T5 swap worth it? - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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T5 swap worth it?

Finally got the flywheel off with a new breaker bar.

My clutch is roasted and not sure if the front end of the top loader got damaged because there was clearly some heat in there.

Since Iíve got it all torn apart is now the time to put in a t5 with hydraulic clutch?

Iíve never been very happy with the clutch action and I think one more gear would be good but I donít drive it that much and Iím not sure if itís worth the $3500+ to put it in.

Thoughts?

Thanks Rodney
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 08:04 PM
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I hope so, mine is all apart right now waiting on my shipment from Modern Drive Line.

My clutch has been showing signs of needing a replacement for a while, I have been saying that if the three speed comes out it's not going back in. I am holding true to my word. I will enjoy the new True Trac rear with 3:55 gears and that overdrive.
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 08:27 PM
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The disadvantage of the Toploader is OD. The advantages are better spaced gear ratios, better drive line angle and itíll take just about all the abuse you can throw at it. Iím running a 2.8 gear with mine, works well. Thatís why Ford put a 3.00 gear in. The SBF is a tough motor and will run all day long at 3k rpm. The 2.80/3.00 are great hiway gears. Whatís nice is they are tall enough for comfortable cruising and low enough that you donít have to downshift on hills.

I made my own clutch linkage with rod ends. Works super smooth and has been absolutely problem free and very cheap to make.

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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 08:40 PM
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I love the T5z but I went from a C4 so different circumstances. If you don't drive the car much lot's of people here say you can rollerize the clutch linkage and make it much better. The hydro clutch can have it's own issues I hear. Mine has been OK so far

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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 08:49 PM
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Something else to evaluate. If you put in a T5, what are you going to do with the existing trans. Is it original to the car? Are you going to save it in case the next owner might want it or sell it? Do you want to store it? If you don't drive it that much.....


(I have muncie for the blue car on a shelf. The richmond is fun but for as much as I drive that car, I'd rather have the shelf space and $$ back.)

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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 09:02 PM
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I spent a lot of money and extra effort to install a TKO 600 in my 1970 Mach 1. So, what's the verdict? Oh man, is it sweet! No, it doesn't have the same feel as a classic Top Loader, but I like the way it shifts. I have only about 700 miles on the new engine and trans. The more I drive it, the better is shifts. On the highway, I'm absolutely thrilled when I can be screaming along at over 3,000 RPMs, push the stick into 5th and drop the RPMs by 1,000. (Pretty sure I smile every time I do this.)

In overdrive, it's more quiet for cruising. My Cleveland still effortlessly pulls the car up hills with no need to down shift. It uses less fuel. It creates less wear and tear on the engine.

So, yeah, I really dig my overdrive! I plan to drive my car a lot and on long cruises and day trips. So, for me, it was well worth it. If you're simply going to zip around town now and then, no, an overdrive likely isn't worth it.

In the end, it's up to you. I also went with Modern Driveline and I also used a rollerized version of the factory Z-bar linkage. I'm very happy with it.

Lately I'm seeing Top Loaders sell for pretty high prices. If you don't want your Top Loader, you could likely sell it for a good chunk of change to apply to your T5.

Have fun!
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 09:12 PM
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I’ve got a lot of money tied up in a C4 to T5 conversion. It’s worth every penny.
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 09:56 PM
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When I read the thread title it went through my head, "if it would have cost me 2-3-5K that some people pay then no...." Im the type to spend $500 5X before cutting loose of 2K for my spare cash only hobby. I would have spent that much several times over on every thing else needed first and then even bought another car or two, new sails for my boat, added 3 more covered parking spots out back and an extra vacation before i would have done it. Gas mileage doesnt really matter, 5th is useless till over 50+mph for me and Ive done plenty of miles spinning an engine 3-4krpm for hours on end without a second thought.
But @500 plus what a clutch job cost it was a no brainer. I was going from 3pd though and I couldn't have gotten a 4spd for 2X that much.

If you took out a 3 finger clutch and put in a generic diaphragm type with new z-bar bushings you'd think you installed a hydraulic set-up.
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney001 View Post
Finally got the flywheel off with a new breaker bar.

My clutch is roasted and not sure if the front end of the top loader got damaged because there was clearly some heat in there.

Since Iíve got it all torn apart is now the time to put in a t5 with hydraulic clutch?

Iíve never been very happy with the clutch action and I think one more gear would be good but I donít drive it that much and Iím not sure if itís worth the $3500+ to put it in.

Thoughts?

Thanks Rodney
My .02 is on how much you gonna drive it? What do you want from the car?
Can always change rear end gear, be cheaper I'd say.
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 10:16 PM
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I'd keep the top loader, diaphragm style clutch no need for something too expensive. LUK or Spec clutch and pressure plate. Roller clutch rods and roller clutch pedal conversion.
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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ofAMillion+ View Post
When I read the thread title it went through my head, "if it would have cost me 2-3-5K that some people pay then no...." Im the type to spend $500 5X before cutting loose of 2K for my spare cash only hobby. I would have spent that much several times over on every thing else needed first and then even bought another car or two, new sails for my boat, added 3 more covered parking spots out back and an extra vacation before i would have done it. Gas mileage doesnt really matter, 5th is useless till over 50+mph for me and Ive done plenty of miles spinning an engine 3-4krpm for hours on end without a second thought.
But @500 plus what a clutch job cost it was a no brainer. I was going from 3pd though and I couldn't have gotten a 4spd for 2X that much.

If you took out a 3 finger clutch and put in a generic diaphragm type with new z-bar bushings you'd think you installed a hydraulic set-up.
I think that's called different strokes for different folks. Don't have a boat, mortgage, or a car payment currently so I indulge myself now and then. I hear a boat is like a mortgage and car payment from those I know who own one.

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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. Seems like most people like the overdrive.

Is there a way to see if the top loader is original to the car? I didn't see a tag on it.

Given that my tunnel is a little hacked up with some previous welding, I think it isn't original to the car.
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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Rodney001 View Post
Thanks everyone. Seems like most people like the overdrive.
Overdrive is awesome when I'm flying down the Indiana toll road at 85mph and still getting passed frequently. If I lived near town or didn't go on the open road it would be a different story. If I was converting from a 4 speed top loader instead of a C4 auto the swap might not have happened. I would dig deep into the search function before I opened my wallet too wide.

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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 11:37 PM
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I did the same as Nailbender. went from a C4 to a T5.. If i'd had a 3spd top loader I'd have done it too. From a 4spd? Probably not..

The overdrive works for me, as to go to any of the car shows/cruises, I'm at least 45 mins to an hour on the freeway. I also do a lot of road trips and appreciate the fuel economy and extra distance I can cover.

The T5 shifts nicer than the top loader in my opinion. It however will NOT take the abuse a TL will. The Z's were rated at 330! We know the top loader will take all the way up to 700hp!!

If you do go the route of T5 I'd recommend buying a brand new T5Z. I chased a bunch of issues with my rebuilt one and I like the better first gear and beefier bits in the Z.

A hydro clutch is nice. The swap from the finger to diaphragm clutch may also make it a whole lot easier for ya. Same goes for rollerizing the Z bar.
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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 11:51 PM
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Ditto this. I can't imagine going back to my top loader.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klutch View Post
I spent a lot of money and extra effort to install a TKO 600 in my 1970 Mach 1. So, what's the verdict? Oh man, is it sweet! No, it doesn't have the same feel as a classic Top Loader, but I like the way it shifts. I have only about 700 miles on the new engine and trans. The more I drive it, the better is shifts. On the highway, I'm absolutely thrilled when I can be screaming along at over 3,000 RPMs, push the stick into 5th and drop the RPMs by 1,000. (Pretty sure I smile every time I do this.)

In overdrive, it's more quiet for cruising. My Cleveland still effortlessly pulls the car up hills with no need to down shift. It uses less fuel. It creates less wear and tear on the engine.

So, yeah, I really dig my overdrive! I plan to drive my car a lot and on long cruises and day trips. So, for me, it was well worth it. If you're simply going to zip around town now and then, no, an overdrive likely isn't worth it.

In the end, it's up to you. I also went with Modern Driveline and I also used a rollerized version of the factory Z-bar linkage. I'm very happy with it.

Lately I'm seeing Top Loaders sell for pretty high prices. If you don't want your Top Loader, you could likely sell it for a good chunk of change to apply to your T5.

Have fun!
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