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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-21-2016, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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borg warner t5 frankenstien

as i work under the tempest, i keep looking over to the transmission. the original manual is long gone, and there is currently a t5 sitting there, with a shifter sticking up through the floor. i understand that this is sort of outside the standard thing, but i am hoping that some of you have some experience here.

there is no tag on the transmission. there may be a decal on the top, but at this point i doubt it. i understand that there are various signs to look for to determine the vintage of the transmission, but i fear that this one was put together from random parts, and i won't be able to figure anything out about it until it is on the bench with the cover off. the reason i think that this is true is that the bell housing is a pontiac part, the main transmission box has a connector for an electronic speedometer, and the tail housing has the connector for an analogue speedometer. needless to say, it looks nothing like the pictures you find on the internet.

anyway, the reason i am writing tonight is the entire reason i will be messing with it at all. it won't stay in first gear. it stays in second, third, and reverse as one would expect (i have not gotten it in 4th or 5th yet, but i dont expect problems there).

it just occurs to me that i have never tried to leave it in first gear when the engine is off. maybe i should have tried this before i emailed. ahh, well, if it is important, i can check it later.

the guy i bought it from said he drained the fluid out, and nothing came out that would indicate a problem. (i know that there is a magnet in there to collect bits that grind off, so that might not mean anything.)

it doesn't grind, it just pops out as you release the clutch.

any ideas on what i am likely to find when i open it up?

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-21-2016, 08:26 PM
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Can't say I know of anyone running a T5. You did not state what engine you have. If you have a 400/455 or anything having torque and HP, my guess is that from what I did source on the internet, it won't hold up behind a Pontiac engine. The highest & best T5 was rated at 330 ft pounds of torque. Keep a bucket in your trunk to pick the pieces up off the road if you have any power going through it.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-22-2016, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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the car is badged for a 326 V8, but the engine block number calls it out as a 350 from a 72 pontiac. i dont know anything about the change, since it was done, from the look of it, long before i got the car. i also dont know when the transmission was changed. i suppose both might have been done at the same time in the late 80's.

there are basically two "generations" of the T5, referred to as NWC (not world class) for the early transmissions, up until the late 1980's, and WC (world class) from then on. there are a lot of opinions floating around about the differences and what they mean. as an example, i am pretty sure that the tail housing is a NWC part, possibly from a S10 pickup, but i am not sure. i think it is an earlier part because it has the analogue speedometer fitting. i have not seen references to a WC transmission with one, but, as someone pointed out, there are over 250 different combinations of housings, bearings, shafts, and gear ratios. these transmissions have been used everywhere, under lots of different vehicles, and it appears that you can put parts from a brand new t5 (yes, they are still made by the company who bought the transmission business from BW way back when, tremec) into a first year transmission.

while i didnt expect a lot of t5 partisans to make an appearance here, i was hoping that the issue would ring a bell with the collective wisdom, since i imagine that the issue is a generic problem, like a clip sprung loose, or a pin sheared off.

basically, i was being lazy, and hoping someone would be able to point me to the likely culprit, so i wouldn't put effort into taking things apart that i didnt need to. i may find myself having to replace the gear itself, but a lack of mess in the fluid and lack of gnashing or grinding leaves me with the hope that i will find a clip laying in the bottom of the housing or something equally trivial to fix.

yeah, right . . . . . .
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  Pontiac GTO Forum > The 1964-1974 Pontiac Tempest, Lemans & GTO > 1964-1974 Tempest, Lemans & GTO Undercarriage, Frame, Transmission and Differential Discussions.

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