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T5 in original 32 K member

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fatrod, May 9, 2012.

  1. Hi All,

    I am planning to fit a 5 speed behind my flathead powered 32 5 window coupe. The car and chassis are 100% original and whilst I do not want to cut the original K member about I dont see any option.

    I'm looking for pictures and options as to the best way of doing this. Thanks in advance

  2. hot rod pro
    Joined: Jun 1, 2005
    Posts: 2,709

    hot rod pro
    from spring tx.

    i'm doing one right now. it takes a lot of cutting and re-fitting. i'll post some pictures when i'm done.

  3. 32Gnu
    Joined: May 20, 2010
    Posts: 538


    I asked the same ? on here or over on the Barn... I dont think your gonna do it without trimming...

    If there is a way I'm all eyes and ears..
  4. graybearded
    Joined: Jul 6, 2007
    Posts: 68


    The nineteen year old kid that built my deuce pickup in '56 cut the top out of the K member. He trimed it neatly, made it where he could reattach it with 12 Point bolts, he was working at Cessna. When I bought the truck it was sans power train. So a '46 flathead with '32 front engine mounts went back in it with a side shift three speed at first. The three speed just wasn't working out. Decided a S10 5 spd T5 was what we needed. I still have the top of the K member but it won't go back in as long as the T-5 is in there, to say it's tight is an understatement! That tranny was in and out of the truck at least 6 times, and that isn't easy. It's in there now and I like it. A 4" Makita will be neccasary.
    Last edited: May 9, 2012

  5. Thanks danny, looking forward to seeing the pictures...
  6. Tony
    Joined: Dec 3, 2002
    Posts: 7,350


    Yep, i just did it to my own 32. I'll admit, i mounted my trans/block lower and a bit further back than normal due to clearing a blower under the hood....
    But it's still going to take cutting the K to make it fit.
    I HATED cutting it but didn't want to fully remove it.

  7. Anyone else?

  8. OK - my avatar was/is the only deuce I ever built and when I started it 12 years ago, I was not aware of the HAMB's existence. However, I did build it for a flattie and a 5-speed, keeping the k-member and the stock wishbone.

    First, I couldn't do it without cutting the K-member and even when I did, it was a pretty tight fit. I too have had my motor and tranny combo out 6-7-8 times now and I've been taking everything out as a unit.

    Basically, I started with a more-or-less stock frame and I trimmed out as little as possible for the 5-speed from the k-member - only 3/4" space on either side of the 5-speed remains. The 5-speed comes through the k-member just after the lower "fin" on the T5. So, when install/removal, you have to go slightly "up and over". I have cut the fin off, BTW. After all was said and done, I heated and bent a piece of heavy bar stock to replace the strength lost in the k-member, welding studs on either side and it's bolted on from underneath. At the time I thought I would need to remove that to remove the motor and trans as a unit but with a little jockeying, it's not necessary. Using the 35-40 center section pieces, I just came back and into the frame with them, created a tranny mount and some simple cross pieces which gave it some additional strength, stiffening up the frame a bit but not overly so.

    My build theme was a hot rod built with limited funds, tools, and abilities back in '53, with most all of the parts not newer than 53. There are some exceptions of course with regard to 53 and older parts but I wanted a traditionally styled car that I could drive long distances keeping the flattie in the 23-2600 rpm range at 75 mph. It does that. I have driven the car quite a bit and it's had it's share of problems, but nothing having to do with the suspension/frame setup.

    In retrospect, for the next 32 build, and if starting with a similar stock frame setup, I would have removed the K-member and used the 35-40 "X" instead, positioning it so the pedals would have come through the floor in the right location, etc. I then would be able to drop the tranny out from underneath without having to remove the motor-trans as a unit. The engine could also be removed without having the tranny tied to it. To me, this still would keep it a 53 theme and stay traditional, as all of the components are 53 and older. Since I have built 6-8 40 Ford cars and trucks, I'm in my comfort zone here as well.

    I have the complete/ongoing build on webshots - if you are interested, PM me your email address and I'll send you the link.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 11, 2012
  9. treb11
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,751


  10. jmikee
    Joined: Mar 1, 2007
    Posts: 193

    from washington

    Here is how i have done a couple. One with a flathead and one with SBC both with S10 T5 and stock pedals

    Attached Files:

  11. Dak Rat
    Joined: Mar 8, 2006
    Posts: 485

    Dak Rat

    Just my opinion, but if you have to remove most of the K-member to get the T-5 in there, just remove the K-member and build a crossmember to accomadate the T-5 and either sell the K for good money or keep it for any future project. Thats what I did on mine.
  12. Many thanks for all your replies. Very useful...
  13. AeroCraftsman
    Joined: Jul 29, 2004
    Posts: 329


    Here's mine. It takes a lot of trimming and when the top of the loop is removed, it gets really flexible. The fabricated bridge over the top stiffened it back up again.
  14. satans angel
    Joined: Feb 16, 2008
    Posts: 128

    satans angel

    Btt. Was wondering if anyone else has any good pics of how they fit their T5 into a stock 32 k member. I'm at this stage in my build and need some inspiration.

    Thanks everyone
  15. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,940


    The best way to fit a T-5 into a stock K member is to remove the K member and just set the tail housing into it while all are sitting on the floor. Then buy a Chassis Engineering X member and install it and the trans. There is NO way a T-5 is going into a stock K member. I have a Sag three speed in my K member but it has a very short case. You will have to cut the K member up so much, there is little left. The top center part of the K member transfers the twist load from side to side. it is too weak to start with and cutting makes it far worse. The frame needs a torque box in the center to transfer the load.the CE X member has this.
  16. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,406

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    I second this. If you've got a very nice original 32 K-member, remove it and hang it in the rafters for if you ever get tired of the 5-spd and want to go more traditional. Build or buy an aftermarket K-member to slice and dice for the T5.

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