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s30 vs s130 vs z31 5spd Transmission Differences?


Blevinger

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I have two s30s, a pretty good condition '77 with a 5spd (and working air, woohoo) and a '76 with an installed 4spd AND extra 4spd (2).

 

The '77's 5spd seems shot. Noisy, hard to get into gear (especially 2nd and R) and the car is way down on power (starting with tranny and going from there). Even though I have two donor 4spds, I'd like to keep the '77 5spd.

 

QUESTIONS

 

1.) Rebuild 5spd or source used 5spd?

 

2.) I'm guressing s130 5spds will bolt right up to the L28, what about from z31s?

 

3.) Seeing lots of z31 5spds (t-5s, right?) that could be had on the cheap. Any problem with 150K mile examples?

 

4.) Do any of the 5spd models have better DD/Fun gearing? 5th gear in the '77 seems hardly taller than 4th. Don't remember that being the case in my old '78 (so wondering if, again, it's a symptom of wear and tear).

 

5.) I'm a fab guy (welding) but not too handy under the hood (or under the car). Can a shade-tree mechanic with a basic set of sockets take care of this job?

 

6. WILDCARD) I can have some local z31 turbos cheap. Possible to do the v6/5spd swap AND keep my AC in the '77?

 

Thanks. Pics below.

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So I can't for sure answer most of your questions, but to MY knowledge, the early 5-speeds have a short first and second, the '83-'83 S130 tranny's are the ones I generally see people going for, as they are a proper 5-speed and much stronger. The early 5-speeds are fairly weak, and can break easily if you put too much stress on them.

Their gearing all differs, but I'm not entirely sure of which is which so I can't help there.

 

From what I know, the Z31 transmission will not just bolt in. You either can't, or need to swap the front case for an L-series one, or run an adapter plate, etc..

 

As for the VG30 swap.. find one with AC, and with a little fab skills, I see no reason for your AC not to continue working, if not more so than before.

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The T5 from the 280ZX turbo will bolt in, but not the one from the Z31 as Npdavies stated. I ran a T5 in my old turbo swapped S30. As far as I know, nobody makes an aftermarket short throw shifter for the S130 T5, but T5s came in some Ford 5.0 Mustangs. What i did was modify a B&M shifter to work in my T5. It was janky but it worked beautifully.

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1.) Rebuild 5spd or source used 5spd? The '77/'78z and the first year '79 280zx and the '77/'78 620 truck 5 speeds are the same with identical gearing. The Maxima 5 speeds are the same gearing but with slight shifter changes.

 

2.) I'm guessing s130 5spds will bolt right up to the L28, what about from z31s? '79-'83 280zx non turbo 5 speeds will bolt right up to the earlier 280z motors, yes. Non turbo 71C 300zx 5 speeds can be modified to fit the inline L 6 motors but it involves swapping the front case half. The driveshaft may need shortened and the spline from the 300zx used.

 

3.) Seeing lots of z31 5spds (t-5s, right?) that could be had on the cheap. Any problem with 150K mile examples? Only the 300zx turbo had the T-5 and again you would need to swap the front bell from a 280zx turbo T-5 onto it to convert it to fit the inline six cylinder. The T-5 is big, heavy, and not that strong. The FS5W71C from the non turbo 300zx is a much better and stronger transmission. The T-5 is NOT the same transmission used in the 5.0 Mustang or Camaro.

 

4.) Do any of the 5spd models have better DD/Fun gearing? 5th gear in the '77 seems hardly taller than 4th. Don't remember that being the case in my old '78 (so wondering if, again, it's a symptom of wear and tear). Wear and tear will not change the gear ratios. After 35 years maybe one of those 280s had a transmission swap? The '80-'83 280zx non turbo has the highest overdrive ratios 0.773 and 0.745

 

5.) I'm a fab guy (welding) but not too handy under the hood (or under the car). Can a shade-tree mechanic with a basic set of sockets take care of this job? Change a transmission? absolutely.

 

6. WILDCARD) I can have some local z31 turbos cheap. Possible to do the v6/5spd swap AND keep my AC in the '77? As noted the turbo T-5 transmission is a huge transmission and not that strong. You may have to hammer out or cut the tunnel to get it to fit. If running a turbo 300zx motor get the non turbo 5 speed.

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The original 4 speed in the early S30 was an F4W71A replaced by the F4W71B in Sept '71. I don't know how long the 71A was but the 71B is about 31.5" and was used through the run of the S30. For the '77 model year a 5 speed option was offered, called the FS5W71B, and it also was 31.5 " long and will fit where ever the 4 speed would. The 5 speed on the S30 have a 'middle ratio' gear set.

 

The S130 has two gear sets... a continued middle ratio for the 4 speed (the last year it was available) and 5 speed for the '79zx and a close ratio set for '80 and on (non turbo) but with two monster overdrives

 

'72- Sept. '74 four speed

1st.... 3.592

2nd... 2.246

3rd.... 1.415

4th.... 1.000

 

Nov '74-'78 280z four speed

1st.... 3.321

2nd... 2.077

3rd.... 1.308

4th.... 1.000

 

 

'77-'78 280z and first year '79 280zx 5 speed

1st.... 3.321

2nd... 2.077

3rd.... 1.308

4th.... 1.000

5th.... 0.864 (13.6%)

 

'80 280zx 5 speed

1st.... 3.062

2nd... 1.858

3rd.... 1.308

4th.... 1.000

5th.... 0.773 (22.7%)

 

'81-'83 280zx non turbo 5 speed

1st.... 3.062

2nd... 1.858

3rd.... 1.308

4th.... 1.000

5th.... 0.745 (25.5%)

 

 

 

The T-5 in the Jan '82 and on zx has different ratios than the later 300zx but this is a larger, heavier and longer transmission than the 71B and the 71C non turbo 5 speed first used in the Z31. It is not the same as the 'word class T-5' used in the Camaro or 5.0 and although weaker it is cheap to rebuild. Z31 owners usually swap the non turbo 71Cs in when they blow their T-5.

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