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73 automatic to stick


Active member
Nov 24, 2001
Mattituck,NY USA
1967 blue coupe, 1973drk. blue coupe
I have a 73 vette w/automatic trans that I'm thinking of changing over to a manual tranny. I found a guy thats parting out a 73 and he has all the parts I need to do the swap. Still have to come to terms on a price but my question is, asuming I can get all the parts, is this possible or are there hidden problems with attempting this change. I seem to remember reading in a thread somewhere that the frames might have been diffrent between a standard and automatic. seems ridiculous but I'd like to know if anybody has any experience with this type of swap? Thanks in advance, Jim
Should be a fairly easy swap. The frames are different, the automatic has a removable cross member while the manual has a welded in cross member. So should be easier with the removable cross member.

To me I would think that the hardest part would be installing the clutch/brake pedal assembly. Will have to remove the dash and streeing colume to make the swap.

More Gears

In the same issue of part 16 of BBFH the topic of different manuals transmissions in Sharks came up. BBFH went to a Richmond 6 speed, which can also be an upgrade for the Doug Nash 4+3. In an article by Vinnie Kung titled " 6-Speeds to Go" the following was related.
  • A Richmond 5 speed may be an easier swap in a Shark, because it uses the same bellhousing bolt pattern as a 4 speed and the original shifter can be retained. However, the driveshaft yoke needs to be a larger unit and a small flange welded to the crossmember to accomodate the 5 speed's rear mount.
  • The F-bodied T56 uses a pull-style clutch, which requires the same bellhousing. Major clutch re-engineering would also have to take place to adapt the Z-bar linkage or a conversion to a hydraulic system. "The T56 doesn't have an actual mounting pad for the Corvette-style torque arm, so to accomodate this, a bracket would have to be fabricated to make the torque arm bolt up to a C4. It si imperative that a strong bracket be made because of the high torque load that is present at the back of the gearbox. It also must connect firmly and have at least three mounting points at the tailhousing." --Vinnie Kung-- Along with driveshaft length changes, modifications to the shifter location or the console, the labor and trouble involved make it cost prohibitive, when compared to other alternatives.
When I think about it, the Richmond 5 speed seems easier and cleaner. I admit that a 6 speed is cool, but the payoff would only come about, if you keep your Vette for a long time. Of course, I don't plan on getting rid of my '71 any time soon. --Bullitt
When you say he has everything, I assume that means the pedals, brackets, bell housing, flywheel, transmission, center console plate, shifter, trans mount bracket that goes from the trans mount to the frame (you will have to get tabs welded to your automatic xmember to bolt that plate on) etc. etc. In other words...........everything.

You will also have to have the clutch pedal braket plate cut off the other frame that is just in front of the firewall and behind the left front tire and have it welded in the exact same place on your frame.

If he has all that, a good price would be.......$500 to $1,800 just depending on how bad you want to do this will depend on how much you would be willing to pay.

Pulling the pedal assembly out of the car is not that bad of a job unless you have rust up there and bolts shear off in the body frame structure. That would kind of spoil your weekend.
Keith, Thanks for the links. very interesting stuff. Still not sure I want to tackle this job wright now. If I can get the parts at a decent price I'll pick them up as a hedge. Thanks to all for the input

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