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Shackle me NOT!!!
1995 Honda Ballade
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Discussion Starter #1
Started at 10am Sunday morning and finished 3 pm Sunday afternoon. Also did a full service and some other mods too. Man the car drives great, better than what I ever thought. Ended up turning down the 93 dx box that they wanted to swap me for my D series auto box, the guy had been racing with it and it looked plain tired. We fitted a 98 box and am just having a custom mount made for the top of the gearbox today...........besides that.....WOW. I'd recommend this to anyone and it's not beyond impossible, in fact we didn't drill one hole or hack away at anything................EVERYTHING was bolt on...

Some smaller things to do this week like wheel bearings, but then it's done.

Just have to get used to stick again..........auto made me lazy........
 

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Shackle me NOT!!!
1995 Honda Ballade
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4,692 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
theSQad127 said:
details? cost? parts involved? maybe a write up in the DIY forum??
Auto to manual

First of all, I'm not gonna post pics, this is just a basic run down on what was done and some hints and tips for you lot who are thinking about doing it.

Hints on parts.
This is what saved our asses, try to get a complete manual car that has been totalled and that you can get the parts off. What takes time here is locating all of the little nuts and bolts that hold all the new goodies in place. We got lucky and got a complete car that we could strip down. Get them next to each other and strip from one to another.

Also I'm not going to post prices, cause we got all our parts off a donor car and paid in South African rands which is about 6.3 rands to the US dollar. SO bear with me.

Parts needed. (highlighted)
Gearbox. (we used a dx gearbox from a 98 this does however have to have the top gearbox mounted modded in order to fit.) Get a gearbox with all the parts on it, speedo gear and sensors, reverse light switch, hydralic shifter, rubber dust cover/boot. rubber hose that mounts the clutch master to the shifter on the gearbox. Also. GET ALL GEARBOX MOUNTS WITH THE GEARBOX. If you have any mounts to modify, then at least you have a mount to play with. You won't have this problem if you go for the model gearbox from your model honda.

Gear linkages and shifter rods, also get the bracket that holds the gear shifter in place and the four nuts that hold the bracket in place. You may have to punch two holes for the rear of the bracket, but your auto should have two smaller holes that may just need to be punched out. On the base of the shifter, you should also have a large rubber grommet attached, you want this as it's what keeps the heat from the exhaust from getting into your car.

Clutch pedal assembly. This is really just bolt on, and I noticed in my car I just had to unbolt a block off plate in order to push the clutch assembly mounting brackets through. My Central locking unit was actually mounted where the clucth pedal should go, but this is easy to relocate. The Clutch master fits behind this on the engine side of the firewall. You'll need someone on the outside to hold this while you bolt the pedal assembly onto it from the inside. You'll also need the clutch resiorvoir and a small length of pipe for the resiovour to the clutch master. Also you need the two bolts that hold the resiovour in place. You'll notice that your auto will have the holes for this resivoiur on the strut tower.............plug and play. I kept my brake assembly and just cut the HUGE brake pedal to fit the smaller rubber pedal cover. It does fit in, but they're like 1/2 inch away from each other if you don't cut the brake pedal.

Gearbox oil, brake fluid

Taking most of the stuff out of the car is straight forward. The auto gearshifter comes out quiet easy and we just cut out the shifter selector and hardwired the car in park so that we could get the keys out later. I'm going to change the cluster anyway.

Let me tell you that if you're thinking about doing this.................do it..........it's not hard at all.......The whole conversion took about 4-5 hours and everything bolts on. My fuel consumption has gone down, performance has gone up and the car is a blast to drive.
 

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Did you swap the engine wiring harness, did you use the Manual ECU, and did you have to modify anything on the cabin wiring harness to the ECU? (I'm preparing to do a similar swap).. I don't have a donor car or any access to anything but parts. Talk about a huge PITA but I have had no problem finding the components to do this, just adequate information about wiring, mounts, whatnot..

Yes, I'm a Noob..
 

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Shackle me NOT!!!
1995 Honda Ballade
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4,692 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
here's the thing. I had a standalone EFI put in when I went from twin carbs to fuel injection. So I didn't have to change anything at all.

Once you have the parts, the swap is actually VERY straightforward. only mount that was different was the top gearbox mount.........
 

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I figured.. I know of a few wiring differences on the ECU for the neutral switch (clutch switch) and the TQ converter lockup solenoid. I actually considered going with the AEM Standalone for engine management, however one step at a time. I just want to get the swap done and running first. I figure once the physical hardware is installed, the rest should be fairly simple. Actually the hardest part for me was finding the shifter linkage and trans mount.
 
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we did an auto to manual conversion on my car.. so much better, that auto was just killin me.. although it did have its moments in DC traffic :D
 

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Yeah, I'm glad some people are attempting it. Normally I'd just have considered getting another car, but you can't touch a 93 HB for under $2500 around here and most have been butchered or neglected. I got mine for $500 and the car is in much better condition than any of the other cars I looked at.
 

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Shackle me NOT!!!
1995 Honda Ballade
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4,692 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
MalibuJack said:
Yeah, I'm glad some people are attempting it. Normally I'd just have considered getting another car, but you can't touch a 93 HB for under $2500 around here and most have been butchered or neglected. I got mine for $500 and the car is in much better condition than any of the other cars I looked at.
Well I got my mounting done, they welded on a baseplate and then used a stock mounting to attach to that, nice if you want to shop for replacement mountings.

This is like everything, there is an easy way and a hard way. A 93 HB in my area (if you can get one) would set you back about 40K which translates into about 7k US...........car prices in this country are insaine. My civic sedan can still get a tag of about 5000-6000 US. So buying an auto and converting it seems the way to go.
 

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FYI, the ecu can be converted to manual as well... just a matter of moving a couple of resistors on the board.

I do it for $20 :) (plus shipping)
 

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Shackle me NOT!!!
1995 Honda Ballade
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4,692 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
makku said:
FYI, the ecu can be converted to manual as well... just a matter of moving a couple of resistors on the board.

I do it for $20 :) (plus shipping)
learn something new everyday
 

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Adia's Daddy
2004 Honda Element
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3,364 Posts
i'd like to do a 5-speed swap too but u can also do a JMO torque converter swap and add a JMO external tranny cooler to reap some nice gains out of the auto :beer:

also....auto + turbo = constant spool, no lag ;)

just had to throw this in :)
 

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Shackle me NOT!!!
1995 Honda Ballade
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4,692 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Steve-O said:
i'd like to do a 5-speed swap too but u can also do a JMO torque converter swap and add a JMO external tranny cooler to reap some nice gains out of the auto :beer:

also....auto + turbo = constant spool, no lag ;)

just had to throw this in :)
The thought did cross my mind.......people underestimate how strong these auto boxes are, I used to hammer mine 7200 rpm all the time.....but I wanted to build a daily driver N/A.
 

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I was/am considering the same thing, until I saw how expensive the JMO converter was, plus the rebuild kit and labor to redo my auto.. I'd still consider it since I do prefer an automatic for consistency in drag racing (though I don't drag race, but mainly road race and of course, street fun)

I also saw the automatic "Control module" by a manufacturer (Can't remember offhand who it was) but then saw another post that the module wasn't all that great.
 

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Adia's Daddy
2004 Honda Element
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MalibuJack said:
I was/am considering the same thing, until I saw how expensive the JMO converter was, plus the rebuild kit and labor to redo my auto.. I'd still consider it since I do prefer an automatic for consistency in drag racing (though I don't drag race, but mainly road race and of course, street fun)

I also saw the automatic "Control module" by a manufacturer (Can't remember offhand who it was) but then saw another post that the module wasn't all that great.
i believe the company that makes one is Level Ten (www.levelten.com). they make complete kits for automatics.
 
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I also just did the flip from auto to manual. I have an EX 2d and I bought a wrecked honda 4d for $250, kept the vents and the manual tranny, and pieced the rest of the car off on Ebay and Made money. The swap is not difficult at all. The most complicated thing we had to do was switch engine mounts. The mount which supported the auto tranny angled up and the mount from the 4D manual pointed straight out. Including all time cutting and rewelding, took less than an our. At the same time, I installed a racing chip. While installing this chip, I reconfigured the computer from auto to manual, which helped an idling problem. This is also very simple if you've had any soldering experience. It just requires removing a resistor and adding a jumper wire across another resistor; an easy walk through. One other easily solved problem was when the check engine light came on. The computer has a connection to a couple of transmission lock-up solenoids which are mounted on the auto tranny. Just remount them to the manual and hook it back up. You'll also get into wiring issues with the plugs that go to the auto shifter. Just wire it so that the car shows in drive all the time. Oh, and you'll want to remove the key lock solenoid from the steering column or you won't be able to get the key out. I'm not on here as much as I would like to be, so if you have any questions, [email protected]
 

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Shackle me NOT!!!
1995 Honda Ballade
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4,692 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I take it that when you say an hour to complete this, you're not talking from full turn key auto to full turn key manual final product. Cause if you are, you should be working for a racing team.
 

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Adia's Daddy
2004 Honda Element
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Strokerd16 said:
I also just did the flip from auto to manual. I have an EX 2d and I bought a wrecked honda 4d for $250, kept the vents and the manual tranny, and pieced the rest of the car off on Ebay and Made money. The swap is not difficult at all. The most complicated thing we had to do was switch engine mounts. The mount which supported the auto tranny angled up and the mount from the 4D manual pointed straight out. Including all time cutting and rewelding, took less than an our. At the same time, I installed a racing chip. While installing this chip, I reconfigured the computer from auto to manual, which helped an idling problem. This is also very simple if you've had any soldering experience. One other easily solved problem was when the check engine light came on. The computer has a connection to a couple of transmission lock-up solenoids which are mounted on the auto tranny. Just remount them to the manual and hook it back up. You'll also get into wiring issues with the plugs that go to the auto shifter. Just wire it so that the car shows in drive all the time. Oh, and you'll want to remove the key lock solenoid from the steering column or you won't be able to get the key out. I'm not on here as much as I would like to be, so if you have any questions, [email protected]
Sounds like its not the simple drop-in swap and ECU change that I thought it was. I didn't think you'd have to re-wire things for it to work. So you do have to re-wire some things to make the manual conversion work? Won't just swapping in a manual ECU be the easiest?

I have a '95 Civic with the D15B7 auto in it and I was under the assumption that as long as you have the same gen of donor car (preferably the same trim level as well), all you'd have to do is swap the ECU, tranny, tranny mounts (not re-weld them), shift linkage, pedals and hydro clutch components.

Does every single auto to manual conv require re-wiring to work? Also, do you have to fab up the mounts? Just curious because I am planning to get a D16Z6 engine over the winter to start building and Im not hype on having to do major re-construction to get a manual to work.

Ive never done this before and I'm weighing the costs of building my auto or swapping in a 5-speed with perf clutch and flywheel. I'm interested to hear more
 

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Shackle me NOT!!!
1995 Honda Ballade
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4,692 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I took the tranny from a 97- dx and had to extend the base of the stock honda mount in order to fit.........as for the ECU........I swapped to standalone ages ago, so mine was plug and play
 

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Adia's Daddy
2004 Honda Element
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3,364 Posts
flatfourfan said:
I took the tranny from a 97- dx and had to extend the base of the stock honda mount in order to fit.........as for the ECU........I swapped to standalone ages ago, so mine was plug and play
So then if I swapped in a complete 94-95 D16Z6 with complete manual tranny, linakges, pedals, clutch components and manual ECU from same year of car, it should not require re-wiring of anything?
 
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