details :)

    And as an aside, what are your tips for driving "right?" The only thing I know I did "wrong" habitually was starting off in 2nd relatively often. Otherwise, I can't think of anything memorably abusive in my driving habits (tho time may have healed those wounds!).
  12. I've been driving 5.0 mustangs since 96, 14 years now....I've had an identical combo to yours for 3 years, then I now have gt40 alums on a b cam motor with a regular t5. I've never broken a t5 yet, not one....

    Do you powershift?? Meaning hold the throttle to the floor while you shift? that's what breaks them. Never powershift, and you shouldn't have issues.

    I don't know if you've had bad luck or whatever, but I rebuild t5's on the side on occasion, and when people don't abuse them, I've never had one break on me yet that i've seen...of course I won't rebuild one for a 500 hp engine, but stock up to 400 horse or so, t5's are never a problem.

    my z kit is with exchange on your unit. I've never shipped yet, and have always done local.

    I'm not sure i'm ready to attack the shipping factor yet.

    You can get the z kit upgrade on ebay for $400...then get new syncros, bearings and small parts for $150. that's all you need...$550 for a z spec upgrade on your current t5. comes with all new 1,2,3,4 gear, new input, new cluster...

    bob hanlon has a how to dvd...that's how I's seriously simple. Do it yourself and you'll have a z spec t5 for $600 vs buying one new at $1300 + ship
  13. I've been driving 5.0 mustangs for almost just as long, and I have had the exact opposite experience. Even with totally stock motors - breaking 3rd, snapping inputs and clusters, etc. Yes I do powershift and I drive my cars hard, but thats you have to do sometimes. It shouldn't be a concern of "if I powershift, it will blow" or "if I miss once, this trans is done" or "if I make 50 more hp, this thing will snap." I did my TKO swap ONCE, and it has been absolutely perfect every time. 500hp launches and powershifts all day, and the same cost as a POS upgraded T5. The OP has 300hp... what if he does some more mods in the future, he will need another trans. Let me tell you from experience, it is an amazing peace of mind to know you have a solid trans.
  14. I had a friend blow 2 tkos in the span of two months,,.then he put a t5 in cuz he was cheap and the sucker lasted 2 years until he sold the car. Weird I know. Not saying tko are junk.

    Car had about 350 hp
  15. that just blows my mind. but they were prob 3550s? they arent much stronger than a T5.
  16. I'm on my 3rd T5. Broke the first 2 on street tires and a stock long block.

  17. you powershift, therefore they break, period.

    My bro had a 3550, great trans...could powershift it all day long and it would take it.

    However, I chose to have kids and a family, so a $1500 trans is out of my league...especially when I can rebuild my own t5 for $150

    I think that you'll find, "generally" speaking, those who really baby their t5's have them last a long time. My friend had a z spec behind a motor making 321 at the usually every weekend, and it lasted 2 years...even then it was only the syncro's in 2nd that went out. He seriously knew how to baby it, but was still doing 12.1's on that t5z.
  18. ok so this goes back to the original post...

    a TKO is an excellent option, and like I said, I only paid $1000 for mine, and it's the best trans I've ever had.

  19. Yeah, I meant to say 3550. They were not tko's makes a difference.