Jump to content

How To Convert An Auto To A Manual Ke70

Recommended Posts

When I spent 6 months looking for a KE70 to teach my daughter how to drive, I found that all the nice ones were autos owned by older people, and all the manuals were well-thrashed by young guys. For this reason I think this conversion will become more common.


I bought a nice auto and almost a year later, a complete manual donor car. This gave me the pedal box, flywheel, cable fitting and diff for $450, as well as the rest of the car including central locking and a dash with a rev counter in.


Now, before you begin, clean the garage floor and paint it! There is nothing leaks oil like an auto! The lay out all your tools and disconnect the battery. You could take off the steering wheel for convenience but I didn't.


The pedal box change is the most time-consuming, so start by taking out the driver's seat and then the screws in the dashboard around the instruments. The dash panel jams in the top left-hand corner and takes a bit of fiddling to get it out without damage.



Then the four screws holding in the instruments,



and once loose, reach behind to disconnect the three wiring plugs and the speedo.



You took the seat out so you can lie under the dashboard and remove the plastic column cover, and the column support nuts. This will drop the steering column, so tie it up with a bit of wire. The column plugs come off also.



On the firewall up under the dash there are 4 bolts, the lower right one is here-



To get the top right one you have to undo the demister tube and that one wiring clip, then force the plastic tube up a bit. The horizontal arrow shows the lower left bolt.



This is the nearest I could get to photographing them, they are well-hidden.



There is one vertical bolt holding the pedalbox on, and you can see the booster where I removed those 4 nuts.



Disconnect the brake pedal rod & wires, remove the accelerator kickdown, then start on the front of the dashboard. I took out the little alloy panel on the RHS carrying the "door open" light, and the small centre bridge. "A" and "B" are the steering column nuts.



Then the whole pedal box pulls towards the steering wheel and rotates clockwise to drop out below the dash.


Fitting the manual one is the reverse, but take the brake pedal off first to be able to get the pedalbox in. Get all the bolts and nuts on the pedalbox before tightening them up. Surprisingly enough it all went back together, looked good and worked!

  • Upvote 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Members dont see this ad

With the pedal box out you can see the differences-



Now the gearbox-The gearlever is simple, the only interior work, then start draining the box. I disconnected the hoses at the radiator and drained them, then discovered the cheaparses at Toyota Australia used a box with no drain plug. (My Jap manual says there should be one!) Anyway, a 4" nail hammers through the rear edge of the g'box sump quite easily and the hole is easily plugged the next day.


Then the oil cooler hoses were removed, the inlet vacuum tube removed and the bell housing tackled. Remove the dipstick and loosen the bolts around the engine. Drop the driveshaft, speedo cable and g'box crossmember, then carefully work the g'box backwards. As you move the bell-housing more oil comes out of the gap as the box has oil in the torque converter. It will also drain out of the hole where the hoses went in.


There is no room at all against the tunnel, and you can see why here-



With the box out you can undo the three bolts holding the torque converter onto the flex plate... if you can find a spanner to fit! Fking things are 15.3mm, some stupid American/Imperial size. Work through the hole in the engine plate cover, which I found once I had it off!!



Then the flex plate comes off the crank. I had the stock flywheel skimmed down from 8kg to 6kg, seeing as I had it in my hand. You will need a $7 spigot bearing next, to be fitted before the flywheel goes on.


  • Upvote 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

With the clutch on (New clutch kit.. $75!! Well worth it!) then its time to move back inside. I took a bit of cardboard to the donor car, held it over the gearlever hole with its base against the seat crossmember, and cut around the gearlever hole.


Then I drew around the cardboard in the auto car. I figured the seat crossmember would be in the same place in both cars, although the holes and the screw mounts are all different.



A bit of hacksaw and file work gave me the hole... I remembered I had an Abra file blade later! (they cut in any direction)



Some light alloy lying around gave me the bit to cover the hole that was left. A couple of screws and sealed with wallboard cement.. laugh.gif



The wiring for the reverse lights is quite different. The manual box has a plug on the front, the auto car has it by the gearlever. I spliced the two together and bridged the "start only in park" wires. On the auto gearlever, the red pair are the reverse lights and the black pair are the "park" lock. The other pair are for the light inside the auto lever at night. ..use them for your incar floros..



They all tucked away quite nicely.



Then you will need a clutch cable fitting off the donor car. I drilled the spotwelds out, painted it black and riveted it onto the blue car firewall, sealed with builders adhesive again!



With the hole sorted the box went in quite easily, proving my decades of looking at a clutch and centralising the plate by eye still works!

The cable was easily hooked up and the manual speedo fitted.



We tried the 3.9 manual diff to replace the 4.3auto, but it whined under power at 80kph- shame that, part of manuals being well-thrashed.


The manual driveshaft has the nose that fits the manual box, but the UJs were worn, so its off having the front yoke transferred to the auto driveshaft today.


Test day tomorrow I hope!!


YES! It lives! Driveshaft in and all systems go! Feels much quicker and more direct than the auto. Third gear synchros are dodgy, but that can be driven around easily. 10minute test drive and nothing fell off and no oil leaks... :rolls:

  • Upvote 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Threw it away, like everyone does! I don't know if they were the same, they probably were, but that was off a 4K obviously. I can't see Toyota spending money on changing something like that between models.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I did it like this-


The black two get joined to bypass the auto's "start in park" system.


The red two get used for the reverse lights


The green & white I left under the carpet. They carry power when the headlights are on to light up the auto shift display..

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just done this in a different one of my Ke's, i bridged the two black wires for the start in park thing, but i can only get it running with the extra power sent through the coil when you flick the key to 'start' with the starter motor!! So its not getting spark when you stop and try keep it running with the accelerator... flick the starter motor and it revs right up again happily..

I thought about bridging those two red wires but you have said here they are for the reverse lights...

I'm out of idea's.... could be something the previous owner did and its unrelated to swapping to manual but thought i'd try ask here anyway :)

Have i missed something?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in the process of getting parts and doing this and i was wondering if to fit the gearbox do you need the cross member from a manual car? And if you can use the auto diff?

  • Upvote 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't remember which crossmember we used, someone else might know. We're still running the auto diff. Its a 4.3 compared to the manual's 4.1, so it is a little lower geared which gives you better acceleration around town but higher revs on the motorway.


Sorry BlueK, I was away in April & never saw your post. I'm sure you have the wiring sorted by now!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...