MonteCarloSS.com
Topic Options
#504101 - 11/18/07 09:10 AM Installing a T5 in a Monte Carlo - One Method
TPI Monte SS Offline
Moderator
10+ Year

Member

Registered: 06/24/01
Posts: 5484
Loc: North Jersey

World Class T5 Conversion

Here's just one way you can install a T5 into a bucket-seat-equipped Monte Carlo. The car pictured here is "Old Faithful," the very rusty, 200K mile '85 SS that eventually donated it's TPI and T5 to my '88 SS back in 2004. Here's the list of new/used parts that will be installed with this project-

  • 1983 V8 F-body bellhousing and fork
  • 1988-1992 V8 F-body World Class T5
  • Hurst Competition Plus shifter
  • '78-'81 A/G-body pedals, frame bracket, and Z-bar
  • SpeedDirect spherical rod-end upper and lower pushrods
  • '86-up 1-piece rear main seal 153-tooth 16lb. flywheel
  • Ram clutch

Before we begin, make sure to disconnect the battery - safety first! Take a few minutes now to remove the driver seat, center console, and auto shifter. It makes life a lot easier, since you'll be on your back later hanging the new brake and clutch pedals and you'll want some room to stretch out. And, you need to cut a hole in your floor for the new shifter!

Since my garage is too small to work in, the swap had to take place on my driveway. Here's the patient, prepped for surgery, with Rhino ramps under the rear wheels and jackstands under the front lower A-arms. This was just high enough to sneak the tranny out.

And here's the offending automatic trans. After spending a few hours removing the backdrive linkage, inspection cover, shifter and speedo cables, TCC harness, crossmember, driveshaft, torque converter and bellhousing bolts, it was ready to be pulled. Uh, look under the car, not at my neighbor's Corolla. ;)

Wow, it's empty under here!

After pulling the flexplate, we found the rear main seal was clean and dry, so now we'll get into swapping parts!

Since my motor was a 305 from an '87 IROC, it had a one piece rear-main seal. If your car has an '85-earlier block, get the appropriate flywheel. Here's my new clutch set installed, along with a resurfaced 153-tooth GM nodular flywheel and bronze pilot bushing.

While most people go the route of using a factory A/G-body bellhousing, I acquired an '83 V8 F-body bellhousing. 1983 was the only year the F-body used mechanical linkage with the T5 so I could mate it up to my G-body clutch pedal and Z-bar assembly. The T5 is canted 18 degrees towards the driver, so this bellhousing compensates for the design. Check out the bolt pattern.

This is an '88 F-body World Class T5. The only thing left is to install the four bolts into the bellhousing, and we're home free! Well, sorta. '88 WC T5s are great to use in a G-body because they retain the cable-style speedometer hookup. '89-'92 T5s use a digital speedometer which makes things a bit more complicated. You'll need to remove the original VSS housing, and install a regular speedo "bullet" housing (GM P/N 345215). You'll also (most likely) need to change the gears inside so your speedometer stays accurate. Using the regular 7-tooth drive gear, you'll need a 21-tooth driven gear (P/N 3987921; it's a Red gear) if you're running 3.73s with a 26" tall tire, or a 19-tooth driven gear (P/N 3987919; it's a White gear) if you have 3.42s.

It's IN! We have a few other things to finalize, but we're almost there now. Even though the T5 is canted 18 degrees towards the driver, the trans mount and shifter is straight up when used with the F-body bellhousing. However, the mount is about 7" away from where the original 200-4R crossmember sits. See where the crossmember mount is in the lower right corner of the pic vs. where the trans mount is on the T5? The T5 with bellhousing is also about 3" longer than a 200-4R, so the driveshaft needs to be shortened.

My buddy Don and I decided it would be best to use the original front holes for the rear bolts on the crossmember, then drill two new holes 2.5" forward (note chalk mark and new hole in frame in pic below) and slide the crossmember up. This gave us just enough clearance by the catalytic converter flange and torque arm mount on the T5.

Don cut the original mount off the 200-4R crossmember, flipped it over to act as a gusset, and welded in an extension plate of 1/4" steel to reach the T5's mounting point. Now it's in for good! You can reconnect the speedo cable while you're down here now.

Here's where the Z-bar and frame bracket are mounted. GM was kind enough to drill the three holes for the bracket in the outside of the frame on all G-bodies through '88, even though the last time they put a manual tranny in one was in '81. Lucky for us! And, almost all small-block Chevy motors have the provision above the oil filter pad to mount the ball-stud, so that's an easy thing to do as well. You may need to relocate your oil-pressure sending unit though. Now, bolt the upper pushrod (off the clutch pedal) to the top of the Z-bar, and then the lower pushrod goes from the bottom of the Z-bar straight back to push the clutch fork.

Some modifications need to take place inside the car when converting to a manual trans as well. We'll cover that now.

Here's a comparison between a stock G-body brake pedal (on the right) and an A/G-body brake/clutch pedal assembly. I rebuilt this set of pedals with new GM pedal bushings and Motormite pedal pads (P/N 20734). I also lubed the inner pin and bushings with white lithium grease.

Here's what the pedals look like, mounted in place. To remove the old brake pedal, pull the pin and disconnect the brake booster from the pedal, then install the new, longer bolt with the clutch pedal and reconnect the booster. Also check out the clutch pedal stop bracket that goes across the front of the pedals. *Note* This was a detailed pic I took with the front clip off the car as we were parting it out. That's why you can see my neighbor's house through the firewall. ;)

Here's the upper pushrod between the new clutch and brake pedals. There are dimples for the retaining screws for the boot still in the firewall of a G-body, and if your car has (or had) cruise control, the hole for the upper pushrod has already been opened for you since that's where the cruise harness passes through the firewall. Otherwise, a holesaw bit will fix the problem.

I made up a harness to plug into the original reverse light switch so I could see while backing up. My friend Bob found the color-coded wire and connector in a manual-trans S10. This pigtail plugs right into the blue and green wires connected at the base of the steering column. Then I made a new WeatherPak connector for the other end to mate up with the plug on the T5. I passed this harness through the hole in the floor where the old shifter cable came through and plugged it into the T5. Voila, working reverse lights! You can always cut the plug off your stock connector and just extend the wires down to the T5 if you can't find the correct plug at the junkyard.

Here's the hole we sliced in the floor for the T5. We drilled holes in the four corners, then played connect-the-dots with a Dremel cut-off wheel. We covered the shifter hole with duct-tape to keep the metal shavings out.

Since the automatic is gone, I took the time to repaint the gear selector semi-gloss black and ditch the indictator needle.

Muhahahahaha. The Hurst Competition Plus shifter has a new home. The large boot to cover the hole in the floor is from a T56-equipped 4th-generation F-body.

Here's a shot of the completed console. The top plate is from an '87 SS and was modified with a leather boot from a C5 Corvette and a custom cupholder. I also used a Hurst Classic knob with a white 5-speed pattern on top. Once you adjust the clutch pedal freeplay and ensure the trans engages smoothly, you can enjoy rowing your own gears!



Edited by TPI Monte SS (11/27/07 08:51 PM)
Edit Reason: Added Part Numbers.
_________________________
SSeeya,
Steve Ragusa - North Jersey
'88 SS - BudgetTourer - ZZ4-cammed 355 TPI, serpentine belt conversion, World Class 5-speed, 17" wheels, 12" front discs, Eibachs/Bilsteins, 1LE lower A-arms, tall lower balljoints, 34mm front swaybar, 3/4" straight rear bar, Celebrity headlights, and more. Sold on 2/28/11.

Top
#733742 - 10/23/09 04:58 PM Re: Installing a T5 in a Monte Carlo - One Method [Re: TPI Monte SS]
REVenant Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/09
Posts: 92
Loc: 201 Jersey
hey steve how much did everything cost you? im tryin to row my own gears

Top
#735967 - 10/31/09 01:13 PM Re: Installing a T5 in a Monte Carlo - One Method [Re: REVenant]
TPI Monte SS Offline
Moderator
10+ Year

Member

Registered: 06/24/01
Posts: 5484
Loc: North Jersey
Originally Posted By: REVenant
hey steve how much did everything cost you? im tryin to row my own gears


Good question. I didn't include pricing, only because a) you never know what kind of deals you'll find, and b) I did the swap nearly 7 years ago, so prices have changed a lot since then. All together, it was nearly $1200 - still cheaper than a built automatic. smile
_________________________
SSeeya,
Steve Ragusa - North Jersey
'88 SS - BudgetTourer - ZZ4-cammed 355 TPI, serpentine belt conversion, World Class 5-speed, 17" wheels, 12" front discs, Eibachs/Bilsteins, 1LE lower A-arms, tall lower balljoints, 34mm front swaybar, 3/4" straight rear bar, Celebrity headlights, and more. Sold on 2/28/11.

Top
#760977 - 01/29/10 08:59 PM Re: Installing a T5 in a Monte Carlo - One Method [Re: TPI Monte SS]
tomcat 87ss Offline
Member

Registered: 07/24/07
Posts: 144
Loc: phila pa
Hey.. steve super fantastic thank you

Top
#761648 - 01/31/10 11:36 PM Re: Installing a T5 in a Monte Carlo - One Method [Re: tomcat 87ss]
mmc427ss Offline
10+ Year
Member

Registered: 01/14/00
Posts: 2611
Loc: Pottstown, Pa
http://garage-scene.com/t5-into-ag-body/
This info on Marc's website will help you get through more than just the basics of the T5 swap.
Bob

Top
#839282 - 11/28/10 10:30 PM Re: Installing a T5 in a Monte Carlo - One Method [Re: mmc427ss]
Leon Offline
New Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 9
Loc: Schenectady, NY
Wow and the motor is out of an '87 IROC? This is aweosme.
I read somewhere that the 80s Monte Carlo was not offered with manual trans. because of emissions regs. You did a great job with this, especially the finishing touches (PRNDL delete and cupholder) this is how GM should have made it!
_________________________
Every Monday morning I drive my Monte Carlo to the WCDB studios in Albany and broadcast psych rock for all the world to enjoy. http://www.wcdbfm.com

Top
#856825 - 02/27/11 08:03 PM Re: Installing a T5 in a Monte Carlo - One Method [Re: Leon]
aeromonte87 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/20/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Fowler IN
awesome post! Love the look of the stick poking out of the factory console.
_________________________
2006 GMC Canyon "extreme" (daily driver)
1987 Aerocoupe (used to be DD now resto prodject)

Top
#859454 - 03/10/11 07:39 PM Re: Installing a T5 in a Monte Carlo - One Method [Re: aeromonte87]
TPI Monte SS Offline
Moderator
10+ Year

Member

Registered: 06/24/01
Posts: 5484
Loc: North Jersey
Originally Posted By: aeromonte87
awesome post! Love the look of the stick poking out of the factory console.


Thanks very much!
_________________________
SSeeya,
Steve Ragusa - North Jersey
'88 SS - BudgetTourer - ZZ4-cammed 355 TPI, serpentine belt conversion, World Class 5-speed, 17" wheels, 12" front discs, Eibachs/Bilsteins, 1LE lower A-arms, tall lower balljoints, 34mm front swaybar, 3/4" straight rear bar, Celebrity headlights, and more. Sold on 2/28/11.

Top
#859461 - 03/10/11 08:23 PM Re: Installing a T5 in a Monte Carlo - One Method [Re: TPI Monte SS]
myfirstmontess Offline
Member

Registered: 05/24/09
Posts: 233
Loc: New Hampshire
Nice!...have any engine shots?!?!?!
_________________________

Top
#859834 - 03/12/11 11:29 AM Re: Installing a T5 in a Monte Carlo - One Method [Re: myfirstmontess]
TPI Monte SS Offline
Moderator
10+ Year

Member

Registered: 06/24/01
Posts: 5484
Loc: North Jersey
Originally Posted By: myfirstmontess
Nice!...have any engine shots?!?!?!


Sure, here ya go -



_________________________
SSeeya,
Steve Ragusa - North Jersey
'88 SS - BudgetTourer - ZZ4-cammed 355 TPI, serpentine belt conversion, World Class 5-speed, 17" wheels, 12" front discs, Eibachs/Bilsteins, 1LE lower A-arms, tall lower balljoints, 34mm front swaybar, 3/4" straight rear bar, Celebrity headlights, and more. Sold on 2/28/11.

Top
#905225 - 11/23/11 01:35 PM Re: Installing a T5 in a Monte Carlo - One Method [Re: TPI Monte SS]
mfeller Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/19/11
Posts: 19
Loc: Oolitic, IN
I recently bought an 87 SS with a T5 in it. It had some funky, tiny shifter on it and it felt like I was reaching for the firewall to get in the the 1,3, & 5th gear positions. I had an extension made so the reach is better, but it doesn't really look good. I guess I need to look under that boot and see how the shifter is installed so maybe I can get something from Hurst poking up out of the boot as well. Looks good in your set up. Nice DIY post!!! Thanx
_________________________
US Army, Retired
63 Chevy II 355/TK0600
70 Nova
87 Monte Carlo SS 350/5speed
97 Silverado Z71
10 Impala

Top

Random Images
548/thumbs/Exhaust_Ground_Clearance.JPG
by 84supersport
500/thumbs/mcss_profile.jpg
by HANKSACK
500/thumbs/Monte_Engine_1.jpg
by Mike87monte
500/thumbs/monte_040.JPG
by ilanss
1040/thumbs/DSC00940.JPG
by Adibee
Help MonteCarloSS.com

Fund Drive Contributors:
elamorey
Gary_86SS
FrankOC
Intmdatr3
clean8485
Akron Aero
Notsocleverusername
BlueBoy84
The PC Surgeon
Monte85Cortez
GuysMonteSS
Tony
oemtech
cwest01
71_340
robert87ss
Aeroaddict
1 Slow SS
MecGen
White_Wizard
tb87ss
SickSpeedMonte
upflying
SilveradoHD
mattsmonte
JMonte7892
85_MonteSS
chevelle_man64
Chevyman540
finallyss
GSI Custom Auto Interiors
86ssct
manualbrakes.com
makurtz
spoon
Silver8m86
superSSlow
dns87ss
Fred_SS
Monte_ExpreSS
Monte SS Aero-LT-1
Authorized Vendors
Tell them you saw it
on MonteCarloSS.com!


CustomMonteSSParts.com
Dixie Monte Carlo Depot
GSI Interiors
HRpartsNstuff
Mikes Montes
Savitske Classic & Custom