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I just had my T5 apart, and I don't think you need to open the top cover to get to the speedo gear. I would advise removing the tranny from the car though.

It's not too hard. First you wanna unscrew the shift knob, then remove the shifter boot by pulling it upward until metal tabs that hold it in disengage. Remove the two 5/16" screws underneath.

Pop out the two plastic covers on either side of the armrest, and remove the 4 bolts under them. The armrest should come out. Then remove the two screws underneath, and the part of the console with the ashtray should come out. Unplug the lighter socket.

Remove the stereo if you got one.

Remove the two screws holding the plastic trim under the steering wheel and remove the trim. Then remove the 4 screws up front holding the senter console in place. 2 under the steering wheel trim, 2 under the glove box lid. The whole center console should lift out now. Unplug the fuel door release switch as you remove it.

Remove the 4 bolts holding the second shifter boot in place and remove the boot. Then remove 4 more bolts and remove the shifter itself.

Now you're ready for the underneath part. Raise the car and support it with jackstands.

Remove the H-pipe, disconnecting the HEGO sensors. Remove the drain plug from the tranny and drain the fluid. Then remove the driveshaft, marking it's orientation where it mates to the differential. You will want to reinstall it the same way it came out.

Remove the transmission support member (2 long bolts & nuts, and 2 more nuts). Unplug the neutral and reverse switch wiring, and disconnect the speedo cable.

Remove the 4 15mm bolts that attach the tranny to the bellhousing. The upper driver's side one is the tricky one. I used a u-joint and a couple long extensions to get it. You will need a shallow socket, a deep socket won't fit.

Now position your body under the tranny, grab hold of it, and slide it rearward. It should come right out. Be ready, it weighs about 80lbs.

Congrats, you've got it out. It took me about 2.5 hours my third time doing it. Expect it to take longer if it's your first.

Now, to replace the speedo gear...

Use a punch to drive the roll pin through the shifter block, and remove it. Don't lose the ball bearing or spring that will come out with it. I didn't have a punch, so I used a machine screw.

Remove the tailhousing bolts and pull the tailhousing off.

The speedo gear should be exposed if the trans has one installed. You should be able to remove it by pressing the retainer clip in towards the shaft and working the gear off gently with a rubber mallet.

If your trans doesn't have a speedo gear, then it's probably missing the retainer clip too. Be sure to get one with your new gear beforehand.

Putting it back together is pretty much the reverse of disassembly. Clean up the tailhousing sealing surface and put on some new blue goo.

To reinstall the shift block, push the shift shaft forward so the trans in in 4th gear. Put the ball bearing in the 3rd gear detent, load the spring into the shift block, and push the block forward onto the shaft. Use a pliers to pull the shaft back until the holes line up, and drive the roll pin back in. Set the shifter on and work through the gears to make sure it all moves smoothly.

When refilling it with fluid (after reinstalling the driveshaft), it's far easier to pour it in through the shifter hole than to use the fill hole on the side. It takes 2.8 qts.
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