The Tremec T5 gearbox swap FAQ, OZ edition, v1.01

edited April 10 in Articles & Guides

[1] I want to swap my factory Volvo transmission for a Tremec T5. What do I need?

  • A suitable World Class T5 gearbox
  • A replacement input shaft to suit your gearbox. More detail below
  • An M45 / M46 bellhousing, with good clutch fork, and a new throwout bearing. Note that fitting a pre-LH2.4 bellhousing to an LH2.4 car will require the removal of metal on the top of the belling for the RPM sensor.
  • An adapter plate kit - more detail below
  • A manual pedal box
  • A suitable gearbox crossmember. You can either modify the existing factory crossmember with a plate to support the T5's transmission mount, or Yoshifab sells replacement crossmembers off-the-shelf for fitting the T5 in a 140, 240, and 700/900.
  • A suitable flat flywheel. For LH 2.4 cars, this means having the 60-2 timing pattern on the flywheel.
  • A replacement spigot bearing. Australian Clutch's ASB501R (17mm x 35mm x 17.4mm) or similar is what you want.
  • A suitable clutch assembly, with a 10-spline plate to match the input shaft
  • Clutch master and slave cylinder, or clutch cable (depending on the manual configuration for your year model)
  • A shortened front driveshaft. You can replace the factory two-piece driveshaft with a single-piece unit, but be aware that the driveshaft might rub on a seam on the top of the transmission tunnel when the rear suspension goes into bump. So watch your driveshaft diameter.
  • (recommended) A slip yoke for the T5 end of the driveshaft, part number F6ZZ-4841-BA. This is a weighted slip yoke from a Ranger, and is recommended due to many swappers experiencing vibrations during throttle overrun. Alternatively, a rubber guibo similar to that fitted to some factory Volvo manual gearboxes.
  • Time, patience, tools, and $BEVERAGE.


[2] What type of T5 gearbox do I need?

Let's start with some numbers.

The late 140/240 has a dimension of 525mm (20.6 inches) from transmission face to shifter centreline.

The 700/900 has has a dimension of 625mm (24.5 inches) from transmission face to shifter centreline.

The DeeWorks adapter plate is 12mm thick.

The 0552-066-903 extension housing (Ford EB-EL) gives a length of 555mm from transmission face to standard shifter centreline. With the addition of the adapter plate, this length becomes 567mm from bell to shifter centre. This places the shifter rearwards about 1 inch in a 140/240 from standard position.

The 0552-066-906 extension housing (Ford AU) gives a length of about 605mm (23.8 inches) from transmission face to standard shifter centreline. With the addition of the adapter plate, this length becomes about 617mm from bell to shifter centre. This places the shifter very close to standard position in a 700/900.

The 0552-066-901 extension housing (Commodore VN-VS) gives a length of about 585mm (23 inches) from transmission face to standard shifter centreline. A bit long for 140/240; a bit short for 7/9. The V6 Commodore boxes have a Ford pattern maincase, and a needle roller type input shaft.

The 0557-066-926 extension housing (BA Ford) gives a length of about 624mm (24.5 inches) from transmission face to standard shifter centreline. Too long for 140/240, and a little big long for a 7/9 once the adapter plate is added.

Measurements for the US-type extension housings (1352-066-xxx part numbers) are published elsewhere on the web. No need to repeat them here.

What you're basically looking for is one of these:

0552-072 96DA-7003-BB   EL V8   extn hsg 0552-066-903

0552-066 91DA-7003-DA   EB2 V8

0557-020 WR2T-7003-BB   AU3 XR8 extn hsg 0557-066-906

The V6 Commodore box has an extension housing numbered 0552-066-901.**

**(to be updated when more tag number and other info is available)


[3] Why are the gearbox tag numbers important, and why should I mostly ignore the numbers cast onto the external parts of the gearbox when trying to identify a T5 gearbox?

T5 gearboxes are a bit like Lego - they have a plethora of different internal and external components available to make up different assemblies. Tremec* made OE gearboxes for a huge variety of vehicles, and many components are shared across the range. For example, the maincases have part numbers stamped on them, and the same maincases are shared across a large number of different assemblies. Extension housings for Holden and Ford 6s and V8s are shared between models too.

Only the tag number tells the story of what components are inside (that is, presuming the box is unmolested). The same numbered maincase may house a weak US 4 cylinder cluster gearset, or the strong "070" type V8 cluster shaft. Without pulling the thing apart, the only way to check what's inside is via the tag number.

At one time, some clevva fellas were swapping V8-type input shafts onto V6 Commodore boxes, and flogging 'em as V8 boxes. Then these got put into V8s and .....

... this sort of thing happened.

So, buyer beware; check your tags. No tags? No buy.

* = see [9]


[4] Why can't I find my Australian-made T5 tag number on the lists of T5 assemblies found all over the internet?

Because Borg Warner Australia / BTR Engineering never published an application list.

Tremec in the USA, did.

That list, and details copied from it, is the one you'll see all over the web.

Australian made T5s use a mix of US-type components, and locally manufactured items. For example, Australian-made extension housings have a "0552" or "0557" part number cast on them; the Nth American versions have a 13-52 part number instead. ("1352" denotes the part is a T5 family component). So you'll see maincases on Aussie boxes with 1352 part numbers cast on them. Likewise, the tag numbers on Australian T5s have either an 0552 or 0557 number on them.

Here's an example.

91DA 7003 CA is Ford's part number for the gearbox, in this case, it's from a EB2 XR6 Ford.

0552-006 is the BTR / Tremec assembly number for an Australian-made T5.

1453 is the serial number for this gearbox.


[5] What adapter plates are on the market?

  • The DeeWorks adapter plate kit. Available from DeeWorks in Canada directly, or via Yoshifab. Bolts on.
  • The BNE Dynamics T5 / TKO plate. This adapter requires some machining of the Volvo bellhousing.
  • @Vee_Que makes an adapter plate here in Australia. A revised version is in the works. Bolts on.


[6] What type of input shaft will I need to make these kits easily work in my car?

Firstly, you must remove the input shaft from the box you've chosen, and do a tooth count. It will be either 23 or 24 teeth. You'll also need to note if it's a needle roller type or tapered pocket type bearing shaft.

Then once you've done that, you'll need to order a 10-spline input shaft which has a total length of 9.25 inches(including the gear which fits into the box) and a shaft length of 7.18 inches. Some call it the "Fox body Mustang shaft" which is a bit vague. Fox body, dog's body.... meh - I prefer actual part numbers.

For an original needle bearing input shaft with 24 teeth: 1352-085-020   

For an original needle bearing input shaft with 23 teeth: 1352-085-025   

For an original tapered bearing input shaft with 23 teeth: 1352-085-050   

For an original tapered bearing input shaft with 24 teeth: 1352-085-060   

See also [8] below.


[7] What's the difference between a needle roller input shaft bearing type input shaft, and a tapered input bearing type input shaft?

Pictures speak louder than words, so.....

Below is a needle-roller type input shaft. Note the ledge on the inside of the shaft.

Below is a tapered bearing type input shaft.

Note how this version doesn't have a ledge, and how there's a bearing cup deep inside the input shaft.

This pic just shows the tapered input shaft bearing just peeking out after the input shaft's been removed, and sitting in the gearbox.

The tapered input bearing type boxes are more desirable, since they're somewhat stronger.


[8] Why should I look for a Ford V8 box, and not a Ford 6 cylinder box, or a Holden V8 box?

The later versions of Australian Ford 6 cylinder T5s with the tapered input shaft bearing used a cluster set which is not compatible with US-type input shafts. So the tooth count might match with the list of 4 shafts above, but the helix angle of the gear on the input shaft and the angle of the gear on the cluster won't match, and so it won't fit in your 6 cylinder Ford gearbox. The 6-cylinder Ford input shafts are too short to work with the kits listed above.

That said, one person had his Ford 6 input shaft modified and lengthened by a specialist machine shop to work with an adapter kit, so it can be done, however this type of modification is a specialist job and isn't something that can be done easily with basic tools. If you're got a Ford 6-pot box and you want to keep it, don't buy a shaft - getting the input shaft lengthened is your only solution if you want to use one of the off-the-shelf kits.

The exception to Ford 6 cylinder T5 boxes having strange innards is the BA turbo box, tag number 3R23-7003-CB or 0557-008. This gearbox has a tapered bearing input shaft, the strong V8 cluster set and V8 gears, but has a fine spline input shaft as standard to fit the Barra 6. Since this box uses the '070' V8 cluster, it's compatible with a US-type input shaft. If you find one, bear in mind you'll have to change the extension housing and top cover to make it fit nicely, but it will look a bit funny at the back, since the BA box has a looong mainshaft. See?


As for why you don't want a V8 Commodore box, well....

There are two basic types of T5 maincases: GM, and Ford, The Holden V8 T5 gearboxes use a "GM" pattern maincase, which is like a Muncie pattern at the bellhousing end. All other T5s fitted to Australian cars use a Ford pattern maincase (yes, even the V6 Commodores).

The commonly available adapter plates listed above all require a Ford pattern maincase. See the picture below for the difference.

You could always strip out a V8 Commodore box and rehouse the guts in a Ford maincase to get the whole shebang to work, but.... yeah.


[8a] What's the difference between Borg Warner, BTR Engineering, and Tremec T5s?

None.

Borg-Warner Australia become BTR Engineering, and Borg-Warner USA sold the T5 design to Tremec Corp. The Australian made BW/BTR/Tremec boxes however have some unique parts to fit Commodores and Falcons; e.g. input shafts, and the Ford 6 boxes as already discussed.


[9] What's the difference between Non World Class (NWC) and World Class (WC) T5 boxes?

Three big ones.

Firstly, the countershaft bearing visible in the front of the box is the different between NWC and WC boxes. A NWC will have a groove around the bearing; a WC box won't, and will likely be labeled Timken and sit flush with the case.

See pic below - WC on the left, NWC maincase on the right.

Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted that these two transmissions below are GM pattern maincases, but the bearings in Ford maincases also share these differences.

Secondly, the NWC uses brass synchos inside; the WC uses fibre-lined synchos. This also means you don't use ordinary gear oil in a WC box - you should be using Dexron II ATF or similar because fibre-lined synchros.

Thirdly, WC boxes have better and stronger internal components from factory than NWC units.


[10] Is this all I need to know about doing a T5 swap?

No, of course not. This FAQ is meant as the first stage of your research, not the end of it. You'll need to think about other things like tailshaft balancing, runout checks (Tremec specifies 0.005 inch runout max), reverse light wiring, speedo drive, etc. The DeeWorks kit has a very good installation guide, which includes how to shim up your input shaft for end float.

END

The usual disclaimers apply; E&OE, etc.

This FAQ will updated / corrected as necessary and when more knowledge becomes available.

2022-03-24: Updated [8] [and [6]

timboMatt1275sVolvoHordzBradSpacEx850RpigdogramrodAshDVScarnut1100and 2 others.
Tagged:
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Comments

  • pigdogdave @pigdog Wollongong NSW

    this is absolutely brilliant!!

    thankyou for all the information and the time it wouldve taken to put together

    bgpzfm142
  • Matt1275sMatt @Matt1275s Northern Territory

    Great write up, good to see all the information in one post.

    Question for anyone who has done this before, what is invoved in swapping extension housings? Is it a matter of just straight swapping one extension housing to another, or will shift linkages, output shafts etc also need to be changed alongside?

  • Along with the extension housing, it's advisable to also salvage the top cover / shift rod assembly at the same time from the box you're using as a donor.

    Paul Cangialosi's video of stripping down a T5 is worth watching. He also stocks a cluster reinforcement plate and peel-off shim kits for T5 transmissions' input shafts.

    The T5 overhaul manual is easy to find on the web.

    However, you won't find a comprehensive T5 parts manual around. The closest you'll find is the 2008 Drive Train Components catalog. Since T5s were OE in many vehicles, the parts manuals might be found in various OE vehicle workshop manuals, and may or may not show Tremec part numbers along with the vehicle manufacturer's own part numbers.

    Some T5s have a reverse brake setup. This means the casting on the inside of the extension housing is slightly different to those without it, but AFAIK the extension housings will interchange with a little work.

    The mainshaft of my FrankenBox T5 (pic above, sitting in the ute tray) pokes out of the replacement extension housing more than usual since I started with a BA Ford Turbo box, and then had an EB housing put on the back so it would fit in my 142. Since the BA mainshaft is longer, that's the result.

    Matt1275s
  • Ok, I'm confused. I bought a ef el 6 cylinder t5 because apparently that was a good box to start with, as per the old thread. This thread says they're no use. Can someone confirm whether I can use this box?

  • Your options are -

    [a] Get the input shaft lengthened so it's the same length and dimensions as a 1352-085-060 shaft (total length of 9.25 inches (including the gear which fits into the box) and a shaft length of 7.18 inches). (Specialist job - may not be as strong as original) The shop which modified Tree's input shaft has since lost its website - it was

    Gear Repair Australia

    5/25 Childs Rd, Chipping Norton NSW 2170

    Phone: (02) 9755 5250

    [b] Keep the extension housing and top cover from the EL box, and get something else (e.g. Commodore V6 box) then put the EL extension housing and top cover on it so it will fit a 240. Note: Commodore V6 box is a needle roller type input, so not as strong as a V8 tapered bearing type box.

    [c] Replace the cluster with the 1352-077-070 for the V8 and gears to match, then get a 1352-085-060 tapered bearing input shaft. (Expensive, since the 070 cluster I got from Mal Wood was about $586 on its own).

    [d] Sell the 6-pot box and get a V8 box.

  • pigdogdave @pigdog Wollongong NSW
    edited March 23

    same haha

    I bought a El falcon box off another member who already did the input shaft.

    everything we read was that the 6 cylinder El falcon box is the one you need for a 240

    also I thought we didn't want the v8 boxes because the ratios are horrible for a 240

  • edited March 23

    The issue with the old T5 thread was it was 18 pages long, and it was an ongoing work in progress. Unless you read the whole thread, it was easy to miss the parts where things went awry, like in the middle of the thread when people bought Ford 6-pot boxes, did the tooth count, ordered an input shaft, then discovered that the US type input shafts of the same type (i.e. needle roller or tapered bearing) and tooth count didn't fit in those Ford 6 boxes. Or when they ordered a needle roller input shaft and had a box with a tapered bearing input shaft.

    The US experience has been that the V8 ratios work fine with +t redblocks.

    The 2.95:1 first gear in most V8 T5s is a bit taller than the M46 first:

    1st - 2.95:1

    2nd - 1.94:1

    3rd - 1.34:1

    4th - 1.00:1

    5th - 0.63:1

    One of the XR8s boxes had these ratios:

    1st - 3.35:1   

    2nd - 1.99:1   

    3rd - 1.33:1   

    4th - 1.00:1   

    5th - 0.68:1

    That said, the Volvo M46 box has these ratios:

    1st - 3.71:1 or 4.03:1

    2nd - 2.16:1

    3rd - 1.37:1

    4th - 1.00:1

    Overdrive - 0.79:1

    So IMHO and experience, the M46 first is far too short anyway.

    PS: ETA - Initially I was confused about where the recommendations for the Ford 6 pot box came from in the old thread, after the experience of regulars proved it's clearly not the easiest way to do this swap. Sure enough, on page 17 this 'recommendation' came from somebody who posted here twice, 5 years ago, and offered to answer "any questions about T5 gearboxes", didn't, and hasn't been back since August 2017. Maybe he's been too busy changing syncros after using 10-30 gear oil in his WC boxes.....

  • pigdogdave @pigdog Wollongong NSW

    I'm not sure what type of input shaft my T5 box has but it's an El falcon box with the mustang Input shaft installed.

    I think I will still go ahead with the swap I already have everything ready to go

  • @pigdog - As long as the input shaft is 7.18 inches long from transmission face forwards, it should be okay to use with one of the off-the-shelf kits. If the spigot end of the input shaft isn't 17mm OD, you'll need a different one to the one listed above, with an OD of 35mm to fit into the Volvo crank and an ID of whatever the spigot end of your input is.

    Not sure which kit you have, so to cover them all: The DeeWorks kit has its own input shaft retainer flange which fits into the M45 bellhousing, and the instructions with that kit tell how to re-shim the end float on the input shaft. The VQ and BNE plates use the original T5 input shaft retainer.

    pigdog
  • pigdogdave @pigdog Wollongong NSW

    I'll have to measure it all

    the T5 conversion I bought consists of :

    EL T5 box with "correct" input shaft installed

    correct pilot bearing for that shaft

    m47 bellhousing and sleeve for T5

    VQ adaptor plate

    modified flat flywheel

    VQ clutch and pressure plate kit.


    hopefully its all good haha

    once I'm back from nationals the car will be going in the shed to attack it all

    bgpzfm142
  • I have the vq plate and an el box. Considering the price of v8 boxes at 1k a go I'll keep ehat I have. So I need a 7.18 inch shaft with a needle bearing? What splines?

  • edited March 23

    Edited, the pic with the box patterns and shaft sizes is wrong, cosworth use 23 spline not 10.

  • edited March 23

    Edited, re read the guide


  • That's in the old thread, not this one. It's a Dellow graphic and table. It's so vague and non-specific that it's confusing and has inaccuracies like that, making it useless AFAIC. That is why I deliberately didn't use that table in this thread. For example, there's more than one version of a "Group A Commodore" - there's two Group A versions alone just for the VL - and it doesn't mention how the T5 in one of them - assembly 1352-187, GM p/n 92034927 - is a NWC box. Or how that oft-used term "Ford V8 Mustang" can refer to any one of a dozen different assemblies, with differing input shaft lengths, spline counts, bearing types, spigot bearing requirements, tooth counts, ratios, and extension housings.

  • Thanks mate. So I have a lead on a commo v6 t5. I've just unpacked my kit and I have an input shaft In it also. If I post pics can you tell me what it is?

  • Get pics of -

    • the tag on the box
    • the maincase part number
    • the extension housing part number
    • measurement of the input shaft length
    sloth
  • pigdogdave @pigdog Wollongong NSW

    I may have a problem.

    the input shaft in the falcon box isn't as long as you said it needs to be.


  • Ayup; a 167mm Ford 6 shaft. What is the tag number on the box?

  • pigdogdave @pigdog Wollongong NSW
    edited March 24

    the guy I got it off bought and installed this Shaft so guessing he got the wrong one?

    it's the correct spline for the VQ clutch

    there's no tag on the box.

    he told me it was a El falcon box and I confirmed that by the size of the box

  • So pics. Box tag reads 94DA 7003 AA, ef or el world class box. Has wc cup for layshaft bearing.

    It has a 10 spline, short, taper bearing input shaft. I pulled it out to check. The dia of the cog is identical to my shaft in my kit, and it is 23 teeth on both. However my kit is a needle type shaft.


    I cant find a case part number. Back housing is in lowest pic. It had a 6cyl bellhousing.


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