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Auto to Stick

Mooser

Active member
Joined
Jan 3, 2007
Messages
31
Location
Ontario
Corvette
1972 BB Coupe
Just wondering
What would it take to convert an automatic (TH400) into a stick car (M21)
I'm toying around with the idea of converting my 72BB over next year. Ideally there would be a doner car, but since I don't have one....
Trans (I have a M21)
belllhousing (???)
shifter and linkages (ebay?)
console plate (prndl to 4 spd) (ecklers)
pedals and linkages (???)
what other parts are there? is there anything on the floor like on the chevelles and Nova's which have a bumped out floor insert that gets welded in.
Anything different on the wiring (neutral safety or something)?
Drive shaft?
Seems like this has probably been done zillions of times, whats' the best route?
Thanks
Mooser
 

Evolution1980

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Messages
4,302
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Corvette
ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
From what I gather from most people that have done the conversions... If they are going to bother doing one at all, they just go right into a newer 5-speed transmission rather than sticking with the old 4-speed Muncie. There's plenty of shops that offer the 5-speeds. Richmond, Keisler, TKO, etc.

I'd suggest the newer route too. If you are going to do the conversion, might as well do it with newer, better performing parts! :upthumbs
 

bossvette

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
May 19, 2003
Messages
3,233
Location
West Unity Ohio
Corvette
1968 1997
the Tremec TKO is the way to go 5 speed with OD there are at least 3 company's that sell conversion kits for Corvettes. Kiesler, Classic and Fortes. The Richmond 5 speed is not an OD trans but has a lower 1st then the Muncie allowing you to run a 3:08 rear. Richmond and Tremec also have 6 speed OD trans. Tremec is the OE supplier for the newer 6 speed in the Vettes and Vipers and hold up well.
 
B

bmotojoe

Guest
This project was done on 1977 but it may give you some answers to some of your questions.
The link below is a great site that gives very detailed instructions during the conversion from a TH-350 to the TKO 500 from Keisler Engineering. It starts off with the automatic transmission already pulled.
If you go with the TKO setup I would also order the eccentric bell housing centering studs. You may not be able to dial in the true center of the bell housing to input shaft alignment without them.

http://corvettec3.ca/tko.htm
Brian
 

6880 Mike

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
2,723
Location
The Bluegrass State
Corvette
1968 convertible; 1980 L-82
...what other parts are there?...

Clutch bracketry on the frame and the ball stud mount in the block.

My advice would be to purchase the assembly instruction manual for your year and compare the two installaitons. AIM will show the installation of the 4 speed AND the automatic. Take what you have and put together a parts list of what you're going to need.

:)
 

Mooser

Active member
Joined
Jan 3, 2007
Messages
31
Location
Ontario
Corvette
1972 BB Coupe
Actually I've got the AIM, but in it's own way it's quite confusing (little parts and stuff tucked away in different sections)
I'm still in the kicking it around part of the idea and I'd like to keep it more or less original, that's why I was avoiding the 5-speed route. But most importantly was to be able to put everything back to original later, no cutting and minimal welding that could always be ground back off.
More homework
Thanks
Mooser
 

minifridge1138

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
Messages
908
Location
USA
Corvette
1982 Black Fastback
Well converting to a stick is going to require some cutting. You have to get a clutch pedal inside the firewall somehow. Just switching the transmissions will probably require little more than an ordinary transmission swap.

If you are worrying about going back to stock, then this is probably not a good project. Going from auto to manual to auto will leave scars. A judge will notice.

You could just buy another C3 with a stick shift. I guess that would be the expensive solution... but the most fun...
 

norvalwilhelm

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 20, 2004
Messages
396
Location
Waterloo, ontario
Corvette
75 blown bigblock
I have done this swap a number of times and talked alot of member through it. For the clutch go hydraulic with a 85 one ton truck master cylinder and matching slave cylinder.
This 85 one ton master is almost a drop in deal with only a linkage change.
I too recommend going the 5speed route but I have done and talked alot of guys on corvette forum through this using the mustang T5 tranny. It is cheap, easy to find and suprisingly rugged plus giving you a .68 overdrive.
IF you don't power shift it will NOT break.
 

LVMYVT76

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 21, 2006
Messages
664
Location
springfield, mo
Corvette
1976 medium blue
I think they put a hydraulic clutch in the Corvette Fever "shark attack" car, shown in the november 2005 issue on page 76.
 

norvalwilhelm

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 20, 2004
Messages
396
Location
Waterloo, ontario
Corvette
75 blown bigblock
I don't know about that but I do know that the master cylinder from a 85 one ton truck is machined on the proper angle for our cars along with having the exact hole placement for mounting. In my 75 all holes were already drilled and all I had to do was shorten the linkage. On the 78 the holes are drilled in the metal behind the firewall but not through the fiberglass. Just go from inside and drill the holes all the way through.
This requires a remote resovior and you can use your imagination or get a complete setup from Coleman racing, a nice plastic resovior along with the mounting bracket.
This is a far simpler way to go then the manual linkage and all that it entails.
Any camaro should offer a donor bellhousing along with a slave cylinder already attached to the side
 

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