DIY Auto-to-Manual Transmission Swap - Honda Civic Forum

DIY Auto-to-Manual Transmission Swap

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Old 07-07-2010
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DIY Auto-to-Manual Transmission Swap

I have a 03 civic ex in automatic wanted to know what would b a affordable and good tranny swap to manual. And what Otha parts are goin to be Needed.. Any help would be appreciated
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Re: 03 civic ex transmission swap auto-manual

Originally Posted by Allnatural View Post
I have a 03 civic ex in automatic wanted to know what would b a affordable and good tranny swap to manual. And what Otha parts are goin to be Needed.. Any help would be appreciated

Parts List:

Trans
Manual Subframe
Trans Mounts
Shifter
Shift Linkage
Master Cylinder
Manual Axles (You only need the drivers side)
Slave Cylinder
Pedal Assembly
Starter
Clutch
Flywheel
Manual Center Console (Or just the shifter bezel piece)

Not needed but nice to have:

Manual ECU
Manual Cluster
Manual Dash Harness
Manual Engine Harness

UPDATE: You do not need a manual engine harness. The manual ecu will work without it.

Time for swap: If you have general knowledge I'd say it should take you a weekend maybe a few extra days.. It took me a week because I couldn't figure out why it wasn't starting and I got screwed over by this ricer down in NC.

Note: I DO NOT take any responsibility for any injury's and or problems you have with your car during or after this swap. You are doing this at your own risk. I'll be more than happy to help you work out any problems you have tho.

First thing first. I did this swap with a manual engine harness, manual ecu, and auto dash harness. I recommend going this route because I personally think you will have a less of a headache and less chance of running into problems down the road.

Step 1: Put your car up on jack stands and remove the wheels and then drain all your fluids (oil, trans, and coolant), and uplug your battery.

Step 2: Go inside your car and remove the drivers seat, brake pedal, auto shifter, gauges (if you are putting in a manual cluster), and floor mats, glove box and auto ecu. The best way to get the ecu out is to drop the glove box, unbolt the metal support and cut the plastic piece so you can bend it out of the way.



Step 3: Now you want to go to the engine bay. Start removing the header, intake, p/s pump, alternator, remove the battery and battery tray, throttle cables off the tb, remove the radiator, ac condenser, bumper support, and pull your axles.. all that good stuff . That's basically it.. There's probably a few other things I have forgotten but you'll see them when you are in there. Don't forget to unhook the auto shifter linkage. We forgot to and it snapped while pulling the motor.. No big deal .



Step 4: Now go into the engine bay. Start unhooking your engine harness. Once most of it's unplugged you should have almost the whole harness on the passenger side of the car. You should've already unplugged the ecu in the previous step so now you want to pull the connector's thru the grommet and then the harness should be removed from the car. Also this would be a good time to pull your injector rail out as well since you are in that area. The fuel rail can be a pain the first time if you haven't removed it before. Here's a good technique:



And here's a picture with the harness moved out of the way: (This pic will be used twice)



Step 5: Now it is time to start pulling the motor. Engine hoist is recommended for this step. It will make your life so much easier. You will need to find 2 places on the motor to hook up to the hoist.



Once you have the motor held by the hoist you can start taking the motor mounts off. Once you get all the mounts out carefully lift the motor out of the car.



Now you are halfway there!

Step 6: Get the motor on the ground so you can pull the crappy auto trans off the motor . Now would also be a great time to clean that motor and engine bay with the motor out. Once you get the auto trans off you need to remove that pos torque converter off. Now you are left with the motor. Go grab you flywheel and clutch and install onto your motor. Make sure the clutch is aligned before moving on.

( This pic will do for now. We were comparing the a/t flywheel bolts vs the m/t flywheel bolts)



Step 7: Get under the car and unbolt your auto subframe. Drop the bitch out and reinstall the manual. Pic!



Step 8: Now it's time to mate that awesome manual transmission up to your motor. Once you get the trans mounted get everything back up on the hoist and drop her back in. Here's a pic of it installed:



Step 9: Now would be a good time to run your clutch hardline since you don't have everything in the way. You will need to remove the cruise control box to run this behind it. Here's some pics of how mine is ran:









Step 10: Now what you want to do is run your engine harness. Run the pin portion threw the grommet towards the ecu and then start running the harness throughout the motor. Once the harness is done you want to start installing your header, intake mani, p/s pump, alternator and all that other stuff you removed in step 3. Now your motor should almost complete.



Step 11: Now get in your car and drill out the hole for the clutch and bolt it up. (No pic of this) It's pretty straight forward. Honda has a imprint in the firewall where you need to drill out at. Also bolt your brake pedal up as well since your are down there.

Step 12: Now comes the small amount of wiring you need to do. You need to unbolt the 10mm bolt that holds the underdash fuse box up and drop it all the way down. Here's a picture of the diagram:



Now what ur going to do is, is go up under the dash on the drivers side. Ur gonna want to locate the fuse box. There's a 10mm bolt and unbolt it so the fuse box will move down to where u can access towards the top. Next, your going to want to locate connector D. If i recall it's located in the middle on the 2nd row from the top. Don't quote me on that one. Once u find this connector, pull it out. Then locate pin 7 (Lt. Green) and pin 10 (Blue/Black). Come out from the fuse box a little and cut both of them. Now what your going to want to do is put the connectors with a loop on the end on all 4 so u can run a bolt thru them. Find urself a grounding point, and ground all 4 wires out at the same point. Just do this so u don't ground out the half of the wires as i did and didn't discover for 6 months. Afterwards, connect ur battery and when u turn the key on the P should b lite up (If you are running the auto gauge cluster). This will allow the car to start after this swap.

Step 13: Now you want to install you awesome shifter box. I suggest buying the strut king shifter cable and base bushing. You can get them from Corsport for pretty cheap. I also recommend the revo ss shifter as well. 89 shipped from Clubrsx when I bought it. Now hook up your shifter cables to the shifter. You can hook up the cables to the trans itself now if you didn't already. Also be sure to bolt the cables to the undercarriage. There's a spot on the chassis. You will see it when you are under there.

Step 14: Finish installing all your interior back together. Hook up your ecu as well. Before putting the glove box back this would be a great time to wire up your reverse lights.

Step 15: Now that your interior is complete all you really need to do is fill up all your fluids... Oil, Trans fluid, and coolant and hook up your battery.

Step 16: Now go back and double check everything. Make sure everything is tight, plugged in and ready to go. Now is the time for truth. Get in your car and see if it starts. If it does give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.

Hopefully this helps you out.

Last edited by MindBomber; 02-06-2011 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 07-08-2010
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Re: 03 civic ex transmission swap auto-manual

Thanks. Big help. Did u swap it for just a manual tranny or u installed a si tranny or wha?
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Old 07-08-2010
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Re: 03 civic ex transmission swap auto-manual

At first I just changed it cause I hated the auto. Now the car's going boost so it was well worth the money since the auto trans can't hold but like 5 psi of boost max.

What do you mean si trans. Only trans that will work with the d17 is the ex, lx, hx, dx, or gx trans for the d17. Unless your talking about canada where the si there is our ex... Other wise a k series trans will not fit unless you do a complete k swap.
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Old 07-14-2010
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Re: 03 civic ex transmission swap auto-manual

can u repost the link for reverse light?
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Old 07-23-2010
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sub frame question?

i was wondering why and how you found out that you had to change the sub frame i am about to do the swap on my 05 and have everything on the list but the sub frame
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Old 07-24-2010
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Re: sub frame question?

Originally Posted by droptop1988 View Post
i was wondering why and how you found out that you had to change the sub frame i am about to do the swap on my 05 and have everything on the list but the sub frame
The front motor mount on the manual subframe is about 1" further towards the drivers side. We have modified a auto subframe by cutting the mount off and rewelding it in the correct location, but if you can find a subframe for a manual it will be much easier and less of a headache for you. That is the only difference.

Last edited by MindBomber; 02-06-2011 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 07-24-2010
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Re: 03 civic ex transmission swap auto-manual

thanks.....
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Old 10-25-2010
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Re: 03 civic ex transmission swap auto-manual

if i go about this and use the manual ecu and harness will i have to have the key flashed to work with the new ecu or is there a way i can use the manual harness with my auto ecu i swear i had a link saved for this but i cant find it
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Old 11-05-2010
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Re: 03 civic ex transmission swap auto-manual

ok just finished up my swap on my 05 and it was pretty easy i went with leaving the auto harness and computer in i did not pull down the plug to connect wires to ground for it to be in park i simply pulled the gear slector switch off of the auto and left it plugged in then so i didnt have to see the p light and D light flashing at me i pulled the cluster out and took out the bulbs for them thanks for all the help everyone and this was so worth it i put 239000 miles on the auto and wow i never knew how much i was missing with a stick it makes me smile now
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Old 12-05-2010
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Re: 03 civic ex transmission swap auto-manual

I have a 02 ex and i did the swap but it wont start.i got a manual harness, manual ecu, manual dash harness,cluster and all that good things.i changed differant harness couple of times now and it will not start.i turn the key and i get crank but i dont get it to start.the coils dont get any spark. someone help me out please
thanks
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Old 12-07-2010
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Re: 03 civic ex transmission swap auto-manual

did u get the computer flashed ? if you changed the computer it has to be flashed to match your key you will need a tow to the honda dealership for this
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Old 12-25-2010
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Re: 03 civic ex transmission swap auto-manual

thanks.i just went and bout a ecu and ignition switch with keys from a guy 20 min away.today i got it started thanks alot man
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Old 12-28-2010
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Re: 03 civic ex transmission swap auto-manual

Lol pretty easy? I mean, sure, you've broken down the job into the necessary components, and for that I give you +10 props. Seriously.

However, undoing the battery, intake, headers, radiator, tranny + engine, and subframe... there's really not that much left on the car at that point =P. Props to anyone who can pull this off, seriously.

Personally I'd rather just swap in a k unless you're going junkyard turbo or something, but that's cause I'm a little lazier than you guys.
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Old 05-25-2011
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Re: 03 civic ex transmission swap auto-manual

Although it doesn't mention it in the original post, a manual ecu and reflash is preferable to leaving the auto ecu, because otherwise the car will be stuck in limp mode with a CEL.
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Old 05-25-2011
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Re: DIY Auto-to-Manual Transmission Swap

so what exactly happens in limp mode and whats a cel
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Old 05-25-2011
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Re: DIY Auto-to-Manual Transmission Swap

In limp mode your engine won't rev past 4500rpm and CEL stands for check engine light.
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Old 05-25-2011
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Re: DIY Auto-to-Manual Transmission Swap

ahh ic well i hve been stuck with the check engine light every since i put a 01 motor in the 05 since 04 and 05 were the only years to have a egr and i dont have a tach but im pretty sure i get more than 4500 rpm out of it
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Old 05-25-2011
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Re: DIY Auto-to-Manual Transmission Swap

All 01-05 D17a2s have an EGR, it's the 01-03 D17a1s that didn't have them. There are also a number of differences in the sensors between an 01 and an 05 that are causing the CEL.

I'm guessing you live somewhere with no emissions testing?
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Old 05-25-2011
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Re: DIY Auto-to-Manual Transmission Swap

yep i live in fl no emission testing here yet and yeah i have the a1s i had an indecent with a large puddle when the car was less then a year old so it was kinda hard to find a 04 05 motor when it happened still to this day the only code i get is for the egr
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Re: DIY Auto-to-Manual Transmission Swap

Gotta hate those puddles that look an inch deep and turn out to be six inches deep eh

Did you change the ECU to one from an 01 when you swapped the engine?
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Old 05-25-2011
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Re: DIY Auto-to-Manual Transmission Swap

no never changed the ecm i have the ecm and harness form the 03 manual that i got the tranny from but im a stubborn sob and just havnt changed it since i dont kow how to flash it and i just hate paying people to do things
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Old 10-11-2011
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Re: DIY Auto-to-Manual Transmission Swap

I have an 02 civic lx, tranny is bad can i replaced it with an Ex tranny?would i need the ECU or shift linkages??
I tried to serch it with no luck..
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Old 12-08-2011
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Re: DIY Auto-to-Manual Transmission Swap

I have an 06 and I was wondering if anyone knows how much it would coast to swap out my auto grant with a many?
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Old 02-09-2012
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Re: DIY Auto-to-Manual Transmission Swap

is there a place where they sell an aftermarket transmission mount so you dont have to change the subframe.
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Old 02-27-2012
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Re: 03 civic ex transmission swap auto-manual

Originally Posted by 2002civicrider View Post
At first I just changed it cause I hated the auto. Now the car's going boost so it was well worth the money since the auto trans can't hold but like 5 psi of boost max.

What do you mean si trans. Only trans that will work with the d17 is the ex, lx, hx, dx, or gx trans for the d17. Unless your talking about canada where the si there is our ex... Other wise a k series trans will not fit unless you do a complete k swap.
i have a d17a1 (non VTEC) and my submodel is vp.. can i use a trans from the models you listed in my vp? also can i later on after the trans swap swap the a1 for a VTEC a2? or does it all have to be done at the same time?
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Old 04-26-2012
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Re: DIY Auto-to-Manual Transmission Swap

Hi,
I'd like to know what are the places you used to hoist the engine.
I have been trying to find them by looking at the sames places(One near the EGR and the other next to the timing belt cover) around my engine but I can't seem to be able to find any "hookable" places.

Were the hoist points you used sturdy enough to withstand the weight of the engine and the transmission all-together?
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Old 05-30-2012
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Re: DIY Auto-to-Manual Transmission Swap

how much do these entire kits usualy sell for? do people on here sell em often?
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Re: DIY Auto-to-Manual Transmission Swap

Got almost everything for the swap I need the subframe I have a four door does it matter if get a manual subframe from a 2 door from non vtec?
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Re: DIY Auto-to-Manual Transmission Swap

Originally Posted by josesus_21 View Post
is there a place where they sell an aftermarket transmission mount so you dont have to change the subframe.
if its just the one mount that has to be moved you could probably take it to a weld shop
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