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Unread 11-14-2007   #1 (permalink)
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Default 1983 Mustang GT w/ 5-speed, but 5th gear won't engage

5th gear isn't working. All other gears are fine, but trying to shift into 5th, nothing happens. There is in some attempts a very light grinding, like there's a gear there but it's not fully engaging.

Now, that being said, I'm planning to rebuild the transmission myself, anyway (it's a project car after all, so why not try to acquire a new skill? Worst case, I botch it horribly, in which case I'm back where I started, i.e., needing someone to rebuild the thing for me). But will it be something that most likely requires replacing that 5th gear? Any ideas on this?

Also, is there a good book for transmission repair and rebuild, geared toward these T-5s?

Thanks to all.
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Unread 11-14-2007   #2 (permalink)
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It could be a slider ring or the shift fork inside the tranny not operating properly. Found a book at Amazon...

Amazon.com: Transmission Repair Book Ford 1960 to 2007: Automatic and Manual: Books: Max Ellery
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Unread 11-19-2007   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the link, the book looks good.

Think a hydraulic press would be needed? I'm seeing some say yes and some say no. I don't have one and if I needed one I would need to weigh if it would really be worth it to try to do this myself or just save us and have someone else do the rebuild (or just buy a new or remanufactured TKO or something). These early T-5s seem to have a pretty bad reputation. I won't ever be racing it...I'd just like to get it to stock good running condition for my boys.
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Unread 11-19-2007   #4 (permalink)
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A press would be good to have, there'll be parts that'll need to be pressed on and off. Or you can have just those parts taken off/put on and save money.
You go to OU?
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Unread 11-20-2007   #5 (permalink)
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I did...graduated in December '95. So it's been a while, but I do get back to campus on occasion (as you can see, I live in CO now).

So if I needed parts pressed on or off, I could just take them somewhere and they'd do it for me? For a small fee, I'm guessing? That would be extremely helpful. I'd like to do this myself if possible, but I rent right now so room in the garage is at a premium, and I don't have the cash to spare for lots of expensive tools.

As another example of this, I was very pleased to do the compression test and have all 8 cylinders test to 110-120 psi and get there in 1-2 strokes. No engine-out rebuild for me!!! WOOHOO!!
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Unread 11-20-2007   #6 (permalink)
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as long as you build the tranny right the t5 is a pretty damn good tranny. it's no tko but will last a long time if you dont beat the crap out of it. as far as the gears go, you asked if you would have to replace 5th gear. in the tranny all of the gears are meshed all the time. that grinding sound is the synchro grinding. as far as doing it yourself, theres only one way to learn something. if you go to TTC Transmission Technologies Corporation they have the full t5 service manual. it will take a while to figure everything out but will be worth it and you will save a lot of money. the first one i ever did went pretty slow but it turned out good and since then i have built several that are rock solid. right now i'm running my world class behind a 425 hp 351 and it hasn't missed a beat. you definitely need access to a press and you will need a splitter tool to press off the bearings and gears. if you are confident in yourself i say go for it
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Unread 11-20-2007   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice and info. I definitely want to do this myself if at all possible. How big a press would I need? I can get a 12-ton hydraulic shop press online for about $120 and a 20-ton for about $185. Would that do it? If not, I'll need to find someone who has a bigger one.
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Unread 11-20-2007   #8 (permalink)
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The 12 ton would be enough to do, and it'll eventually pay for itself. You could take those parts needing attention to a shop, yes, and of course there'll be a fee. Most shops see this practice all the time, those who can do their own work but don't have the presses they need. It shouldn't be too much of a fee.
And I was supposed to have gone to either OU or Nebraska for both baseball and football, I would've graduated in 1995 myself had I been able to go when I was supposed to.
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Unread 11-20-2007   #9 (permalink)
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Both are excellent schools, esp. for football and baseball. I was born and raised in OK, so I've been a Sooner fan since I was, oh, maybe 6 months old?

Thanks again for the advice and info on this. I'm eager to give it a try...now I just need a taller jack to get under the beast and a transmission jack to get the thing out of there...
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Unread 11-20-2007   #10 (permalink)
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I was born in Henryetta and on Thanksgiving Day 1971 I was 5 months old. That's when Oklahoma and Nebraska played what's called the Game Of The Century and I was watching it on tv. We were in Oklahoma City and when they took me from the game to the table I apparently got upset and wouldn't calm down till they put me back.
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Unread 11-21-2007   #11 (permalink)
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A man after my own heart...very nice! I still get upset like that when I have to stop watching the game, even today.

The very first football game I went to was an OU-Nebraska game, I think in 1982 or 1983 (in Norman, of course). It was cold and wet, as it often was for those games. Most of the games I went to as a kid were OU-Nebraska, because those were always the best ones every year.
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Unread 11-21-2007   #12 (permalink)
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If it was 1983, Oklahoma lost because Nebraska rolled to the National Title game (lost to Miami). And nothing gets me going more than college football. It's better than pro ball because they're not being paid, and they need to be perfect to have a chance. Pros, a team can go 8-8 and win the championship.
I've always wanted to go to one of those games, and I hope I do someday.
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