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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Edited 2/25/2018 to address wiring problem

Just finished up the swap in my truck over the weekend. I didn't take enough pics to post a formal how-to, so i figured I'd just post my findings and tips here. Novel incoming. I'll try and answer all the questions I had before the swap.

As of now, the truck is functioning 95% like it came with a manual from the factory, no tune required and the wiring was pretty simple. I had to figure it out for myself pretty much, because my truck didn't have the clutch pedal wiring under the dash like some do. The only "quirks" I have left to iron out are minor. I of course have a CEL for the transmission codes, I'll eventually have those codes deleted. The auto locks don't work for some reason, but the auto headlights and cruse work just like factory. The cruise even cancels when I press the clutch.

Parts list:

1BADI5 has a really good writeup listing the parts/parts numbers in this thread: http://www.355nation.net/forum/projects-build/159489-1badi5-crewcab-3-5-5-speed-swap-4l60e-ma5.html
I went through GMpartsdirect for all OE parts, and my aftermarket parts came from rockauto.

1x AR5 transmission. Mine came from a 2.9 4 cylinder truck, the transmissions are the same between 4&5 cylinder trucks. Later ones got some updates, Mine should be the better one since it came from a 2.9.
1x stock LUK clutch kit The truck is going to remain stock with stock tires for the time being. If I ever do a turbo build or anything, I will be buying a better clutch. I didn't see the point right now. The H3 OEM clutch doesn't cost much more and is a little bigger, but again I didn't see the point on a stock truck.
6x Clutch pressure plate bolts These are torque to yield, so re-use at your own risk if you find used ones. I wasn't comfortable just going to fastenal either, so I ponied up the cash for oem bolts. They're not cheap, but at least I can sleep at night knowing they're correct.
1x Sachs slave cylinder
1x OEM master cylinder with clutch line I stupidly ordered the sachs cylinder from rockauto, only to find out that every salvage yard in my area simply cuts their clutch lines when they pull the engine/trans. The dealer won't sell only the line, so its either adapt an AN line, or buy the oem cylinder/line kit. Just FYI, the master and slave kit I used were both pre bled. Its as simple as plugging the line in and driving
1x Flywheel I went aftermarket here. Rockauto didn't show one for a 3.7, so I ordered mine for a 3.5. They are the same. My kit DID come with bolts, so don't be like me and shell out ~$70 on flywheel bolts at the dealer. Wait until your kit comes.
1x clutch pedal assembly
1x brake pedal assembly, or cut your old brake pedal down. The wider auto pedal is very close to the clutch pedal pad. My pedal set was only $20 at the junk yard, if it were more expensive I would have just trimmed the pad.
1x set of clutch pedal sensors My pedal came with them, there is a sensor that is depressed at the top and bottom of the clutch pedal's travel. Newer trucks had a single "sweep" switch, not sure which year they switched. You don't want that one. Buy an older pedal with 2 switches.
1x gauge cluster optional obviously, you really just need the trim piece that blocks out the shift indicator. Or paint/vinyl over it, whatever you like. I swapped trim pieces so my odometer wouldn't be wrong. The gauge cluster I bought had 52k miles showing and my truck has 140k, quite a discrepancy.
1x set of steering column covers only $10 new, so why not
1x floor shift boot
1x shifter/pleather boot assembly unless you can find a used one, they're usually trash. Also very hard to find with the full center console like mine had. See thread listed above for part number. It comes with the trim ring and everything, just snaps into your stock full length console.

Specialty Tools

This is a pretty simple swap, the only tools I had to buy to supplement your basic ratchet/wrench tool set was an 18mm offset wrench to get the torque converter bolts out. You might be able to get a super shallow ratchet on them, but those wrenches don't cost much and it made the bolts a breeze

I also bought a harbor freight air nibbler to cut the shifter hole out, it made the job SUPER easy and makes a very clean cut. No burrs, no sharp edges ete. I just screwed the shifter boot ring down and cut around the inside of it, only took a few minutes.

If you don't have them already, I had about 3' of extensions to get to the bellhousing bolts. Its not 100% necessary, but they would be difficult to get without. Swivel sockets or wobble extensions are a plus too. 15mm is the size of all the difficult bolts.

Wiring

This was the part that scared me the most. It turned out to be really easy, so I'm really happy with the truck.

You don't need a tune unless you just can't stand looking at a check engine light (i'm in that boat, it bugs me). The VSS is in the transfer case on a 4x4 truck, so it plugs right in and the speedo is correct.

All required wiring on my truck came from the park/neutral range switch connector on the drivers side of the truck. Pinout is below:


It turns out that not all 4L60E's use the same plug, so ignore the pin locations and just look at the color of the wires.

To make the truck start and drive, Pins 1 & 12 (Purple & Dark Green) need to be connected. Run these two wires to the Clutch Fully Depressed Switch on the pedal. This connects the circuit and tells the ECM that its ok to engage the starter with the clutch fully depressed.

To make the reverse lights work, pins 10 & 11 (Light Green & Pink) need to be connected. Cut these wires and run them to the reverse switch on the passenger side of your AR5. You can buy the T56 pigtail like I did, but a simple 2 pin waterproof connector off amazon or ebay can be soldered in just as easy.

Now for the tricky part, we have to fool the ECU into thinking it's in neutral with the clutch pushed in, and in drive with the clutch released (so cruise control and everything works like it should). To do this, you will need to ground different combinations of the 3 range wires in the pinout (yellow, gray, and white). In neutral, the White & Yellow wires need to be grounded. In drive, the Gray and Yellow wires need to be grounded. Accomplishing this with only the two switches on the clutch pedal will require a relay. Any 12v relay should do, I just went to advance auto and grabbed an a/c relay with 4 pins.

First, ground the yellow wire. It being always grounded is fine, as it is used in both conditions. Send the grey wire up to the Clutch Fully Released Switch, with the other pole of the switch going to ground. Now it is in "D" with the clutch out. Lastly, the relay comes in. Mine is just under the drivers seat, nothing fancy. Run the white wire to one of the switched poles on the relay. Ground the other switched pole, along with one of the trigger poles. Now run the relay's power supply (the remaining pole) up to the switched side of the Clutch Fully Depressed Switch (the side that becomes hot when you press the clutch). If all is right, the relay will trip when you press the clutch, ground the white wire, and tell the ECU it's in neutral.

Here is a wiring diagram I drew up if my wall of text didn't make sense:


With this setup, the ECM think's the transmission is in neutral with the clutch depressed, and it is in drive with the clutch pedal is released.

I ran the wires in the cab through the grommet the auto shift cable goes through, its right there and super easy to do. It comes up under the carpet right in front of the drivers seat. You only need to run 3 wires into the cab.

Mechanical

The swap is pretty straightforward mechanically. I didn't have to fab anything, unless you count cutting holes as fabwork. The master cylinder hole is punched, but has a plate spot welded over it. Either drill out the welds, or drill holes and trim it out with a dremel like I did. The studs are there for the clutch pedal already. The steering column has to come down to swap brake pedals, but its super easy.

For the shifter hole, I bolted down the floor boot ring and used it as a stencil. Its pretty easy to tell where it goes by the shape of it. My air nibbler made it super easy to cut the hole.
Auto part


Audio equipment Auto part Technology Subwoofer Electronic device


Dropping the pig of a 4L60 was the most difficult part. I balanced it on my floor jack, if you can get ahold of a transmission jack I recommend it. That thing is HEAVY. I was able to bench press the manual up in there, its a lot lighter. Do it with the transfer case off, that extra weight off center makes it a nightmare.

The flex plate is centered with a flywheel locator, which needs pulled out of the crankshaft. I used the grease/socket/hammer trick on it. Pack the crankshaft full of grease, find a tight fitting bolt/socket, wrap in electrical tape until it seals nice and tight (not too much though, you don't want it stuck) and hammer it in. The hydraulic pressure will pop the bushing right out. Its messy, but it was free. Its a weird shape and most pilot bearing pullers won't grab onto it. New pilot bearing went right in with no issues.
Auto part Engine Automotive engine part


The starter does NOT need to be removed. Nor does the exhaust. Literally just driveshafts, transfer case, transmission.

Pretty easy, hook the few wires up I mentioned above and enjoy the new truck! I only bought the truck a month ago and couldn't stand the lazy automatic shifting, it just felt like a slug. Its a lot more peppy now. My final cost was $1125 including shipping, minus tools I bought as they were sort of optional. Hopefully I can get a few hundred out of my automatic. Its well worth it to me, as when I was truck shopping I was looking at $20k tacomas that checked my "4x4, crew cab, manual trans" requirement. I essentially have half that in an IMO superior truck (I much prefer an I5 over a v6). Feel free to ask questions if you're contemplating the swap and I left anything out!
 

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Wow, major props on this. You should get some major hits on this thread, every time someone says the only way to end up with a manual truck if you're starting with an auto is to trade it in.

Huge credit too in figuring out the wiring side. That looks way way easier than trying to convert sections of the harness over to the OEM manual trans wiring configurations. I'll be taking notes for a different but still GM manual swap I'm working on.

I've read that method for removing the old "flywheel locator"/pilot bearing from the crank absolutely does not work for an LS motor, as they run oil through the crank and you'll be punching straight into that oil passage. I take it that is not the case for the Atlas motors, then? Or did you just get lucky...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good job!

Let me know if you need any help converting your PCM to a manual trans.
Thanks! I want to drive it a while and make sure no bugs pop up before I buy a tune though. I'm also on the fence on ordering HPtuners and doing it myself, as I also have an LS1 F body I'd like to turbo eventually

Wow, major props on this. You should get some major hits on this thread, every time someone says the only way to end up with a manual truck if you're starting with an auto is to trade it in.

Huge credit too in figuring out the wiring side. That looks way way easier than trying to convert sections of the harness over to the OEM manual trans wiring configurations. I'll be taking notes for a different but still GM manual swap I'm working on.

I've read that method for removing the old "flywheel locator"/pilot bearing from the crank absolutely does not work for an LS motor, as they run oil through the crank and you'll be punching straight into that oil passage. I take it that is not the case for the Atlas motors, then? Or did you just get lucky...
Thanks! Doing research was definitely a little frustrating since so many people have asked and were just told that its impossible or cheaper to buy another truck (that doesn't even exist in crew cab form). I'm happy I went this route rather than pay the toyota premium or "settle" for a nissan (wasn't super impressed with any frontier I drove).

I wasn't aware of the grease trick not working on LS engines, I did find some posts on here about removing pilot bearings using that method, so went ahead. Everything looked fine when I got done, it pressed it out no problem. I imagine I would know if I ruined my crank. haha.
 

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Thanks! I want to drive it a while and make sure no bugs pop up before I buy a tune though. I'm also on the fence on ordering HPtuners and doing it myself, as I also have an LS1 F body I'd like to turbo eventually.
I'm a HPtuners distributor too. I can roll in the tune and HPT together for you.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm a HPtuners distributor too. I can roll in the tune and HPT together for you.:D
I might take you up on that in a few months. Can you tune out how slow the RPM's drop between shifts? It seems to be an issue with all manual colorados, it makes higher rpm shifts really annoying.
 

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Nice work !!!
You got them mad skills and not afraid to use them !!! LOL
 

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I might take you up on that in a few months. Can you tune out how slow the RPM's drop between shifts? It seems to be an issue with all manual colorados, it makes higher rpm shifts really annoying.
Absolutely!:drunk:
 

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Hey there this is a great write up, just wondering if you could give me a little more detail on how you connected everything for the neutral safety switch? did you just cut all the wires necessary going into the plug and add some length to reach the clutch switches?
 

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I am late to this thread but this is awesome and great info. I'm surprised this thread hasn't gotten more attention.
@Supermodulation Do you think this would work for 08+ trucks with the different computer setup or be a similar process?
@Trice
 

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I have seen a few crew cab 4x4s with a manual on Autotrader and car gurus They are all 4 cylinder trucks. I have been thinking of doing this to my 2010 V8 4x4 crew cab. The 4l60e is doing fine but i know it will be double the cost that you listed above to have it rebuilt to hold power. Does anyone make billet parts for the Ar5 to make it stronger? I know they have been put behind high power cars and truck and some survive I just want to know that if i do this I don't have to do it again. I can do most of the mechanical work the only thing i'm worried about is the wiring and tuning as i would not want any warning lights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have seen a few crew cab 4x4s with a manual on Autotrader and car gurus They are all 4 cylinder trucks. I have been thinking of doing this to my 2010 V8 4x4 crew cab. The 4l60e is doing fine but i know it will be double the cost that you listed above to have it rebuilt to hold power. Does anyone make billet parts for the Ar5 to make it stronger? I know they have been put behind high power cars and truck and some survive I just want to know that if i do this I don't have to do it again. I can do most of the mechanical work the only thing i'm worried about is the wiring and tuning as i would not want any warning lights.
Yep, the crew cab manuals were all 4 cylinder.

I am not aware of any stronger internals, but a 2007 and newer trans should have the better gear set. From what I understand they are quite strong as long as you aren't too abusive. That guy on sloppy mechanics put something like 800hp through one, and It would have probably survived if he wasn't doing WOT full boost shifts.

I am actually planning on swapping a 5.3 into my truck if my 5 cylinder ever dies. It is sitting at 210k miles now and uses some oil, still a good runner though. I'm not concerned about the transmission surviving in the slightest, even considering that all I use this truck for is towing. I think I'd split the aluminum rear end open before grenading the transmission!

Wiring is easy, as the transmission really isn't integrated into the ECU. Just some simple switchgear to get the thing to start and cruise control to operate like it should.
 
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