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Tech Alley               "Where you find all the answers."

2011-current Mustang GT T56 Magnum XL 6-Speed Swap

How-To swap in a Modern Driveline T-56 Magnum XL six-speed into a 2011-up Mustang GT

It is challenging for us at Modern Driveline to understand the engineering logic behind the Getrag MT-82 six-speed transmission in the 2005-current Mustang (V-6) and Mustang GT (V-8). The factory installed MT-82 employs a semi-remote shifter attached to the transmission tunnel tied to the transmission via a shifter rail that, at best, delivers sloppy shift performance with the luster of a broomstick in a barrel. Notchy shifting. Locked out gears. And the sinking sound of a failed gearbox.



Prestolite Performance’s 2011 Mustang GT is a rolling showcase for its many and varied product lines including ACCEL, Lakewood, Mallory, Mr. Gasket, and a host of other time-proven names most enthusiasts are familiar with. When Prestolite blew up its MT-82 amid a fury of wide open throttle performance and acceleration, it looked to Modern Driveline, a TREMEC Elite dealer, for solutions to its drivetrain issues. We stepped up with a complete TREMEC T-56 Magnum XL conversion for Prestolite’s Mustang demonstration vehicle, getting these folks back on the road in short order.

What makes the Modern Driveline/TREMEC T-56 Magnum XL a slam-dunk for any 2005-15 V-6 or V-8 Mustang is a fiercely rugged and dependable demeanor. The MT-82 transmission just isn’t up to the task it was planned for. It was developed to withstand 375 ft/lbs of torque. The 5.0L Coyote delivers 390 ft/lbs. Go figure.

If you’re going to hit the road with a bang-shift attitude for a little canyon cutting, you want a confident feel in your hand. Without question the MT-82 is failure prone either at the shifter or inside the transmission. This is why Modern Driveline offers you a suitable drop-in replacement designed and engineered for a brute Mustang kind of day — the Modern Driveline/TREMEC T-56 Magnum XL six-speed manual transmission.

Here’s what you get for your investment:

  • TREMEC T-56 Magnum XL Six-Speed Transmission with Shifter
  • All Fastening Hardware including ARP
  • QuickTime Custom SFI Approved Bellhousing
  • Superior Diaphragm Clutch with Multi-Friction Kevlar/Organic
  • Modern Driveline U.S. made Lightened Billet Steel Flywheel
  • S197 U.S. made Steel Crossmember
  • T-56 Magnum XL Mount
  • Electronic Reverse Gate Controller
  • Wiring Harness & Plugs
  • Shift Ball & Collar
  • Four Quarts of Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid
  • High-Speed Dynatech Precision Balanced Aluminum Driveshaft
  • Highly Detailed Installation Instructions and Lifetime Tech Support

 Request a TAILORED Quote Now »»

The MDL T-56 Magnum XL conversion package for the 2005-14 Mustang is an easy weekend install because Modern Driveline has thought of all of it for you. This installation has been executed and photographed to show you how easy the installation is and what it will mean for your S197 Mustang driving experience.

Before tackling your T-56 Magnum XL swap, it is important to put safety first. Disconnect the negative battery cable and support your Mustang with jack stands in all four corners or with the use of a post lift. Drain the MT-82 transmission and properly dispose of all fluid. Always be sure you have adequate transmission support during removal and installation.

Fig. 1: Lets take a look at the T-56 Magnum XL (bottom) alongside the MT-82 (top). Here’s real difference you can see in terms of ruggedness and durability. The MT-82’s semi-remote shifter exhibits a flimsy demeanor when the heat gets hot during hard shifts and aggressive acceleration. The T-56 Magnum XL gives you integral shift rail control without a missed shift or unpleasant harmonics. The T-56 Magnum XL shifter feels good to hold in your hands making shifting second nature where power gets to the rear wheels in short order.

Lazy Image Fig. 2: The factory hydraulic clutch quick-disconnect is disconnected at the master cylinder as shown. Keep in mind hydraulic fluid (brake fluid) will damage your paint.

Fig. 3 Console cover removal is easy because it’s a simple snap together affair exposing the factory shifter and boot.

       <b class=Fig. 4 Remove chassis protection as shown using a 10mm socket.

Fig. 5 Because the S197 Mustang exhaust system is easy to remove, all you have to do is drop the catalytic converter package to make way for transmission removal. Quick-disconnect sleeves make removal a snap.

Fig. 6 Remove the engine appearance/noise-suppression cover to prevent damage to the cover when the transmission is removed and engine is tipped back.

Fig. 7 Underneath, disconnect the MT-82 electrical connections including starter. Be gentle with these connections. Did you remember to disconnect the battery?

Fig. 8 The S197’s two-piece driveshaft is disconnected at both the transmission and the differential. The MT-82 does not have a slip yoke like most transmission installations.

Fig. 9 The MT-82’s cast aluminum transmission crossmember is unbolted from the unit body. Transmission should be supported at this point in time.

Fig. 10 With the transmission properly supported, bellhousing bolts are removed freeing up transmission and bellhousing.

Fig. 11 MT-82 transmission is worked loose from the engine and jockeyed into place on the transmission support jack.

Fig. 12 Clutch is removed next to gain access to crankshaft bolts and flywheel. You’re going to need a new clutch and flywheel for the T-56 Magnum XL because the MT-82 has a 23-spline input shaft. The T-56 has a stronger 26-spline input shaft.

Fig. 13 Flywheel and block plate removal are next. Using both hands, carefully remove the flywheel and properly stow.

Fig. 14 This is the back of the 5.0L Coyote V-8 block. The 3.7L V-6 is similar. On the crank hub is a trigger wheel for the electronic engine control along with a sensor in the block. When you install the new Modern Driveline flywheel, don’t forget to reinstall the trigger wheel (also known as a reluctor).

Fig. 15 The new Modern Driveline aluminum flywheel with steel insert and ring gear has been installed with crank bolts to 65 ft/lbs in crisscross order. It is suggested you heat the flywheel to 200 degrees F and wear heavy gloves for installation. Heating the aluminum flywheel allows it to expand for easier fitment over the crank hub.

Fig. 16 We’re installing Modern Driveline’s 26-spline Superior Kevlar and metal clutch disc designed to withstand the punishment of aggressive street and competition driving. Kevlar allows for smooth engagement while metal friction surfaces provide a solid connection between engine and transmission.

Fig. 17 This is the Superior diaphragm style pressure plate, which is installed using 10mm bolts. Note the use of the provided clutch alignment tool. Always use new pressure plate bolts and torque them to 23 ft/lbs in a crisscross fashion for uniform tightness.

Fig. 18 This is the SFI-approved QuickTime steel bellhousing for the 5.0L Coyote V-8 and T-56 Magnum XL six-speed transmission. Once you have the bell properly seated, install the Modern Driveline-provided 10 x 1.5mm cap screws and lock washers. There are five 30mm long bolts and two 50mm long bolts. Place the two provided alignment dowels in the bellhousing. Using the longer 50mm bolts, torque in a crisscross fashion.

Fig. 19 Remember, you are dealing with a thicker bellhousing and longer fasteners. Install the eight 3/8-inch – 16 x 1-inch bolts through the bellhousing flange with lock washers. Flat washers and nuts should be on the block side of this assembly. Also keep in mind the two bottom bolts should be reversed to clear the engine oil pan.

Fig. 20 This is the T-56 Magnum XL’s throwout (clutch release) slave cylinder and spacer. Remember this slave cylinder must be bled if it has not been pre-bled.

Fig. 21 The new T-56 Magnum XL six-speed is serviced with Dextron III ATF automatic transmission fluid via the left hand fill port. Fill with approximately four quarts of fluid.

Fig. 22 Place the T-56 in fourth gear and raise the transmission into the tunnel as shown. Slide the input shaft into the clutch disc. Once you have the transmission seated in the bell install the provided 30mm long bolts and torque crisscross to 65 ft/lbs. Connect the quick-disconnect clutch hydraulic line.

Fig. 23 Transmission mount has been installed as shown. We’re ready for the steel crossmember.

Fig. 24 The provided Modern Driveline steel crossmember is installed and secure to the Mustang’s platform using the same bolt holes as the factory crossmember.

Fig. 25 The MT-82’s two-piece factory driveshaft is replaced with this one-piece Dynotech aluminum shaft with heavy-duty 1350 universal joints from Modern Driveline. The new shaft weighs just 14 pounds compared to 34 pounds from the two-piece steel unit.

Fig. 26 Because the Prestolite Mustang is fitted with an 8.8-inch rear axle and eight-bolt flange. The Dyno Tech aluminum shaft includes an adaptor ring, which enables us to couple shaft and pinion flange.

Fig. 27 Because the T-56 Magnum XL has different electrical connections than the MT-82, Modern Driveline provides a replacement wiring harness to make this swap cohesive. The T-56 shifter is equipped with an electric reverse lockout in place of the MT-82’s mechanical lockout. The Modern Driveline package also includes an electronic speedometer calibrator. Also included is a backup light switch connection.

Fig. 28 Completed T-56 Magnum XL package is a clean installation that’s easy to service and maintain. What’s more, it is rugged and dependable.

Fig. 29 Here’s the installed shift and boot with necessary electrical connections routed through the boot. This is the electronic speedometer calibrator, which goes in between the transmission harness and the vehicle speed sensor of the T-56. This calibrator changes the signal from a two-wire to a three-wire sensor increasing the pulse signal to match that of the original MT-82, which is pre-set by Modern Driveline. All you have to do is install the sensor.

Fig. 30 Bruce Couture of Modern Driveline and Kevin Stutler of Prestolite take a test drive in the Prestolite 2011 Mustang GT. First thing Kevin noticed was the crispness of the T-56 Magnum XL six-speed transmission. Gone are those sloppy MT-82 shifts and a solid predictable feel as you cruise the gears. The T-56 Magnum XL from Modern Driveline is simply a better transmission. For more information, contact Modern Driveline for details. Count on not only a better driving experience, but outstanding tech support.

Enthusiasts Who Are Also Engineers

This is why you do business with Modern Driveline. We are not a large company with huge product development teams with bean counters and Wall Street investors looking over our shoulders. We are automotive enthusiasts bent on getting our products right before they’re ever sold to the public. We are also very determined to deliver great technical support after the sale. As a Modern Driveline customer, you will never be our guinea pig. We find problems before they get to you and solve them before they ever become a headache for you.

We don’t just find the fault — we find the fix at the prototype phase before products ever reach the mass production phase. And if you ever encounter a problem with any of our products, we invite your contact so we may solve it before it ever becomes a frustration for you. If there is a problem after the sale, we are here to provide lifetime technical support for any Modern Driveline product you buy.

If you're looking to upgrade your Mustang send us your details and we'll get back to you with a quote.  Or call...