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Thread: How To: ATX to MTX swap

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    Wrench Monkey Not Verified Feedback Score 1 (100%) TwIzTeD_3kGt's Avatar
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    How To: ATX to MTX swap

    This is a write-up I made a long while back for swapping a manual 5-speed in place of an automatic (updated the link in it, free plug for 3sx, hope they don't mind ). Just adding to the database here:


    Well seeing how I just finished my 5-Speed conversion I figured I would make a thread telling what's involved since I couldn't find any when I started:

    Here's the specifics of my conversion: I have a 94 SL and put a 5-Speed out of a 93 into it, some of the parts, such as axles, MAY not apply to all years, i'm not sure but it isn't hard to find out.

    First, here's the parts you need:

    - 5-Speed Transmission
    - Flywheel
    - Clutch kit
    - Shifter (direct replacement) / Shifter cables
    - Clutch Pedal (requires drilling a hole through the firewall)
    - Clutch Master Cylinder / Fluid Line / Slave Cylinder
    - Driver and Passenger Side Axles (for driver side only the inner axle)
    - Starter (they ARE different between automatic and manual)

    all of these things combined cost me just under $1200, some parts used and some new.

    Second, here's the special / hard parts of the conversion:

    - Installing the new brake/clutch pedal. Had to take the steering column down, and move the brake booster back to make room to get it in.
    - Drilling a hole through the firewall. There isn't much room under there, but it doesn't take a professional.
    - Installing the master cylinder. VERY small space to work in, but once it's in there's only one bolt that needs tightening. *The lines must be bled.
    - Starting the car when you're done: There's a shift control connector that will be hanging loose, which used to plug into the automatic transmission. Two of the terminals need to be crossed to bypass the neutral safety switch so you can start the car, and two others need to be crossed to have reverse lights. It's different for every year from what i've heard, but it will be the one that has voltage and the terminal directly next to it that need to be connected.

    After that, there's not much else other than testing everything out.

    Labor Time: With no experience it took me a total of about 10 hours (ran into few problems). If I had to do it again, i'd say it would take from 6 to 8 hours.

    Difficulty on a scale of 1-10(hardest): 4 (pretty easy, would have been much easier if I had this thread beforehand)

    There are instructions/manuals available for free on the web at: http://www.3sx.com/faq/manuals/

    The new 5-speed will require 75W-90 Gear Oil, don't put automatic transmission fluid in it like I almost did.

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    Feedback Score 13 (100%) Austin@STM's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing.

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    Honda Eater Feedback Score 0 Mike-92RT's Avatar
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    good write up, im sure it will serve a good purpose for people who wanna get rid of the shitty ATX trannys.

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    94 3500gt vr2? verified Feedback Score 9 (100%) n2nsanity's Avatar
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    thanks, was just looking for this might be picking up an atx soon and would want to do an eng/trans swap on it if i end up getting it. any problems with the atx ecu? and does the tcu need to be unplugged?
    i got carried away on the 5 speed conversion parts. i pulled an ecu and entire wire harness, but forgot all about the smaller brake pedal, lol. also good reminder about the starter. i have a bad 5spd starter and a good atx starter. wonder if the internals or gear could be swapped if that's the only difference? but, i'll probably just buy a new one if i can't get the old one swapped or repaired.

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    Wrench Monkey Not Verified Feedback Score 1 (100%) TwIzTeD_3kGt's Avatar
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    The ATX ECU can stay right where it is, or you can take it out for weight savings. I left it plugged in and had no issues.

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    Feedback Score 8 (100%) DrGonzo's Avatar
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    Starters internals are different so you can't swap them over. The TCU should be removed or at least unplugged as it does have signals from the ECU going to it.

    One thing to remember in doing this type of swap is you loose the functionality of the neutral safety switch. The wiring for the ATX is different so the switch on the clutch pedal will not work. If I remember right the switch is a closed contact which means when you step on the clutch it breaks the connection allowing you to start the car. There is no stock wiring in the ATX car to wire in the stock switch so you will have to be creative.

    I just didn't bother to hook mine up. I just had to make sure the car was in neutral when I started it!

    Check it out on Youtube!!


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    94 3500gt vr2? verified Feedback Score 9 (100%) n2nsanity's Avatar
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    but switching the wire harness and ecu is one way to resolve the neutral safety switch right? or do you not need both of those?

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    Wrench Monkey Not Verified Feedback Score 1 (100%) TwIzTeD_3kGt's Avatar
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    That should solve it. But it's not "needed", unless you really want a neutral safety switch.

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    Never finishes any verified
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    You would have to swap out the ECU/Engine harness, the front interior harness and maybe the front main body harness to get complete functionality.

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    94 3500gt vr2? verified Feedback Score 9 (100%) n2nsanity's Avatar
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    well, theres not too much more to pull then. if i end up doing a 5spd conversion i'll document it. if not, i'll have some more parts for sale

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