What To Know About A Manual Swap

matt b

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Scroll down to post #3 for M66 swap threads.

I've seen a lot of threads about the manual swap process, where to source parts, how much, how hard, etc. Most of the info is already on the site and basically needs to be pieced together. That's the whole point of this thread.

I'll add some eye candy tonight when I get home and post some pics of the car. My 97 wagon was finally converted to a manual. I don't know about too many LPT's that were swapped over, who knows, I may be first. I had the center console off earlier and had easy access to the wires (the wiring links below leave room for improvement.) but I forgot to take pics. Sorry. monkey.gif

I'm piecing together a complete manual swap kit, with all the parts listed below as well as some miscellaneous stuff that might make someone's life easier if they do it. Mine was pieced together painfully, mostly through the links below then some last minute oh, shit moments. I don't have an exact price yet, looking in the $1,500-$1,700 range, max. Do the math on the parts needed and I promise you'll hit $2,000 before you know it.

This is a compilation of some of the threads that are floating around on manual swaps:
How to source the parts
A breakdown of the wiring work
The actual trans swap
The add-ons and the misc. little things that can make your swap a nightmare.

Mechanical Parts:
VolvoSaabParts was where most people got their stuff (http://www.vandsautodismantlers.com/). I used EAP Auto Parts in Colorado. (303) 922-8397, there are plenty of junkyards around. My M56 was bought from LKQ (www.lkqcorp.com), it changed my mind about that company. It came with enough parts (cables, clips and bolts) that I ended up sending $250 worth of parts to the dealer and FCP Groton.

There are numerous little parts needed to complete the swap. If you're lucky, you'll get some of them when you order the trans. If you're not lucky, you'll have to work with a dealer or another source on getting these. I personally had a bad experience with the dealer (due to many other reasons), and decided to use FCP Groton for the parts. Call with part numbers and they'll have them shipped to you in no time.

Here is the link of the Parts Bible thread:

Parts Bible Thread

Some items were not included in that thread, they are mostly clips and other small things to make your life easier. You can probably re-use some of the stuff from the autotragic if you get creative, but for less than a $100, I didn't feel like messing with it.
From re-reading it: the cables are not included in that $100 figure. Cables alone are upwards of $250 at the dealer. There are cheaper options out there. wink.gif
Shifter cables: 9176272
Shifter cable clip and washer: 942915 and 973968
Shifter bracket, retainer and bushing: 3520134, 3520135 and 3520136
Clips for shifter bracket: 3502507

Slave Cylinder replacement
Click me for part numbers and prices

ECU info

Basically: your auto ECU works fine, there is some minor wiring to do, but there is no need to track down a manual ECU. I am running an auto ECU and I like that having my RPM's drop quicker during shifts.

Wiring info

PM me if you can't read the thread above, I have it as a MS Word document as well. It's missing parts on how to disable some of the wiring under the center console, but I'll update the thread as I get that info.

Pretty pictures of a swap:
Part One

Part Two


Short thrwo shifters:
Short throw info

More of the same

Parking Brake Repair:

You'll already have the car off the road, so this is a good time to repair some damaged parking brakes components. Below are the part numbers from Trent, (854TGA+), pulled from his recent repairs, along with comments on sourcing the parts.

9209756-7 x 2 Park brake cables
274270-8 x 1 Shoe set
3546028-6 x 2 Return spring
1273836-5 x 2 Return spring

I shopped around for prices, Cables could be found cheaper but I didn't want to mess around with wrong cables. The shoe set was way way way cheaper at the dealer! Return springs dealer only item.

Random shifting issues:
Hard shifting

I'll add to this as I can over the next few days.

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Thanks guys, I just remember hitting that search button like a madman and I figured I'd save someone a few clicks.

Here's a little eye candy:


This is the clip that has screwed some of us over. Easy to forget, and you can only re-use one from the autotragic, if you're brave enough. Cheap as they are, it's better to buy them both new.


This is the top view of the bracket, it shows only a small section of the bracket, the bushing and the clip. But you should get the idea with that.


Your automatic trans brake fluid reservoir will have a small nipple, towards the passenger side, against the firewall. It can be cut , to allow the brake fluid from that reservoir to also work for the clutch master cylinder. I re-used a used line, but I would suggest buying a slightly longer than stock line. The kit I'm putting together will have a longer than stock line to avoid kinks.

And the money shot: :o


Don't kid yourself, you'll shake a little at the knees when you drive it around the block the first time.

And to get the discussion going again:


Night and day from the auto trans. Every gear shift, that thing gets heard. I haven't even tried to hit full boost yet (15 lbs on this car) and it's already loud enough to get noticed by just about everyone around the car.

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I am adding my input here to help anyone who is interested in doing a manual swap. Before I type, I would like to thank Danny (dmelvi007), Matt (matt B ), Alex (yangotang), Justin (chilled man), and ALL of Volvospeed, for the help I have been given with this project. If I didn't have access to these resources I would not have attempted the swap. Thank you for answering all of my dumb questions and not facepalming yourselves to death.

I wanted to add in this thread a couple hints/tips for any future swappers, and every topic I found that helped me with my swap.

Doing a manual swap is pretty straight forward. Hopefully you have someone with you that has done one before, but if not, make sure you have access to a Haynes manual or something similar, and if possible, "sidav." There are a few things in there that are very helpful, such as the order of installing parts, torque values, bolt tightening patterns, things that need to be cleaned or lubed, etc.

My experience was pretty good. I pulled the motor and trans out the top of the car and did my work that way. I only experienced problems with two things: 1. installing the M/T pedal assembly, and 2. installing the clutch master cylinder.

Pedal Assembly
First and foremost, it is 100% possible to install the pedals without removing the steering linkage (connection from steering wheel to steering rack). It takes a lot of clever maneuvering, but it is absolutely do-able, and it is how I did it. I heard from several people that removing the steering linkage is annoying, and you can also screw a lot of things up if you don't know what you're doing. Since I fit into that category, I didn't mess with it. FWIW, if you are struggling on this part of the swap, take comfort in the fact that it took me well over 2 hours to get the automatic pedal assembly out and the manual pedal assembly in. If you don't think you can do it, take a break and come back later. You'll get it eventually. This will be a million times easier in an x70 series car btw, as the pedal assembly is different and much easier to work with.

Clutch master cylinder
-Just a note before I get to the installation part... There is a metal plate covering the hole for the clutch master cylinder. Pull back the carpeting, and use something to bang the plate out. It's very easy.
I struggled with this part for... :embarrassed: over 3 hours :embarrassed: ... Even worse, I had a friend helping me. I tried shoving the clutch master cylinder in its hole in any and all directions, it wouldn't fit. I tried loosening the brake booster bolts (what a royal pain in the ass), that didn't help. Finally thanks to Danny (Dmelvi007) on here, I learned that a pry bar works wonders in this situation. I used a large crowbar and pried the brake booster back (don't worry you wont damage it), and had the clutch master cylinder in within 3 minutes. I wish I had that help earlier. :facepalm:
You might not find it as difficult as I did. I heard from some that it slipped right in, I heard from others it took them hours. In any case, if you're having trouble, take out a pry bar. It will work.

Bleeding the clutch
I used a power bleeder first, two times, and then manually bled the clutch once after that. Use DOT4 brake fluid or greater. It took me driving the car a couple miles before the clutch felt right. So if you are using a new clutch (which you probably are), after you bleed it a couple times, drive the car before re-bleeding if the clutch doesn't feel right.

Things to remember
-Use the CORRECT MANUAL TRANSMISSION BOLTS for the flywheel, and USE THREADSEALANTon the flywheel bolts. Make sure you tighten them in the correct order and use the appropriate torque value.
-Use RED THREADLOCKER on the pressure plate torx bolts. Also pay attention to the correct tightening pattern and torque value.
-Use high temperature black grease (I used brake pad grease) on the shaft that the throwout/release bearing sits on. Make sure you CLEAN IT THOROUGHLY before putting on the grease.
-Automatic axles WILL WORK with manual transmissions, just make sure you use MANUAL transmission axle seals in the trans.

Some pricing/part number info


MANUAL SWAP - M66 - Thanks Hussein & Mark!


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-Great thread w/ tons of pics documenting swap:



-Wiring info for manual swap:






-General manual swap documentation threads:








-Master Cylinder for manual swap:



-Manual swap parts bible:


-Another parts thread:



-Threads about problems after manual swap:



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-Short shifter threads:





-DIY/Write Up: Rebuilding m56 shifter assembly:



-Installing manual pedals:



-Bleeding clutch after manual swap:


-Drain/refill m56 manual transmission:



-Manual swap related questions:



-RMS replacement:

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  • 2 years later...

Cruise control

So, you remember the starter inhibit wire? Turns out the inverse of the signal is used to tell the cruise control it's in a gear and thus safe to engage. D'oh!

So, since the wire isn't present on manual systems, the easiest way seemed to cut the relevant pin on the cruise control relay - 3T:



The relay is located with the fuel pump relay, behind the fuse box that's under the cowl. It's a 3 minute fix and you will have your cruise back instantly.

If you need more details, shoot me a PM.

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