Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
2/24/20 2:36 p.m.

[Editor's Note: This article originally ran in 2007. Some information and prices may be different today.]

Story and Photography by Carl Heideman

Back in the day, most European cars were ahead of their American counterparts in the gearbox department. While American cars usually had three-speed…

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wspohn
wspohn Dork
2/25/20 11:28 a.m.

Carl - dead links to original article.

shinearmor
shinearmor
10/17/20 12:08 p.m.

They have republished a significant error.  The T9 is NOT a Borg Warner transmission.  It is a FORD Type-9 transmission.  It is a European trans, never made in the US by Borg Warner.

TheSpider
TheSpider New Reader
10/17/20 3:43 p.m.

But my Alfa already has a five speed....

wspohn
wspohn Dork
10/18/20 1:11 p.m.
TheSpider said:

But my Alfa already has a five speed....

And in many cases (MG, Triumph) the original car may have a 6 speed  (4  plus OD on 3rd and 4th)

JIMSCAT
JIMSCAT
10/4/21 5:38 p.m.

I have the Ford T9 in my MGB. It was a well-engineered kit and it works well.

But if I had it to do over agin, I'd choose the more recently available Vitesse kit that utilizes the Mazda transmission.  Just a more modern transmission design that would be easier to shift. 

sdkgt6
sdkgt6 New Reader
10/9/21 11:13 p.m.

I recently bought an MGB GT that has the Nissan Rivergate conversion and I love it.  My problem with most conversions is they don't offer a tall enough 5th for good low-rpm cruising.  the Miata is in the mid .8 range.  The gearbox in my car turns out to be the 'close-ratio' ZX gearbox with a .745 5th.  70 mph is about 2800 rpm.  The pictured gearbox is the close-ratio since it doesn't have the metal shield on the end of the tailshaft housing and only has one mounting ear which is on the other side.  I have no issues with quick shifting, and the PO that fitted it shortened the stick so it is nearly as short as a stock Miata.  It is a absolute joy to drive.  And since this gearbox was used in a much more powerful and heavier car, it is highly unlikely that the little 1.8 will ever wear it out, let alone break it.

 

wspohn
wspohn SuperDork
10/10/21 10:16 a.m.

It is a matter of taste and preference how high the OD gear feels 'right' to you.

I ued a V8 T5 trans that has a 5th gear ratio of 0.63, which may seem quite long (the pay off was not having to use the versions out of S10s and such with truck bull low ratios).

My car weighs around 2000 lbs. and has c. 200 bhp so has a bit more pull than an original engine. With an MG engine in there, a 0.7 would be just about ideal.

sdkgt6
sdkgt6 New Reader
10/10/21 12:46 p.m.

That would be the pictured Jamaican, Bill?

wspohn
wspohn SuperDork
10/11/21 9:21 a.m.
sdkgt6 said:

That would be the pictured Jamaican, Bill?

Yes - the T5 seemed  good choice and easy to fit.

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
10/21/21 8:22 a.m.

I'll get my team to take a look at this.

wspohn
wspohn SuperDork
10/21/21 10:58 a.m.

There is a wide range of ratios available in various T5 applications, Tim.

If you can get an idea ahead of time what would work best for you, you may find this to be a useful resource - lists all the gear ratios and applications.

http://www.britishv8.org/Articles/Borg-Warner-T5-ID-Tags.htm

jimbbski
jimbbski SuperDork
11/1/21 4:51 p.m.

I installed a Mustang V8 T5 into my friends 1974 Ford/mercury Capri.  I used a Mustang II bell housing. That car also came with the Cologne V6 engine but used a B/W transmission. That trans predated the T5 but when the T5 was developed they used the same trans to bell bolt pattern. This made it easy to swap a T5 into the Capri. I had to make a trans mount, have a driveshaft custom built, determine what starter to use,  and figure out a cable set up to work the clutch.  That last part is going to replaced with a hydraulic set up over the winter. I did drop the overdrive from 0.68 to 0.73 but will be going back to the higher overdrive as his engine pulls 5th gear fine now and I think it will pull the original 5th gear ratio with no issues. 

It turns about 2500 rpms at 70 mph. 

With the stock trans it would turn 3000 at 60 mph!

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