5 Speed Manual
Transmission Installation - Part 3

Bring On The Pain

Onto the fun part: installing the transmission.

  With those of us with access to a lift and transmission jack, please read on.  However, for the many of us without, a few pointers before going through some excessive lifting:

1.) The transmission weighs about 75-80 lbs without the fluid.  Do yourself a favor and don't put fluid into it until you're done installing it.

2.) Use a floor jack to assist getting the transmission into position before installing.

3.) Turn the input shaft splines on transmission so one spline is facing 12 o'clock (to match the clutch disc center hole as described on last page)

3.) The transmission should be slid into the bell housing steadily and at the right angle.  Be sure that the clutch arm, throw-out bearing, and clutch plate all are engaged correctly by the transmission.

4.) If the transmission will not slip completely into the bell housing, leaving a 1/4 - 1/2" gap before bottoming out, it simply is the clutch plate and clutch not absolutely in line with the pilot bearing installed in the crank.  Actuate the clutch lever while jiggling transmission to get transmission to fully seat.

5.) Get some cheap 12mm threaded rod and cut 4 lengths about six inches long and thread them into the bell housing.  use these rods to align the transmission upon installation.

(Lengths of threaded rod or long bolts with the heads cut off make great aligning rods for the transmission.)

The Rear Mount

  Apart from the trick clutch cable kit Modern Driveline also has a very nice rear transmission mount for this swap.  Not only does it allow for good clearance of the exhaust system, but it also allows the owner to retain the emergency brake in their car.

(The mount is heavy duty and nicely welded up.  Notice the slot for rear transmission mount adjustment and the arm to retain the emergency brake on the car.)

  After installing the rear transmission mount, simply jack up the rear of the transmission, slide in the new bracket, and install with two bolts.

  Because my transmission came with the S10 tail shaft, the speedometer cable inserts into the transmission right at the rear of the front sub frame. Because the tolerance is so tight between the rear of the front sub frame and the speedometer cable, one needs to modify the sub frame to make room for the speedometer cable so it won't be kinked.

  Modern Driveline is aware of this problem and is working on a fix at the time of this writing, but advises Falcon owners to use a hole saw or Dremel to cut a hole in the sub frame, fish the cable through, and install it into the transmission.

  I decided to simply create a notch in the sub frame piece, and then fabricate a removable plate that covers the notch (not shown).


Buttoning It Up

  Now the last of the little things:

  Reverse Lights:  The reverse light switch is on the side of the transmission.  I headed out to the junkyard and looked for cars with the T5 so I could get a factory wiring loom with the correct reverse light plug.  After some searching I found that the reverse light plug is used on all T5s - so do yourself a favor and look in the engine/transmission pile for a T5 and yank the reverse light harness instead of crawling under some cars.

  Retrofitting the reverse light plug was easy.  Using an old neutral safety switch the Neutral safety switch wires were soldered together, while the reverse light wires were soldered to the original switch's reverse light wiring.  With this done the modified loom is plugged into the car and the installation looks stock from under the hood.

( The reverse light switch [left] accepts the plug supplied by the local wrecker [right].  A little soldering and electrical tape makes a clean installation [bottom])

Plug old vacuum lines:  If you had an automatic don't forget to plug the old intake manifold vacuum lines!

Exhaust work:  Don't be surprised if there is some interference caused by exhaust systems after this swap.  The new bell housing a bit different than an automatic and old style manual.  After a clearance problem appeared on this project, a quick trip to the local muffler shop was in order to get some needed clearance in the driver's side exhaust pipe where it meets the manifold.

Fill the transmission:  The T5s did NOT use gear oil, rather they used simple ATF fluid because of the more intricate roller bearings used with in the transmission.  After doing some reading the transmission here got Amsoil ATF synthetic transmission fluid.  About 2.75 quarts of this pure synthetic ATF was pumped into the transmission.  Don't forget to install that driveshaft yoke or you'll have a mess on your hands!


( Amsoil is a well known synthetic and is recommended by Modern Driveline )

Driveshaft:  Since you had your driveshaft out, its a good time to check the universal joints and if zealous, the driveshaft balance.  If you had a 3 or 4 speed in your Falcon, your driveshaft will need to be shortened by an inch or so.  For my 65 Falcon I measured a needed 52 - 52 1/2" driveshaft length for my swap.

  The driveshaft pulled out of this car looked original and pretty beat up.  I went ahead and ordered up an Aluminum driveshaft at a local builder here in Chicago.  The aluminum driveshaft weighs about half of a steel shaft and are known to help deliver more power to the rear wheels as well as offer less vibration at higher speeds.

  I supplied the driveshaft builder with the required measurement and the original driveshaft yoke.  In about a day I had a new balanced driveshaft with new universal joints and it slid right into place.

Clutch cable adjustment and fine tuning:  Now that the transmission is in the final clutch cable connection can occur.  Simply follow the clutch cable kit directions and connect the cable to the clutch arm, making sure that both cable nuts are threaded onto the back of the clutch arm.  After this step is complete, remove the stock clutch pedal return spring and adjust the cable actuation bracket to the appropriate height (detailed in the cable kit's directions)

  After this the clutch arm travel was measured and found within the specifications set by Modern Driveline's instructions.  After that check it was simply a matter of installing the dust cover over the clutch arm

( The dust cover protects the clutch arm, cable, and clutch internals from dust and debris [left]. It is held in place by a clip and screw [right]) 

Continue >>