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hi

i have a 73 mustang with a 351c. what i need to know is how to convert it from auto to manual, i need a detailed list of parts and a how to guide if possible. thanks
 

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To go original, you'll need a used equalizer and frame-end pivot, and the assist spring bracket. The upper and lower rods, engine pivots, bushings, springs, and firewall seal are all available new.
 

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The first thing to do is see if you can get a used clutch peddle. This is the hardest part to get. They are rare for the 71-73 cars, the vast majority were automatics. Everything else you can get new, see moderndriveline or kessler for a kit. Your budget will decide wheather you want to piece together used parts or buy all new. How much do you want to build up the 351C?, how hard will you drive it? That will influence which tranny to get. Do you want a 4-speed or 5-peed? A T-5 is marginal even with a stock 351C. What rear gears do you have or will you change to?
I went with a TKO-500 for durability and because it has a 3.27 first gear which works well with my stock 3.00 rear gear. It really gave it more grunt too.
Do you have headers? I went with the moderndriveline clutch cable (and like it alot) but it may interfere with long tube headers. There's also a hydrolic clutch kit.
There's alot of ways to go, a parts list is useless until you answer some of these questions. But you're not going very far without a clutch peddle. Your
present brake peddle works as-is and can be easily cut down to size to fit a small pad. A clutch peddle will bolt right up to your present mount, so all you need is the peddle.
 

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1971Mach1 pretty much nailed it on the head. The 71-73 pedal assembly is going to be your biggest challenge to find. Unless you have a really good reason to run a 4 speed, I'd do a 5 speed. 5th gear is an overdrive and allows you run lower gear ratio (3.50, 3.91, 4.11, etc) and still not be revving the snot out of the motor on the highway. I have 4.11 gears and I'm taching about 2200 at 60mph with my 5speed TKO transmission. You could put a T5 behind that 351C. But you're going to have drive like Ms. Daisy to make it last. A TKO would be a much better solution. Also I would recommed a hydraulic or cable clutch system.
 

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I converted my 68 289 car back to a toploader. It had been converted to a date correct C4 at some point in its life and with all the correct parts.

Aside from the trans and the obvious making sure you have the right bell housing and input shaft dia, etc, there is a small list of hardware most of which was mentioned by 22GT above.

My toploader came out of a small block mustang already so the bell housing and input shaft were correct. These can be bought separate if you want to piece it or cannot find a compatible setup, but I'd think you should be able to find one that is correct for your engine.

The things that I had to hunt down were the equalizer bar (Z-bar) and the pedal assembly. I got a complete manual pedal assembly from a donor car that had the brake pedal and support all together. But on my car, I could have actually just pulled the c-clip and swapped out the automatic brake pedal and put in a manual brake pedal and slid in the clutch pedal with the original support and reinstall the clip, so there are options there.

On my car the trans cross member was the same and my driveshaft also fit the same. But that is all dependant on what kind of trans you end up using. The equalizer pivots, bushings, springs and lower linkages, clips, pins, and rubber boots, are all available aftermarket. You might also need the bracket on the firewall for the return assist spring and I don't think those are made aftermarket yet. I have an extra 68 one but Im sure its different on your car. This could easily be home made too. Aside from that, there is the shifter to consider and any floor or console hardware you might need. Mine had a hurst on it so my boot and frame are all aftermarket. You will also need to review your speedo cable; as your choice of a modern type 5 speed versus an original type toploader will determine what end you need on the cable.

Oh yeah, one last thing. The gas pedal assembly is different on the firewall or engine compartment side, as the auto one has the lever for the kickdown cable. I'm not sure if you can leave it in or not as it might interfere with the Z-bar and linkages going down to the throw out lever. I suppose you could cut it off with a hacksaw, or just get the right gas pedal for a manual. Some of these things are just going to depend on how original to oem you want it when you are done. Going with a 6 speed? Then who cares. Going with a toploader, then you can probably make it all look correct and original with a little hunting and some mail ordering. As the guys above mentioned, if you go modern and have the budget, then get a bullet proof setup with hydro or cable/ qaudrant clutch set up. Its not even close as far as driveabilty and the original linkage set up was never really that well engineered. Again, depends on what you are doing. Great thing is, all the stuff you need, either direction, IS ALL AVAILABLE(as long as you have a budget)!

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The first thing to do is see if you can get a used clutch peddle. This is the hardest part to get. They are rare for the 71-73 cars, the vast majority were automatics. Everything else you can get new, see moderndriveline or kessler for a kit. Your budget will decide wheather you want to piece together used parts or buy all new. How much do you want to build up the 351C?, how hard will you drive it? That will influence which tranny to get. Do you want a 4-speed or 5-peed? A T-5 is marginal even with a stock 351C. What rear gears do you have or will you change to?
I went with a TKO-500 for durability and because it has a 3.27 first gear which works well with my stock 3.00 rear gear. It really gave it more grunt too.
Do you have headers? I went with the moderndriveline clutch cable (and like it alot) but it may interfere with long tube headers. There's also a hydrolic clutch kit.
There's alot of ways to go, a parts list is useless until you answer some of these questions. But you're not going very far without a clutch peddle. Your
present brake peddle works as-is and can be easily cut down to size to fit a small pad. A clutch peddle will bolt right up to your present mount, so all you need is the peddle.
i am going with a 4 speed toploader overrdrive tranmission, and i already have the pedel commming
 

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Wow! 71-73 peddle "just released" at moderndriveline for $160 (and I paid $350 for a used one).
 

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i am going with a 4 speed toploader overrdrive tranmission
No such animal exsist. Unless you talking about one of those 70's transmissions that look like a toploader and are an overdrive. They're 3 speed overdrives. Not any good for performance applications.

Here's a page from David Kee's site. He's one of the big authorities on toploaders.

Toploader Imposters
 

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Discussion Starter #11

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gavin2ger, what are you looking to spend on a toploader and where are you located? I have two of them and would like to sell them. That auction is already over $300 and has not met the reserve yet. I am only asking $400 OBO for each of the ones that I have. This one on E-bay will likely be well over $1000.00 by the time the auction is done and as stated by other members, this is not a real toploader if it's the overdrive version.


let me know if you are interested.
 

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You are going to pay just as much for the toploader as a 5-speed. Unless you plan on dropping the clutch at 4000 rpm with sticky tires on a regular basis it will hold up just fine.

I converted my 4-speed to a T5 behind a 347 and it was one of the best things I've ever done. Lets you run lots of rear gear and still low rpms at 70. Best of both worlds.
 

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You are going to pay just as much for the toploader as a 5-speed. Unless you plan on dropping the clutch at 4000 rpm with sticky tires on a regular basis it will hold up just fine.

I converted my 4-speed to a T5 behind a 347 and it was one of the best things I've ever done. Lets you run lots of rear gear and still low rpms at 70. Best of both worlds.
I agree, I've been tempted to put a T5 on the back end of my 289HP for a long time.
 

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We must realize that, yes the toploader is a fantastic tranny and David Key builds a quality product however, does anyone know the torque handling capacity of this "imposter" tranny. Matbe it offers a reasonable compromise. Overdrive sure is nice and lets face it Mr. Key wants to sell you a $2100 toploader - he has a vested interest. And quite frankly I think I am now a victim - my "toploader" that I have on the shelf or so I thought, has only 4 mounting holes.....:}0...fortunately the one in my 66 has 8 bolts - It was so long between installs and the spare purchase that I never noticed....crap!

(edit) - after a littler internet digging, this number "D7DR AA 0459" popped up a few times. It seems that this RUG transmission, as its called, was an oddball. Made in Germany for a limited period. (77-79) used in Granadas and light trucks. Some report great things - especially in reference to mileage. Some not - weak,non performance etc. I dont think its that difficult to come to the conclusion that if you you are converting over and enjoyability and corresponding performance is your thing the T5 is the way to go.
 

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It's not the strength, so much, as the gear ratio spread. Just plain sucks. I'd rather have a 3.03 3-speed than the "imposter".
 

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We must realize that, yes the toploader is a fantastic tranny and David Key builds a quality product however, does anyone know the torque handling capacity of this "imposter" tranny. Matbe it offers a reasonable compromise. Overdrive sure is nice and lets face it Mr. Key wants to sell you a $2100 toploader - he has a vested interest. And quite frankly I think I am now a victim - my "toploader" that I have on the shelf or so I thought, has only 4 mounting holes.....:}0...fortunately the one in my 66 has 8 bolts - It was so long between installs and the spare purchase that I never noticed....crap!

(edit) - after a littler internet digging, this number "D7DR AA 0459" popped up a few times. It seems that this RUG transmission, as its called, was an oddball. Made in Germany for a limited period. (77-79) used in Granadas and light trucks. Some report great things - especially in reference to mileage. Some not - weak,non performance etc. I dont think its that difficult to come to the conclusion that if you you are converting over and enjoyability and corresponding performance is your thing the T5 is the way to go.
FYI there is a guy on the 460 forum who runs one behind a blown 460 and swears by them. He goes by the name blown473. Don't know if he is lucky or smart.
 

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I knew a guy who ran one of those SROD tannys behind a stock 289 2 barrell in a 65 Mustang. It seemed to do OK so I would think it would hold up to a strictly stock type app. Just remember most of what was paired to that trans was at a time when most of the engine line was putting out about 90-145 HP, or less than most of todays 4 cylinders.
 
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