Toploader 3 Speed to T5 Conversion - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-30-2016, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Toploader 3 Speed to T5 Conversion

I have a stock 289 / 3 speed now and it's time for a new clutch.
Instead of just putting a clutch in I thought this would be the perfect time to do a T5 swap as I really would like to have the overdrive. I am just starting to do research and creating a parts list but the deeper I dig, the more I read, the more questions I have.

From my research so far it seems Modern Driveline is the "go-to" for the swap. I spent some time on their site and went through the order form and am not sure about some of my options. (If anyone has other suggestions as to where to source parts I would like to hear).

I see T5's on ebay for around $800-$1000 and Modern wants $1700 for a T5Z - why would I need a T5Z over a T5?

What clutch set up are most using? Z-Bar, Cable, or Hydraulic?

I don't know which flywheel I should be using. I thought I may as well replace mine while I have everything apart. Here is my choices:
28 oz 157 tooth Cast steel 10"/10.5" $165
28 oz 157 tooth Billet steel 10.5" $235
50 oz 157 tooth Cast steel 10.5" (Stock 5.0L) $150
50 oz 157 tooth Billet steel 10.5" $255

Bellhousing....mine has the bottom cover bolt broken off and should probably be replaced. Are there any issues with using a T5 Bell?

Thanks in advance!

1967 Sports Sprint 289 Coupe
2007 GT/CS
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post #2 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-30-2016, 10:06 PM
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T5Z handles more power, a regular T5 behind your 289 should be fine, though you might want to check out craigslist for used ones, I've bought 3 so far around $100 each. I used the z bar setup in mine, only because I had the inline 6 at the time and had to use the toploader bellhousing. When I drop in the 302 this time around I will be using the T5 bellhousing and going either cable or hydraulic. You'll need the inbalance (the 28/50oz) that matches your engine, which a stock 67' 289 should be a 28 oz

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post #3 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-30-2016, 11:20 PM
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I used a 93 cobra spec T-5 behind my 289 with an adapter plate, stock 160(yes) tooth flywheel,Diaphragm clutch, and the Z linkage


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post #4 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-30-2016, 11:55 PM
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I used the 91/92 T-5 in my swap. I had a 3 speed also. I modified the trans mount to work with T-5.
Used T-5 bell and installed the different fulcrum to use my throw-out arm thingy. Used the Z-bar linkage. Made an adapter to use the pivot point for Z.
Diaphram clutch is the BEST.
Why not go with an Alum. flywheel while you're in there?!!
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post #5 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 12:49 AM
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A stock or rebuilt stock T5 will be plenty fine behind a stock 289. Now if you plan on building up the 289 down the road for more power or getting another power platform like a stroker etc, I'd get a T5z or greater as it would be counterproductive to put a stock transmission in only to replace it shortly after. However, I have a stock T5 transmission behind a 450hp 351w and while I don't baby it, I also don't drive like a grandma either and will hold up quite well if you don't abuse or neglect the transmission. The T5z is rated to I think 300hp, there's a place in Florida I believe that's called promotion performance and they make a T5 for around $1700 that can hold up to 450hp. It really just depends on what you want and how much you want to spend. If a stock motor and a cruiser, stay with a stock T5, get an aluminum 80's bellhousing and stock mechanical linkage if you don't mind the old school feel, if not a cable clutch works well too. 157 tooth flywheel and a 10.5" clutch works.
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post #6 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, still would like some more opinions on parts.

Sounds like my Zbar mechanical clutch is the way to go?

1967 Sports Sprint 289 Coupe
2007 GT/CS
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post #7 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 12:49 PM
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From my research so far it seems Modern Driveline is the "go-to" for the swap.
Well, they spend a lot on advertising.

I spent some time on their site and went through the order form and am not sure about some of my options. (If anyone has other suggestions as to where to source parts I would like to hear).

I see T5's on ebay for around $800-$1000 and Modern wants $1700 for a T5Z - why would I need a T5Z over a T5?
Are you planning to beat the crap out of it?

What clutch set up are most using? Z-Bar, Cable, or Hydraulic?
You already have the clutch linkage. Why change?

I don't know which flywheel I should be using. I thought I may as well replace mine while I have everything apart. Here is my choices:
28 oz 157 tooth Cast steel 10"/10.5" $165
28 oz 157 tooth Billet steel 10.5" $235
50 oz 157 tooth Cast steel 10.5" (Stock 5.0L) $150
50 oz 157 tooth Billet steel 10.5" $255
How about you use the one you have, and put a new stock or 289HP clutch on it? Sounds like a real winner, since it's already balanced to your engine.

Bellhousing....mine has the bottom cover bolt broken off and should probably be replaced. Are there any issues with using a T5 Bell?
Well, to use your bell, you need an adapter plate. To use a T5 bell, you have to buy one, then put an adapter fulcrum in it.

You have two choices, as I see it.

1) Ignore the broken lug.
2) Find a shop that TIG welds motorboat propellers, and have them re-create the lug, drill and tap the bolt hole, and be happy.

The good news is since you have a 3-speed car, all you really need is the new clutch, the T5 and shifter (I'd recommend the stock Ford one, to eliminate headaches) T5 dummy shift lever and knob, the T5 adapter plate, and the T5 crossmember. Replace the clutch as normal, but install the T5 instead of the 3.03 when you are done. On a lift, the whole job should take only a few hours. There is a tiny chance the driveshaft might need trimming, but most likely you can re-use the shaft and slip yoke as-is.

Amateur restorer. Well, sometimes I have been paid for it. But not right now.

Last edited by 22GT; 10-31-2016 at 12:53 PM.
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post #8 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 01:51 PM
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For comparison attached is my MDL conversion quote. Like you I have a '65 289 2V toploader 3 speed, and in the spring I intend to do the T5z conversion. At the same time I want to install a hydraulic clutch along with new clutch/pressure plate & flywheel to correct a grabby clutch issue.

My thoughts on this bill of materials:
- I am going with a new T5z because I can afford it and don't want any trouble later
- hydraulic clutch because it is better than the Z-Bar and IMO less cludgy than cable
- new flywheel because the current FW will need resurfacing anyway

Things I am not sure of:
- do I really need the Quik Stik shifter
- do I need the new bellhousing because I am going with an external clutch slave cylinder
- do I really need new speedo cable
- spending $11.95/qt for Amsoil ATF or $4.95 for regular Dexron/Mercon
- do I really need new FW, pressure plate bolts
- do I really need a new slip yoke
- do I really need a new reverse switch harness
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 3 spd to T5Z pg1.jpg (39.4 KB, 32 views)
File Type: jpg 3 spd to T5Z pg2.jpg (36.0 KB, 13 views)
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post #9 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 02:48 PM
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Here is what I would do, actually what I did, but I have a Tremec 3550 but everything else would be the same.

Buy a used T-5
Buy a shortened input shaft for the T5
Buy a cross member
Keep your stock clutch linkage
Keep your stock bell housing - no spacer needed now, or replace the damaged one with a stock type
Keep your stock clutch
Keep your stock driveshaft & yoke - no mods


Install.
Done.

Now if you feel the need to replace your clutch or flywheel its certainly a good time to do so as everything is down, but if your stuff is in good shape its certainly not necessary. Also, I am not sure on your motor build, but if its mild, you probably don't want an Aluminum flywheel as they do have some trade offs. (although I do love mine)



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post #10 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackinawmike View Post
For comparison attached is my MDL conversion quote. Like you I have a '65 289 2V toploader 3 speed, and in the spring I intend to do the T5z conversion. At the same time I want to install a hydraulic clutch along with new clutch/pressure plate & flywheel to correct a grabby clutch issue.

My thoughts on this bill of materials:
- I am going with a new T5z because I can afford it and don't want any trouble later
- hydraulic clutch because it is better than the Z-Bar and IMO less cludgy than cable
- new flywheel because the current FW will need resurfacing anyway

- spending $11.95/qt for Amsoil ATF or $4.95 for regular Dexron/Mercon
- do I really need new FW, pressure plate bolts
- do I really need a new slip yoke
- do I really need a new reverse switch harness
A good list. My take:

- I am going with a new T5z because I can afford it and don't want any trouble later
Only if you buy a crap T5
- hydraulic clutch because it is better than the Z-Bar and IMO less cludgy than cable
Pure BS.
- new flywheel because the current FW will need resurfacing anyway
So will the new one, if you are picky. And of course the new one must be custom-balanced to your engine, unless you feel lucky.

- do I really need the Quik Stik shifter
No.
- do I need the new bellhousing because I am going with an external clutch slave cylinder
A really good opportunity to spend some money.
- do I really need new speedo cable
No.
- spending $11.95/qt for Amsoil ATF or $4.95 for regular Dexron/Mercon
Hmmm…
- do I really need new FW, pressure plate bolts
I would go for the PP bolts.
- do I really need a new slip yoke
Not unless the old one is trashed.
- do I really need a new reverse switch harness
Unless you can fabricate a decent adapter harness, yes.


Amateur restorer. Well, sometimes I have been paid for it. But not right now.

Last edited by 22GT; 10-31-2016 at 03:34 PM.
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post #11 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 05:22 PM
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Do yourself a favor and keep your Z-bar clutch linkage. I've had the Z-bar, then went to cable, and now have hydraulic. Each of the latter two have their own issues (burning cables, leaking hydraulic seals, etc.), so I wish I would have stuck to the Z-bar. Next time I have the tranny out I'm switching back to the Z-bar. Rollerize it like many here have done for even smoother clutch actuation.

BTW - I purchased my stock 1990 T-5 off of Craigslist for $300, and with spirited daily driving with a warmed-up 351W, it's been totally fine for over 50,000 miles. You're gonna love that overdrive gear.

Have fun!

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post #12 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolblue65 View Post
Here is what I would do, actually what I did, but I have a Tremec 3550 but everything else would be the same.

Buy a used T-5
Buy a shortened input shaft for the T5
Buy a cross member
Keep your stock clutch linkage
Keep your stock bell housing - no spacer needed now, or replace the damaged one with a stock type
Keep your stock clutch
Keep your stock driveshaft & yoke - no mods


Install.
Done.

Now if you feel the need to replace your clutch or flywheel its certainly a good time to do so as everything is down, but if your stuff is in good shape its certainly not necessary. Also, I am not sure on your motor build, but if its mild, you probably don't want an Aluminum flywheel as they do have some trade offs. (although I do love mine)
T5/T5Z's have a different bolt pattern than the Toploaders so to use the 3-speed bell housing one would have to use a adapter. Also I don't think that they have (I maybe wrong) a shorter input shaft for the T5 as well.

The Tremec/TKO's however share the same bolt pattern as the Toploaders & will bolt directly to the Toploader bell with a shorter input shaft which they do have for the Tremec/TKO's.
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post #13 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 08:39 PM
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Or you could just swap in a 4 speed Toploader and never have to worry about breaking it. You'll just need a new speedometer cable and LH pitch driven gear ans shifter. No drive line angle problems, driveshaft or what ever.

Tom

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post #14 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Huskinhano View Post
Or you could just swap in a 4 speed Toploader and never have to worry about breaking it. You'll just need a new speedometer cable and LH pitch driven gear ans shifter. No drive line angle problems, driveshaft or what ever.
Of course your right Tom,However the toploader weighs more and doesn't have a 5th gear
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post #15 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Great info from all!

I was thinking I would hear a lot of people saying to get rid of the Zbar linkage, I guess I will stick with it.

I will also start looking for a nice T5, preferably local.

I have heard the driveshaft needs to be shortened when going to a T5?

I have clutch chatter now and will need clutch, PP, throwout bearing and resurface the flywheel. And I need to send my pedal assembly in to be fixed and rollerized because it is worn out.

Huskinhano - I would do a 4 speed but the final drive gear is the same as my 3 speed. 1:1 and I want the overdrive.

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