Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Robbinsdale, MN
Raptor, If you're going to mount slicks on it and flog it - you probably ought to look at a Tremec TKO (about $1500), or something like that.
Otherwise, look at it this way. First gear is the weak link, cause it's got a large gear and a small one to get the high ratio, and that small gear sees the greatest force (torque = force x distance, the smaller the distance - radius - the greater the force). It doesn't matter how much torque you put out, if it spins the tires, the limiting factor is the torque required to slip the tires. And if you're not using slicks, this torque is basically the same as a totally stock car, whether you're putting out 250 ft.-lbs. or 450 ft.-lbs. In higher gears you'll be more likely to expose the gears to the full engine torque, 'cause the tires'll be less likely to slip with less mechanical advantage - less torque at the wheels (same torque in the transmission) - but then you'll be using the gears that are stronger, because they're closer to equal in size. I'd listen to those that are running T-5's, more than to those that are merely spouting the conventional wisdom. If you're going to drag race it a lot, and/or run slicks, you're probably on borrowed time. But if it's pretty much a street car, and you don't really abuse it, you'll probably be o.k.
Another consideration is that the V6 T-5 is not the same as the V8 T-5. The conversion might be a hassle - the number of teeth in the spline is definitely different, the input shaft length may be different, and the bellhousing bolt pattern and mounting depth might be different - I don't know what all the issues are, or how big a hassle it is - maybe it just amounts to using the V6 clutch instead of the V8 clutch - I've never done it - don't know for sure. If you have to go looking for a V8 T-5, depending on what kind of deal you get, and whether you have to rebuild it, you may be just as well off looking at a Tremec or similar for peace of mind. Good luck. Find someone who knows the specifics of the V6 to V8 conversion with the V6 transmission.