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Drivetrain
For better fuel economy and all-around performance driving, most Restomod guys swap in late-
model transmissions with extra gears or overdrives. This section will cover the most popular manual
and automatic transmission swapping info, where to get the parts, and what is offered by each
manufacturer. Selecting a transmission to run in your car is determined by a few factors, including
but not limited to: your everyday driving style, frequency, and distance; the condition of your clutch
knee; whether or not you want to cut a hole in your floorpan; whether you drag race, road race, or
both; and the size of your wallet. If you decide on a stick shift, do you want the smoother shift of an
internal-rail shifted Tremec TKO or T-56? Would you rather have more gear ratio selections like a
Richmond 6-speed? If you pick an automatic overdrive, do you want it to be manually controlled like
the Ford AOD, or do you want to fork out the extra dough for the computer controller so you can
use a 4R70W transmission? New transmissions might come out that will work even better for you.
Maybe Ford will come out with newer and stronger transmissions, like a 7-speed manual, or maybe
a 6-speed automatic.
Manual Transmissions
This section is devoted to technical information about a couple of companies offering Tremec TKOs
and T-56 variants, Richmond 6-speed transmissions, and conversion kits. There are a lot of
companies offering conversion parts and some incomplete kits, so space limits the company
coverage to a select few.

If you want to drop a bunch of extra money for transmissions that will hold the loads a standard
production transmission won’t, you can check offerings from G-Force Transmissions, Tex Racing,
or Quaife. For instance, the standard production Borg Warner T-5 is rated to a capacity of 300
ft-lbs, while the reworked G-Force T-5 is rated at 500. Depending on the model of the production T-
56, it can be rated as high as 550-ft-lbs, and the reworked G-Force T-56 handles around 800. Tex
Racing Enterprises offers racing 4-speed transmissions with a Chevrolet mounting pattern (an
adapter bellhousing is required) for Extreme Restomods built mostly for track racing. Quaife makes
outrageous racing drivetrain parts for racing cars, with prices to match the level of performance and
quality. The old adage “You get what you pay for.” applies to these companies.  These
transmissions may be a cut above an average Restomod unit, but if you’re making that kind of
power, you’ll end up needing one sooner or later.
If you want 5 gears, don’t have excessive amounts of power, and don’t want to modify the
transmission tunnel, get yourself a Borg Warner T-5. You should be aware that the production
T-5s come in different flavors and ratings from 230 to 330 ft-lbs of torque. When swapping a T-5
into a small-block Ford Restomod, for best results, you should get a T-5 from a V-8-powered 1990
to 1993 Mustang.

For those of you putting a late-model 5.0-liter engine in an early car equipped with mechanical Z-
bar clutch linkage, you will run into problems. The later model blocks don’t have the boss on the
side of the block for the Z-bar linkage stud. You can make your own, or purchase an adapter
bracket from Kaufmann Products and Total Performance.
Tremec TKO 5-speed Tremec TKO 5-speed
In 2004, Tremec came out with the TKO-500
and TKO-600 5-speeds to replace the earlier
TKO models. The updated transmissions handle
more horsepower and have more gear options.
The image shows three shifter locations at 7,
12.5, and 15 to 26 inches from the mounting
face of the transmission. These shifter locations
are offered exclusively by Keisler Automotive
Engineering. (Photo courtesy Keisler
Automotive Engineering)
Swapping in any of the TKO 5-speeds into an early shock-tower car is tricky. There is a lot of
different information available on what cars the TKO fits in, with and without modifying the
transmission tunnel. The TKO has two large high-mounted inspection covers and the shifter. These
covers are tall enough that they can hit the underside of the transmission tunnel when you install
the transmission and engine with the correct pinion angle (as seen in the pinion-angle diagram in
Chapter 3). For Falcons and 1964-1⁄2 to 1970 Mustangs, the transmission tunnel needs to be
raised about 1 inch to clear the top of the TKO. There are companies selling transmission
crossmembers that allow you to install the TKO in these early Mustangs without modifying the
transmission tunnel. They say, “It only gives you an extra 3 degrees down on the transmission, but
that’s not a problem.”

There is a problem with this logic. The transmission is originally 3 degrees down, so when you add
3 more degrees, it adds up to a total of 6 degrees down. This angle can spell problems for your U-
joints. Add a bunch of extra stress from increased horsepower and torque, and it will spell trouble.
You may get lucky and never have a failure, but your chances are greatly increased. Shops that
have a serious understanding of pinion and driveshaft angles would not cut corners. These shops
would install the transmission at the correct angle and modify your transmission tunnel if necessary.
If you want to purchase one of these “pinion-angle-challenged” crossmembers and install shims
between the crossmember and trans mount to raise it to get the correct angle, you would at least
save some time fabricating the entire unit. Then you just need to modify the trans tunnel since you
raised the transmission to the proper height. For the various other Restomod candidates out there,
the best way to see what will fit is to start measuring.
Keisler Automotive transmission swap kit Keisler Automotive Engineering
Keisler Automotive offers tranny-swap kits
for Ford, GM, and Chrysler products.
Their kits include all the necessary
hardware, crossmember, driveshaft,
transmission, and more. They have done
all the research to make sure the angles
are correct, and if transmission tunnel
modifications are necessary, they also
have computer-designed add-on
sheetmetal covers. (Photo courtesy
Keisler Automotive Engineering)
The people over at Keisler Automotive Engineering do all the homework for you. They offer kits for
Ford Restomods, as well as Chevrolet and Mopar muscle cars. The TKO 500 and 600 offered by
Keisler Automotive Engineering have a few different shifter locations (not including the different
locations available straight from Tremec), so depending on your application, you may be able to
use the stock shifter location and keep your factory console. Keisler takes pride in making its kits
correct and complete. When I say “correct,” I mean that the kits are designed to allow for the
correct pinion angles. To achieve the correct angle, it may be necessary to modify the transmission
tunnel. If it is, Keisler includes the templates for cutting and the necessary sheetmetal cover to
finish the job like a professional. The bolt-in kit includes all the parts necessary to bolt everything
in, including the driveshaft for your specific application, wiring, and the crossmember. Keisler is
constantly adding new kits, so if you go to the website and don’t see your application, make a call
and check, just to be sure.
Tremec T-56 6-speed Tremec T-56
The Tremec T-56 6-speed has been
a wise choice for Restomodders who
want the extra overdrive gear on the
freeway. The picture shows two
shifter positions at 11 to 15 and 17 to
26 inches. These are exclusive to
Keisler Automotive Engineering.
(Photo courtesy Keisler Automotive
Engineering)
The most popular 6-speed manual transmission (production or aftermarket) from the late 1990s to
present is the Tremec T-56 (formerly BorgWarner T-56). Tremec saw a market for offering T-56s
for Fords and an aftermarket T-56 (Tremec part # 1386-000-012) to fit small-block Fords. The
resulting transmissions have been a huge help for Restomodders looking for a sixth gear. The
additional overdrive in the T-56 allows for better fuel economy and higher top speeds. Tremec’s
aftermarket T-56 fits the 1965 to 1993 289, 302 (and 5.0), and 351C/W with a 6-bolt transmission
mounting face. The T-56 does not fit the Modified small-blocks or any of the big-blocks. If you want
a T-56 to fit a Modular engine, that’s easy, since Ford started offering it in the production 2003 and
2004 Cobra.

The Tremec T-56 is rated at 450 ft-lbs of torque. It requires a cable-operated clutch set-up and it is
longer than any other manual transmission in overall length, so a shorter driveshaft will be needed.
The transmission mount is also further back than any other Ford transmission mount, so you’ll need
to modify the crossmember or get a new one. It shares the 10-spline Ford-style input shaft with the
T5. The output shaft is a 31-spline unit, so unless you are upgrading from a T5, you will need a
new transmission yoke.
The following is a list of 4-speeds for comparison against the T-56:

1966 4-speed Ford Syncromesh Borg-Warner T-10
Gear Ratios: First 2.36:1, Second 1.62:1, Third 1.20:1, and Fourth 1.00:1

1964-1973 4-speed Ford Top Loader – close ratio
Gear Ratios: First 2.32:1, Second 1.69:1, Third 1.29:1, and Fourth 1.00:1

1964-1973 4-speed Ford Top Loader – wide ratio
Gear Ratios: First 2.78:1, Second 1.93:1, Third 1.36:1, and Fourth 1.00:1
Tremec Aftermarket T-56 for Fords
Gear Ratios: First 2.97:1, Second 2.07:1, Third 1.43:1, Fourth 1.00:1, Fifth 0.80:1, Sixth 0.62:1,
Reverse 3.28:1
Design Torque Rating: 450 ft-lbs

Keisler Automotive Engineering
The T-56 offered by Keisler Automotive Engineering has a few different shifter locations, so
depending on your application, you may be able to use the stock shifter location and your factory
console. Keisler manufactures a unique shifter mounting location for the T-56, which allows it to be
used with street rods, trucks, and cars with bench seats. This is a typical shortcoming of the T-56,
but Keisler’s custom T-56 eliminates this problem completely. Keisler offers bolt-in kits that include
all the parts necessary to bolt everything in, including the driveshaft for your specific application,
wiring, and the crossmember. Even if the guys at Keisler don’t have a kit for your specific
application, they may be able piece together a kit from the parts they already have in stock.
D&D Performance
The D&D Performance T-56 starts life as a Viper model transmission, rated at 550 ft-lbs of torque.
To get that increased strength, the Viper T-56 has a larger input and output shaft than the Tremec
aftermarket unit. While D&D has the transmission taken apart for blueprinting, it also gets upgraded
shift forks and rings as well as some other modifications performed by D&D. D&D installs a custom
mid-plate (front cover for end-loading), an output shaft modified to accept a mechanical gear-driven
speedometer, and tailshaft housing modified to house the speedometer gear assembly. These
upgraded units fit the same small-block applications as the Tremec aftermarket unit, and D&D
offers them for bolting behind the Modular engines as well. The large 30-spline Viper output shaft
requires a Viper driveshaft yoke.

D&D Viper conversion T-56
Gear Ratios: First 2.66:1, Second 1.78:1, Third 1.30:1, Fourth 1.00:1, Fifth 0.74:1, Sixth 0.50:1,
Reverse 3.28:1
Design Torque Rating: 550 ft-lbs
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This has been a sample page from

How to Build Ford Restomod Street Macnines How to Build Ford Restomod Street Machines
by Tony E. Huntimer
This book Should be called
"How to Build High Performance Fords!"
This is one of the best books we've seen about building high
performance Fords. It contains sections on upgrading brakes
and suspension, improving chassis stiffness, engine choices
and engine swaps, drivetrain choices including
production and
after market transmissions, electrical
systems and even body
modifications. It even has sections
to help you find the right
project car for as little money as possible and where to find the
parts you need to complete your project. This is one of the
best, if not the best book out there about building and

modifying Fords for improved performance. Best of all, this
book is not just about the Ford Mustang as many other Ford
books are. Read the sample pages to learn more!
Click below to view samples
pages from each chapter
Chap. 1 - Shocks & Sway Bars
Chap. 2 - Front Suspension
Chap. 3 - Rear Suspension
Chap. 4 - Frames & Chassis
Chap. 5 - Engine Swaps
Chap. 6 - Transmissions
Chap. 7 - Body & Glass Mods.
Chap. 8 - Finding Parts
8-1/2 x 11"
Softbound.
144 pages
Approximately 300 b/w photos
Item: SA101P
Price: $23.95
Click here to buy now!


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