t-45 vs. 3650

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Technically they are both Tremec transmissions. Borg warner was bought about 1997-1998 and transfered the T-5, T-45 and T-56 line over to Tremec. Trans made before those dates have BW on them and after them will have Tremec.

Easiest way to tell?? 3650 drain plug points straight down to the ground. T-45 drain plug points to the side
In order to use the 3650 in a 97 you need a 3650 clutch and flywheel. Easiest way to tell is either get under there and look. 3650 will be beefier and typically be tagged tremec. Also look at the door code.

A 10.5" clutch from a car that had a t45 in it previously will work fine.
I run a flywheel from a 2000 with a tr3650 from a 2002.

it was a 'direct bolt in'?

Yes it is.

Does the 97's have an mechanical or electric speedometer? You might have a problem there.

Just put a t3650 and an 03 mach 1 engine into my 98gt, the cross memeber needs to be notched out to fit the t3650 however, some people say they have had vibration problems due to not notching the proper angle. I am going to try the crossmember for a t3650 and see if it mounts to the 98