Transaxle Adapter Plate Mounting Brackets

I was having some fitment issues with the shift cable bracket which led me to notice that the engine was sloped three degrees upwards towards the back. The LS7, transaxle adapter plate and brackets were installed by Superlite, so I never paid much attention. The only way to remove the bracket / adapter plate bolts was with a 1/2" impact gun. All of the plating was stripped off of the grade 8 bolts, aluminum speckles fell on the floor, the holes were "threaded" at an angle and the nice chamfered edges were torn and jagged. Even when the bracket is removed the bolt won't slide through. In fact, I needed to use a socket wrench because it was too tight to spin by hand... I guess there's a reason a tap has channels to evacuate chips when threading a hole. Here's what the hole looks like after removing the factory-installed bolt.

What happens to perfectly machined clearance hole when an impact gun forces a bolt in at an angle

Clearly the engine was installed with the wrong brackets. My plan was to fabricate new brackets, but then I got to thinking… The Ford GT drivetrain has only three mounting points, two for the engine and one for the transaxle and it's my understanding that this is a very common approach for mid-engine cars. Since the rear suspension cross brace provides a rigid location to mount the transaxle, it makes sense to remove the brackets causing the issue. This has the following benefits:

  • The three hard mounting points can be replaced with polyurethane mounts to reduce vibrations.

  • The exhaust is easier to construct because you no longer need to do a 180-degree bend to clear the bracket. Remove the 180 will only improve flow.

There is some debate as to weather the brackets are intended to create a stressed member. To be safe, I’ll fabricate a 1” x 2” chrome molly tube flush with the bottom of the chassis to tie the two vertical billet pieces together. I also plan to machine the two mounting ears off of the adapter plate to increase room for the exhaust.

The next step is figure out how to build the engine and transaxle mounts.