How To: 5 Speed Swap in Convertibles (and other S13s)

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How To: 5 Speed Swap in Convertibles (and other S13s)

Postby Hijacker » Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:17 pm

Ok, so you have your convertible sitting in the driveway, but you feel that the slush box is just plain boring. I've seen a lot of people on the boards looking for how to do S13 auto-> manual swaps. Now it's time for the definitive swap how to...with the convertible flair.

List of things you'll need:
-5 speed transmission
-5 speed transmission crossmember
-5 speed Drive Shaft
-Flywheel
-Clutch and pressure plate (if you get a new kit, it typically comes with a new TO bearing and pilot bushing. If you reuse old parts, make sure to get a new TO bearing and pilot bushing.)
-Clutch Master Cylinder
-Clutch Slave Cylinder-Clutch Pedal-Brake Pedal-Clutch hard line (unless you FEEL like fabricating hydrolic lines)
-Shift boot
-rubber shift boot and metal circle bracket (used to hold the rubber boot to the trans tunnel)

First, you'll need to pull the old tranny out. Drain the trans fluid from it to lessen the nasty factor a little. While you're waiting for the fluid to drain, go ahead and pull the center console. It's only held on by 6 screws and pulls right off. Next, disconnect the shifter, unbolt it, and disconnect it from the selector lever.

Next, you'll want to pull the transmission. This requires that the driveshaft be removed. Remove the four bolts from the input shaft at the differention, unbolt the carrier bearing, and it should slide right out, leaking more wonderful tranny fluid out. Disconnect the ATF oil cooler lines from the bottom of the radiator at this point, too.

If you're doing a full on engine swap, go ahead and get the motor ready for removal, or otherwise, disconnect the tranny from the motor. This will be a pain since some of the bolts are going to be tucked up by the firewall. Heck, I don't even know if it's possible, since my experience for these swaps are done during engine swaps. After you unbolt the tranny crossmember, it will slide out.

Now, go ahead and remove the torque converter and drive plate. Be prepared for a lot more ATF to leak on you and the floor. Replace the old auto pilot bushing with your new manual pilot bushing. This could necessitate a pilot bushing puller. The new one should slide in fairly easy without much persuasion. Now attach the flywheel and clutch assembly. Pull the shifter out and get it ready to put back on. This WILL be a PITA to do. Even if the engine is out of the car, I have only had annoyance in putting the tranny back on the block.

The fun part is drilling the holes for the Clutch MC, and swapping the brake pedals. I find it easiest to disconnect the brake lines from the MC so you can work the brake booster back a little to get the pedal out.

Worm your way up under your dash and remove the green box up where the clutch pedal should be. That's the shift lock control unit. Just uplug it for now. Now, remove the cotter pin holding the brake pedal to the brake MC fork. Best way is to rotate it till the loop faces down, and take a curved instrument like a pick and pull it out. Now, you can undo the four bolts on the firewall and then the one bolt at the top of the brake pedal bracket. Disconnect the two plugs and worm the pedal out.

Now, take your new shiny (or rusty depending on where you got your pedal) brake pedal and put it up on the four studs of the brake booster. Thread the nuts back on, put the top bolt back in, tighten the nuts down, and then finally tighten the top nut down. Reinstall the fork pin and it's cotter pin. Fun.

For the clutch MC, you'll want to get an angle drill, some good sized drill bits, and a hole saw. The hole saw should be just slightly larger than the clutch MC's protrusion. Get back under the dash. you'll see a bracket that outlines where the clutch pedal will go. Get a drill bit that fits nicely into the hole brackets and drill them out.

Now, take a piece of paper and find the diameter of the embossed circle between the holes you just drilled. Use that piece of paper to find the center point of the circle and mark it on the firewall. With a small drill bit, make a pilot hole. Now, go back outside and use the hole saw on the angle drill to drill out the hole. Once you're done, you can install the clutch MC, pedal, and hardline. Wasn't that easy?

Take the shift lock control unit and plug it back in. If you don't, you'll never get your key out of the ignition. Find a place to tuck it in and ziptie it down so it doesn't bounce all over the footwell.

Now, to make your reverse lights work, your top work, and to get the car to start.

Find the passenger side fuse box. If you look at it, it will have 4 plugs hanging off of it. 3 large plugs, and a small 2 wire plug (it's not visible in the picture except by the two wires connected by the yellow splice).

Image

The park/neutral safety switch plug. I pulled back the relay box to show that it is on the underside. It is not the green plug.

Image

The small 2 wire plug is the park neutral switch. To make the car start, you'll have to jumper those. The easiest way is to canibalize the plug off the AT tranny harness. Then you can just connect the two wires together with a splice and plug it back into the chassis plug.

Next is to make your park and reverse lights work. With pictures!

The middle plug of the three larger plugs is called the inhibitor switch plug.

Image
(Back of the inhibitor plug)

The way the wiring of this plug works is like so: the green/blue wire is a constant voltage wire, and all the other wires run to gear sensors (park, neutral, reverse, 1st, etc).

Wire colors needed for operation:Green/blue to complete the circuitBrown/yellow for parkGreen/white for reverse

Image

If you look at how I've done my wiring, I have directly connected the brown/yellow and green/blue wires. This causes the car to believe it's in Park at all times, allowing the top to function. Then I spliced wiring into the green/blue line (that is what the blue box is for. It allows a wire to tap into another wire without having to cut it or solder it). The new wire was ran to one of the reverse plug wires. Then I ran a wire from the green/white wire. These wires were ran to the reverse sensor. When the shifter is put in reverse, the sensor will complete the circuit and turn the reverse lights on.

Image

Here's a crappy wiring diagram I drew in MS Paint. You can see that the wires for the Green/Blue and Green/White wires are lengthened to reach the reverse switch, and the Brown/Yellow wire is directly connected to the Green/Blue wire.

Image

The reverse sensor is the one closest to the bellhousing conveniently labelled "reverse lamp switch":

Viola. Now fill up the tranny with some gear oil, fill and bleed the clutch line, and if you disconnected the brake lines to work the brake booster around, fill and bleed the brake MC.

If the O/D light blinking starts to drive you nuts, just unplug it. The light blinks because it can't detect the overdrive unit anymore and the blinking is an error code. Disabling the light won't hurt your car at all.

EDIT: I realized that the Shift Lock Control Unit is a vital part to getting your key out. The guide has been edited to include it. Sorry for any confusion


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Postby TrunkMonkey » Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:17 pm

thank you.

-demetrius

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Postby AZhitman » Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:17 pm

Hmmmmm....

Must resist 5-speed swap.... Must save up for turbo kit...

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Postby Hijacker » Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:17 pm

you know you want to!

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Postby AsanBBoy » Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:17 pm

I am doing the 5 speed swap and I am basicly done and ready for the wiring to do tomorow. I don't quite get your reverse light wiring but i guess i'll just try and figure it out. Also, just wanted to know, what is the green box where the clutch pedal should be? I just uncliped it and tosed it in the back, but what exactly does it do?

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Postby Hijacker » Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:17 pm

That's the shift lock control unit.

My wiring is highly simple. Just run the green/blue wire to one of the reverse switch wires, and the green/white wire to the other reverse switch wire on the transmission. I usually cut the plug off the reverse switch to make it easier to connect the wires.

unless you have a convertible, you can ignore the looping of the green/blue and brown/yellow. That's just to make the top function

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Postby spinout180 » Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:17 pm

Perfect timing... I just did my SR a few days ago and was getting ready to dive into the big book today to figure out the wiring. Thanks man.

Hmmm... since I did the swap my speedo stopped working. Do I need to install the speed sensor from my old automatic tranny?

Darren

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Postby AsanBBoy » Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:17 pm

Yeah ok i got everything on. One thing, clutch isn't releasing. I can shift into gears when car is off, but when i start the car and press on the clutch, I can't move it into gear. When i try to put it into 5th it feels like it wants to engage. I took off the boot around the fork and can see that the presure plate is moving when I step on the clutch, it seems to be ok, but yet, obviously, it is not releasing the clutch because i can't shift when it's started. I was talking to some one and they said if my clutch lines was off for awhile it maybe clogged, but the fork wouldn't be moving if the lines are pluged would it? Is there not enough presure to release the clutch? Would the wiring have anything to do with it? The only things I have hooked up is the speed sensor and the neutral/park wires. Can you guys think of anything else that can go wrong, or do I have to drop the tranny and see what's up?

Also what did you guys do to the oil lines that run to the radiator? Plug them up? or can you leave them open?.....

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Postby spinout180 » Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:17 pm

Having just done it I can tell you that your clutch problem will have nothing to do with the electronics. Did you leave the stock SR cluth in there or did you install an aftermarket clutch?

It might just be that the pressure plate is not moving enough.... are you sure that you bled the clutch line enough? If there is any air in there it might not be allowing full travel.

I pulled the oil cooler off the car and tossed it. Would have been nice to have, but wasn't worth the time to figure out a way to hook it to the manual trans.

Darren

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Postby Hijacker » Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:17 pm

AsanBBoy:

Double check to make sure the pivot fork is still attached to the pivot point. if it's popped off, it might still be able to move the pressure plate slightly, but it won't have the same leverage

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Postby AsanBBoy » Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:17 pm

Hey guys, thanks for trying to help, but atempt to pulled off the tranny and found the problem. Brother some how forced in the tranny and the clutch disc was stuck on the shaft. Had to cut it off...

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Postby spinout180 » Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:17 pm

That sucks... time for a new clutch. I took my conv out last night for it's first drift session and discovered that the stock clutch is crap. Ordering a new one today. Spec maybe... not sure yet.

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Postby Hijacker » Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:17 pm

my stock clutch is good and fine. holds like a mother during a race to redline.

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Re: How To: 5 Speed Swap in Convertibles (tenkawa_akito)

Postby den240 » Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:31 am

Tenkawa,

No pics from your post showing up for me.... Maybe I'm blocking them with a firewall, but don't know where they are coming from so can't unblock easily... Could you post the link or a new copy of the pic showing the location of this description, or just tell me where in the car this is?:

(Back of the inhibitor switch)

The way the wiring of this plug works is like so: the green/blue wire is a constant voltage wire, and all the other wires run to gear sensors (park, neutral, reverse, 1st, etc).

Wire colors needed for operation:Blue/green to complete the circuitBrown/yellow for parkGreen/white for reverse

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Postby Hijacker » Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:44 pm

All the pics for this are stored on NICO photopost. as soon as the server is done with the transfer, all the pics I posted will be up again.

Anyways, Here's the picture you asked for, hosted on my car domain account.



If you don't have a convertible, ignore my comment about using the brown/yellow wire. All you need to do is run a wire from the green/blue to the reverse switch and from the green/white to the reverse switch.

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Re: (tenkawa_akito)

Postby den240 » Tue Sep 07, 2004 8:41 pm

The "Blue/green" wire on mine was just green... I was looking for a blue wire with green stripe. Maybe it was just really dirty or something, but I'm sure it had no stripe on it.

In case anyone asks again for the location of these wires again, it is sorta underneath the fuse/relay box close to the standard battery location under the hood.

Anyway, soldered those suckers together, and now the top works fine.

I'm VERY happy with my 5speed swap, even more now that I didn't convert to manual top at the same time!

Thanks Tenkawa_akito Tenkawa>Wires

BTW AZH, you are right, do the turbo first, but do the 5speed as soon as you can afterwards!


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Postby Hijacker » Wed Sep 08, 2004 4:18 am

i made a booboo. it was supposed to be green/blue. It's been edited up above to correct that.

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Postby 180fan » Mon Sep 27, 2004 8:45 am

Hey Bart, for clarification, you ran the green/blue wire to the green/white and ran it down to the reverse switch on the tranny right?

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Postby Hijacker » Mon Sep 27, 2004 4:49 pm

no, i ran a wire from the green/blue to the reverse plug. and i did the same for the green/white

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Re: How To: 5 Speed Swap in Convertibles (tenkawa_akito)

Postby Jarret » Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:02 pm

Word of note, you have to swap the ECU as well, otherwise you'll be getting error codes out the wazoo. the o/d switch must be off as well, I reccomend pulling the plug after you switch it off after removing the instrument valance. keep in mind the rev and speed limiters work differently for an auto over the 5 spd.

Another word of note to those interested in the swap, the transmission for the 240sx autos went into the frontier truck as well an have a hugely gripping flexplate, consider a flywheel upgrade and leave it at that. Keep in mind the 240 auto has better passing at highway speeds than the 5spd and runs 4-500 rpm lower at 75 MPH = better fuel economy!

Hope that helps!

_Jarret

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Postby Hijacker » Thu Oct 07, 2004 10:19 am

most of the US DOT charts I've seen list the manual as having better fuel mileage. Usually within 2 miles to the gallon. The main reason is that at highway speeds, you're less likely to downshift when passing, unlike an auto which will automatically kick down.

Second off, The auto ECU will run a manual car. I have never had a problem with an auto ECU in a manual car. It has never thrown codes. The reason: The auto control unit controls all the auto trans functions, and the ECU is left to run the fuel maps. Now, a manual ECU will not run an auto car.

As for the rev and speed limiters, I have never seen an auto ECU act any different from a manual ECU in regards to its fuel cut.

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Postby Blade7764 » Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:48 pm

About how much does this whole thing cost?

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Postby Hijacker » Thu Oct 07, 2004 4:11 pm

dunno. depends on what the junkyard or the personal seller is dumping them for.

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Re: How To: 5 Speed Swap in Convertibles (tenkawa_akito)

Postby Jarret » Fri Oct 08, 2004 2:16 pm

The cost is not much more than replacing a std tranny. Tack 3-4 more billable hours by the shop on the job...Just make sure you have all the parts to do the swap. And have the swap done by a Nissan dealership, or at least someone who is EXTREMELY skilled mechanic.

-Jarret

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Re: (tenkawa_akito)

Postby Jarret » Fri Oct 08, 2004 2:25 pm

As for US DOT charts, they are not always correct on the fuel stats. Since I have 3 240sx's I can vouch for the auto being better on mileage on hwy and the std is better in the city. why:- travelling 100 miles on the hwy with the cruise on up to my cottage or from vacation to vacation, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to make the conclusion: ( same speed, less rpm, less rpm, less gas used= better mileage).Try it out for yourself, go on a trip with the O/D off and come back home with it on.-the std is better on city driving b/c it can always be dropped into neutral coming down a hill (wheels are spinning separate from the engine)and at a light, and thusly the engine isn't working to move the car when the brakes are holding it put.

-Jarret

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Re: How To: 5 Speed Swap in Convertibles (tenkawa_akito)

Postby Del_Vasto » Sat Oct 09, 2004 1:13 pm

Do you need a new ECU when you do the swap?


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Postby sillyverts13 » Sat Oct 09, 2004 3:10 pm

read above...

no

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Postby toptechracing » Sun Oct 10, 2004 5:43 pm

Hey Just wanted to say thanks for the instruction. I just test drove the new engine and trans in my convert and it is great.

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Re: (tenkawa_akito)

Postby Jarret » Mon Oct 11, 2004 6:32 pm

***READ THIS!!!***

Just got the official word on what is thrown off on the ecu from AUTO to 5spd, because of what you said... and I prefer to not talk unless I have properly acquired info...so here is the list:

Engine Control Module:

location# colour Purpose#28 w/bl to A/T control unit (safe)#12 e/bl "

#35 g/o to neutral switch on M/T or for A/T CU#33 y/bl or g/y to 5th pos. switch on M/T or AT rear w defog#44 g/y or g/o use this to enable rear window defog on MT#42 y/r or br/y to 4th pos. switch on M/T or for AT CU

So, we were both right... the engine will throw codes, but not as few as you said, or nearly as many as I said... However, these position switches are needed for the engine to know what gear the tranny is in, for engine management.. so economy and power will suffer slightly at higher speeds and the rev limiter will not function properly(not necessarily a bad thing).But since its October now,we might want to look out our back window too, so now you have to position on the ECU to rewire for it to work.

Hope that helps,-Jarret

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Re: (tenkawa_akito)

Postby Jarret » Mon Oct 11, 2004 6:33 pm

***READ THIS!!!***

Just got the official word on what is thrown off on the ecu from man to 5spd, because of what you said... and I prefer to not talk unless I have properly acquired info...so here is the list:

Engine Control Module:

location# colour Purpose#28 w/bl to A/T control unit (safe)#12 e/bl "

#35 g/o to neutral switch on M/T or for A/T CU#33 y/bl or g/y to 5th pos. switch on M/T or AT rear w defog#44 g/y or g/o use this to enable rear window defog on MT#42 y/r or br/y to 4th pos. switch on M/T or for AT CU

So, we were both right... the engine will throw codes, but not as few as you said, or nearly as many as I said... However, these position switches are needed for the engine to know what gear the tranny is in, for engine management.. so economy and power will suffer slightly at higher speeds and the rev limiter will not function properly(not necessarily a bad thing).But since its October now,we might want to look out our back window too, so now you have to position on the ECU to rewire for it to work.

Hope that helps,-Jarret


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