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Can You Upgrade A T5 Transmission?

November 06, 2022  -  Transmission & Drivetrain

15 People Found This Article Helpful

The venerable T5 transmission started off as a Borg-Warner product and is now known as the Tremec T-5. It’s been around since the eighties and can be found in a myriad of Ford and General Motors products of the time, including the Mustang and Camaro. A stout, yet lightweight transmission, it can handle up to 300 hp and 300lb-ft while weighing less than 75 pounds. It’s got a great 0.63:1 overdrive ratio for fuel economy too. That’s why many enthusiasts prefer to retain the T5 transmission and rejuvenate it with a T5 transmission rebuild kit. 

We’ve talked about rebuilding the T5 transmission before; now let’s see how it can be upgraded. You can also hit up our transmissions page to see all options available, and if you’ve got a classic car, our range of classic car transmissions and components is your best friend.

A word of caution before proceeding, the T5 was made in two variants, called Non-World Class (NWC) and World Class (WC). How can you tell them apart? Remove the oil filler plug and take a peek inside. You’ll need a small light for better visibility. If the synchronizer rings are black, you’ve got a Non-World Class (NWC) transmission; if they’re gold, it’s a World Class (WC) transmission. 

Another way to check is to have a look at the bearing cover installed on the front of the transmission. If it’s got some writing on it (usually TIMKEN), it’s a WC transmission, if it’s black, you’ve got yourself an NWC model. Of course, this method usually requires you to remove the transmission from the car in order to view the bearing cover properly.

T5 Transmission Upgrade Options

While the basic T5 transmission is a pretty sturdy and long-lasting gearbox that offers smooth, low-effort shifts, there are upgrade options available. One of the most popular is by G-Force, with their upgraded innards for the T5 transmission. Despite looking outwardly similar to a stock T5, G-Force upgrades the guts, making the G-Force T5 capable of handling more power and torque – up to 600 hp and 500lb-ft, in fact.

Tremec themselves also offer a heavy-duty T5 transmission upgrade kit that sees the innards suitably beefed up and is cited as an excellent option for T5-equipped vehicles that haven’t seen a rebuild in their life, and are running on the same innards that they came from the factory with.

Manual transmission main shaft

Upgrade Benefits

Why should you upgrade your T5 transmission if all is running well, and you’re not experiencing any untoward effects? Well, your T5-equipped vehicle is likely 30+ years old and has seen plenty of miles. Even if all seems good, it’s better to ensure that a critical part, such as the transmission, is in pristine order, so that you can enjoy your car for many more years without sudden breakdowns. Upgrading also offers:

  • Better power and torque handling, great if you’re modifying your car for more power and torque.
  • Better reliability, leaving you less prone to sudden breakdowns.
  • Your gas mileage may improve due to the modern components and their lower friction coefficients.
  • Shifts will be smoother and require less effort on your part.

Performance Parts Galore At JEGS

JEGS has been carrying a veritable buffet of the world’s best performance parts since our founder Jeg Coughlin started the company in 1960. Drop by our Columbus, Ohio store, or shop online to help yourself to competitive prices, exceptional customer service, friendly expert advice, and all applicable warranties. Choose JEGS for peace of mind.

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