How To

Put a T56 6 Speed Behind your Ford 2300

 I have been asked at least a hundred times about how to put a T56 6 speed transmission behind a Ford 2300, just like I have in the 1986 SVO-ND. I don't have all the pictures you might like, but here is the parts list you will need to have.

First off, you will need to acquire a T56 transmission for a Ford, with a 302/351W bell housing, also known as a 'Fox Bell'. This was never in a factory car, so a junkyard is pretty much out. Several vendors sell T56 kits of Fox body Mustangs, all ready to go. If you're looking for one-stop shopping, that would be a start. If you're looking to save a buck, shop eBay, the Corral, or other places, and you'll find one.

Now that you have the main parts, here's the 2.3L specific stuff. You need an adapter plate. These are also called engine plates, transmission plates, etc. Mine was made out of .250" aluminum by David Godfrey. I don't think he is making them anymore, but you can contact Tim Tyner (1HOT4POT) on, as I think he has a new, simpler version made from steel.

Next, you will need a flywheel. I had a custom aluminum flywheel made by SPEC. Essentially, it is their standard 5.0L aluminum flywheel, with both a 5.0L and a 2.3L crank bolt patterns drilled in it. Any standard 5.0L clutch will work. I have used a SPEC Stage II, Centerforce Dual Friction, and my latest build uses a Ford Motorsports King Cobra. The Centerforce had the best pedal pressure by far, and no slip or chatter issues. I have not run the FMS clutch yet. Use a standard 5.0L starter.

Pilot bearing is another issue. The T56 has a larger input shaft bearing surface than the 2.3 T5 or T9 transmissions have. You have two basic options. One is to use a bronze bushing, like the one available from Rapido and others. The second is to use a roller bearing (without the retainer) from a 5.0L. This will require you to mill out the end of your crankshaft. I have run the bronze bushing with generally bad results on two different engines and each of the above clutches. The bushing usually lasts about 3500 miles. My new engine has the actual roller bearing, and I think I will have better results.

For a driveshaft, you can buy one off the shelf from one of the companies who sells Fox T56 install kits, or you can have your stock one shortened, and use a Viper transmission yoke.

Transmission mounts are another tricky item. You can pay hundreds from one of these companies to get the right stuff, or you can go buy the frame mounts, and crossmember for a late 90's Mustang with a 5 speed. In these cars, the mounts bolt to the frame rails, and the crossmember is solid, without the rubber bushings. Total cost was about $50 out the door. For the mount under the transmission, it is a GM piece that was used on virtually all standrad transmission cars from the beginning of time. I don't have a part number offhand. It is about 2" or so tall. You can get a poly one from Energy Suspension, but it is very harsh in a street car. You will need to slot the transmission crossmember brace where the rubber mount meets it, in all likelihood.

Clutch cable setup is ssimple. Use an aluminum quadrant, firewall adjuster, and adjustable cable. I got mine from UPR. No frills here. For the speedo cable, I used one from a 90 Mustang with cruise control. You will need to use the electronic distance sensor, and the appropriate gear for your rear end ratio and tire size. For a shifter, that's up to you. I went with a Pro 5.0 unit, and I really like it. There will more than likely be some other small, nit-noy items for you to deal with. This should be enough to get you going. Happy Motoring!