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Discussion Starter #1
I need some help finding parts to do the absolute cheapest T45 swap possible. As some of you may know, I am racing a '97 Tbird in the 24 Hours of Lemons and, until now, we have been running the stock 4r70w. Last race, it finally blew up (after 5 good runs), so I am swapping in a T45.

I have already bought the transmission, out of a 98 Cobra. It came with a fork and throwout bearing.

As for the whole clutch assembly, I looked to this article: http://www.tccoa.com/articles/tranny/T45/index.html. Problem is, all those parts listed for the clutch assembly are over $900, well out of my budget.

What are, at bare minimum cost, the parts I need to complete this swap and get something that can handle stock power for an endurance race? I also need a clutch pedal assembly, if anyone has one lying around.
 

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Are you using the stock dash and everything? If so you will need a supercoupe clutch pedal and a hydralic setup, which is generally not that cheap. If not you could probaly rig up a mustang pedal assembly and cable. You probably will need a shorter drive shaft as well.

Will
 

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I fear for your budget on this one and wish you the best of luck. For your application I would even consider used clutch/flywheel to make budget and get it working.
 

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t45swap.com

Maybe you will get some ideas on lowering cost.
 

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Another suggestion is to buy a donor car for X dollars and sell the parts off of it to bring the acquisition cost down into the Lemons budget.

It's a pain but can be done. I did that with an 89SC donor car that gave me my m5r2 transmission.

It all comes down to how cheaty do you want to get? The tbird is NOT an BMW or a Miata so there's less scrutiny than it you showed up with a tricked out one of those two cars.

BTW, have you ever weighed your car yet in ready-to-race form (full tank, cage, etc but no driver)? I'm curious to hear how my 95 lemons car (V6) weighs compared to yours.

-g
 

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Baby Huey
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Use a stock SC master with a wilwood pull type slave on the bell housing pulling your clutch fork
 

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Nice to see another lemons MN12 on here. I run an 89 Cougar with a 5.0 and M5R2 up here.

As for the T45 swap, the cheapest way possible, is get a clutch pedal and master cylinder for a 5-speed supercoupe, and then buy a clutch slave cylinder for a 94/95 4-cyl Chevy S-10. The S10 slave is about $60 new from somewhere like advance auto parts. You will need to make a hydraulic line to connect the tbird master to the S10 slave, but both use the same style fittings, so if you can get a line out of a junkyard to steal the fittings from, I can get the hose locally for about $2.50/ft and you'll need 3ft. Also you'll need to make a bracket to bolt the S10 slave to the side of the T45 so it pushes on the stock mustang clutch fork, and then use a piece of threaded rod with double nuts to adjust it. I've done this setup on several T45 swaps for street cars, and it works perfect and holds up quite well. Also, you will need a shorter driveshaft, and one for a non-police crown vic with a 4R70 is the exact right length, you just need to swap out the rear flange for your tbird one and swap out the slip yoke for the T45 one. One more thing you will need is a tune to get rid of the auto trans controls.

If you already have the trans, and tuning software, and if you are willing to scour the junkyards looking for parts and willing to do some fabrication, you should be able to get a T45 into the car for under $400 for everything else, including the clutch and flywheel.
 

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Also be warned, if that trans you have is in fact from a 98 Cobra, you will need a GT tailshaft housing. Either that or some serious fab to get the trans mount to work. The Cobra trans mount is a couple inches further back than the GT and will not line up with your Bird cross member. Also instead of making a line, which you can do and it will be cheaper, I used these parts on mine and they work perfectly, easier than searching junkyards for fittings and lines in my book, but up to you.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/RUS-640281?autofilter=1&part=RUS-640281&N=700+4294842506+115&autoview=sku

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/AER-FBPA0039-36?autofilter=1&part=AER-FBPA0039-36&N=700+4294856397+4294906593+4294761375+4294790817+115&autoview=sku

Also read through this thread, http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.php?t=127322 or you can do a quick search, Mikey has a few great threads from his builds. Mine has alot of good pics scattered throughout that show or answer just about every question you could have. Good luck, any questions don't hesitate.
 

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Baby Huey
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Also be warned, if that trans you have is in fact from a 98 Cobra, you will need a GT tailshaft housing. Either that or some serious fab to get the trans mount to work. The Cobra trans mount is a couple inches further back than the GT and will not line up with your Bird cross member. Also instead of making a line, which you can do and it will be cheaper, I used these parts on mine and they work perfectly, easier than searching junkyards for fittings and lines in my book, but up to you.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/RUS-640281?autofilter=1&part=RUS-640281&N=700+4294842506+115&autoview=sku

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/AER-FBPA0039-36?autofilter=1&part=AER-FBPA0039-36&N=700+4294856397+4294906593+4294761375+4294790817+115&autoview=sku

Also read through this thread, http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.php?t=127322 or you can do a quick search, Mikey has a few great threads from his builds. Mine has alot of good pics scattered throughout that show or answer just about every question you could have. Good luck, any questions don't
I'm running a cobra t45 in mine, all I did was elongate the stock hole in the cross member. No major fab needed.
 

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I'd like to see pics of that setup. From what I remember on mine it was a pretty good fight to get mine close enough to go together and given how far back the Cobra mount point is, I'm not seeing how that could work. Not saying it can't happen every car is different, but I'd still like to see it. And I may be wrong completely but when I saw a cobra trans and a GT trans side by side it didn't look to me like they would work. And if I am wrong by all means disregard what I said, I was just speaking from what I knew from my experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all of the responses and great information! Sorry I'm getting back to you this late, I work on the road and this week was tough.

Back to the topic at hand:

Is this the Clutch assembly I need?

http://search.freefind.com/find.html?id=76531874&pid=r&mode=ALL&n=0&_charset_=UTF-8&bcd=÷&query=clutch+pedal

Master Cylinder?

http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_clutch-master-cylinder-perfection-clutch_12022793-p?searchTerm=master+cylinder&navigationPath=searchTerm*master+cylinder&zoneAssigned=1

Clutch Slave Cylinder?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Centric-Clutch-Slave-Cylinder-Chevy-S-10-BLAZER-S10-Pickup-Chevrolet-95-Auto-/140756280733?fits=Year:1995&hash=item20c5ba659d&item=140756280733&pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr


As far as the tuning, I have heard mentioned on these forums that Blue Oval Chips is the way to go. Any specific model I should get from them, or should I contact them directly with my needs to get the best answer?
 

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The first link is to a clutch pedal assembly, it does look correct. But if your looking at buying that from that website, $179 is waaaay to much money for that. Go over to SCCoA and ask over there should be able to get a clutch pedal for $50-$75. Also one other thing of note on that pedal assembly, not the extra bolt at the top that bolts the top of the assembly to the underside of the dash in addition to the firewall mounts, be sure to put in that bolt. Some people have had issue with firewall flex and breaking after awhile with that bolt being out. Second link for the master cylinder looks correct, any stock MC from a 89-95 Super Coupe 5 speed will work. Third link for the slave cylinder is wrong. That listing is for a V6 slave cylinder, you need one for a 4 cylinder. The V6 one is to big. As for tuning, yeah I'd say give them a call tell them what all your doing and have them make up something for you. I wouldn't trust a fill in the blanks online order form, something like that I want to talk to a real live person. Any other questions, ask away.
 

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Discussion Starter #13

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That is the correct one. But FYI, it's available from Rockauto for $32. As for clutch pack, it's basically preference. Some say Ram, some say SPEC. I personally am running a Centerforce. Thats the only brand I have ever run, and the only brand I ever will run. For your setup, I know you said your racing, but I have no idea what the 24 hours of Lemons is all about so I can't really say. I will suggest, that since you have to buy a flywheel anyways, I would suggest stepping up to an 11" setup, over the normal 10.5" Just my suggestion though. I have seen resonably priced no name clutch and pressure plate with flywheel setups on eBay that I would buy if need be. They look like decent quality pieces and the prices are good. This would be one of them

http://www.ebay.com/itm/F1-STAGE-1-CLUTCH-KIT-CHROMOLY-FLYWHEEL-96-04-FORD-MUSTANG-GT-4-6L-6-BOLT-TR3650-/160846940088?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item25733987b8&vxp=mtr

Also from Summit, you can buy from FRPP flywheel bolts and pilot bearing for cheap, and they are good parts, dont forget them, you will need em.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Also from Summit, you can buy from FRPP flywheel bolts and pilot bearing for cheap, and they are good parts, dont forget them, you will need em.
Flywheel bolts, clutch kit, and pilot bearing picked up. Email sent to Blue oval Chips.

Anyone know where to get better-than-oem motor mounts? I have the engine out and mine are shot. Debating just fabricating solid ones...

You guys are amazing, by the way. I've done 5 of these endurance races in the past year and a half and have only needed to post here a dozen or so time because every question/problem I have is already answered. You guys are awesome, these cars are awesome. Cheers.
 

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On our car, we just welded the motor mounts solid. Another option is you can replace the center mount part with 2 hockey pucks with a grade 8 bolt through them, which will absorb some vibration but not have any movement when you hit the gas. After 3 or 4 races, the hockey pucks started to split, but they are cheap enough that it really isn't a problem to replace them. The only reason we went back to stock style motor mounts was because we put long-tube headers on the car, and the hockey puck mounts lower the engine slightly, which would have made the headers hit the steering shaft.

By the way, in one of our races, we boiled the gear oil out of our diff, and Judge Phil said "oh yeah, these cars do that", and said that a team down in Texas had done the same thing. Was that you by chance?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
By the way, in one of our races, we boiled the gear oil out of our diff, and Judge Phil said "oh yeah, these cars do that", and said that a team down in Texas had done the same thing. Was that you by chance?
Wasn't us, we run the stock open diff (had not problems so far, and if it ain't broke...). We are one of only 3 MN12s that are running in the Texas area, one is a V6 and the other doesn't stay on the track long enough to boil anything except coolant.

We have had the following problems:
Gas puking out the filler (fixed, by running a 2" Ball valve through the trunk into the tank)

Seized thermostat (the car got to just shy of 300 degrees before we noticed, and it was still running)

Blown head-gasket (probably from the thermostat incident, ran two more races before we finally figured out where all our coolant was disappearing to)

Camber adjustment bolt dented its mounting hole, causing the suspension to come out of camber...randomly. (still not fixed, but I have bigger fish to fry at the moment)

Electrical short that caused everything to work when none of the fuses were plugged in, even the kill switch stopped working (that one took forever to fix)

4R70W dieing, strangely. It stopped pumping fluid through the coolers, then began to overheat, went into a limp-home-esque mode for 30 seconds, then stopped shifting altogether. After replacing the ATF, it worked fine again, for 20 minutes, then died. Still haven't taken it apart to see what happened.

Other than that, the car has been great. Damn fast in the straights and the corners. These are just some minor bugs associated with turning a street car into a racer.
 

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We never had any problems with fuel coming out the filler. We did always starve for fuel on right hand turns below a half tank, but we fixed that by running 2 fuel pumps, one in the stock location and one just floating around in the tank so that it follows the fuel, and now we can run down to about 1/8th of a tank before that becomes an issue. We also kept melting brakes off the car, so we are now running 13" cobra brakes in the front and cobra rotors with the stock calipers in the rear.

What are you running for wheels and tires on yours? Since they are not part of the budget, we got some 17x9 Mustang Cobra wheels, and run 275/40/17s at all 4 corners. The car seems to handle the best on Nitto NT05s, but we only get 1 race out of each set of tires before they are down to the wear bars.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
What are you running for wheels and tires on yours? Since they are not part of the budget, we got some 17x9 Mustang Cobra wheels, and run 275/40/17s at all 4 corners. The car seems to handle the best on Nitto NT05s, but we only get 1 race out of each set of tires before they are down to the wear bars.
we picked up some cheapo 18x8s from a local tire store. We run 255/40/18 Falken Azenis 615Ks, and they are great.

How do you fit those tires? I have been thinking about running 315s for a while, just for kicks.
 

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Baby Huey
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I'd like to see pics of that setup. From what I remember on mine it was a pretty good fight to get mine close enough to go together and given how far back the Cobra mount point is, I'm not seeing how that could work. Not saying it can't happen every car is different, but I'd still like to see it. And I may be wrong completely but when I saw a cobra trans and a GT trans side by side it didn't look to me like they would work. And if I am wrong by all means disregard what I said, I was just speaking from what I knew from my experience.
In Baltimore for a wedding, but I'll be back home to Houston later this week and snap some pics.
 
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