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Best Mustang Transmissions

AM Staff

AM Staff

 / Mar 18 2020

2010 Mustang with Ford Performance T56 Transmission Installed

Table of Contents
  1. Mustang Transmissions Through the Years
  2. Transmission Upgrades for Reliability and Performance

Mustang Transmissions Through the Years

The Mustang has suffered through a lot of junk transmissions as well as a couple that serve behind quality drag racer power plants and street machines. As you might expect the best Mustang transmissions are newer assemblies with higher quality metals and more reliable synchronizers. The T5, for example, was improved so much over the decades that you couldn’t swap the newest iteration into older Mustangs. If you’re after a bolt-in replacement transmission for restoration purposes, you can’t beat Ford Racing’s T5. It’s designed to fit in all ponies that came stock with it, without the shortcomings. While the newer MT-82 trans has had mixed receptions, mainly due to the poor shifter bracket, the TR-3160 is regarded as one of the best assemblies. As far as automatics go, the 6R80 is what you’re going to want to go for. Unsurpassed durability, with wiggle room for serious power mods.

Transmission Upgrades for Reliability and Performance

Aside from clutches, shifters, and shifter brackets, the main upgrade for older transmissions is hardened input shafts. The stock shafts are notorious for being the weak link, so if you have the know how to replace it, it’s a highly recommended mod. MT-82s in particular benefit from shifter brackets with or without an aftermarket shifter to reduce miss shifts. Automatics are a different beast. The first mod should always be a transmission cooler. Overheating can cause all manner of irreparable damage, so best to put that preventive measure in place before launching from the starting line. Shift kits and stall converters are the next steps, depending on your build. These paired with tuners for newer transmissions provide crisper and firmer shifts and lower split times.