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Discussion Starter #1
I haven't posted much. Extra time has been spent on my Cougar recently. Been meaning to start a build thread for a while now. Dropped the 4r70w today so I feel like I am pretty well into it at this point. I'm not going to go super detailed in swapping the t45 it has been covered a lot here mostly just going to post updates, pictures, and ask for some help.

Background on the vehicle- 96 Cougar V8, under 90k miles, very clean. It's a mostly bare bones model, its got the JJJJ springs so its a true sport model with the factory spoiler & 16" wheels. I bought it in 2014 with intentions of just keeping it stock. I have taken it off the road every Winter so it's not going to see any more road salt. This car drives really well and has a very tight feel all over, engine is smooth and quiet. The 4r70w was working prefect and I had a cooler on it but that doesn't really matter anymore.

Some of what I have done so far to the car- 3.27 Trac loc aluminum diff out of a Cobra, replaced the headliner in a suede looking charcoal color headliner fabric, 97 cup holder mod, Pioneer stereo with a 12" boom boom to make me feel young, 20% window tint, all LED bulbs throughout the car.

For maintenance I have replaced most of the front end. I bought a pair of NOS sport shocks from a member here. I installed those on the back end last year. I have a NOS set of Monroe Reflex struts ( shocks ;) )for the front I managed to track down. The reflex have been gone for years now and I read they are comparable to the OEM sport shocks. The new front shocks will go in soon; one of the 22 year old front shocks seems to have developed a small leak.

My goals short term are to hopefully finish up the T45 swap this summer and get a premium tune. I started the swap this spring after gathering parts for almost two years now. I want to grab some gears at 6500 RPM and bark the tires into second.
Long term I would like to get the engine set up with PI parts and get the Truebendz exhaust setup. Having the explorers aluminum PI 4.6 is appealing so I might go that route. I am happy with the power of the car at the moment.

Thanks to everyone who has posted their manual swap build threads. Special thanks to Mike and Matt, you guys have made this swap a possibility

Here are some pictures of what I have so far ...
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here the the driveshaft I put together. Its a crown vic, with the mustang yoke and tbird yoke. I would like aluminum, but this will do for now. I sanded it and prime/paint. Will touch up closer to the yokes before install.

At least it looks kind of aluminum now :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
For now im going to just use the dynomax mid pipe to get rid of the factory restriction, and muffler delete ;) . Hopefully that will help a bit at higher RPMs. Would like to get a PI intake manifold soon too.
 

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I thought the old OEM Motorcraft starter label was cool. It seems in good shape so I might paint it and clean up the connections. I read that they ground through the casing bolts on the back so maybe remove and reinstall those and sure they are clean. Here is the 4r70w I pulled out today. The Harbor Freight transmission jack I used made it simple to drop. Highly recommend this tool!
 

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Looking good! You'll love the 5-speed, it really transforms the car!
 

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Transmission jack? This project is already more pro than my mess :tongue:


The suede headliner is something I really wanted to do to mine, and yours makes me all the more interested, but after completing 3 of the 4 door/speaker inserts in faux suede at my leisure this week for my project, I’m just about over upholstery work, so time consuming and stressful! Plus the sunshade for my cars moonroof adds another layer to that project.

The 5-speed is quite fun, my 4R70w was perfectly good too other than a few persistent leaks. It was even a 2000 core with extra clutches added during the rebuild and the J-mod 450+ settings, so it was fun too, no automatic car I have ever driven felt as exciting as that one did, but it was a one trick pony because of it, it was great for straight line consistency with fast shifts and bombing around town would bark the tires from every light or stop sign... but that’s all it did all the time. Oddly enough I like the manual because I can actually drive it tame when I want to, and then rip through the gears when my mood swings. Not to sound cliched but you’re truly at one with the car with a stick, while with an auto(particularly a ferocious one) it’s more like riding a horse, you tell it where to go but it has its own will ultimately.


6500rpm shifts on a npi(or PI) 4.6 isn’t going to go well though, it’ll be well out of breath before that, if it even makes it there.
 

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I thought the old OEM Motorcraft starter label was cool. It seems in good shape so I might paint it and clean up the connections. I read that they ground through the casing bolts on the back so maybe remove and reinstall those and sure they are clean. Here is the 4r70w I pulled out today. The Harbor Freight transmission jack I used made it simple to drop. Highly recommend this tool!
There's a good rebuild kit available for the starter, if any of the parts are worn. "Victory Lap"

I have a spare, so I disassemble the 'loose' one, and rebuild it so I have a good one around.

The corrosion will be really bad from the look of it; if you want to keep the sticker, put a piece of clear tape over it and scan it.
The stuff it's laying on is a piece of paint, with a layer or rust underneath. :(

A drill-based wire brush goes a long way there. :)


Note: If you test a starter, mount it firmly in a vice; it will clear a workbench of fairly heavy parts in a heartbeat, lol.

Those jacks are great if they have the angle adjustments on the lift head; my days of slogging a 150 lb transmission are over.

:)
 

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Not to sound cliched but you’re truly at one with the car with a stick, while with an auto(particularly a ferocious one) it’s more like riding a horse, you tell it where to go but it has its own will ultimately.

.

Newer cars with sport shifting automatics make it feel like driving a stick, just without the clutch pedal - and they will keep you from doing stupid things like downshifting into 1st gear while moving ( incredibly stupid, but we've all done it, and the best one I saw was a guy test driving a brand new Vette .. the test drive was over at that point. But even the manual transmissions may not allow a 4-2 downshift without recalibrating or overriding an electronic governor - this is true for a lot of newer vehicles. They call your throttle pedal ( sensor ) input the "desired" throttle because that's what you want, but its really up to the computer to decide ). Fortunately, none of these things apply to the T45 .. its going to be a lot more fun to drive.

- Dan
 

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Newer cars with sport shifting automatics make it feel like driving a stick, just without the clutch pedal - and they will keep you from doing stupid things like downshifting into 1st gear while moving ( incredibly stupid, but we've all done it, and the best one I saw was a guy test driving a brand new Vette .. the test drive was over at that point. But even the manual transmissions may not allow a 4-2 downshift without recalibrating or overriding an electronic governor - this is true for a lot of newer vehicles. They call your throttle pedal ( sensor ) input the "desired" throttle because that's what you want, but its really up to the computer to decide ). Fortunately, none of these things apply to the T45 .. its going to be a lot more fun to drive.

- Dan
No doubt modern automatics are very good, but the feel is just the sensation of the shift taking place, same as J-modded 4R70ws(albeit much more refined with more useable gears), what you don’t get is the feedback through a clutch pedal where it grabs, or even through the shifter when you do stupidly try a downshift to first while moving - you can feel the resistance and hear the whine of the synchro cone when you attempt to do that - nobody ever taught me how to drive stick or the do’s and don’ts of it, just feedback like that through trial and error that and knowledge of how it operates guided me through the learning experience. Governors defeat the purpose of it all, if the car is lying to me about what it can and can’t do then I’m just going to abuse it in return :tongue:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
6500rpm shifts on a npi(or PI) 4.6 isn’t going to go well though, it’ll be well out of breath before that, if it even makes it there.
Guess I am being a bit overzealous with the hopes of getting it up to those RPMs. Probably trying to overcompensate because the stock transmission has always been such a let down... the car feels happy in the higher RPM range and wants to keep pulling; than BOOM 4r70w starts its gentle up shift at 4800ish RPM lol
I was really considering doing a J-MOD and a new convertor before I went this direction. Sounds like it wakes up the car a lot and many are happy with it. But at the end of doing all the drilling and putting in a new torque convertor I would have still wanted a stick shift.

Grog, you are right about the starter. The paint on it has a layer of rust under it, but besides that it's in pretty good shape. I'm going to just clean it up nicely, paint it and check all the connections. I watched a youtube video on rebuilding the ford PMGR starters and it seems pretty straight forward but too time consuming.

I used the Transmission jack to lift the 4r70w into my riding mowers trailer, and transported it to my shed. I don't think I by myself could have moved around that heavy thing without the jack; I can't say enough good things about how well it worked. The T45 I can lift up and down myself, my back doesn't like it but it's doable. I have the T45 on the jack now and it rolls around easily for test fitting. Next up is cutting open the transmission tunnel a bit and getting my shifter where I want it to be. I will post some more pictures in not too long and show how I put my shifter extension together. I bought some thrust washers from China that are pretty neat. They seem to make things move the right way and my extension.
 

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Grog, you are right about the starter. The paint on it has a layer of rust under it, but besides that it's in pretty good shape. I'm going to just clean it up nicely, paint it and check all the connections. I watched a youtube video on rebuilding the ford PMGR starters and it seems pretty straight forward but too time consuming.

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I agree it's time consuming, and a nasty job. :)

But; the only thing wrong with it is it lasted for 20+ years before it wore out.

A new one from anywhere will not do that, lol.

I only have to worry about the quality of the parts I put back in, which is pretty obvious with something like this...
 

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Guess I am being a bit overzealous with the hopes of getting it up to those RPMs. Probably trying to overcompensate because the stock transmission has always been such a let down... the car feels happy in the higher RPM range and wants to keep pulling; than BOOM 4r70w starts its gentle up shift at 4800ish RPM lol
I was really considering doing a J-MOD and a new convertor before I went this direction. Sounds like it wakes up the car a lot and many are happy with it. But at the end of doing all the drilling and putting in a new torque convertor I would have still wanted a stick shift.
Npi runs completely out of breath at around 5200ish where all you’re really making is noise, PI (intake and cams) is stronger, 56-5800 is where I used to shift at WOT. Having had a J-spec 4R70w/Marauder converter, there were definitely aspects of it I liked and even miss, but I still wanted a stick too ultimately, and don’t want to go back. I don’t regret building the auto either since I was able to sell it and fully make up the cost of the 5-speed swap :tongue:


T45s are indeed light, lighter by ten pounds than my later model TR3650 even, so there is a nice weight reduction with this swap. I look forward to seeing your linkage setup, I love seeing creative solutions!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I painted the cross member, removed the rusty "box thing" mounted in the middle (what is that for anyway?), and put on a new solid transmission mount.

Also filled in the factory cross member bushings with poly based construction adhesive. I got the idea from a few Youtube videos I saw. My reason for this is I am assuming that the cross member will be taking a bit more stress with the harder shifts of the manual. The bushings are a lot stiffer than before so I am optimistic that it will help firm things up.
 

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Gave the starter a good wire brush and painted it. The sticker I was able to keep, and glue on to the factory location. I cleaned up the contacts and checked it over. Seems in good shape over all. I trust this old USA Motorcraft unit will have many years left in it :)

Also my Aluminum flywheel. I ended up choosing an M-Pact clutch kit. It's marketed as slight upgrade for street modified cars. So it should have a bit more clamp force then a stock Mustang. Also got in my Ford flywheel and pressure plate bolts from Summit.

The rear main seal seems to have a very small seep. Not bad enough to have to replace but going to anyway since it's all apart. Not sure if I will do just a stock replacement or get a Teflon replacement. Any thoughts on that?
 

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The big thing with the starter (or Alternator) is to clean it well, and relube it with good grease.

The bushing at the end of the bendix is usually sloppy, so I replace those.

The rebuild kit I bought has a new bendix, and new brushes; and cleaning/sanding the stator contacts back flat with sandpaper helps a lot. :)

With the rear seal, the biggest thing is to make sure to put the seal location to a SLIGHTLY new spot on the crank surface; there will be a groove where it won't seal properly.

Go a bit deeper, or a bit shallower, whatever it takes. :)
 

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It was a big day for the project! First start, and a limited test drive in my yard. Very happy to report everything is working well so far! Surprisingly the worst issue I ran into was ordering the wrong pressure plate bolts. My slave cylinder bracket works well and I have a firm clutch pedal. The shift relocation bracket I made works and gears shift smoothly. I will put up a few pictures of what I did. The only thing I did much different from others is my bracket for the S10 slave and using 4 thrust bearings in the shift linkage. I also used a new dorman clutch line from a F250, and coupled it to the factory SC line.

Still a lot of work to be done. Mostly sealing up the transmission tunnel and the tune. Was nice to get it out on it's own power. The clutch and gears feel very tight. I can't wait to get it out on the road!

Could someone recommend where to get a tune? TBH I really haven't researched that part of this swap much so any quick pointers would be very appreciated. I need to pass inspection in NY so I need to get that fixed so I can plate it.
 

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Could someone recommend where to get a tune? TBH I really haven't researched that part of this swap much so any quick pointers would be very appreciated. I need to pass inspection in NY so I need to get that fixed so I can plate it.
You need an UNLOCKED used xcal2, or similar tuning hardware.

As for a tune, I'd call Don Lasota:

SCT LaSota Racing Ford Mail Order Custom Tunes

He will get you started; you'll need to go back and forth a couple of times getting fine details worked out.

Nice swap!
 

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For the tune, send a PM to ClintD. He did the tune on my 97 5-speed, and still has the tune on file.
 
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