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Thread: Mustang Transmission Options

  1. #1

    Mustang Transmission Options

    Well, looking through the inspection covers on the TKO third gear is shredded. I'm not sure on the status of the counter shaft yet. I am planning on disassembling and inspecting the whole thing this weekend.

    After a cursory search of the internet, I can get 3rd gears pretty easily. I am having a hard time finding counter shafts in stock, hopefully it's not broken - although I can't think of a situation where the gear is broken and the counter shaft isn't.

    Apparently, this is a common failure mode for TKOs/3550s and there's quite a bit of speculation on what causes it. There are claims that two of the gears on the counter shaft are too close together, which they changed in the latest redesign of the box. Maybe the shafts spread too much under load reducing tooth engagement. My theory is that it's not really designed for the fully reversed loading we get in road racing. It's also possible that the stiff setup in the #50 has some affect on trans life.

    I'm curious what other Mustang folks are running, and what their experience is. I'm considering switching back to a T5 (A-5 or some other variant) just because I can get them easily and carry a spare. Wrecking a transmission at COTA or Hallett and not having a spare would be a huge bummer. I can scrounge for parts to fix the TKO or send it off to a trans shop. I suppose I could get another box - but that's cost prohibitive (> $2,500).

    Thoughts?
    - Josh

  2. #2
    I'm partnered with AJ Foyt Racings gearbox engineer Marty Armstrong in a little company we recently set up called Motorsport Driveline Tech. We are planning to investigate and resolve TKO reliability issues (I have them too) and offer a solution if you are interested give me a shout

  3. #3
    Senior Member Carroll Shelby ShadowBolt's Avatar
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    So is this is a 600RR you tore up? I know Tyler has not had this very long. I thought when I purchased the 600RR I was finished having transmission issues at our power levels. I was hoping to get at least four years out of it. The A5 we were getting three years.

    JJ

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowBolt View Post
    So is this is a 600RR you tore up? I know Tyler has not had this very long. I thought when I purchased the 600RR I was finished having transmission issues at our power levels. I was hoping to get at least four years out of it. The A5 we were getting three years.

    JJ
    I'm not exactly sure what model it is. I think it's a 3550 with some work done to it. Tyler will have to verify what it is.

    - Josh

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Trublu View Post
    I'm partnered with AJ Foyt Racings gearbox engineer Marty Armstrong in a little company we recently set up called Motorsport Driveline Tech. We are planning to investigate and resolve TKO reliability issues (I have them too) and offer a solution if you are interested give me a shout
    Definitely interested from an engineering perspective. I'm planning on taking detailed pictures, let me know if I should do anything specifically when I take it apart that could help. I've read through the manual a few times and plan on following that.

    - J

  6. #6
    Senior Member Grass-Passer Suck fumes's Avatar
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    I have a TR 3650 that we rebuilt in 2013. Works like clockwork no issues. Use purple ATF for fluid.
    A man with no enemies is a man with no character.
    ― Paul Newman

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Suck fumes View Post
    I have a TR 3650 that we rebuilt in 2013. Works like clockwork no issues. Use purple ATF for fluid.
    I was looking at those, although I think I'd have a hard time getting it to work nicely with a 5 liter. I've got one in my S197 and haven't had any issues in several years of heavy track duty.

    - J

  8. #8
    Senior Member Grass-Passer
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    I still use the stock t-45 with no issues (knock on wood)

  9. #9
    Senior Member Grass-Passer
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    3550 Input/Main Shaft
    10sp in, 28 out

    TKO500 Cluster
    Tko500/600 Case
    2nd and 3rd have been replaced, not sure if it was with 3550/tko or tko500/600 parts at this point.

    This happened at MSRH a few years ago, I replaced the cluster and 3rd gear, I'd probably replace the same stuff and make sure 3rd is the newer alloy.

    No way I'd put a T5 in the car at this point, a 3650 can be done, gotta cut the stock bell off and make another bell work if I remember correctly.
    Tyler Gardner
    CMC #13 2015-2017
    SM #013 2018
    www.dfwmustangs.net

  10. #10
    Senior Member Carroll Shelby RichardP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mach1 View Post
    a 3650 can be done, gotta cut the stock bell off and make another bell work if I remember correctly.
    The transmission is listed as legal in the CMC rule book but it's not clear to me if such games to make it work with a 5.0 would be considered legal??? I'd certainly get a ruling before I spent the money. I'm also not completely sure I understand the advantages, either.

    I made the stock T5 in my car last for well over a decade including more than three full seasons of racing. Much of the time over 300 hp and up to 330hp/350tq for one event. That one transmission easily had around 100 events on it, half of them doing double duty with Chris Marvel sharing the car. It wasn't even a T5Z. I swapped it out when the synchros were completely worn out in all the forward gears and it crunched lightly on every shift. Other people can't make them last more than a couple of events before they blow them to pieces...


    Richard P.

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