Put a T56 6 Speed Behind your Ford 2300
I have been asked at least a hundred times about
how to put a T56 6 speed transmission behind a Ford 2300, just
like I have in the 1986 SVO-ND. I don't have all the pictures
you might like, but here is the parts list you will need to have.
First off, you will need to acquire a T56 transmission
for a Ford, with a 302/351W bell housing, also known as a 'Fox
Bell'. This was never in a factory car, so a junkyard is pretty
much out. Several vendors sell T56 kits of Fox body Mustangs,
all ready to go. If you're looking for one-stop shopping, that
would be a start. If you're looking to save a buck, shop eBay,
the Corral, or other places, and you'll find one.
Now that you have the main parts, here's the 2.3L
specific stuff. You need an adapter plate. These are also called
engine plates, transmission plates, etc. Mine was made out of
.250" aluminum by David Godfrey. I don't think he is making
them anymore, but you can contact Tim Tyner (1HOT4POT) on turboford.org, as I think
he has a new, simpler version made from steel.
Next, you will need a flywheel. I had a custom aluminum
flywheel made by SPEC. Essentially, it is their standard 5.0L
aluminum flywheel, with both a 5.0L and a 2.3L crank bolt patterns
drilled in it. Any standard 5.0L clutch will work. I have used
a SPEC Stage II, Centerforce Dual Friction, and my latest build
uses a Ford Motorsports King Cobra. The Centerforce had the best
pedal pressure by far, and no slip or chatter issues. I have
not run the FMS clutch yet. Use a standard 5.0L starter.
Pilot bearing is another issue. The T56 has a larger
input shaft bearing surface than the 2.3 T5 or T9 transmissions
have. You have two basic options. One is to use a bronze bushing,
like the one available from Rapido and others. The second is
to use a roller bearing (without the retainer) from a 5.0L. This
will require you to mill out the end of your crankshaft. I have
run the bronze bushing with generally bad results on two different
engines and each of the above clutches. The bushing usually lasts
about 3500 miles. My new engine has the actual roller bearing,
and I think I will have better results.
For a driveshaft, you can buy one off the shelf from
one of the companies who sells Fox T56 install kits, or you can
have your stock one shortened, and use a Viper transmission yoke.
Transmission mounts are another tricky item. You can
pay hundreds from one of these companies to get the right stuff,
or you can go buy the frame mounts, and crossmember for a late
90's Mustang with a 5 speed. In these cars, the mounts bolt to
the frame rails, and the crossmember is solid, without the rubber
bushings. Total cost was about $50 out the door. For the mount
under the transmission, it is a GM piece that was used on virtually
all standrad transmission cars from the beginning of time. I
don't have a part number offhand. It is about 2" or so tall.
You can get a poly one from Energy Suspension, but it is very
harsh in a street car. You will need to slot the transmission
crossmember brace where the rubber mount meets it, in all likelihood.
Clutch cable setup is ssimple. Use an aluminum quadrant,
firewall adjuster, and adjustable cable. I got mine from UPR.
No frills here. For the speedo cable, I used one from a 90 Mustang
with cruise control. You will need to use the electronic distance
sensor, and the appropriate gear for your rear end ratio and
tire size. For a shifter, that's up to you. I went with a Pro
5.0 unit, and I really like it. There will more than likely be
some other small, nit-noy items for you to deal with. This should
be enough to get you going. Happy Motoring!