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5.3 manual trans opinions? (besides expensive t56)

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Old 10-30-2017, 02:26 AM
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Default 5.3 manual trans opinions? (besides expensive t56)

Hey guys,

I'm new here to the boards (I made an introductory post) and am wanting to go with a 5.3 v8 in a miata. I don't want to drop a lot of $$$ on a t56 transmission (although they are badass!), but I do want a manual transmission...

I understand a T-5 transmission will "work" with a 5.3 or LS1 but will require an adapter piece. Not only will the adapter add to the cost, but the T-5's I hear are not that strong so I don't want to waste my time with one. Are there any easy manual transmission options (readily available) besides the T56 for the GM motors? Thanks!

Patrick
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Old 10-30-2017, 08:10 AM
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Patrick, lots of T5 variants. Here's G-Force Transmissions GFT5-SN: G-Force Ford T5 5-Speed Transmission Stock Ford Case | JEGS with a 600 hp rating.

Also lot's of good reading here How much HP can a T5 take? - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum

If I do build (sorta want to) a 5.3 Miata I plan on using a T5. It's light, easy to do and if you don't run slicks and drag race it every weekend I believe it'll be fine.

My car with a healthy and fun 302 has a T5 from a 4 cylinder Mustang. It's held up to a Lot of abuse over the past 7 years. The reason it hasn't broke is with normal tires, you don't load the drivetrain much due to the light car weight, in other words rather than breaking parts, the tires spin. Tire spin is sorta a safety valve kinda function.
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Old 10-30-2017, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by 5.0MX5 View Post
Patrick, lots of T5 variants. Here's G-Force Transmissions GFT5-SN: G-Force Ford T5 5-Speed Transmission Stock Ford Case JEGS with a 600 hp rating.

Also lot's of good reading here How much HP can a T5 take? - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum

If I do build (sorta want to) a 5.3 Miata I plan on using a T5. It's light, easy to do and if you don't run slicks and drag race it every weekend I believe it'll be fine.

My car with a healthy and fun 302 has a T5 from a 4 cylinder Mustang. It's held up to a Lot of abuse over the past 7 years. The reason it hasn't broke is with normal tires, you don't load the drivetrain much due to the light car weight, in other words rather than breaking parts, the tires spin. Tire spin is sorta a safety valve kinda function.
Thanks for those links!

I donít drag race often and donít run slicks Ö so hopefully a t5 will be ok for me on the street.

Iím assuming a 302 is a 5.0 (I see your screen name is 5.0MX5). Iím not opposed to the idea of a 5.0 swap, I just am a little ďscaredĒ of it being an older motor. I hear most, if not all, need rebuilds before swapping them into Miataís (which quite honestly I donít want to do just yet). I donít mind basic preventative measureís such as spark plugs, new seals, etc.

Thatís great to hear your T5 has withstood 7 yrs of abuse.
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Old 10-31-2017, 09:23 AM
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I wouldn't put ANY used part (Engine, tranmission, differential) into anything that I own or have to guarantee for others without totally disassembling, inspecting, and rebuilding. Most items in a junkyard are junk.
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by tbone heller View Post
I wouldn't put ANY used part (Engine, tranmission, differential) into anything that I own or have to guarantee for others without totally disassembling, inspecting, and rebuilding. Most items in a junkyard are junk.
Yeah, you've got a great point. I should probably just learn how to rebuild myself haha
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Old 11-09-2017, 11:44 AM
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I recall reading on a forum or video, etc. that the Nissan 350Z (or similar) trans is pretty stout and can be adapted to the LS engines.

I'd still go with a T56 myself, but I can agree they are expensive and getting hard to find.
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by pj_mcgarvey View Post
I recall reading on a forum or video, etc. that the Nissan 350Z (or similar) trans is pretty stout and can be adapted to the LS engines.
...........
Over on YouTube a guy by the name of Taylor Ray is using a Nissan 6 speed transmission as part of his LS into Miata swap.
Not sure yet how the end product will be but the trial fit of engine to transmission really looks promising.
According to him the Nissan 6 speed transmission is stronger than the T56, shifts much better, only has one overdrive so you get 5 gears to get to 1:1, and even with the adapter plate costs about half of what a T56 seems to be running. If a person wants to go brand new the transmission is supposedly available for around $1500 while used assemblies go for less than $600.
Who knows, it could just be a bunch of internet BS but maybe it will give Miata swappers an alternate path to installing an LS engine into their car.
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:48 AM
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The actual episode where he installs the LS with Nissan transmission into his NA is posted on YouTube.
Based on the episode the fitment is not ideal.
He utilizes the Monster Miata front subframe which places the engine further forward than the V8 Roadster subframe.
Even with this further forward placement the shifter location is probably 3" to 4" behind the stock Miata shifter location.
This forces a notch to be cut behind the factory opening for shifter clearance.
From the explanation it appears the shifter base bracket hits the factory emergency brake mount, requiring some modification to that area as well.
One of the previous episodes shows the shifter install.
After watching the shifter install it looks to me like there is no easy way to move the shifter far enough forward to utilize the factory Miata shifter hole and console.
This brings on an issue if a person will be using the Miata center console as the shifter would be too far to the rear to work with it and I don't believe there is enough real estate inside the console to run a bent lever hidden inside the console.
On an application where the console is deleted it will not be an issue.

What a bummer.

Last edited by BGordon; 05-29-2018 at 11:33 AM.
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