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95 Legacy EJ22 5MT, 98 Legacy EJ22 5MT, 99 Legacy Outback EJ25 4EAT "Agent 99", 01 Forester EJ25 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just curious at the moment - I'm about to get back to debugging the mysterious '99 AT problem we've been discussing, but it'd be nice to know what the options are if I can't nail it down.

Has anyone replaced their auto with a 5-speed? If not, how come? If so, are there any gotchas?
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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it's done all the time, if you mean buying another vehicle.

if you mean converting - it's been done countless times but not often.

why not? it isn't practical or financially advantageous. the main motivators of 90's Subaru owners.

easiest way is to sell your vehicle and then buy what you want.

if you're the 1% that wants to do it for novelty (which motivates us all at one time or another!) or pennywisedollardumb frugality then here's how:

easiest way is a full donor because of the random bits you'll need along the way. trans, pedal cluster, shift linkage, rear driveshaft, clutch bits, cables or hydraulic (calbes are more reliable though) mechanisms.

it'll work/run without but center console and shift covers and instrument cluster clean it up much nicer and the cruise control computers are AT/MT specific, so you need that if you want that to work.

nothing else matters, the ECU doesn't matter, it'll run either one, ground the transmission identifier pin.

the only "gotcha" is wiring in the reverse lights.
 

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95 Legacy EJ22 5MT, 98 Legacy EJ22 5MT, 99 Legacy Outback EJ25 4EAT "Agent 99", 01 Forester EJ25 4EAT
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496 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
it's done all the time, if you mean buying another vehicle.

if you mean converting - it's been done countless times but not often.

why not? it isn't practical or financially advantageous. the main motivators of 90's Subaru owners.

easiest way is to sell your vehicle and then buy what you want.
Point taken.

if you're the 1% that wants to do it for novelty (which motivates us all at one time or another!) or pennywisedollardumb frugality then here's how:

easiest way is a full donor because of the random bits you'll need along the way. trans, pedal cluster, shift linkage, rear driveshaft, clutch bits, cables or hydraulic (calbes are more reliable though) mechanisms.
Well, as far as the financial part goes, our pick'n'pull charges $130 (plus core) - and that's in canuck bucks, so only about a hundred bucks US - for the transmission. Let's say I rack up all the other bits you listed, and it's going to total somewhere around $200. That ain't all bad. Certainly isn't a significant disincentive, and the feeling I get is that it wouldn't be more than a couple of evenings' work.

But the driveshaft is different?

it'll work/run without but center console and shift covers and instrument cluster clean it up much nicer and the cruise control computers are AT/MT specific, so you need that if you want that to work.

nothing else matters, the ECU doesn't matter, it'll run either one, ground the transmission identifier pin.
Aha - I was wondering about that.

the only "gotcha" is wiring in the reverse lights.
I'm sure that ain't no thang. Appears the wiring harnesses are a little more universal than previously believed - I got a new hatchback for the '95 from the car that donated the motor+tranny, and it has a wiper/washer where my old one didn't. My harness, nevertheless, has the connector for the wiper.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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MT is shorter than an AT so the driveshaft is longer to make up the difference - otherwise they're the same and easily interchange. you can alternately lengthen the AT driveshaft to use on the MT if you're good at customizing - cutting/welding/measuring. ends and fitment are all the same, just different length.

Financially it's more advantageous to fix the AT, sell it and buy a car that's already an MT.
then use the time you'd take to convert AT to MT - to buy, repair, and flip another subaru and make $2,000.
In that way it's a $2000 opportunity cost to convert.
 

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95 Legacy EJ22 5MT, 98 Legacy EJ22 5MT, 99 Legacy Outback EJ25 4EAT "Agent 99", 01 Forester EJ25 4EAT
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496 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
MT is shorter than an AT so the driveshaft is longer to make up the difference - otherwise they're the same and easily interchange. you can alternately lengthen the AT driveshaft to use on the MT if you're good at customizing - cutting/welding/measuring. ends and fitment are all the same, just different length.
Nah, if they're different lengths I'll get the correct driveshaft. No messing with those things for me - I've experienced the consequences of an unbalanced driveshaft: An energetic disassembly that left the driveshaft and a healthy chunk of the transfer case (from my '91 Dakota) in the ditch.

Financially it's more advantageous to fix the AT, sell it and buy a car that's already an MT.
then use the time you'd take to convert AT to MT - to buy, repair, and flip another subaru and make $2,000.
In that way it's a $2000 opportunity cost to convert.
That equation doesn't work for me. An intransigent AT problem such as this one can be a real wildcard - could be a hundred bucks to fix, could be seven hundred. I wouldn't be doing this to get an MT because that's what I prefer - I'd be doing it to salvage an otherwise good car in the most economical manner possible after tiring of screwing with the AT problem. And flipping cars presumes the availability of both the cash that'll be tied up in that car for the duration and the enthusiasm for doing the work, both of which are in short supply at present.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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totally! lengthening/shortening axles is not something that's usually done by any stretch of the imagination. it's more common in the offroad community where lifted Subarus and driveline geometry necessitate custom length shafts, but it can be done on conversions too.
 
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