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Old 03-22-2020, 04:10 AM   #1
adamdrives
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Default whiteblock rwd trans options

Hey guys, I'm planning a b6284t swap for my 78 242. I need some guidance on choosing a suitable trans for the swap. My initial power goal is stock t6 (270/280ish) but I'd like the platform to support at least 400 hp. This won't be a race car, just a fun project to learn more and push myself, bring to shows, and occasionally have some fun on the interstate. I'm not too concerned about getting the nicest box, just one that is strong and works. If I can find one locally to pull at a JY, that is ideal. I assume any non-volvo box will need a custom flywheel/clutch/pressure plate/slave cyl/shifter bracket set up which I would look into further once I've narrowed down the list. Here's what I've found from researching so far.

Option 1: M90

Found in 1994-1998(?) 900s overseas. 97-98 H, H2 and L2 models are most desireable. Not being able to get one locally/stateside is annoying but not a deal breaker if it will save enough headaches down the road. I've read reports that they share parts with m56, but not some crucial pieces. Read a thread here where Cpt. Bondo said he pushed ~500 through his for a while, but I can't find the build thread, unless this is it. I started out not even considering an M90, but from what I've read it seems like a strong candidate if I can find one.

Option 2: T-5

can be found in 80-95 v8 mustangs. Looking around on Row52, there are plenty of these in the yards near me. Good for 300 #ft tq according to a few sources. This seems to be cutting it close for a b6284t rated 280tq, and I'll be wanting closer to 400 once it's all dialed in, but maybe they can be built up? I've driven in two t5 swapped cars, one TD 740 probably making close to 200 wtq, the other my buddies MS'd 242, which he estimated 300-350 to the wheel. Nice shifts, felt good under power, better rations than m46. This seems to be one of the most popular swaps but that low torque rating seems questionable. Adapter plate is available from Deeworks.

Option 3: CD009

comes in 06+ VQ cars such as Nissan 370Z and Infiniti G37. I couldn't find one listed in a JY in 100 mile radius. I'm not 100% on all of which models they came in. There are probably some deals in the forums, etc. where I have not looked yet. According to this they are commonly put behind LSs, so they must be pretty strong. In one thread I read the OP noted that there was not much trans tunnel bashing needed to fit. Adapter plate for a Whiteblock also available from Deeworks.

Option 4: T-56

Found in 93-02 Camaros and 97-07 Corvettes. Rated from 350-450 tq depending on the year and flavor. None in the yards around me and likely more shekels than the rest, but the strength is attractive. Seen one thread here of one used in a 960. No off the shelf adapter plate available that I know of. This is the most attractive option to me in terms of strength, if I can find one within a few hours drive.

Option 5/6: Toyota W58 or R154

All I have found on the forums is anecdotal evidence that the r154 is stronger. According to wikipedia the only US market car they came in was a mk3 supra, so chances of happening upon one in the yards is slim to absolutely, positively, snowballs-chance-in-hell zero. I can't find a reliable source for what kind of power they can take, but if they hold up behind 2jz drift cars chances are they're strong enough. I imagine that drift tax will make them hard to find cheap.

Option 7: BMW Getrag 265

Came in a number of BMW models from 84-05. Hard to tell which came with a 260, or the beefier 265. Not sure if there is a big difference between them. Seems like it could be a viable option if I can nail down which models are good to pull from. One documented Whiteblock swap here

Thoughts?

edit: I tried searching "m90" in advanced search for the whole forum and get nothing. I was hoping to search classifieds that way.
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:05 AM   #2
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There is a UK seller that frequents TB; he has sold several red block version M90's to TB folks. I have not seen a whiteblock M90 for sale here in months, but they exist. I scored one from BC Canada but that was a hen's teeth find. There is at least one guy running the Getrag 265 behind his whiteblock; I suspect you have found his thread (the Full Banana). Homer is of course running a M90 behind his 5 cylinder. Lankku is running M90's behind his fleet of inline 6 cars.

Are you searching for low cost? If YES, why not running the Aisin auto box behind it? Check with Brokeforspeed, he has had good success running the auto box; not sure if he has done the accumulator mod to his trans, and he probably isn't pushing 400 lb.ft. Of torque either.

Stick70 is another one running an NA whiteblock with a manual, which I think is a T5, but might be a Getrag. Dee Works up in Quebec is making the WB to T5 adapter that I know of; others have rolled their own adapter for various manuals.

IMO, finding a serviceable manual trans in a boneyard is going to be odds nearer to None than Slim!
With M90s as the exception, I think many end up with a rebuild expense. Most of your listed donor vehicles are old and have high miles and or abuse.

Good luck. Always glad to see folks opting for a Volvo whiteblock, for the prestige of keeping their vehicle all Swedish!
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:59 AM   #3
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I just went through these options, m90 unless u have an expensive 8.5” flywheel
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:59 AM   #4
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I have a t56 sitting here, was still cheaper to go m90
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:03 AM   #5
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97-07 c5-c6 corvettes have a diff transaxle t56, so u want a cobra t56 I think or a camero, one we have here was a cameo modified to go in a fox body
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:10 AM   #6
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M90 should be the cheapest, simplest option when it’s all said and done. Just be patient with finding one.

That said, I am happy with the getrag 265 in mine, but it’s just more work (and those transmissions aren’t easy or cheap to find anymore either).
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:31 AM   #7
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Don't forget the possibility of needing to rebuild whatever transmission you choose, especially if it's a JY pull. AFAIK, the T5 is the only one in your list that someone could rebuild in their home garage,

Also, be sure to think about the gearing of your listed options along with what rear gears you're running. The right power band and the right gear ratios can really make it fun to drive, or not.
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:45 AM   #8
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Dont sleep on the T5. I have a NWC T5 behind a 5.3 w LS2 cam now and if has lived for years. But I do not launch hard or do burnouts in the truck.

FWIW I have to full kit T5 and adapter and B304 engine to go with it if someone makes me a decent offer. Someone else strung me along for about a year and never came and got it. Not mad, just is what it is.
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Old 03-22-2020, 02:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DET17 View Post
Are you searching for low cost? If YES, why not running the Aisin auto box behind it? Check with Brokeforspeed, he has had good success running the auto box; not sure if he has done the accumulator mod to his trans, and he probably isn't pushing 400 lb.ft. Of torque either.
I just miss that third gear rush from my t5m wagon. I think it has to be manual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DET17 View Post
IMO, finding a serviceable manual trans in a boneyard is going to be odds nearer to None than Slim! With M90s as the exception, I think many end up with a rebuild expense. Most of your listed donor vehicles are old and have high miles and or abuse.
Just to clarify, you're saying the M90 wouldn't need rebuilding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by benflynn View Post
I just went through these options, m90 unless u have an expensive 8.5” flywheel
Could you elaborate on that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark G View Post
Don't forget the possibility of needing to rebuild whatever transmission you choose, especially if it's a JY pull. AFAIK, the T5 is the only one in your list that someone could rebuild in their home garage,

Also, be sure to think about the gearing of your listed options along with what rear gears you're running. The right power band and the right gear ratios can really make it fun to drive, or not.
The car is question has 3.73 gears. Is there any particular rear end to steer clear of?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pillow View Post
Dont sleep on the T5. I have a NWC T5 behind a 5.3 w LS2 cam now and if has lived for years. But I do not launch hard or do burnouts in the truck.

FWIW I have to full kit T5 and adapter and B304 engine to go with it if someone makes me a decent offer. Someone else strung me along for about a year and never came and got it. Not mad, just is what it is.
What kind of power does that make? I know I'll want to make at least one burnout, once I'm finished swapping

sent you a PM
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Old 03-22-2020, 02:50 PM   #10
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T5 torque ratings are based on V8 power bands, if your not shocking the transmission with all that toque and huge tires it will take more then 300ft.

Ide also say t5 would be the cheapest, I'm maybe $700 into a RWD whiteblock T5 setup once I get the transmission today (fingers crossed)
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Old 03-22-2020, 04:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamdrives View Post
The car is question has 3.73 gears. Is there any particular rear end to steer clear of?
Personally, I wouldn't go taller (lower numerically) than the 3.73. A Mustang T5 with the 3.35 first matches well with the 3.73 rear you already have. The Camaro one with the 2.95 first and a 4.1 rear is a good setup as well.
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Old 03-22-2020, 06:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DET17 View Post

Are you searching for low cost? If YES, why not running the Aisin auto box behind it? Check with Brokeforspeed, he has had good success running the auto box; not sure if he has done the accumulator mod to his trans, and he probably isn't pushing 400 lb.ft. Of torque either.
I've done the accumulator mod, andt thanks to the POI Shift, I'm running full line pressure. That alone bumps the power holding capabilities up a lot. I wouldn't even worry at 350-400 ft/lbs on a box with fresh clutches. It can go higher than that, by a bit. It's been proven by the Supra guys, who use the same box.

It's the easiest way to get a whiteblock in a RWD car, but the autobox life isn't for everyone, lol.
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Old 03-22-2020, 06:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DET17 View Post
Lankku is running M90's behind his fleet of inline 6 cars.
At the moment the NA 245 has M90. "B6284T" has a BMW ZF GS6-53DZ and the milder version had GS6-37DZ. Both turbo cars did start with M90 but higher goals need more durable options. I would use M90 in an engine with max ~600Nm. Broke one years ago with 700Nm(516lb-ft) and I'm not even trying to beat it. Some people have broken them with less torque, few have managed to make them last more.


Quote:
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Just to clarify, you're saying the M90 wouldn't need rebuilding?
Most M90 need 3rd and/or 4th gear synchros. Sometimes there is total mayhem and there are many things that can go wrong in an old, worn tranny. I would suggest having one for spares. New parts are unavailable as M90 has always been sold as an unit.

This is broken 3rd gear with dual synchro rings(seen 2 or 3 in the same condition). The small ring goes between the synchros and originally has four small teeth:


Selector fork has plastic ends and they might crumble causing bad or no shifting. Especially for 3/4. Also selector collar and gear could be worn. Right is still usable:


When abused(and with worn synchros) the whole selector frame can crack on one corner and that is repairable:

Never had to write about tranny parts so I might've translated some wrong.

Btw. You can interchange the insides from another M90 if you have a housing that fits your engine.
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:01 PM   #14
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I'm going AR5 (solstice/sky transmission). $450 for a low mileage take out from LKQ. R154/UZ adapter plate from Xcessive and a 960 bellhousing bolts it all together. Pilot bearing for a vanagon. Uses an LS1 style slave out of the box and just needed a 1/2" space for it all to work. The most expensive part is actually the shifter from Drift Motion for it to line up into the 240 shifter hole.

AR5 is essentially a super late model R154 and has been shown to be good for 700-800 ft-lbs.

M90 is a pain in the ass to get to the US along with any of the welded together BMW boxes.
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:02 PM   #15
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oh, AR5 fits perfectly in the 240 tunnel with the Anderssen mounts for the engine.

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Old 03-23-2020, 07:58 AM   #16
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oh, AR5 fits perfectly in the 240 tunnel with the Anderssen mounts for the engine.

Looks great!

Was the AR5 used in anything other than the Soltice/Sky? Not exactly high volume cars. Was it used with other GM Ecotec drivetrains?
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Old 03-23-2020, 09:32 AM   #17
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Somebody mentioned earlier I'm on a T5 in my 122 swap. It's fine, but it still has all the lovely noises we've come to expect from T5 boxes. My swap started cheap but I couldn't find a trans that wasn't junk so I ended up rebuilding mine with all new guts. I went with a T5 for a few key reasons, physical size being a big one, there isn't much room under a 122. It shifts good, my cable driven speedo is accurate, and it fits. I'm happy enough with the swap, but when I get around to it I'm not putting another one in my 242. They used to be cheap and everywhere, now that the prices are going up I think there are better options.

I have experience with r154s too. They handle a good deal of power, I think supra guys have put 700 through them with some success after marlin crawler upgrades. They are indeed much stronger than the W58 that came in the SC300, N/A supra, etc. However they're $2k transmissions when you can find one that doesn't suck, and they're only getting harder to find. Couple this with the fact that they kind of shift like total dog **** (it's a truck transmission) and there are better options. Also my god are these things heavy.
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Old 03-23-2020, 01:30 PM   #18
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The CD009 is a nice transmission. Shifts well and works good in a 740. You can still buy them new.

The shifter position is too far back for a 242 unless you buy a front mount shifter. The front mount shifters sit on top of the transmission and will require you to make modifications inside the transmission to connect the shifter. The 740 shifters are mounted on the tail of the transmission and don't require you to open up the transmission.
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Old 03-23-2020, 01:53 PM   #19
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I've had a late model W58 behind my whiteblock for a number of years now. I like the ratios, how quiet it is, and it shifts ok. Since it fits in the car and works I'm happy with it but I probably wouldn't go through the work of fitting another one.
The availability of 1UZ to W58 adapter plates makes it seem like an attractive bolt in-ish option but the remainder of the integration was death by a thousand cuts. Getting the shifter to line up in a 240 is a pretty involved cut and weld process since no suitable off the shelf relocation kits exist. I definitely engaged in some self flagellation with the clutch and clutch release situation and I wouldn't wish that experience upon anyone.

If I had to do another manual behind a whiteblock I think an AR5 is the most attractive option to me.
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:08 PM   #20
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I've had a late model W58 behind my whiteblock for a number of years now. I like the ratios, how quiet it is, and it shifts ok. Since it fits in the car and works I'm happy with it but I probably wouldn't go through the work of fitting another one.
The availability of 1UZ to W58 adapter plates makes it seem like an attractive bolt in-ish option but the remainder of the integration was death by a thousand cuts. Getting the shifter to line up in a 240 is a pretty involved cut and weld process since no suitable off the shelf relocation kits exist. I definitely engaged in some self flagellation with the clutch and clutch release situation and I wouldn't wish that experience upon anyone.

If I had to do another manual behind a whiteblock I think an AR5 is the most attractive option to me.
Drift motion in Socal actually makes an all billet jobber now in a couple of different lengths for both early and late shape R154 shifter housing patters....that should work on a W58 as well, iirc.
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Old 03-23-2020, 05:19 PM   #21
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8.5” m90 disc is hard to find, most options are 9”. 8.5” is ideal for a t5 swapp I think
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Old 03-23-2020, 07:21 PM   #22
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Not that an 850 flywheel is easy to find itself these days
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Old 03-23-2020, 09:20 PM   #23
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I have shipped over a few M90's. You can also use a reblock M90 with an adaptor plate
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Old 03-23-2020, 11:53 PM   #24
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Not reading all the above, but I wrote the rest of this when there were no replies, didn't finish, and forgot to come back finish and send, so here it is anyway:

M90 isn't all that strong, FYI.

T56 is ultra tall in ratios, and IIRC 6th is very "cruiser" not a step up like with say a J160 from a beams 3SGE altezza which is a nice close ratio 6 speed.

Toyota W boxes aren't that strong either, and R154 have variants strength wise with the strong ones hard to find these days.

BMW is not common / cheap where I am (NZ) but if I were in Europe I'd likely use one - not sure about state side.

T5 is also not that common here, and not super crazy strong either.

Being in a JDM dominated market, CD009 is my strong manual target for future projects, but T56 would be an option too as they're around and available thanks to now-dwindling ozzy built cars.
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:08 PM   #25
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My main gripe with the M90 is the shift feel. The getrag 265 and W58 are worlds better.
If you're coming from an M47/46, anything will feel better.
Am I going to swap transmissions because of it? No.
I am looking for an M90 with a taller 5th though...
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