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T5 Install on the '50 263

by Rande, Published on 05-03-2011 07:59 AM

Here's the "car".

Here's the T5 installed on the engine.

Here's the modified Buick bell housing.

Here's the adapter.

Here's the bellhousing side of the adapter. It has an indexing ring to center it properly.

Here's the Mustang pilot bearing in the Buick crank. I did need to push the bearing in flush with the adapter.

The pilot bearing comes in this adapter ring. I have them separated here.

That ring is a bit too deep. I ground some off to fit flush with the flywheel.

Here's the Jeep pressure plate on the Buick flywheel.

Here, you can see the adapter on the bellhousing.

The Buick clutch fork had to modified. We had to expand the two fingers of the fork to fit the larger Mustang throw-out bearing. We heated the fingers and bent them out. You have to keep the ends parallel to each other, you can't just bend them outward. I don't presently have any photos of that.

I can get some measurements this weekend. These are photos that I have here. If there are any photos that you would like, let me know. If there are any other details you want, let me know.

The thickness of the adapter was determined by the length of the input shaft of the tranny. This 1995 3.8 Mustang tranny (stronger than the 4 cylinder tranny) has a longer input shaft than most other T5s. I talked to one fellow who used a V8 tranny (stronger than the 3.8 tranny) and it fit directly to the bellhousing but he also had to machine the bottom of the bellhousing and fit a piece of angled steel to the bottom to catch the bottom two bolts for the tranny. In the above photo (#4) of the adapter on the bellhousing, you can see how far below the back of the bellhousing those bolts are. His method may be a bit easier and perhaps cost a bit less.

I bought the 3.8 tranny because it was available locally and uses the same gears as the V8 tranny although, its overall torque rating is somewhat less than the V8 tranny. Plus, it was about $200 less than the nearest V8 tranny I could find. With this longer input shaft, this adapter worked out well. Cost a couple hundred bucks as I recall. So the money is pretty much a wash between the higher cost V8 tranny and this one. You either have the adapter made or machine the bottom of the bellhousing and fit a piece of angle steel to catch those two bottom bolts. As I recall, the only machining I had to have done to the bellhousing was the large hole for the front of the tranny.

You have to machine the bottom of the bellhousing for that angle steel because it has to fit flush with the rest of the bellhousing so the bottom cover will fit right. With my adapter, there is no interference with the bottom cover.

After talking to my brother, I realized we had drilled two new holes into the bellhousing for the adapter to bolt on. The two inner holes near the top of the bellhousing. We drilled those holes because the two upper mounting holes on the transmission were going to interfere if we used those stock Buick mounting holes to mount the adapter to the bellhousing.

The fellow in Seattle who used a V8 tranny that mounted directly to the Buick bellhousing slotted the mounting holes on the tranny to match up to the Buick bellhousing bolt holes.