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Need help making sure I do all that is needed to convert my 1979, 280ZX, Non-Turbo, Automatic Transmission, to a 5 speed manual trans. Which transmissions can I use, what engine changes need to be made, drive shaft changes, etc...
 

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I can't actually help with the instructions, but -

Do you have a parts car you are taking the manual tranny from?

I believe this makes all the difference, because if you just get the parts you think you'll need from a wrecker or whatever, then you'll probably end up needing something you missed.

If you do a search on the Archives, you should find instructions. It's a commonly asked question. Just not many people do it. I know I didn't. :) Just got another car.
 

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I'm in the midst of this conversion now on an '83 NA 2+2....I'd say it's successful except it appears my timing chain jumped and so I've to put in a new one before I can actually go for the test drive. Just my luck ;)

My conversion was made a bit easier as I was able to aquire a complete '83 ZX Coupe to swap the parts from.

Based on the '79-'83 being the same models here's what you _should_ need to do the conversion:

Clutch/Brake Pedals
Tranny
Clutch Master/Slave cylinder, plumbing
Clutch Plate, Throwout Bearing etc.
Pilot Bearing
Manual (not automatic) ECC (Computer)

It may also be necessary to replace the cruise control diaphram (I'm still waiting to check this as the vacum connections are different)

Replacing the tranny itself is straight forward. Only things to remember when putting it all back together is to match the speedo gear (this is easy to remove..just pull remove the bolt and pull it out the speedo cable hole). They are based on your rear diff and color coded. Search the web and you'll find the color codes. I kept the 3.9 rear and so just swapped the gears between trannys.

You'll end up putting in the new pilot bushing and then just basically stabing it up in there.

You'll need to install the master cyl., and need to route the plumbing from the master cyl to the slave on the tranny.

Now some bad news is you can't just remove a pin to pull the clutch/brake pedals and swap them. You have to remove the entire metal cage which holds the pedals...this is a real pain as you have to remove the dash to get decent access....I hate removing the dash. You should see all the necessary wiring taped up on the original harness that you need to connect the pedals and if you can pull the tranny you'll figure this out :)

You'll also have to match up the tranny wiring. On my conversion I shorted the neutral cabling and connected the reverse lights. You'll end up with extra wiring...don't worry about it.

The drive shaft lenght will be dependent on the tranny length and if you're coupe or 2+2. Off hand the length difference between the coupe/2+2 is roughly 1ft. In my conversion I was about an inch short....no biggy as I can't imagine there's enough hp to screw it up. You will want to check your drive shaft flange on the diff end as if I remember you're coupe will have the R180 rear diff....the 2+2's come with R200, at least mine did (BIG GRIN) and depending on what you have and what rear diff you will use, you'll have to take this into account. (I still have the coupe drive shaft and if you want it we can work something out).

I'm not sure what year models trannys will match with you're year Z but a little trolling the web and your local salvage yard for what's available will pretty much narrow everything down.

Hope this helps, good luck!

Js
 
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