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Rebuilding Your Gearbox - Gearbox Hero
Have No Fear-We Learn How To Save A Tired T5 From The Dreaded Broken Gear.
Depending on driving habits or driving style, your T5-equipped Fox-body or SN-95 probably gets more abuse than the average slushbox. Powershifts at WOT, banging gears in the quarter-mile, and pumping 400-plus horsepower through a 300hp-rated trans is usually a pretty risky combination.
Even with all of the new manual transmissions available for Mustang owners, the T5 is one of those components, like the 5L, that just keeps hanging on-or not. It used to be that the transmission, namely the T5, was the weak link in the Mustang chain, but more modern Mustangs don't suffer from such a weak component. Nevertheless, if you have a 5.0L with a T5 and you plan to keep it that way, upgrades will be in order. So when yours begins grinding into gear or growling at highway speeds, its time for some freshening up. Typically worn components that cause those noises are the blocking rings (grinding) and bearings (growling).
Transmission rebuilds, automatic or manual, are one of the jobs on most shade-tree mechanics' black list. There are many moving components, some which need to be measured with precision tools, that most are afraid they would take one apart and never get it back together correctly.
Well, we felt exactly that way when we tackled this T5. Even though I, your author, rebuilt one T5 a long time ago, I felt a strong sense of anxiety as I broke loose the first of the tailshaft housing bolts. And for good reason: I didn't have diagrams, instructions, or an experienced professional taking the reigns.
Since I had done this before, however, I knew just enough to get me in trouble. If knowledge is power, then I was a measly shoeshine boy in desperate search of a phone booth. Thankfully, a quick search through our archives yielded a Ford service manual for the T5. If you don't have a manual handy, there are some available for free online.