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Old 03-23-2018, 12:53 PM   #1
240sleeper
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Default Aw71 or m46

Just wondering people's opinions on a transmission swap. I currently have an aw71 that needs to be replaced and was considering putting in an M-46 for the manual shift goodness. I know that these Transmissions are kind of weak and my motor is slightly modified so I am concerned about the durability although I would try and take it easy on it. I do think that this would be a good step in the right direction as far as getting a long-term durable manual transmission because the donor car has everything in it and I could eventually put in a T5 or other with minimal cost once I have the slave cylinder, pedal set, shifter trim, flywheel and on and on in the car already. I'm just at the point right now where I need a transmission and this car is available. Opinions?
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Old 03-23-2018, 01:54 PM   #2
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Depending on how modified, go with the m46. Especially if you can "take it easy" on it, it'll be fine for many miles. That's been my experience anyways. 15g/16t have never caused my m46/m47's any heart ache. I am not dropping the clutch or winding out third gear though.
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Old 03-23-2018, 01:59 PM   #3
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If you aren't side stepping the clutch, the M46 will last awhile. Their limit is just over 200 hp. They start slipping the OD clutch at that point.
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Old 03-23-2018, 08:18 PM   #4
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I'm not sure exactly what horsepower my car is producing but I'm guessing it's at least 200 horse. I have a RSI stage 2 cam, 19t turbo with 11 blade Billet cold side, 3 inch downpipe, S60 giant green injectors, 960 mass air flow sensor, TLAO chips, probably soon to be unitek stage 4 head. I'm really going to try and take it easy on the trans. Since I got to replace it anyways might as well go with the manual swap
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Old 03-23-2018, 08:47 PM   #5
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Why not just wait to do a t5 or m90 upgrade? Rowing the gears is fun when you have a decent transmission. Who knows how long the m46 will last. The m46 on my 245 recently went out and I considered replacing with another m46 but I came to my senses. I know the aw71 is boring but it is the best option.
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Old 03-23-2018, 09:01 PM   #6
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Why not just wait to do a t5 or m90 upgrade? Rowing the gears is fun when you have a decent transmission. Who knows how long the m46 will last. The m46 on my 245 recently went out and I considered replacing with another m46 but I came to my senses. I know the aw71 is boring but it is the best option.

The cost of the swap is prohibitive as far as the T5 or M90 at the moment (at least 1k+). At least this way I can get the flywheel, the bellhousing, pedal setup, slave cylinder, the shifter boot and surround the drive shaft and crossmember Etc and it all bolts in. It would be significantly more cost-efficient than the T5 and to be honest comprable cost to an aw71 of questionable history from the junkyard. Once I get everything squared away with that and use it for a while I could shop for t5 and Associated bits to make the final conversion ( not to mention I'm not quite sure how the T5 fits in a 940) don't want to have to cut anything up. More or less I need a transmission right now and be m46 is a relatively cheap and easy way to get that

Last edited by 240sleeper; 03-23-2018 at 09:09 PM..
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Old 03-23-2018, 09:54 PM   #7
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OP that automatic can be made to easily handle power. Reliably.

Perhaps not as exciting as rowing your own but it is already there.
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Old 03-23-2018, 10:19 PM   #8
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OP that automatic can be made to easily handle power. Reliably.

Perhaps not as exciting as rowing your own but it is already there.

Yes I'm sure it can, I'm not sure that the the aw71 at the junkyard is of decent quality ( the dumbasses at the junkyard drilled a hole through the pan which will mean I would have to pull the pan first to make sure the valvebody isnt damaged) which the M46 is from somebody I can get their history of the transmission from

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Old 03-23-2018, 10:27 PM   #9
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The cost of the swap is prohibitive as far as the T5 or M90 at the moment (at least 1k+). At least this way I can get the flywheel, the bellhousing, pedal setup, slave cylinder, the shifter boot and surround the drive shaft and crossmember Etc and it all bolts in. It would be significantly more cost-efficient than the T5 and to be honest comprable cost to an aw71 of questionable history from the junkyard. Once I get everything squared away with that and use it for a while I could shop for t5 and Associated bits to make the final conversion ( not to mention I'm not quite sure how the T5 fits in a 940) don't want to have to cut anything up. More or less I need a transmission right now and be m46 is a relatively cheap and easy way to get that
You don't need to cut anything up. You just need to source a gm t5(shifter placement is further back) and it will fit and you may have to get a different shifter so its not uncomfortable when changing gears.

A aw71 transmission at a pick n pull yard is around $100-150, some yards offer warranty as well(additional cost of course). Pull the pan off and inspect for excessive metal shavings, burnt fluid, etc. I buy auto transmissions from the junkyard very frequently and every so often I get a dud(but its usually because I didn't bother checking it).

A complete m46 swap will be around $500 unless you can source everything at the junkyard and it will be around $250-300. That also doesn't include a clutch. Even at stock turbo boost levels, many people experience a slipping clutch. I don't know about you but I do my best to avoid headaches. Most m46s will be worn out unless they have been maintained by owners or you can source a rebuilt one(unlikely).
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Old 03-23-2018, 10:44 PM   #10
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On a budget you want the autobox.

If they're vaguely cared for the AW-71 from the turbo Volvo (not the weak AW-70 from the N/A cars), failure rate is pretty low on those and they'll put up with a lot with vaguely clean oil/some service/a cooler.

If more power isn't a priority, M46 that's cared for. Most T5s are pretty wasted in the used market unless you grab a V6 T5 and dig up an input shaft for it. They're not all that strong either, the auto is actually stronger and requires no expensive parts or adaptation.
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Old 03-23-2018, 10:55 PM   #11
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You don't need to cut anything up. You just need to source a gm t5(shifter placement is further back) and it will fit and you may have to get a different shifter so its not uncomfortable when changing gears.

A aw71 transmission at a pick n pull yard is around $100-150, some yards offer warranty as well(additional cost of course). Pull the pan off and inspect for excessive metal shavings, burnt fluid, etc. I buy auto transmissions from the junkyard very frequently and every so often I get a dud(but its usually because I didn't bother checking it).

A complete m46 swap will be around $500 unless you can source everything at the junkyard and it will be around $250-300. That also doesn't include a clutch. Even at stock turbo boost levels, many people experience a slipping clutch. I don't know about you but I do my best to avoid headaches. Most m46s will be worn out unless they have been maintained by owners or you can source a rebuilt one(unlikely).


The m46 would be out of a donor vehicle I would purchase and get everything out of, low mileage clutch and what I assume machine flywheel. I can purchase it for a reasonable price and sell the rest of the car. The reason why I mentioned the T5 shifter location is because somebody was selling one and he sent me a picture of where the shifter came up in the transmission tunnel right where the fuse panel was. The transmission shifter placement looked like it was the GM tail shaft. I may eventually go T5 if I can figure out the details. However at the moment I need transmission and an M-46 will bolt in and give me a starting point for parts for an end Game Swap down the road at minimal cost

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Old 03-26-2018, 10:17 AM   #12
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a lot of yards drain the cars before they hit the yard for environment reasons i wouldn't worry about it
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Old 03-26-2018, 11:53 PM   #13
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Accum nodded aw71 or t5/whatever don't bother with the m4x
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:41 PM   #14
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Aw71 with accumulator mod is nice, I would love to swap to a manual, but the power where the m46 starts failing scares me, I hear 3rd gear is like glass
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Old 04-01-2018, 09:20 PM   #15
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Yes just don't do it.
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Old 04-02-2018, 08:38 PM   #16
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I've broken 1) m46 and 1)m47 with less mods than you have, T5 and don't look back or the aw71.
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Old 04-04-2018, 12:57 PM   #17
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I've broken 1) m46 and 1)m47 with less mods than you have, T5 and don't look back or the aw71.
Lol... With stock power I broke a main shaft in one M-46.... Third gear twice.
With a little more power broke another third gear.

With turbo power it broke two sets of uber expensive Quaife close ratio gear sets in the M-46 case.

The Jerico four speed dogbox is the shizzle. This is a LOT more effort then an enhanced AW-71.

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Old 04-04-2018, 01:07 PM   #18
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^^ I usually tell people, no, just don't. Do they listen? No. They have to spend the money and time replacing a couple of them before realizing they really were meant for 115 hp, not 120.
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Old 04-19-2018, 12:51 AM   #19
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Thanks for the responses everyone. Coincidentally, the local junkyard near me dropped a 95 GT with a 5-speed that I pulled out for a song. The next day they happen to have and M-46 240 at the yard so I pulled the bell housing and the flywheel. Within a day or so of that they had a T5 Camaro V6 dropped so I pulled the tailshaft on that. Also picking up an M-46 740 very soon to use the pedal assembly shifter surround, shifter boot, master slave, and line. Going T5 after all. need to swap the tailshaft over, buy a clutch, buy an adapter, have the flywheel machined, and get the driveshaft shortened. Oh and figure out a shifter handle
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Old 04-19-2018, 12:52 AM   #20
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Thanks for the responses everyone. Coincidentally, the local junkyard near me dropped a 95 GT with a 5-speed that I pulled out for a song. The next day they happen to have and M-46 240 at the yard so I pulled the bell housing and the flywheel. Within a day or so of that they had a T5 Camaro V6 dropped so I pulled the tailshaft on that. Also picking up an M-46 740 very soon to use the pedal assembly shifter surround, shifter boot, master slave, and line. Going T5 after all. need to swap the tailshaft over, buy a clutch, buy an adapter, have the flywheel machined, and get the driveshaft shortened. Oh and figure out a shifter handle
Also...you want a wct5
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Old 04-19-2018, 12:59 AM   #21
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This should be being a 95 5.0



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Also...you want a wct5
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:51 AM   #22
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This should be being a 95 5.0
I thought t5 only came behind v6 mustang after -93
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Old 04-19-2018, 08:28 AM   #23
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94-95 were the last year's the wc t5 was used on v8 mustangs.
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Old 04-19-2018, 11:31 AM   #24
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Thanks for the responses everyone. Coincidentally, the local junkyard near me dropped a 95 GT with a 5-speed that I pulled out for a song. The next day they happen to have and M-46 240 at the yard so I pulled the bell housing and the flywheel. Within a day or so of that they had a T5 Camaro V6 dropped so I pulled the tailshaft on that. Also picking up an M-46 740 very soon to use the pedal assembly shifter surround, shifter boot, master slave, and line. Going T5 after all. need to swap the tailshaft over, buy a clutch, buy an adapter, have the flywheel machined, and get the driveshaft shortened. Oh and figure out a shifter handle
Sounds likes a plan but you may want to go through the gearbox before you use it. The V8 boxes are usually due in for a rebuild.
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