Transmission Swap: T-5 to AOD/AODE Conversion

T-5 to AOD/AODE Conversion

So your thinking about putting an AOD in to replace that T5 for everyday driver duty, or because you want the consistency and easier starting line hit of an automatic, but still want to have overdrive. If you are planning on the aode, you will need an aode computer and transmission wiring harness. A very good choice to program the shift points of your AODE is to go with the Baumanator TCS.

Parts needed:

  • AODE computer and tranny harness from 94/95 (for AODE tranny)
  • AOD/AODE tranny
  • AOD/AODE backing plates
  • TV cable
  • Shifter
  • Valve body
  • Converter
  • Shifter cable
  • AOD computer with harness plug adapter for AOD computer

Pull the T-5 and bellhousing, flywheel, backing plate. When jacking the car, try to place the rear of the car higher than the front to keep fluid from dripping out of the back of the tranny. Then take out the pilot bearing at the end of the cranksnout with a puller that you can rent from your local parts place, or using a few other methods such as with soap jammed into the hole etc. Replace your rear main seal since you are in there. Once all thats out, its time to pull your pedal/pedals. The easiest way to do this is to remove the clutch pedal by pulling the clip that holds it on, and then sliding the pedal out. If you want the auto pedal setup, that will add a bunch more time to this swap as its a big pain to get the assembly in and out.

The next thing that needs to be addressed is the transmission crossmember. The AOD will LIKELY require you to cut off the welds where the barrel type ends are connected to the crossmember, which will then allow it slide it back and forth to change where the transmission mount lines up with the crossmember bolt hole slots. This can be done before or after you put the transmission in. The T5 crossmember will probably need modification, but if you pickup an AOD crossmember you obviously won't have a problem.

Now its time find the clutch pedal switch that allows the starter to be triggered to start the car only with the clutch pedal engaged. The plug for this is black and has multiple wires coming together at two terminals. You need unplug it and then cut the wires off, then either use an electrical connector to connect them all, or solder them together as I recommend doing (its kind of hard to get under there with the soldering gun though).

Now its time to deal with the shifter setup. There are many choices here, aftermarket or oem. Once you have the shifter and your center console out, you will see that the mounting holes for the shifter are different than the holes you had for the T-5 cover plate. The two back holes line up perfectly with the floorpan holes and are there for the T-5, but the front holes go into nothing becuase the floor is different. This means its time for some customization! What I did is find a place as far to the left and right towards the front of the shifter, that allowed me to get the shifter bolted down and to use the threaded clips that were in the floorpan for the top two bolts of the shifter cover plate. This requires that the holes be drilled towards the end of the floorpan so the clips can go into the new holes you made. What I did is bolt the cable bracket to the floorpan using my new holes in the plate and the floorpan on the top left and right side, and then I bolted the shifter in using the back two holes through the bracket, and then into the floorpan. Once that was done, I decided to just bolt the shifter to the cable bracket using two nuts and bolts from the hardware store in order to get the shifter bolted down good and snug leaving the two bolts that hold the plate under the shifter.

Now its time to put the tranny in. Bolt in the valve body if thats not done, and put the bellhousing on, and then fill the converter with about 2 quarts of fluid and put it in the transmission. The converter should have 3 distinct clicks to make it fully seated. Once fully seated, there should be about 3/4 of an inch clearance between the converter mounting tabs and the end of the bellhousing. Now is also a good time to put in your tranny cooler fittings, which I used some hardware store pieces that had a 3/8 opening for the cooler lines and were 3/8 NPT thread. If you are using a stock converter, you can just go with the stock cooler in an automatic radiator, but if not then the B&M cooler is the best choice. I used the same type of plumbing fittings for the cooler, except these needed 1/2 NPT thread. Once you have the top backing plate on, and have torqued down the bolts for the flexplate, its time to put the transmission in. Once you have the tranny up and the bellhousing bolted to the motor, you need to pull the converter towards the flexplate using the access hole at the bottom of the bellhousing where the lower backing plate goes. Torque each nut one at a time and rotate the motor to get each flexplate hole where you need it. Now its time to connect the cable to transmission, put the access plate in, and pop your previous driveshaft into the back of the transmission. You will also need to plug in the nuetral safety plug, the reverse light plug, and put the speedo cable in the transmission. You can also put the pan on, and once the pan bolts are tight, its time to fill the tranny up. Put about 1 1/2 quarts of fluid in and then start up the motor and go through the gears to get the fluid to cycle through the system, then turn it off and check the level with your dipstick and add more as needed.