AA Body 4-speed Auto to
5-speed Manual Conversion
You will need the following parts:
a543 5-speed transmission
Flywheel, Clutch, pressure plate, and throwout
Flywheel and pressure plate bolts, Mopar parts
# Pressure plate bolts (M8x1) 6 ea MF241251,
Flywheel bolts (M10x25) 8 ea MD113400 (or re-use the old ones)
(driver's side and rear bobble strut)
Clutch and brake pedal with longer pedal shaft
from 5 speed car, OR the whole brake/clutch pedal bracket
Shifter cables and clutch cable
Center console with bracket and
Bucket seats if your car has bench
Reverse light connector from the manual
Optional: The ECU from a manual car. The motor will run better with it and it will be easier to shift. But it will still run with the auto computer, just not as good.
I also used these two web sites to help with the conversion:
Installing the pedals
Remove the driver's seat. Remove
the automatic's brake pedal shaft and install the new pedals with the
longer shaft. After the pedals are in you need to adjust the brake light
switch. All you have to do is push it in or pull it out until it makes
contact with the tab on the pedal. You might also need to make a clutch pedal
stop. I made mine from a small piece of steel bolted to the steering column. You
could also swap the whole bracket in and have the pedal stop/interlock switch
already in place. I chose this way because it is a
the new pedals and pedal shaft:
step 1, old pedals:
step 2, pedals out:
step 3 new pedals:
Shifter cables and center
Pull back the carpet and drill 2 holes about 7/8"
in diameter for the shifter cables. run the cables above the heat shield so
they dont get damaged by the heat from the exhaust, and make sure to run them with minimal bends to reduce the effort needed to shift gears.
Mount the console and shifter when the cables are
done. Measure it out and bolt it to the floor. I mounted mine with a piece of 1"
square steel tubing and bolted it to the floor with the bracket.
bracket and shifter in:
Originally my console came out of a Dodge Shadow but I later installed a matching Spirit console. It's a lot better since it was actually made for the car.
Next you are going to have to remove all the
automatic stuff like the auto's shift cable and the shifter. I just broke my
shifter off and pulled the cables out. You might want to remove the PRND3L
indicator from the instrument cluster and replace it with one that says "Front
Drive" so it looks better. You are going to have to remove the shifter
interlock mechanism so the key doesn't get stuck if the old shifter
moves. The shifter interlock is just a small tab of metal that is at the
shifter mechanism on the column. It's held on with a torx head screw.
After that is done install the clutch cable. Remove
the cruise control module and you should see a small indent on the firewall.
This is where you will drill the hole. After you drill the hole, feed the cable
through and attach it to the clutch pedal. Then
bolt the cable bracket behind the cruise control module.
clutch cable installed:
Then put the interior back together
and see how cool it looks with the new 5-speed shifter.
Removing the axles
You will need a lot of PB Blaster for this part.
Support the car on jack stands. Drain the transmission. Remove the wheels and
the hub nuts. Remove the balljoint clamp bolt (picture 1) and unbolt the
stabilizer bar from both of the control arms. Pry the control arm off the
balljoint. I had to use a hammer to knock it loose and a crowbar to pry it out.
Once the balljoint is out pull the steering knuckle away from the axle (picture 2). Now that there is enough room, gently pull the axles out. On the
passenger side you will have to remove the speed sensor before removing the axle
(one 10mm bolt).
Once the axles are out you can remove the
transmission. Remove the battery, the battery tray, the starter, the lower
coolant hose, and the trans cooler lines. Unplug all the sensors. Unbolt the
front motor mount. Remove the torque converter cover and unbolt the 4 bolts holding the converter to the flexplate. You will have to keep the motor from turning by putting a large socket wrench on the bolt that can be reached through the passenger side wheel
well (picture 1). Support the transmission with a jack and unbolt the driver's side mount. There is a plug in the driver's side wheel well that you will have to remove to get to the bolt (picture 2). Once the mounts are unbolted start unbolting the
transmission from the motor. I think there are 8 bolts holding the
transmission to the engine. You will need an 18mm socket for most of them, and
an extension to reach the ones on top. Once those are out remove the coolant
tube and remove the automatic trans. Manuver it and pry it out until it falls
out Remove the flexplate.
You will only need the speed sensor
wiring and the neutral start/reverse light wiring for the manual transmission.
All the other wires should be be tied up and out of the way or preferably removed altogether.
The neutral start switch/reverse light
is located on the front right (driver's side) of the transmission. It is a three wire
connector, and the wires are BLUE, BROWN/YELLOW*, and PURPLE/LIGHT BLUE*. It has a red grommet. The center wire (BR/Y*) is for the neutral start switch, and it has to be grounded to start the engine, but it has to be open for the cruise control to
work. If you don't care about the cruise control you can just wire it to a
ground. If you want cruise control to work you will have to make a clutch
interlock switch or wire it to a toggle switch. The reverse light wires
will have to be spliced into the reverse light switch on the
manual transmission, polarity doesn't matter. You
can swap the speed sensor from the a604 to the 543 without cutting the wires,
but for reference the wire colors are TAN/ORANGE*, and BLACK/LIGHT
BLUE*, and it has a yellow grommet. Make sure you use the same speed sensor so the speedometer is accurate.
I later removed all the unneccesary wiring and the transmission computer. The 4 speed auto is electronically controlled which means it has a whole crap load of wires plus a transmission computer. That was not a problem since the 5-speed only uses three wires out of them all: two for the reverse light switch, and one for the neutral start switch. Wiring the 5 speed up was simple, all I had to do was remove the transmission wiring, ditch the computer, and splice in the necessary wiring.
Automatic wiring removed
Reverse lights and neutral start switch wired in
I wired the neutral start wire to a switch at the clutch pedal.
The 5 speed engine computer is also different than the automatic. It will run fine with the automatic computer but the manual computer is better.
A543 transmission from a 92 Daytona
Bolt the flywheel to the crank (Don't
use the old flexplate bolts, they are too short), and install the
clutch/pressure plate assembly. Make sure it is clean and free of ANY grease
or debris. Clean it off with brake cleaner if it gets dirty. Center the
disc and tighten the pressure plate bolts. You will need the transmission
mounts from the manual transmission. The driver's side mount from an A523 is a direct fit. Lift the transmission into place and bolt everything back up the way it came out. Put the clutch cable, shifter cables, and wire connectors in place. Install the axles, put the balljoints back in the control arms, and bolt the stabilizer bar back up. Put the axle nuts back on. Mark where the bobble strut goes and weld up a mount for it.
Install the battery tray, the battery,
and the coolant hoses. Fill the radiator and fill the 5-speed with 5w30 motor
oil. Check for any leaks. Make sure to break the clutch in properly, and don't drive it without the bobble strut in place. Without it you can damage the other motor mounts, the axles, or worst case you can crack the transmission.
Everything finished and bolted back up:
I broke the bobble strut mount I had welded up.
So I'm going to cut the mount off a 5 speed k-frame and have it welded up with stronger welds.
This is the stock mount.. It has a lot more strength than my old mount.
Solid shifter bushings. They are a lot better than the stock ones as you can see in this picture.
Transmission tag, A543 with a 3.77:1 ratio.
Solid polyurethane front motor mount.
There are a few more people who have done this conversion. Pink_Floyd from Allpar.com converted his 92 Spirit ES 3.0 to 5-speed.
his parts car was a 90 Daytona
And this is the reason you have to make a mount for the bobble strut.. his tranny casing cracked from driving without a bobble strut.
His e-mail address is dirty_steve20[at]hotmail.com if you have any questions.
If you have any questions for me or would like to add
anything, email me at jlxyz[at]adelphia.net