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Automatic to manual transmission conversion - Latter type Jimny running M13A eng

21 May 2018 01:06 #192830 by Jimny-Maybe
Firstly, I "get" that people will say "Just buy a manual Jimny to start with". However, I have a line on an auto Jimny for VERY good money. It has a blown transmission, but a good engine (M13A). The thinking is that I could potentially buy that car, pull the existing engine and trans. scrap the trans, and sell the M13A. Then, I'd look to get hold of an M18A, and 5-speed gearbox (plus whatever else is required), and bolt those parts into it.

However, the M18A swap is predicated on the vehicle being one of the VVT versions (this one is), AND that means it also has the electronic range selection stuff.

At a guess, I'd need:

1) Pedal box
2) Gearbox
3) Trans. cross member
4) Appropriate drive shaft?
5) not sure about transfer case...is the transfer case common between manual and auto 'boxes?
6) ECU?
7) Internal trim pieces/Console
8) Clutch master/slave cylinders (assuming a hydraulic clutch(?)
8) Anything else I've forgotten

Just trying to figure out if buying the broken Jimny, plus all of the other parts I need might be remotely economical, noting that the Jimny in questions is substantially ($1000s) cheaper than any reasonable year-range manual I can find, so the economics may be a bit easier to justify...

Thanks in advance for any help and advice you can give.


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  • Lambert
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21 May 2018 05:09 #192831 by Lambert
It's going to be a lot of work but if you are swapping the engine anyway then why not.

Dreadnaught (black 2011)

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21 May 2018 06:56 #192835 by zukebob
I agree with Lambert that it will be a lot of work. I haven't seen any auto to manual conversion threads on the various forums but would imagine you would come across things not on your list.

As far as your list goes, I know the answer to a couple of the items.

Item 5: The gearing is different in the transfer case on the automatics. The differential gearing is also different. You would need to do some calculations, including tire size, to decide how that affects you.

Item 6: If you are asking if there are differences in the ECUs used on manuals and autos, the answer is yes. I don't think those differences create a major problem but you would need to understand and deal with them. Also, the auto/manual differences on the 3 connector and 4 connector ECU are different.....if that makes sense. If you are asking for ECU information relative to the M13 to M18 swap, there is a lot of info (and various opinions) on how that should be handled.

I guess the bottom line is if the price is that attractive, it would probably be worth giving it a go. If it is only a reasonably good price, you may want to think a little longer.

I started out with nothing & still have most of it left

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21 May 2018 07:01 #192836 by Jimny-Maybe
Thanks. Appreciate the responses.

For the M18a, the thinking was just to swap the M13a stuff across (sump/oil pickup, inlet manifold etc.) and run it with the M13a ECU.

That said, if there isn't a huge amount of info. on the transmission swap, I'd likely be "inventing the wheel" so to speak.It may be better just to get a manual in decent nick, and flog the M13A (minus donor bits) for as much as I can get...

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22 May 2018 06:51 #192856 by yakuza
The gearing difference in the diffs and transfer will make the car not so drivable after the swap if nothing is changed there as well. changing the diffs and transfer rebuild or swap would make this a no go for me at least.

Depends as well to what other plans you might have for mods and what tyre size you will run and what use the car will have.

If you are planning to run large tyres and a rocklobster well then maybe..

I would go the other way on my car if it wasn't for the diff and transfer gearing difference and interior and ECU change, just to get rid of the unreliable R72 manual transmission and to get smoother offroad driving.

2005 Jimny M16A VVT, 235 BFG MT, 2" Trailmaster, ARB rear lck, 17%/87% high/low gears.

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