Ford Mustang GT AWD Build Is the Work of a Mad Mechanical Genius

Care for a Mustang that spins all four tires? No? Well an AWD S550 is being built anyway.

byPeter Holderith| PUBLISHED Jan 24, 2022 4:45 PM
Ford Mustang GT AWD Build Is the Work of a Mad Mechanical Genius
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Different people like different drivetrains. There are rear-wheel-drive elitists, front-wheel-drive enthusiasts (for some reason)—and of course, all-wheel-drive loyalists. The latter bunch typically enjoy vehicles from brands like Subaru, Audi, or 4x4s from a variety of automakers. So what happens when you love a rear-wheel-drive car but you'd rather it be all-wheel drive? This all-wheel-drive Ford Mustang build happens.

The host of the No Production Value Garage YouTube channel is an all-wheel-drive enthusiast who is currently converting a rear-drive 2017 Ford Mustang GT into a machine that will, hopefully, be able to burn all four tires. Perhaps the most surprising part of all of this project is that it seems reasonably straightforward. At least so far. 

The brains behind the build says he picked up the pony car in the fall of 2019 intending to convert it to all-wheel drive, but he's actually put a few thousand miles on it before making the swap. Since the project has begun, many parts have been sourced from all over to make the swap work. The transmission itself is a six-speed TR6060, which is used in a variety of cars from the now-deceased Dodge Viper to the new Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing and its smaller CT4 sibling. It's derived from the popular T56, and it's been floating around the muscle car world for more than a decade. As such, a lot of cars have used it—the build in question got its transmission from a Dodge Challenger—and there's a slew of bits and pieces that will bolt on to make the swap work rather easily.

In this instance, the front cover has been swapped with one from a Tremec Magnum XL, which is another transmission the company makes. It was added in order to get a normal bolt-on throwout bearing, an item that's essential to make the swap work. Just the same, a tail housing from a C5/C6 Corvette has been sourced on account of its compact size—the stock tail housing has mounting points which would apparently interfere too much with the Mustang's factory sheet metal. The housing had to be modified by Texas Drivetrain Performance to work, but it works.

The all-important transfer case is a BorgWarner 4440 sourced from a Dodge Charger with a Hemi V8. It's adapted to the modified Corvette tail housing using a custom mounting plate and will send power to the front differential via a half-shaft running down the passenger's side of the Mustang. The exact type of differential that will be used hasn't been specified, however, the 4440 transfer case was chosen specifically for its passenger-side output shaft location.

The setup benefited from as little interference with the car's mechanical systems as possible, and seeing as there's a lot going on over on the driver's side already, cutting the floor and other areas of the passenger's side of the car seemed like a safer bet.

The real secret sauce here is the TR6060's main shaft. I think I'm actually more excited about a transmission's main shaft and how it works than anything else. See, for some probably well-thought-out engineering reason the GT500-sourced shaft used in this particular setup has a handful of flat unmachined areas at the tail end of it. In the GT500 application, they aren't used for anything. In this instance, two of them are the perfect size and location to be vital mechanical features. These are perfect to get splines cut into it in order to mate to the transfer case and seal the main shaft against its new best friend, the modified Corvette tail housing. Some real good karma going on with this main shaft.

To top it all off, the car has a regular Tremec Magnum bell housing to adapt it to the 5.0-liter Coyote V8. According to the video, the project will hopefully be done within six months, which may not actually be an overly-optimistic timeframe. The host has previously converted a Merkur XR4Ti to all-wheel drive, which seems like a very similar sort of project. Having done this before, it will likely only be a matter of time before he has his S550 'Stang spinning all four tires.

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