As most of have noticed from the early posts/threads I have made, my car was automatic. I bought it this way to save money, seeing as a 5-speed FD in clean stock condition was $4000-$5000 more than this, I knew I'd be saving money in the long run. After early vague conversations, Dom, a "buddy" of mine and I came to the agreement that he would do my swap for me. (pay attention to the dates)
Sunday, December 27th, 2009:
I get a phone call from Dom telling me his in a bit of a pickle financially. He asked me if I could help out by giving him a deposit on the parts I would use from his parts car for my swap, and by "deposit" he meant, the whole amount, which was $350. Being the nice guy I am, I accepted and went out to meet him. Coincidently, he was driving his new BMW that day - go figure. I handed him the $350 and figured my car would get done shortly. I was wrong.
Saturday, May 22nd, 2010:
I call Dom and let him know I finally received my flywheel and that I wouldn't need to resurface my stock one and that I was ready to do the swap. We talked for a bit and agreed on the weekend of the 5th-6th of June, 2010.
Friday, June 4th, 2010:
I call Dom up and ask him "Are you ready for tomorrow?!" - "Why? What's tomorrow?" I remind him that it's my swap and he tells me I'm wrong, and that we had agreed on the following weekend; the 12th-13th. That was the weekend of the Canadian Grand Prix. My last name is Villeneuve. Do you really think I'd book myself and be unavailable to go see the big race live? Didn't think so. I let him know I'm not available and he says the week after doesn't work for him. So we were looking at a possible date, 3 weeks from then. I told him that in that case, I'd rather wait an extra week or 2 to get my after market clutch, which I did.
Saturday, July 24th, 2010:
We had agreed on this day to do the swap and I showed up that morning at his garage. First job of the day: a 3 hour clean up because there wasn't any room to work. Yay...The car finally goes in and we begin. During this time, he assures me that I'd be driving home that night as the swap would only take one day. Lol. End of the day comes = incomplete. I returned home with the beater.
Saturday, July 31st, 2010:
I go back to his garage where we get more work done, and real progress is made this time. I say "we" but I mean "I" seeing as I did 75% of this swap myself - more details on this later. 10:00 PM that night, 5-speed is in, drive shaft as well, everything is physically done except the fluids in the transmission and differential. I get in the car and turn the key in the ignition. Nothing. Turns out there is a Park/Neutral relay that needs to be bypassed for the car to start. So I called my girlfriend and went home in the beater, again.
Thursday, August 12th, 2010:
I go by Dom's garage to pick up a few things in my car. Since he was there, I decided to chat with him a little about my car and when it would be ready. He said he was busy that weekend, but that he'd spend all of next week on my car until it ran. That he wouldn't take any other clients until it was done.
Thursday, August 19th, 2010:
I catch Dom on MSN and ask him if he worked on my car. He tells me "I said I'd work on it next week." Apparently, I was wrong again about the dates. After some more discussion, he confirm to me that the car would be ready by Friday August 27th, since I needed it the following Saturday night.
That following week, I tried contacting Dom non-stop. Phone calls, text messages, Facebook message, forum messages and e-mails. No response.
Thursday, August 26th, 2010:
I get a text message from Dom saying he was planning on doing my car on Sunday. Nothing more.
Friday, August 27th, 2010:
After talking with his girlfriend on MSN and telling her I was upset with Dom not keeping his word on the dates we had agreed on, she tells me he's at the garage, so I go with my girlfriend. When I got there, I was "greeted" by Dom and a few of his friends with a "What the [fizzle] are you doing here?" - "I'm here to pick up my car like we agreed." - Pointing at my car, he says "Well take it and get the [fizzle] out of here." At this point my car still wasn't running and it was dark at night on top of the fact that I didn't have my tools with me. So I left to return the next day.
Saturday, August 28th, 2010:
I get to his garage at 9:00 AM to start work. I filled the transmission and differential with fluid, and did what was necessary with the wiring to fire the car up. An hour and a half later, a bit of smoke, coolant and rough idling at first brought it to life. I then drove her home slowly and parked her in front of my place.
Run down of what it was supposed to cost and what it ended up costing:
The initial deal was to be $350 for all parts I needed and $200 for labor. Dom at some point decided I was wrong and that we had agreed on $350 for parts and $250 for labor. In the parts, I got a clutch pedal, a rubber shifter silencer, a drive shaft seal and an ECU(all together, worth about $150 btw). I also got a new water pump, but that was only because Dom had the great idea of hitting mine with a hammer to get the Greddy pulley on instead of removing the coolant hose. The Greddy pulley and belt, which I also got off his parts car, cost me an extra $75 because they "weren't part of what needed for the swap." Add to that the fact that he stole a belt, transmission(auto), drive shaft(auto), spare drive shaft (Manual) stock clutch and flywheel, transmission shifter and a few other random parts that I "left there", all valued at a total $400 for resale. He now has taken $1075 from me, for a swap that I did mostly myself, that took over one month to do...when it was only supposed to take one day. All this doesn't included the $550 for my Spec stage 3 clutch and $275 for my ACT lightweight flywheel.
Run down of what Dom and I each did:
-unbolted and removed automatic drive shaft
-unbolted automatic transmission
-with my help, dropped the auto transmission to the ground
-torqued new flywheel
-did some research on what to wire to start the car.
-unbolted and removed automatic shifter
-swapped brake pedals
-installed clutch pedal
-installed master cylinder and clutch line
-placed clutch disc
-bolted pressure plate
-mounted and bolted 5-speed transmission
-replaced drive shaft seal
-mounted and bolted drive shaft
-installed slave cylinder and bled clutch line
-removed transmission CPU
-changed water pump
-removed air pump
-installed Greddy pulley and belt with necessary block-off plates
-filled transmission and differential with fluids
-wired the car so it could start
All in all, this swap was not worth it WITH HIM, but even though I got massively raped price and work wise, it still cost me less than a stock 5-speed and I have a clutch good for upwards of 700HP and lightweight flywheel.
(I unfortunately didn't take many pictures during the swap and the ones I did take came out blurry. I also do not have many pictures of the new transmission in but I will take some this weekend as well as pictures of the next update.)
More pictures coming soon!