From Flywheel To Differential
V-8 power gives us a blank canvas to work with from the bellhousing back because we can do virtually anything: install a five-speed or automatic overdrive, a classic '60s C4 automatic or Top Loader four-speed, or even a six-speed. Because Carolyn Chenore, who owns this Mustang, likes a manual transmission in her Mustang, she originally wanted to keep a three-speed manual box in the tunnel. When we explained the advantages of having a more fuel-efficient five-speed with overdrive, she liked the idea.
JMC Motorsports answered our call with a used Tremec T5 five-speed left behind by a customer who went with a stronger Tremec TKO transmission. The T5 was fitted with a PRO 5.0 shifter, which tightens up the shift pattern and increases driving pleasure.
We also had the good fortune of working with Southland Clutch, which provided us with a new diaphragm-style clutch to replace the old, knee-eroding, three-finger Borg & Beck clutch behind the six. Diaphragm clutches provide solid engagement without the tremendous disengagement pressures associated with dated three-finger clutches. Another item we're tossing aside is the Mustang's original equalizer-shaft clutch linkage that has always been problematic. These flimsy clutch linkages have rolled over and played dead more times than not, forcing us into the roadside embarrassment of a tow truck. We're going with a hydraulic clutch-conversion kit from JMC Motorsports.
If a hydraulic clutch isn't what you had in mind, Ron Morris Performance has a cable clutch-conversion kit, available from Mustangs Plus, borrowed from the '79-'95 Mustang parts shelf.
We've chosen Tremec's fiercely...
We've chosen Tremec's fiercely reliable and affordable World Class T5 five-speed transmission. Because we're going to throw 250-280 hp at this box, we don't need the upscale Tremec TKO. Mustangs Plus has also provided us with an aluminum driveshaft from Inland Empire Driveline. For this combination ('79-'95 bellhousing, T5 transmission, and 8-inch rearend), you need a 51-inch shaft. If you go with the factory clutch linkage, bellhousing, and adaptor plate, you need a 50-inch shaft. That's a diaphragm clutch with a match-balanced Centerforce flywheel for smooth operation. We like the T5 transmission crossmember from Ron Morris Performance, but we ultimately went with a JBA crossmember to clear the exhaust system.
Jeff Audia mounts the block...
Jeff Audia mounts the block plate and flywheel, torquing the flywheel bolts in a cris-cross pattern. Always coat the bolt thread with Loctite 242 thread locker. This also seals the bolt threads and keeps engine oil inside.
The Southland clutch is next,...
The Southland clutch is next, using ARP bolts and Loctite 242 on the threads for security. Jeff is using a transmission input shaft as a clutch-disc alignment tool. Southland Clutch can also provide a really cool clutch-alignment tool with the clutch.