Part of the kit we received from Modern Driveline included a complete nodular iron flywheel, a clutch set with throwout bearings, pilot bushing, an alignment tool, and a pressure-plate assembly. The iron flywheel is the proper 157-tooth, 50-ounce-inch external-balance-style flywheel for the late-model 5.0L engines along with a Superior Clutch disc that offers organic material on one side and a Kevlar facing on the side shown in this photo. According to Bruce Couture at Modern, the steel backing on the organic side of the disc helps retain the facings, especially under high-rpm downshifts. The final piece is a Superior diaphragm pressure plate that offers excellent holding power.>>>
T5 Trans Swap
In addition to stepping up to a strong small-block, we didn't want to wimp out with an automatic. But to keep a reign on the budget, we decided to go with a more common World Class T5 trans rather than the pricey Tremec TKO 500 or 600 transmissions. While researching the best way to perform this swap, our Ford buddies all recommended Modern Driveline (MD). Bruce Couture's company specializes in early Mustang T5 and six-speed conversions and offers multiple ways to get there. Amazingly, the stock T5 trans fits under the stock floorpan. And with minimal surgery, the stock location shifter fits almost like it was intended. Couture offers a cable-clutch linkage conversion similar to the '80s vintage Fox-body Mustang arrangement to minimize the hassle factor and avoid the complexity of hydraulic systems. The cable linkage bolts in using the stock clutch pedal, but MD does offer an internal hydraulic clutch release system as an option.
Since our Mustang was originally an automatic, we needed a new clutch pedal. Rather than buy a new brake pedal, MD suggests merely cutting down the automatic pedal to fit the new brake pad. MD uses a cable instead of a mechanical clutch linkage for this conversion because it fits better with most headers. The cable does require drilling a hole in the firewall near the master cylinder, but that's the extent of the fabrication required to assemble the linkage.>>>
This is the QuickTime scattershield, created using a different material-forming process that allows it to be made from thinner steel yet still pass the SFI explosion-containment requirements. QuickTime also claims much greater accuracy for input-shaft alignment than other scattershields.>>>
MD's pervasive conversion parts list includes a Superior Clutch set as well as a custom-built T5 trans crossmember. If you're considering this swap, MD also offers either new Tremec boxes or rebuilt T5s. According to Couture, most of his customers step up to a new transmission because the price increase is only $400 over a rebuild.
The MD system also comes with a custom T5 trans crossmember that allows you to bolt the T5 directly in with no fabrication required and offers excellent exhaust clearance. This also included the correct trans mount and hardware. We also included a new Hurst shifter handle and ball to complete the swap. The three- and four-speed shifter handles bolt to the left side of the transmission while the T5 shifter is inline with the transmission centerline, so the T5 does sit slightly more to the right compared with the stock shifter, but the difference is minimal. MD also includes a new speedometer cable and optimized speedometer-driven gear that is used towork with our 8.8's 3.50:1 gear ratio and rear tire size.>>>
We did have to trim the forward portion of the stock shifter hole about 3/8 inch in a semicircle to create room for the stock T5 transmission shifter mount, but the material removed is minimal and no welding is required. MD does offer a shifter that fits the stock opening. We also had to bypass the neutral safety switch by splicing the wires together.>>>
One of the best parts of this swap is that you don't have to cut massive holes in the car to complete this conversion. If a stouter small-block or a big-block is your plan, MD also offers TKO five-speed and T56 six-speed transmissions, but the T56 does require raising the transmission hump to clear this much larger box. MD also has multiple bellhousing choices. You can go with a stock type aluminum unit, or you can do what we did and choose a new steel bellhousing from a new company called QuickTime that offers a lighter, 27-pound, SFI-spec scattershield that allows the use of either a pull-type cable clutch or the standard push-type mechanical linkage. You can check out all the trick one-off-style bellhousings from QuickTime at quicktimeinc.com. Modern Driveline's kit also includes a driveshaft for your particular rearend application. Our car would require a different shaft because of the 8.8 Mustang conversion we performed.