Just finished putting a T5 transmission into my 1965 mustang and wanted to do a write-up about it. Reason being, I’m grateful for all the info I’ve found on various threads, however, I still had some things I had to figure out that weren’t out there. Also there wasn’t one with a full write-up. Usually I found a post just for one specific step. I’d like to contribute. So here we go.
To start, my car is a 1965 Mustang that came with a c4 auto and a 289. After months of searching junk yards, craigslist and Offer up, I found a T5 world class out of an 86 mustang. Messaged immediately and said ‘don’t you sell that before I get there’. T5s are getting a little more rare I’ve found. And just for anyone interested, this project is doable for anyone who has moderate mechanical experience and is able to problem solve. But GIVE YOURSELF EXTRA TIME, unless you are a magician this is more than a ‘weekend project’. I thought I could get it done in week or two, and it ended up being almost two months. Mostly due to waiting for parts/ordering the wrong ones (will expound).. but maybe also because I did everything in the driveway of my brother in law’s grangparent … anyways.
-World Class T5 (86) - 400
-65-66 t5 Slave cylinder kit (Daze auto) - 210
-Wilwood Master Cylinder (Daze) - 76
-T5 line kit (Daze) - 45
-Duralast Clutch NU0020 (Autozone) -90
-PIO-Fw164 Flywheel (summit) - 118
-CTF-N1714 Throw out bearing (Summit) -40
-Block plate (ebay) - 30
-Brake/Clutch pedal assembly (CJ) -120
-Brake/clutch pedal pad/bezel (CJ) - 20
-Speedo cable (CJ) - 20
- Speedo gear (CJ)
-83-01 T5 Hurst Billet shifter w/lever knob (CJ) – 230
-Engine mounts 65 stock (oreilly) – 40
-T5 conversion crossmember (Clevor Racing/ebay)- 90
Random &# - 150
Total Cost - 1650$
Of course you can save some cash if you source some of your own parts. I definitely didn’t go high end cause I’m not building it, and it reached a point where I just wanted to get it done.
Pretty easy. In autos they just have a large medal pin/rod that the brake pedal rotates on in the assembly. The clutch pedal assembly come with a pin/rod thing and replaces it. My advice is to remove the whole brake assembly so you’re not trying to remove/install it under the dash. My brake pedal pin was pretty rusty and there was no way to remove it under there. Had to whack it pretty hard with a hammer once it was out from under the dash to get that pin out. You have to loosen the steering column and brake master cylinder and have to maneuver it around. It takes some time but will save you a lot of cussing. IMPORTANT **May also need extra plastic brake pedal bushings (oreilly). They WILL break and I wouldn’t re-use them. I forgot to install them and my pedals were all wobbly. You need 4 bushing and the pedal I order only came with 2. Oreilly stocks them. They’re generic.
CLUTCH AND FLYWHEEL
Flywheel clutch: 289s need the 28oz imbalance and the 157 tooth. Remember the Flywheel needs to match the engine. Fox body mustangs use the 50oz imbalance flywheel. The one I ordered from summit CLAIMED it fit a 10.5 in clutch. Oh! Guess what?? You-re hoping to install that tranny today? NOPE! Clutch doesn’t fit! Held the 10.5 in clutch up there and sure enough bolts don’t line up. After some raging I went to autozone and got a 10 in clutch for a stock 65, and sure enough it bolted right up. Stock 65 starter works too FYI.
Pilot bearing: It does NOT sit flush. I was worried about it after I installed the first one and it wouldn’t go in any further. I removed it, cleaned it out and tried another one, but same deal. I was assured it was normal as long as it was in as far as it would go. Haven’t had any problems.. I also got a nicer throwout bearing than the one that came with the clutch. There’s youtube videos if you have questions about how it goes on.
Part of the reason my project took so long is I repainted my engine. It was blue and I wanted to go back to the stock 65 black and gold colors. Took a while to strip it, prep it, and have the right day to paint it. Anyway, I pulled and installed the engine/tranny bolted together. Of course I pulled the radiator. A cherry picker and load leveler made things easier. But still not easy… takes quite an angle to get them out. Definitely a two man job (though I actually got mine in on my own, but don’t recommend). Tranny crossmember mount fit pretty well, and still has the e-brake mount if you get the one I listed. PROBLEM I HAD.. The tranny sit about an inch or so lower, and I could not hook my exhaust back up! The exhaust was rubbing on the crossmember mount. So in the end I got some cheap patriot headers to re-route it BUT THEN! The headers hit on the shock tower. Patriot headers don’t fit on a 65... I was so pissed I just wacked the header pipe for cylinder number 3 with a hammer till it fit. THEN! Where the headers end is waaay too close to the brake line and fuel line for my liking. Just get decent headers… anyways I was antsy to get it done so I just bought that flexible exhaust pipe (I know I know… ) and clamped it together. I’ll leave a nice exhaust system for another day. FOr fluid als pretty easy. Drain bolt/fill bolt are on the passenger side. They are just a 3/8 drive bolt. open the bottom one to drain it. put it back in. Get a funnel with a flexible tube thing (autozon/oreilly will have something) and open the top one. Fill 'er up to the top. As for fluid... there's some different opinions but I used Dextron III/Mercon ATF.
Master cylinder: If you order from daze, it mounts where the stock z-bar hardware goes through the firewall. There’s a prefabbed punch out even on autos, so no cutting necessary. I was veeerrrrry skeptical, but it needs to be mounted 90 degrees sideways. His kit comes with a remote reservoir, and in the end I had no problems. I clocked it more like 75 degrees sideways and mounted my reservoir in front of the shock tower by my radiator overflow. The guy who makes the kit (Day) responded to my emails pretty quickly and was very helpful.
Slave Cylinder. Pretty straight forward and Daze kit comes with instructions. The only thing I don’t really like is the pushrod is difficult to keep tight and I’ve had to adjust it a few times. Bleeding was pretty straight forward. Guy on the pedal, open slave bleeder, push in clutch, close bleeder, release clutch, repeat 10 times. Then do the same process with the Master Cylinder. Then do slave again to make sure. I’ve put about 500 miles on it so far and the only problem I’ve had is getting that pushrod adjustment right. Feel is PRETTY STIFF. But I’m cool with it.
The shifter opening will have to be cut. Just cut about an inch more from the front (dash side) of the opening, not too big of a deal. The hurst shifter I got looks good and has a pretty short throw. I’m happy with it.
I’m not very comfortable with mine but honestly I'm over budget. What I read is that if you push the yoke all the way into the tail housing, then slide it out where it is when it’s bolts to the Ujoints, there should be an inch or a little more of play. I had about 7/8ths with the stock driveshaft. When I can I’m just gonna take it to a drivetrain shop and have them sort it out. But for now it works.
The autos have the neutral safety switch that will not allow you to start the car of ignored. I hate wiring, but it's actually pretty straight forward. The wire that goes from the goes key ignition to the starter soleoid, in between it goes through the tranny wihich only completes the connection if in park. I just cut and connected the wires. no more neutral safety. In the middle of the firewall in the engine bay there is a set of 4 (or is it 6...) wires. They are for the back up lightss and neutral safety. The red wire with the blue stripes are the ones you need to jumper together. ALSO! there was a random plug under the dash for this wire that was unplugged. Imagine my surpise when I jumpered the wires and.. still nothing. So once I plugged that in it turned right over. When in doubt, just follow the wire. You can confirm the wire color by looking at the wire under "S" on the starter solenoid.
It’s awesome. The auto I had made it a turd. Now it’s a blast. I don’t have a tachometer but I can easily cruise at 70 on the freeway and it’s goin calm and steady. Way more fun to drive. Hope this write-up helps anyone wanting to do the swap. You will probably run into some of your own specific problems, but that’s part of the fun and what creates the special bond of man and machine.