Fox T5 To Aod Conversion

86GTVert#2

Member
Jun 29, 2016
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Yes, you saw that correctly. So a little back story is important here:
Let's go back....back to 2008. In August of that year, I stumbled across a one owner 86 GT convertible that according the seller was a 28K mile car. By the looks of it-it could be legitimate but still...a nearly 30 year old car that is sitting in a garage, no convertible top, under several car covers that only has 28k miles? So like any curious consumer and mustang enthusiast, I checked out the title, matched up the VIN and everything checked out. So ofcourse, still on the side of pessimism(or reality), I took the car home on a trailer.
The interior was complete but not installed, the top was missing and the trunk had no carpet. Importantly enough, the car ran quite well and according the seller, he quit driving several years prior but still started the car every couple of weeks and changed the oil every 3 months. So with that, I started what has became an 8 year project that still is not 100% complete.
Now, fast forward to about 2012. After owning the car for 4 years, having an OEM top installed and going thru 3 sets of wheels(I'm very indecisive), I decided it was time to let her go. Like most people in the technology age, I threw her on Craigslist and thought no more about it. Then one afternoon my phone rang, a possible buyer was on the line. I politely excused myself from the conversation with my wife and answered the normal "REALLY, how many miles,,," "Overall condition", etc. So after a few minutes, I went back in and was greeted with "what was that about?" from the wife. When I filled her in, she stared blankly at me and after a second or two inquired, "What the hell do you think you are doing?" "I didnt know anything about you selling it..." PAUSE
Now like any red-blooded American male, I quickly replied "I didnt know I had to ask PERMISSION to sell MY car!" The thing to note here is, she never really cared to go with me to shows, would not learn how to drive a 5 speed and generally always appeared indifferent about my rants about things I wanted to do to the car in the future.
She quickly stopped me and as calmly as she possible could, told me that she just "preferred I didnt sell it because I had finally found the car I REALLY wanted and as soon as I sell it, I would just be upset with myself..." As the consistent voice of reason and with my proverbial tail between my legs, I hesitantly called the interested buyer to deliver the news: "My wife shut me down!"
So, after I got the hint that she really didnt want me to gt rid of the car, I really started to push the issue of things I wanted to do or have done and sooner rather than later. As luck would have it later that year, the Father's Day Fairy graced me with a MAF conversion kit from a reputable internet supplier and the project began.
At this point, me being me, I was happy with just that upgrade, I wanted MORE and then MORE...well you know how it goes. I installed the MAF conversion and at the same time I swapped the stock upper and lower intake with an Explorer set, upgrade the injectors to the "4 spray" 19#-ers, replaced the fan with an electric fan, deleted the emissions and swapped out the Ring and Pinion for a hefty set of 4:10's. (Im in IN, we have no emissions inspections)

Now you have to keep in mind the earlier part of this post about the suspicious mileage thing....

So fast forward again to October of 2015. In a hunt for another Mustang, this time for my wife to drive (at her request), I stumble across an '87 LX with a total customer interior, SN95 dash, custom paint and tons of motor work that had already been done. The caveat is this car is ALSO a 5 speed. So when I get home from work, I drop the news to my wife. Needless to say, I leave out the part about it being a 5 speed until the very end. Well, by this point in our 12 year marriage, she knows that once I get a car stuck in my brain, I stop at nothing until I at least look at it or in most cases buy it.
The next day I spoke with the seller and arranged for a day for my wife and I to take the 3 hour trip to check this beauty out. When we got there and we saw it, we both knew it was coming back to IN with us that day. We completed the deal, loaded her up and Indiana bound we were plus one '87 Cobra clone.
On the way home we were talking about nothing specific and I out of the blue said, " What about swapping the convertible to an automatic, you know, so you could drive it when you wanted?" She was quite shocked but after a few seconds she said, "No, I dont want you to do that. Hell, I wont drive it very often anyway..."
Well oddly enough I actually talked her into it before we got home. Then it was just a matter of figuring out how to do it.
Where to get the AOD? What all will I need to do? OH CRAP, Ive never done this before.
Again as a member of the technology society, I turned to Google to answer all of my questions. Much to my surprise there were ZERO posts on this topic. ZERO information anywhere. Now if I wanted to go from AOD to T5, there were literally hundreds of posts, videos, discussions, complete parts lists but NONE on going my direction.
I just decided to reverse engineer the concept. I would remove the clutch, while leaving the quadrant in the car(saves tons of time), get a new drive shaft, AOD shifter and it would be a piece of cake. But the major question still loomed, where am I going to find an AOD and the other parts to get this done? After much thought, I remembered that a brother of one of my friends happens to also have an '86 Mustang. His is an LX, which as I later found out meant it was an AOD. With this ippifany, I took a chance, found his number and shot him a text...
"HEY, THIS IS MATT'S BUDDY, RYAN. I WAS CURIOUS IF YOU WOULD CONSIDER SELLING ME YOUR CAR.."
About a day or so went by and finally he replied:
"SORRY, CAR ISNT FOR SALE. I THOUGHT YOU HAD A COUPLE ALREADY?"
I shot back:
"I DONT WANT IT FOR THE CAR, I JUST WANT THE AOD FOR MY '86".

Then my phone rang, it was him. We spoke for a few minutes and I asked, "Well if you wont sell me your car, what about we work out a deal and just swap transmissions...?"

A moment of silence was quickly ended with, "Sure! I have wanted this car to be a 5 speed since I got it."

PERFECT! It was settled. We worked out the details and when the time came, I took my car to his barn, parked it right beside this '86 and started the process.

So after a VERY windy introduction, I will just list what has been done thus far:

Upper/Lower intake swapped for Edelbrock
TB swapped for BBK 70MM, with EGR delete spacer
Power Tube swapped for BBK, thru the inner fender

Engine pulled and taken to be rebuilt. This is when my builder confirmed this was more than likely a 30K mile engine. He saw no signs of any wear or marring in the cylinders.

New Double roller timing set
1.6 roller rockers
New stock length pushrods
Engine bay was degreased and repainted
New dual electric fan with shroud
All under hood wiring was retaped and new clips installed for factory mounting
New water and oil pump
A/C delete and power steeing relocated
New FMS plug wires
New BBK, ceramic coated equal length shorty headers

AOD was professionally rebuilt, no shift kit
Trac-Loc rebuilt(later this week)
Ring/pinion changed to 3:27

Next on the agenda: interior recovering, replace remaining weather stripping the DRIVE IT LIKE I STOLE IT!
 
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86GTVert#2

Member
Jun 29, 2016
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Well, I dont have any pictures of the on-going project, to speak of. Here are a few of when we got started. The intake, the block, accessory brackets, TB, etc. have all been blacked out. Im going to work on it tonight, after my parts show up from LMR. I hope to have it running/driving tonight before I go to bed. **Fingers crossed**
 

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