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Replacing An Automatic Transmission With A Stick

I did this 2 years ago to my 85 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible. I installed an A525. I understand the A555 is a stronger trans though. It's doable but a pretty big job. I think it's definitely worth it. The acceleration is so much better, it's like a whole new car. I got all my parts except the clutch at the pick-n-pull.

You might want to consider getting a Centerforce High performance clutch. I didn't and kinda wish I had. The stock clutch slips A LOT before hooking up when I try to accelerate hard from a stop. Anybody on the list ever try one of these?

What follows is my best recollection of how I did it. I'm probably forgetting something here!

Make sure you have a factory service manual. Study all the relevant diagrams before you start. The Chilton/Haynes books won't cut it for this job!

Find a car that still has everything you need at a pick-n-pull place. I got mine off a Dodge Daytona. Removing everything from the donor car yourself will make it easier when you install it on your car.

Here are the parts you will need:

Because the convertible has a "tunnel" on the floor that the other K-Based cars don't have, the shifter is the one part that doesn't just "bolt in" After you remove the old shifter and cable, you will have to cut away some of the tunnel so the new one will fit into the opening. Then you will have to bolt it to the floorpan using some spacers to raise it up to the correct level. There is very little clearance in this area so it is REALLY hard to mount the shifter, connect the cables to it and get the linkages adjusted. You might want to consider cutting some "access holes" on the top and sides of the tunnel and then making removable sheet metal covers for them when you're done. You'll have to peel back the carpeting to do it though.

Last but not least, you will need to make a plate to fill the gap between the hole in the console where the shifter comes up and the shifter boot.

Wow, now that I've written this it sounds more complex and harder than I remember! Just make sure that you can be without the use of the car for a week or 2 so you can take your time, study the FSM and get all your parts ahead of time.

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