Swapping a 5-speed into an F-100

Driving a classic truck is fun. It’s even more fun with a stick.

American Powertrain had an F-100 project built by their IT guy Barry. It’s a “pro-touring” like project he has been slowly and meticulously building at home. The truck has good handling and old school looks with a modern EFI 351W under the hood. The parts are a go-to play list for F-100 builds: Panther front end swap, FITech and disc brakes. He knew the final cherry on top would be a TREMEC TKO 5-speed swap. Follow along on the install.

 

Barry’s 1972 F-100 short bed. 351W with Fitech EFI, Trick Flow heads and mild cam. Even has Vintage Air

 

The truck came in with no transmission so this gave us a nice clean place to start. The Crown Vic Panther front end swap puts the engine pretty close to stock location so transmission placement was no issue.

 

The heart of it all is the American Powertrain F-100 Pro-Fit 5-speed kit, using a TREMEC TKO-600. This kit has everything you need to install a 5-speed in a classic Ford truck: crossmember, hydraulic clutch, pressure plate clutch, bell and flywheel.  A custom built driveshaft is also included in the kit. Once you do the install, fill out the driveshaft order form to send in the measurements and your new, custom made shaft will be on its way a couple of days.

 

The first thing we did was slap the bell housing on with no flywheel or clutch. We hoisted up the trans to see what kind of clearances we had to work with on the tunnel. Turns out we had to do a little hammering just at the vent tube (a common clearance issue on TKO’s). One of the ways American Powertrain gets these larger transmissions to fit into older cars is case minimizing on the transmission. They also offer a fiberglass tunnel hump for F-100. 6-speeds will need a larger tunnel opening.

 

The trans on the left is a stock out of the box TREMEC TKO. The trans on the right has been “minimized” by American Powertrain. You can see the corners on the top cover of the trans were CNC milled and new cover plates installed for better tunnel clearance. Doing these mods yourself will void the TREMEC warranty. APT works with TREMEC on approving these mods and offers a two-year warranty. The shifter has been replaced with a White Lightning short throw shifter that also serves as forward shift position to clear a bench seat.

 

Once the tunnel clearance’s was checked and shifter location set up, we installed the X-Factor universal adjustable crossmember. American Powertrain has these in 3 sizes that adjust to fit frame widths from 20” to 34”. We used the widest one that adjusts from 32”-34”. This allows you to set height for the right driveline angle, and uses a standard GM transmission isolator. The crossmember also allows adequate exhaust clearance for lowered trucks. Simply slide the plates to the frame, mark your holes and drill, using the supplied grade 8 hardware

 

 

Set the crossmember to the right driveline angle. Plus or minus 3 degrees are the specs that TREMEC calls for to avoid vibration.  A cheap angle finder makes this pretty easy.

 

 

Now the real fun begins.  Once we did the mock up and took out the trans, it was time to start the install. One of the critical procedures is to dial indicate your bell housing. This is very important to make sure the bell is centered on the engine so the input shaft lines up straight with the crank. This is critical for transmission longevity. American Powertrain has videos and instructions on how to get this right. 

 

Once the bell is checked, take it off and start installing the flywheel and clutch. Make sure to torque everything down to spec!

 

Now its time for more math! This time it’s for the hydraulic clutch bearing. Once the bell and clutch were installed, we had to measure the distance from the pressure plate fingers to the back of the bell. Then from the face of the trans to the face of the bearing. This difference tells us how far the bearing is sitting back from the clutch fingers.

 

The Hydramax Hydraulic Clutch Kit allows many different clutch combinations. The key to this is making some measurements and setting the depth correctly for the set up you have. The specs are .150” air gap between the bearing and the pressure plate fingers. Once you get the measurements this will determine the number of shims you need to set it correctly for long clutch and bearing life. Once again, American Powertrain has all the instructions and videos to make this pretty easy.  A digital caliper is all you need.

 

Install the trans and the bearing together. Make sure to run your lines out of the bell and away from the exhaust.

 

 

Barry’s truck already had a clutch pedal. These are fairly easy to find for Fords in a junk yard or any of the restoration catalogs.

 

Next up mount the patented Hydramax master cylinder bracket on the fire wall. This requires a about four holes to be drilled. The bracket has a backing plate to prevent firewall flex. You may have to drill an additional hole higher up on the pedal to get the clutch rod ratio set correctly. We had to lengthen out the mounting point using a piece of flat stock to get the correct angle. American Powertrain will have this added in to the kit for F-100’s.

 

Finished install is now ready for a new drive shaft. Do a few simple measurements on the included driveshaft measurement form then send it in to American Powertrain. In a couple of days your new driveshaft will show up, ready to install.

 

We had plenty of room for a bench seat with a double bend 18” shifter handle. APT has tons of shifter handles, shifter knobs and boots to finish up your install. We finished it off with one of their gunmetal gray billet shift knobs to match the wheels of the truck. No more boring automatic!

 

 

American Powertrain also now offers an F-100 fiberglass high hump tunnel replacement for F-100s. TKOs and T-5s fit the truck with slight massaging. Magnum 6-speeds will need more clearance. But if you want all the room you can get grab one of these to finish it out.

TREMEC discontinues production of all Magnum 6-speeds with a .50 overdrive gear.

If you want a .50 6th gear call now because when they’re gone … they’re  gone

We still have a few in stock. If you want one give us a call!

Tremec will still offer the 2.97 first gear option previously offered with the .50 6th, but it will now only be available with the .63 6th .

YES – that is correct you have 2 choices of 1st gear that are only .31 apart but no factory option for the .50

After the supply of factory built .50 6th gear  Magnums is gone American Powertrain will be able to custom build a new Magnum with the .50 6th gear for an additional charge. Call for details and pricing.

931-646-4836 or shoot us an email sales@americanpowertrain.com

TUET11009 MAGNUM for GM   2.66/.63
TUET11010 MAGNUM for Ford  2.66/.63
TUET11011 MAGNUM for Ford  2.97/.50  Discontinued
TUET16884 MAGNUM for Ford  2.97/.63  NEW MODEL
TUET11012 MAGNUM for GM   2.97/.50  Discontinued
TUET16885 MAGNUM for GM   2.97/.63  NEW MODEL
TUET11430 MAGNUM XL for Ford 2.66/.50  Discontinued
TUET16886 MAGNUM XL for Ford 2.66/.63  NEW MODEL
TUET11940 MAGNUM XL for Ford 2.97/.63
TUKT12019 MAGNUM XL + Mustang install kit 2.66/.50  Discontinued
TUKT16901 MAGNUM XL + Mustang install kit 2.66/.63  NEW
TUKT12021 MAGNUM XL + Mustang install kit 2.97/.63

American Powertrain Expands Distribution Adds Original Parts Group, Inc. (OPGI) to Dealer Network

Now offers American Powertrain 5 and 6 speed transmission conversion kits for Chevrolet A Body Vehicles

American Powertrain, the world’s largest TREMEC dealer and manufacturer of muscle car transmission systems and related components, is pleased to announce that the company’s products are now available at Original Parts Group Inc. (OPGI).  OPGI is the industry’s leading supplier and manufacturer of restoration and high performance parts for classic GM vehicles offering over 75,000 classic GM restoration and performance parts and accessories including transmission replacement parts.

Tony Giroux, OPGI New Products/High Performance Product Manager, says, “We are widely known for our comprehensive selection of GM restoration parts. In actuality, OPGI now offers many high-performance replacement products; though until now, never a transmission conversion kit. We have long noticed that 5-speed and 6-speed swaps are growing in popularity, especially for Chevelle, so the timing was right to investigate a conversion kit supplier that had the quality and depth of product we are looking for all our A and G Body vehicles. I’ve long been familiar with American Powertrain and this company fits our standards in product quality, ease of instruction and customer service.”

OPGI is now offering both 5 and 6-speed conversion kits for popular classics including the GTO, LeMans, Chevelle, El Camino, Cutlass, 4-4-2, Skylark, Monte Carlo, Regal and GS.

Currently, the 5 speed ProFit TKO transmission conversion kits for the GTO are featured in the company’s GTO free print catalog as well as being available online. Additional American Powertrain product offerings include the Hydramax T56 and Muncie/TKO hydraulic clutch kits and GM Bellhousing spacer.

Matt Graves, American Powertrain’s Marketing Manager, says, “OPGI is highly respected as the authority for restoration GM parts and is swiftly gearing up their high-performance product line. We are very excited to add OPGI to our growing dealer network and look forward to growing our sales with them.”

Giroux adds, “American Powertrain is now in the GTO catalog because our largest catalog, the Chevrolet Chevelle, was already out to the public. This has been an excellent decision based on the feedback we have received to date from our customers.”

All OPGI catalogs are completely free and available by mail, phone (1-800-243-8355) or through the OPGI website at OPGI.com.

For more information visit www.americanpowertrain.com. To speak with one of American Powertrain’s highly qualified technicians, call 931-646-4836. For weekend and holiday calls, a call back service is available at 423-773-9789.

American Powertrain Announces New Pro-Fit 6-Speed System for 1968-82 C3 Corvettes

System includes TREMEC® MAGNUM transmission 

American Powertrain, the world’s largest TREMEC dealer, is now introducing the next generation Pro-Fit 6-speed system for 1968-82 C3 Corvettes.  The system looks like the original 4-speed transmission with the correct shifter position in the factory console.

Designed as a complete kit, it features an American Powertrain customized TREMEC® MAGNUM 6-speed transmission that will shift smooth as silk, a new crossmember, driveshaft, trans mount, offset shifter mechanism, calibrated speedo drive, speedo cable, reverse light harness, 6-speed shift pattern plate, and mounting hardware.  The transmission holds 700 lb./ft. and will shift at 7,000 RPM!

American Powertrain’s DOM steel driveshaft, built with an exclusive billet face flange yoke, will make driveshaft installation a five-minute job, even in the narrow tunnel of a classic Vette. Options are available to upgrade to an aluminum, chromoly or carbon fiber driveshaft.

The price for the 6-speed Pro-Fit Kit for C3 Corvettes starts at $4,395, transmission included. Bellhousing is sold separately. All Pro-Fit kits are covered by American Powertrain’s two-year warranty and includes free extended hours tech support.

For more information visit www.americanpowertrain.com. To speak with one of American Powertrain’s highly qualified technicians, call 931-646-4836. During weekends and holidays, call 423-773-9789.

American Powertrain Announces Tunnel Hump For 60-72 Chevy C-10

Getting frustrated when installing your TKO or MAGNUM Pro-Fit kit for 60-72 C10, and unable to find a factory hump? They are nearly impossible to find and depending on how you are building your truck, transmission clearance can also be an issue with the factory steel humps. American Powertrain announces their new Tunnel Hump as the final missing piece. The fiberglass Tunnel Hump offers more room for fitment and is a cleaner install option than factory steel humps because the factory hole (that normally has to be blocked) was not incorporated into the American Powertrain design. With this piece, there will only be a hole where you place it for your shifter to fit through. Made in the USA, 100% gel coated fiberglass. Simply install with screws or bonding adhesive.