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Author Topic: 2.3 automatic to t5 conversion  (Read 1571 times)

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Offline 1978wagon

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2.3 automatic to t5 conversion
« on: May 28, 2015, 10:33:15 AM »
Hi, I am considering putting a t5 into my wagon. I have seen lots of posts here about it. Can anyone please boil it down to one post and give me the list of parts I will need, what cars they come from. I also have a camaro t5 tail housing from another project, will that tail housing bring the shifter back to where the stock pinto shifter is located. Thanks

Offline Wittsend

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Re: 2.3 automatic to t5 conversion
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2015, 11:51:05 AM »
I don't know that you will get one person to give you a concise list because there are some variables. But, hopefully you can glean from multiple inputs what you need.

Obviously you will need a T-5 from a 2.3 Ford. The Turbo Coupes and the Mustangs are the most likely places to find one. There are a number of belhousings to use. The 87-88 Turbo Coupes, while a good source for the trans..., isn't ideal for the belhousing because it is hydraulically operated. The earlier Turbo Coupe bellhousing is a bellcrank type and in my opinion more desirable. There is also a direct pull bellhousing and I believe that is the one from the Merkur.

You will need the flywheel, pressure plate, clutch disc, throw out bearing, clutch fork and clutch cable associated with the 2.3 and the bellhousing you choose.  You will need to add a pilot bearing to the back of the crankshaft. You may need to change the engine to trans plate, but I'm not sure about that.  If you use the bellcrank bellhousing you will need a steel piece to elevate the cable over the crossmember. This is an easy piece to construct, just a slender steel plate with two holes. One to bolt to the transmission at the original mounting hole and another hole to connect the cable.

You will need the appropriate clutch/brake pedals.  I've been told the Pinto used four types. Assuming you have a '78 Pinto be careful because some of the year differences were predicated on if you had a brake booster - or not. Hopefully someone can direct you better than I.  You will have to give consideration to a clutch safety switch (I'd advise one). This will require a homemade bracket. The wiring can be sourced from the Automatic safety switch for that. You will also have to connect the back-up light switch.

IF..., the 78 Pinto has the same transmission crossmember as the '73 I did, you will need to reverse the piece and slot the holes to align with the transmission mount. I reused the C-4 mount.

The driveshaft will be predicated on the rearend you use.  I went from a C-4 / 6-3/4" rear to a T-5 / 8" rear and the original driveshaft fit perfectly. Others have mentioned a 45-1/2" driveshaft from an Aerostar.

If you acquire a T-5 from a car with an electronic speedometer you will have to adapt for using a cable drive speedometer. I reused the C-4 gear, but WARNING: The tip of the gear needs to be removed. I did not do this, the gear bound to the back of the housing and drove the output shaft gear backwards - out of mesh. I almost had to pull the tailshaft..., but then found the tubes from those 90's halogen torch light just fit over the output shaft, but inside the rear bushing and allowed me to push the gear back into place.

I have no experience with the Camaro tailshaft. The Turbo Coupe tailshaft puts the shifter about 3" forward of the stock location.  This requires elongating the hole. This also puts the lever in 1st, 3rd and 5th gear way far forward and in my opinion too close to the dash.  I'm 6 ft. tall so factor that into the seat position (which I prefer mostly back and rear tilted).  I used a plate to move the lever rearward and cut/welded the lever as to what seemed most appropriate. If you do this it is very tricky not to induce angles that produce odd leverage for the gear changes. It was a lot of trial and error and while better, still not ideal.  Also consider how you will trim out the installation. I used the lower Turbo Coupe cover/boot (bent to fit). I then covered that with a Merkur console.

Anyway, this is just me experience. Others I'm sure will have more to add (maybe correct).  You will have to sift through and decide the route you want to take. I've included pictures of the modified transmission crossmember, the elevating of the clutch cable used with the bellcrank bellhousing and the shifter modifications.

Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: 2.3 automatic to t5 conversion
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2015, 06:46:34 PM »
I wrote this up to clear the air on the 2 direct pull bellhousings that fit a T5
'73 Sedan (I'll get to it)
'76 Wagon driver
'80 hatch(Restoring to be my son's 1st car)~Callisto
'71 half hatch (bucket list Pinto)~Ghost
'72 sedan 5.0/T5~Lemon Squeeze