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Thread: New Beginnings... Magna-Buff Build

  1. #51

    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Manual Shifter Install

    From the engine bay you can see the first cutout for where the gear lever cables will come through. On the cabin side you have a nice template again which has clear outlines of where to cut.

    The outer bolt holes were simple with the use of our handy dandy tree-bit. Cut these from the engine bay side, and the rectangular hole was sorted using a dremel with a metal cutting disc from the cabin side. It was not safe nor comfortable using the dremel but it was the only option considering I had the heater box stuff in the way with no way of removing it

    The best way around this I found was to lay down on the drivers side “under the pedals” and dremeled away with my two outstretched hands for better precision!

    Once that was done we could move onto the shifter itself. To mount it I used the bolts from the auto shifter “M8 30mm with 1.25 thread pitch” and 2x M8 Nylock nuts.

    I cut the carpet first for ease of access and it will never be seen so no biggie. Then you need to get rid of the auto selector cable “circled in red” to be able to mount the shifter flat against the floor. We cut the protruding peice off using the dremel. Note, we used only one Metal Cutting Disc to do all of the dremel work for this conversion, it was from the “EZ Lock Cutting Kit” found at Bunnings.

    The front 2 holes are the same for both the auto and the manual so only the rears need attention.

    I just want to point out I wanted to use Rivnuts to install the shifter but my kit only goes as high as an M6 bolt hole, this size bolt would have too much play in the hole provided on the shifter.

    Instead we decided to drill the holes and feed the bolts and washers through the floor and secure them with Nylock nuts and washers from underneath!

    Seems simple, it isn’t. There is an exhaust and a buttload of heat shielding in the way.

    The first heat shield has 3 small bolts with 10mm heads holding it in place, good luck getting a socket wench in the gaps.. I used a ratchet spanner “cause their awesome” and took my time. Once unbolted this can be rolled around the side of the exhaust and out of the way. Note that this may not need to be taken out, but it did allow for easier access!

    Next is the heat shield above the cat which is where we need to be to access the bolts. I didn’t remove the shield bolts, only loosened them enough to work a flat hand up in there. Then with the bolt sticking through I tried to thread on a nut from underneath..

    So this seems impossible.. and it is!

    After a good half an hour of failing you start to think of better ways of doing things. I decided that this is a two man job so I got my stepdad to jump in the car.
    I held “with my fingertips” the nylock nut over the hole from underneath, he then thread a bolt through and tightened it up!

    F*** washers there was no damn room in there for that! But I feel that once I’m on steady ground later down the track I will unbolt the shielding for real and have another go at it “properly”. For now I got 3 bolts holding the shifter down and that’s good enough for me.

    This bracket was left out “for now” but it should be installed to hold the cables in the cabin. It is said on other threads that it goes halfway between the shifter and the firewall.

    Rebolt in the shields and your good to go! The shifter is in place and ready to be attached to the tranny once it’s in!

    Considering the amount of room I had to work with as can be seen below, I think anyone else working on a concrete driveway/garage floor will 100% have an easier time than I did!

    Hackjob complete

  2. #52

    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Manual Gearbox Install

    Here it comes... The auto box has always been known to suck power from these engines and when you have plans for performance upgrades swapping to a manual is a great idea, hence here we are.

    After this conversion is all said and done we should see gains in simplicity, reliability and unwieldy power!

    The engine mounts have two holes available, Auto & Manual. The manual position denoted by the “M” gives the gearbox a couple of centimetres extra clearance from the steering rack housing. As I currently cannot safely lift my cars engine I left it in the Auto “A” holes for now. This makes it near impossible to mate the box up to the engine (ask me how I know).

    Forum members say if you’re doing this conversion get a new clutch to go in, I followed their advice and found a clutch with a new release bearing but no alignment tool for $60 off Gumtree.

    People always have a passionate story about their Magna, the clutch kit guy was no exception. He talked about his which he no longer has and by the time I was leaving he said he might get another 1st gen one day. Smiles all around!

    I have since purchased an Exedy Clutch Alignment Tool from eBay but at the time I just fashioned one up using my hole punch + duct tape.

    So once the engine is in its new set of mount holes it is time for the Flywheel/Drive Plate to be installed. I reused the bolts that came off the torque converter. These are to be torqued down to 137 nm.

    Using your alignment tool put the clutch with the bulging side facing the transmission onto the Flywheel and then get the Pressure Plate and fit it over everything. The pressure plate gets torqued down to 21 nm.

    Due to time restrictions and other personal factors we were rushing at this stage and used an impact gun on these bolts which quickly led to bolts getting sheared off...
    This is our own stupid fault and I only hope you learn from it as much as I did.

    Quote Originally Posted by ilj5000 View Post
    I had to get a pointy screwdriver and a hammer, smack it in one spot on the sheared off bolt to make a hole and then counter clockwise hit that sucker out of there which thankfully worked! Also I broke the plastic handle off the screwdriver but meh at least it now looks more like a nail and is smaller so i can get into those tight places

    I went through my tin of old bolts until i found one that matched the broken bolt, threw it in and torqued to spec
    So that was from 2016.. “I’m not making the same mistakes again, no, no, I’m making all new ones”

    After following my own advise using the same broken tool I did find another bolt that matched and installed it again..

    I’d like to say that I’m above making the same mistake (arguably 3 times) but the pressure was on to get this car drivable by 5pm so we still didn’t torque it, we used the impact again...
    YES it happened AGAIN, YES I felt STUPID! In my defence I wasn’t the one using the impact that allegedly had 3 speeds, that was Hayden (both times) that’s right buddy you’ve been thrown under the bus! MOVING ON.

    If you have a transmission jack, lucky you. We used a standard jack and very slowly raised the box close enough for us to man handle it into place. Once it’s “almost there” there will be a gap of <1cm between the box and engine. Any more than this and you have not got it right, pull it back and then try again..

    We got it on first try which we thought was lucky, we aren’t lucky.

    I didn’t know that the sheet metal shielding was slightly different from auto to manual. With the auto sheet in place some boltholes used to mount the gearbox and starter motor were covered up. We had no choice but to take the box back off to remove the shielding as I was NOT going to drill the shield no matter how tempting it seemed.

    - Box off
    - Balance box on flimsy jack
    - Lower jack
    - Drop box off jack narrowly missing hands
    - Shielding off with just a couple of 10mm bolts
    - Box back on jack
    - Lift box back up and onto the engine..
    Hell Nope! Life is not so simple. This conversion if I haven’t said it already is not for the faint-hearted.

    If you are supposed to have a metal shield like below for the manual please let me know cause I ain’t got one. I have the small shield that connects to the bottom, but not this large one for the top.

    Now, guess how long it took to get the gearbox back on, guess..
    . .Three hours. . .
    Yep! 3 hours is how long it took us to get the manual gearbox back onto the engine. We tried, and tried. It wouldn’t get close enough to be able to get the bolts threaded. The best we could do is 1 out of 4 bolts, we tightening the one bolt up praying the box gap would close up but we heard a crack and gave up on that.

    My final analysis is that a combination of;
    -the engine mounts front and back being shot, drooping the engine down, and
    -not putting the engine mounts onto the designated “M” holes
    Caused the gearbox to hit the steering rack covering which prevented us from getting it on straight.

    My solution was to jack up the engine using a block of wood under the oil pan and hope this gives us the clearance we needed.

    With no jack to lift the box into place as it was holding up the engine and Hayden and I spent of energy after man handling the box for 3 hours prior to this point, I relied on what can only be described as pure adrenaline and determination to do what comes next.

    We got ready again, bolts ready, socket wrench with extensions ready, I placed the gearbox next to me, laid underneath where it needed to go, pulled it onto my chest and bench-pressed that b**ch straight up and forced it in place. I then maneuvered my legs so my knees were pushing against it while Hayden rushed to fit the bolts. I remember him saying “it’s gonna work! It’s gonna fit this time!” and I was just focusing on holding it steady.

    He had started up all four bolts and then tightened each of them up a little at a time to ensure the box got pulled to the engine evenly with no stress on any of the bolt holes.

    And with that, it was done, it was in.

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