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FWD 5 Speed to AWD Automatic????


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12 replies to this topic

#1 BenWynn

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 11:47 PM

I've got an '89 DL FWD with a 5-speed and an '89 GL AWD Automatic. The GL I think I've decided is now a parts car. I'm curious how hard it would be to change the DL over to Automatic AWD? or at least Automatc?

Any info would be helpful.

#2 MilesFox

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 04:13 AM

physically it would be all bolt-on. you would have to make a mount for the driveshaft carrier.

aside from phyically bolting together, the "AWD" 4eat transmsion has a TCU (transmission control unit) that would have to be swapped over. unless you isolate its harness from the rest of the car, it would probably be easier to swap the wiring harness as a whole. but for that amount of work what its worth you may as well swap in some ej22 stuff

if you want to swap in automatics your best bet is to find a 3 spd auto (3at) and swap it in along with its driveshaft and rear diff, and front axles.

#3 [HTi]Johnson

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 08:54 PM

if you want to swap in automatics your best bet is to find a 3 spd auto (3at) and swap it in along with its driveshaft and rear diff, and front axles.


Agree with Miles, but the 3at is a boat anchor. Don't bother with it...however, you'll probably get some for free or cheap with everyone swapping FROM 3at to 4 or 5 speeds.

#4 Durania

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 01:59 AM

1. Welcome to USMB.
2. Greetings from 70 miles to your west.

#5 Bucky92

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 04:34 AM

What everyone else said...and Miles touched base alittle..but if you go with the AWD( which should actually be 4WD) you would have to change out the rear trailing arms and hubs. The FWD rear hubs are smaller then the 4WD..so you need the trailing arms from the 4WD to allow for the larger diameter axles to pass throw the hubs
I second the notion of the 3AT being a boat anchor but the 4EAT is way better..better acceleartion and its a more dependable tranny...But me personally would keep it a 5 spd..better gas mileage..unless there are personal reasons for going with an AT

#6 86BRATMAN

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 12:43 PM

Welcome to the board. I'm about 2.5-3 hours east/northeast from you. And i'd be happy to donate a 3at 4wd to get it out of my way, lol.

#7 Sonicfrog

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 04:11 PM

What everyone else said about the 3AT. I had one in my 87 T-Wag, and, man, did it suck. At only 18 - 19 mpg, my mileage was WORSE on the freeway than it was in the city. When I junked that tranny and swapped in a 5 speed, I increased to 26'ish mpg on the freeway. And the performance improvement was tremendous. I still have the old tranny and can't give it away.

The reason the 3AT sucks is because it was designed and geared for the 1970 - 80's US market; a world where the max speed limit, by law, was 55 mph. It did OK then. But once that federal mandate on highway speed was rescinded, and everyone started driving 70 to 75 mph on the freeways, that tranny became a huge weakness for this vehicle. Because of the gear ratio's used in that tranny, once you start going past 55 mph, fuel efficiency and usable power drop like... well, a boat anchor. I was pulling 4000 + RMP's at 70 mph, which is about the same you would see if you drove your 5 speed in third gear at that same speed. The EA82's are best somewhere around 2500 and 3500 RPM's.

PS. I'm about to take a drive on the freeway and will see if my third gear estimate is close to acurate.

#8 Subaru_dude

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 04:39 PM

I think it's more like driving in 4th. I have an EA81 5spd in my EA82 and at 60mph I'm at 3,000rpm. At 70mph it's something like 3,750. I'm still getting 36mpg mixed driving though so I'm alright with that. I know of a place you can find 4EATs if that's the route you decide to go.

#9 Sonicfrog

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 07:12 PM

I just got back. Yep on the post above.

#10 BenWynn

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 08:51 PM

1. Welcome to USMB.
2. Greetings from 70 miles to your west.


1. Thank you.
2. I actually live in Oakdale, but usually work on my car in Knoxville.

#11 BenWynn

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 08:56 PM

What everyone else said...and Miles touched base alittle..but if you go with the AWD( which should actually be 4WD) you would have to change out the rear trailing arms and hubs. The FWD rear hubs are smaller then the 4WD..so you need the trailing arms from the 4WD to allow for the larger diameter axles to pass throw the hubs
I second the notion of the 3AT being a boat anchor but the 4EAT is way better..better acceleartion and its a more dependable tranny...But me personally would keep it a 5 spd..better gas mileage..unless there are personal reasons for going with an AT


I think I'll stick with the 5 spd. I'm just having a problem with it slipping at the top of the gear. I think I'm going to leave it 2WD because of the work involved in swapping over. I just wanted to see just how simple it might be to swap the stuff over.

#12 BenWynn

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 08:57 PM

Welcome to the board. I'm about 2.5-3 hours east/northeast from you. And i'd be happy to donate a 3at 4wd to get it out of my way, lol.


My wife would probably kill me if I got another "parts" car. She's still mad about me even buying the DL to begin with! She calls him "stinky". And my parts car is "stinky #2". :)

#13 86BRATMAN

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 12:37 AM

My wife would probably kill me if I got another "parts" car. She's still mad about me even buying the DL to begin with! She calls him "stinky". And my parts car is "stinky #2". :)


Lol, i'm fresh out of parts cars but have plenty of parts from them already pulled. If you were gonna do the swap the trans would have been yours and dropped off when I get back down to crossville to pick up a hatch:grin:




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