How to swap a T-5 and Hydraulic Clutch into a 1968 Mustang
By Christoper Campbell
There are a several transmission options on the market when it comes to overdrive manual trans swaps in classic Mustangs, but our favorite for street and mild autocross and track use is the good ‘olTremec T5 for engines with less that 450hp. That’s not only because they enjoy a long history of being reliable and lasting a nearly forever when properly cared for, but just as importantly, they actually fit. T5s are fairly compact and round-cased transmissions, so they will tuck right up into any Mustang from 1964 ½ to 1973 with no cutting or permanent modification required.
The T5 swap has been around since at least the 1990s, so there are several companies that offer kits, with some wide variation in quality and components. Another problem, as anyone who has looked into exactly what it takes to swap a modern overdrive transmission into a classic Mustang will quickly discover, is that there is no such thing as a truly all-inclusive, everything-you-need package. Sure, there are a couple that get somewhat close and provide maybe eighty-ish percent of the necessary parts, but that last 20 percent or so can be a real pain to source because those small parts will come from various companies.
Starting with an American Powertrain T5 swap kit as the basis, and working with expert Mustang technicians at Mustangs Etc in Van Nuys, CA, the Summit Racing package are being trial fit to ensure as easy and straightforward of an install as possible. The first available kits will be for small block powered (289, 302, 351W) 1967-1968 Mustang and Cougar, with 1964 ½-1966 and 1969-1970 following soon after. If there is significant demand, big-block kits may come later.
We should be clear — these kits aren’t intended for those that like to piecemeal things together, junkyard hop, or eBay and Craigslist browse. These kits are intended for those who want a single part number kit with all brand new, brand name parts.
Could you piece the same kit together for less?
On top of all of that, everything in these kits is 100-percent bolt-in, meaning you could swap back to stock if you ever wanted to. That’s a bonus for our ’68 test car, because if a few years from now my mom is still enjoying her Mustang, but shifting that clutch is starting to become a problem, it can all be pulled out to put the C-4 back in it. We kept all the parts, just in case.
Scroll through the slideshow below to see how our T5 installation went.