T5 swapped cars feel like factory?

ChaseRoads

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Been on the hunt for a 87-93 GT 5 speed. Found several very very nice automatics for a good price, but all the manual cars have been high miles, in only ok condition and priced at 10K or above.


I know a 5 speed swap is pretty common on a fox, but how close to stock does it feel? Anyone done a really really clean install where everything works just like factory?

Or should I just keep waiting for a manual car.
 
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LILCBRA

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I know a 5 speed swap is pretty common on a fox, but how close to stock does it feel? Anyone done a really really clean install where everything works just like factory?

Or should I just keep waiting for a manual car.

That's going to depend on who did the swap and what else they did. If they left everything stock and installed all stock components then it should feel stock. If they butchered the car OR if they installed any kind of "race" stuff it won't feel stock. I'm sure people have done the swap and installed everything as close to a factory installation as possible, but you're going to be waiting for those cars just as much as you're going to be waiting on a completely stock manual car of your liking. Just keep in mind that buying a car that you intend to do a manual swap will end up costing you more than if you were to find one that already has a manual in it. So, my opinion is you should wait for the right car - but it's your money.....
 

Gs1987GT

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I've done the auto to 5 speed conversion 3 times now. It was over 20yrs ago, but I did them.

I used all of the factory components and as a result I felt no difference between the ones I converted and the factory 5 speed cars I have had, including my current one.

As noted, it's a lot of work and parts are expensive, but if you like projects and have the time and money, it's worth it, at least to me if you find an otherwise perfect car for you.

Good luck.
 

Mustang5L5

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Yes, it is possible to do the conversion in such a way that it’s no different from factory stock.

my car is a converted 5-spd. Drives no different than any other original stick car.

to do it right, this is what needs to be done for 100% oem correct install.

the mechanical 5-spd conversion with all the correct parts.
Change the ECU to the 5-spd ecu
Repin the o2 sensor harness to match the ecu
Swap the trans harness to the manual harness (auto harness lacks the provision for the NGS on top of the t5)
install the trans tunnel sheet metal hump (LMR has this now)

If you do the above with quality parts, no different from an oem factory stick install
 
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90sickfox

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I had a guy argue with me over the t5 transmission hump. He swore the complete floor pan was different. He found out ( when I showed him proof ) that the factory cars were hacked out around the shifter area and a part, just like what LMR sells, was spot welded in place. 5L5 is absolutely correct. You will need a factory 5 speed computer in order for the car to respond like factory. I've done a lot of conversions. Some people are fine with the way the rpms act when on and off the clutch or cruising. I notice the bogging and characteristics of a t5 in a car with the wrong computer. The car will drive ok but not like factory.
 
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ChaseRoads

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I guess a big factor here is cost. Just tossing out random numbers, but if I find a car for 5K but have to 2K into it, plus the labor...might as well of spent 7K for the right car. I think i'll just wait for the right car.
 
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Mustang5L5

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If you are doing it yourself, it might not be worth it to do the swap unless you get a steal on an AOD car, or you find a car that checks off all the right boxes for you other than the AOD.

but if you are going to spend $2k in parts plus the labor to swap, you might as well add that to your car budget and buy one that is already a stick

AOD cars do come with a discount though, especially convertibles.
 
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Gs1987GT

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I guess a big factor here is cost. Just tossing out random numbers, but if I find a car for 5K but have to 2K into it, plus the labor...might as well of spent 7K for the right car. I think i'll just wait for the right car.
Good call, if your not doing the work, no way....and 2k/parts is low depending on where you get them and what your using. This is exactly why, when I bought my 87GT I wanted a factory 5 speed car. I didnt want to bother with the swap work, now 20yrs later when I dont have the contortionist ability I had in my 20s.
 

ChaseRoads

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I'm able to do the labor myself, but my time is worth something. Plus if something goes wrong, you have to start over, or have more down time. I think I'm pretty set on holding out unless I get a really good deal on an aod car.
 
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MichaelHYount

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Unless there's some emotional/sentimental attachment to the car you have now, wait for the right manual transmission car. As you've seen above, it's a lot of work and money to do the conversion as if it were OEM.
 

2000xp8

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I think if you wanted an upgraded transmission, the swap is worth the effort.
For a plain old t5, not so sure.
 

Mustang5L5

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I mean, if you did the swap with a TKX or a T-56 magnum, it would be worth it even if the car is an original 5-spd.