Possible 351W or T5 swap - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2018, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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Possible 351W or T5 swap

So I have been creeping on the forums for a while but finally have a problem that would like some input on. We have a Ď66 coupe with a mustang II rod and custom coil over and disk brake conversion for the front and rear that my dad and I installed. Power train is all stock, 289 with a 3 speed. We are second owners on the car and as far as we know the engine hasnít been touched. We did put on a new Holley carb and she runs smooth. I have been wanting to do a T5 swap for a while and then either rebuild my 289 or go with a 302 or 351w. I was doing the research on the T5 swap when my dad came across a rebuilt 351w (part #DFK3) that is still sitting on a crate in the store. It has been sitting for a few years apparently and I could possibly get it for around $800.

Here is what I need help with. At this price, could I get the 351 into the car for around $1000 by using as many of the stock parts I have from the 289? I know I would need an intake, carb, distributor, and headers. And I would try to get these things as cheap as possible. Would I need anything else major?

That brings me to the trans problem. Dropping all that cash for the engine swap would leave me stuck with the original 3 speed for a while. As long as I drive easy with the 3 speed should it be alright? Or is it smarter to do the trans swap then engine swap?

And to add on to all of that Iím leaving the country and the car in the end of August for a few years. So does it even make sense to put any money into the car now even though the trans or engine wonít really ďgo badĒ while Iím gone? My dad will be taking care of the car and driving it while Iím gone.

I want the car to be a daily driver with trips to the track occasionally, mostly time attack or something similar.

Thatís all I have so any thoughts or recommendations are welcome. Thanks.

Nick
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2018, 01:25 AM
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Between the two, T5 all the way. Itís not even close. There will simply be more fun with more gears from a drivability standpoint.

Given your circumstances, Iíd save that money and spend it when you get back. Especially if the car drives fine now.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2018, 09:54 AM
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I too would wait until you get back unless you think you could get the car done and ready so that you can enjoy it for a few months before you leave. If not, save the money and put it to good use instead of spending it on something that will be sitting for a few years.

It also depends on where you live and how readily available a used T5 is. Around here you can find used ones in junkyards for $200-400 and if you could get the engine for under $1k you could probably get close to your price. But headers are slightly difficult for a 351w in a 65/66 as itís a tight squeeze. I bought JBA ceramic headers and they were $450. Some of the other accessories will be expensive too if you buy new. You could use some exhaust manifolds instead of headers to lower your price down but itís up to what you want to do and how much you want to spend.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2018, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ď66Nick View Post
So I have been creeping on the forums for a while but finally have a problem that would like some input on. We have a Ď66 coupe with a mustang II rod and custom coil over and disk brake conversion for the front and rear that my dad and I installed. Power train is all stock, 289 with a 3 speed. We are second owners on the car and as far as we know the engine hasnít been touched. We did put on a new Holley carb and she runs smooth. I have been wanting to do a T5 swap for a while and then either rebuild my 289 or go with a 302 or 351w. I was doing the research on the T5 swap when my dad came across a rebuilt 351w (part #DFK3) that is still sitting on a crate in the store. It has been sitting for a few years apparently and I could possibly get it for around $800.

Here is what I need help with. At this price, could I get the 351 into the car for around $1000 by using as many of the stock parts I have from the 289? I know I would need an intake, carb, distributor, and headers. And I would try to get these things as cheap as possible. Would I need anything else major?

That brings me to the trans problem. Dropping all that cash for the engine swap would leave me stuck with the original 3 speed for a while. As long as I drive easy with the 3 speed should it be alright? Or is it smarter to do the trans swap then engine swap?

And to add on to all of that Iím leaving the country and the car in the end of August for a few years. So does it even make sense to put any money into the car now even though the trans or engine wonít really ďgo badĒ while Iím gone? My dad will be taking care of the car and driving it while Iím gone.

I want the car to be a daily driver with trips to the track occasionally, mostly time attack or something similar.

Thatís all I have so any thoughts or recommendations are welcome. Thanks.

Nick

In your case because you have the M2 front end, I would look and see what you can get a lowish miles 5.0 F150 Coyote from the wreckers for.

That would be a big upgrade over a stockish 351w crate engine.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2018, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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@BlakeTX and @MUSTANG65FBK I definitely think the T5 would be a ton of fun and Iíll have to go see what I can find around here. Any tips for finding a decent trans? Other than low miles.

@SVTguy that sounds like an excellent idea but probably something that would have to wait until I got back. What all would that entail? Would a T5 work with the Coyote?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2018, 07:07 PM
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T5... check the box for "yes". For the 351, you can use everything from the timing cover forward from the 289... you'll just need a couple of brackets for the alt and p/s. On the 289, the pivot rods bolted right into the heads. On the 351W the deck is 1" taller. The brackets provide that fix.
Your call on which you want to do. Just run a quick search on CL or something for both the 351 and T5. See which ones are more available.
A crate engine at a good price sounds a little more tasty to me. I found my T5 on CL. Guy was asking $300. I got it for $250 including the bell.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2018, 07:11 PM
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That 3-speed tranny is just about as stout as the 4-speed "Top Loader". You won't have any problems with it...in fact, with the torque of a 351W you'll find that the 3-speed will drive very nicely.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2018, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Ď66Nick View Post
@BlakeTX and @MUSTANG65FBK I definitely think the T5 would be a ton of fun and Iíll have to go see what I can find around here. Any tips for finding a decent trans? Other than low miles.

@SVTguy that sounds like an excellent idea but probably something that would have to wait until I got back. What all would that entail? Would a T5 work with the Coyote?
You can always open the top cover and look at the gears inside to see what kind of condition they're in, chipped, cracked and so on. Also, read the tag, if there is one and make sure it's for a v8 car as opposed to the 4cyl as it'll have a different gear ratio to it. I believe 1984-1993 will work for the early cars. I've heard the 1994 model year is slightly longer and you have to use an adapter plate on the bellhousing to get it to work. Shop around, ask questions on here if you need to or if you're not sure about something before you buy it.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2018, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Ď66Nick View Post
@BlakeTX and @MUSTANG65FBK I definitely think the T5 would be a ton of fun and Iíll have to go see what I can find around here. Any tips for finding a decent trans? Other than low miles.

@SVTguy that sounds like an excellent idea but probably something that would have to wait until I got back. What all would that entail? Would a T5 work with the Coyote?
I would research to see if the T5 could even handle the high RPM shifting of a Coyote.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2018, 10:04 PM
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Using the 289 heads on a 351 will choke it a little. You folks recall the 351 heads had larger exhaust ports? You also need the 351 intake, the 289/302 ones will not work. Oh, neither will the distributor. And the exhaust manifolds will rub the fender wells. It takes special headers. Then the driveshaft needs to be shortened. Well, maybe not. Lets not forget the larger radiator the 351 will need. Sounds like you will be going with the five speed, no?

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 09:55 PM
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A fairly unique situation it's hard to offer advice for. I'm leaning towards the T5 myself even though I just love 351W's.. If you aren't able or interested in rebuilding a T5, shopping for one is all about the warranty. Used, new, rebuilt, whatever. Will the seller guarantee it long enough for you to get it in and tested at least? Generally speaking if it's good, it'll be good. If it's bad it will show up the first time you test drive it. A used one I doubt is an option for you. Salvage yards offer warranties on their used parts but it's still a crapshoot because they have no way of really testing them. They will just give you another if the first one doesn't work. And T5's are NOT readily inspectable. To look at the gears (which may or may not even tell you anything useful) you have to knock out the shifter pin, unbolt the tailhousing, and then unbolt and wiggle off the top cover. Not many sellers (if any) would be interested in letting you do that pre-purchase.

One nice part about a T5 is since you already have a manual, you can almost just buy a bellhousing adapter, crossmember, and then alter the driveshaft if it doesn't fit. A stock (cheap) 1980's Mustang shifter will work but doesn't suit anybody much so you'd probably want to price in an upgraded shifter and stick combination more suited to the car. I believe you need to swap to a C4 speedometer cable to hook your speedo up. Someone who has personally done this particular swap can tell you for sure.

A big plus to the T5 choice is I'm pretty sure you can get it all done and situated well before your deadline without killing yourself over it.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome. Thanks for all the great input and advice. Lots to think about and more to research. Iíll try to keep you updated and if I have any more questions I know where to come. Thanks again. Seeya!
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 08:00 AM
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As GypsyR said, pretty easy swap if you already have a manual. Your bellhousing will need a couple of mods, they are identified in the instructions with the adapter plate. I opted to have a new driveshaft built instead of shortening my old one. I have all my old 4 spd stuff in case I want to go back, but do not see that happening, the T5 is awesome and has made my car so much more driveable.

69 Mach 1, 351W, T5, owned for 32 years, 03 Mach 1 Azure Blue, 65 fastback, 289, C4 (son's), 67 fastback, 289, C4 (wife's)
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 09:22 AM
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An 800 crate 351 is a deal you wonít likely duplicate any time soon. Rebuilding your motor is a $3k min.


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