Changing from Auto to Manual transmission, worth it?

by prettymotors | Last Updated: 11/04/2014

You might have heard of people who change automatic transmission to manual options and wonder if this is actually real or not. After all, if you could easily change out a manual to an automatic or an automatic to a manual, a good number of people probably would. Due to this, it is a good idea for you to look into if this is actually real and how it is done. There are several reasons why someone might want to have a manual transmission over an automatic, especially in an older vehicle. In older cars, a manual transmission is going to have better fuel economy (this is no longer true in brand new vehicles, as the seven and eight speed automatics actually improve gas mileage over manuals), not to mention a manual transmission is just funner to drive when you have a performance sports car. So, determining if this actually is possible is important, especially if you are interested in possibly changing out the automatic transmission on your vehicle to a manual offering.

The short answer to this question is yes, it is possible to convert an automatic transmission to manual. This is a rather expensive process though, so if you are not terribly attached to a vehicle, it might actually be less expensive to just go out and purchase a new vehicle. The amount of time and money it takes to do this can be extremely pricey, not to mention you need to find a mechanic that is able to perform this sort of a conversion. Despite this though, if you still want to pursue with the conversion of an automatic to manual, it is possible and an experienced mechanic is able to do this.

Essentially, in order to perform this sort of adjustment, you need to have a new drift shaft and clutch installed. You need a new drive shaft because it is going to be longer with the new, manual transmission than what you have on the original option. This sort of a transformation is going to work better (at least easier) on an older vehicle, as most new vehicles are designed in a compact manor that it is more difficult to locate space to actually convert the transmission, although it can be done.

During the conversion process, you might need to have the flywheel removed and changed as some vehicles are going to be different between a manual and automatic transmission. Once everything is removed and the transmission is converted, the shifter needs to be installed inside of the vehicle. This alone is going to be a considerable amount of work. The gear shifter needs to be installed in the middle of the vehicle, which means you either need to have the entire thing altered to fit the need of the shifter, or you are going to simply have it run through the flooring (again, it is easier with the older vehicles as there is usually not all of the trinkets and compartments in the middle of the vehicle as is the case with a brand new vehicle). You are not going to change out the transmission itself, but you are going to change out the auto transmission to a manual, so you basically are altering how the vehicle shifts, but the transmission itself stays the same.

This is one of those projects where you really need to consider if it is worth it or not. Sure, you might have more fun with a manual transmission, but for the thousands (and potentially tens of thousands) of dollars you are going to spend, you might be better off just buying a manual transmission vehicle.