Drivetrain T5 swap clutch pressure? Hard petal - Mustang Steve


Nov 4, 2002
Kansas City Metro, Lenexa
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I've swapped in an 88 Mustang 5.0 T5 in my 65 Couple w/ a rebuilt 289 I plan to start today (never stated yet w/ this set up). Before I re-installed my headers I set up my Mustang Steve Cable clutch system. Install we fine. The clutch cable is just looped from the firewall to the bell housing in a nice smooth loop w/ no interference and the clutch petal is pretty stiff. It’s nowhere near the feel of a stock 88 GT Stang clutch and too stiff for my wife to operate (I bet I never say that again).

So I have been thinking..... these are all stock parts and the Mustang Steve kit is proven so what did I do wrong? The clutch kit was a set from Auto Zone for a stock Mustang so the pressure shouldn’t be too hard. The only think I can figure is.....I didn't use any alignment pins that attach to the flywheel and align the pressure plate housing. I just aligned the pressure plate, torqued down the bolts correctly and in sequence flush w/ the flywheel.

Is there supposed to be a gap between the flywheel and the pressure plate housing? My housing is flush with the flywheel (touching each other). My thinking is if I had used these pins it would hold the pressure plate housing off the flywheel little (maybe 1/8" to 1/4"), reducing clamping pressure to a stock feel? Or maybe the pressure plate just needs broke in?

I will post in the 5.0 forums and on Mustang Steve site too.

Thanks in advance!!!
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Founding Member
Aug 25, 2001
Rogue River, Oregon
While not using the dowel pins may not have anything to do with your pedal pressure, it absolutely may cause you problems, and here's why: on older clutch and pressure plates, shoulder bolts were used to align the pressure plate to ensure concentricity, that is to make sure the pressure plate is in the absolute center of the flywheel. Over the years, engineers cane to realize that using the bolts for both clamping force and alignment was not the best way to go about it, so they started using the dowel pins for alignment and the bolts for doing what bolts are best for and that's clamping force. I hate to say it, but if I were you, I would go back inside the clutch and replace those dowels. Also, your pressure plate needs to sit flat against the flywheel, so your is right on there. As for the stiff feel, I would check something like the pedal itself for wear around the pivot, make sure whatever MustangSteve uses for a fulcrum works smoothly and isn't bound up. Other than that and maybe the clutch arm and pivot itself, there just isn't much else to go wrong. Diaphragm-type clutches are a whole lot easier to use than the older long-style pressure plates, so I don't think it's the fault of the pressure plate.