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tips, technology, tools and techniques related to vehicle driveline components

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RDMG
Dave R
Northern Virginia
(111 posts)

Registered:
04/07/2016 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB 4.6L Rover V8

T5 bellhousing spacer plates?
Posted by: RDMG
Date: April 07, 2016 09:02PM

Hi everyone,

New builder here. I am collecting pieces for a V8 conversion into a rubber bumper shell, and I've been scraping craigslist for a while. So far, I've got:

4.6L engine from a 2004 LR Discovery ($350, some TLC required)
T5 trans from a 1992 5.0 Mustang GT ($80, more TLC required)
Rear differential, brakes, and axle parts for a Hoyle IRS setup ($200)

So far, I'm not breaking the bank!

I'm searching for a bellhousing now, and I noticed that even the 215 bellhousings and D&D bellhousings require a spacer to fit a ford T5, perhaps two spacers to bolt to late-model LR serpentine 4.0/4.6 engines. I priced TVR bellhousings on UK eBay, and let's just say there's no need to even consider what the shipping costs would be!

My trans came with a Mustang 5.0 bellhousing. If I need bellhousing spacers no matter what bellhousing I have, is it possible to make a custom spacer to go between the Ford bellhousing and the Rover engine?


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1930 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: T5 bellhousing spacer plates?
Posted by: mgb260
Date: April 08, 2016 06:39AM

The 215 and D&D bellhousings use an adapter to go from GM pattern to Ford. A Camaro T5 bolts up directly. I've not heard of a plate to use the Ford bellhousing.


mstemp
Mike Stemp
Calgary, Canada
(189 posts)

Registered:
11/25/2009 07:18AM

Main British Car:
1980 MGB Rover 4.6L

Re: T5 bellhousing spacer plates?
Posted by: mstemp
Date: April 08, 2016 07:50AM

I think the new D&D produced bell housing is available for use of a Ford T5 without adapter. If you use the old Buick housing D&D makes a plate that mounts between the bell and T5 to match the Ford T5 and it's available for 3.5 L or the new longer 4.0 and 4.6L motors.
Call Mark and tell him what you have and he will set you up.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5690 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: T5 bellhousing spacer plates?
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: April 08, 2016 10:18AM

Yeah, with the BOPR the bellhousing is always the issue. Options are:
GM T5 with D&D or OEM bell (about $300)
Ford T5 with above plus adapter plate (4 or 5 hundred?)
Ford T5 with ford specific bell from D&D? Around $300?

Or a Buick 300 block with a $50-75 OEM bell and GM T5.

Lots of choices, it's only money right?

Jim


RDMG
Dave R
Northern Virginia
(111 posts)

Registered:
04/07/2016 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB 4.6L Rover V8

Re: T5 bellhousing spacer plates?
Posted by: RDMG
Date: April 09, 2016 08:14AM

I can see all the $300+ options out there, but I'm hoping there's an outside-the-box option that avoids some of the expense.

Using only my eyeballs, my Ford bell looks "deeper" than the photos of Various BOPR bells I've seen. I measured it at 7" deep. I'm speculating that the Ford 302/5.0 bellhousing is too deep for most BOPR/T5 applications?

That said, the Ford T5 input shafts are longer than the GM T5 shaft (I think?), and the latest Rover v8s have a slightly longer crankshafts (I think?), so I might be able to craft a spacer between the bell and the block. The starter locations are close, as are the bolt holes.

Does anyone have the depth measurements for the BOPR bellhousings?

Rdmg


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5690 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: T5 bellhousing spacer plates?
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: April 09, 2016 10:50AM

I think I've heard that the adapter plate to bolt a ford T5 to a gm bell is about an inch thick. Haven't seen it personally. But I can tell you this, it's a lot cheaper and easier to put the plate between the bell and the tranny than between the bell and the block. I've gone both ways.

Jim


40indianss
don foote

(39 posts)

Registered:
08/01/2013 04:35PM

Main British Car:


Re: T5 bellhousing spacer plates?
Posted by: 40indianss
Date: April 10, 2016 12:00AM

i have a 4.6 with d&d bellhousingwith the adapter plate to accept the ford world class t5. with the adapter plate(approx 1" thick) the longer length of the ford t5 input shaft fits the pilot bushing in the crank. an additional plus is the shifter lever is in the same position in the tunnel as the original mgb shifter. spend the money with d&d and find a different challenge to solve



RDMG
Dave R
Northern Virginia
(111 posts)

Registered:
04/07/2016 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB 4.6L Rover V8

Re: T5 bellhousing spacer plates?
Posted by: RDMG
Date: April 12, 2016 01:34AM

Good info from all, many thanks!

For what it's worth, I'm thinking the Ford T5 bellhousing to BOPR engine connection is one worth solving. BOPR bellhousings or their modern surrogates cost a fortune, while Mustang bellhousings may be had in a wrecking yard for relatively little. An 18x18 aluminum plate could bridge the gap, so to speak.

My only unknown is the depth of the Buick 215 or D&D bellhousing, relative to the Ford version. I know the 1992 Ford T5 bellhousing is 7" deep.

Anyone out there have a BOPR, Buick, or transdapt bellhousing handy?

The Ford trans and bell combo has a lot of configurations, so I'm cautiously confident that an adapter
/spacer plate would work.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5690 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: T5 bellhousing spacer plates?
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: April 12, 2016 12:21PM

Yeah, well you see the Ford bell is already an inch deeper than the GM one. So if you have a Ford T5 that might work with a thin plate like is used to adapt from BOP to Chevy and back where the plate is only 1/8" thick. But you'll have to compare the depth of the straight Ford bell to the straight BOPR bell. Most who have the BOPR bell have it in the car so it's pretty hard to measure but hopefully someone here can do it.

The second problem is centering the Ford and BOPR block patterns on the adapter plate. Not a simple thing to do.

Jim


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3562 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: T5 bellhousing spacer plates?
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: April 12, 2016 02:19PM

Here ya go. With me reading specs on, I get 5 13/16".
Buick 215 Bellhousing Depth.jpg


RDMG
Dave R
Northern Virginia
(111 posts)

Registered:
04/07/2016 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB 4.6L Rover V8

Re: T5 bellhousing spacer plates?
Posted by: RDMG
Date: April 15, 2016 01:41PM

Thanks for the photo! that explains the need for such a deep spacer with Ford T5s!

So, I see a way ahead:

Swap my 1992-spec Ford t5 input shaft with a post-1994-spec shaft, which is approx 11/16" longer, giving me the length beyond the 1992 bellhousing face for an 11/16" thick adapter plate between the block and the bell.

Cut the heads off a set of Rover engine block bellhousing bolts, put the threaded remains in a high speed drill, and grind their ends to points, all of similar taper. Set them all into the block at the same depth using a caliper or other standard, with points sticking out. Set a plate of aluminum stock of the right depth against all the points, secure it to prevent slipping, and tap the plate opposite the pointed bolts with hammer to register all bolt centers on the plate. Drill holes, and roughly clear space for the crankshaft in the center. Countersink bolt holes, clear the center accurately for the flywheel and starter, and attach plate to the block. Align trans (with 1992 bell and 1994 input shaft) with the block, insert input shaft into pilot bearing, bring the bellhousing flush with spacer plate, and align block with bell along the longitudinal axis using symmetrical reference points on block and bell. Determine extremes of "play" through the pilot bearing and input shaft by marking left-right and up-down limits of movement between the bell and spacer plate. Center the bellhousing on both axes between those marked extremes, secure it to prevent slipping, then mark the second set of bolt holes on the spacer using a centering punch through the bellhousing bolt holes.

Precise alignment throughout the effort is critical of course, but I think that would work? The starter bump out in the Ford bell is a bit off, but I think the spacer may help with that. At the least, it's more fun than swiping my debit card for $500 worth of second bellhousing and a different spacer.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5690 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: T5 bellhousing spacer plates?
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: April 16, 2016 11:21AM

A few points:
Short screws work fine, 1/2" is enough. Make a saw cut below the point so you can use a screwdriver to turn them in and out. Or you can just buy a set of transfer screws in the appropriate size such as: [www.ebay.com]

For the second pattern use a dial indicator on a magnetic base. Stick it to the crankshaft flange and use it to dial in the transmission centering hole in the bellhousing by rotating the crank. Clamp and mark with transfer punches. Be most particular about the locating dowel holes. Try to get down to less than .010" runout when assembled.

Jim


tr8todd
Todd Kishbach

(347 posts)

Registered:
12/04/2009 07:42AM

Main British Car:


Re: T5 bellhousing spacer plates?
Posted by: tr8todd
Date: April 17, 2016 07:10AM

Carl, I thought I was looking at a picture I had posted at first. That table looks just like my kitchen table and I've snapped many a car part picture on top of it. Then I saw the guitars and realized it was one of mine. I have a couple of Rover to Rover 5 speed bell housing if you need measurements of them as well. Two other possibilities for adapting might neb the newer Rover bell housings. The Discos had removable automatic bells, and the 5 speed versions hooked up to the Rover R380 5 speeds which are basically newer better versions of the Rover 5 speeds. The automatic bells should be in just about every junk yard by now. They might be something that both bolts to the rover and be short enough to do some kind of plate at the back to adapt to the T5.


RDMG
Dave R
Northern Virginia
(111 posts)

Registered:
04/07/2016 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB 4.6L Rover V8

Re: T5 bellhousing spacer plates?
Posted by: RDMG
Date: April 20, 2016 08:25AM

Todd,

I'd love to know the measured depths of the Rover bellhousings if you have them handy!

RDMG


tr8todd
Todd Kishbach

(347 posts)

Registered:
12/04/2009 07:42AM

Main British Car:


Re: T5 bellhousing spacer plates?
Posted by: tr8todd
Date: April 23, 2016 08:53PM

Looks to be a hair over 7". Here is a couple of pictures side by side with a GM dual pattern bell housing. Ignore the fact that someone wrote Rover on the back of the GM bell.
DSC04103.JPG
DSC04105.JPG
DSC04106.JPG
DSC04104.JPG



Greg55_99
Greg Williams

(94 posts)

Registered:
11/01/2007 07:12PM

Main British Car:


Re: T5 bellhousing spacer plates?
Posted by: Greg55_99
Date: April 28, 2016 11:56AM

The wild card. Leyland P76 bellhousing:

P76_bell33.jpg
P76_bell3.JPG

Buick 215\Rover V8 pattern on one side. Roll yer own 1/8" thick steel plate to the Ford pattern on the other. Should be OK.

$225

Greg



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/28/2016 11:58AM by Greg55_99.


roverman
Art Gertz
Winchester, CA.
(2964 posts)

Registered:
04/24/2009 11:02AM

Main British Car:
74' Jensen Healy, 79 Huff. GT 1, 74 MGB Lotus 907,2L

Re: T5 bellhousing spacer plates?
Posted by: roverman
Date: April 29, 2016 11:50AM

Whatever BH. you use, it needs to have a round/concentric hole to fit the support flange of your Ford T5. You can adapt the diameter difference easily,(some machining required). Remnant aluminum to adapt at the T5 bolt face, will be cheap. DO NOT use 1/8" steel to adapt ! Way to flexible. Once you have your T5 located "concentric" to the crankshaft centerline, transfer the needed holes and you're done. Cheers, roverman.


RDMG
Dave R
Northern Virginia
(111 posts)

Registered:
04/07/2016 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB 4.6L Rover V8

Re: T5 bellhousing spacer plates?
Posted by: RDMG
Date: May 07, 2016 06:11PM

Hi everyone!

Many thanks for the photos and ideas.

I made a trip to the local pull-a-part recently, and acquired an auto bellhousing off a LR Discovery II. Its 7 7/8" deep, but the concentric ring is there.

I still see a spacer plate between block and Mustang bellhousing as an option, but now I have a second option of spacer between the LR auto bell and T5, which is simpler to center.

The former requires an input shaft swap from pre-94 ford to post-94 ford, the latter (LR auto housing) will require a shaft longer than the post-94 input shaft.

There are some long t5 shafts out there, I've seen a few web references to 10"+ Australian-market Holden T5 input shafts. I'll bet they have dozens of them on clearance at my local AutoZone.

Many of you are probably thinking "just shut up and buy the D&D bell," and I can't fault you for that. However, I think I'm on to something here, that could be a neat solution for others in the future.


RDMG
Dave R
Northern Virginia
(111 posts)

Registered:
04/07/2016 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB 4.6L Rover V8

Re: T5 bellhousing spacer plates?
Posted by: RDMG
Date: May 24, 2016 08:09PM

Good evening Gents,

I'm still thinking through a few off-the-wall ideas regarding a new bellhousing arrangement, and realized I haven't accounted for the pilot bushing alignment in BOPR vs Ford. I'm thinking the Mustang v8 my T5 came from might not have the same specs as the Rover v8 I'm planning to bolt it to.

For a stock Rover V8 setup, how far should the transmission input shaft extend from the front plane of the bellhousing in order to properly mate with the Rover crank pilot bushing?

Also, given the likely condition of my Rover block (see recent thread on "4.6 triage"), I might be on the market for a Buick 300 crank, plus some liners, pistons, rods, heads, valves, timing cover, camshaft, new place to sleep, etc. Reading aluminumv8.com, I think that the crank/flywheel/pilot bushing alignment for the Buick 300 is different than the stock 4.6 crank, and that perhaps a 300-crank-stroked Rover would require a shorter trans input shaft?

Dave


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5690 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: T5 bellhousing spacer plates?
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: May 25, 2016 02:32PM

Or, for less money you could go to the iron block. Lots of good reasons to do so.

Jim
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