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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Going to go ahead and start the thread now since I have open case pic's of the trans and transfer case, the actual swap will begin on Tuesday. As some of you know I've been hunting to get rid of the auto for a few reasons, 1: it takes about 8sec before reverse engages, 2: occasional hard shift between 2nd and 3rd, 3: I personally hate automatic transmissions.

Though I found over 200 manual transmissions for sale I chose to drive (yes the wife and I drove) from home here in Lubbock Tx to South Dakota to pick up my beautiful trans from Caseyjones (a member here in the forums). We had a blast stripping 2 sidekicks down last Saturday everything from the seatbelts to the steering shaft came out of one, but due to a lack of daylight we got the motor out of the other and a few other choice parts and called it good.

Started pulling the transmission and transfer case apart on Monday and here is the beautiful little gem. If you look close enough on the transfer case you can actually see the fluid line and there are no shift marks on any of the gears trans or xfer, the pads on the shift forks don't even show wear. Thanks again Casey
 

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That looks pretty nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So this conversion has been completed for about a month now but I have also coated her in bedliner, and been fighting doctors getting the wife back on disability so I'm sorry for my delayed completion of this post and for not being around.

So anyway here we go.....

2 days before the swap my little auto started pouring cherry juice out the seal (guess she knew I was trading her out and wanted some revenge) so I kept topping her off until D-day.

Pulling the Auto is fairly easy (DO NOT SEPERATE THE TRANS AND XFER FOR REMOVAL) minus making sure everything is unhooked, some of the cables are not visible from the bottom or side of the trans they're on top, however if you pull your shifter and interior stuff first you'll be able to reach them better (reach not see). The mounting bolt that hold the auto to the motor above the starter is also a pain in the neck if you don't have small hands/forearms.

Now for the surprisingly easy part, installing your new 5 spd. First install the manual flywheel and clutch pack, just bolt it right up there (check to make sure the flywheel clears the oil pan, mine was a little flared due to someone over tightening the pan bolts just tap it with a block of wood and a hammer till its straight again, don't be scared just don't knock the hell out of it) make sure you use a clutch alignment tool just to save the headache later. Stab the trans and start your two bottom mounting bolts once you've got it sitting flush to the engine. Set the support brace in but do not bolt it up yet its just there to support the weight till you get the trans all mounted and tightened up and the starter back in place. Then bolt up the brace and the mounting bracket.

For some really good news.... you do not need any new driveshafts the one from the auto is the exact same as the one from the manual I chose to keep the one from the auto due to the donor coming from where the roads are salted heavily. What to do with the neutral safety switch? Well simply cut the plug off and wire them together (I went a little overboard, I soldered, heat shrink, liquid tape, more heat shrink, tape, and heat wrapped mine) now the ECM will think its in neutral and not care about any thing else. There is one plug on the manual, I don't remember which one it was for, that you will have to cut the pig tail off and fabricate your own and I want to say it was the reverse lights, simply get some spade connectors and insulate them very well to prevent shorting.

As for some not so good news.... Your going to have to alter the hole in the floor of your former automatic, the shifter for the manual is about 2" to the right and about 2" forward from being centered. Again don't be scared simply cut the floor plating with a die grinder or cutters 1" to the right and 1" to the front and everything will clear. What about the inner shift boot and the excessively huge new hole in your floor? Well the solution to that is pretty much your own depending on how "pretty" or factory you want/need it to appear. Personally, its under the console, I bolted some flashing down to the hole and mounted the console brace, sat the inner boot on top of it all and silicone it down just to block the little air hole, you could weld in some metal, tap some holes and do it right though I just didn't have the ambition at this point.

You are going to need the clutch pedal AND the brake pedal from the donor car! easiest way to tackle this, take the whole bracket and swap them out, or the whole steering column choice is yours I went with just the bracket because I forgot to get the keys to the donor column, either way pretty easy and self explanatory. If you keep your automatic steering column do not forget to "rig" or fix the interlock in the ignition, you can remove it (looked like kind of a pain in the neck to me so a zip tie and bam it's forever out of the way.

Don't forget that you can fill the xfer case from the shifter when you start putting fluid in, unfortunately the trans will not take it the same way you have to fill it from the fill hole. Is there an easy way? Not really easiest method is to get a hose run it up next to the engine and spend 20 min filling it up, sorry.

If there's anything I've missed (which I'm sure there is) feel free to ask and I'll respond as soon as possible.

P.S. I'll be posting this pic else where as well but I can not stress enough to check you wiring harness once you've got your auto trans out of the way. I can't speak about other years but as for a 95 they did not put a mounting or strap for the harness anywhere around the trans so it spent its whole life sitting there rubbing, sure got lucky I did the swap when I did and caught it before it became a huge issue.
 

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Gig. On the standard trans set-up...do you have additional clutch pedal linkage switches to control the starter (safety) interface and cruise control circuits?

How do you feel about performance with the altered final drive ratio, or is it too soon to comment?

Did you do anything special with the auto trans cooler lines?

Did you acquire any scan codes? I'm curious to know if the ECU is looking for the old tranny. Are all of your dash warning indicators operating as they should?

That's good that the drive-shafts mate up and the ECU remains intact in the "Auto to Manual" direction swap. :)

Anything special in the trans cross-member / trans mount world? :huh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The clutch safety switch can be installed by taking your neutral safety switch wires and wiring them to the clutch switch I opted not to for personal reasons. As for the linkage the hole for the clutch cable is already in the firewall on the auto just remove the rubber garment. I didn't have cruise control to begin with so I cant really speak for that issue.

Performance wise honestly I like it better with the auto rear end and the stick better than most factory sticks I've drove, you don't have to wrap the motor up as much to keep the power rolling.

Trans cooler lines, heh, well since they were rubber hose from the rad to the trans I simply cut the hose and turned it into a loop from rad to rad just to keep dirt out of it.

No new codes that I wasn't already having issues with (I have an intermittent ground issue, a shared ground between the ECT, TSP, and IAC but that was pre-existing). All dash lights and gauges work just as before.

Nope the cross members and trans mounts are the same exact pieces I chose to use the donor one simply because mine had some hefty dents in it from the previous owner, I'll straighten it paint it and keep it for a spare.
 

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u might know about the firewall ripping out where the clutch cable mounts issue but if u dont

make sure the metal piece that bolts up is actually metal

stock ones are metal and dont affect the firewall but i installed a new one and to my surprize that piece was grey plastic....looked exactly like the old one too

few months later my firewall that was perfect had rips on both sides of the cable

its fairly easy to fix with a small plate between the piece and firewall

and that is a beautiful trans.......looks brand new
 

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Nice job. Thanks for the write up.

Maybe now it would be good to update your sig...

So this conversion has been completed for about a month now ...

<< snipped >>

... sure got lucky I did the swap when I did and caught it before it became a huge issue.

------
1995 tracker 4x4 16v 3 spd auto (soon to receive a 5 spd)

2002 vw ...
 

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You are fortunate that you have a standard kick and not have a Sport like I have. I have been trying for months to find change over parts, especially pedals for mine. I have just about given up. I too am no fan of automatics behind 4 bangers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
are there enough differences in them that you cant put a regular trans and pedals in it? even with a little fabrication?
 

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To be honest, I have not compared the two side by side, but I have found pics of both pedal assemblies, and they look different. But track/kicks are cable operated clutches, and Sports are hydraulic. So those differences alone make parts totally different. I have no idea if Vitara pedals would be the same, but so far every thing I search for is Sport only.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
personally I'd ditch the hydraulic for a cable any day and twice on sunday
 

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I am going to do the same swap I hope!!! My 1995 Suzuki Sidekick tranny transfer case and engine are on a dolly. Any tips on the change this way? I am keeping the 4X4 frame and its getting sand blasted and powder coated. The donor vehicle is a pristine 2WD 1995 sidekick. I can swap the 5 speed manual in place of the auto tranny by following your post? I also am putting the donor 2WD body on the frame. Any and all suggestions are appreciated!!!
 

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I am going to do the same swap on my 1995 4X4 Sidekick. The donor car is a mint 1995 Geo Tracker 2WD. It sounds like the change over isn't that bad. My tranny engine and transfer case are on a dolly also. Any tips are appreciated. Would you mind if I have problems to PM you?
 

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I know this is an older thread. But ither way I wanted to drop a line and thank the OP for the information supplied. This was something I wanted to accomplish but was stand offish until I read the op's post and realized it seemed perty easy. In fact it was. Everything swaps right across, including the pedals. I got then entire swap done on a Saturday. I have the luck of working at a gm shop with a hoist and manuals at my disposal. But ultimately I took on the project after reading the supplied info from the OP. Thanks for supply this info!
 

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The OP has not been here since 2015, if the pilot bearing you have is too big, it's obviously the wrong bearing.

Are you "mix & matching" an engine & transmission - I don't think that's what the OP did.
 

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The OP has not been here since 2015, if the pilot bearing you have is too big, it's obviously the wrong bearing.

Are you "mix & matching" an engine & transmission - I don't think that's what the OP did.
No sir. I was just being really really dumb haha I didn't realize that the bearing goes into the flywheel... Haven't dealt with in flywheel bearings so just forgot that's an option.

Thank you for replying though!
 
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