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Old 09-08-2017, 08:25 AM   #1
balexander87
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Default LY7 Manual Transmission Compatibility

So, just playing with some different ideas here...

Owned our VUE XR AWD for 5-6 years now, and it has been flawless for us (knock on wood). The only thing about it that worries me is it was one of the early ones that has a potential issue with the 3-5-R waveplate in the 6T70 transmission. I'm coming up on 90k miles, so I'm not sure if it's the sort of thing that, if it was going to fail, it would have done so by now, but I like to try to have some contingencies planned in case something does go horribly wrong...

And that brings me to my question:
Has anyone ever heard of a 6-speed manual swap behind the LY7 engine?

I've been looking briefly, but haven't been able to confirm whether or not the F40 transmission will bolt up or not. The F40 transmissions appear to be pretty abundant and therefore pretty affordable. It would be really cool to build an XR with a 6-spd manual. Could possibly DIY it and save money over rebuilding/replacing the 6T70 if the waveplate ever does go kaput.

Perhaps I should look and see what mods have been done for the RedLine since the drivetrain is the same. If anyone has any suggestions on where to look, please let me know! If it's doable, I may look to pickup a transmission and the required parts for a conversion just to have on hand!

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Old 09-08-2017, 11:56 AM   #2
lord_varon
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2008 VUE 3.6L
Default Re: LY7 Manual Transmission Compatibility

Balexander,
On your current automatic 6 speed. GM put an extended warrenty on them to 10 years or 120K miles. Run your vin, or take it to a GM dealer and have them run it for you. If the car was sold initially after the date that you take it in, and has the wave plate issue, GM will rebuild or replace the trans. My 08 Equinox Sport that I just got is acting up a little, its' original sale date was 20Nov2007, and it has 105K on it. So I am already scheduled to take it in and get it checked out. If it is bad.... the dealership has stated that they will replace/rebuild it for me.

John

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aka
Lord_Varon
07 Vue V6 AWD LOADED!!! aka SUPER CRITTER!!! Sadly gone, and definitely missed.
08 Equinox Sport 3.6 6 spd auto, AWD, even more loaded. And the jury is still out on it.

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Old 09-08-2017, 08:01 PM   #3
balexander87
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Default Re: LY7 Manual Transmission Compatibility

Quote:
Originally Posted by lord_varon View Post
Balexander,
On your current automatic 6 speed. GM put an extended warrenty on them to 10 years or 120K miles. Run your vin, or take it to a GM dealer and have them run it for you. If the car was sold initially after the date that you take it in, and has the wave plate issue, GM will rebuild or replace the trans. My 08 Equinox Sport that I just got is acting up a little, its' original sale date was 20Nov2007, and it has 105K on it. So I am already scheduled to take it in and get it checked out. If it is bad.... the dealership has stated that they will replace/rebuild it for me.

John
Thanks so much for the tip. I had added the VIN to my GM Owners account a while back. I checked there and it looks like I'm covered through the end of next June. Good to know for sure.

At the moment there are literally no perceptible issues with the trans. I assume it needs to be acting up before GM will rebuild/replace it under warranty, eh? Or will they do it as a preventative measure?

My interest in the manual trans swap is more as a contingency in the event the trans blows up out of warranty. Of course I could easily do a trans rebuild/swap then as well for less money than a manual conversion, but the manual swap would just make the vehicle very unique and cool (in my mind), assuming it can be executed cleanly. If it was gonna be a hack job, I'd happily abandon the thought. The engineer in me is just curious how feasible it would be.

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Old 09-08-2017, 08:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: LY7 Manual Transmission Compatibility

FYI, further research has shown that, while the F40 manual trans is fairly abundant, it is not commonly used in conjunction with GM's "High Feature" family of V6s. These motors have a different bell housing bolt pattern than the pushrod V6s and Ecotec 4cyl motors the F40 is typically used with. So these transmissions cannot be bolted directly. Adapter plates and such could work, but often require relocating the starter and other such shinanegans that I'm not interested in dealing with.

The one exception I've found is the F40 used in Saab vehicles with the 2.8L turbocharged V6. This motor is in the GM "High Feature" family and shares the bell housing bolt pattern with the 3.6L LY7 motor in the XRs and Redlines. These Saab models were also available in AWD, although I'm unsure if the PTO off the trans is compatible with the Vue's AWD system. This is still TBD.

So, it does seem that there is a manual trans that could be bolted to the 3.6L. AWD compatibility and other system related stuff (is the ECU going to be confused when it doesn't see a TCM anymore, etc) still needs to be figured out, but the answer to the first question seems to be optimistic!

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Old 09-08-2017, 08:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: LY7 Manual Transmission Compatibility

Oh, and it looks like the bellhousings can removed/swapped between the F40 variants. Sooo... if the gearing in the Saab version isn't ideal, I could swap the bellhousing onto a version with better gearing and use it.

Every version I've found so far has more aggressive gearing than the current automatic. So highway fuel economy will suffer, but it should feel a little quicker and not suffer to bad on fuel economy around town, which is 99% of what it sees.ow

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Old 09-13-2017, 06:40 AM   #6
gm7
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2009 VUE Red Line
Default Re: LY7 Manual Transmission Compatibility

Have you ever converted an auto car to a manual? Most that have done it...will never do it again. Cost and PITA is much greater than benefit derived.
If you are even considering it, better to research changing your 3-5-R wave plate yourself 'proactively' the day after your warranty expires if you plan on keeping the car. I have an '09 Vue Redline and honestly love the car. Mine however is very low miles but each of us face the same dilemma...not if but when and big bucks if out of warranty to have somebody else do it. If you wait until it fails, the trans should be changed because of the carnage left inside the trans...the filter isn't removal...sandwiched between trans casing halves. I have changed engines and transmissions before. Problem with the Vue...no problem for dealerships or high end transmission shops...is...it takes a professional car frame lift to get the car up to drop the cradle out the bottom with engine and trans out of the car. Honestly, it is not a hard job for an average home mechanic with a $40K lift and cradle table you build out of wood. I believe the wave plate can be changed without dropping the cradle but this is a huge PITA with the engine and trans in the car...but the clutch packs can be pulled from the front of the car if you take the front apart enough.

So, if you have wrenching skills my strong advice is don't consider converting it to a 6 speed. Not even close worth it with all the ancillary issues...fitting new 3 pedal box...tearing up dash and center console...engine ECM programming...many things you haven't even considered. Been there. Huge job. That said, anything can be done including putting an American V8 in a Porsche 911, but a full time job. Anything can be done. All a matter if worth it or not.

If you possess the wrenching skills, pull the clutches out and replace them yourself after the car goes out of warranty would be my advice. If you have a friend with a shop and pro car/frame hydraulic lift, you are in great shape. Harder otherwise. If you wait for it to fail, the trans has be changed because of shrapnel left in the trans and valve body due to the plate letting go.

Last edited by gm7; 09-13-2017 at 06:54 AM..

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