Converting an auto trans to a stick shift - its possible!

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marlinh
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Re: Converting an auto trans to a stick shift - its possible

Post by marlinh » Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:40 pm

Hey rer233, did you cut out the whole 'floorplan' or just make corresponding holes and attach the other floor board over top of it? I can't decide what to do because the manual tunnel is actually wider than the auto. That would be a large gap to fill with the mig welder.

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rer233
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Re: Converting an auto trans to a stick shift - its possible

Post by rer233 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:41 am

marlinh- I didn't notice a width diff in the main floorpans- only the very top portion of the tunnel. I had the carpets out of both cars (actually swapped them- the good car had been sitting for 9 years and the mice had made meais or nests out of parts of the carpet.) Anyway, i cut the top portion of the tunnel out of the good car (looks like it it was installed with spot welds and seam sealer at the factory) with an air-powered abrasive wheel (Horrible Freight sells an electric one if you don't have access to a good air supply.)
I then marked the tranny tunnel in the m/t car approx 3/8" to 1/2" bigger in all directions than the piece i had cut out of the a/t car and cut it out too. After some careful grinding and trimming, i installed the m/t tunnel into the a/t car underneath the existing tunnel.
I next drilled 6 holes thru the two pieces and fastened them together with sheet metal screws and Liquid Nails. Came out real good- i didn't want to weld it in due to possible fire and later rust problems- the recipient car is REAL nice and i want it to last at least another 10 years.
Oh yeah, all the floorpan work was done with the m/t already installed in the recipient car working from inside the vehicle.


Hope this helps, and Good Luck!
if it aint there, there's a good chance it won't break!
83 SR5 Silver/Blue (Snowmobile/work beater)-totaled but drivable
85 SR5 Blue
88 SR5 White (the 'good' one)-not anymore-totaled
87 fwd silver wagon a/t
87 4wd dx Cream (a/t- not anymore- now m/t)

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marlinh
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Re: Converting an auto trans to a stick shift - its possible

Post by marlinh » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:29 am

Thanks for the tips. I am a little confused as to how you got the manual tunnel under the a/t tunnel with the trans in place. Liquid nails sounds like a good idea to seal the seams. Were you able to find the wiring in the harness for the clutch safety switch near the steering column?

Thanks again

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rer233
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Re: Converting an auto trans to a stick shift - its possible

Post by rer233 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:03 am

Kinda manuvered the m/t piece around till it went thru the hole in the trans tunnel. As for the clutch switch, the '83 donor vehicle never had one (never liked them anyway- i bypassed the switch on my '88- never can tell when you might want the option of engaging the starter while in gear- ie getting the car to move if for some reason it won't start.)
if it aint there, there's a good chance it won't break!
83 SR5 Silver/Blue (Snowmobile/work beater)-totaled but drivable
85 SR5 Blue
88 SR5 White (the 'good' one)-not anymore-totaled
87 fwd silver wagon a/t
87 4wd dx Cream (a/t- not anymore- now m/t)

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marlinh
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Re: Converting an auto trans to a stick shift - its possible

Post by marlinh » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:36 pm

Just curious what your reasoning was for putting the manual piece inside the tunnel. Is there something obvious I am missing?

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rer233
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Re: Converting an auto trans to a stick shift - its possible

Post by rer233 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:56 am

I installed the m/t cut out from the underside because it was actually 2 layers of metal thick and wouldn't mate up real well with a/t floorpan if installed on top. Also, there's only about 1/4" clearance between the shifter console and the radio surround panel in the original configuration and i didn't want to have any clearance problems when i was done.

Good Luck.
if it aint there, there's a good chance it won't break!
83 SR5 Silver/Blue (Snowmobile/work beater)-totaled but drivable
85 SR5 Blue
88 SR5 White (the 'good' one)-not anymore-totaled
87 fwd silver wagon a/t
87 4wd dx Cream (a/t- not anymore- now m/t)

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marlinh
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Re: Converting an auto trans to a stick shift - its possible

Post by marlinh » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:56 am

I think I understand. You must have cut out more of the tunnel than i did. I'll make sure to do a dry fit before I secure anything permanent. Thanks for all your help.

I am really looking forward to getting this car on the road.

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marlinh
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Re: Converting an auto trans to a stick shift - its possible

Post by marlinh » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:47 am

Almost finished my conversion. I just have to swap pumpkins, but right now I can move the car under it's own power. I pulled the motor and trans out together (because the motor was toast) and installed a complete unit from a donor car. The moment of truth came when I tried to turn it over. No juice to the starter solenoid. I even plugged in the neutral safety switch from the automatic, but no go. I studied the wiring diagram and discovered that the standard has a starter relay and the auto does not. I robbed one from my donor car, and jumpered the plug hanging under the dash for the clutch safety switch and it worked! There is a spot for the relay above the driver's kick panel and it's just plug and play. There weren't any wires that needed to be cut. The harness from the manual plugs into everything under the hood. The only wiring that has to be done is extending the plug under the steering wheel to reach the clutch safety switch, or like some who prefer, leave it shorted out and cover it with tape. I would like to add photos but I can't find the step by step tutorial on the site. Can someone add the link here for me?

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dlb
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Re: Converting an auto trans to a stick shift - its possible

Post by dlb » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:02 pm

to post photos, i upload them to photobucket or flickr or some other photo hosting site (you need to make an account with them to do that), then i copy the 'direct' link for a pic from the photo hosting site. then when i'm writing a forum post in the full editor, i click on the IMG button and paste the photo link between [img]and[/img]. i usually make my photos 600x800 pixels so that they're not too huge. i'm not sure how to upload pics on to the forum server but i think tom and peter do that with no problem.

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marlinh
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Re: Converting an auto trans to a stick shift - its possible

Post by marlinh » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:42 am

I'm finally posting pics of my conversion for anyone else crazy enough to try this.

Image

This is the clutch cable sleeve that has to be transferred from the donor car. I removed the booster to get better access. Notice the nut below where the booster sits. That is one of the holes you have to drill in the new car for the pedal assembly. There is a flat area in the firewall where you have to drill. When I installed the pedals, I loosened the booster to get a nut on the back of the bolt.

Image

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marlinh
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Re: Converting an auto trans to a stick shift - its possible

Post by marlinh » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:49 am

Image

Clutch cable tube in place in new vehicle. I used self tapping screws to hold it in place. Stripped a few before they went in and only used two. They were a pain and two should be enough.

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marlinh
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Re: Converting an auto trans to a stick shift - its possible

Post by marlinh » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:57 am

Image

Tunnel I cut from donor car, placed for tracing.

Image

Holes roughed out. Did some extra grinding before final assembly.

Image

Trial fit before welding. I wanted to make sure the 4WD shifter worked without binding.

Image

It worked!

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marlinh
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Re: Converting an auto trans to a stick shift - its possible

Post by marlinh » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:59 am

Image

I did have some help.

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marlinh
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Re: Converting an auto trans to a stick shift - its possible

Post by marlinh » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:05 pm

Image

The green relay on the top right is what I swapped from the manual donor car to the automatic. There is a space on the relay panel for it. The only other wiring to do is connect or jumper the safety switch at the pedal. The wiring harness has a short connector below the steering wheel. The wires were a different colour but it worked.

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Re: Converting an auto trans to a stick shift - its possible

Post by dlb » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:11 pm

marlinh wrote:Image

I did have some help.
that honestly slayed me. so, so cute. frogs are awesome.

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