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The T5 Transmission was developed and produced by Borg-Warner beginning in 1980. Borg-Warner continued to produce and develop this transmission until 1998 when Borg-Warner sold off its transmission division to Tremec.
The T5 transmission had an extended lifespan and was installed in a multitude of car applications.
The first application that the T5 was offered in was the AMC Spirit and Concord. From there the transmission was offered into manufacturers including General Motors, Ford, and even the Nissan 300 ZX Turbo.
By far the most popular application for the T5 has been in Ford cars, particularly the Ford Mustang.
As mentioned, the T5 was introduced into production beginning in 1980. At that time the transmission was under a classification, or internal name, called the “Non-World Class.”
The “World Class transmission” was designed to be able to meet standards from across the world. The World Class transmission first became popular beginning around 1985.
While this transmission can still be purchased and many aftermarket companies offer this, the application in normal production vehicles ended in 2010.
Pros and Cons
The Tremec T5 was a very popular transmission and used in over 200 applications over 30 years. Some of the reasons for its popularity were its overall reliability, light weight and the overdrive gear available in 5th gear.
One of the more common issues reported was difficulty shifting into reverse as the reverse gear is not synchronized. There are some ways to resolve the issue after some experience, such as shifting into a gear before shifting to reverse.
T5 Transmission Performance Specs
While the T5 transmission is not weak, it is also not meant for high-powered performance applications. A more common application would be paired to a V6 engine.
The peak torque that this 5-speed manual transmission could handle was 265 lb-ft upon introduction. This power rating was the same for the non-world class as well as the original world class T5 transmission.
The power rating did increase in 1990 thanks primarily to a stronger gear set, increasing the peak torque to 300 lb-ft, with later applications getting up to 310 lb-ft.
The T5 is mounted longitudinally so that it can support rear wheel drive applications. The T5 is a 5 speed transmission that came in a very large variety of gearset options.
One of the common gear ratio selections in the high power option is 2.95 in 1st, 1.94 in 2nd, 1.34 in 3rd, 1 in 4th and 0.63 in 5th. The reverse gear was given a ratio of 2.76 in this application.
Materials, Size and Weight
The main housing of the T5 is made of cast aluminum. The top cover is also made from Cast aluminum.
The length of the transmission varies significantly depending on the application. The overall length of the transmission in common Ford applications in is 31.6 inches, while the length from the front of the main housing to the output shaft is around 15.4 inches.
The transmission is quite light, with reported weights being between 70 to 75 pounds. The transmission fluid capacity of the T5 is 2.8 quarts.
The T5 transmission was a 5 speed manual transmission that was first produced in 1980 by Borg-Warner. Some significant modifications were available beginning around 1985 as the transmission made the transition from the non-world class to the world class model.
In 1998 the transmission was taken over by Tremec, and this transmission was used in a variety of production cars until 2010. This 30 year usage makes it one of the longest lasting overdrive manual transmissions of all time.
While the T5 was applied in a number of applications, it is most well-known for its applicability to Fords. The transmission was able to handle a peak torque of 265 lb-ft upon introduction but reached up to 310 lb-ft in certain applications during its lifecycle.