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Complete Recipe: EA81 auto->manual


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22 replies to this topic

#1 mikeshoup

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 06:39 PM

What's the complete recipe needed to convert an EA81 from a 3AT to say a 4spd D/R?

I can't seem to find a post anywhere listing everything. Can find 'em for the EA82, but iirc, the EA81 has a little bit more to it.

Thanks!

#2 ShawnW

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 09:36 PM

You need everything related to the shifters and you should make some reference marks on the turbowagon that correspond to the donor car so you know where to drill holes for the shifter mounting holes.
Need: Clutch, pressure plate, flywheel, clutch cable, shift fork, throwout bearing, flywheel bolts. Be sure to use the 83 and up 4 spd dual range with the larger clutch and don't plan on romping on it if you want any life out of your tranny or the clutch.
The starter is interchangable.
Your Auto trans bellhousing will work as is but I think you need a bracket or something off the manual trans bellhousing on the top to make it proper. Look at both cars and youll understand.
You need the pedal assembly with all 3 pedals and the bolts that go into the firewall.
You should skip the hill holder and put a clutch return spring on instead. The $ spent making brackets, buying the hill holder, and buying/making brake lines would be much better spent on the rear disc brake swap. Look at the yards for an 84 DL wagon 2/4wd, these were cheaper models and had no hill holder and have the spring I am talking about.
The speedo cable is required your AT one is too short.
Get a couple of rubber caps off a radiator at the junkyard for the tranny cooler lines to make for a cleaner install.
You will have to enlarge the hole around the shifter in the trans tunnel.
Short length of rubber hose and golf tee (or similar) to plug off vac line that runs down to the Vac Modulator on the side of the tranny.
The front swaybar might not clear the trans so grab the swaybar and all the brackets including the radius rod brackets.

Shifter trim dual range lever and the mount on the tunnel for it, maybe even the radio console if yours isnt the small console that stops before the shifter (I think your turbo wagon should have the smal one mine does).
You have to jumper the wire on the neutral safety switch (on the tranny shifter plug its a 4 prong connector) so the starter will crank.
You will lose cruise control because the switches on the brake and gas pedal dont swap over so give up on it while you are at it.
The driveshaft will work as is.
The front axles work as is.
The downpipe off the turbo will no longer bolt to the side of the trans IIRC.

Dont let this turbowagon turn into one like mine (never ending upgrades project). Started 3AT, then 4spd dual, then RX FT4wd difflock trans...used engine, rebuilt ea81T, now EJ22...BYB 3" lift kit, yanked went 4" full frame lift kit,....still have yet to plate+drive this car more than up the block. Either way at least you are starting out with one that runs.


10-15 years ago there was a guy that could do this swap in 4 hours actual time and got paid about 25 shop time. Take your time and I think you could do it in a weekend if you got some good plywood and a nice day. Remember he had 2 lifts, a full shop, and a donor car RIGHT next to the Turbo car.

#3 mikeshoup

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 10:02 PM

Great info Shawn!

I would need the manual differential as well, right? The auto is 3.7 and the manual 3.9?

I think the 3AT->4spd D/R swap would be it for me for a while. The engine pulls nice, I'm just sick of the 3AT (already!).

This info should go into the USRM.

#4 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 05:18 AM

Go with the 5 speed D/R. You'll thank me later. Jerry's kit is well worth the cost, and the 5 speed will better handle the power, and has a much smoother linkage setup. It will look 100% stock inside, and the 5's are way more common than the 4's these days anyway.

GD

#5 mikeshoup

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 08:32 AM

Doesn't the 5spd not fit very well underneath without a lift kit?

#6 ShawnW

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 09:24 AM

Great info Shawn!

I would need the manual differential as well, right? The auto is 3.7 and the manual 3.9?

I think the 3AT->4spd D/R swap would be it for me for a while. The engine pulls nice, I'm just sick of the 3AT (already!).

This info should go into the USRM.


Yep you need the rear diff. Im really glad I went with the 5spd but you'd have to have a driveshaft built or mount the 2 piece carrier bearing type ea82 diff to do that. Depends on how long you plan to keep the car. If you dont go with the RX trans and just get a regular 3.7 single range 4wd or 3.9 dual range 5 speed I think the trans will fit in the tunnel better. Cost ya about 300 bucks more to do the 5spd if my math is right.

#7 mikeshoup

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 09:31 AM

I thought about a 3.7 single range from a EA82 Turbo. I wonder if its much smaller in comparison to a 5spd D/R and would be easier to fit underneath? Doesn't seem like it would be though.

I'm not gonna do any tranny swapping yet. Gotta get the XT running first. I still have time to think.

#8 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 05:05 PM

Doesn't the 5spd not fit very well underneath without a lift kit?


That's what jerry's cross-member addresses. My Brat is stock height and it fits great - no pounding required at all. As for the 3.7 tranny.... all the EA82 5 speed's are the same size regardless of type.

GD

#9 mikeshoup

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 05:27 PM

Wait, so then with Jerry's kit, could I use a FT4WD Turbo tranny? and not have to pound out the tunnel?

Maybe I wouldn't though because I'd have to get custom axles.

Who is Jerry and how much does he sell his kit for?

#10 ShawnW

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 06:17 PM

PM Bratsrus1

#11 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 08:16 PM

Wait, so then with Jerry's kit, could I use a FT4WD Turbo tranny? and not have to pound out the tunnel?

Maybe I wouldn't though because I'd have to get custom axles.

Who is Jerry and how much does he sell his kit for?


Yep - all EA82 (and ER27) 5 speed trannys are the same size.... Jerry actually has an RX FT4WD tranny in his hatch. Pushbutton, FT4WD, D/R - doesn't matter. You are right on the axles, but there's ways around that. The DOJ cup is the part that needs to be swapped, and you you can purchase joint kits that include the cup and joint that will fit on the 25 spline tranny, and the EA81 axle shaft. I beleive the joint that fits is for an early 90's legacy turbo..... but I can't recall if that fits the 2WD or 4WD EA81 shafts.

His kit is $100 - you send him your EA81 cross-member, the EA81 4WD shift rod, and the 5 speed linkage. He makes you a custom cross-member, and linkage to bolt it up. And I mean BOLT it up. There's no modifications required - he prepares it all for you. Excelent craftsmanship I might add.

GD

#12 mikeshoup

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 08:21 PM

Only thing left after that is the driveshaft.

My two options are: have the one piece driveshaft lengthened, or to some how attach the carrier bearing to the car, right?

May have the driveshaft lengthened. Don't have a welder, and to be honest, it'd probably just be easier to have the driveshaft lengthened.

#13 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 08:26 PM

Only thing left after that is the driveshaft.

My two options are: have the one piece driveshaft lengthened, or to some how attach the carrier bearing to the car, right?

May have the driveshaft lengthened. Don't have a welder, and to be honest, it'd probably just be easier to have the driveshaft lengthened.


I just made a couple brackets out of some scrap I had around and welded them to the floor. Easy. You could bolt them too - you just have to remove the front seats to get to the floor pan where you'll need to drill. The carrier mount isn't load bearing - it just has to hold the weight of the shaft. Personally I like the two peice as it doesn't hang so low. Heck of a lot cheaper too.

GD

#14 baccaruda

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 03:16 AM

I put an EA81T front sway bar in my Brat with no issues, so I don't think you'd need to worry about a difference between an auto car's sway bar and a manual car's sway bar.

#15 mikeshoup

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 11:30 PM

Maybe I missed it, do I need the manual tranny crossmember?

I've got just about everything, minus differential, radius rod plates, and the crossmember (?).

#16 baccaruda

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 11:20 PM

I'm going to be 5-speeding my EA81T coupe later this year; I'd like to photojournal it for the USMB.. will be after my wagon's alive though (getting closer!!) cause I want to also pull the coupe's engine and redo seals and such..

#17 Hondasucks

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 02:41 PM

I dunno if this was covered or not, but in addition to the radius rod brackets you also need the transmission crossmember. I remember Jerry saying something about needing crossmembers to make his custom ones with but I can't remember, been too long :-P

#18 Caboobaroo

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 08:28 PM

Mike, I forget what thread it was in but I have that EA82T part time d/r 5-speed if you want it. let me know and I can see about leaving it with Phil or Jeff this coming weekend...

#19 Scott F

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 09:35 AM

I am trying to do a EA81T 3AT to 5spd D/R swap. I got almost everything I may need from the donor, except the speedo cable and trans crossmember.

So, on Saturday I decided to do the pedal swap first, then continue driving it until I was ready for the trans swap. I started at 1pm, and it turned into an 8 hour marathon nightmare. After much struggling, and removing the steering column, I finally got the pedal assembly out. Comparing it to the EA82 assembly, I began to realize that it was NOT a direct swap. The more I looked at it, the worse it got. The firewall mount looked the same, but the bracket length and two upper bolts were off by at least an inch. There were other differences such as pedal distances from the firewall, which would have affected throttle cable and brake push rod. So then I thought maybe I could reuse the old bracket, and swap the pedals onto it. No, that was not possible either.

At this point I knew I was screwed. I was at an outdoor workshop in an industrial area, all alone, and 11 miles from home. My only way home was to drive, or call a taxi. I really wanted to sleep in my own bed that night. There was nowhere to bunk in the shop.

I was forced to reassemble it back to how it was when I started, and didn't finish until well after dark. The final torture was getting the U-joint back on the rack's input shaft. I was hating my car by then, and I wasn't too happy with anyone who said the pedal assembly swaps, because it DOES NOT.

So now I think I have to find an EA81 4spd pedal assembly. Can anyone offer further technical advice on this subject?

#20 mikeshoup

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 02:24 PM

Any EA81 Manual pedal box will work. Make sure you grab a clutch cable from the same year as the pedal box too. I used an 84 FWD 5spd Pedal box.

#21 Scott F

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 10:08 PM

Yes, that is my current strategy. Anyone need a EA82 pedal set?

#22 86BRATMAN

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 10:11 PM

Are you going to use the 5-speed still?

#23 Scott F

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 09:27 AM

Yes, I still want to install it. This 3AT has got to go! And I like automatics...




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