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Old 08-30-2010, 10:04 AM   #1
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auto to manual swap

Hi. All my vehicle are manual and want my tj to be to. I checked all the parts myself to see if the swap is possible and everything looks simple and i talked to a guy at the scrap yard who said he did atleast 50 of those swps. All of you are thinking why i got an auto then, because we dont have many wrangler here for sale and most are in bad condition and have big milleges, and this one i got from a friend for cheap and he has taken great care for it and has low miles. So please if any of you see why this swap is not possible please tell me. The interior is exactly the same, the ecu is exactly the same and everything is bolt on. Both driveshafts have to be changed. And theres only one wire that has to be cut in the wiring harness, thats what the guy said.

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Old 08-30-2010, 10:08 AM   #2
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It is possible to make the swap but for offroading, the automatic is the better choice so personally, I would keep it.

In fact, I converted my last TJ from a 5-speed manual to an automatic to make it perform even better when offroad. And that is with 40+ years of driving stick shifts. Pretty much all Jeeps in pro-level competitions are running automatics now. I helped to build a King of the Hammers race/rock crawl rig and we installed the AW4 4-speed automatic transmission into it. And the King of the Hammers event is pretty much universally accepted now as the toughest offroad race/rockcrawl event in North America.

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Old 08-30-2010, 10:11 AM   #3
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If you were close by I'd trade you for the Auto.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:16 AM   #4
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Its not about the offroad, i only got sand around here, soo our offroad is not that hardcore. and i know what you mean exactly thats its easier to wheel an auto. But its my daily driver and i feel much better driving a manual. I wish iam nearly not on the other side of the globe i would trade you without hesitation. That mean that there is nothing tricky? nothing you guys see mechanically wrong with doing it?
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:19 AM   #5
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If you really want to do it, there is a LOT to converting from an automatic to a manual transmission. Just getting the clutch pedal and hydraulic clutch mechanism installed and working is a PITA. Plus you would need a new ECM (engine computer). Just going from my 5-speed to the automatic was a big PITA.
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:17 AM   #6
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I meant trade jeeps. as the conversion takes more time than I'm willing to put into it.

Its a huge PITA based on what Jerry has told me, and what I've read/
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:47 PM   #7
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This conversion is actually really cheap to do.
Buy one of those "For Sale" signs, and put an ad in Craigslist.
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:50 PM   #8
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This conversion is actually really cheap to do.
Buy one of those "For Sale" signs, and put an ad in Craigslist.
One more step. Get somebody with oil money to pay more that its worth.
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:44 PM   #9
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I asked a few mechanics and they said that the ecu is exactly the same. There is only one wire difference in the harness. Pain in the ass because there is a lot of parts to swap out? if soo then its okay because he has all the parts from a donor jeep.
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:53 PM   #10
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I asked a few mechanics and they said that the ecu is exactly the same. There is only one wire difference in the harness.
Those mechanics were wrong, they are programmed differently to handle the absence or presence of an automatic transmission.

An ECM programmed for an automatic when a manual transmission is installed will generate a Check Engine light if it doesn't get the expected drop in rpms after it sends out its signal to lock up the torque converter. And an ECM that was programmed for a manual transmission will not lock up the automatic's torque converter when it should which will cause the transmission to run hotter which will also reduce the mpg.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:00 PM   #11
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okay good info thanks, so i need a manual ecu. that will fit on my exsisting wiring harness? and a new ecu goes for how much if i wana order from somewhere online and not through the dealer?
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:05 PM   #12
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Yes, the wiring harness is the same so swapping the ECM takes maybe 5 minutes. Three big electrical connectors and that's it. You can get a used/rebuilt ECM on eBay for a pretty reasonable price.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:06 PM   #13
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And fabbing the cluth on the floorboard to mount and work with the transmission. Fabbing the center console to fit the manual shifter and to install all the linkages and what not. Honestly more trouble then needed IMO.

But if you are deadset on having a manual then do it, I wouldnt mess with it. I love my auto
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:08 PM   #14
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The center console is the same for both an automatic and 5-speed.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:19 PM   #15
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Are the holes under the console the same as well? I'm just curious. I love learning!
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:24 PM   #16
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Are the holes under the console the same as well? I'm just curious. I love learning!
Yes, there is no difference in any of that for an auto vs. a manual. And either type shifter plate just snaps into the same square opening in the console.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:56 PM   #17
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yeah everything inside is exactly the same and i know that there is no welding or cutting required. Thats the thing that makes it okay because is theres fabbing to do we honestly do not have good enough mechanics to do any of those. any tips before this thread goes to history? Jerry maybe since you already did it?
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ-Q8
Hi. All my vehicle are manual and want my tj to be to. I checked all the parts myself to see if the swap is possible and everything looks simple and i talked to a guy at the scrap yard who said he did atleast 50 of those swps. All of you are thinking why i got an auto then, because we dont have many wrangler here for sale and most are in bad condition and have big milleges, and this one i got from a friend for cheap and he has taken great care for it and has low miles. So please if any of you see why this swap is not possible please tell me. The interior is exactly the same, the ecu is exactly the same and everything is bolt on. Both driveshafts have to be changed. And theres only one wire that has to be cut in the wiring harness, thats what the guy said.
I did an auto to 5 speed swap on my 97 tj. The ecu is different. It will run and drive fine with the auto ecu, but you will have a check engine light and codes for tcc and park/neutral speed. I don't recall having to cut any wires in the factory harness.

You are correct that the driveshafts are a different length.

The clutch/brake pedal assembly bolts in with no cutting. There is actually no cutting required at all.

It was actually a very easy swap. I must give you the disclaimer that I am a mechanic and was working at a dodge dealership at the time.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:08 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Jeepinjeepin

I did an auto to 5 speed swap on my 97 tj. The ecu is different. It will run and drive fine with the auto ecu, but you will have a check engine light and codes for tcc and park/neutral speed. I don't recall having to cut any wires in the factory harness.

You are correct that the driveshafts are a different length.

The clutch/brake pedal assembly bolts in with no cutting. There is actually no cutting required at all.

It was actually a very easy swap. I must give you the disclaimer that I am a mechanic and was working at a dodge dealership at the time.
Edit: one item that you might not think about is the transfer case shift linkage being a different length.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:18 PM   #20
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Edit: one item that you might not think about is the transfer case shift linkage being a different length.
I was just about to post if the linkage would need replacing since the transfer case will move. thanks for that. i found ecu's online adn my question is is the ecu a part that has a specific life time? should i just get a used one or pay the extra cash for a rebuilt one? and if u say used is fine then is there a way i can tell that the ecu is for a manual or auto by looking at it? because am sure at the scrapyard there will be a few laying around.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:21 PM   #21
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I think I still have my old t-case handle/linkage for the 5-speed I removed from my '97 TJ if you ever get to that point.

Personally, I think you'd be making a mistake to convert it to a 5-speed but that is just my personal opinion... from having put 166,000 miles on my '97 TJ when it still had its 5-speed. My conversion from the 5-speed to an automatic DRAMATICALLY improved my TJ'ss abilities to take on the toughest 5+ rated trails. It was my wheeling in Johnson Valley where I learned just how much better an automatic performs on the extreme level trails. Converting it to the automatic boosted its offroad abilities much like when I installed front and rear lockers into it.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:38 PM   #22
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I think I still have my old t-case handle/linkage for the 5-speed I removed from my '97 TJ if you ever get to that point.

Personally, I think you'd be making a mistake to convert it to a 5-speed but that is just my personal opinion... from having put 166,000 miles on my '97 TJ when it still had its 5-speed. My conversion from the 5-speed to an automatic DRAMATICALLY improved my TJ'ss abilities to take on the toughest 5+ rated trails. It was my wheeling in Johnson Valley where I learned just how much better an automatic performs on the extreme level trails. Converting it to the automatic boosted its offroad abilities much like when I installed front and rear lockers into it. :)
I totally agree with you about the offroad abilities of the auto. And if i were living in a place that had hard trails of any trails at all i would not even think of changing it. With the manual you have to know in which gear to be for this incline and that incline and if you choose the wrong one you have roll back down and try again and so on not like the auto just step on it and go. and for water crossing you have to choose the right gear because you shouldnt press in the clutch and soo on. i totally agree but all i got here is some beach sand and some desert sand that even sometimes you dont have to engage the 4x4 for. thanks for all your replies and it helped me clear up some stuff. thank you all.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:44 PM   #23
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I think I still have my old t-case handle/linkage for the 5-speed I removed from my '97 TJ if you ever get to that point.

Personally, I think you'd be making a mistake to convert it to a 5-speed but that is just my personal opinion... from having put 166,000 miles on my '97 TJ when it still had its 5-speed. My conversion from the 5-speed to an automatic DRAMATICALLY improved my TJ'ss abilities to take on the toughest 5+ rated trails. It was my wheeling in Johnson Valley where I learned just how much better an automatic performs on the extreme level trails. Converting it to the automatic boosted its offroad abilities much like when I installed front and rear lockers into it.
I totally agree with you about the offroad capabilities. And if were living in a place were we had hard trails, rock crawling or any trails at all i wouldnt think of swapping. In auto is just engage 4x4 D and gas, but for manual you got to think which gear for this incline and soo on because you cant shift while climbing and if you choose wrong you have to roll back down and go again. And if water crossing you have to choose the gear to because you cant press teh clutch in underwater and soo on. all i got is a bit of sand and beaches. Thank you for your replies. thank you all.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:50 PM   #24
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I was just about to post if the linkage would need replacing since the transfer case will move. thanks for that. i found ecu's online adn my question is is the ecu a part that has a specific life time? should i just get a used one or pay the extra cash for a rebuilt one? and if u say used is fine then is there a way i can tell that the ecu is for a manual or auto by looking at it? because am sure at the scrapyard there will be a few laying around.
As with all electrical components lifetime can be an issue. I don't think the jeep ecu's are known to go out early. It just depends on how good of a price you can get on a used one. They should have a different part number for auto and manual. I think they also changed some from year to year. I can look and see what the PN is on my 97 TJ. What year is yours?
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:04 PM   #25
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As with all electrical components lifetime can be an issue. I don't think the jeep ecu's are known to go out early. It just depends on how good of a price you can get on a used one. They should have a different part number for auto and manual. I think they also changed some from year to year. I can look and see what the PN is on my 97 TJ. What year is yours?
Mine is a 2001. i read somehwere they changed 2004 when the 6speed came out i think. Thanks for the help.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:19 AM   #26
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:03 AM   #27
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R4886893

Thank you noted it down and will search for it.
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:53 PM   #28
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Don't do it. Autos are better in the sand too.
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Old 08-31-2010, 04:18 PM   #29
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Don't do it. Autos are better in the sand too.
I know but it wont be wheeled that much. nobody i know goes offroading enough for me to not do the swap. i love manual too much to not do it just for 3 or 4 times a year of wheeling.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:51 PM   #30
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Save your pennies, it is not going to be cheap. LOTS of stuff to add vs. the manual to auto swap.

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