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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yep, another T5 thread. Excited?

I currently have a stock 283 bolted to a Muncie 4 speed. I'm not entirely certain of the rear gear ratio, but I think it might be 4.11. Basically, the 4 speed just doesn't cut it on the highway and it makes me not want to drive the ol gal anywhere outside of my little town.

So, I want to swap it over to a 5 speed. I have been reading up on this swap on this site and others, and I am fairly confident I can do it. I have found a T5 from an '89 S10 for sale very reasonably. (I haven't heard from the guy yet, so I don't know if its a mechanical or electronic speedometer hookup).

The T5 for sale is from a 4 cylinder truck. Now I know these things have a reputation for being weak, but would it be able to handle the power output of a basically stock '58-64 283 with headers and a Q-jet? I am not planning to beat the snot out of it, just go cruising, take random road trips and once a year run it down the 1/8 mile a few times at the Billetproof Drags in Lakeland.

Anyway, any input on the strength of an '89 S10 T5 is appreciated.
 

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FWIW, I ran a 6 cylinder T-5 behind my blown 350. It was a little spooky knowing that the trans was only rated for about 250 ft/lbs torque. I later found a world class T-5 from a Camaro v8, and it worked well. I rarely got into the throttle, so it lived.
The 4 and 6 cylinder t-5's have a 3.25 or 3.35 first gear...really low. The world class has a 2.95 1st gear, but it seemed to be more to the v8's liking.
I suggest that you try to find a WC. The major difference is that the shifter is farther back on the WC, and the factory set it up to mount in the car on a 17° angle. That means that you would have to heat and bend the shifter so it comes out straight, or use the top plate from that S-10 T-5 so that the shifter fits farther forward. I solved that roblem by using a McLeod scatter shield which had the bolts for 17° as well as straingt up.(Speedway sells the same scattershield but they don't id it as a McLeod)
The way to tell if the T-5 is from a V8 or not is to count the splines on the input shaft. V8's have 26 splines while the 4/6 cylinder have 14.
Good luck..I loved my 5 speed, but I changed over to a 700R4 because when I got into the throttle, it was hard to watch the tach, the boost gauge, the rear view mirror and the rapidly advancing scene out of the front window all at once. My 700r4 is set to shift at 5800 at WOT, so I really have gotten lazy.
The 283 probably won't overpower the V8 version. The V8 is rated at around 350 ft/lbs, and I suspect that a decent 283 will bump up against the 250 ft/lbs of the small T-5
 

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I think it would be better to change the rearend, if it is indeed a 4.11. You might be able to sell or trade and come out a couple of bucks to the good.
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmm....this is going to get expensive, I can see it now....

So the general consensus is that the 283 is right at the borderline of what the S10 tranny can handle. How tough is it to swap the S10 top plate onto a WC T5?

I'm also not against the idea of using a vintage OD tranny, if I could find one.
 

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I run a V8 WC T-5 from a Camaro behind my fairly built 55. It has worked very well but like someone else said, Don't treat it like it's a Muncie when shifting.
 

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I run a V8 WC T-5 from a Camaro behind my fairly built 55. It has worked very well but like someone else said, Don't treat it like it's a Muncie when shifting.
...and that is the truth! I trashed two WC T-5s behind a built 347 Weber inducted SBF dyno rated at 425 hp in my Cobra replica...they just could not handle the torque. They were fine if I kept my foot out of the engine, and the low 5th gear was great on the highway. Yet they could not hold up under hard acceleration and downshifts on a road course...went back to a 4spd top loader.

If you drive "smart" the V-8 WC T-5 behind a mild 283 should be ok...just do not ask more of the transmission than it is capable of providing...nothing worse than losing a gear or two, or the entire transmission "showing off":wink:
 

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a friend of mine is building a 49 chevy coupe with a 454 and a blower.he has a 9"ford rear end and a s-10 t -5 guy at the transmission shop told him it would hold up unless he just got plum wild with it. he spending all that munt then is being tight with the tranny
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not a whole lot to show off with a stock 283. :wink:

So I'll begin looking for a WC T5.

DraginMain mentioned using a vintage Chevy OD trans; I know some tri-fives came with OD 3 speeds....what are the odds of me destroying one of those showing off my not-so-mighty 283?
 

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According to TREMAC, It will hold up to 400 HP motor. I was at the GOOD GUYS SHOW In Joliet, IL last month, and actually talked about this very subject.

Cliff
 

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I'm not real confident that even a WC T-5 will hold up with a 283 unless you drive real easy. But from what I know, it's a step up from the pre-WC T-5.

On the other hand the stock 3 speed isn't a whole lot better, just different. Remember that 1st gear is not synchronized. Instead of peeling gear teeth off the cluster, these transmissions end up with shifting problems and they like to jump out of gear. The overdrive unit is OK, it wouldn't be a problem.
 

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S10 T5

I've got a non world class T5 from an 86 V8 Trans Am in my 57 hardtop, and my car has a 327 with maybe 325 HP dual quads, and 336.1 non- posi gears. So far this trans has held up and I can spin that wheel in the first 3 gears with no ill effect yet. Bolted right in to the stock bellhousing straight up. Just had to modify the rear trans mount, and take 2 inches off the driveshaft, and drill the trans mounting holes out slightly so the bolts would fit through the tabs. Also heated and bent the shift stem into a horizontal L toward the front to clear the bench seat, Then add a curved upper shift arm,so it would shift without hitting the floor on the foward shifts. I,m happy with this trans, since I don't slam gears. My rear gears and this trans makes for great road trips. This past weekend did a 170 mile trip at a steady 70 MPH at 2000 RPM for a great 22 MPG. Good luck whatever you choose.
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You guys have given me a lot to think about! Back to the drawing board!
 

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I know I'm late to the party.... I have a 355 with 3 deuces. I have a non wc s10 trans with a Camaro 12 bolt. I spin the tires once in a while and chirp the tires between shifts and it has been fine. I also have 255 60 tires.
 

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T 5

These trans are not like the Muncie/T-10 and so on, that is you cannot look inside, so thats a problem to go and put one in onluy to discover problems. But the kicker is that this trans was only designed for a 4 cylinder and to talk about taking it to the strip is only a great idea if you don't expect great performance from it. Reminds me of a buddy of mine putting a rebuild Saginaw 4 speed in his 396 cu in Nova. He backed it out of the garage and wound up the motor and let the clutch go. The car never moved but made some awful noises as the trans blew totally apart. Most everyone watching thought it was funny, but for me I am to practical. Good luck

Gary
 

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I think you would be fine with a T5 from a 6 cylinder. I would be concerned with a 4 cylinder T5.
I'd be willing to bet the 4 & 6 used the same transmission...
 

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a dog leg rear end with a 283 that runs on pump gas is not going to break anything. unless you start spinning it up past 5500 rpm "to be on the safe side" and power shifting every where you go.

currently running a wc 2.95 first gear on a 355 with camel hump heads and 10 bolt posi in my 55 truck. but I don't power shift with it. I lean on it, also running a mild 327 with a Camaro non wc trans 4.03 with a dog leg 2.73 rear 14 spline 11" clutch. from a 10 bolt nova in a 55 hardtop. moves pretty good. but then again I beat on the sedan w the doug nash with the 454 and the Detroit locker, rebuilt that trans 3 times already, but I take it to the track and drive it like a maniac on the street.


all the t5 trans I've bought, came out of the junkyard 100 bucks each. fairly inexpensive...I wouldn't pay over 150 bucks used for one though. they aren't worth that much.
 
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