August 2019: So this one is going to be a big one, it’s a very big thing to finally happen to this car. Manual swap time!
I had everything prepared but I wanted to take the quick moment to give the box a little once over with some degreaser.
Now that we’re ready to get going, time to pop it in the air.
Fluids were first on the list, coolant first.
Oils and filter.
As we’re pulling the engine out with the crane, we need all the space we can get, so the front end can come off.
The radiator could come out as one now.
Hoses and exhaust.
The lower bolts on the struts could come off the give the knuckle movement the make it easier to get the driveshaft out
They’re going to stay in the car but they just need to be popped out of the box.
With everything on the engine side out, it was just about ready to pull. The loom needs to be sorted though, there are two ways to do it, disconnect everything from the engine, or what we did, remove the plug from the ECU and being the entire loom with the engine. This was a much much easier way we believe.
On the crane, it went.
Out it came.
It could then come off the block for the last time.
Converter and flexplate off.
Looking at the rear main that was in the car, it was actually in really decent shape considering its never been replaced. I’ve got a new one though and it’d be stupid not to change now.
With all the auto stuff now off, we can prep the engine for the manual box. I had the flywheel machined quite some time ago, it had the slightest amount of rust. A quick hit with some degreaser and a green sponge and it was good as new.
New drive belts could then go on, again originals were in great shape but it had to be done.
Manual specific spacer before the flywheel got thrown on with bolts torqued to spec.
We didn’t have the correct clutch alignment tool on hand to it took a little trial and error to get everything aligned in the end.
Now this thing was a bastard, the old bearing came off no worries, we gave the shaft a quick clean.
Must’ve taken almost an hour to get this little shit seated and clipped in correctly, we got there in the end.
The manual box was no ready to go on for the last time.
Starter motor is something that is different between auto and manual, you can especially hear it when you start the car, they sound very different. The wiring connectors are the same, however the loom length is routed differently as the starter is on the bell housing side rather than the block side like the auto one.
Before continuing we wanted to get the interior stripped of all the old auto stuff first. Starting with the pedal box.
Engine is ready and waiting but when we went to go and throw the clutch cable in we noticed that for some strange reason there wasn’t a whole for it. It’s interesting to see they made two different firewalls for auto and manual.
Luckily we had a bunch of Cuore’s around us to get an idea of the exact placement.
Started with the bracket hole.
Then the main hole for the cable, it needs to be bigger than the cable so the adjuster can be brought though, it needs to be fed from the interior.
I could then bolt up the manual pedal box, I had to drop down the steering column to make it a little easier for it to pass through.
Good time for the engine to go back in now.
Struts back together after the shafts were pushed back in.
Clutch cable and shifter linkage on.
Time for fluids.
Fresh Ryco Filter.
Nulon 10W-40 and a fresh sump washer.
Box got some Penrite 75W-85 Pro Gear
Got the shifter all buttoned up too.
As we’ve retained the auto ECU, the car won’t let itself start without getting the inhibitor sorted. A quick check with a multimeter and look at the service manual.
Derrick had a smart idea to cut the original connector off and wire it up instead.
The front end could then go back on.
Coolant went in outside just in case.
And it started up perfectly.
At about 1.30am we were finished. All up it took about 14 hours but we got it done and I was able to drive home. What a transformation it has made. The car feels like it almost has double the power.