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AOD to T5 swap procedure

108319 Views 64 Replies 35 Participants Last post by  meridian
Is your AOD (Automatic w/ Overdrive) or A4LD (Automatic 4 Speed Light Duty) giving you trouble? Want to get rid of that slush box forever? Why don't you do an Auto to T5 swap! Finally, a place where you can get the low down on exactly what it takes to convert from an Auto to a Ford T5 transmission, step by step. First, lets look at what you'll need for the conversion.

Note: The parts listed are for a T5 or T5Z transmission. Swapping to an aftermarket tranny (example: TKO, 3550, T56, etc.) will require a slightly different list of parts.


- Starter index plate
- Bell housing/scatter shield
- Pivot ball
- T5/T5Z transmission
- Shifter
- Shifter knob
- Shifter weather seal
- Shifter boot
- Flywheel
- Clutch kit (pressure plate, clutch disc, and throw out bearing)
- Pilot bearing
- Clutch fork
- Clutch cable
- Clutch cable clip (secures the cable to the bell housing)
- Pedal Assembly
- Clutch quadrant
- Speedometer gear
- Back-up light harness (Ford part# E7ZZ-15525-A)
- T5 transmission cross member
- Exhaust hanger

- Upper bell housing bolts (or washers to make up the extra length)
- Pressure plate bolts
- Starter plate to bell housing bolt
- Transmission to bell housing bolts


- Torque wrench
- Complete socket set (standard and metric)
- Screw drivers (phillips and flat head)
- Assortment of wrenches (standard and metric)
- 12 point, 12mm socket (for the driveshaft)
- O2 sensor socket (optional)
- Extension(s) approx. 36" long
- Jack
- Jack stands

Now that you have an idea on the parts and tools needed for the conversion, it's time to brake down the procedure. There are basically 2 parts: Under-the-car and inside-the-car. Under-the-car is the heavy, major conversion work. It's basically the removal of the Auto and the installation of the T5(Z). There is no real "modification" to be done. The only thing that needs to be "modified" is the opening for the shifter. The metal is so thin that it can be bent upwards for clearance. The inside-the-car work is basically the installation of the clutch pedal, clutch cable, relocation of the speedometer cable, and removal of the Auto's shifter. Other factoids will be given as the conversion is spelled out.


The only reason that I suggest starting with the inside is so that you have room for the shifter when you install the transmission and something to hold on to the clutch fork when installing the T5. This will be clearer as you read the step-by-step instructions.


- Remove the front drivers seat. This will make removing the pedal assembly A LOT easier.
- Remove the plastic cover around the steering column and under the dash.
- Remove the hood release cable bracket.
- Lower the steering column. There are 4 nuts that support the steering column. As you are lowering the column, unplug the wires so that they don't get taught and support the column.
- Remove the nut and bolt from the top of the pedal assembly
- Remove the brake booster rod from the brake pedal
- Remove the 4 nuts on the back of the fire wall (brake booster nuts). The upper left nut is the hardest one to get to. If you look carefully, you can get a ratchet/extension/socket to remove it.
- Wiggle the pedal assembly out from under the dash. This is the hardest part. Take your time and try not to get upset. Take a breather or two if you are having trouble.


- Remove the head light switch.
- Remove the hazard lights switch.
- Remove the gauge cluster cover.
- Remove the gauge cluster. There are 2 plugs and the speedometer cable holding it back. Don't force the gauge cluster away from the dash too hard.
- Pull the speedometer cable out from under the hood.
- Reinstall the speedometer cable through the other hole. If you look directly to the left of where the speedometer cable came out of, you'll see the hole where the speedometer cable needs to go through.
- Reinstall the gauge cluster.
- Reinstall the gauge cluster cover.
- Reinstall the hazard and headlight switches.


- Wiggle the pedal assembly into place.
- Reinstall the 4 nuts that go to the brake booster.
- Reinstall the nut and bolt on the upper portion of the pedal assembly.
- Install the clutch cable though the original hole for the speedometer cable.
- Plug the neutral safety switch. The clutch neutral safety switch plugs are already wired in every Mustang. Look under the dash for them. They will be taped up with the main wiring harness.
- Reinstall the brake booster rod to the brake pedal.
- Raise the steering column and plug the wires associated with the column.
- Reinstall the hood release cable bracket.
- Reinstall the plastic panels under the dash and around the steering column.
- Reinstall the front drivers seat.


Here is where the work requires muscle. Having a few friends, or calling in a favor, would be a good idea at this point.


- Jack up the car as high as you can.
- Disconnect the battery
- Remove the H-pipe.
- Remove the driveshaft. It would be a good idea to plug the tail end of the transmission with another driveshaft yoke to prevent fluid spillage.
- Remove the inspection plate in front of the transmission.
- Unbolt the torque converter from the flex plate. Use a socket/extension/ratchet on the harmonic balancer bolt to help turn the motor to get to the other nuts.
- Remove the starter.
- Disconnect the TV (Throttle Valve; cable to the throttle body) and shifter cable. Make sure that you also remove their respective cable brackets.
- Remove the transmission cooler lines. If you don't plan to ever put an Auto back in, hack away.
- Remove the transmission cross member. Make sure you have the floor jack supporting the transmission before removing the cross member.
- Remove the upper transmission bolts. Lowering the floor jack to allow the engine/transmission to tip back will give you access to the top bell housing bolts easily. Use the 36" long extension to help with removal.
- Raise the transmission back up. Before taking out the lower bolts, raise the transmission so that it doesn't slide from the jack.
- Remove the lower transmission bolts.
- Lower the transmission. You'll have to shake the transmission a bit and pull backwards to get it away from the engine.
- Slide the transmission out from under the car. Unless you have really tall jacks, you'll have to raise the rear of the transmission to clear the floor pan of the car. Bolt the inspection plate back on the transmission to prevent the torque converter from falling out and spilling transmission fluid everywhere.


There you have it. The Auto is now out of your car. Before installing the T5, now would be a good time to change the rear main seal. Many 5.0's are plagued with the rear main seal leaking. This is a great time to kill two birds with one stone. All it takes is a flat head screw driver and a hammer to pop it out. Just make sure you done nick the crank. Hit the screwdriver slowly.
When installing the rear main seal, just use a blunt object and hammer to tap it in. Make sure you go around evenly as to not warp the seal and cause it to leak.


Now that you have room under the car, undo the cable to the shifter. After you have done this, its a matter of unscrewing the 4 bolts inside the car to remove the shifter. The hole in the center console is a too tight for the shifter. The console plate will come out with some force applied upwards. It will look like it's about to break and then the clips will let go and it will come loose. After pulling out the shifter, you'll need to make more room for the T5(Z)'s shifter. The front part of the opening in the floor pan can be hammered up or you can cut about 1/2" more length for the hole.


- Install the pilot bearing. Don't strike the pilot bearing with a hammer directly. Place an over sized socket on the pilot bearing and hit the socket.
- Place the starter index plate on the back of the block. To help hold the starter plate, use a couple bell housing bolts to secure the plate to the block while you install the flywheel and clutch.
- Install the flywheel. You can use the Auto's flexplate bolts for this. Torque them down to 75-85lbs.
- Place clutch on the flywheel. Use a clutch alignment tool to hold the disc onto the flywheel.
- Bolt the pressure plate to the flywheel. Torque the pressure plate bolt to 12-24lbs.
- Remove the clutch alignment tool. I know it seems stupid to put this step but I knew a person that didn't reinstall a radiator cap cause it didn't say so on the back of the bottle!!
- Install the bell housing. Torque the bolts to 39-54lbs.
- Place the clutch fork in the bell housing. This can be done by routing the fork from the rear opening towards the side opening on the bell housing.
- Install the throw out bearing. I find it easier to place the fork in the bell housing first, then install the bearing.
- Install the clutch cable. Having the clutch cable hold the fork makes it easier to install the tranny.
- Bolt the tranny to the bell housing. Make sure that the shifter is already installed but not the handle. Having the handle installed just make it harder to install the tranny cause it can hit the floor pan of the car. Torque the bolts to 36-50lbs.
- Install the cross member and exhaust hanger. Auto cross member and exhaust hanger are different. You might be able to get away with grinding the cross member, but the exhaust hanger will interfere with the VSS on the T5.
- Change the Auto's neutral safety switch to a T5(Z)'s reverse light switch. The Auto's wiring harness for this consists of 4 wires. In most cases, this section of wire can be replaced with a simple 2-wire T5 harness. The 2 wires go to the reverse light switch and the other 2 wires are connected with a jumper wire already on the harness. If you find out there are drivability problems, you may have to also connect the neutral switch on the tranny.
- Install the clutch cable cover. Do this now unless you have an aftermarket clutch cable that adjusts on the fork. Adjust the cable first, then put the cover on.
- Fill the transmission with ATF fluid (I prefer Synthetics). I like doing this at this point since the exhaust isn't in the way yet.
- Change the Auto speedometer gear to a T5 speedometer gear. There is a different gear for different differential gear ratios. Consult your SVO supplier for the proper gear.
- Install the driveshaft. Torque the bolts to 70-95lbs.
- Install the Exhaust Pipe.
- Install the O2 sensor(s).

This completes the installation of the T5(Z). Only thing that need to be done at this point is to install the rubber shifter seal (not recommended with aftermarket shifters; they can eventually rip the rubber) and installing the shifter boot. Now you can enjoy the feeling of shifting your own gears.


Read this step-by-step and you still have questions? In this section, I hope to add questions and answers that are most commonly asked.

Q... Do I need a manual computer?
A... No, you do not. The Auto computer will work fine with the T5 without any modifications and/or alterations.

Q... Do I need a new driveshaft?
A... No, you do not need a new driveshaft for a T5. However, if you are swapping in a TKO, T56, or other aftermarket tranny, you will need a new driveshaft, new yoke, or at least modify your current one. Best way to find out exactly what you need is to contact the manufacturer of the transmission.

Q... Do I need a new crossmember?
A... You don't need a new crossmember, but it will have to be modified to fit a T5 tranny if you want to reuse it. You'll need to grind the motor mount slots, or grind the weld spots on the bushing cylinders so that you can move the crossmember and line it up with the tranny mount. Its a lot easier to get a used T5 crossmember and the price is usually not too much. If you are swapping in a tranny that is longer than a T5 (Example: TKO), the Auto crossmember will work fine.

Q... Will a pedal assembly work from an '86-older Mustang in a '87-'93?
A... Yes, an '84-'86 pedal assembly will work in an '87-'93 Mustang

Q... Will a 4-banger pedal assembly work in a 5.0L Mustang?
A... Yes and no. A 4-banger pedal assembly frame will work. However, the clutch pedal arm is shorter on a 4-banger Mustang. You can use a 4-banger pedal frame with a 5.0L clutch arm.

Q... Can I reuse the flex plate bolts?
A... DO NOT DO THIS. Go and get the correct flywheel bolts. In most cases, the flex plate bolts are long enough however, they ahve already been torqued once which means the threads have been stretched. Once this occurs, it weakens the bolt. Do not re-use any bolts that have previously been torqued.....get new ones.

Q... Can I reuse the Auto exhaust hanger?
A... No, you cant. A T5 exhaust hanger is needed. Some people have done the swap deleting the exhaust hanger. It's possible, but not recommended.

Q... Can I reuse the speedometer gear?
A... Not unless you are using the 5 Speed car's rear end as well. The speedometer gears for a T5 and Auto are different ratios.


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Nice job to Eagle and RJ.....

If anyone has something to add to this, feel free to do so.

Please include a full description of what is being done, what part you're working with or talking about, all so others may follow along and not get confused.

Thanks goes to Richard (rj8806) and Reggie (rlg34750) for the great links and writeups, all I did was put it together to post.
Great job guys, there have been so many posts about this. also, the drive shaft for the AOD is just a bit longer than the one for the manual. My friend had the AOD driveshaft from before and swapped to the T5 and we had a terrible fitting it. it will work, but not without the headache. correct me if im wrong
For those who do not want tochase down the can buy a complete package to do the swap......

ProMotion Powertrain - Your Manual Drivetrain Specialist
There are a couple of places in the write up that mention re-using the flex plate bolts for the flywheel. DO NOT DO THIS. Go and get the correct flywheel bolts. In most cases, the flex plate bolts are long enough however, they ahve already been torqued once which means the threads have been stretched. Once this occurs, it weakens the bolt. Do not re-use any bolts that have previously been torqued.....get new ones.:bigthumbsup

Tremec TKO, T45 & T56 Transmission Systems
There are a couple of places in the write up that mention re-using the flex plate bolts for the flywheel. DO NOT DO THIS. Go and get the correct flywheel bolts. In most cases, the flex plate bolts are long enough however, they have already been torqued once which means the threads have been stretched. Once this occurs, it weakens the bolt. Do not re-use any bolts that have previously been torqued.....get new ones.:bigthumbsup

Tremec TKO, T45 & T56 Transmission Systems

to embellish Richard's last post.....

i recommend these....

ARP 100-2801 - ARP Flywheel/Flexplate Bolts - JEGS

ARP 200-2902 - ARP Flywheel/Flexplate Bolts - JEGS
I edited the original post, to emphasize NOT using used bolts. The ARP bolts are cheap insurance and are far superior, those are the one's I'd use.
Great post!!!!!! Two things though. One my auto drive shaft would not go back in it was too long. Also i used pedals from an 84 and they required modifying. I had to cut a groove in it to fit over one of the bolts.
Would it be at all possible to get a picture of what you had to do to them? Would like to include it and if not, no problem. What did you have to do and where and how much did you cut?

And approximately how much longer was the driveshaft?
I had to take out about an inch. It was right in the middle. The bolt i had to cut around is one of the ones from the steering column i think. But i'll take some pics tomorrow. For some reason my drive shaft was like three or four inches to long. I used the cross member from the auto without modifying it so that may have caused a problem.
What do you need to fit a tko 600 in a 1993 fox I have the yoke and a standard propshaft but my yoke does not fit my shaft. Is there a special universal joint you need? And if you do part numbers please?
What do you need to fit a tko 600 in a 1993 fox I have the yoke and a standard propshaft but my yoke does not fit my shaft. Is there a special universal joint you need? And if you do part numbers please?
I'm sure the resident tremec expert will be able to get that answer for you.... just pm him or wait for him to show up here....

rj8806 aka richard
hi i just did a conversion from auto to standard.I had a problem with the pedals i think it might be the four cylinder diference...the clutch pedal is not flush with the brake pedal...any ideas? also the backup harness...where does it plug in the car?
What do you need to fit a tko 600 in a 1993 fox I have the yoke and a standard propshaft but my yoke does not fit my shaft. Is there a special universal joint you need? And if you do part numbers please?

You actually stumped me a little bit on this one. Normally, they have to get a '93 style bell and clutch fork (Tremec # 6392) because of the length of the input shaft. You're already a '93 so you might not need the bell and fork. The only thing that is stumping me is whether or not the T5 in your '93 shares the same bolt pattern as the TKO?
Other than that, you'll need a new cross member (FRPP-M50598) as the mounting perch is a little different. You'll need a new slip yoke, a spicer #6041 which uses a 1330 u-joint (3 5/8" across the caps and 1 1/16 cap diameter). Your mustang uses a 1310 which is 3 1/4" across the caps and a 1 /16" cap diameter. So you'll need what we call a 1310 x 1330 cross over u-joint installed on the front of your current driveshaft and have the new yoke installed on it and then have it rebalanced.

As far as parts needed goes....that's it. :bigthumbsup Before installing the TKO, there are a couple of things you need to do. First, before removing the T5 from the car, remove the driveshaft and then take a measurement from the centerline of the output shaft up to the tunnel above it. Write down whatever the measurment is and keep it handy. When you get the TKO up in there, refer back to your measurment and check it against the TKO. If it is different, you'll need to shim accordingly to get the TKO output shaft at the same distance as the T5 shaft was to ensure the driveline angles are not compromised.

The other CRITICAL step in a TKO install is indexing the bellhousing to the crank. In the '94-'95 Tech Section here at AFM, up in the sticky's section is a write up from a member who did the TKO swap. A few posts down, I chimed in and explained the bell housing runout procedure in detail. It is very important that you do this procedure or you will destroy the transmission and also void the warranty. :scratchchin

Basically what the test is doing, is checking to see that the input shaft of the TKO is going in perfectly straight into the crank and pilot bearing and not at an angle. The tolerance is .005". Anything beyond .005" will wear out the input shaft bearing which will lead to catastrophic failure of the TKO. Read my post and make sure you understand. Be sure to ask me if you have any questions. I do these installs all day long everyday on classic muscle cars so I am very familiar with the TKO.:bigthumbsup

The last thing to remember to NEVER use a synthetic fluid in the TKO. No Royal Purple, Amsoil or ANY SYNTHETIC. It will destroy the syncros and blockers. They are made up of a carbon fiber based material and the additives in synthetic will eat away at this and basically turn them(syncros and blockers) into a pile of goop. Only use GM syncromesh #12345349 or Dexron III ATF. Prefer the GM stuff as it will give you a better shift quality. :bigthumbsup

Click on the little house in my avatar and check our our website. You can see what we do. We even sell TKO's, T45's and T56 6 speeds. :bigthumbsup

Tech Support
Tremec TKO, T45 & T56 Transmission Systems
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'93 White Fox..... I forgot to put the part number for the u-joint in my post. :so

The Spicer part number for a 1310 x 1330 cross over joint is 5-134X. Neapco also makes one and their number is 1-0134. Make sure you use a solid type joint and not one with a grease fitting. Putting a grease fitting (zirk) in a u-joint weakens the joint. Solid type joints are preferred for strength.:bigthumbsup

Tech Support
Tremec TKO, T45 & T56 Transmission Systems
hey i am pretty i need to swap the wiring harness when i do a conversion? you say that you dont have to swap the computer but the car runs iradictly in low speeds and reverse...i tried a computer from a standard and the car doesn't run at all...
Then you might want to swap them then. Some have issues and some don't when using a T5 with an automatic computer and vice versa.
How much would it cost to do this swap at a tranny shop? any rough estimates.
great thread......can someone help me out. I know nothing about automatics. I have an 83 v6 with a 5.0 swap but still have the original v6 auto tranny. Any bolt in swaps i can do other than a C4 ???
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