24. Other Interesting T5 Swaps

24.1. 1985 Schenk Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS

Charlie Graf (Urban Auto, 827 Franklin Avenue, Franklin Lakes, NJ, 07417, 201-891-8081) contracted Ed Quay Race Cars (Pottstown, PA) to modify some SS Monte Carlos. Modifications include Borg Warner T5, steel cowl induction hood, dropped spindles, and stripes/stickers. The modified SS Monte Carlos were sold through Schenk Chevrolet (Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, 201-288-0055).

Super Chevy magazine (April 1986) published a 2-page article on this car.

The current owner of this car has contacted me and a I have published detailed profile of the car.

24.2. 1976 383 Vega

My friend John built this car and decided that the Borg Warner T50 transmission was on its last legs (gee, I wonder why). John discovered that the Chevette T5 is about the same length as a Saginaw, the shifter is in the same relative position as the T50, and the extension housing has torque arm mounting holes. Since all non-World Class T5s share the same mainshaft journal dimensions and the backs of all of the non-World Class T5 main cases are the same, it looked like we could utilize the modularity of the T5 and assemble a custom transmission.

Two transmissions were needed to perform this swap: a T5 from a Chevette and a non-World Class T5 from a V8 F body. I loaded the Chevette T5 mainshaft with the gears from the F body T5 and installed the mainshaft assembly into the F body T5 main case. The Chevette lid, F body front bearing retainer, and Chevette extension housing were then bolted to the F body main case. This was too easy.

24.3. 1983 350 Malibu Wagon

After installing an 8.5-inch 3.73:1 rear axle and driveshaft from a 1987 Oldsmobile 442 into my 1983 Malibu Wagon, I quickly realized that I was desperate for overdrive. The bench seat prevents the use of an F body T5 and a new Tremec 5 or 6 speed are not in my budget. I began looking for an S10 T5, but came across a Chevette T5. After taking some measurements I determined that the overall length is 7/8 inches shorter than the Saginaw, the shifter is about 2.25 inches further back than the Saginaw, and the transmission mount is in the same place as the Saginaw. The shifter is in a great place for use with a bench seat and no modifications are necessary to the existing crossmember. The 8.5-inch rear is 0.81 inches longer than the 7.5-inch rear and the Chevette T5 is 0.875 inches shorter than the Saginaw, so I am able to use the original 7.5-inch driveshaft with the Chevette T5.

I built this custom T5 using an S10 main case, F body front bearing retainer, nonWorld Class V8 gear set, Chevette mainshaft, Chevette lid, and Chevette extension housing. The overdrive gear set (23/53) came from a 4.03:1 first gear 1985 V6 F body T5 (RPO MB1) yielding 0.56:1 when used with the V8 gearset.

One unique aspect of the Chevette T5 is that the speedometer driven gear rides above the drive gear rather than below, as on the other GM T5s. To ensure the speedometer cable turns in the proper direction, the pitch of the gears is opposite that of the other GM T5 speedometer gears. Therefore, either the original Chevette speedometer gearset must be used in conjunction with a ratio adapter to correct for the differential ratio, or the proper standard GM T5 speedometer drive/driven gears can be used in conjunction with a 1:1 reverse direction adapter. I chose to use the standard gears and reverse rotation adapter.

24.4. 1970 Chevrolet Kingswood Estate Wagon

My friend John has had this Wagon for many years. It originally came from the factory with a V8 with 3-speed manual transmission. John installed an F body T5 with an S10 shifter (Figure 24-1) onto his original bellhousing. It may not be too clear from the photographs, but the crossmember mounting pad is welded to the crossmember at an angle, as on my 1986 Monte Carlo SS (Figure 24-2).

Figure 24-1: Interior of Johnís Kingswood Estate Wagon

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Figure 24-2: Crossmember of Johnís Kingswood Estate Wagon

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Originally Released 11 February 2002

updated 27 August 2007