Why put in a Tremec T56 transmission? Well, there are a lot of reasons. First off, the T56 is capable of handling massive amounts of power. The Magnum version is currently rated at 700 ft-lbs, with further upgrades available. The T56 is also a great shifting transmission. It is very quiet, smooth and does not suffer the same high RPM problems that plague the TKO series. Presently, it is one of the best (if not the best) heavy-duty manual transmissions available.
A T56 Magnum is what you buy new off the shelf. A Ford T56 is a T56 that was installed by Ford in a Mustang (2000 Cobra R, 2003-04 Cobra), thus we can call it a Ford T56 or Cobra T56 - both terms reference the same thing. T56 Magnums come with a 26-spline input shaft and 31-spline output shaft whereas a Cobra T56 has a 10-spline input shaft and 27-spline output shaft. This means a Ford/Cobra T56 is compatible with your stock clutch setup (10-spline, 10.5" clutch). If you buy a T56 Magnum, you will need to change your clutch for one with a disc that has 26-splines to match the input shaft. However, Ford DOES sell an aftermarket T56 transmission - this is the Magnum version. For the purpose of this article, when I make reference to a Ford T56, I am reffering to a T56 that came equipped, from the factory in either a 2000 Cobra R or 2003-2004 Cobra Terminator. To clarify, see the identification table below.
Magnum T56 is currently rated at 700 ft-lbs in off-the-shelf trim. The Ford models, depending on which year Cobra you take it out of, are usually rated between 450-550 ft-lbs. Not as strong as the Magnum, but no slouch either. Ford T56s also have the advantage of being cheaper, as they are generally only bought from the second-hand market.
|Tag||Application||Input Splines||Output Splines||Gear Ratios||Torque Rating (ft-lbs)|
|TUET-2060||Cobra R||10||27||2.97 2.07 1.43 1.00 0.84 0.56 2.90R||450|
|TUET-1694||03-04 Cobra||10||27||2.66 1.78 1.30 1.00 0.79 0.63 2.90R||450|
|Magnum||26||31||2.66 1.78 1.30 1.00 0.80 0.63 2.90R|
2.97 2.10 1.46 1.00 0.74 0.50 2.90R
1. If using a twin disc clutch (for example, a McLeod RST), further modification is usually necessary. Due to the extra thickness of a dual disc setup, a shorter pivot stud (for the clutch fork) is required. A special throwout bearing or bushing may be needed too. It is best to get an adjustable pivot ball, no matter which clutch kit you use.
2. The difference in bellhousings is the position of the clutch fork. Foxbody Mustangs (1983-1993) used a clutch fork at the 9 o'clock position, whereas SN95 Mustangs used a clutch fork position of 7 o'clock. If you want to guarantee proper clutch fork fitment, in relation to any starter, flywheel or exhaust setup, then you should use the kit that retains the regular T5 position of 9 o'clock - Quicktime #RM-8030, McLeod #8705-12. This of course is more costly.
Changing the clutch fork position to the 7 o'clock version may cause the fork to have clearance problems, cable problems or otherwise interfere with select aftermarket headers. This is not always the case, but there is a possibility of such a conflict occuring. Of course, this setup is cheaper. This is only something you need to take into consideration when installing a T56 into a Foxbody Mustang. SN95 Mustangs can utilize Quicktime bellhousing #RM-8031 (7 o'clock position) without worry.
3. Some owners report having clearance issues in the transmission tunnel and that the tunnel needed some "massaging" to have the T56 fit. This seems to be most commonly encountered when the stock crossmember has been modified in attempt to be re-used, or a custom one has been fabricated. Others have reported no issue at all. Furthermore, depending on your exhaust setup, modifications may need to be made there in order to have no interference. Some owners have had to modify the x/h-pipe, bend exhaust, move hangars and even relocate the catalytic converters. I guess every Foxbody install is somewhat unique.
Installing a Ford version T56 into a Foxbody Mustang is essentially the same thing as above. In this case however, you do NOT need a 26-spline clutch, as Ford T56 models maintain a 10-spline input shaft and are thus compatible with regular OEM-style Mustang clutches. Which bellhousing and resulting clutch fork position is left up to you, but again, recall that 83-93 Foxbody Mustangs came with a T5 using a 9 o'clock fork position. Any Ford version T56 transmission will have come from a later model Mustang that used a 7 o'clock position. For best fit, it is recommended to revert back to the stock 9 o'clock position, but this entails purchasing an additional adaptor piece from McLeod. For further clarification, read note #2 above.
You can reuse your stock tranny crossmember on the T-56. For the mount you will either have to get the Prothane Conversion mount (part number 6-1608) or get a mount from an F-body car that used a T-56. I used an F-body tranny mount on mine and had to drill one hole in the tranny crossmember. I later swapped to the Prothane conversion mount, it's much nicer.Buying crossmember new:
You will have to move your tranny crossmember mounts back or forward as well. It will depend on whether you are swapping into a GT or a Cobra. On a Cobra you will move the mounts forward on a GT you move the mounts back. On the Cobra you use the rear hole on mount in the forward hole on the frame, and then drill a new hole for the forward hole. Vice versa on the GT's (they need to move back).
A T56 will come with a stock shifter from Tremec. It is left up to you as to which handle or knob you would like to put on it. However, most guys do away with the stock shifter entirely and replace it with either a Steeda, MGW or Pro 5.0.Shifter