Credit: Sam Jacobs
I promised I would do this, and here it is ages later lol. This is a write up on swapping an auto 5.5 Max to a 6spd. It’s off my memory and old posts, so I will add stuff as I remember. All pictures are on the bottom!
First thing is first, you will need all of the parts to complete the swap before even reading this. There are a few good posts on the Org which cover this. Basics of course are the transmission, shifter assembly and cables, manual trans mount, flywheel and clutch, clutch pedal spacer, clutch pedal itself, and a few other misc things I will add as I think of them. You DO NOT need to swap engine wiring harnesses. If you want to, go ahead, but Nisformance actually recommends not swapping any harnesses or computers.
Onto the process itself- I found myself a donor car, so my first order of business was breaking that car down for all of the parts- this makes things easier.
Step 1. Obviously, you need to cut loose all of the parts from your auto. This includes; The brake pedal, the transmission, the shifter and it’s cable, and cutting off the automatic trans mount. I only cut it on the side of the frame rail, no need to cut the top off, it assists with the strength of the metal.
Step 2. Possibly one of the harder parts of this job for me was mounting the master clutch cylinder. On my car, I had a patch in the firewall insulation on my auto car, but no holes in the firewall itself. What I did was mount the patch piece up to my donor car, and drew a couple holes. I then taped the piece onto my firewall and drilled two holes, followed by the large middle hole for the cylinder itself.
Do not worry about having the best accuracy here, the clutch pedal itself has two bolts under the dash. But please, TAKE YOUR TIME with this. The more precise you are, the better. When installing the clutch pedal and cylinder, be sure to install the spacer in between the firewall and pedal, there are spacers out there, but might not be any new ones left so you may have to get creative. Also install the brake pedal from the manual car while you are down there. Okay, now that your clutch pedal and master cylinder are attached, you can proceed to step 3.
Step 3. Mount your shifter assembly and route the cables through your firewall. What I had to do was cut the bracket that covers the opening a bit, and then I was able to make it work. Use Dynamat to cover the hole, or whatever your creative brain desires. You will have to find two bolts that fit through the trans tunnel as the studs the auto used, no longer exist.
IMPORTANT: Use loctite and lock washers, otherwise you will lose your bolts.
At this point, you should have the pedal/cylinder mounted as well as the shifter, that’s a good bit. You can now install your flywheel and clutch, see other posts for torque specs until I post them.
Step 4. Put the transmission in. This takes a lot of time and patience, esp if you have raised motor mounts. You can look up tips and vids on installing it. As far as mounting the bracket, there’s a couple options here. You can weld it on, or run two bolts through the top like I did. I wanted the part to be removable so pick your poison. This mount doesn’t really hold the motor/trans up, just keeps it all tight and straight when driving hard. Install your MANUAL transmission axles.
Step 5. It’s now time for wiring, this is easy, even for me who hates wiring. So you will see a few methods on wiring the car so that it cranks over. You do as you please, multiple methods work!!! But I suggest to wire it like a factory car. To do this, you will need to have the REAR connector off the clutch pedal. Take one wire and ground it, and the other wire needs to go to the INHIBIT relay in the relay box in front of the battery. You will be tapping into the
Green/Orange wire with the wire off the clutch pedal. This allows the car to function as it came from the factory, it will not crank without the clutch pedal depressed. Now you have to wire the starter. The automatic starter has the connector you need. Cut it off (as well as the one off the manual starter) and attach the auto connector to the manual starter.
You can now connect your shift cables to the trans, one piece clutch line to the slave cylinder (bleed it of course), and you should be ready to start the car.
Reverse lights also need to be wired up
Step 6. Wire in the reverse lights. On the auto harness, you will see 3 connectors that don’t plug into anything. The bigger of the 3 is what you use. Take the Green/White wire and put it to the green/white wire on the manual trans. Same for the Orange wire (I believe the orange wire you want is the one further from the green/white wire, I will update when I can). I cant remember off the top of my head which orange and which green/white to use. There’s two of each, so just experiment a bit. I can update this when I’m with the car again and have a picture.
At this point you should have a manual transmission car! This is the major steps, of course there are other components such as filling the trans with the PROPER oil, swapping clusters if you don’t want to see the auto gear letters, putting a manual trans shift bezel on, etc…