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automatic to manual swap (auto - 5spd conversion writeup)

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  • automatic to manual swap (auto - 5spd conversion writeup)

    This doesn't get too much attention because it has been asked too many times by me but no one ever replies. I can get a manual tranny and other components to do the swap but what does it take/what do I need? If anyone had done this successfully, how difficult was it to install the manual tran as far as the wiring/sensors goes?

  • #2
    I've seen some and it's not the cleanest swap. Definitly doable though. Put it this way. If your considering a auto-->manual swap then you should also give some serious thought to selling your car and buying an manual.


    Finals... What finals?


    • #3
      My old plans were to purchase a B16a from a friend for $900 and any other accessories for another $500 or so. But whats the sense of spending that much money on a new motor to drop in a teg (civics go with b16s =x) when you can get a SR20DE-T for 200 bucks more...I don't see whats the big ego on b16's/VTEC/FF :dead:.My better plans in the future is to drop a SR20DET in 89-93 240sx for about $1700 and you've got a stock silvia plus you got that classic tail light look that g2 tegs have...Since my friend works at the junkyard, I could pick up a manual trans with accessories for bout 100 bucks...not too bad


      • #4
        i'm doing the auto to 5-speed swap too

        after finding out that my transmission is on it's way to heaven, i've decided on swapping in a 5-speed instead of keeping my car automatic. thanx to my older, 360+ lbs. brother, my lowered integ now has a cracked tranny case, busted motor mount, and somehow, he managed to get my gears to grind pretty bad. From what I know so far, you need the tranny itself, axles, shift rod, shift extension, foot pedastal, shifter, gauge cluster, and the 5-speed ecu. I think that there's more little stuff as well, but I don't know exactly what they are. You're lucky to be getting everything for so cheap, the swap is gonna cost me over $700, but that's gonna include everything I need to make it work. I'm gonna be working on the car myself along with a mechanic I know. I've worked on cars with him before and we even changed my transmission already, the hardest part seems like it's gonna be putting in the foot pedastal and hooking it up.

        And for those of you who are wondering, yes I have tried selling my car. I had a for sale sign on my car for 2 months and dropped the price 4 times, but no one wants an automatic. I lowered the price to $3000 but no one wants it. If it were a 5-speed, I could've sold it the first week I put up the sign and could've sold it for $5500. Now that i've settled on doing the tranny swap, there's no need for me to sell the car, and i can finally go to the runs with my friends and not feel so inferior. The next step is to get a vtec head, build up the block, and start to shut up the sh*t talkers and wannabes.


        • #5
          Really, if you can get all the parts for a reasonable price...$700 or less (which is doable, just takes patience and searching), it would really be a fun project. It isn't necessary to sell your car. It just depends also on how much reading you're willing to do. First order, buy a chilton or haynes manual and read (and understand) the section on removing and reinstalling a transmission, it doesn't matter that you will be reinstalling a different transmission, the steps will be the same. That is the most important step if you will be doing it yourself.
          Parts list: tranny, shift linkage, shifter and shift knob, manual tranny mounts (can shim the auto mounts), clutch, pressure plate, clutch cable and pedal assembly, YEAR SPECIFIC ecu.

          It is not that hard as long as you read and understand. Buy the manual. Read it several times. Have fun, you'll learn a lot about your car which is sometimes more fun and important than saving a little bit of money (aka selling your car to purchase manual).
          92 GS, 2dr, Milano Red, Auto, Tanabe Sustec strut/springs, tan leather *RIP* :(
          91 gs, 2dr, Black, 5spd *RIP* :( :(
          93 GS, Black, Lots o Stuff (Sold) :(
          N FUL FX: It's IMPOSSIBLE.. But why Neil? Cuz G2 Tegs get all the pu$$y.


          • #6
            auto to manual writeup, need imput from those who have converted thier own.

            Looking for help doing this write-up on auto to manual. I put to words everything I can remember, but it seems like I missed a few things but cant put a finger on what those things were. Could everybody whose done this, has knowledge about this,or who wants to do this give a read here and lemmie know what you think I left out. I didnt get specific about a lot of stuff because its explained perfectly by the Helms. No need to rewrite whets already published. Rather I just elaborated on the things that aren't published, at least to my knowledge. TIA and all feedback is welcome, except smartass remarks on my bad grammar

            ! WARNING ! I do not recommend doing this conversion. Just my little way of saying that it would most likely be easier to sell your current car and buy one with a 5-spd already in it rather than take on this chore. I leave these instructs for the last resort people whose automatics have gone bad. The only reason I attempted this conversion was because I already had a complete donor car, a full shop with airtools, a person that had years of Honda experience willing to lend a hand, AND my tranny after having 3 years autoxing finally died. Keep in mind that this conversion was done on a 91 GS. The cars will vary a little throughout the years, but Ill try to mention where these differences apply. Also, there is no way I can remember all the nuts and bolts that I encountered during the swap, so I highly recommend buying a Helms manual. You'll need it for wiring diagrams if nothing else. Believe me, I sat down and followed a lot of diagrams to get everything in my car to function. I also wont get into detail on how to do things that are in the manual. I’ll try to cover only the things that aren't in the manual. Having said that, Ill start this little "how to."

            Ok, first off, here's a list of things you will need.

            - tranny (duh)
            - clutchplate
            - pilot bearing
            - throwout bearing
            - pressure plate
            - clutch cable and housing
            - clutch pedal assembly (including all pedals and wiring)
            - shifter with boot & knob
            - shift linkage
            - intermediate shaft
            - tranny mounts
            - ECU (year specific)
            - gauge bezel
            - a gallon of whiskey for Dave (closet drinker who’s garage we used)

            The intake manifold is also different, however I didn’t change it, and I have no idea what the differences are between the two. I blocked off the extra vacuum lines. The gauge bezel is pretty much optional too, but I listed it, so if you stumble on a wrecked car you won’t forget to get it.

            This is not necessarily in the order we did things.


            - remove the shifter
            - remove the automatic ECU
            - remove the pedal assembly

            This, to me, is the biggest task. You have to remove the steering column, the heating ducts, and everything else that’s in the way to get access in there. This intimidated me more than anything. Just seems like your ripping your poor car to pieces. Just pay close attention to how the things come apart, even though there’s pretty much only one way to put it back together. Remember: don’t just start cutting wires and stuff, make sure you can abort the mission when you figure what a pain in the butt this is. Everything unplugs and replugs back in.

            The reinstall is just the opposite of the removal with the exception of the extra bolts on the pedal assembly that go where the auto ECU was. Be sure to leave enough wire for the two plugs that go to the clutch pedal. They need to be long enough to rewire into the new system. They are very hard to access after the assembly is back together. These wires are for cruise control and the "cant start the car unless the clutch is in” switch, which I left disconnected.

            I’ll cover the issues with the ECU when I talk about the inside. The ECUs between 90 and 91 are different. If people try to tell you otherwise, tell them they are uninformed. The difference between these two is this, the 90 has an external PA sensor, the 91 has an internal PA sensor. Example: if you put a 90 ECU in a 91, you'll get a check engine light (CEL) and the ECU will flash code 13. The only ways to get the CEL to stop are to is to get the correct ECU, or put electrical tape on the CEL (Homer Simpson style), you just won’t know when something else goes wrong. Also, the auto ECU will work to drive around on, but you'll get a CEL flashing code 12 pretty much telling you that your tranny isn't there. I have no insight on the 92-93 ECUs.

            While inside, you'll want to patch the holes left by the automatic cables etc. My quick patchjob didn’t stay. I suggest you use metal and either rivet it or use high temp silicone. Another note if your going to install a short shifter: some of them will hinder the reinstall of the center console, and you'll have to drop the exhaust and linkage to reinstall the console if you wait till the end to do it.


            Okay, the reinstall is pretty basic with the exception of the upper tranny mount. I suggest you replace the motor and tranny mounts, since you have it all apart anyway (they have a reputation of going bad). Now, I’ve talked to some who said that when they did this swap, they rewelded the upper trannymount into the spot where the manual would go. I didn’t want to do this, so we tried shimming the mount first, which, so far, has worked without any problems, and, so far, I’ve put 12,000 miles on it with one season of autox.

            How to shim: We did a bunch of measuring and found that the auto mount was only an inch different (higher) than the 5-spd. So, we took a trip to the hardware store, and, for 5 bucks, we got everything we needed. The sizes ended up being different, but it all worked out the same - just make sure to take the bolts with you when you go. Make sure you buy at least grade 8 bolts or stronger, no reason to skimp here. Your going to want to make the bolts at least an inch and a half longer than stock. While you are there, find some big nuts that stand about a half inch tall each, and that go loosely around the bolts you just picked out. To reinstall the tranny mount, start by having the tranny reinstalled and hooked up like it needs to be but suspended by a hoist. There is a plate that goes under the actual mount. We put the half-inch nuts between the mounting plate and the tranny, then put another one between the mounting plate and the mount. Then we put in the new longer bolts and torqued them down to specs. You can also reweld the other mount in, your choice.

            Now that the tranny is in, you can install the shift linkage. The only trick to this is to drill two holes where you will bolt it up. Hook it up to the tranny so you know exactly where to drill. Otherwise it’s pretty straightforward.

            The clutch cable and housing is another thing that has to be modified. It’s easy though, just get a 1 ¾’’ hole saw, and drill out the little indentation here (see photo):

            Then, hookup to pedal and hookup to tranny. Adjust accordingly.

            Okay, back to the inside to rewire everything. You will have to bypass a few things to even get the car to start. You can bypass the shiftlock switch using a paperclip and taping it up, or you can cut it out and direct-connect the wires. I still haven’t done this yet either (it still starts – what do you want?).

            Okay, this took me longer to figure out than anything else: the cruise control wire from this plug is pink (photo below) that needs to be hooked up to the pink wire that’s attached to one of the 2 switches on the clutch pedal. Ground the black wire from the same switch.

            The other switch is the "cant start the car unless the clutch is in" switch. I don’t know exactly what to hook this to, since I didn’t care about it.

            The reverse light instructs and pix are courtesy of Kaab, since I haven’t hooked mine up yet.

            If you look at your transmission you will see
            your reverse light switch. It has two wires connected to it. One is green
            and the other is yellow. (check pic) Connect a wire from the yellow wire on
            the switch to the green wire with a black stripe under your center console.
            (check pic) Connect the green wire from the reverse switch to the bottom
            black wire with a yellow stripe. (check pic)

            Wanna thank my friend Dave for the facility and knowledge, Kaab (Blackteg), Danial (battlecat), Ryan (GEN2GSR), and Jason (BR) for helping me figure out all this stuff. I really appreciate the help you guys gave me!! I’m sure there were many others, seeing as how I posted so many times about the troubles I was having. I just can’t remember who and what for, sorry bros. Remind how ya helped, and Ill list ya here.
            Last edited by shenrie; 29 Jan 2002, 04:58:55.
            Team HFL ....Idahos lone member....


            • #7
              the extra hole i think it's for the EGR (automatics)


              • #8

                Well I switched my auto out for a 92 gsr myself and really didn't think it was that difficult at all. I skimmed yours and the only thing I can think of to add is there are two things that will prevent you car from starting. There is the one you mentioned that can be shorted with a paperclip and the other on mine was the plastic slide that moved with the shifter on the automatic. I just left mine hooked up and put it in the park position. As for the clutch sensor I didn't bother with it but it should just be a matter of running the two wires from the sensor to the wiring for the shifter harness and using it to short the wires needed to let it start. The difference in the manifolds is the egr valve which gets disabled anyway when you remove the black box from the firewall. As far as I can tell using a ghetto method of tracing the profile of one and holding it against the other, the auto cams seem to be the same for the automatic and 5speed. You may want to add the metal cover that goes on the back of the bellhousing to the list of needed parts too since it is different between the transmission.


                • #9
                  i have a 99 Intake manifold with TB sitting here, it does not have a valve for EGR my question is how can i use that manifold if i still want to use it for automatic??? will the car still run ok with the egr disable??


                  • #10
                    damn shenrie you went through alot! was it worth it!
                    ho yeah ps you forgot to tell people i when we first met
                    i sent you a stock shift knob you need one of those to do your
                    swap:p lol-

                    i think it ads 10 hp!

                    ps im working on the autocross!

                    enron is back- the time is coming......


                    • #11
                      shouldn't this be archiveved or something....


                      • #12
                        LODOSS, not sure if that manifold is compatible or not. My car still ran with the auto ecu in even after I installed the 5-spd, but honestly I couldnt tell you.

                        CygnusX1, thanks for your imput! No it really wasnt that hard, BUT not everybody is mechanicaly inclined either. Thats why I started with a warning. Ill add a little to my writeup concerning the rewiring.

                        GEN2GSR, Ryan, right? Oh ya I remember you Im still using that knob, much thanks again for just sending it my way for free. You were my first experiance with G2IC and all the hella cool folks here. Was it worth it? Hell yes! Like a whole different car. Especially with that 10 extra hp that the knob added BTW are you gonna be at the WCM02?

                        jgn77, this will be archived, I hope anyway, under the Teg Tips. Hopefully it will cut down on the amount of mail at home I get about this conversion.

                        ANyone else have imput or questions about stuff that wasnt clear on the writeup?
                        Team HFL ....Idahos lone member....


                        • #13
                          lets see its in sacramento i live here yep im preety sure!
                          im helping with everything me and u gotta go head to toe at auto x-ing i herd you pretty awesome!

                          see you in may!

                          enron is back- the time is coming......


                          • #14
                            thought about it for awhile but after seeing this....ya i'll take it to a shop if i do it

                            hey Shenrie....what did you do with your stock auto shift knob? if you still got it....all in tact with the s3/s4 button, and the black colar metal thing that goes around the shifter....let me know, i got a ghetto auto style shifter and i need it back stock


                            • #15
                              Hehehe, ya I still got it. Its one of those parts I thought Id never get rid of. Tell ya what, Ill trade it to you for a good copy of thoses 808 vids you said youd copy for me Sound like a deal? Mail me at home and well worky out the details.

                              Ryan, too cool. Look forward to meeting ya. This meet though, dont wreck your car, allright:p As far as autox, hard to judge how good I am when Im the only Teg at the events. We will see how I fare against peeps with the same car at the meet.
                              Team HFL ....Idahos lone member....