Auto to manual swap

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Auto to manual swap Empty Auto to manual swap

Post by JF74chevelle on Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:16 am

I have been toying with the idea of possibly swapping out the automatic and putting in a 4-speed in the future. But is there any kits for this and what will I have to change to do this, have patience guys I'm only 17 so I haven't done most of this stuff.
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Post by Joe73 on Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:34 am

Yes, there is a complete kit available for the swap to manual. Thepartsplace.com sells it as well as other companies. Not a problem for you, but the kit does not come with the accordion style boot that bolts to the fire wall where the pedal to Z bar rod goes through. There is a mark on the firewall, like a small dimple and this is where you have to drill through. Keep the hole small, just big enough so that a boot from a 70-81 camaro will cover. It will work out perfect and look original. The camaro boot appears to be identical to a factory boot but the factory boot is much larger in diameter. And a factory boot is unavailable. I've done (3) nationwide searches for one.
The kit will get you up and running. You will probably also want the trans hump to mount to the floor. Its available as well. It does need some tweaking to get it to work but not bad.
If you want to go all out factory and get the complete backdrive kit, that will be a problem. All those parts are unavailable as well. You will need the pivot mount and pivot which mounts on top of the proportioning valve on your frame. Then a rod up to your column and a rod to your trans reverse lever. The rod from the pivot to the trans comes in 2 different lengths. One for a saginaw trans and one for a muncie. If you dont want to bother with the backdrive system (which most people dont) you can just get a trans reverse switch that mounts to the trans and hook up the two wires and your done.
Seems like a lot of things but its actually just a bolt in job. Get the kit, trans hump if you want, and the trans of your choice with shifter and bellhousing. And your ready to go.
As for trannys, if you have a turbo 350 auto now, then a pre '70 1/2 MUNCIE trans would have the 27 spline output like your auto now. So your driveshaft will work. After '70 1/2 all muncies are 32 spline outputs (same yoke as a turbo 400) and a 1/2" longer.
Most any saginaws will work. Just check the output splines for a 27 count.
Saginaw trans has the speedo output on the drivers side so you should be able to reuse your speedo cable. All muncies for your cars are passenger side speedo cable, so you would need a new one if you go that route.

This are just some points that could be a concern depending if you want to just want to bolt in and go or you want everything to look factory. It is an easy swap.
Good luck with it.
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Post by clanceman427 on Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:44 am

One more thing to check is that if your engine block has the threaded hole for mounting the z bar pivot ball. I did an auto to manual conversion on a Buick years ago and the engine did not have that threaded hole. I had to drill and tap it. I did that at a time when the engine was in, no trans and no front fender mounted so I had room to use the big drill.
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Post by JF74chevelle on Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:59 pm

Wow thank you so much this was a lot of help!! I know how to drive a manual pretty well and I would love to have my car be a manual as well lol
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Post by JF74chevelle on Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:04 pm

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Post by clanceman427 on Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:31 pm

I just remembered something else, your crankshaft needs to accept a pilot bushing. This is what supports end of the manual trans input shaft. It gets knocked into the crankshaft. It needs to be a slip fit on the input shaft You may need to have your new pilot bushing turned down on the outer diameter (machined) depending upon how the crankshaft was made. Again on the conversion I did I had to go this route since the engine I was using was out of an automatic car. You need to get the pilot bushing right (not too tight when knocking it in) or else the slip fit on the input shaft will be too tight and it will cause shifting problems.
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Post by Joe73 on Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:45 pm

clanceman427 wrote:I just remembered something else, your crankshaft needs to accept a pilot bushing.  This is what supports end of the manual trans input shaft.  It gets knocked into the crankshaft.  It needs to be a slip fit on the input shaft  You may need to have your new pilot bushing turned down on the outer diameter (machined) depending upon how the crankshaft was made.   Again on the conversion I did I had to go this route since the engine I was using was out of an automatic car.  You need to get the pilot bushing right (not too tight when knocking it in) or else the slip fit on the input shaft will be too tight and it will cause shifting problems.  

Excellent point !!! Also, when you buy a pilot bushing, bring a magnet with you. YOU DO NOT WANT A MAGNETIC PILOT BUSHING. Most chinese ones are magnetic.
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Post by JF74chevelle on Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:02 pm

Will I be able to use my current th350 crossmember for the Muncie?
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Post by JF74chevelle on Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:06 pm

Well if I'm going to do all this I think I'm going to pull the motor rebuild it and then put the new manual trans and the motor back in together. And also is this a driveway job or do I have to have the car on a lift?
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Post by Joe73 on Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:13 pm

Yes, this can all be done in the driveway. But a lift would make it easier. Your auto driveshaft will work fine.
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Post by JF74chevelle on Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:05 pm

Is the M20 Muncie a trans that'll fit my drive shaft? And where can k find a clutch?
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Post by McCauley5983 on Sun Apr 10, 2016 1:54 pm

Any auto parts stores sells the clutch stay away from the puck style if you want streetability
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Post by Joe73 on Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:14 pm

Clutches are easy. Any auto parts store will carry them and should even be in stock. If your going with a muncie or saginaw your choices will be either 10.5" or 11" diameter (dependent on your flywheel size and bellhousing size. If running a scatter shield then either will fit. And the clutch disc will either be a 10 or 26 spline.
But the clutch last, that way you know what you need. Also, go with a diaphragm style. It looks like it has alot of flat metal fingers all round the edge. They are the most common and easiest on the foot. The other style would be the 3 finger, also called the borg and beck. Usually more holding power but harder on the foot. There is a third style called the "long" style but thats mainly for fords and some mopars.
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Post by JF74chevelle on Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:36 pm

Okay thank you for al lithe information it makes everything ten times easier
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Post by JF74chevelle on Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:54 am

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Post by Joe73 on Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:16 am

Yes. That's the one. It looks identical to a stock boot but it's smaller in diameter.
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Post by clanceman427 on Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:35 pm

I think m 20 is a good choice assuming you have a mild small block and more of a highway rear gear (like 3.0 or numerically lower). M20 in Muncie form and Saginaw form have wide ratio forward gears, to help take-off with lower power.

What engine and rear gear ratio do you have?
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Post by JF74chevelle on Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:41 pm

Right now I have a 350 with an edelbrock intake and carb that I just put on in September and headers, and in the back I have 2.73 gears with a limp leg. But will probably put a posi unit in there and some 3.73's or lower
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Post by Joe73 on Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:02 pm

3.73 is a good performance gear but will not be fun on the highway. If u do any highway at all I'd go 3.42 which is a little better but still high on the rpm for my liking. My stock gears are 3.42 and it wasnt fun.
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Post by JF74chevelle on Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:51 pm

I don't drive on the freeway too often but I will more eventually so I'm just going to go for 3.42's. But I want to get this 4-speed conversion done but it'll take some work to get everything and to get the job done. So how long do you guys think this job will take like a few days or what let me know? Thanks for all the help guys
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Post by Joe73 on Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:56 pm

If you know your way with wrenches and have an extra set of hands. It could be done in a day and a half. Only because you have to cut the floor and weld or glue in the bump. Or that could be done ahead of time then start the conversion.
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Post by JF74chevelle on Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:20 pm

What's the "bump"?
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Post by Joe73 on Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:59 pm

I meant hump for the trans shifter if you decide to install one
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Post by JF74chevelle on Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:08 pm

Oh haha, is there any mandatory welding that has to be done?
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Post by Joe73 on Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:17 pm

You dont have to weld it in. I've seen quite a few people use body panel adhesive to attach it. Its available in an auto body supply store.
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