My 2cents.....I've heard this said about T5s numerous times on this board. However, I have a T5 behind a healthy 350 in my 69. I didn't install it, it was there when I bought the car earlier this year. Now, I don't drop the clutch from 6000rpm, but I do drop it quite often and am pretty damn happy with having a close ratio on the low end without sacrificing highway speeds. The car has a Hayes clutch, I'm using the slave cylinder and am running 3.73 gears. Don't get me wrong, I understand that this is a relatively weak trans. God knows if I had the money laying around, I'd drop a Richmond 5 or 6 speed in. If you're in the same boat as I am (wife, kids, mortgage), I say go for it and just recognise that if you try to dump to much HP through it, you may be replacing it.
I agree with 69. There is ALOT of cars, Chevy and F*rd with stock T-5's hitting 11's-13's. Although racing it regularly it will probably break, street tire racing and daily driving it will be fine. I beat on my wife's T-5 all the time.
Raptor , My advise would be to find a super T-10 to replace the T-5. If you get some good horse power and traction your T-5 will self destruct.The T-10 comes in 2 styles aluminun and cast iron cases cast being stronger. Also come with 4 different ratio 1st gears
good luck Garry
Raptor, If you have the money to burn, go ahead and get a stronger trans. However, it sounds like you have a car that happens to already have a T5 in it and that you are looking to upgrade the engine. If that is your short term goal, then by all means, the T5 will work for you. You don't have to fix everything at once on your car.
I don't know how long the T5 has been in my car - I've only owned the car for about 8 months. I do drive it everyday 60+ miles to work (have a heavy foot), it's got a fairly healthy 350 and a 3.73 10bolt and the T5 is still alive and working flawlessly. I'll keep driving it with the T5 until I can sock away the money to build it the "right way". In the mean time, I've got many other things to speand my money on....
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.
Thanks. There are some very intellagent people on this site. I have alos heard that I can put in a T-56 trans but, I have to move a crossmember. They use the T-56 in the 4th gen camaros behind the 350 so they are a safe choice. Can you tell me more about the tremac. Will that bolt right into the 3rd gen camaro?? Also how many gears where can I buy one, and its that 1500 new or used, etc.
The Tremec can be had for about $1500 brand new - this probably doesn't include the bell housing. They are a 5 speed. Don't recall the gear ratios. I don't know all the details of the swap into a Camaro. I'm dropping a modified 350 into a Chrysler Conquest, and I put a rebuilt T-5 out of a 305 Camaro behind it. I figured I'd not be drag racing it, so it'd probably stand up for my use. (Like I said, if the stock car spins the tires, without slicks you can't really load it any harder than that in low gears, and the higher gears aren't the weak point.) I looked into the Tremec, but decided to save a few hundred and see how the T-5 did. Just about ready to fire it up, so I haven't put any miles on it.
Like I said, I'd look for advice from people who've done it, and seen the results, rather than conventional wisdom, which is mostly hearsay. But I'd believe those that say if you're drag racing it and hooking hard with slicks you've got a limited life with a T-5. The Tremec TKO is almost as strong as the T56, but may not be as smooth - don't know. The T56 (my first choice) is hard to find and way expensive, even used. It's also bulky as hell - may require extensive massaging to fit in in an older Camaro designed for the T-5. The TKO looked much closer in size to the T-5.
Good luck. Remember - free advice is often worth about what you pay for it. You've gotta sift through it and see what makes sense.
I have also always heard that the T-5 is almost a waste of time. It is a good point that you already have it. Tremec makes a 5 speed for 3rd gen cars. http://www.fortesparts.com/ Check it out. The TKO is almost $2000. Good luck ~ John
Ok, I will be using this for street, This thing will never see slicks untill i really get it modded. The only two problems with the Tremac is the Price and the cost to ship it here. I think i am goinng just try the T-5 for now and keep an eye out for any Used Tremacs. I am only a high school student so I have limited resources and the car won't see a track for a while. The only mods I have planned for the 350 is a Flowmaster American Thunder, Hooker Headers, and a Comp Cam.
www.darkhorseperformance.com has the Tremec 3550 (slightly reduced torque rating from the TKO, but still much stronger than the T-5) for about $1700, and the TKO for just under $2000, but both include shifter, speedo cable conversion, pilot bushing, etc. So it's a more complete, closer to bolt-in package than they used to offer, and a little spendier. They also have the T56 for $2400. They're generally a couple hundred bucks cheaper than Forte's, but I don't know what either are like to deal with. But, like you said, all pretty expensive compared to something you already have on hand.
I know a guy that had a Chevelle with a very stout 427 ahead of (I think) a T-10 with a 3.44 first or a Saginaw, the one with the 3.11 low gear,(out of a Vega??).
It was like you said. He didn't stay in low long enough to torque the transmission that hard, what with all the smoke and jumping up and down taking off. He swore by it and never had any trouble out of the weak trans. pdq67
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