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Project "M6 Swap"

Discussion in 'Bitchin' Projects' started by Tony, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    As you guys should know, I have purchased a 94 Z with a T56 trans and all associated hardware. Hell, the whole car was there and I got a steal on it. I have been wanting to do an M6 swap in my Z ever since I had my 95. The 95 is long gone, and I have my 96, and a parts car so it's time.

    I have pulled the trans out of the 94 and it's sitting in my garage. It was the easiest pull EVAR. Took out the 4 X-member bolts, pulled it forward to release the driveshaft and TA, and slid it out from under the car. Getting it to the garage was another chore in it's self lmao. These damn things are heavy! I'm used to the Muncie 4 speeds that you can lay on your back and bench press. I have a feeling I'm not going to be able to do that with this one, but I may give it a shot hehe. I need the workout.

    Anyway, I have the trans in the garage and have went through all of the gears. I don't know if I need power to the reverse lockout for it to release, but have the whole wiring harness from the 94 just incase. I really don't want to start cutting up my harness. I would rather change it out and use the 96 in the S-10 where the engine and A4 are going. More work? Yes, but I think it will be worth it.

    I was quite surprised at just how little oil is actually on the trans. Most times, it's covered because of that dreaded intake leak. I am going to be replacing the clutch and pressure plate with one from O'Reilly Auto, just a stock replacement for now. If my flywheel will fit on their lathe (if the center hole is big enough), they will turn the flywheel. Otherwise, I will have to take it to the machine shop for them to do it. Either way, the flywheel is going to run me about $40 or so to get surfaced.

    The biggest issues I see in this swap is going to be the holes in the firewall and under the console. I'm thinking I will have to patch the hole where the stock shifter cable goes through if I can't find a grommet.

    Speaking of the shifter, I hate this thing. They have replaced the stocker with some POS that sticks up like a damn RatRod shifter. You know, the ones that reach the roof? Okay I may be exaggerating a little bit, but it's friggin tall as hell. I have three options here. Either cut the stocker down and rethread it, purchase another handle that sits at an angle (no bends, just bolts on at an angle), or get a whole new shifter for the car. I'm not sure what exactly I will do, but I'm thinking about just cutting the stocker.

    All in all, I think this project will be a lot of fun, and I will have to have some whisky out there at times when I'm about ready to put my floor jack through the windshield haha. I'm thinking about removing the drivers seat just so I have better access not only to the pedals, but also the console to cut the holes and get everything lined up correctly. I have no friggin clue how I'm going to bold that clutch master to the firewall though, it's supposed to take two people to do it... I guess I will have to come up with something since I'm having to do this myself.

    And speaking of doing it myself, by far the hardest thing is going to be pulling the auto out. When I did this last year for the rebuild when I lost the 3/4 clutches, I was ready to sell the car. It sucked. But, this is what I want and it has to be done. Damn I need more friends lmao. You know, the ones that work for free hehe.

    But I'm hoping I can have this car done this week sometime. I may take some video of the swap since the only thing I have seen on the net is articles, and yes, I will have one of those as well I think. I just need to get my garage clean enough to actually get a car in there. I have two 350's and two transmissions in there along with the table I'm using for the other forum in the middle of the floor. Oh well, this is going to be fun.

    Stay tuned for more updates.
     
  2. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Pulled the steering column out of the 94 as well as the pedals and clutch master assy. Went into town and purchased a new clutch, TO bearing, PP, and bushing, and had the flywheel resurfaced. They said that I should run a shim on the flywheel, but no one has one, so I'm going to chance it. I have looked all over the donor car, and no where can I find the friggin cap for the clutch master res. And the only way to get one is to purchase a whole new kit. That is another $65 min for something I don't need. I"m so close to being able to put my car in the air that I can taste it, and yet I'm being held back by a friggin cap! Well, that and I really don't want to do this alone lmao. But looks like I'm going to have to...
     
  3. tbirdsps

    tbirdsps New Member

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    If I were you I'd visit JYs with that master in hand and check everything. Imports, Fords even. I'll bet that GM used a common supplier.
     
  4. Paulster2

    Paulster2 My VTEC Won't VTEC...

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    Tony, I'll be sending you a present ... you might like it, so don't purchase a new master or anything stupid like that. I won't be able to get it out until Friday, though. (I know, you've heard that one before :biggrin:) Let me know if you need it sooner than that. I might also have some other parts you are looking for. Would you by chance have an old style, single post alternator? I've got a new LT1 one I'd send you for it.
     
  5. Paulster2

    Paulster2 My VTEC Won't VTEC...

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    Also, I thought I'd post up some of the "gotchas" you and I were texting about so others would not be left out in the cold should they attempt this swap:

    • Ensure the "lobe" on the throwout bearing is away from the fork when you install the clutch or you will have issues. It does not tend to
      self-align like it is supposed to.
    • Make sure the little plastic (nylon) half ball is on the end of the slave cylinder. If you lose it, you'll buy a new slave and it falls off fairly easy.
    • Leave the tranny dry until you get it in the car and the driveline up and attached. Fill from shifter hole before you put the shifter in. this makes it a little easier and possibly a lot less messier than if you put it in before hand.
    • If like Tony and you bought a complete donor car, pop the yolk off of the driveline and use it as a plug in the rear of the transmission. It makes it easier to hold onto the tranny while installing and keeps residual tranny juice from pouring out.
    • For an LT1 clutch, the torque spec for the clutch bolts is 22 FOOT POUNDS. Do not over torque as this can cause issues with clutch disengagement. I usually get out my in-lb torque wrench to do this as my ft-lb one does not go that low (it's 25 ft-lb minimum).
    • Fluid is Dexron-III or IIE (by factory standards). Some say not to install synthetic, but I (nor anyone I've talked to) has ever had an issue with it. I ran Mobil1 Synthetic ATF. 4 quarts does the trick. Some specs (especially at the auto store) says "8 pints" ... don't do like me and mistake "pints" for "quarts".
    • Make sure to put some type of bracing behind where the master cylinder goes on the firewall, inside of the cabin. This prevents the master cylinder from ripping the firewall apart (stress fractures). I used a 1.5" wide strip of 1/4" steel to brace it. Cut it to fit, then weld it to the firewall if you can do it without catching your car on fire. I had clutch disengagement issues until I figured out mine was doing this, then it completely disappeared after I did the fix.
    • You do not need to run the reverse lockout solenoid if you don't want to. It just takes a two handed approach to get it over there. This is far better than taking the solenoid out all together, as you can miss 5th very easily and grind reverse. This will wear out the reverse synchro very fast.

    If I remember any of the other "gotchas" I'll post them up here. Hope this helps.
     
  6. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Paul, let me know when you will send that stuff. And yes I have heard it before. I'm still waiting on this intake that I could have sworn was in the mail 3 different times hahahahaha . Kidding. But yeah, if you have some good stuff, I will take it. This will go in the car one day, it's just not looking good right now.

    As for the bracing, I will just cut the firewall out of the donor car and use that as the brace. I could care less about that car lmao.

    Too bad my garage is packed full and I can't open my doors all the way to get under the dash to drill the holes...
     
  7. Paulster2

    Paulster2 My VTEC Won't VTEC...

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    Using the firewall out of the other car is a really good idea. It will show you where all the holes need to be in your firewall. I'd just get it welded in there if I were you (somehow). Bolting it in there will still allow it to slide somewhat. Yes it will be stronger, but not as strong as it could be.
     
  8. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    I will have to weld it when I get my welder. That could be a while, or when I sell some parts. I just hope these '94 pedals are compatible with the '96 dash mounts...

    Oh, and I found someone to help out. It's going to be an all nighter. We will get the holes cut and trans installed at the least. The rest is just tedious wiring for the clutch, and other sensors and such. Either way, we are starting tonight. Here's hoping I can have it done by tomorrow... If I didnt' have a new clutch, I would see a burnout in my future lmao.
     
  9. Paulster2

    Paulster2 My VTEC Won't VTEC...

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    Be careful with the pilot bushing ... it can be a REAL biotch. I've damaged them using a wood dowel to put them in. Lots of fun.
     
  10. Paulster2

    Paulster2 My VTEC Won't VTEC...

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    And if you have any questions, please let me know. I won't be able to answer them until the morning, but you know the deal. Leave the wiring until the last. You can run the car without it being done. This is one of the best write-ups I've read on doing the swap. Read it before you go balls to the wall (if you can).
     
  11. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, the transmission is in but not without a fight. The auto like usual fought us all the way coming out like it did when I was doing it by myself last year. But, it came out. Once it was out, we put the M6 in the car. Yeah, I only wish it was that easy. First of all, I didn't have the car high enough to put the trans on the jack and roll it in. So, we slid it in, then tried to figure out how to get it on the jack. This alone took way too long, but by the time we got to this point, we were tired. But, we finally got it on the jack and started raising it up. We decided to put the trans in 6th gear since when you spin the drive shaft, it's like a gear reduction to the input shaft and used this to line up the splines. It worked quite well.

    Once we had the input shaft in about half way, we started going forward, but it wasn't going anywhere. after fighting with it (I was on the passenger side), I slid under the trans, and the clutch arm was hanging on one of the slave studs. ugh. Took care of that and we are back at it. I don't have a clue why it was so hard to go in, but I have never had a trans fight me this hard. Either way, 6 bolts are in the bell, and 8 bolts are in the trans with the x-member and my poly mount in place.

    I forgot to mention that before my brother in law showed up, I had already started pulling things out of the car. The console was in the pass seat and I had just removed the steering column when he arrived. The only reason I removed it is because I had the one that is made for a 6 speed. Also before he arrived, I took my big grinder out to the parts car and cut both the steering column firewall mount and the clutch master mount out of the firewall for a template. This actually worked surprisingly well. I just lined up the steering columns 3 holes, marked the firewall with a pencil that I can't remember the name of but is made to mark on metal to be cut, and started measuring holes.

    I used my step bit for the bolt holes, and a holesaw for the large center hole. It worked like a charm. Now, I have a perfect hole in my firewall that looks like it's always been there. Now, I'm thinking until I can get my welder, just cutting a piece of .063" aluminum and using that to brace the master. I don't have any steel thick enough unless I used the small piece that's still in the parts car as a brace, but I'm afraid it's not thick enough.

    Once those holes were done in the firewall, we turned to the center console. I had to cut a lot of metal here from the mount for the auto shifter. Not a big issue though. Cut the hole, then we stabbed the trans. Once the trans was in there, we noticed the shifter hole was really close to the right side of the hole. I tried to install the shifter, and got nothing lol. So, out came the grinder again (yes, we put a rag in the hole) and I cut another 1/2" off the right side. Now, the shifter fits.

    All that's left is to drill the holes for the lower boot, drain and fill the trans, install the driveshaft, install the clutch master, install the dust shield, remove auto trans cooling lines, install console, fix broken oil pressure line (happened when we were under there trying to get the auto out), install shifter, hook up all wiring, install slave, install steering column, and I should be golden. It's about 4 hours worth of work, but it can't be as bad as it was R&R'ing the transmissions.

    So, I'm hoping later today I will take it for it's "little drive" and see how it goes. I'm hoping it goes well because I don't think my back and my arms can R&R another trans...
     
  12. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    The trans is in, and the car just got back from it's first test drive as an M6. It's a whole different ball game with that trans and a lot has to do with the new clutch. To recap, we played hell getting the auto out and the manual in. Once that was done, everything else was pretty simple, just took a while. Last night, we worked until 0500 as stated, and that was the max my body could handle. I was cramping up, my hand locked into a fist trying to lift the trans, it was painful. But, I woke up this morning, and despite the pain, I went back out there to finish the job.

    The first thing I wanted to do is try to find a cap for the res and get it bleed. Unfortunately, the cap I found, although perfect, was no match for the brittle plastic of the res. It cracked right in the middle just above the bracket. Sun of a *****!!! Okay, plan B. The wife is at work, all other rides are at work, (technically I'm at work haha), I had no other option but to look for another container that would hold liquid. After an hour of looking, I remembered my detail gun that I use to spray door jambs. The cup is all plastic, with threads at the bottom, and only a small vent hole at the top. So, I opened up my paint gun case, and took it out. Sure enough, it fit and I stuck everything in the car.

    The cup is at an angle, but the clutch doesn't know that. As long as I don't push the clutch in while making a left turn, I will be fine. Once the kids go to school tomorrow, and I figure out the speedo issue, I will head to the parts store and see if I can find a temp one to put in that is sealed and not vented (with a rubber bladder). Then, once my other parts get here, I will be either just installing the res (most likely, the clutch feels great. Little low, but not bad. Could be due to the .020"+ we had to take off that flywheel when we surfaced it), or I will be replacing the whole thing. I really don't want to do that lmao.

    When I started the car, it was pissed off because it had to learn the engine all over again after disconnecting the battery. It did this before as well when I was doing some other work swapping out computers. That issue will go away soon enough. But, the clutch is disengaging just fine, and even though I have to best the ever loving s**t out of the shifter to get it in reverse, it does go. I think I'm going to have to pin out the computer and run wires to that reverse lockout. I don't like how hard it is. I also need to run the wires for the reverse lights, but that is pretty easy.

    My biggest issue right now is no speedo. I don't know what happened, but it's not working. Could just be a bad sensor, and they are cheap if I have to replace it. But until I get my other computer put in there with the proper gear ratio, it's going to be off. I'm not even sure I have brake lights yet haha.

    When I start to take off, you can hear the clutch rubbing the flywheel and PP pretty good. Just a scuffing sound. I'm going to attribute this to the rough surface for break in on those surfaces. I'm sure once it breaks in, that noise will go away. The other thing is, the clutch grabs like a mad man when you are taking off. I"m really hoping that smooths out as well. I have driven a lot of standards, but driving this thing, I look like a n00b behind the wheel lmao.

    All in all though, I"m pretty happy with it. I love the sound of a car shifting through the gears, and dowshifting is even better. I know I can get more MPG out of this thing now, but I'm not quite sure that is going to happen...
     
  13. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Alright, I just went out and installed the stock 94 M6 computer in my car. Man is this thing stock lmao. I'm throwing codes that I didn't even know existed. Okay, maybe not that bad, but you get the idea.

    I just installed CATS on my lappy, and once its charged, I will go out there, download the current file, then start making some changes. First is the gears. it's programed for 3.42's and I have 3.73's. However, if the speedo is not working, none of this matters. I will just use my GPS for my speedo until I can get to the parts store.

    This is the first time I have seen the SES light come on, and the fans kick on high in my car. the only other time was when I had an opti failure I think.

    Oh, and I just remembered this, I have to install a resistor in this computer for it to accept my knock sensor... You know what, I will just download this tune, upload it to my old computer and call it done. Faster than opening it up, and soldering that resistor in.

    Does anyone have a performance file for a stock motor with headers and CAI? If so, I would be willing to give it a shot.
     
  14. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Just found out the VSS for the T56 is $55 :shocked:
     
  15. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Just went out and pulled the tune from the stock 94 computer. Now I have a stock OBDI tune. It was only throwing one code until I uploaded the tune to my other computer with the resistor, then it started throwing two. Makes no sense. One was an EGR code, yeah... what EGR lmao. And the other was a MLFI or something code. I think they were 24 and 84, not sure though. Either way, I deleted the codes and removed them from coming back. I also adjusted for the gears and tires, but fat lot of good that did, I think either I have a wire pinched somewhere, or the VSS is bad. And at $55, I'm going to make damn sure it's bad before I get another one.

    Anyone have a good one to sell? lmao.
     
  16. Paulster2

    Paulster2 My VTEC Won't VTEC...

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    I wish I had one for you. The clutch hydraulics are in a box ... just need time to get to the Post Office (I guess I could check with UPS as well). I think I have your addy on PayPal ... If not, I'll let you know. You'd think I had it memorized by now, ROFL!

    If you were wondering, I always though getting the M6 in there was a PITB as well. All the times I took it in and out of my car it took an inordinate amount of effort to make it happen. I always had to do what they tell you not to do, which is use the bell housing bolts to draw it in. I wouldn't completely use them to draw it in, but definitely use them to get the process rolling. Whenever I did the deed, I knew I'd done some work, though. Rode hard and put away wet comes to mind. Even worse in the middle of summer when it's 95*/95% humidity. You take your nitrile gloves off and you drain about a 1/2 cup of sweat out of them :chuckles: Sounds like you did some awesome work. I hope you enjoy your M6 ... I truely loved mine :biggrin: Just remember to bed the clutch.

    I have a curiosity ... you said the clutch seems to be dragging a little (not disengaging all the way)? Since the clutch is a pull type, having your flywheel resurfaced should have only improved the situation. One of a couple things could be going on.

    • Make sure your master is fully seated against the firewall.
    • Bleed the clutch -- Only way to do this with it in the car is by pumping the pee out of the clutch pedal.
    After breakin, it should loosen up a little bit. Dragging sound from the clutch should drop as well. Good job on getting it done (for the most part). Sounds like you made good time on it. You still have a couple of days to work out the bugs :respekt:
     
  17. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Sweet deal about the hydraulics. I went to the dealer today and the only way they sell it is with the WHOLE kit... go figure, and they want $275 for it. NOT!!!

    What do you mean by "bed the clutch"? I'm guessing you mean break it in. And yes, I'm taking it easy on this guy for a while until it seats in.

    With all of the work that is involved, I think 18 hours to pull an auto and retrofit a manual is pretty good time. And no, I didn't take my Whiskey bottle out there lmao.

    What I meant by dragging, is the sound. Take a piece of sandpaper and run it on a clutch disk, this is the sound it's making. AFter some in town driving (stop and go), it's mostly went away, but noticed another issue. More below. As for the clutch, it grabs, doesn't slip, and the clutch pedal is really low when it grabs. I'm not sure if it's the same on these cars as it is big trucks, but a low clutch is a sign of a well adjusted clutch. It's when it gets to the top that's an issue.

    So today I had to run into Norman and get a shifter knob (running with just threads sucks with a capitol SUCKS!), get gas for my mower (it's that time of year again) and try to find a res. Well, the res was a bust, a skull now sits on my shifter, but I'm going to have to cut it down. When I go into reverse, my shifter hits my radio. Cant' have this lol. So I'm going to cut the shifter down to the bottom of the first bend and stick it there. This is not a screw on shifter, it's held on with 3 grub screws. So, the free short shifter mod is about to happen.

    Taking off is still a process. Something is wrong in the tune, and it likes to hesitate for just a second, then picks up again. I will to run datamaster on it and find out what it's doing, then use CATS to tune it to my liking.

    Another issue is the idle is going very low, like under 500 at a light sometimes. I'm also getting a SES light but it goes off when I'm driving, and doesn't happen when I downshift every gear. I still have to run the codes, but I will post everything up when I find out what the issue is.

    The final issue has nothing to do with the trans, but with the driveline. Something is grabbing and not letting the car roll free. I was on a hill that I always rolled back at, and this time, the car held it's self. As you know, I'm changing the rear end, so I'm going to wait until that happens before checking into anything.

    Other than those issues, the car felt great. I did get on it a little bit from a light up to 55 (shifting at about 4k) and it feels good. Not used to so much body movement though. But all in all, I think it's going to work.

    As posted before, 2000 rpm with the auto in 4th was right at 50mph. Now, in 6th, 2000 rpm is right about 75. I think I'm going to like the savings.
     
  18. Paulster2

    Paulster2 My VTEC Won't VTEC...

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    You better, lol :chuckles:
     
  19. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    :thinking:

    Another issue, now my security light is on... UGH!
     
  20. rfriedline1

    rfriedline1 New Member

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    so i posted up in the wrong section but its all good. Thanks for having me out to help tony always a pleasure. And It was a nice but painful learning process. Anytime Bro anytime. Just let me know.

    Good to here that it is up and running. Im sure you will get all the little stuff figured out.
     

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