How to: Auto to manual transmission swap
I finally got around to writing this how-to up since doing the swap on my 1988 MX-6 GT. There are many parts that have to be changed and this is not an easy project. The only reason I did mine is because my automatic was toast and I did not want to spend the money to rebuild the auto. The rebuild on the auto trans cost more than the car was worth IMO. The easiest way to get all the parts is to find a parts car that is complete. You could strip the parts from a car in the junkyard but it will take a lot of time. Keep in mind that there were two different series of the first gen cars (1988-1989, Series A/1990 -1992, Series B). There are some differences so make sure the donor car is the same series.
I did some extra work to the car when doing the swap as the car was intended to be for my mom. I pulled the engine and thoroughly cleaned the engine bay. Every hose, belt, and seal on the engine got replaced while the engine was out. It is not necessary to pull the engine to do the swap, but I wanted everything clean and new. Before I got the car done, I found her a nicer car. So I got to keep the car.
I might add that I am writing this up months after finishing the swap and I have very few photos. If I miss something let me know and I will add it in.
Here is a list of parts you will need:
All four motor mounts and bolts/nuts
Flywheel, clutch, pressure plate, throwout bearing, and pilot bearing
Slave cylinder, hydraulic line, clutch master cylinder
A good transmission (the first one I installed was bad)
The correct bolts to mount trans to engine
Manual trans axles, connector shaft
The front strut mounts and spring seats are different, but they don't have to be changed
Instrument cluster (to get the blockout plates for gear indicators)
Wire harness (the one that runs along radiator support, LF fender, and into fuse box on driver‘s kick panel)
Wire harness (alternator harness, goes from alternator to fuseable link box under hood)
Alternator from 5 speed car
Exhaust from down pipe to Catalytic converter, and all mounting hardware (I used the auto flex pipe and ran new piping back)
The auto/ manual transmission throttle bodies are different, I have not changed mine and it works fine
Like I said, the list of parts is fairly long. Some parts don’t have to be changed. You can use the auto harness if you like and change around some of the wiring to make it work. I won’t go into that as I don’t know what wires have to be changed. I had a parts car so I wanted to make my car exactly like it would have been if it had been built with a five speed originally.
Here is a list of the tools you will need:
A couple of floor jacks and two pairs of jack stands, at a minimum
An engine hoist is helpful if you have one
A torque wrench
32 MM Socket and breaker bar (for the axle nuts)
Plenty of sockets, extensions, and wrenches
A repair manual. A Haynes will do OK as it has torque values.
1988 MX-6 GT 5 speed White/ Burgundy interior
1988 MX-6 GT 5 speed White/ Blue interior
2005 Dodge Ram 3500 Cummins Quad Cab 4x4
2003 Dodge Caravan 3.3 V6
1990 Mazda 626 LX/1990 MX-6 GT
Last edited by SinCity; 8-13-10 at 21:19.