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Discussion Starter #1
Is there such a thing as a new T-45 transmission anymore? All I can find online is "rebuilt" or "remanufactured" (taking old parts and new parts and making a trans out of it). Just wondering if there is any company out there still making brand new T-45's or if they are all going to be rebuilt/remanufactured. I'm considering getting a new T-45 for my 1998 Cobra and don't want a used trans from a junkyard. I would prefer a new T-45 (if they're still made) because I have always believed that once the factory seal is cracked on a trans, it's never quite the same again. By that measure, remanufactured and rebuilt transmissions would have a cracked seal since both would require rebuilding an existing transmission.
 

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With that logic I'd think you'd probably want a new car. It probably won't drive the same after you loosen the factory tightened bolts for replacement.
 

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Pulling up the part numbers for the T-45, it shows as discontinued. QUick search only shows rebuilt trans. So leaning towards a no.

Unsure if the 3650 can be purchased new. Swapping to the later trans may be an option if you really want a new trans. You could always buy a new TKO or T-56 as well

A rebuilt trans is hit or miss and depends on the workmanship of the rebuilder. I've seen ebay T-5 trans pulled apart that were sloppy and not well done. I've personally rebuilt my own T-5's in my car and would confidentially put them up against any new T-5 in terms of quality.
 

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Please tell me you realize that asking this is effectively the same as asking if anyone sells a brand new OEM top loader 4 speed. It's not going to happen. Maybe, just maybe you might find a NOS T45 tucked away in some shop or dealership someplace if you look hard and long enough, but I wouldn't count on it.

You can sell everything and buy a new car. Or, do what EVERY single enthusiast has done with their old cars since forever and rebuild it yourself or buy a rebuilt unit with service parts from a reputable shop. A good shop will offer a warranty. There are good shops and hack shops. It's up to you to determine if a shop is good enough for you or not.

If you don't/can't handle working with obsolete and/or discontinued parts, you need to stick with whatever is current.

That is your choice. Re-manufactured or just buy a new car with new parts. Welcome to the reality of owning, servicing and maintaining a 22 year old car.

You can buy a new TKO or a Magnum 6 speed if it has to be "new".
 

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1 - Your belief that once a trans is cracked open is totally wrong. The T45 in stock form NEEDS to be opened up and fixed as there were multiple defects. Same with the early 3650s. A properly redone T45 will have carbon fiber blocker rings instead of paper and billet forks that don't bend like the factory ones. Also it will have a correct 5/R that doesn't make you go 1st,1st, reverse every single time or get jammed in reverse like a lot of them do. In all honesty the best transmission I ever had in one of these cars was a local shop rebuild of a 3650 with all the TSBs done that I put in my 98GT. Thing shifted like butter and went into reverse effortlessely every time.

2 - Rebuilt/remanufactured is better than stock if you get from the right place. For the T45 get ahold of Stan at Pro Force Performance in Atlanta. You can also use a 3650 in a 98-down car with a new crossmember, shifter and a speedcal to convert the OSS signal to VSS.

3 - Finding new OEM anything for these cars isn't happening if it isn't NOS or made for a current vehicle. Get ready to visit junkyards and buy online used for good original stuff or but aftermarket/remanufactured. If you want parts that are current then you need to buy a current vehicle.

4 - There are multiple "generic" transmission options that are new that will bolt right up. The Magnum will be your best bet, wide ratio trans and like 4.56 gears out back because you lose the 3.37 1st gear from the T45/3650 and have a 2.95 in the Magnum. TKOs will fit too but only get one if you hate your life or are into whips and chains. I had a TKO trans once and will never NEVER own one again.
 

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I don't know where you live but I'll give you the T45 from my '98 GT for a core to send for rebuild. It's just sitting bolted on a pallet. I sold the car years ago and tried to sell it but nobody wants it. I can't bring myself to just junk it. It stopped staying in reverse. I had to hold it in reverse to back up. Other than that it was fine. I really liked my '98 GT.
 

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That is a thing too, the good old core charge which you can't blame them for with T45 parts being so scarce these days.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks for all the advice everyone. If I am being completely honest, I'm not that good of a wrench. I can do the basics on a car, but rebuilding a transmission is completely out of my league and requires tools that I don't have. I suppose a remanufactured T45 would be the way to go if I want another T45. From my researching, 1998 didn't have quite as many problems as the 96 and 97's did (I think they upgraded the 3-4 forks), but the input shaft is still only 10 splines. I've been looking at the remanufactured XP1 series T45 on spprecision.com (not sure if anyone has any experience dealing with them or knows about their quality). I've heard mixed things about the T56 (some SN95 owners don't like how it shifts/length of the gears, etc) and TKO (TKO seems a lot more expensive). In the end, I guess I don't need it to be NOS, just strong and reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I don't know where you live but I'll give you the T45 from my '98 GT for a core to send for rebuild. It's just sitting bolted on a pallet. I sold the car years ago and tried to sell it but nobody wants it. I can't bring myself to just junk it. It stopped staying in reverse. I had to hold it in reverse to back up. Other than that it was fine. I really liked my '98 GT.
Appreciate the offer. Think I'm gonna go with a remanufactured one if I can find a reputable place that sells them.
 

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Don't quote the name , but there is a place that does t45's something like the " T 45 source "
Ima quote you lol. They got bought out by Stan at Pro Force years back.

Stan is a member on here last time I checked.


You could also install a 3650 IF you can find an older Dallas Extended range speedcal to convert the OSS speedometer sender in the 3650 to the VSS in the T45. I did a write up on it years ago when I put a 3650 in my 98. 3650 with all the TSBs done is a FAR better trans than the T45 even when its redone and parts are still readily available for it unlike the T45. Its a direct drop in if you buy all the right parts beforehand. New shifter, stiffler's crossmember, 95-down style poly mount from energy suspension and the dallas speedcal.
 

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Thanks for all the advice everyone. If I am being completely honest, I'm not that good of a wrench. I can do the basics on a car, but rebuilding a transmission is completely out of my league and requires tools that I don't have. I suppose a remanufactured T45 would be the way to go if I want another T45. From my researching, 1998 didn't have quite as many problems as the 96 and 97's did (I think they upgraded the 3-4 forks), but the input shaft is still only 10 splines. I've been looking at the remanufactured XP1 series T45 on spprecision.com (not sure if anyone has any experience dealing with them or knows about their quality). I've heard mixed things about the T56 (some SN95 owners don't like how it shifts/length of the gears, etc) and TKO (TKO seems a lot more expensive). In the end, I guess I don't need it to be NOS, just strong and reliable.
I'm gonna have to learn to do it if I ever have to rebuild mine if I don't get orders back to the states lol. Or just pay international shipping...

Anyway the 98s had the same issues as the 96 and 97. They didn't get suppossedly improved until 99 when they got the 5/R fix and carbon fiber blocker rings but the 40,000 original mile T45 in my 2000 is a pain to get into reverse and is notchy AF at lower rpm although I'm going to change the shifter from a triax to a MGW this week and see what happens. It is smooth at 7K and never grinds or locks me out so I'm gonna roll with it as long as it holds. And nothing from the factory ever had anything but a 10 spline input even the Terminator T56s or the 2000R trans, that is 100% aftermarket. As far as the ratios, the issue with modular owners is they usually don't run a high enough gear for the T-56. With a .5 final overdrive there is no reason to not run a 4.30 or 4.56 or even higher. Modulars NA don't make enough torque to really power through the gears until higher RPM and a 2.95 first gear and wide ratio is not exactly conducive to a high RPM low torque engine.
 

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I know I just wrote a lot, if it was me doing this again in a 98-down car I would still be swapping to a good 3650 rather than the T45. Specifically one with the .62 overdrive so you can get a little better RPM on the highway. NA Cobra go with 4.30s out back and don't worry about cruising at 2800rpm on the highway, your gas mileage will only go down like 1-2 if that and cruising at 2800 on the 4V is nothing. Start by finding a good used extended range Dallas speedcal since the ones they make now are not extended and don't have the range to convert OSS toVSS. Everything else is readily available.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I know I just wrote a lot, if it was me doing this again in a 98-down car I would still be swapping to a good 3650 rather than the T45. Specifically one with the .62 overdrive so you can get a little better RPM on the highway. NA Cobra go with 4.30s out back and don't worry about cruising at 2800rpm on the highway, your gas mileage will only go down like 1-2 if that and cruising at 2800 on the 4V is nothing. Start by finding a good used extended range Dallas speedcal since the ones they make now are not extended and don't have the range to convert OSS toVSS. Everything else is readily available.
Appreciate the advice. Sounds like swapping to a 3650 is expensive though after obtaining all the additional parts, etc. that is required for the swap. Do you know roughly how much it would cost (since you've done it before)? I'm working with a limited budget, plus this is my daily driver that I don't really plan on building up that much (maybe just gears, exhaust, suspension, but no plans to significantly boost the HP much. Don't want to make it too complicated when swapping a trans into a car that wasn't designed to have it.
 

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If you are just daily driving this I'd get a reman T45, swap it in a day and just keep going. Nothing is going to be as cheap as that. It's remove and replace.

Prices are all over the board it seems. For what you describe I wouldn't go top shelf, but I also wouldn't go with the "lowest bidder" either.

$1300 from these guys


$800 from these guys


$1600 from these guys


Several $ versions here


$930 here

 

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I just had to read this and comment when the poster asked for a NEW T-45...

There could be a couple new units sitting in warehouses out there somewhere. I've never encountered one, but I wouldn't want to install one because they would not have ANY of the updated parts so they would not be reliable. Also, they may have rust on the inside as happens to transmissions that are stored without climate control. Additionally, there are three versions of the T-45. 96-98 GT, 96-98 COBRA, and 99-01 GT/COBRA. I will add I've never seen an 01 COBRA with a T-45; I think they went ahead and used the TR3650 for all of the 01 COBRAS.. So, I'm saying there is only a 33% chance a T-45 someone comes across would even fit.


So, here is some "History" of the T-45 upgrades:

With all the updates, a well-built T-45 is very reliable and smooth shifting. There are 26 spline input shafts available to increase the launch torque it can hold up to, but the quality of those parts is all over the board, as those readily available are imported from Asia... The T-45 SHARES the synchro hubs and synchro rings for gears 1-4 with the classic T-56, but the T-45 gears are not quite as strong and there are no optional gear ratios available for a T-45. You can't even change the 0.68 fifth gear ratio to something better for racing..

Tremec took over the T-45, T-56, and T-5 production from Borg Warner around 1996. Ford was rightly upset with Borg Warner over the poor reliability of the T-45, so, for 1999, and some late production 1998 units, all 3 T-45 forks were made stronger, the 1-2 and 3-4 shift plates were made a little stronger as well. Those 99+ style shift plates have the letter "T" stamped in them. There was even a Ford TSB regarding special 5-R Forks. Unfortunately, NONE of those beefed up parts were made strong enough to hold up. They ALL still broke almost as much as before. Furthermore, for some crazy reason the new style 3-4 forks were made thinner where the shift plate fits which allowed the shift plate to act as a "slide hammer" and the shift plates beat on the upgraded forks causing them to split and fail even more than before.

Rebuilders say they put the "updates" in their units, but their definitions of "updates" are all over the board. Mostly, they use the carbon-fiber synchro rings, which is all that can be bought today anyway, and round up the 99-01 style forks and plates from old transmissions and claim they are updated. Some do use custom billet forks for 1-2 and 3-4, but few also replace the shift plates with the thicker, custom shift plates that are made out of a stronger alloy of steel than the originals. These are much better than the plates with the "T" on them.

It was Keisler Engineering who specialized in the T-45 addressed many of these issues with most of the custom parts I mention, but they went out of business several years ago. There are at least two companies making the billet 1-2 and 3-4 forks similar to what Keisler was making. I only know of one company making the strong billet shift plates and the billet 5/R forks and I can tell you that those items are not widely used even though they are critical upgrades.

There are other little upgrades for the T-45 as well. All this is to say be VERY CAREFUL in thinking someone's rebuilt T-45 is updated to solve all of the T-45 issues when they say it has been updated. Custom parts are pricey, so a great T-45 build will not be inexpensive.

Stan
 

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For a near stock car that is a driver that won't be beat on (raced) and stays mostly stock an "upgraded" rebuild should be ok. Otherwise, go to a 3650 as SilverSmith82 suggested. I've had cars with T5, T45 and 3650 transmissions and honestly, the T5 was the nicest shifting of all and they have the biggest aftermarket support hands down. You could buy a scattershield and go the beefed up T5 route too. A beefed up T5 with an aftermarket shifter behind a stock 4.6 DOHC would be fine. I still think the reman T45 is the path of least resistance. If you have a good aftermarket shifter, it's the same as the T5 so save a few bucks there.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
For a near stock car that is a driver that won't be beat on (raced) and stays mostly stock an "upgraded" rebuild should be ok. Otherwise, go to a 3650 as SilverSmith82 suggested. I've had cars with T5, T45 and 3650 transmissions and honestly, the T5 was the nicest shifting of all and they have the biggest aftermarket support hands down. You could buy a scattershield and go the beefed up T5 route too. A beefed up T5 with an aftermarket shifter behind a stock 4.6 DOHC would be fine. I still think the reman T45 is the path of least resistance. If you have a good aftermarket shifter, it's the same as the T5 so save a few bucks there.
Thanks for all the advice, I appreciate it. I'm assuming a remanufactured T45 would have the "updated" parts that were problematic in the original ones?... but I can't be sure. I'd consider a T5, but I always thought that they can't handle the HP/torque of the Cobra. Are remanufactured T5's beefier than the originals?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I just had to read this and comment when the poster asked for a NEW T-45...

There could be a couple new units sitting in warehouses out there somewhere. I've never encountered one, but I wouldn't want to install one because they would not have ANY of the updated parts so they would not be reliable. Also, they may have rust on the inside as happens to transmissions that are stored without climate control. Additionally, there are three versions of the T-45. 96-98 GT, 96-98 COBRA, and 99-01 GT/COBRA. I will add I've never seen an 01 COBRA with a T-45; I think they went ahead and used the TR3650 for all of the 01 COBRAS.. So, I'm saying there is only a 33% chance a T-45 someone comes across would even fit.


So, here is some "History" of the T-45 upgrades:

With all the updates, a well-built T-45 is very reliable and smooth shifting. There are 26 spline input shafts available to increase the launch torque it can hold up to, but the quality of those parts is all over the board, as those readily available are imported from Asia... The T-45 SHARES the synchro hubs and synchro rings for gears 1-4 with the classic T-56, but the T-45 gears are not quite as strong and there are no optional gear ratios available for a T-45. You can't even change the 0.68 fifth gear ratio to something better for racing..

Tremec took over the T-45, T-56, and T-5 production from Borg Warner around 1996. Ford was rightly upset with Borg Warner over the poor reliability of the T-45, so, for 1999, and some late production 1998 units, all 3 T-45 forks were made stronger, the 1-2 and 3-4 shift plates were made a little stronger as well. Those 99+ style shift plates have the letter "T" stamped in them. There was even a Ford TSB regarding special 5-R Forks. Unfortunately, NONE of those beefed up parts were made strong enough to hold up. They ALL still broke almost as much as before. Furthermore, for some crazy reason the new style 3-4 forks were made thinner where the shift plate fits which allowed the shift plate to act as a "slide hammer" and the shift plates beat on the upgraded forks causing them to split and fail even more than before.

Rebuilders say they put the "updates" in their units, but their definitions of "updates" are all over the board. Mostly, they use the carbon-fiber synchro rings, which is all that can be bought today anyway, and round up the 99-01 style forks and plates from old transmissions and claim they are updated. Some do use custom billet forks for 1-2 and 3-4, but few also replace the shift plates with the thicker, custom shift plates that are made out of a stronger alloy of steel than the originals. These are much better than the plates with the "T" on them.

It was Keisler Engineering who specialized in the T-45 addressed many of these issues with most of the custom parts I mention, but they went out of business several years ago. There are at least two companies making the billet 1-2 and 3-4 forks similar to what Keisler was making. I only know of one company making the strong billet shift plates and the billet 5/R forks and I can tell you that those items are not widely used even though they are critical upgrades.

There are other little upgrades for the T-45 as well. All this is to say be VERY CAREFUL in thinking someone's rebuilt T-45 is updated to solve all of the T-45 issues when they say it has been updated. Custom parts are pricey, so a great T-45 build will not be inexpensive.

Stan
Appreciate the advice, thanks!
 
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