MT82 Transmission Specs, Problems, and Fixes

MT82 Transmission Specs, Problems, and Fixes

Last Updated October 6, 2023 | Alison Smith

All manual Mustangs from 2011-2020 use the Getrag MT82 transmission. Ford replaced the popular Tremec T5 and TR-3650 used in previous years. Since Ford switched manufacturers, the MT82 has received a lot of criticism due to having several well-known issues. But there are some upgrades that can help fix many of the problems with the MT82.

MT82 Transmission Specs

The MT82 is a six-speed manual transmission with an aluminum casing and integral bellhousing. It features constant-mesh gearing and ball bearings to support the input and output shafts as well as the countershaft. These features were supposed to make shifting smoother, but didn’t quite hit the mark. The MT82-D4 transmission is the updated version Ford released for the 2018 model year.

MT82 Gear Ratios for Ford Mustangs

Year & Model First Gear Second Gear Third Gear Fourth Gear Fifth Gear Sixth Gear Reverse
2011-2014 V6 4.23 2.53 1.66 1.23 1.00 0.70 3.84
2011-2014 GT 3.66 2.43 1.69 1.32 1.00 0.65 3.32
2015-2017 V6 4.24 2.54 1.67 1.24 1.00 0.70 3.84
2015-2020 EcoBoost 4.24 2.54 1.67 1.24 1.00 0.70 3.84
2015-2020 GT 3.66 2.43 1.69 1.31 1.00 0.65 3.32

MT82 Transmission Problems

MT82 transmission in front of brick background

Even though the MT82 is the Mustang’s most modern transmission, it has its fair share of problems. Mustang owners have been complaining about these transmissions for years. In mid-2020, a class-action lawsuit was finally filed against Ford in regards to the MT82. The case claims that the MT82 transmissions are defective and that Ford started using the Getrag to cut costs.

The complaints also state that the MT82 was designed for smaller, four-cylinder vehicles. The synchronizers aren’t meant to handle the higher horsepower numbers of the Mustang, which causes them to fail. The case alleges that Ford has been aware of the problem but continues to manufacture Mustangs with the faulty transmission.

An investigation conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed no safety risks with the MT82 transmission. That said, many Mustang owners have experienced these issues firsthand.

High RPM Lockout & Other Issues

MT82 transmission issues consist of high RPM lockout, slipping, jerking, premature wear, gear clashes, and failure. High RPM lockout is the biggest problem with this transmission. The Tremec T5 could easily handle a swift, quick, and hard push into third gear. Not so much for the MT82. It will more than likely lock you out of third if too much force is used.

Even after replacing certain parts (like the shift fork or synchronizers) or the entire transmission, the problems can continue. But Ford has denied the claims, saying the issues are a result of normal wear-and-tear, aggressive driving, or user error.

Technical Service Bulletins

Ford has acknowledged some of the MT82’s issues in seven Special Service Messages and Technical Service Bulletins. These bulletins are sent to dealerships, detailing potential problems and solutions.

Fixes to the issues include draining and refilling the transmission, replacing a variety of parts, and reassembling the transmission. The class-action suit states that Ford never notified consumers of the transmission issues.

2018 MT82 Transmission Update

There weren’t very many improvements to the MT82 over the years, but some notable updates came with the S550 generation. Ford included an updated MT82-D4 transmission for the 2018 model year. It had a new shift feel with a twin-disc clutch and dual-mass flywheel as well as stronger synchros through fourth gear.

MT82-D4 Transmission Features

  • New dual mass flywheel for improved NVH
  • New twin-disc clutch for increased torque capacity and reduced inertia
  • New MT82-D4 (direct 4th) transmission: upsized synchronizers 1st through 4th gears, revised synchronizer cone angles and tooth geometry, new power flow architecture and shift inertia (mass) for reduced shift effort and improved shift feel
  • Ford-patented power-flow and Ford-patented direct-acting hydraulic controls

But Mustang owners claim these updates did not solve the MT82’s transmission issues. Even with the upgraded MT82-D4, the transmission still has many of the same problems. Luckily, there are a few upgrades that can help fix some of them.

MT82 Transmission Fixes

You can update the feel and performance of your MT82 transmission with a few mods. These upgrades can help fix common issues, improve shifting, and make the transmission last longer.

Replace the Clutch

The only way to fix the high RPM lockout issue with the MT82 is to replace the clutch. Since the MT82 wasn’t designed to handle powerful engines, a new clutch can take on a higher power load. Some clutch kits are rated to handle up to or over 1,000 horsepower.

Get a Short Throw Shifter

A new shifter can improve the feel when changing gears and prevent missed shifts. Short throw shifters reduce the shift throw for a quicker, more precise, and smoother gear change. Not to mention, they make shifting a lot more fun.

Undercarraige iamge of the blue Blowfish shifter support bracket for 2015-2020 Mustangs

Add Shifter Support Brackets

The MT82 transmission has a semi-remote mount shifter, meaning the shifter doesn’t sit directly on top of the transmission like the Tremec T5. While this results in reduced NVH, it negatively impacts drivability. There is a small amount of deflection caused by the semi-remote mount linkage and flimsy shifter bracket. This can result in missed shifts, which is never a good thing.

Upgrading the shifter brackets can provide extra support for added rigidity, better-timed shifts, and improved shifting feel. Some of these brackets will work with aftermarket shifters as well.

Replace the Clutch Fluid Line

The stock fluid line can be flimsy, which can contribute to the clutch pedal sticking. Aftermarket upgrades are higher quality for better durability and an improved clutch feel.

Other MT82 Upgrades

There are other mods that can increase the performance of the MT82 transmission. Replacing the clutch springs, transmission mount inserts, and other hardware can improve the longevity and feel. Despite its many problems, the right upgrades will help fix some of the issues with the MT82 for a better driving experience.

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Sources: Ford Mustang Owners File Class-Action Suit over Manual-Transmission Woes, Car and Driver | 2011-Up Ford Mustang’s Getrag MT82 6-Speed Manual Transmission, Transmission Digest | 2011-2019 Ford Mustang Models Plagued by MT82 Transmission ‘Defect,’ Class Action Says, | Mustang Owners File Lawsuit Over Six-Speed Manual Transmission, Autoblog | Mustang MT82 Transmission Woes Lead To New Class Action Lawsuit, Ford Authority | Improved Shifting for All S197 MT82 Mustangs, MotorTrend | Fact Sheet: 2018 Ford Mustang Engines and Transmissions, Ford | Project BYOB Gets Its Noisy, Odd-Shifting MT-82 Overhauled and We Show You How to Do It, MotorTrend

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