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EA81 2WD tranny tunnel question

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OK - the 4WD is in my 84 wagon, and it's running and driving. The only thing is that the tranny tunnel itself (car was formerly a 2WD), is smaller, and the tranny (4 spd D/R) is MASHED up against the tunnel - the squarish peice on the top of the tranny where the 4WD shifter mechanism is located is pushed against the tunnel so hard that the 4WD shifter is near impossible to operate. So my question is - what are the implications if I were to drop the tranny and beat the tranny tunnel enough for this to fit? I'm wondering what is different under the dash that I might pound the tunnel into (did that makes sense?)? I just don't want my pounding to disrupt something like the heater core under the dash on the inside of the car... Optionally - I could wait till I get a lift kit, but I don't have the money at the moment, and I really don't like driving it this way. All the engine / tranny vibration come right into the cabin.

 

GD

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I havent heard of anyone screwing something up on the inside, but yea, beat the tunnel in with a BFH. I should have mentioned that on Sun, but I wasnt all there:eh:

Rob

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i suppose you could beat the tunnel out with a hammer, provided you have enough room to swing it around under there. i rtued that myself, but ended up cutting it out.

 

you gould get an angle grinder and cut away a smakk hole just enough to let the top corner of the square part come through , and for the 4wd mechanism.

 

what if you could put a few washers on the cross member bolts to drop it down a little?

 

the only thing on the tranny tunnel is a bracket that holds the ducting for the heater vents, and it could be bent around a little, or re-mounted, but i highly doubt anything will be distorted from a beat-down

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Is it just the pitching stopper and related items just not quite being adjusted? I just can't imagine that they made the car body itself any different for the 4 vs 2 wheel drive. Maybe some bolt on pieces, etc, maybe a small panel that got welded on I guess but it should be removable.

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Hondasucks might know. He converted his automatic 2WD '82 sedan into a mean 4x4 with a dual range 4 speed. You might want to get his attention.

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Ok - so what I'm thinking is that I used the 2WD cross-member to mount the whole thing up. Turbone sugested that the cross-members are different, as are the cross-member mounting plates (the plate that mounts to the body, and the cross-member mounts to it, and so do the tie-rods, and sway bar). So I'm going to swap those out of the parts car, and see what happens.

 

Shawn - the pitching stopper is adjusted back to where it was before I pulled the 2WD tranny from the car, and I don't think it would matter how I adjested it, since there isn't room for the tranny. The tranny mounts (the rubber) are squished down really tight.

 

Ok - so I pulled off the cross-member and the mounting plates, and it doesn't rub anymore with no cross-member there. So I'll try swapping in the cross-member from the parts car - if that's not enough - I think I'll try some washers to give it a little more space.

 

GD

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The cross-members are exactly the same, and so are the plates that mount the sway bar and the tie rods. After stareing at both tunnels many times, I finally took measurements, and the tunnel is indeed much smaller, as I had previously thought. I wish it was as Shawn thought, and just a panel that is removable.... alas that is not the case - the part of the tunnel that is smaller, is the same peice of metal that makes up the floor pan of the car - ie: to remove it you would have to dissasemble the entire car. There is just enough room for the 4WD tranny tho, provided you add some washers over the sway-bar/tie-rod/cross-member plates, and also over the cross-member itself. I added 30 washers in all to the entire assembly, and the tranny is free enough now to not rub, and to allow the 4WD selector to work freely. I think my problem is solved for now, and I should be able to take out the washers when I put in my lift, since that will raise up the tunnel to the point where it won't matter anymore. Thanks for the washer idea Miles - and thanks to Turbone for telling me about the sway-bar/tie-rod/cross-member plates - I might never have noticed that I could put washers over them if my attention hadn't been brought to them.

 

I'm happy that I did the job without beating, or cutting the tunnel. It's still a tight fit, but it's definately acceptable.

 

Total cost: $1.60 in washers (big zinc coated suckers).

 

I'll try to take some pics of where I added washers so others can see what has to be done if they run into this.

 

GD

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Thats really weird about the x-members and tranny tunnels. It just dawned on me tho, was it a AT or MT that was in it originally? The tunnels should have been the same size either way. Just plain weird I tell ya.....

Rob

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Well - seems like a lot of people have done 2WD Automatic to 4WD manual conversions. This one started out in life as a 2WD 5 spd manual. Maybe that is the difference? Autos tend to be pretty hefty - even the 2WD's, so maybe they got the large tunnel too.... And that would partially explain the cross-member. The Auto cross-member definately is different. Maybe all the manual's got the same cross-member?

 

GD

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I just looked in my '85-'89 Brat/Hatchback parts book, and they list different floor/tranny tunnel sections for 2wd manual, 4wd manual, and auto. It actually even lists more depending on year... 7 in all just from '85-'89!!

 

I guess it kinda makes sense when you consider that each tranny requires a different shifter, and thus a different hole in the floor.

 

This totally explains why I had so much trouble trying to fit an AWD 5spd EJ22 tranny into my '81 2wd Hardtop.

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mine was originally 2wd 5spd also. i noticed that all manual tranny crossmembers are the same, even ea82's the same as ea81's.

the washers work good? as long as there is enough thread left to hold the bolts in. so you dropped the front crossmember too. thats like a half inch lift.

good going!

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Yeah - I did have to put washers on the cross-member as well as under the cross-member mounting plate. And it does come to aobut a half inch total. I guess it would be a lift of sorts - I wonder if I could get more clearance by putting some washers on the engine cross-member as well? Might drop the tranny another 1/8" or so... maybe not tho, since the rump roast end of the tranny can't go anywhere do to it's cross-member.

 

I did make sure that all the bolts have enough thread to grab all of the nut, even with the washers. I could always get some longer bolts and a few more washers. I think it still knocks sometimes, but it's much better now that the tranny is free to move a little.

 

GD

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