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Thread: manual awd to automatic awd swap

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    Under Pressure Not Verified Feedback Score 0 JohnnyTurbo's Avatar
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    manual awd to automatic awd swap

    Nothing came back in a search, so here I ask the question: What does it take to pull a six speed and replace it with an automatic out of a JDM VR4? Logic tells me that going from atx to manual would be harder due to having to put in clutch and shifter stuff. I have AEM EMS onboard, does the atx require computer assist from the factory ECU? Reason for asking is since I picked up my Stealth TT project I figured that my wife would be able to drive the '96 VR4 if it were atx.

    And yes, doing the swap would be easier than teaching her how to drive stick.
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    The one. The only. verified Feedback Score 14 (100%) stealthee's Avatar
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    Swapping auto to manual is easier than swapping manual to auto.

    Teaching how to drive stick would take a day and no money. Swapping would take several days, headaches and lots of money.

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    Forum User Not Verified Feedback Score 0 Keyan's Avatar
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    You'd need atx engine harness and maybe interior harness, you'd need the atx ecu, you'd need a trans oil cooler, trans, torque converter, Jdm atx tcase (which is a dsm tcase), shifter assy, I think you'd need a 5spd rear diff? Among other plates bolts and other stuff.

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    Forum User Not Verified Feedback Score 4 (100%) TUFFTR's Avatar
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    I'd just teach her how to use a manual gearbox. Will take someone one proper full day start to finish to get the hang of it. After a few week's it'll be second nature.
    WAYYYYY more hassle converting to Automatic. I'd just buy her a $1000 automatic car, much easier again!

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    Now with more poop-smear Not Verified Feedback Score 8 (100%) IPD's Avatar
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    here's my $.02, and i'm in the vast minority on this:

    mtx > atx swap is not nearly as difficult as everyone makes it out to be. it requires primarily electronic modifications; not mechanical ones. you can splice in the tcu with about the same difficulty as adding a tt ecu to an atx tt.

    keyan is pretty much 100% wrong about everything. you don't need another ecu; you need a tcu. you don't need to replace the harnesses; you need to simply splice in the wiring for the transmission subsystem components. the 6-speed rear end is what you need (which this car already has).

    since you already have AEM, you can pretty much make your car do whatever you want--so hooking it with a tcu should be relatively simple (vs. some of the obd codes that you may encounter from the tcu/tt-ecu route. alternatively, you can go with an IPT (or other brand) push-button shifter for atx's. i don't have any experience or knowledge about AEM, so i can't tell you what it can or can't do with regards to this application. it might be possible to have it supplant the tcu altogether; then again, it probably can't. i honestly don't know. there isn't any sort of "computer assist". the ecu doesn't do anything to the trans, it simply provides info like rpm's.

    whatever you do decide to do; i'd recommend finding a junk fwd 3/s trans & pulling all the sensors/gizmos off it and putting them onto your awd atx. there's not a lot of hard info on what mitsubishi changed between diffferent 6g72/w4a33 applications. when we converted mine, we pulled everything off my FWD trans and put it on the new one. we never did find out if they were identical or not--we just did it to be on the safe side. make sure you keep everything the same year-year and model-model as well. both the tcu and electronics should be, ideally, from the same year and a DOHC engine. there isn't any advantage of one year over another; just know that the electronics changed over time--which is why atx's are not necessarily interchangeable. that's an electronic limitation; the mechanics are the same.

    p.s.

    i wish i'd gone this route instead of the fwd > awd atx route. only problem is...no one has had the balls/drive to do it. and of course, if someone DID do it, the 3/s community would hound them incessantly for doing it. converting a vr4/tt to atx is somehow a more cardinal sin than killing the pope. seriously. gotta love the bandwagon.

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    Twin Turbo verified Feedback Score 5 (100%) GTOJOE's Avatar
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    FYI no such thing as a JDM ATX VR4/TT. All JDM TT's are MTX the ATX are all NA so it may not handle the power of a modded TT. You might need to beef it up.
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    Forum User Not Verified Feedback Score 0 Keyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inperfectdarkness View Post
    here's my $.02, and i'm in the vast minority on this:

    mtx > atx swap is not nearly as difficult as everyone makes it out to be. it requires primarily electronic modifications; not mechanical ones. you can splice in the tcu with about the same difficulty as adding a tt ecu to an atx tt.

    keyan is pretty much 100% wrong about everything. you don't need another ecu; you need a tcu. you don't need to replace the harnesses; you need to simply splice in the wiring for the transmission subsystem components. the 6-speed rear end is what you need (which this car already has).
    im wrong about everything but the only thing you list is the 6 speed rear.

    ATX ECU = Automatic transmission Electronic Control Module. Thats what I said. thanks for repeating me.

    Don't make me look out to be such a dumbass.

    Also, if you just need to splice in the "wiring", would you want to run connections from the engine bay all the way to the interior for the connections on the (ill say it your way) TCU? Which you dont have the connectors for, and would need to butcher a ATX harness ANYWAY to get them? I'm sure theres other electrical connections on the automatic transmission itself that wires would have to be run for. If you're going that far, might as well just throw an entire harness in it, which is easier than you think.


    On my old hyundai, I was the ONLY GUY in the community to do an Automatic > Manual swap. It may not be a 3/S, but I DO know what im talking about. Solenoid connections, shifter sensor connections, reverse was wired different (switch vs shifter location sensor), more/less/different connectors all around. I'm not an idiot. I just gave a "general" list of what MAY be needed.
    Last edited by Keyan; 04-10-2011 at 09:19 AM.

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    Forum User verified Feedback Score 1 (100%) Amphiron's Avatar
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    Wouldn't running an AWD on an ATX tear it to shreds? Especially with TT? But It might save him money considering what he would be paying in replacing burnt clutches. :P

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    Forum User Not Verified Feedback Score 0 cjbyron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amphiron View Post
    Wouldn't running an AWD on an ATX tear it to shreds? Especially with TT? But It might save him money considering what he would be paying in replacing burnt clutches. :P
    There are Automatics made for AWD. Surprisingly not very expensive either. But I would go through them and make some changes to deal with the extra power.

    I looked into it before to do it on a higher hp project and to fully beef it up to hold over 1000+. Ended up getting a built-up manual instead so for now used that. But doing a build to an AWD ATX is something I'm interested in doing eventually when the manual craps out. Maybe next year.

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    Now with more poop-smear Not Verified Feedback Score 8 (100%) IPD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTOJOE View Post
    FYI no such thing as a JDM ATX VR4/TT. All JDM TT's are MTX the ATX are all NA so it may not handle the power of a modded TT. You might need to beef it up.
    i never said there was an atx awd tt. that said, the awd atx is a very capable transmission, as there are several DSM's who are using it and have faster 1/4 runs than the current 3/s world record--so take that for what its worth. there's a LOT of talk from people who have never used one of these transmissions about "how it might not hold up". do me a favor, if you don't have FACTUAL DATA on it...stop being a skeptic. there has been only ONE person who has had a consistent failure with it, and he was putting down > 800whp at the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keyan View Post
    im wrong about everything but the only thing you list is the 6 speed rear.

    ATX ECU = Automatic transmission Electronic Control Module. Thats what I said. thanks for repeating me.

    Don't make me look out to be such a dumbass.

    Also, if you just need to splice in the "wiring", would you want to run connections from the engine bay all the way to the interior for the connections on the (ill say it your way) TCU? Which you dont have the connectors for, and would need to butcher a ATX harness ANYWAY to get them? I'm sure theres other electrical connections on the automatic transmission itself that wires would have to be run for. If you're going that far, might as well just throw an entire harness in it, which is easier than you think.


    On my old hyundai, I was the ONLY GUY in the community to do an Automatic > Manual swap. It may not be a 3/S, but I DO know what im talking about. Solenoid connections, shifter sensor connections, reverse was wired different (switch vs shifter location sensor), more/less/different connectors all around. I'm not an idiot. I just gave a "general" list of what MAY be needed.
    atx ecu = ecu from an atx car. this is NOT what he needs. he needs the transmission control unit, not the engine control unit.

    additionally, there's benefits to running the TT harness, such as not having to wire resistors on the injectors. since he's doing this from scratch, there's no reason he has to run the TCU electronics to the stock locations.

    i don't think you're an idiot. i think we all need to use the proper terms when discussing things such as this; because the ECU and TCU are two different computer modules. i salute your pioneering efforts with your hyundai. i do wish that there was work done with the mtx> atx realm for our cars.

    it won't be "easy" by any stretch of imagination. if the OP is the same kind of guy like shooter83 (has electronic diagrams as bathroom reading material) then this type of conversion is probably well in hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphiron View Post
    Wouldn't running an AWD on an ATX tear it to shreds? Especially with TT? But It might save him money considering what he would be paying in replacing burnt clutches. :P
    been running stock tt levels on my atx awd for over a year without issue. and that's a 100% stock atx awd. treat it right, keep it cool, and flush it frequently--and it will run like a top. i feel fairly confident in running another 100-150whp through it without issue. if it were built, i would feel confident running even more power through it.

    Quote Originally Posted by cjbyron View Post
    There are Automatics made for AWD. Surprisingly not very expensive either. But I would go through them and make some changes to deal with the extra power.

    I looked into it before to do it on a higher hp project and to fully beef it up to hold over 1000+. Ended up getting a built-up manual instead so for now used that. But doing a build to an AWD ATX is something I'm interested in doing eventually when the manual craps out. Maybe next year.
    the only two areas in the atx which appear to fail at SIGNIFICANTLY high power levels are the 4th gear output shaft & the center differential. these are usually worked-around by not shifting to 4th under high-power situations & by welding the center differential.

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