Vintage Mustang Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,782 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A friend of mine is trying to buy a T5 locally for his 66. I went with him yesterday to look at one. It looked like it just came out of an ash pile. Long story short he left it where it was. Neither one of us knew what to look for other than how to physically identify a WC T5. Any tips on what to look for or what if any checks can be done to ensure he's just not buying a boat anchor? TIA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
685 Posts
Likewise, just because it’s clean on the outside doesn’t mean it’s perfect on the inside.

It helps if the transmission has a shift handle.
With it in neutral, the input shaft should spin freely with no grinding noises.
Then move into a gear, spin the input and check output shaft movement.
And make sure you can move the lever through all the gears.

If no shift lever, then all you can really do is spin the input shaft and listen for bad noises.

Still, it’s almost impossible to to check everything without actually driving it.

I recently bought a really cheap T5. It had some bad bearings. But I knew what I was getting into and intend to rebuild it myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
I am assuming you are attaching it to a 289 V8.....

The 1983 - 1993 T5's can be used easier. The 94-later need the input shaft changed out but that's not difficult.

A "world class" T5 is stronger. You can find them behind 1985 and newer V8s, Turbo 4-cylinders and V6s. Do a google search to see how to tell a world class from a non-world class at the front bearing support.

In addition to what MrFlash said, check the input shaft SIDE play. Ideally, there should be none but a few thousandths is OK. If it flops around you know a rebuild is probably needed.

Dump some oil out and look for metal in the oil. Less to none is better.

They are not difficult to work on and parts are plentiful but getting more expensive every year.

Make sure to use a shifter with positive stops to avoid shift fork breakage.

Different applications have different overdrive ratios. Do a little homework there if you need a specific OD ratio. The OD gears can be changed without affecting the main gears.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,673 Posts
Likewise, just because it’s clean on the outside doesn’t mean it’s perfect on the inside.

It helps if the transmission has a shift handle.
With it in neutral, the input shaft should spin freely with no grinding noises.
Then move into a gear, spin the input and check output shaft movement.
And make sure you can move the lever through all the gears.

If no shift lever, then all you can really do is spin the input shaft and listen for bad noises.

Still, it’s almost impossible to to check everything without actually driving it.

I recently bought a really cheap T5. It had some bad bearings. But I knew what I was getting into and intend to rebuild it myself.
^^this^^ like any other manual transmission that is out of the car, you want to at least run through the gears, and spin the input shaft in all gears to make sure that everything runs smoothly without weird noises or any grinding sounds. if you can pop the top cover off and visually inspect the gears for damage. dont worry about synchronizer damage, unless you are paying more than about $400 for the trans, or the claim is that it has been rebuilt. you want to figure on going through the trans anyway.

as noted parts are readily available, and the trans is not difficult to tear down and rebuild. and of course there are plenty of upgrade available as needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
406 Posts
If I recall, you can't remove the top cover on a T5 without separating the tail shaft housing. It's not hard to remove the tail shaft housing, just a couple of bolts. Then unscrew the top cover bolts and it "slides" sideways (toward the passenger side). It's been a while since I did this but it's easily done in the junkyard in about an hour. Once you peek in, check out the little plastic shift pads for wear or if they're missing. Spin the gear set and look for broken or worn teeth.

All that being said and if you don't want to split the case try finding one from the '94 and up V6 with low miles, and change the input shaft. You'll want to do this anyway since it's a "wear" item. I also started looking thru the cars at the Pull-A-Part to see if there was something to indicate the owner's age and sex. Lots of times the cars had enough personal effects still in them that you could tell who drove it. My thinking, was that I'd avoid the obvious boy racers slamming gears if I concentrated on looking for a V6, female driver over 30 with low miles. That doesn't guarantee its good of course but in my mind it made me feel a bit better.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,711 Posts
A "world class" T5 is stronger. You can find them behind 1985 and newer V8s, Turbo 4-cylinders and V6s. Do a google search to see how to tell a world class from a non-world class at the front bearing support.
I'd stick with the 5.0 T-5 because it has a 3.35 first gear as opposed to the 2.3L 4cyl T-5, of which most came with a 3.97 first gear IIRC. The higher, numerically, first gear of the 2.3L 4cyl T-5 will make it so that you can't stay in gear as long and have to shift into 2nd more quickly. Also, the 2.3L 4cyl T-5 is rated to less horsepower, 235-240hp, as opposed to the 5.0 T-5, which is rated to 265hp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
406 Posts
Since they put the T5 in everything from Chevy trucks to Ford Mustangs, make sure you have the right case for your Ford:



The easiest way to tell if the transmission is a WC version vs Non-WC is by the bearing support:



^^ Above images plagiarized from Google ^^

I agree with others in that it does not have to be pretty outside to mean the internals are good. Do a Craigslist search in your local area, as there are lots of people who rebuild these things as a hobby and do quite a fine job running a little home business doing so. I have bought several used T5s for projects over the years with good results.

Good luck!

-- Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Its difficult to tell the difference if you don't know what you're looking for. The differences are very suttle. there were several different t5s made with different ratios and different input shaft diameters. Check the ratio before buying and the input shaft size. I got burned on one a guy sold me. He had a shop and had a late 80s mustang up on jacks and claimed he just pulled it out of that car so I bought it and when I got home I had a small input shaft and undesireable ratios. I rubbed the rust of the ID tag and ran the numbers. turns out it came out of a t-bird and was not world class as he claimed. After lots of arguing and finally filing to take him to court he gave my money back. Turns out he was well known for doing this to people. Be careful. I finally bought a new Ford Racing t-5 which is even tougher than the world class. Very happy with it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,782 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Its difficult to tell the difference if you don't know what you're looking for. The differences are very suttle. Got that part coveredthere were several different t5s made with different ratios and different input shaft diameters. Check the ratio before buying and the input shaft size. I got burned on one a guy sold me. Funny you should say this. Spoke to a guy at a car show on Saturday. He bought a T5, installed it and said he also got screwed on the gear ratios. He had a shop and had a late 80s mustang up on jacks and claimed he just pulled it out of that car so I bought it and when I got home I had a small input shaft and undesireable ratios. I rubbed the rust of the ID tag and ran the numbers. turns out it came out of a t-bird and was not world class as he claimed. After lots of arguing and finally filing to take him to court he gave my money back. Turns out he was well known for doing this to people. Be careful. I finally bought a new Ford Racing t-5 which is even tougher than the world class. Very happy with it.
I'm guessing we should take a yoke with us next time to turn and count the turns on the shaft?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
I'm guessing we should take a yoke with us next time to turn and count the turns on the shaft?
You could or a piece of chalk or grease pencil to mark the output shaft. maybe a shifter if you have one to run it thru the gears a little easier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
If you have one, take a dial caliper (or micrometer) with you and measure the tip (pilot) of the input shaft. The are two diameters available and you want the bigger one of course.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top