Jim Smart
April 27, 2006

From Flywheel To Differential
V-8 power gives us a blank canvas to work with from the bellhousing back because we can do virtually anything: install a five-speed or automatic overdrive, a classic '60s C4 automatic or Top Loader four-speed, or even a six-speed. Because Carolyn Chenore, who owns this Mustang, likes a manual transmission in her Mustang, she originally wanted to keep a three-speed manual box in the tunnel. When we explained the advantages of having a more fuel-efficient five-speed with overdrive, she liked the idea.

JMC Motorsports answered our call with a used Tremec T5 five-speed left behind by a customer who went with a stronger Tremec TKO transmission. The T5 was fitted with a PRO 5.0 shifter, which tightens up the shift pattern and increases driving pleasure.

We also had the good fortune of working with Southland Clutch, which provided us with a new diaphragm-style clutch to replace the old, knee-eroding, three-finger Borg & Beck clutch behind the six. Diaphragm clutches provide solid engagement without the tremendous disengagement pressures associated with dated three-finger clutches. Another item we're tossing aside is the Mustang's original equalizer-shaft clutch linkage that has always been problematic. These flimsy clutch linkages have rolled over and played dead more times than not, forcing us into the roadside embarrassment of a tow truck. We're going with a hydraulic clutch-conversion kit from JMC Motorsports.

If a hydraulic clutch isn't what you had in mind, Ron Morris Performance has a cable clutch-conversion kit, available from Mustangs Plus, borrowed from the '79-'95 Mustang parts shelf.