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Old 07-12-2017, 11:24 AM   #1
Bcmonks
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Default Auto to Manual with little experience

Hello Turbobricks,

I have a 1982 Volvo 244 GLT that has been in my family since the day it came off the lot in ~82, and I would love for it to have a manual transmission instead of it's automatic transmission.

I understand that it would be much cheaper to just buy a Volvo with a manual transmission, but I'm not willing to get rid of this car because of how much it means to me.

I've read a few posts on swapping auto to manual, particularly this one, and the only thing I'm worrying about is my experience.

I took a high school auto shop course, and I've fixed a few things on my car, but I've never taken on a task as daunting as a transmission swap.

Is this a feasible thing to do? Or should I just pay a mechanic to do it for me?
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:35 AM   #2
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I do a lot of wrenching on my car, so perhaps I'm not good at judging how hard it is.

I did this years ago on my '93 245. It took a few hours of clean 'inside the car' work to put the clutch pedal in, and about 7 or 8 hours of non-rushed weekend day time under the car swapping the trans itself.

But it's really not terribly hard. You just need a good complete selection of parts from the donor car. Otherwise you'll spend lots of time chasing down hard to find parts. Many parts that are not wear-and-tear maintenance items on older cars like this are not readily found for sale.

Break it down into parts. I'd do the inside task of adding the third pedal first.
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:24 PM   #3
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The hardest part is yutzing around with the fiddly bits.

I'm doing my T5 swap currently.

You probably will have a hard time doing this with just "basic" hand tools tbh. But it can certainly be done.

Swapping the pedals is definitely the most fiddly part, but since you have an 82... it should be easier because there's less crap in the way (just did it on my 93).

Pull instrument cluster, find 6 bolts that are challenging to get to. Drop pedal out, swap in 2 pedals. Reattach 4 bolts, 6 if you're very committed.

You'll need to drill the firewall obviously. That's probably easier than it sounds.

Getting the top bolts off of the bell housing/trans are kind of a pain. Getting the filler tube off of the AW is a pain. The AW trans is probably pretty heavy.

But it's completely do-able and mostly straight-forward.
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:29 PM   #4
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I'll also tell you the worst part was installing the clutch pedal assembly. It is incredibly fiddly but it is doable if you have time to burn. Also make sure you've got a few buddies to help lift the transmission in place as i think it is impossible to do solo (without the correct tools )
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:55 PM   #5
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If you're not intimately familiar with 240s, it really helps to have the donor car right there so you can go back and forth and take off whatever bits you need. Otherwise maybe someone has a comprehensive list of stuff to pull from the junkyard.

The job is not really all that hard, I've done a couple of them, but it is fairly time consuming. The conversions I did were spread across a whole weekend of semi-lazy wrenching while beer sipping. If you want, you can break it up a bit and install the manual pedal box and clutch cable before you even mess with the transmission, then you will have some of the most fiddly bits done and you can still drive the car with a dead clutch pedal.
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Old 07-13-2017, 10:28 PM   #6
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I'm starting this conversion and collecting the parts has been some work. Take the opportunity to replace the shifter bushings, mounting bolt bushings and pins after you buy the manual. Maybe even do the short shifter modification that Homer (screen name) does. He's doing a batch now so hit him up post-haste if you're interested. Think about is which tranny you want. We selected an M46, in part, because we can just hookup the speedometer cable to it (working with an 83/242). You can do a M47 but then you have to jump through some hoops to get a working speedo. Now that I think about it, you have to jump through a DIFFERENT set of hoops for the M46, since there's the OD wiring to deal with. We decided to jump through the M46 hoops. Choose your pain.

Hit me up via pm if you decide to do it. Even though my actual swap hasn't happened yet, I've already got leftover parts and pieces you may find useful.
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Old 07-13-2017, 10:32 PM   #7
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I'd say go for it.

In the end, most people poop out on this as they aren't willing to put in the time/money to get it done. They get mid way through and give up. If you are just swapping in an M46 or M47 (or a T5 for that matter), all the parts are reasonably available currently.

Some recommendations:
1. Go to HF and buy the transmission jack. Not the teeny one, but the bigger one that looks like a real floor jack with the bigger plate on it.
2. Buy some really long extensions and some good universal joints.
3. Having some of the ratcheting box end wrenches are nice as well.
4. Have a garage/slab to work on and take your time. If you get in a hurry, you'll f*ck it up.
5. Be sure to get the OD harness (inside and outside) for the M46 if you go that way.
6. Take TONS of pictures as you are taking things apart.
7. Buy a p-touch labeler and use it liberally when disconnecting wiring harnesses.
8. You can't go wrong getting a set of green books.
9. HAVE FUN. This hobby is supposed to be enjoyable. If you get frustrated, take a break (hours, not years) and then get back to it.
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Old 07-14-2017, 10:40 AM   #8
EivlEvo
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I use the older version of this (green/yellow color) for my transmission jack. I liked it much better for my AWD work. Also works great for dropping large pieces like subframe.

It's just some HF "motorcycle jack" fyi

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Old 07-14-2017, 10:44 AM   #9
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I've done it without a trans jack, and with. It's certainly easier with, although it needs to rotate a fair amount to come back enough to drop down.

I've also done it by dropping a rope down through the shifter hole and around the trans - that way the rope can hold half the weight while you wrestle with the front half.

Whatever you do, be careful, the trans, especially the auto, is heavy, don't let it drop down and nip a couple of fingers off.
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Old 07-14-2017, 03:33 PM   #10
James10952001
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I've found transmission jacks to just get in the way and make the job harder, at least on a 240 where you have to rotate the thing to get it to clear the firewall. I just lay on my back under the car, roll the transmission onto my chest and then cross a leg over to support the output end. Bench press it up into place, it's just light enough that you don't have to be unusually strong to do that. Gotta have the car at the right height though, high enough that you can fit under the transmission under the car but low enough that you're not trying to lift the thing way up in the air.
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Old 07-14-2017, 06:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James10952001 View Post
I've found transmission jacks to just get in the way and make the job harder, at least on a 240 where you have to rotate the thing to get it to clear the firewall. I just lay on my back under the car, roll the transmission onto my chest and then cross a leg over to support the output end. Bench press it up into place, it's just light enough that you don't have to be unusually strong to do that. Gotta have the car at the right height though, high enough that you can fit under the transmission under the car but low enough that you're not trying to lift the thing way up in the air.
I don't know about you, but I'm 47. The thought of bench pressing the an iron case M46 (or AW70/71 for that matter) up into place nauseates me. The tranny jack may take a little fiddling, but my back (or my face/hand/other part that could get crushed) thanks me every time I have to pull or install a trans.
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:14 PM   #12
ellist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James10952001 View Post
I've found transmission jacks to just get in the way and make the job harder, at least on a 240 where you have to rotate the thing to get it to clear the firewall. I just lay on my back under the car, roll the transmission onto my chest and then cross a leg over to support the output end. Bench press it up into place, it's just light enough that you don't have to be unusually strong to do that. Gotta have the car at the right height though, high enough that you can fit under the transmission under the car but low enough that you're not trying to lift the thing way up in the air.
I helped a friend swap in an M47 and, to me, that was tough going. I'm installing an M46 and he's gonna help. I'm going to get a trans jack.

James10952001, you are a baaaaaaaad man,
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esmth View Post
I'll also tell you the worst part was installing the clutch pedal assembly. It is incredibly fiddly but it is doable if you have time to burn. Also make sure you've got a few buddies to help lift the transmission in place as i think it is impossible to do solo (without the correct tools )
I did it solo with not transmission jack so it is doable. I used a floor jack and a board did help.
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:15 PM   #14
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Yeah floor jack works for me, once it's up a bit then it's in the tunnel and can't really fall off. I've also bench pressed them in off my chest. I've also put them in with the car on a lift with my arms, having helper helps any way you do it.
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:20 PM   #15
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My M46's are alloy so probably a bit lighter, certainly much lighter than the automatics. I've never tried putting an automatic back into a car, jack might be nice for one of those.

I've always done it solo though, I'm not some big muscle guy, more like scrawny software engineer, maybe just patient and resourceful. When it's 11pm, you're all alone and you need the car the next day you get creative. The trick to hoisting it into place by hand is to balance the tailshaft end on your leg so you can do a good portion of the lifting with your legs, or arch your back to support it on your chest. And old towel wadded up can provide some padding to keep pointy bits from jabbing you. It sounds really uncomfortable to describe but I've made it work, probably a dozen or so times that I've put a manual gearbox back into a 240/740 for various reasons.
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