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How To: Mustang AOD to T5 Transmission Swap - Part 4 (1984-1993)
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Published on 2017-02-02
One of the more popular swaps known to the Fox platform is swapping the boring AOD automatic transmission for that of a T5. Now granted, we all prefer our own setups, and that's totally fine. But, let's be honest? Bangin' gears in a Fox Mustang is about as American as you can get!
Part 4 of the series will mainly cover prep work before the installation of the T5 transmission. This includes rear main seal replacement, pilot bearing install, and the related clutch components. We also installed a 5.0Resto steel bearing retainer onto our used T5.
How’s it going everyone? Landan with Late Model Restoration! Our AOD to T5 transmission swap series has now made it to part 4. This segment covers T5 prep which involves bearing retainer upgrade, rear main seal replacement, and pilot bearing installation; along with flywheel, spacer plate, clutch disk, and pressure plate assembly placement. We’re almost to the finish line so let’s knock it out!
Like any detailed swap series, I encourage you to watch parts one, two, and three to get a better understanding about the swap and to see what we’ve already accomplished. To this point, I have removed the majority of the interior, swapped out pedal assemblies, and have removed the AOD transmission.
Part 4 will involve all of the prep work to get the T5 ready for install. I use several new parts during these steps some of which are required and I would encourage you to do the same if you’re picking up a used setup.
These particular components include a new rear main seal, pilot bearing, spacer plate, flywheel bolts, a pressure plate and dowel pin kit, bellhousing bolt kit, transmission to bellhousing bolts, a pivot stud, clutch fork, and throw-out bearing.
If you do go the used T5 route, be sure and inspect the input bearing retainer. If it still has the factory aluminum retainer, get rid of that thing and upgrade to one of our steel bearing retainers. The T5 I’m using in this video had input bearing failure where the sleeve separated itself from the base. So removal and installation of the new bearing retainer is something I will cover in this segment!
With the AOD transmission now out of the way, this is the perfect time to service the rear main seal.
To do this, carefully use a small flathead to pry out the old seal.
Be sure and make a mental note of the seals orientation.
Clean the area with brake clean and inspect for any damage or foreign materials that could be present.
Once inspection is complete, apply a thin film of fresh oil to the outside of the rear main seal.
Position the seal into place with the back of the seal is facing towards you.
This will be the side doesn’t have the inner lip.
Lightly tap the seal into position until it is flush with the back of the engine block.
Now it’s time to install the pilot bearing.
Since the front face of the converter sits inside of the crankshaft, a pilot bearing is not needed for an automatic transmission.
Take your new pilot bearing and position it into the crankshaft.
Using an appropriate width deep impact socket and dead blow, tap the pilot bearing into place.
For this car, I am utilizing a T5 transmission from a donor car which still has good components.
I cleaned and scuffed the flywheel’s mating surface prior to install.
This was done with WD-40, a Scotch-brite pad and then rinsed with brake clean.
Utilizing new pressure plate retaining hardware, apply a liberal amount of thread locker to the threads.
Position the spacer plate intended for a manual transmission over the dowels in the engine block.
Then align the flywheel bolt holes with the crankshaft.
If they don’t line up, keep rotating the flywheel until they are all aligned with one another.
Thread the retaining bolts into the crankshaft and loosely tighten.
For extra leverage when torqueing the flywheel retaining hardware, screw in a few pressure plate bolts into the flywheel.
Position a pry bar in between the bolts and then torque the flywheel retaining hardware to 75 to 85 ft/lbs working in a cross pattern.
Once the flywheel retaining bolts are torqued, go ahead and remove the pressure plate bolts.
Wipe the flywheel mating surface again with brake clean and make sure the pilot bearing has enough grease.
Since the flywheel I am using already had the pressure plate locating dowels installed, this was not shown.
To do this, simply tap the locating dowels into the correct location on the flywheel.
Slide the alignment tool through the clutch disk and then position it into place.
Make sure the raised part of the disk is facing away from the flywheel.
Wipe the pressure plate to clutch disk mating surface with brake clean and apply thread locker to the new pressure plate retaining hardware.
Position the pressure plate assembly over the dowel pins in the flywheel.
Loosely thread the retaining hardware.
Make sure the alignment tool is still centered and then torque the pressure plate retaining hardware to 12 to 24 ft/lbs, working in a cross pattern.
Now you can remove the alignment tool.
Apply grease to the pivot stud pocket on the clutch fork along with a thin film in the areas where the throw-out bearing is going to make contact.
Even though I am using donor parts, I did utilize a new clutch fork, pivot stud and throw-out bearing.
Be sure and apply grease to the pivot stud head along with a thin film of grease to the inside and face of the throw-out bearing.
Slide the throw-out bearing into the clutch fork making sure the lip of the bearing is over the tension spring and NOT underneath!
Position the clutch fork into the bell housing and engage the fork onto the pivot stud.
Utilizing new hardware, install the bellhousing and loosely tighten the hardware.
Then torque the 6 bolts to 39 to 54 ft/lbs torqueing in a cross pattern.
Reposition the starter and retighten the retaining bolts.
Now I’m going to address the bearing retainer.
These steps are for anyone that is getting a T5 second hand and needs to replace the bearing retainer.
Place a two by four underneath the base of the transmission so it remains level.
Loosen and remove the four bearing retainer to transmission bolts.
It is normal for a little fluid to run out when removing the old retainer.
Taking a closer look at this retainer, the sleeve had separated itself from the base.
Use a small drift and hammer to separate the bearing retainer from the transmission.
Carefully scrape away any traces of old gasket maker.
Be sure and cover the area so that no debris enters the transmission.
Once all of the gasket maker is removed, thoroughly wipe down the area with brake clean.
Be sure and transfer the old shim and bearing race from the old retainer.
You may have to very lightly tap the race into the new retainer with a rubber mallet.
Thoroughly clean the four bolts.
Before continuing, make sure the tension ring inside of the retainer seal is NOT on the input shaft.
The new retainer will have one pre-installed into the seal.
Apply a thin film of fluid around the opening in the transmission.
Clean the back side of the new retainer with brake clean.
Apply a decent amount of gasket maker to retainer.
Position the new retainer over the input shaft making sure the fluid drain back grooves are on the sides and not up and down.
Lightly tap the retainer into place.
Reinstall the previously removed bolts and torque to 15 pound feet.
Once that is complete, now would be good time to drain and replace the fluid if you picked up a used transmission.
If you have new T5, simply open the fill plug and fill it with roughly 2 and a half quarts of transmission fluid or until fluid starts to seep from the opening.
To view our transmission fluid change video, click the link in the description or the card in the upper right hand corner on your screen.
That will conclude part 4 of our AOD to T5 swap series. I covered a lot of stuff, but pretty much all of it is very straightforward. I did fail to mention one thing. When choosing a flywheel for your swap, and if you’re still running a stock bottom 302, you’ll need a 50oz imbalance flywheel. If you have custom engine work, be sure and consult the engine builder for the proper balance.
For more information on the swap, click the link in the description. Next up is part five and we will cross the finish line on the swap! To stay up-to-date with this swap, subscribe to our YouTube channel if you haven't already done so. Until next time guys, keep it right here with the real Fox Mustang enthusiasts, LMR.com!