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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
UPDATE: If you're new to this thread, welcome. You'll find lots of good info here. I did post an update and conclusion with the list of parts needed in this post on p 5.

Hello,

Lately I've been debating: should I swap my auto trans for manual, or not?
Car is 99 Camry LE, 2.2L (4cyl.), auto A140E trans. 106k miles. The car is mechanically great, but paint has seen better days. Also, it's been in a few accidents, so there are some minor bodywork issues.

The big question: is it worth it to undertake the project, or should I give up the idea and purchase a different car in a few months?

Here's my situation:
- I want a stick shift.
- It's a lot of work to convert. I don't have a garage, just a small driveway.
- Paying a mechanic is not worth it for me, and I don't trust mechanics anyway. Besides, doing the work is half the fun.
- I already have parts: stick shift with cables, pedals, master cylinder, speedo. I can pull a manual tranny w/ clutch & flyweel off a car in junkyard not too far away for $80 + $60 to drive there and back. ("donor" transmission has 190k mi).
- I commute to work, and can live without the car for a week or two if I had to.
- I have a full-time job. Evenings and weekends are free.
- Lastly, I like the car. I've put in a lot of work into it already.

Ideas and suggestions welcome. :dunno:
 

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Ambitious but Rubbish
'93 Camry V6 5-Speed
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Okay, firstly I don't want to talk you out of it, I love having a Camry with manual transmission. I think you really really have to commit to the project. While doing my swap I ( 1993 Camry V6 ) ran into a few problems.

-The first major problem was getting a neutral safety switch for the clutch pedal. That required taking the entire dashboard out and swapping ALL of the wiring from underneath.
-Drilling a hole through the firewall for the master cylinder to be placed that is very hard to get to.
-While the engine/trans is out make sure to fit the shifter cables through the firewall first it's impossible to reach when there is an engine in there :lol:

Not sure if you said you had an engine wiring harness but you need that as well.

Me, my dad and my brother got it done in a month in our spare time.. idk if I had to do it again I probably wouldn't :disappoin
 

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I just did the swap recently. Why the heck do you need to wire up stuff for neutral safety switch? My 94 es.. And all we needed was to splice two wires at the end before starting the car to make it crank. What did you have to do?

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Discussion Starter #4
Okay, firstly I don't want to talk you out of it, I love having a Camry with manual transmission. I think you really really have to commit to the project. While doing my swap I ( 1993 Camry V6 ) ran into a few problems.

-The first major problem was getting a neutral safety switch for the clutch pedal. That required taking the entire dashboard out and swapping ALL of the wiring from underneath.
-Drilling a hole through the firewall for the master cylinder to be placed that is very hard to get to.
-While the engine/trans is out make sure to fit the shifter cables through the firewall first it's impossible to reach when there is an engine in there :lol:

Not sure if you said you had an engine wiring harness but you need that as well.

Me, my dad and my brother got it done in a month in our spare time.. idk if I had to do it again I probably wouldn't :disappoin
From the research I've done, it doesn't look like the whole wiring harness is necessary. At least not on 5S-FE. You just wire up the neutral switch to the plug on the transmission, and it "should" work. Maybe 6-banger is different? Besides, the wiring harness on the "donor" car in the junkyard is all cut up to pieces by now, so that's not gonna happen...

The amount of work, and whether I'll be able to do it without a garage are the main showstoppers right now for me. I also live on 3rd floor, so it's not like I can take the engine inside to work on...
 

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Actually that's not correct sir. Here's how it works. The only Camrys that had issues were the 95 and 96. Any of the 4 or 6 cylinders that were 92-94 did not run the neutral safety switch through the ecu causing an engine code to be thrown. So all you have to do for a 92-94 is simply take the neutral safety switch plug and cross the park and neutral wires together. This will essentially trick the vehicle into thinking it's constantly in neutral. It may be different for the 95 and 96 but I just did it three months ago on my 94 es300 which shares the same motor as the 94 v6 camry

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Sorry.. It tricks the car into thinking it's always in park.. Lol either way the car will always start. That's how I have mine setup. The only disadvantage is right now my car can be started without engaging the clutch. Whatever.. It starts like an auto but runs like a manual haha

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Discussion Starter #8
190k on a transmission is quite a lot, but doable.

If I had the option I'd go for something with a little few miles.
Can you elaborate on that? Is that something not worth getting into at that kind of mileage? I know that in automatics, usually the clutches go, but clutch is relatively easily replaceable in manuals. So how durable are the bearings and synchros?

I don't know much about manual transmission durability - never had one. But they have rebuild kits for this one, though I don't really want to spend $500 on a rebuild kit with synchros - sound a bit too much.

Thanks!
 

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The synchro's are pretty beefy, I replaced mine at about 175k only because I was doing the swap and figured why the hell not. There was no visible difference and nothing changed in the way the car drives or shifts. I wouldn't worry about the mileage on the 5 speed unless it's been abused.
 
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Turbo Snail
Cam A Roo
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I have a 95 camry 5-speed swap, and all i had to do was bolt the NSS to the body to start the car.

No Check engine light.

The only wiring I had to do was for the reverse switch, which is easy enough. just two wires. One 12V Constant, and the other goes to the reverse wire on the NSS harness. How easy is that? (hint: both the 12V+ constant and Reverse wires are on the NSS harness so splice there)

All you need for the 5SFE swap is a clutch pedal, brake pedal, clutch cylinder, manual transmission, flywheel, clutch
 

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Ambitious but Rubbish
'93 Camry V6 5-Speed
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I just did the swap recently. Why the heck do you need to wire up stuff for neutral safety switch? My 94 es.. And all we needed was to splice two wires at the end before starting the car to make it crank. What did you have to do?

Sent from my HTC Ruby using AutoGuide.Com Free App
Okay but it works either way... I had a donor car and swapped everything I needed into my car for it to work. I just had to remove the entire dash twice because I thought I might as well replace all of the wiring. I went from a 4 cylinder auto to a 6 cylinder manual... of course it's easier on an ES300.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Actually that's not correct sir. Here's how it works. The only Camrys that had issues were the 95 and 96. Any of the 4 or 6 cylinders that were 92-94 did not run the neutral safety switch through the ecu causing an engine code to be thrown. So all you have to do for a 92-94 is simply take the neutral safety switch plug and cross the park and neutral wires together. This will essentially trick the vehicle into thinking it's constantly in neutral. It may be different for the 95 and 96 but I just did it three months ago on my 94 es300 which shares the same motor as the 94 v6 camry

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Given that I have a 99, this shouldn't be the problem, I suppose. I'll just have to wire the NSS.

The synchro's are pretty beefy, I replaced mine at about 175k only because I was doing the swap and figured why the hell not. There was no visible difference and nothing changed in the way the car drives or shifts. I wouldn't worry about the mileage on the 5 speed unless it's been abused.
Well, the car is in the junkyard. I'll never know if it has been abused or not.

The car did, however, have a HOLE in the engine block. I'm assuming that's the reason it ended up junked. I just hope the lack of maintenance that led to that did not do the same to the tranny.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
UPDATE: Ok, I've decided to go forth with the swap. It's official - the plan is to prep things up to and swap things during the presidential day's weekend. I plan to pull the engine with tranny out - I think that will be easier to do without a lift than dropping subframe.

The question now is, what parts do I need to/should order for the swap? Should I order CV shaft seals, transmission main seal?

Is it worth doing the rear main seal while the engine will be out? The car just turned 110k miles yesterday, and I haven't seen any signs of rear main seal leaks.

Anything else?
:thanks:
 

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Turbo Snail
Cam A Roo
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the automatic and manual axles are the same. Might as well do the rear main, and swap the oil pan seal while your in there. For wiring the NSS, remove the entire neutral switch from the automatic transmission and plug it into your harness. Bolt the NSS to the body using a bolt, and then just wire the reverse wiring up to the reverse switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Alright, so I started putting the clutch and brake pedals, and the master cylinder in today. Drilled the holes for the master cylinder and the bracket for clutch pedal, and here's my...

QUESTION: For the clutch pedal bracket, top bolt, is there an extra bracket required? All I have are two studs in the frame neither of which look like the would work with the one hold in the pedal bracket. :disappoin
 

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Cam A Roo
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The brake pedal is held on by a 14mm bolt. The clutch pedal is bolted using the clutch cylinder, at least that's what I did and it is secure.

Please do not hack the wiring harness, swap the wiring harnesses, ect..

all you need to do is plug the neutral safety switch onto the automatic harness, find a spot you can run a bolt to the body and ground the NSS.

The only wiring you'll have to do is to connect the reverse switch. and that is easy to do, just grab a probing test light, turn the dial on the neutral safety switch to Reverse, and probe the harness. Find the Reverse wire (single) and also the 12V+ on the neutral safety switch.

Splice into the 12 Volt + wire (Not cutting it completely off, just taking the outer shell of the wire off), solder a short length of wire onto it and connect it to one side of the reverse switch. Do the same thing for the reverse wire, but this time connect it to the other side of the reverse switch.

That is all the splicing you need to do. that is of course if you are just using the automatic harness for your manual swap.
 

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it lives..and spins wheel
97 Avalon
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hey perkins... any chance you could do a write up or post pics of this said procedure?^^^
i have a 5spd swap with no reverse lights. it's kinda old. lol

i guess i just get confused with the premise if you tap the Reverse circuit with a constant 12V won't they just stay "on" ?


to poster...5 speed is worth it(if you feel that way) .. i can understand just wanting a stick. i've been there. and I drive a bastard child 5 speed avalon.

any and all swaps have their own "special ness" when you're done.

but as well have driven a 5sfe celica with a S51 trans..i(your powertrain in a car that weighs about 300-500 lbs less) liked the car but it wasn't that exciting.
 

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Turbo Snail
Cam A Roo
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sure thing, here is a diagram to help you understand.

Note that the wire colors could be different than actual colors that need to be spliced



The reason its OK to splice a 12V + wire to the reverse switch is because you are trying to apply power to the reverse circuit. Normally, on an automatic vehicle as you move the shifter from park to reverse, the arm is spinning , therefor switching the 12v signal from Park to Reverse to Neutral, ect.. Since we no longer have linkage to move the arm around on the neutral safety switch and its always powering the Park circuit, we need to be able to get power to the switch itself. So to do that, we splice into the 12V circuit at the NSS, and hook it to one side of the switch. On the other side, we need somewhere for that 12V power to go, so we splice into the reverse wire and hook that up to the other side.

heres another diagram:

The top diagram is what the automatic car normally does. You move the shifter into reverse, it switches the 12 volts from the park circuit to the reverse circuit. The second diagram shows that we are now getting 12 volts of power going on two circuits, the park circuit (Park light illuminated) and also now that we've spliced into the wiring and you push the clutch in, and put it in reverse, its transferring that voltage to the reverse lights.

Hopefully this makes sense to you guys , if not let me know :)


Since the reverse switch is Switched electrical connection, it only engages when you actually go in reverse. So with there being 12V+ there all the time, the only time it will turn on is if you engage the reverse gear
 

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Awesome job Brandon. Appreciate you taking the time to help someone out like that. Keep on being awesome.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
You know, I have a thought. So, there are two switches on the clutch pedal - one for when the pedal is fully depressed, and another for when the pedal is fully released.

What if I make it so that when the pedal is fully depressed, NSS is in P, and when it is fully released (clutch engaged), NSS is in D?

One of the reasons behind this is that I want to make my Cruise Control work (even though I hardly ever use it - just want the challenge of making it work). My suspicion is that CC only works in D2L, and most people wire NSS to P by default hence it doesn't work.

Thoughts?
 
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