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Turbo 2.3 T-Bird/Mustang Swap

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JGug1 Avatar
JGug1 Silver Member James Guglielmino
Mission, KS, USA   USA
I am starting to collect parts for my Turbo 2.3 T-Bird swap into my MGB GT.
I have the engine and intercooler and getting a T-5 transmission won't be any problem. My issue is with the third member. For my TR7 project, we got a Mustang third member and had it narrowed but it took forever to get it done. I'd like to find a source where I can buy one ready to install. I'm OK without the gears, as we will select them appropriately.
Also, what gear ratios are you using in your T5's? I found one today for $650 with a .79 5th. I know that they come with higher 5th gears and I probably would like to like higher, although I can modulate the final drive by selecting appropriate gearing for the rear end.
Any thoughts?

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mgv8glen Avatar
mgv8glen Gold Member Glenn Towery
Dover, DE, USA   USA
You need to know what the gearing is with all the gears. 1st needs to be around 3.5 & 5th .79 is close to what you need. If you get the right gearing to start with there will not be a problem with the 3.9 rear. What gearing did the Ford run? I have a Volvo b20 engine & a GT that I am building & I have a 3.3 first & a .745 5th & I am going to leave the 3.9 O/E B rear.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-03-07 10:52 PM by mgv8glen.

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Mustangsix Avatar
Mustangsix Gold Member Jack Collins
Orlando, FL, USA   USA
I once tried to use a T-bird Turbo Coupe T5 in one of my swaps. It was pretty bad with a 4.03 first gear and a huge drop to second.

The Mustang 2.3 trans isn't much better with a 3.97 first gear.


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mgv8glen Avatar
mgv8glen Gold Member Glenn Towery
Dover, DE, USA   USA
Jack, That is what I think also, I think a 3.3 1st would be about right???

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V8MGBV8 Avatar
V8MGBV8 Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN, USA   USA
I would not lose my 2.95 1st gear for love or money. A .74 (or .73 whichever it is) is really not enough overdrive for the stock 3.9 rear gear.

I recommend playing with this gearing spreadsheet that Dan Master's did:

http://www.britishv8.org/Articles/chart.xls

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clinghoffer Gold Member Clinton P
Port Washington, WI, USA   USA
Ooh, that's a fun chart! Quite a bit easier to see changes than the FORTE gear calculator.

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JGug1 Avatar
JGug1 Silver Member James Guglielmino
Mission, KS, USA   USA
Yes, my understanding is that the T-Bird and the Mustang T-5's had fairly low 1st because the engine didn't pull very well until the turbo cranked up.
I probably won't use the T5 that was NOS with the engine.

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twentyover Avatar
twentyover Greg Fast
Lives in SoCal, Resides in the Burbs of Detroit MI, USA   USA
Regarding the rear axle question-

What axle width are you looking for? The explorer uses an offset axle, and can be shortened @ home w/ a welder. the long axle can be replaced with a second short axle

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mjoeb Avatar
mjoeb joe doornenbal
scio, OR, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB "Magdalene"
James, can you tell me about the front suspension and cross-member? Thanks!

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Mustangsix Avatar
Mustangsix Gold Member Jack Collins
Orlando, FL, USA   USA
Glen,

I like the V8 and V6 Ford T5 with a 3.35 first gear. The gear ratios are very close to the stock MGB ratios and match up well with the 3.909 rear gear. The OD ratio varies with the application - the Zetec car has a .73 but a .63 and a .81 are available.

I think a .63 OD with a taller rear gear is great for a relatively lower revving V8 but our Zetec has a higher powerband with a 7500 rpm redline and is really happy at 75 mph @ just under 3000. A .63 OD would drop that to 2500 but that's below the point where this engine starts to build torque.

We have another project car going together that has a much bigger, monster torque engine that will have the taller OD and a 3.55 rear because it will be very happy at a 2000 rpm cruise. The Zetec would not like it at all.


Member Services:
Ceres Motorsports specializes in the repair, restoration, and customization of classic British cars including MG, Triumph, and many other makes.
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Rhwins1060 Avatar
Rhwins1060 Gold Member Richard Winslow
Seal Beach, CA, USA   USA
1974 MG MGB "The MG"
I have been thinking of a B20 with F.I. and overdrive- probably won't because my upgraded MGB still runs pretty well, but how do you like your Volvo B20? What HP and torque do you have? How much modification did it involve to fit?

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Woodysrods Avatar
Woodysrods Silver Member Brian Woods
Westbank B.C., Canada   CAN
Yes, I agree with with Carl........get a tall 1st gear.
I bought a new Tremec 5 Spd for my MGA project (3400 V6) with 2.95 1st and 0.63 OD.
I plan to start with 3.40 gears sin my narrowed 8" Ford rear end. 3.55 may be my next choice, but I didn't have any in stock.
Brian



1954 MGTF 1800
1962 MGA MKII

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JGug1 Avatar
JGug1 Silver Member James Guglielmino
Mission, KS, USA   USA
I have a GM tranny from a Camaro.
The ratios are 3.75,2.19, 1.41, 1.00 and .72
I really would prefer the .63, but the .72 should be pretty good..

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260mgb Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA, USA   USA
James, With that T5 I would use the 3.31 rear gears in the stock MGB rear axle.

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JGug1 Avatar
JGug1 Silver Member James Guglielmino
Mission, KS, USA   USA
I'm kind of married to putting in a Ford rear assembly to get the limited slip and the disc brakes. It also will give me the option of easily changing the gears in the rear end if I am unhappy with it.
We spent some time figuring out RPMs considering tire size that we expect to use. The transmission I have will give 2500 RPM at 65 mph, not bad for typical cruising speed. There will be a slight lag if I kick it to pass because that is less than ideal RPMs for the turbo but both my turbo Volvo and my turbo BMW cars have a lag. There is work to do in decision making but I am hyped for warmer weather so I can begin to prep this car. The two projects in the shop right now, are approaching being done. I would really like to get this car done before fall. I'll keep you all posted.
I have appreciated the comments immensely. This site is a treasure.

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