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  1. #1
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    Default AOD VS. T-5 Straight Scoop

    I need to make a decision on a transmission for my Thunderbird. Currently AOD with Column Shift. Interior is original and in good shape, and as I read old threads about T5 installs, not fond of hunting up consoles, replacing or cutting up existing seats and consoles for T5 install. I had the chance to purchase 2 complete T5 systems for a good price, but was hesitant because of these reasons. Somewhere between 350-400 HP., and not a strictly drag race project. A friend of mine who is big into 5.0 Mustangs said possibly weld a different shift lever on the T5 to lean forward more if that would help the situation. I have the means to get a good AOD thru my Work, but really likes the idea of shifting gears. Any photos or ideas would be a great help.The current trans needs replacing, has stock torque converter,etc.

  2. #2
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    T-5 is one swap that I thoroughly enjoyed. I can't beleive it didn't come that way from the factory.

    If you don't want a console, don't get one. Get a little chrome trim ring like they have in the ricer isle at AutoZone. The hardest part for me was committing to drilling a big hole in the floor then trimming it.

    If you like the seat more then halfway back, there will be plenty of room. Only issue would be when someone short wants to drive.

    Its a pretty easy and fun swap, I could probably do one in a few hours now if i had everything ready to go.

    I think cougar50 has a stock consolettr with just the front trim that connects to the radio and the shift plate/ash tray.

    I actually have two spare consoles right now. Hard thing to really find is a decent lid.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcassity
    I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
    Hooligans!
    1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
    1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
    1986 cougar.
    lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

  3. #3
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    I went from an AOD to a Ford Racing Z-Spec T-5. Never looked back. One doesn't have to have a console unless you want one. It can be a floor mount car without a console. The AOD console and T-5 console are the same thing., different bezel.

    Some Turbo Coupes had a T-5. Same car, same console, same chassis. The shifter has plenty of room. On a non 5 speed car, you will have to cut a hole in the floor, but cut small and get the hole as small as necessary to get the job done. The pedal assembly from a Fox Stang is a bolt in. Actually, on a floor shifted Bird, the conversion is 100% bolt in, no cutting or mods necessary, just swapping parts. On a column shifted car, just cutting the floor is the only non bolt on mod. I swapped the pedals in a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon, then the following Saturday did the transmission swap. Good to go.











    '88 Sport--T-5,HURST shifter,TMoss GT-40 intake,Ed Curtis cam,Trick Flow heads,Scorpion rockers,70mm t-body,3G,mini starter,Taurus fan,BBK headers,O/R H-Pipe, Flowamaster 40's, deep and deeper Cobra R wheels,Mass Air, Mass Air and 24's,8.8 with 3.73's,140 mph speedo,Mach 1 chin spoiler,SN-95 springs,CHE control arms,aluminum drive shaft and a lot more..

  4. #4
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    My '83 was an AOD column shift car and I grabbed an 86 TC steering column and pedals out of a salvage yard. Realize I did this conversion back in '93 (I think it was 93, might have been 92) so the salvage yards were stuffed with these cars. Like Vinnie said the only thing I had to do was cut the hold in the transmission hump for the shifter and start small and open up as necessary. The other thing I had to do was locate the dimple in the firewall to add the clutch cable. Drilled that with a hole saw, deburred, and installed the cable. I would suggest that you put an aluminum clutch quadrant in while the pedal assembly is outside of the car as this makes it 100% easier.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the info and pictures. I am 6ft tall, but my wife is a little over 5ft and likes driving the car too. Really would like to keep the seats intact, don't mind using a shifter boot. Had a smoking deal on a T5 done by Hanlon Motorsports, with everything needed for $1200. but drug my feet. Another good deal for $900. is out there, just don't want to buy parts and then decide the interior issues are a deal breaker for me. Anyone have photos without a console, or maybe a measurement from the dash/radio area to shifter center? You can't find this info just anywhere.

  6. #6
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    You can leave the seat alone and just have the shifter on the floor without a full console unless you want to install one.

    My 88 already had the hole in the firewall, I just removed a plug that was there, then in went the clutch cable. My car was a factory floor shift car so that made it a bit easier. But simply cutting a hole is easy enough for a shifter. I can be done in a weekend pretty easy if you make sure you have everything ready to go. The bellhousing bolts swap over except the very top two. I THINK they needed to be longer for the T-5 bell housing.

    I used an aluminum quadrant, adjustable cable and it made things easy. I am installing a firewall adjuster this spring now that I have the smaller Fox brake booster on the car making room for the adjuster.

    If you have any questions, we are here to help.
    '88 Sport--T-5,HURST shifter,TMoss GT-40 intake,Ed Curtis cam,Trick Flow heads,Scorpion rockers,70mm t-body,3G,mini starter,Taurus fan,BBK headers,O/R H-Pipe, Flowamaster 40's, deep and deeper Cobra R wheels,Mass Air, Mass Air and 24's,8.8 with 3.73's,140 mph speedo,Mach 1 chin spoiler,SN-95 springs,CHE control arms,aluminum drive shaft and a lot more..

  7. #7
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    I too was hesitant to hack off my factory "consolette" and cut a big hole in the floor when I went from column shift AOD to T-5 manual. In the end it was a really fun project that greatly improved the fun-to-drive aspect of my car (even with a stock 302 with the HO upgrade)! I have a 93 Mustang "world class" T-5 with a steeda shifter and its a slick shifting transmission.

    My vote; do it! As much as I hate to admit it, It's not like these cars are highly sought after or "super rare". So to me modding it really doesn't bother me at all.
    '88 'bird, 1-family owned, original 302 converted to HO, T-5 swap, CHE upper/lower control arms, weld-in SFC's, BBK shorty headers & O/R H-pipe, Dynomax mufflers, fox GT tailpipes, Turbo Coupe 8.8 w/3.73's, 11" front brakes, lowered, Tokico Blue shocks/struts, Chuck W shock adapters and motor mounts, 15:1 rack & PS pump, custom alum. driveshaft, chrome '93 Cobra wheels, Falken tires, 20% tint, close to 190,000 miles!


  8. #8
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    Well ,I went and purchased a T5 and components this morning. $650. dollars got a T5 and bell, Tri Ax shifter, Steel flywheel, a Clutchmaster setup that looks new, pedals and quadrant and urethane mount. Will need to get hardware, a shifter boot, cable and review sensors and harnesses for Neutral safety switch,back up lights,etc. I don't think anything will happen before March, but a plan is in place.

  9. #9
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    subscribing, because i intend to do this swap... once i locate some pedals. and a T5

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