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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 bearing
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)
Transmission mounts (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 shifter
Bucket seats if your car has bench seats
Reverse light connector from the manual car
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.
Shifter bushings
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 lot easier.
the new pedals and pedal shaft:
step 1, old pedals:
step 2, pedals out:
step 3 new pedals:
Pedal stop/switch:
Shifter cables and center console
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 mount:
bracket and shifter in:
console installed:
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).
Trans out
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.
Installing the 5-speed
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 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] if you have any questions. If you have any questions for me or would like to add anything, email me at jlxyz[at]
1992 Dodge Spirit 3.0
Updates: 3-12-07 I've driven over 10,000 miles since the 5 speed conversion and It is by far the best thing I've done with the car. It is TONS more fun to drive, has more power and its just cooler. I will take it across the country with no worries. If you are planning on doing this to any car, no matter what it is I say DO IT!! Some of the thins I've done since the last update have been: I filled in the passenger side motor mount with windshield polyurethane. It's a common modification for some cheap solid mounts and it works!
I also got some 15" Snowflake wheels and changed the exhaust about 4 times. Right now I have a 2.5" system with a small turbo muffler hidden in the stock location.
And I had a short throw shifter made. I like it a lot, it feels pretty damn good.
And I finally found a manual ECU. It's from a 93 Plymouth Duster 3.0/5 speed. The car feels a LOT better with it, it starts up much better and goes into high idle when cold like it should. Plus it's a lot easier to shift and I can shift a lot faster. The car feels like it has a little more power too, and the rev limiter is increased 400 RPM's to 6200.
I installed a cone filter among other things.
I also fixed the bobble strut mount, I cut the mount off a 5-speed k frame and welded it on. It's still holding strong even with the solid mounts. Last updated: March 12, 2007