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Technical Information

Super Coupe Motor Swap Specifications

Rebuilt 1989 3.8 SC consisting of the following: Block bored .030 with Ford .030 pistons, rotating assembly balanced with 5.0 flywheel & pressure plate, level cut block & heads, competition 3 angle valve job, resized rods, ARP rod bolts & head studs, ported heads & intake manifolds, combustion chambers extensively modified, remote mounted coil pack with custom length Magnecore wires, Mocal oil cooler with thermostatic oil filter adapter.

Induction & Intercooler
70mm BBK throttle body, 7" K&N cone filter, air inlet plenum, 3" diameter HPC coated mandrel bend mass air to throttle body tube, 1" raised blower top, 10% overdrive supercharger pulley, Walbro 190lph in tank fuel pump, Pace air to water intercooler based on 4.5 x 4.5 x 12 core, dedicated 26 x 7 x 1.5 IC water loop radiator, 12v direct drive gear type water pump, 1 gallon aluminum reservoir, HPC coated mandrel bend I/C ducting, -10 braided hoses & fittings on the water loop.

2.95 first gear close ratio "Z" gear set T-5 with GM spec T-5 mainshaft & 5th gear assy, uprated input bearing retainer, Mustang shifter integrated to GM shifter mounting plate, Broward 450 ft LB pressure plate, Motorsports 10.5" diameter clutch disc, balanced one piece drive shaft.

95 Mustang 3.8 stainless steel headers with HPC coating, stainless steel Bassani "Quiet Thunder" series custom muffler with dual 2 1/2 inlets & outlets, Dr. Gass X-pipe, two 4" diameter Pace resonated exhaust tips. 2 1/2" mandrel bend down pipes with dual tubing out the back.

Dual Spal 10" electric fans, stock XR radiator, modified T-stat housing with XR fan control switch.

Instrument cluster & gauges
2" diameter Autometer Phantom series fuel level & water temp gauges & stock Super Coupe tach integrated into the cluster. 240KPH/150mph speedometer face installed on stock XR speedometer. 2 5/8" Autometer Phantom series oil pressure & vacuum/boost gauges installed on the center console.

Rear mounted Morroso battery box, custom A/C hoses & transmission cable adapter, MAP sensor, purge solenoid, & vacuum canister relocated behind upper firewall. Super Coupe alternator, power steering pump, & EEC-IV.

Ford/GM T-5 Hybrid conversion

As part of my 3.8 SC engine swap it was necessary to upgrade to a World Class (WC) T-5 transmission. The SC trans is plenty strong, but has a hydraulic clutch and I did not want to re-engineer the pedals to accommodate a clutch master cylinder. A 5.0 bell housing bolts to a 3.8 as does the flywheel though rebalancing is necessary. Of the T-5's readily available I preferred the 2.95 first gear, close ratio box with a .63 overdrive. I also wanted to incorporate the GM Camaro/Firebird type T-5 extension housing to the trans so the shifter would be in a more stock like location. Hanolin Motorsports (610-469-2695) will build such a transmission but the cost was far outside my budget. Besides, I wanted to find out exactly what is involved installing the GM spec parts. Over the years I have obtained several T-5 transmissions though none were complete. I was able to get a GM spec T-5 from my junkyard bud to use for parts.

Borg Warner made several versions of the T-5. Of concern to us is the WC & Non World Class (NWC (sounds like wrestling)) Ford & GM types. Ford changed to all WC transmissions a few years before GM. The main difference between the types is the WC has the mainshaft gears riding on needle bearings & an improved syncro assembly. NWC internal parts will not interchange with the WC version. The NWC GM extension housing & shift rod will fit the WC trans.

Essentially what is involved in mating the GM spec parts to the Ford case is to replace the mainshaft, shifter shaft and extension housing & shifter assembly. A world class GM mainshaft & 5th gear assembly must be used. The other parts can be NWC. There is a .73 & .63 GM spec 5th gear available, either one will work.

The reason for the GM 5th gear set is that the GM mainshaft has a different spline where the 5th driven gear goes. The Ford spec part will slide over the spline & seem to fit, but in fact the gear rotates like it is an eccentric. The trans. will rotate 1/2 turn either direction then lock up. The GM .63 5th driven gear will not mate with the Ford .63 5th drive gear. The teeth count between the 2 sets is the same but the pitch diameter is different. Why these minute differences? Go figure. So, an entire GM 5th gearset must be used. There were also some differences in the gear thickness on the 5th drive. Where Ford has a one piece gear GM has a gear & a spacer that equals the same thickness. They also had a one piece gear like Ford. Make sure the spacer is used if required. If the 5th drive gear has end play (about .125") when it's snap ring is installed then a spacer is needed.

A working T-5 can have the GM spec parts without complete disassembly. The trans will have to be broken down to the point where the input shaft can be removed, but it is not necessary to remove the cluster gear. With the mainshaft out the Ford gears & syncros can be swapped to the GM mainshaft. The input shaft preload will have to be checked since the mainshaft bearing is positioned by the extension housing. Tools required for disassembly are a good pair of external snap ring pliers and a set of 'duck bill" pliers. Also needed is a brass or aluminum drift & hammer. Wrench sizes are metric.

Borg Warner makes a great service manual. This is a must have item. Step by step instructions are detailed for disassembly & assembly. Also included are the bearing preload instructions. Both the cluster gear & input & mainshaft bearings are tapered rollers so preload is important. There are no gaskets used. All surfaces are sealed with RTV. The assembly steps are carefully outlined, but I would suggest that the trans be assembled without RTV sealant to the point where the shifting can be verified. If you have to disassemble the trans because of a mistake it can get messy. BTDT! When all is well remove the extension housing, top cover, & input bearing retainer and seal with RTV.

I bought a T-5 overhaul kit from D&D Performance (248-926-6220) & was impressed with the contents. All the bearings, snap rings, spacers, shims, syncro keys & syncros and small parts were included. Different thickness shims were included for proper bearing preload. I also purchased the 2.95 gearset from them.

The GM T-5 is rotated at a greater angle that the Ford version. Because of this a wedge shape adapter has to be fabricate to interface the GM extension housing with a Ford transmission mount. This is really a simple part to make, but I chose to buy one from Jim Deberry (803-788-5597) since he already has the part designed.

The guys at D&D were real helpful with this project. They specialize in Ford T-5's but refereed me to Paul at Liberty Gear (313-278-4040) for the GM spec items. Liberty Gear deals mostly in GM spec T-5's. Paul was also very helpful and knowledgeable. He sold me a used WC GM mainshaft & 5th gear assy for $150. I thought his prices were very fair & service was good.

I spent a total of $790 on the trans. If I did not want the 2.95 first gear (or had one to start with) the price would have been around $300, including the complete small parts kit. Since I did not start with a complete trans it took a bit of thinking to get it together. I liken the task similar to building one of those foam 3-D puzzles. If you can build one on them going through a T-5 will be easy.

In summary, the minimum parts required to put a GM spec mainshaft on a Ford trans are:

  • GM extension housing & shifter (WC or NWC)
  • GM spec WC mainshaft
  • GM spec shifter shaft
  • GM spec 5th gear assembly with spacer (if needed)
  • WC bearing shim kit

    I hope this info is helpful. If needed feel free to email me at dgodfrey@peimail.com.

    Last updated on 11 September 2001 by Chris Anglin

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