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I've been thinking about the tunnel thing... I like the idea of a closer gear selector. I have long legs that get in the way of the shifter and steering wheel so I've been leaving the gear shifter a little loose to allow my right knee to pass while shifting. I know, I should buy a car that fits me, but I like this car. ;)
 

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I have a question that one of you engineering types might be able to answer. In cutting the trans tunnel for the T5 conversion does this process remove strength from the unibody. In other words would you have to reinforce the tunnel area or redesign the tunnel sheet metal and weld it in so that the unibody would not be weakened?
 

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I was pretty sure that this was the case although I didn't see any mention of it in any of the three threads concerning this modification. I did see a fiberglass cover that was mocked up, I just hope that wasn't the finished product. So far, this is the only flaw I see in the conversion. Bill
 

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on mine i am welding in new sheetmetal. the only t5 i am aware of with the s-10 style shifter is the s-10/s-15. the gear ratios all wrong, shorter input and not WC. the only way is to combine the rear housing of the s-10 unit to the mustang t-5, it don't think it's difficult job, just gotta buy 2 box's though
 

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Discussion Starter #86
.. a note.. on cutting the tunnel?? don't know , but i belive most if not all the stiffness comes from the sills,, and i did not cut all the way down to the level part next to the tunnel, just the rounded part.. yes, i do have a fiberglass tunnel now, but it seams to work, the car is very smooth driving, no added shakes, even with 1150 "/lbs spring in front and 125"/lbs in the rear, and my qa1 shocks set at '6' in the front ( out of 18) and 2 at the rear...the tunnel might add some stiffness, but , agian all the stiffness is carried at the outer sills..i guess i could build a steel tunnel, but i must wait untill i buy a welder, and learn how to use it.. and the rearward shift location, works well for me at 6' tall( my seats are miata, and i have cut the seat 'raisers ' off the floor to get my seat way down.. i now look out of the center( lower by a bit) of the front window, befor with stock seats, out of the top 2-3" of windsheild.
 

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Discussion Starter #87 (Edited)
you can put the s-10 rear shift tower onto a mustang t5 w/c tranny, easy to do.. takes all of 15 min. most tranny shops will sell you the s-10 tail pretty cheap.
 

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alfavulcan, I think I like your solution better. I takes out the risk of weakness in the unibody and provides a better location of the shift lever. In one of the on-line articles I found they spoke of the S-10 tailshaft conversion in detail. As I recall the modification was more involved to do correctly than has been suggested on this thread. Having two trans to do the modification doesn't excite me. I do like this T5 conversion concept. I have already started the search for a trans. :) Bill
 

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I did a quick search for the S10 tailhousing swap and this article calls it pretty easy to do with step by step and plenty of pictures. He even suggests you find both transmissions in the junk yard and then find an empty truck or van and do the conversion right there. Then you go to the gate and only pay for one transmission.

Technical T5 tailshaft swap for dummies, with pictures. [Archive] - THE H.A.M.B.

I'm surprised so many of you are OK with cutting your tunnel when the S10 tail housing puts the shifter exactly in the same spot as your GTV or Spider. The curved handle would bring it back a few inches if the stock position is too far forward. I guess if you are OK with a non Alfa swap, you are OK with some more modifications. I just want the thing to be completely unobtrusive and completely reversible.

I really don't like these Ford and Camero people painting their trans cases like they do their iron block engines. Many of the conversion thread articles online show them in painted colors. For aluminum I like them bare. I hope when I start searching the junk yards I don't find a lot of that because I don't know how easy it is to remove that paint.
 

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Here is another resource. One guy has a table of many of the tag numbers and ratios on the T5 boxes and applications. I copied it into an excel file and sorted on 1st gear ratio. It could help in a junk yard / ebay/ craigslist search for a transmission.
 

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to clarify the tunnel issue, i did not cut my trans tunnel for the shifter location, the wider flat section top driver's side interfered w/tunnel. the 115 chassis has the tunnel offset about an inch to the passenger side as the motor is canted and the crank centerline is not centered in the car. i am using a 3.0 v6 mounted nearly centerline in the chassis, just slightly to the right. that being the case it just made clearance issues worse. with a 4 cyl with trans in original location, may or may not be an issue.
 

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p.s. i totally agree on DON'T paint the tranny, except maybe a silver. i prefer just cleaned very well. i checked out several before pulling the one i bought, none were painted, most looked like they had never been pulled.
 

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I didn't realize you were using a V6. I'm still not afraid of cutting the tunnel, but if it ends up that I don't have to, so much the better. And natural aluminum is much nicer to look at, even if its under the car. To answer an earlier post, I really don't care if the modification is reversible or not since I will have the car until it falls apart then I'll buy another one and swap out the modifications that I have done and pass that one on to my son. :)
 

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its quite possible some careful sheetmetal contouring [ with a big ole hammer] could get any clearance needed, mine was too tight top left because of being shifted a little to the left
 

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T5 update

T5 is in car and after one short drive seems pretty good, easy to change gear with strong syncros , change feels bit agricultural but so what, mustang box with chev S10 shifter, I have a quick shifter kit on it which makes the throws about the same as standard Alfa, .92 fifth should work well for me on track and its a very easy gearchange but probably not so useful on the road, it will allow me to change rear from 4.30 to 4.10 though.
 

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