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tRUkbOY

Stagea Manual Conversion Guide

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For those that asked to post it here, here it is :

You will need :

4WD Gearbox (R33 GTS4 or GTR Box) – Be aware of push vs pull type clutch though as a pull type clutch setup is usually more expensive than a push type.

Flywheel (9 bolt turbo type) & Bolts

Clutch & Pressure Plate & Bolts

Bellhousing Bolts

Clutch Pedal (R34 Skyline or Stagea Pedal)

Brake Pedal (Stagea or cut the auto one down, R34 Pedal does not fit)

R33 Handbrake Lever & Bracket

Clutch Master Cylinder

Clutch Line

Centre Console (Stagea or cut & modify original with an R34 or similar)

Manual Spigot Bush

Access to a hoist & if possible a gearbox lifter

Plenty of tools (drill, etc etc)

Some friends to help you lift things

2 packs of Cigarettes

2 Dozen Beer (Quantity may vary depending on consumption levels)

Start off by getting the Stagea onto the hoist. Remove battery as its going to be in the way when you unhook the Trans cables which are located under it on the inner guard. Unplug all 4 plugs.

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Remove lower dash plastics & steering columns shrouds. Remove centre console & shifter assembly. Unbolt footbrake assy & while your there the brake pedal aswell, you may need to lower the steering column to do this.

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You will also find that the heater vent pipe is in the way, remove that too.

You should now be able to see the dummy holes for the clutch master cylinder.

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Drill these out but very careful when pushing through as the steel is very thin & ABS brake lines are just on the other side.

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Rebolt in your new or modifed brake pedal & vent pipe. Push your clutch master cylinder through & bolt up your clutch pedal. Don’t forget about the split pins!!!!

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Might aswell remove your footrest while your there, pop the centre cover off with a screwdriver & undo the two 10mm bolts. Remove the ignition lock out cable from the auto shifter. Reassemble your dash.

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Now you need to make a choice. Take gearbox out on its own or take complete engine/gearbox/subframe out. I recommend taking the entire unit out. I just pulled the gearbox & I think this is why it took so long to do. I’ll do the steps for taking the auto out on its own anyway.

Put the car up in the air. Remove the front driveshaft, rear driveshaft loop, rear driveshaft, starter motor, trans cooler lines, unplug the speedo pickup, undo the hydraulic line from the diff. Slide a gearbox lifter under the trans & lower it down a bit. Undo your bellhousing bolts so you can slide it back a little. Pop the rubber cover off the sandwich plate & undo the torque converter bolts. You should now be able to slide the box out, this is the part where you need some mates to help you out.

Now your box is out have a bit of a look & you will see that there is no hole for the shifter (if you hadn’t noticed already that is).

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You will have to cut a hole. Measure the distance on the gearbox for the shifter then mark it out on the trans tunnel from the sandwich plate on the engine. Work out how much of a hole you need. The hole is not centred but should be slightly towards the drivers side of the vehicle. Before you cut make sure all your cables are out of the way inside the cabin. Especially the ones for the airbag module.

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While your checking cables back in the cabin; get a star screwdrive & remove you airbag module (CAREFULLY!!!!!!!), bolts will probably have loctite on them. Gently put it to one side.

Swap your R33 handbrake cable for to the position your old footbrake cable ran through. Refit your module (CAREFULLY!!!!!)

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Now you need to remove the auto trans spigot bush from the back of the crank. Some people have different ways off doing it. I used a die-grinder then bent it in on itself until I could pull it out. Oil up & fit your manual spigot bush. Bolt up your flywheel, clutch & pressure plate. Looks like we’re getting somewhere now.

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Might pay to bolt up your clutch line now while things are out the way & replace your thrust bearing. Hook up your handbrake lever to your cables aswell.

This is where it gets a bit tricky. You will need to tilt the motor back so you can meet up with the box. Do whatever you have to do to do it. Raise the box up into position while bringing it forward (surprise, surprise) & you will find the the trans tunnel is narrower than the box. You will be able to get the input shaft just about past the lower pressure plate fingers. If you are worried about damaging your car this is where you will realise that you should have dropped the whole subframe out.

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Anyway, slide another gearbox lifter under the front of the box. Pump it up under the front of the box essentially forcing the trans tunnel (slightly) into the room you need, you won’t need much & the gearbox will slide into place & it will all of a sudden look like there is masses of room. Get the box bolted up & begin reassembling everything.

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Hook up your clutch line to the box. Bolt up new bellhousing bolts, driveshafts, remove the crossmember from the auto & bolt it up to the manual box, plug in your speedo pickup, diff hydraulic line. Fill the box with fresh fluid and bleed up your clutch master cylinder.

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You will now need to mount your handbrake lever, there is a bracket in the centre of the trans tunnel for the centre console, you will need to remove that. Weld, bolt, screw or pop rivet it onto your trans tunnel. Run the cable for the handbrake light from the footbrake position to the new handbrake. Fit/modify your centre console.

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Go back to the front of car with the four plugs. The two pin grey plug is your inhibitor switch, put a loop between those (cut plug off auto trans loom). The brown plug is for the reverse lights (well two pins of it anyway), hook those up.

You should be about ready for some 4WD Heli’s!!!!!!!

Big thanks to Kelvin, Rob & Jason at The Cartune Company (tools & hoist), Brent, Jason at Te Rapa A/E, Ueli, Sjoerd & Phil, for the muscle power and help, & of course Corona for help with the inevitable dehydration & B&H for the stress relief.

Edited by tRUkbOY
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you made that look way to easy, but that is the best help i've seen so far. i wish my bits were all shiny like yours, i might have to get the degreaser out onto my gearbox before i put it in.

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you made that look way to easy, but that is the best help i've seen so far. i wish my bits were all shiny like yours, i might have to get the degreaser out onto my gearbox before i put it in.

To be honest it was fairly easy, now that I look back on it (and typed it out) but at the time I was running on pure faith that it was all going to come together. The car is my daily driver so I had to start it & finish it that weekend. I wasn't 100% that the R34 Clutch/Brake pedal was going to fit (in the end the brake pedal didn't), I smoked & drank to much, was worried that I should have dropped the whole subframe out as the gearbox was so difficult to get in, when it got a bit dark I couldn't see squat & had to use lights (very frustrating) & then when it came time to fire it up I was paranoid I might have forgotten something................but all was well.

Definitely worth it. Quite surprising how much it breaks traction now though, need to look at getting an LSD I think.

Edited by tRUkbOY
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Very very good write up mate.

Definately the most helpful thread going around, do you have a pic of your centre console though by any chance?

Cheers Simon

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instead of pissing around dropping x-member to get box in, just tip the box around clockwise as u look from behind the box towards front of car and get the starter bulge just on the side and it will go in easy as :rofl:

took my box out night b4 last after work in about an hour and installed it back last night it same amount of time. simple when u have done it 15 times (and i aint exagerating hehe)

thats with no hoist and in a 2 car garage with 1 trolley jack.

damn the boxes r heavy compared to rb25 boxes with the transfer case on :P

wheres pics of your handbrake mounting? :) did u put spacers under the handbrake to mount it up enough to clear the console? and did u have to cut the footbrake mounting studs off under the dash to get the pedal box in? how did u cut the hole out for the master cylinder with the engine in place???

good write up none the less :P

Edited by CruiseLiner
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Where the heck's your cat???

Cat? Who needs a Cat? That just impedes the gas flow :D Nah, there is no law in NZ to have to have Cats yet but its coming

instead of pissing around dropping x-member to get box in, just tip the box around clockwise as u look from behind the box towards front of car and get the starter bulge just on the side and it will go in easy as :D

took my box out night b4 last after work in about an hour and installed it back last night it same amount of time. simple when u have done it 15 times (and i aint exagerating hehe)

Yeah we tried that but just couldn't do it, even tried it upside down. I don't doubt that you could do it that way but I had had to much to drink by that stage anyway

damn the boxes r heavy compared to rb25 boxes with the transfer case on :D

Your not wrong there. Not as heavy as the autos though :D

wheres pics of your handbrake mounting? :(

They are coming. I ran out of time (7.30pm on a Sunday night) to finish it all off so I will be doing the final touches tomorrow. I'll post pics & what have you after that.

and did u have to cut the footbrake mounting studs off under the dash to get the pedal box in?

Ahhhhh................no. Have people had to do that? My pedal just bolted straight in. I had to change my footrest for a manual R33 unit but apart from that it was all good.

how did u cut the hole out for the master cylinder with the engine in place???

Carefully. I used a holesaw on the end of a drill & just went to it under the dash. There was enough room to do it. You need to be very careful when doing it though as the metal is very thin & there are ABS brake lines right on the other side.

good write up none the less :(

Thanks :D

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Please take heaps of pics of your handbrake assy and how you mounted it to the floorpan, please :O

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Cat? Who needs a Cat? That just impedes the gas flow :O Nah, there is no law in NZ to have to have Cats yet but its coming

You are joking, that's insane! What are they thinking???

I was going to point out that there was no Cat but I thought that couldn't be right, I would just look like a knob for point it out... Crazy Kiwi's!

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with the footbrake mounting studs i didnt have to take them out because i got the recessed vacuum booster for the master cylinder and i just thought maybe they got in the way if u mount the pedal box hard onto the firewall :)

so does a manual r33 footrest fit perfectly in place of the stagea auto one does it? ive never bothered to touch it since i ripped the auto one out but that leaves 2 holes in the carpet which look shitty so i might go buy one if u say its a straight fit :)

i tell u what, im glad i put the vacuum booster on because at the moment it aint workin and my clutch is f**kin heavy and annoying (twin plate rated to 800hp), so once its working it should make a helll difference to the pedal feel :)

so did the pedal box bolt str8 in or did u have to modify some mounting points or what?

oh and can u take photos of the rubber boots that block the gearbox hole to stop undercar noise? the ones under the console im talking about as i still havent bothered to cover mine since i did my conversion over 18 months ago hahah :) (must admit ive done under 2000km in those 18 months though)

Edited by CruiseLiner
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so does a manual r33 footrest fit perfectly in place of the stagea auto one does it? ive never bothered to touch it since i ripped the auto one out but that leaves 2 holes in the carpet which look shitty so i might go buy one if u say its a straight fit :D

Straight fit apart from the top bolt as the bracket for it is not there on a auto stagea. But the other two go in perfect. I don't use it but it covers up the two holes in the carpet.

i tell u what, im glad i put the vacuum booster on because at the moment it aint workin and my clutch is f**kin heavy and annoying (twin plate rated to 800hp), so once its working it should make a helll difference to the pedal feel :)

Mines not too bad but then I didn't go to crazy with the clutch anyway. Its been about 3 years since I've driven a manual everyday so I'm just getting used to it

so did the pedal box bolt str8 in or did u have to modify some mounting points or what?

In all honesty it bolted straight in. The footbrake used 4 bolts on the firewall & 2 up behind the dash. The clutch uses just one of the bolt holes up top & then the master cylinder on the firewall.

oh and can u take photos of the rubber boots that block the gearbox hole to stop undercar noise? the ones under the console im talking about as i still havent bothered to cover mine since i did my conversion over 18 months ago hahah :D (must admit ive done under 2000km in those 18 months though)

Will do when I get my camera back. I used an R33 rubber boot & steel ring. Bolted straight up to the old shifter assembly holes. Looks much tidier & cuts out a bit of noise & the heat coming through :D . Still haven't done my console yet :)

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so the big question, hows it drive?

Do I really need to answer that? :O

It drives soooooooo much better!!!! No more of the auto changing up when I don't want it to or changing down when I don't want it too. Now I can use the torque of the motor to drive around corners & I know what the car is going to do. I must say my HKS BOV is starting to annoy me a little bit though, seriously thinking about refitting the original :O just so it'll be a bit quieter when I lift off the gas. Still working on how to get it to backfire on gear changes :O

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call me stupid but you didnt mention an ecu are you using the stock one?

doesnt it get confused when it thinks the car should be changing gears automatically?

I dont know a lot about the electronics side of this swap so am still trying to get my head round it.

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The ECU from an auto Skyline/Stagea is exactly the same unit as a manual type. The job of controlling the Auto is done by an entirely separate ECU. The only thing I have had to do is turn the idle down slightly as otherwise it sits at about 1100rpm. I actually still have my trans computer in place as I just haven't got around to pulling it out yet.

Take for example a guy from round here who had done a manual conversion on his S14. His 'Tuner' told him he needed to buy a manual ECU so he tracked one down (the seller even told him it would make no difference), forked out $280 only to find out it made no difference anyway. He was under the impression the Silvia would go "heaps better" :)

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hey trukboy the auto ecu is actually inside the engine ecu if u look on the stagea service manual. unlike the r33 gts-ts its all one unit.

the ecu in the rear cargo area is the abs/attessa ecu so dont touch that one either.

im surprised it runs using the auto ecu, i bought a manual ecu for my stagea rb25 engine when i chucked it in my old vl commodore to sell because the workshop said they wont run on the auto ecu.

the joys of dealing with workshops who know jackshit

and glen u dont have to hardwire the attessa with a pfc because it plugs into the factory wiring meaning the attessa is still all hooked up to the pfc already :D

i dont know about a r33 engine wiring harness plugginf straight into the factory stagea non-ecu related plugs but. ive had to chop all the gtr plugs for tacho dash and stuff because they dont match the stagea plugs in the car.

Edited by CruiseLiner
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as far as i knew, auto ecus work fine but you need to trick the "park switch" and some other switch into beleive its always in gear.

goldzillas stagea is converted using auto ECU.

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