Marc Christ
Brand Manager, Modified Mustangs & Fords
October 16, 2012

Our Coyote-powered '85 coupe project is starting to come together. It recently received a complete paint and body overhaul by Spike's Performance and Summit Racing Equipment. And last month, we dropped the engine between the fenders and routed the FRPP Controls Pack harness. We still have a long way to go, but it's starting to take shape. When we started this project in the February issue, we outlined the purpose of the build. Editor Smith wants a track-ready Fox that he can also drive to the office, local car shows, or cruise nights. So after choosing the Ford Racing Performance Parts Coyote crate engine as the centerpiece, a six-speed was the natural transmission choice.

When it comes to manual transmissions, Tremec has become the standard, especially for Mustangers. From the venerable TKO line to the GT500's TR-6060, Tremec's OE and aftermarket presence is undeniable. Our weapon of choice is the T56 Magnum (PN TUET11011). This is Tremec's latest aftermarket six-speed, and it features a 2.97 First gear. Rated to handle 700 lb-ft, this is anything but your average T56. It features a hardened 26-spline input shaft, a 31-spline output shaft, and a 0.50 Sixth gear. But you can't just grab a six-speed and drop it in a Fox-body. And since Tremec doesn't offer installation kits or swap kits, there are companies like American Powertrain to help you out.

As manual transmission experts, American Powertrain is a Tremec dealer and offers a wide array of transmissions, upgrades, installation kits, clutches, and accessories. It sent us its T56 Magnum swap kit for Fox-bodies ($699). The kit includes a crossmember, yoke, mount, bellhousing, and hardware. For a clutch, we went with American Powertrain's Science Friction Stage 2 clutch assembly ($499). We won't be doing much drag racing on it, so this will provide plenty of holding capacity for our naturally aspirated Coyote. It includes a billet steel flywheel, a single-disc woven Kevlar disc, pressure plate, throwout bearing, and pilot bearing.

Since we already mocked up our engine and transmission before we shipped the shell off to paint, we knew it was going to fit. We even already welded in the crossmember brackets. So it was just a matter of bolting everything together. The only two things we didn't install were the clutch cable and driveshaft. The clutch cable could be in the way of installing our master brake cylinder and brake lines, and we can't measure for correct driveshaft length until we get the rearend assembled and installed. Next month, we move to the interior. Stay tuned as our clean little coupe comes together one piece at a time.

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16 Then we installed the hardware, securing it in place.