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Old 08-27-2013, 11:34 AM   #1
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T-5 durability question.

Well, I found a smokin' deal on an LT-1 T56 and stupidly didn't jump on it right then and there... At the time I was going LS, but plans have changed.
Finding one is not an easy task up around here and I don't have the space to keep an LT donor car.

So, I'm going to be throwing in a SBC either a 350 or a 383 and I'm going for roughly 350HP at the crank. I figure I already have a simple non computer carb car so this is an easy swap that I can run until I'm ready to do my full out LS build (garage space really).

In the meantime, I'm wondering how long my T-5 will last behind something like this. I may do the odd hard launch on it, and while generally I drive easy I would like to know I can get on it and not worry too much.
It needs a clutch, and I'll throw in a 5.0 shifter and just leave it alone while I search for a T-56.

Also a bit worried about the rear, it already has a bit of gear whine... a Moser axle or the like is also in the plans obviously.

Car is getting new paint this off season, and the 305 is just plain out no fun, has leaky valve seals and all the things you would expect on an old motor, plus I just don't trust it long distance, so a new motor would be nice so I know I can rely on it... And won't be afraid to open the hood at meets and shows.
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:33 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Milwaukee
Posts: 310
Car: 92 Firebird, 77 Trans Am SE, 86 Z28
Engine: 5.7 TPI, T/A 6.6, 5.0 LT1
Transmission: T-5, TH350, T-5
Axle/Gears: 3.08 posi, 3.23 posi, 3.23

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Re: T-5 durability question.

My t-5 has been dealing with 400+ crankshaft torque for years and its been fine. I don't beat the snot out of it but it gets driven. I've read a lot of threads stating that the t-5 will blow up from the driver sneezing but with a WC T-5 I wouldn't worry about it and take your time finding a good T-56. Just stay away from dropping the clutch and don't miss third.
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:09 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Henrietta NY
Posts: 2,299
Car: 1984 Trans Am L69
Engine: 355 Carbed V8 Patriot Vortec Heads
Transmission: WC T5 w/ Steel Support Plate
Axle/Gears: 3.73 Locking rear GT4

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Re: T-5 durability question.

Don't miss 3rd gear and don't launch it all the time, stay away from ultra sticky tires. Some people around here seem to have the magic touch and blow them up all the time. Then they write a long post about it but more people have them living long happy lives behind 350s.

Make sure you get one in good shape or rebuild it. Also get a STEEL cluster support plate.

DerfPower509 is running 11s with his but not sure how is has held up.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:31 PM   #4
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Car: 86 Z28
Engine: 350
Transmission: W/C T-5
Axle/Gears: 9 BOLT 3.45 POSI

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Re: T-5 durability question.

SO Far so good on mine, It is a WC That was rebuild by a Good Perf Shop and has upgrade parts in it, A friend of mine used to Blow up Non WC and WC T _ 5s all of the time, he kept a few on hand.

WHat do you guys mean by miss 3rd?
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:45 AM   #5
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Milwaukee, WI ; San Bernardino, CA
Posts: 63
Car: 1991 Camaro RS
Engine: 305 will be LSX eventually
Transmission: T56
Axle/Gears: Borg Warner

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Re: T-5 durability question.

I'm one of the guys with the bad luck with them, the first one lasted 80K miles, the 2nd I picked up from a JY and that lasted 30K, the 3rd I picked up off of craigslist and the guy wasn't willing to take off the covers and what not so I got a good deal on it, but that would only be true if it lasted more than 500 miles. I'm pretty certain I'm done with T-5's. I am easy on the car so call it bad luck I guess?
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:07 AM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Henrietta NY
Posts: 2,299
Car: 1984 Trans Am L69
Engine: 355 Carbed V8 Patriot Vortec Heads
Transmission: WC T5 w/ Steel Support Plate
Axle/Gears: 3.73 Locking rear GT4

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Re: T-5 durability question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLACK Z View Post
SO Far so good on mine, It is a WC That was rebuild by a Good Perf Shop and has upgrade parts in it, A friend of mine used to Blow up Non WC and WC T _ 5s all of the time, he kept a few on hand.

WHat do you guys mean by miss 3rd?
When you shift to third don't fail. Make sure it is all the way in before you let that clutch out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krazeefewl View Post
I'm one of the guys with the bad luck with them, the first one lasted 80K miles, the 2nd I picked up from a JY and that lasted 30K, the 3rd I picked up off of craigslist and the guy wasn't willing to take off the covers and what not so I got a good deal on it, but that would only be true if it lasted more than 500 miles. I'm pretty certain I'm done with T-5's. I am easy on the car so call it bad luck I guess?
Bad luck and not checking the trans. If the guy wont pull the covers then something is wrong. I would guess both had so much shaft play.

Although I don't drive my car much, if I got 30k out of it then I would be happy for the next 13 years.
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:24 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: jeff NY usa
Posts: 1,097
Car: 86 Z28
Engine: 350
Transmission: W/C T-5
Axle/Gears: 9 BOLT 3.45 POSI

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Re: T-5 durability question.

WHy is the third gear shift so important? And isn't it either in gear or not? I know my Hurst short throw is a very Postive shifter it is hard to miss a gear.
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:24 PM
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