Automatic to Manual Transmission - The Saab Link Forums

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Performance Modifications for the NG900 / Old 9-3 This forum contains PERFORMANCE related Q&A's for the NG900 and 9-3. This may also include suspension.

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Old 01-29-2012, 08:26 AM   #1
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Automatic to Manual Transmission

I don't post much or read the forums very often, but I have searched for this topic and spoke with a few people. From what I gathered this swap is not possible on a trionic 7 car, being the doubter that I am, I thought i'd give it a shot.

I have a 2000 9-3se that has a auto, and after a found trionic suite I really wanted to get rid of the automatic. So I purchased a 99 9-3 manual car for $500 with 135k. I sold enough parts to fund the rebuild of manual trans, new viggen clutch, gs short throw, gs flywheel, and braided stainless steel line.

So with all my parts needed I started last Saturday. I choose to pull the dash on my car, this might or might not be needed. I went this route to fix some rattles in my dash, and reseal my heater box vents.

Once the dash is out you will need to unbolt the the stock brake pedal bracket, this will require the master, and brake booster to be removed, the strut brace to be removed. Then you will want to unbolt the bracket for the clutch pedal that's already in the auto car. Then its as simple as installing the manual pedals.

Once you have the pedals in it will be a good time to wire in your clutch cruise control switch. I wired the clutch in series with brake switch for the cruise. I spliced into the green/white wire, and left the grey ones alone. The second bit of wiring is going to be for a the starter relay. This comes out of the fuse box and goes to the range sensor, then back to dice relay box. I bypassed the range sensor, and went from the fuse directly to the relay. The fuse number is 36 in the dash fuse box, you want to cut the green/black wire. Then solder a new wire from the fuse to the dice relay box. The relay is the starter relay, when you lower the panel it will be the front left relay. If you remove the relay you can pull the whole pin/connector out of the relay box. You then want to cut the black and white wire, pin 4, leaving enough to solder your new fuse 36 wire to. Once this is done you have now bypassed the range sensor.

Now its time to reinstall the dash, but you need to stop when you get to the miu. My donor car was a 99 mine is a 00 so the miu is not quite the same. So what i did was remove gauge section from my MIU and swap the manual gauge section in. This does a few things for you, you dont need to re-program your miu mileage, it gets rid of the PRNDL, and gives a shift up light.

Next step is to tackle to the shifter, pretty straight forward, swap your ignition barrel into the manual housing. I installed the gs short shifter at this time, deleted the reverse lock out. I ran into one issue with the ignition mechanism, it was damaged so I ended up taking my auto part, removing the cable, and installing. Because i don't have reverse lock out it wasn't a big deal, I also used my ignition switch because I new it worked fine.

The next step is pretty straight forward, that's the transmission install. I ran into one snag. The T5 block and T7 block are not quite the same, and the T5 transmission axle seal is not either. So when installing the trans, the axle seal holder was touching the block. So prevented the trans to rotate into place. My solution was to trim this area on the block giving about 4mm clearance between the block and trans. While the subframe is down install your shifter rod gaiter on the firewall, and the shift linkage onto the rod. Re-install your subframe, run your hydraulic lines.

Then you have to wire in your reverse lights, and jump 2 pins at the range sensor connector for your cruise to work. The connector you are going to get you wiring for is the black connector next to the battery. The reverse lights are going to use pins 7 and 9. Then just solder pins 8 and 3 together for your cruise to work. Install your battery, and clean up any odds and ends you have left.

At this point you should have the pedals,MIU, and trans installed. Your clutch should be bleed, and shifter linkage adjusted.

Now its time to get access to a Tech2. I went into radio, and divorced it, then went to DICE, you'll need to change your vin to a manual cars vin. Then go into twice reset the immobilizer. Go to your sid, spare parts program it to a manual trans. Then go to T7 and clear its code, and marry your radio to the new vin.

I will say this I have the ability to flash my own T7, and flashed a manual cars vin into my box. I don't know if this needed or not. I also attempted to just change my vin by one digit to make it a manual, that caused a check engine light. I used a vin from a know 5spd car, this worked perfect. The only issue is when the tech2 checks the bus system it will say the TCM is missing, I have no idea how or why it thinks it should have a tcm. But it doesn't cause a check engine light or change the performance of T7. I have 200 miles on my swap, I have only done one hard pull. In another 300 miles when the clutch is fully broken in, Im going to give it hell. My T7 is set for 1200 mAir.

PS my cruise works fine also. I also have a few crappy cell pic.s
I'll try to answer any questions but I work, have a family, and other hobbies.
I only wrote this to help some one else, I don't want to get into a pissing match on the internet. Be cool and I'll attempt to answer your questions.
Adam


*UPDATE: You can delete the tcm from the bus in dice. Once in the dice screen go to read config. The screen will list all ecm's on the bus, even ones that are missing. Then hit clear config, all missing ecm's are then deleted from the bus system. This will also work for people with aftermarket radios.

Last edited by Drifting-FB; 02-10-2012 at 06:45 AM. Reason: Update
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:14 AM   #2
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congratulations.
if you were in nys you would run into an issue when it comes time to have the car inspected. at inspection time the vehicle gets plugged in via the obdII port, and if the ecm vin doesn't match the vin on the vehicle registration you would have trouble passing your inspection. maybe this isn't a problem in your state?
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:58 AM   #3
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We have a emissions inspection that connects to the obdII port, but it doesn't check the vin, just readiness.
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:08 AM   #4
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what error codes were you getting before changing the vin in the tom to that of a manual? if this was done on a T5 car would you have to do the same thing?
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:27 AM   #5
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no brent. in t5 it'd be simple enough just to swap the ecm to one from a manual trans car.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:42 AM   #6
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alright still battling that green machine of zach loy's and getting the monitors to set...
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:21 AM   #7
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shit. still? that's ridiculous.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:54 PM   #8
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Excellent write up. Moderators should sticky this!

I assume that your first VIN tweak was to alter the 7th character from an 8 to a 5 to indicate a manual. If so, I believe the reason it didn't work is that there is a check digit in position 9. I don't know how it's calculated, but you'd have to have it right based on the preceeding info in positions 1 to 8 for it to be valid as a VIN.
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:41 AM   #9
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Bob, I did just change the 7th digit from a 8 to a 5, which caused the check engine. So I then tried a whole vin from a manual car which worked. But this morning I changed my vin back to my original but changed the 7th digit back to the 5 which is for a manual. So far after 20 miles no check engine. So there must be a specific flow of which ecm's need to be programmed with a full manual vin, before you can go back and write your fake vin in.

Also I printed wiring schematic to add to my original post tonight. I've been pretty busy so far, which is bonus for a saab tech.
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by byastremski View Post
what error codes were you getting before changing the vin in the tom to that of a manual? if this was done on a T5 car would you have to do the same thing?
It was a no comm. with tcm code. I cant remember the P1 number.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drifting-FB View Post
Bob, I did just change the 7th digit from a 8 to a 5, which caused the check engine. So I then tried a whole vin from a manual car which worked. But this morning I changed my vin back to my original but changed the 7th digit back to the 5 which is for a manual. So far after 20 miles no check engine. So there must be a specific flow of which ecm's need to be programmed with a full manual vin, before you can go back and write your fake vin in.
Interesting.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:38 PM   #12
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trans swap

I did evrything as you decribed and the engine ecu is still coming up with a check engine light saying no comunication with trans. computer and the cruise dosent work if you have any ideas i would appreciate it thanks john
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:07 PM   #13
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Do you have a tech2? if so you need to reconfigure the bus system in dice, after you change the vin. If you still having trouble shot me a pm, and I'll give you my phone number.
I currently have 5k miles with no issues.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:58 AM   #14
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Just got to the swapping of the transmission and everything's going well so far, haven't got any access to tech 2 though so will I have any issues other than the fault lights (I can live with the lights on)
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:02 AM   #15
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I'm converting a right hand drive convertible (in uk) so I've had a few minor differences to work out but the info in this thread is the reason I decided to go for it. Thanks and fingers crossed I'll be out with the roof down tomorrow evening
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