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T5 Tranny Swap

In hopes of getting more speed out of the 53 I considered the various options.

  1. Finding an enclosed driveshaft rearend from a similar year car that would have a better gear ratio and swapping it into place.
  2. Ordering a new set of rear end gears from Patricks.
  3. Swapping out my tranny for a Borg Warner T-5 and going to an open rear and new driveshaft.

My old 3 speed was getting worse and worse and since the previous owner of my truck had already swapped a Mustang 2 clip under the front. I was currently running a 5 front 6 back bolt pattern and carrying 2 spares (just in case). So option 3 turned out to be my best bet, since I'd be getting a new tranny with more gears, and a rear-end with a matching bolt pattern (5 by 4 3/4 all the way around). I had read a lot on various websites about the swap plus one of my buddies from the truck club (Rick) had modified a couple of T5's for similar setups before and was willing to give me a hand.

Next I began the search luckily it was a short one as another member of the truck club had decided to go with an automatic in his truck and was willing to part with a T5 he had pulled out of an 89 S-10 in a junk yard he also was willing to throw in the shift lever, boot and driveshaft he got from the same truck I believe I paid about $80 for all of it.

T5 Identification Tag List

That same day after we got the parts back to the garage Rick and I started the modifications.
First we drilled out the 4 mounting holes to 1/2 inch originally they were metric.

You'll also need to put bolts with lockwashers and nuts on the bottom mounts as the old one's screwed into the old tranny and now you just have holes.I went with grade 8 hardware on it all.

Next we shortened the input shaft about 3/8th" and the front bearing retainer about 1 1/2"with a cutoff wheel in the die grinder. Also you'll want to put a little angle on the end of the input shaft so that it looks the same as it did before you cut it.

These are the measurements we used on my conversion I recommend comparing your old transmission to the T5 and making the cuts so that they match your particular setup as I've heard people quote various measurements on their setups.

Rick was kind enough to modify the shifter so it would work better in the old truck and not hit the seat, he cut a notch in the front of the bend and bent it straight up then filled it in with the welder and ground it down. I think it turned out great and clears the seat and the dash just fine with the stock S10 shifter.

The next step was to get a rearend. I knew I had one at the farm that would work that I got with a previous project it came out of an 84 Monte Carlo, it has a 5 Bolt by 4 3/4 bolt pattern which matches the M2 setup on the front of my truck the ratio is around 3:73. So Rick and I headed out to the farm to pick it up.

Now that we had all the parts gathered the next step was to tear out the old rear, torque tube, and 3 speed.

The rear's in good shape so It was hauled to the farm for potential use on a future project.

The truck looks kinda bare with these parts missing.

I kept the flywheel and presure plate I already had and bought a Disc that was slightly smaller but has the correct spline for the t5. My truck had a 10 inch clutch on it and I found a clutch at O'Reilly, Part number RCF4201 it's like 9 7/8 or something very close. Also If you have a 9 Inch Clutch you can use an RCF4190 I believe, It's just under 9 and has the correct splines. I have had no problem disengaging the clutch with this setup, the center part of the disc that hooks to the input shaft looks the same as the one off my old 3 speed (Just diff, Spine).

Part Numbers

97/8" Disc for use with Stock 10" Clutch:
O'Reilly's part number RCF4201

Just under 9" disc for use with stock 9" Clutch:
O'Reilly's part number RCF4190


This document is a work in progress when It's done I'll remove this message
thanks for looking I hope there is info you can use now.