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Auto to Manual Transmission Swap

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Old 06-09-2009, 01:57 PM   #1
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Default Auto to Manual Transmission Swap

Hi guys,
New guy here. I just bought a 1996 XJ Sport. It's an automatic 4.0. I'm wanting to change it to a manual. I'm looking at an AX-15, will I have any problems with the tranny matting up to my transfer case? My case has the part-time and full-time 4x4 as well as 4x2.

This is my second XJ, my first was a 94 manual that I absolutely loved. It was totaled when a lady hit me head on with a crown vic. I finally decided to get another, but couldn't find a 5-speed like I wanted. So, this is my reasoning for the potential swap.

Thanks,
Aaron
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:59 PM   #2
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Good thread

I will be watching this closely
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Old 06-19-2009, 12:42 PM   #3
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Good question. I would like to maybe do this swap on my XJ one of these days, if I can find a good manual tranny to work with. Does anybody have experience on this?
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Old 06-19-2009, 01:06 PM   #4
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You will need to make sure that splines are the same i know that there are a few variations in the spline count not to sure on what they are someone with some more experience will be able to help you a little better
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Old 06-19-2009, 01:27 PM   #5
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I have also considered doing this as well. I talked to the guys at Advance Adaptors, and they recommended against it. the AX-15 is a fairly weak transmission compared to the AW-4, which is probably what you have. It was designed to fit on the 4 cyl. engines, but they did mate them with some of the straight sixes, especially the wranglers, which are lighter vehicles. they said they would be concerned about if it would hold up to the power of the 4.0, especially with offroading in the mud at high RPM's. I am still considering doing this however, seeing as i have 97 wrangler with a five-speed and it seems do do fine. You could possibly look at the SM-465, which would take a bellhousing adapter to fit the 4.0, and some heavy duty brackets to support the weight and some other modifications where the transmission goes into the cab, since this transmission will sit back further in the vehicle. That would take significantly more work, but you will NEVER destroy that transmission.
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Old 06-19-2009, 01:41 PM   #6
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^^i dont really agree with saying the AX-15 wont hold up for offroading.....many people run them.
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Old 06-19-2009, 09:48 PM   #7
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Jaf .... I think AA was referring to the AX-5 trans. They sell adapters for the AX-15. Why would they sell parts for a trans they don't recommend? An AX-15 can handle the torque of a stock Chevy 350 motor. Also .. the AX-15 was never behind any 4 cyl Jeep motor. They were behind some Dodge Dakotas, but that is beyond the scope of this reply.



Bigger ... I have done several of these swaps. It's not hard, just have to find all the parts.


You'll need:

AX-15 (duh) -- external slave model preferred
23 spline NP231 (although the NP242 fits, I advise against that)
Flywheel, flywheel bolts, clutch, clutch cover bolts
Throwout arm, throwout bearing, pilot bushing
Manual transmission crossmember and transmission mount
Master/Slave hydraulics unit
Brake/Clutch pedal assembly
4wd rod (to connect handle to tcase -- the length is different)
Driveshafts from a manual tranny
Shifter boot
Bellhousing to Block bolts (at the least, get rid of the torx ones at the top)
dust shields between the tranny & block



Mechanically, that is everything you will need. You'll have to wire in the reverse lights. You will need a manual trans CPS. If you are GOOD with wiring ... you should be able to fool the ECU into thinking the auto is still there. If not ... get a ECU from a manual trans donor.


I can do the parts swap in one day ... it's the wiring and tidying up loose ends that slow me down to make it a 2 day job. YMMV.


Have fun.


Joe
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:10 PM   #8
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Sounds like I would need a donor jeep. I've seen a couple being parted out, but I'm in the middle of a move and have nowhere to put them. I may just keep my eyes out for a manual and have two jeeps. The auto for a trail rig and the manual for a DD.

Aaron
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Old 08-13-2009, 04:19 PM   #9
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i would be interested in doing this swap myself because i have a problem with my trans controller (it is putting a huge draw on my battery for whatever reason) the jeep still shifts fine but obviously i cant drive it with that kind of draw... i do take it wheelling but i also use it as my DD ... are you guys thinking this would be a good swap or recommend against it? ( i have heard from several people that say an auto trans is better for off roading )
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:53 AM   #10
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So, I got an 89, would that effect this switch at all?
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:50 AM   #11
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find a wrecked one with the 5 speed and get all the parts at once.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndlessMtnFab View Post
Jaf .... I think AA was referring to the AX-5 trans. They sell adapters for the AX-15. Why would they sell parts for a trans they don't recommend? An AX-15 can handle the torque of a stock Chevy 350 motor. Also .. the AX-15 was never behind any 4 cyl Jeep motor. They were behind some Dodge Dakotas, but that is beyond the scope of this reply.



Bigger ... I have done several of these swaps. It's not hard, just have to find all the parts.


You'll need:

AX-15 (duh) -- external slave model preferred
23 spline NP231 (although the NP242 fits, I advise against that)
Flywheel, flywheel bolts, clutch, clutch cover bolts
Throwout arm, throwout bearing, pilot bushing
Manual transmission crossmember and transmission mount
Master/Slave hydraulics unit
Brake/Clutch pedal assembly
4wd rod (to connect handle to tcase -- the length is different)
Driveshafts from a manual tranny
Shifter boot
Bellhousing to Block bolts (at the least, get rid of the torx ones at the top)
dust shields between the tranny & block



Mechanically, that is everything you will need. You'll have to wire in the reverse lights. You will need a manual trans CPS. If you are GOOD with wiring ... you should be able to fool the ECU into thinking the auto is still there. If not ... get a ECU from a manual trans donor.


I can do the parts swap in one day ... it's the wiring and tidying up loose ends that slow me down to make it a 2 day job. YMMV.


Have fun.


Joe

Hey, I found a wrecked TJ with AX15, and I'd like to get all the above listed parts to do the swap in my 2000 sport.
Can I work with all the stuff from an TJ Wrangler?
Please let me know.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:44 AM   #13
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I gave up on the idea myself. In fact, I'm guilty of letting my XJ languish in the garage except for snow days. I'm actually thinking of selling it and getting a truck. I need more hauling space than my XJ's got. I know, sacrilege right?

Aaron
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:58 AM   #14
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Someone please try this.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndlessMtnFab
23 spline NP231 (although the NP242 fits, I advise against that)
any reason you advise against it in particular?
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