Converting a 280Z With A/T to 4 or 5spd. Transmission.

by: Jason Howard, IZCC #5232
as of16 May 99

The Following is a note related to converting an automatic transmission equiped 280Z to a 4 or 5spd. transmission. Sent to the IZCC's "Z Car List" by: Jason Howard, IZCC #5232
Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 21:50:58 -0500
From: "Jason Howard (Entex)"
Subject: Converting A 280Z From A/T to 5 Spd.

Just a note...

I have a '77 280z that was an auto...I took my nasty beat up old '76 280z which is a 4 speed (I know, not the best, but better than auto) and transplanted the transmission to the 77. I removed and installed the engine and transmission assembled.

Things you will need from the doner car: Clutch and brake pedals. Both boots; one from the console and the one with the metal bracket underneath the console mounted to the car. Hydraulic line that connects the clutch cylinders. Keep in mind that these cars are made to house either an auto or manual tranny.

Only mods that I had to make once I got the manual installed...the hump in the floor where the shifter comes through had to be cut. The metal had already been stamped so I cut a long this edge with a scroll saw.

The console changes were very simple, no cutting involved ... unscrew and remove the auto lever mechanism and screw or clip on the automatic shifter boot. The hardest thing for me to find was a good used rubber shifter boot to go underneath between the firewall and the console. I ended up just getting one that looked about the same from a local auto parts store and modified it to fit. You don't see this boot anyway after you install the console. You may have to drill holes to mount the lower boot.

I bought new clutch master and slave cylinders, only cost about $60 bucks for both. The clutch master installs into a pre-cut, plugged hole, in the firewall. The hydraulic tubing installs into the same supports as the brake lines and as long as you don't bend it up to much getting it out of the doner car, it will align itself with the brackets neatly.

The clutch pedal installs into the same bracket as the brake pedal. You will need the brake pedal from the doner car since the existing brake pedal is to wide to work with the clutch pedal.

If I have listed everything right, you are done...Oh, the drive shaft ...nice thing about the four speed is that it had the same flange as the auto...with a five speed I would have needed a different shaft.

The speedo cable and the wiring were the same with the exception of the overdrive switch, which I removed, and the neutral kill switch which I bypassed. This switch, if installed, keeps the car from starting unless it is in neutral.

Took me an afternoon to install all the stuff for the clutch (after a weekend of replacing the engine and tranny) and it cost much less than buying another car. Good luck!