Michael Johnson
Technical Editor
May 1, 2001

Step By Step

View Photo Gallery
“Hey, do ya mind? I’m tryin’ to work over here!” Yes ladies, it’s your favorite tech model Jay Meagher of LaMotta’s Performance in Longwood, Florida. Jay wasn’t in the mood for a goofy lead photo so we had to catch him in the act. All kidding aside, Jay handled the install with precision.
The addition of a Lakewood bellhousing makes us feel better about launching our LX on slicks with the nitrous at full boogie. We have grown to like our feet and we want to keep them attached to the end of our legs. Excessive sells the T5 Lakewood bellhousing for $289.
Excessive also provided us with a Zoom billet steel flywheel and Multi-Friction clutch package. According to Zoom’s Performance and Transmission Products Manager, Bobby Godwin, the Multi- Friction clutch provides 150 percent more durability than a stock clutch. Zoom achieves such durability thanks to Kevlar material on the flywheel side. As an added bonus for 5.0 owners, Bobby says the Kevlar sheds oil better than an organic clutch, so when your rear-main seal eventually leaks, the clutch will still live. The flywheel runs $250 and the clutch kit will set you back $209. The Zoom kit comes with a throwout bearing and a new pilot bushing.
Jay removes the driveshaft, the H-pipe, and the crossmember in order to take out the transmission. He loosens the clutch cable from the clutch fork as well as any electrical connections. With those items out of the way, he loosens the bolts affixing the transmission to the factory bellhousing.
Remove the bellhousing from the block. You may need to use a screwdriver to pry it off, as Jay is doing here.
Jay loosens the clutch-attachment bolts and removes the clutch. The aforementioned screwdriver comes in handy here as well. Jay then removes the flywheel and blocking plate from the block.
Before installing the Lakewood bellhousing, Jay sets a new rear main seal and our new pilot bushing in place. It’s always a good idea to do both while you have everything apart because these are wear items.
Jay installs the Lakewood blocking plate and torques our Zoom flywheel to 75 lb-ft. Notice how he had to trim the blocking plate to clear our H-pipe. He also had to trim the bellhousing in this area. Jay says this is standard fare when installing a Lakewood bellhousing.
Don’t forget to transfer the dowel pins from your flywheel to the new flywheel. These dowel pins properly line up the clutch disc on the flywheel.
Now our new Zoom clutch can be installed. Jay torques the clutch to 25 lb-ft.
This is the clutch pivot ball. It must be transferred from the old bellhousing to the Lakewood unit. It’s important that you clean the socket before reusing it with the new setup, as any grime in it will interfere with clutch-fork operation.
Here’s where the clutch pivot ball rides on the clutch fork. This socket area must also be thoroughly cleaned and lubed with grease before reinstallation.
Jay slides the throwout bearing into place on the clutch fork and pops the pivot ball onto the socket. The clutch fork will hang out the side of the bellhousing until we reinstall it.
Before our T5 is ready to be reinstalled, we need to replace the original bearing retainer with our new steel bearing retainer from Parkway Ford. The factory retainer becomes scarred with use, and this steel unit is the cure. Be sure to transfer the bearing race before installing the new bearing retainer.
We used Redline Lubricants’ D4 synthetic transmission fluid to fill up our T5 before reinstallation. A T5 takes roughly three quarts of fluid.
With everything set up, our T5 is ready to be reinstalled. Jay uses an old input shaft to get everything in line. Then he lifts the T5 into place. The lower-right bolt hole on the transmission did have to be elongated slightly to allow the T5 to line up.
As a preemptive strike, we called PA Performance for one of its mini-starters ($145). Since our coupe is a ’93 model, it already features a mini-starter from the factory. However, PA Performance has an upgrade kit for earlier models so you can install one on your 5.0 Mustang. The mini-starter saves 9 pounds over a factory ’92-earlier unit, and it turns the engine over faster using less current.
The Accufab Racing clutch cable installs just like every other cable on the market, and we even left our Steeda quadrant and firewall adjuster in place with the new cable.
Well, Humpty-Dumpty is back together again and the clutch works great. Pedal effort is much lighter than expected and clutch engagement is instantaneous. Now, if we can just get the car running right (See Tech Inspection, page 184). 5.0

During our last trip to the strip our coupe's clutch began to slip once it built up some heat after a couple runs. The slippage signaled the end, but on the street it wasn't as evident so we were able to live with it for a while.

That is, until our clutch cable also began to give us fits. The clutch's rapid deterioration combined with the cable's antics made us finally decide to park the car until we got new clutch components.

That's when we called Excessive Motorsports. We wanted a clutch package that would be able to handle the added horsepower of our nitrous kit without leaving our left knee sore at the end of the day. We also wanted the added safety of a Lakewood bellhousing. Yes, we did retain our stock T5, and you may be thinking that if we have enough power to need a bellhousing then we have enough to power to disintegrate a T5. You would have a valid argument, but we're more worried about the clutch coming loose and cutting our feet off when we launch on the juice than how many passes our T5's going to survive. We like our feet right where they are, and if we break the T5, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Excessive supplied us with a Lakewood bellhousing and a Zoom flywheel and Multi-Friction clutch kit. We contacted Parkway Ford for a T5 steel bearing retainer and a new pilot bushing. We later found that Zoom also includes one in its clutch kits. For fluid we contacted Redline Lubricants for three quarts of D4 synthetic transmission fluid.

If you've ever driven a Mustang that needed a new clutch cable, you know it's difficult to depress the clutch pedal. Ours got so bad the clutch pedal became bent from repeatedly strong-leggin' it to the floor. We heard through a reliable source (Dan Flowers at Idle Wild Racing) that Accufab Racing makes an excellent clutch cable that decreases pedal effort significantly. We wanted to see for ourselves so we called Accufab and ordered one for the install.

We didn't feel like tackling this project ourselves, so we contacted LaMotta's Performance in Longwood, Florida, to take care of the install. Up to this point LaMotta handled whatever we threw at them, and the clutch install was more of the same. Without giving it all away, our clutch works great, and our left leg is no worse for wear.

Horse Sense: Lakewood makes a variety of bellhousings for 5.0 applications. However, the company also makes one that will enable you to mate a 4.6 modular engine with a Toploader four-speed, a Tremec 3550 or TKO, or a Jerico four-speed.