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Old 01-19-2020, 08:23 PM   #1
Gerheardt
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1995 SL2
Default Automatic to manual in a 95 DOHC

Hi! I just went back from a year of not being here. I plan to make a manual conversion this spring and wanted some informations. I bet it's been asked many times, but i seen this as a way to make the spam topics go back from one line

So here it is! I have a 1995 SL2 with the Auto 4 speed. I wanted to know all that:

-Are all transmissions for S-Series bolt on on any S-Series engine? For example a 2002 SOHC manual on a 1993 DOHC that was automatic.

-Is my actual ECU fine to work with a manual with some tweaks (Letting it believe we're constantly in D4 for example)

-Could i use any other ECU for manual with my 95 DOHC? I know i could not if the donor is not DOHC, but could a 92 DOHC ECU or 2002 DOHC could work?


The parts are freaking rare in here, so i have to establish what could be used or not, thanks a lot!
...
1995 Automatic Saturn SL2 309 000kms *NOW MANUAL*
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:09 PM   #2
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2001 SC2
Default Re: Automatic to manual in a 95 DOHC

If you want the CEL off you'll have to find a '95 DOHC with 5spd, otherwise you don't need to do anything.

Only the '91 and maybe '92 transmissions are annoying, '93-'02 they're interchangeable. If the recipient car was a '96-'02 then you'd have to worry about keeping CC working and getting the right transmission but '91-'95's don't care.

I believe clutch & brake pedals can be from any year, hydraulics can be from any year ('91-'99ish are best, '00-'02 are so 4 year olds can work the clutch). If you don't have a ratcheting 10mm wrench, get one. Or better still, a powered ratchet; there's virtually no room to spin the nut on the clutch so takes forever with a normal fixed 10mm wrench.
Clutch, PP & Flywheel need to be from the same "gen", though not the same "gen" as the car's use. '91-'98ish or '99ish-'02.

'95's are a 1-off year, quite a few things including the PCM are '95 only. I suspect a '93-'94 PCM would also work but I wouldn't spend much money on one from that year range. '96+ will not work.

This is the full extent of the wiring modifications needed (wire color may change by year but the position stays the same)
...
The proper way to fix a S-Series automatic is to replace it with a 5spd O:)
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: Automatic to manual in a 95 DOHC

I think that a 94 PCM will also work in a 95, as long as the 94 PCM came from a car with Cali emissions.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: Automatic to manual in a 95 DOHC

Thank you so much for your help! I once asked the same questions on the FB page but only received bribes of informations. In here it's fast, detailed and i even had a picture, it's really great!

I have to say that as much as i can be bilingual to speak about everyday subjects, i always have to double check when it's about mechanics. Could you confirm i understood well?

I have found a fully working 2002 manual SL1 for very cheap. In fact it's the only manual i found... If i understand well, i could use all this from the 2002: transmission, hydraulics, clutch, pressure plate, flywheel shifter and pedals.

I should nonetheless find an ECU for a 95 manual DOHC, unless i'm willing to use my actual computer, trick some things and have a check engine constantly lighted.

As i understand the hydraulics for 00-02 are working, but the pedal feeling is not the same, very spongy or very easy to push.

Am i right? And what is showing the picture? A modification i'll always have to do if i put a manual, or the tricks i have to do to use my actual computer?
...
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Last edited by Gerheardt; 01-20-2020 at 05:33 AM.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:21 AM   #5
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Default Re: Automatic to manual in a 95 DOHC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerheardt View Post
I have found a fully working 2002 manual SL1 for very cheap. In fact it's the only manual i found... If i understand well, i could use all this from the 2002: transmission, hydraulics, clutch, pressure plate, flywheel shifter and pedals.

I should nonetheless find an ECU for a 95 manual DOHC, unless i'm willing to use my actual computer, trick some things and have a check engine constantly lighted.

As i understand the hydraulics for 00-02 are working, but the pedal feeling is not the same, very spongy or very easy to push.

Am i right? And what is showing the picture? A modification i'll always have to do if i put a manual, or the tricks i have to do to use my actual computer?
I don't believe there is a way to trick your current ECU outside of having it reprogrammed. Using your current ECU would work however you would have a CEL as stated due to transmission codes. It's said that you will experience some weirdness as the ECU is expecting certain shift points from the automatic.

The clutch pedal feel on a GEN3 is because of the different clutch design not the hydraulics (master and slave cylinder).

The photo shows the connector on top of the automatic transmission. You need to modify it a bit for the manual transmission if you don't swap over the engine wire harness from the manual donor.

You'd also need to acquire the clutch switches; I believe there is one that shuts off the cruise control when you press the clutch pedal and another that senses when the clutch pedal is fully engaged so you can start the car. One is at the top of the clutch pedal travel and the other is at the bottom. The bottom is optional but your car will be able start in gear.
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Automatic to manual in a 95 DOHC

Ok! So basically, i need the 95 dohc manual ecu + whatever complete manual S Series for the parts. I also need to tweak the wiring as shown.

Ok! I note it all and i will go for that this spring, unless i could find another first gen dohc that is already manual and just use that one.
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: Automatic to manual in a 95 DOHC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerheardt View Post
Ok! So basically, i need the 95 dohc manual ecu + whatever complete manual S Series for the parts. I also need to tweak the wiring as shown.

Ok! I note it all and i will go for that this spring, unless i could find another first gen dohc that is already manual and just use that one.
The upper clutch position switch I mentioned is only a GEN1 thing as from 96+ they utilized programming in the ECU to determine when the clutch engagement was initiated. You'll need to source one of those too.
...
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:25 AM   #8
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Default Re: Automatic to manual in a 95 DOHC

Only need the upper switch to keep cruise control working properly. Even without the switch it should work, it just won't turn off when you hit the clutch pedal (99% of the time you're going to hit the brake first and .9% you're going to hit both...). Looks easy to add if that last .1% bothers you, it taps into the brake switch pins B & C.

The bottom switch, for the clutch start safety switch, is bypassed by the 30a fuse pictured above. Without it you don't need to push the clutch in to start the car, can lead to expensive noise's and terror if someone used to an automatic transmission hops in (I don't think I've ever started a 5spd without pushing the clutch pedal in, even with the year and a half with a 5spd swapped 1993 SL2).
...
The proper way to fix a S-Series automatic is to replace it with a 5spd O:)
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Automatic to manual in a 95 DOHC

Being that the car revs to redline when you push the clutch with cruise on do the ****ing top switch
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Automatic to manual in a 95 DOHC

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
Only need the upper switch to keep cruise control working properly. Even without the switch it should work, it just won't turn off when you hit the clutch pedal (99% of the time you're going to hit the brake first and .9% you're going to hit both...). Looks easy to add if that last .1% bothers you, it taps into the brake switch pins B & C.
If you travel highways in hilly area's it's likely that you will downshift for more power to maintain speed. This is where the upper clutch position switch comes into play for the most part. It's definitely more of an issue if you have the SOHC gearing/motor.
...
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2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

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Old 01-24-2020, 04:25 AM   #11
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Default Re: Automatic to manual in a 95 DOHC

I don't have cruise control and don't want it either, problem solved!
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Old 01-25-2020, 02:08 AM   #12
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Default Re: Automatic to manual in a 95 DOHC

I may have found a 2002 SOHC manual. Would it be easier to put my 95 Dohc engine in it with a 95 Dohc manual ECU, or swap the transmission from the 2002 to the 1995?

Pretty sure it's the 2002 tranny in the 1995 that is easier, but i had to ask!
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Old 02-01-2020, 06:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: Automatic to manual in a 95 DOHC

After trying a 98 SL2 manual last summer and a 2002 manual SL1 last week end, i decided to keep the automatic. Not conviced at all by the manuals in S-Series. Oddly placed pedals, odd feeling while driving them too.

I still keep every info in a folder in my PC, just in case. Thank you all nonetheless!
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1995 Automatic Saturn SL2 309 000kms *NOW MANUAL*
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Old 02-05-2020, 03:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: Automatic to manual in a 95 DOHC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerheardt View Post
After trying a 98 SL2 manual last summer and a 2002 manual SL1 last week end, i decided to keep the automatic. Not conviced at all by the manuals in S-Series. Oddly placed pedals, odd feeling while driving them too.

I still keep every info in a folder in my PC, just in case. Thank you all nonetheless!
I went from automatic to manual on my 98 S series, and I love it! Ya it felt a bit weird for the first couple weeks, but 2 years later I have no regrets.
I think the pedal placement is just right, no problems with shifting gears or controlling the car.
...
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Old 02-05-2020, 04:46 PM   #15
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Default Re: Automatic to manual in a 95 DOHC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeebins View Post
I think that a 94 PCM will also work in a 95, as long as the 94 PCM came from a car with Cali emissions.
Can confirm this, I've tried it and it worked fine with zero check engine codes.
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Old 02-06-2020, 04:49 AM   #16
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Default Re: Automatic to manual in a 95 DOHC

What i found the more annoying, in fact, was the rpm not dropping while releasing the gas and pushing on the clutch pedal. I seen many modern cars doing that, ensuring a monster shake each time one's shifting. Maybe on an old dohc with the computer that goes with it would solve the problem? After all, there is no electronic TB on them, so it's a matter of ECU, pretty sure of that.

The 98 SL2 i tried this summer didn't behave that way. Maybe the pedals were just an illusion because i'm used to my 2003 Grand Vitara right now. I recall the 98 as going damn fine and it reminded me the 99 Tercel i had back then...

I'll wait a little, if the guy drops his price, i may buy it and swap it too. I'm never sure of anything, hehe!
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Old 02-08-2020, 07:50 AM   #17
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Default Re: Automatic to manual in a 95 DOHC

There is a definite difference between the clutch pedal (location or size?) between the 2nd and 3rd gens. Havent gotten around to measuring yet.

With my 3rd gen, I occasionally snag my left toe under the clutch pedal, when lifting my foot back to get ready to push down. I did a search here and found several people complaining that their clutch rod pulled out of the master from repeatedly snagging their foot on the clutch pedal - they were all 3rd gen cars.

No (or almost none) reports of this happening on earlier cars. Never snagged my foot on the clutch pedal in my '98 in over 7 years - have snagged my toe several times in my '02 in just a couple of years.
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Old 02-10-2020, 07:38 PM   #18
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Default Re: Automatic to manual in a 95 DOHC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerheardt View Post
What i found the more annoying, in fact, was the rpm not dropping while releasing the gas and pushing on the clutch pedal. I seen many modern cars doing that, ensuring a monster shake each time one's shifting. Maybe on an old dohc with the computer that goes with it would solve the problem? After all, there is no electronic TB on them, so it's a matter of ECU, pretty sure of that.

The 98 SL2 i tried this summer didn't behave that way. Maybe the pedals were just an illusion because i'm used to my 2003 Grand Vitara right now. I recall the 98 as going damn fine and it reminded me the 99 Tercel i had back then...

I'll wait a little, if the guy drops his price, i may buy it and swap it too. I'm never sure of anything, hehe!
Weird, I can get the throttle to snap shut pretty quick, so much so the throttle plate has worn a grove into the t body. I'll be replacing that pretty soon...

If you do go the manual route, getting a lightened flywheel would probably help those rpm's drop faster when you shift.
...
My 96 SL2 and 98 SL1 have joined together to become one. So I guess I now have a 1996/8
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Old 06-12-2020, 05:57 PM   #19
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Default Re: Automatic to manual in a 95 DOHC

I'm resurrecting this topic because i just bought a 1999 SL1 manual transmission, cv joints, clutch cylinders, pedals, shifter and so on from a junkyard.

I never touched anything that big on a car yet, and i guess i will have to ask questions!

I'm hyped and scared at the same time...
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Old 06-19-2020, 04:28 PM   #20
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Default Re: Automatic to manual in a 95 DOHC

Apart from the ECU (Not called yet) and brand new clutch, pressure plate and bearings (Bought, on their way), does it look like something's missing?



CV joints may be to change, at least one boot is. My doubts are concerning the clutch pedal. I only have the pedal itself, no bracket or anything. Is it bolt on on the automatic pedals mount?
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