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Discussion Starter #1
Well, on Saturday I'll finally be starting the auto to manual conversion in my 89 LeBaron.

Donor car will be my 88 Daytona with an A-520. I'll be pulling the transmission out of the Daytona this weekend, taking it in to be rebuilt, then putting it in the LeBaron (hopefully next weekend.)

Just a couple of questions I hope someone can answer:

I don't have two garage spaces. After I pull the transmission out of the Daytona (keeping the engine supported, of course), can I re-attach the ball joints on either side, throw the wheels back on and push the car? Or is the hub held in by the axles, and the wheels will fall off with the axles removed? If the hubs are held in by the axle nuts, how can I safely push the car without axles?

Second question: Do I need to worry about any compatibility issues between transmissions? I don't know right off hand what transmission is in the LeBaron. It could be original, could be a replacement at some point. Are there certain transmissions with different input shaft sizes or splines or other issues? How about axle sizes or splines?

Thanks!
 

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The tie rods and ball joints and struts will still hold it together.

Spline count and diameter did change over the years, so the hub and the transaxle might not match. I think 87-88 was a transition.
 

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If you find that the hubs don't have the same spline count, you could always switch the knuckles from the Daytona to the LeBaron, assuming the wheel bearings are good. They should fit the existing mounts. Bearings before '91 weren't a sealed hub-bearing unit, so they were pressed into the knuckles.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies!

Do the splines change on the transmission input shaft at all, or do I just need to worry about the axle splines?

If I only have to worry about the axle splines, worst case scenario I can pull the axles and entire knuckle assemblies from the Daytona, correct? All of these parts are good.
 

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That I don't know. If I had to guess, I'd say that both ends changed.
 

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Stretching my memory here, but I think you will be OK on the axles. IIRC Automatic and manual axles were the same unless you are dealing with an L body car. In 1986 and earlier, smaller axle ends were used so you shouldn't have any worries with the years you are working with.

According to all the manuals I have read, you should never roll the vehicle without an axle inserted through the hub and the nut tightened. The suggested way to move a vehicle without a transmission is insert an outer CV joint through the hub and tighten the axle nut. (Like we all have extra outer CV joints laying around :) ). Supposedly, with no pre-load on the hub bearings, they can be destroyed by rolling them with the weight of the vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just did a little digging into the TD forums, they seem in agreement, axle splines changed in 87 for all cars but L bodies. Looks like input shaft shouldn't be a problem either.

Thanks guys! I'll try to post a bit on my project as I complete it!
 

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I've completed this swap on a few p-bodies over the years. I can assure you the manual and automatic axles will interchange.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Got the transmission out of the donor last weekend, and it is in a transmission shop awaiting rebuild.

I have another question now though: I will by buying an Exedy clutch for a TII setup (as I plan to add an intercooler to the LeBaron as well). Since the flywheel wasn't used as a friction surface on the LeBaron, so it obviously won't be worn, can I keep the old flywheel, or do I need to replace it? As far as I can tell from the parts manual, flywheels are the same for manual and automatic.
 

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Flywheels are the same between manual and automatic in the 84, 92 and 93 parts books.
 

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The auto cars are going to use a flex plate and the manual cars use a flywheel. My friend had a 89 Caravan Turbo auto and it used to crack flex plates.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
1991spirites said:
The auto cars are going to use a flex plate and the manual cars use a flywheel. My friend had a 89 Caravan Turbo auto and it used to crack flex plates.
True, the autos will have a flex plate, but both have flywheels. My question is whether both will have the same flywheel, so that I don't have to get a new one (or resurface the one in the donor car.)

Edit: Nevermind, I have to eat my own words here. I see that the ring gear is mounted to the flexplate in an automatic, and there is no traditional flywheel:

http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=65785&cc=1089312

Looks like I will have to be getting a flywheel after all.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Edit again:

Now I'm confused... The parts page that deals with the torque converter specifically shows the flywheel in there, under the flex plate. But it also specifically says that the flex plate has a ring gear attached. Does anyone know whether the flywheel is actually in there?

See this image:
http://s21.postimg.org/iubcg54rr/flywheel.png
 

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Looks to me like the flywheel is always present in both, and for the automatic, the flex plate bolts to the rear of the flywheel, and is deleted for the manual.
 

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Discussion Starter #15

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The flex plate is bolted to the crank and the torque converter is bolted to the flex plate. I didn't have a flywheel when I tore apart my old 88 Daytona C/S turbo auto, just a flex plate. I looked in the 1988 FSM and it only shows the torque specs for flex plate to crank and torque converter to flex plate.
 

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I've never heard of vehicles that have both until reading the posts in that link. I think those are very special applications. The diagram is to illustrate the parts that could possibly be used for either setup. All cars that I worked on had a flex plate with a starter ring gear in automatic setups, and flywheels with the starter teeth machined in the steel flywheel for manual setups.


With automatic flex plate setups, there is a spring steel thin plate that the bolts pass through to help spread the concentration of bolt pressure over the inner surface of the flex plate (sometimes they still crack around the bolt circle or outside of the steel flange). That is item 24 in the diagram. This piece is not required for a thicker flywheel used on manual trannies.

To answer your question, yes, you will need a flywheel and it would be fine to get it off your donor vehicle (get the crank bolts too!). You should get the flywheel machined and I'd recommend a new pressure plate. There is nothing worse than having a pressure plate with uneven spring force. The clutch will chatter and it's a lot of labor to replace it.

Be happy that you are making this swap on a Chrysler engine that does not use a crankshaft pilot bearing.
 

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For the A523, machining the flywheel is not recommended, as it has a taper to it, and shops might machine it flat. Don't know if that applies to earlier transmissions.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The donor was a 2.5 TBI, the tranny is going into a car with a 2.5 Turbo I (soon to have an intercooler and Turbo II computer as well.) I got a clutch for a Turbo II car, so had to get a new flywheel as well, as the flywheel for Turbo cars was a different size, to match the larger Turbo clutch. The old flywheel wouldn't have fit, from what I've been learning.

My clutch is coming in a kit with new pressure plate and throwout bearing.

Thanks for the help and confirmation on what I was (slowly) learning!
 

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You are wise to get a new flywheel. Because transmission R & R's are never fun it is always best to have all new parts, and those should last the life of the vehicle unless you are racing or in certain competition events.

When you get your flexplate off, inspect the back of the crankshaft for any rear main seal leakage. If it looks good, I wouldn't worry, but if you see oil seepage, your rear main seal should be replaced. These can be a little tricky to do and not have them leak. I always put a crankshaft repair sleeve on the crank (learned the hard way, more than once, plus they are cheap in the big picture of things). That spring steel disc that I referred to (item 24) is a good installation tool for a sleeve. Never throw it away.

You'll enjoy better gas mileage with the manual, especially at highway speeds.

Thanks for posting the progress updates.
 
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