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Automatic to Five Speed Swap Info

I’ve seen a ton of people asking about the 5spd swap, so I decided to make this to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

I haven’t been able to get any pics of the actual progress of my swap due to moving and work. But here I will list all of the links, info, prices, etc. that you need to get started, find someone to do it, and get it done.

1. Deciding to do the swap
a. Should I swap my car to a 5spd?
b. I don’t have the money but my auto trans crapped out, HELP!
c. How much will it cost?

2. Parts List
a. What transmission do I want/need?
b. LSD, what is it, do I need it?
c. Clutch and flywheel, OEM or aftermarket?
d. Complete parts list with prices

3. DIY or find a shop?

4. Time to have fun!

5. Links and resources.

6. Follow-up and troubleshooting

1. Deciding to do the swap

A. Should I swap my car to a 5spd?

The first thing you need to do is decide whether or not you need to do the swap. It’s a known fact that the SportShift Automatic transmission in the 5th generation preludes goes bad, and no matter how well you take care of it, you have a very good chance that down the line somewhere it is going to go bad on you for one reason or another.

That being said, when should you decide to do the swap? It all amounts to money, time, and patience. If you are a broke college student with only one car, and your auto transmission is doing fine, then you are not going to want to be doing the swap.

But on the other hand, if you have the money available (I’ll cover how much $ in the next section), you have another car to use while it’s being swapped, and you have the patience to get all the parts and find someone to swap it for you (or DIY), then you are prepared to do the swap.

B. I don’t have the money but my auto trans crapped out, HELP!

This is a tough situation, depending on your particular circumstances; it is probably going to be faster but still expensive to get a used or rebuilt auto transmission put back into your car. In my case, it was $2,300 out the door to get my auto trans rebuilt and installed. It would have been a little bit cheaper if I had found a used auto transmission myself, but you have to think about this: what if you pay to get a used transmission put in your car and 6 months later it goes out again. Then you’re screwed.

Whether you should do the swap at this point is up to you. Do you have the money to even fix the car at all? If not then I recommend asking someone (parents, friends, whoever) for the money to get your car fixed so you can get back to school/work or wherever. But I HIGHLY recommend you get a couple estimates on how much it will cost to get the auto transmission rebuilt, or to buy a used one and install it and compare that to the prices of the 5spd swap in the next section.

C. How much will it cost?

Read carefully, this is VERY important: the price of the swap depends on your patience, diligence, and luck. If you are patient enough to look around (see links section) for parts and find everything you need at low prices, then your swap isn’t going to cost as much.

From the different resources I have seen (and shops that I talked to), labor tends to be anywhere from $500 to $1,200 (depends on the shop or mechanic). It all depends on how many times they have done the swap (if any) and also how well you know the shop/mechanic (friend discounts anyone?).

Parts pricing can differ VERY greatly depending on if you get it new or used. I will tell you right now that you do not want to order all of this stuff from Honda, or you will be paying upwards of $3000 alone in parts. If you buy used (like I did) it could be in the $1,000’s range. Mine was actually about $1,600 in parts, but that’s mainly because I used an LSD transmission and aftermarket flywheel/clutch. Just as an idea. Here are some prices from Honda for a few random parts:

Master Cylinder $139
Slave Cylinder $90
Clutch dampener $92
Axles $190 each (if you have the old ones to trade in, otherwise add $60 core charge to that per axle)
Shifter linkage $370

As you can tell, it is way cheaper to go with used parts rather than buy from Honda. I will cover all of the parts and prices later on in the article.

2. Parts List

A. What transmission do I want/need?

Again, this depends on your budget and how much time you want to spend looking. It also depends on how you want the car to drive; do you want it to feel stock? Do you want lower/higher gearing? This is your decision. Here is a list of all the transmissions that will bolt onto an H22 (might not be 100% complete) and their ratios (Credit to Daniel M. from Honda-tech.com).

Prelude - Full Gear Ratios
M2A4 - JDM 4G - 3.307 - 1.950 - 1.360 - 1.071 - 0.787 - 4.266
M2B4 - JDM 4G LSD - 3.307 - 1.950 - 1.360 - 1.071 - 0.787 - 4.266 LSD
M2F4 - USDM 4G - 3.307 - 1.950 - 1.360 - 1.071 - 0.870 - 4.266
M2F5 - EuDM - 4G3.307 - 1.950 - 1.360 - 1.071 - 0.870 - 4.062
M2P4 - EuDM 5G Vti-s 4WS - 3.285 - 2.090 - 1.481 - 1.071 - 0.870 - 4.266
M2V5 - EuDM 5G Base 4WS - 3.285 - 1.950 - 1.344 - 1.071 - 0.870 - 4.062
M2U4 - JDM (S)/USDM (SH) ATTS - 3.285 - 1.956 - 1.344 - 1.034 - 0.812 - 4.266
M2Y4 - JDM/USDM 5G Base - 3.285 - 1.956 - 1.344 - 1.034 - 0.812 - 4.266
M2Z4 - JDM 5G SiR S-Spec/JDM 5G w/ LSD option - 3.285 - 1.956 - 1.344 - 1.034 - 0.812 - 4.266

Accord - Full Gear Ratios
T2T4 - JDM Accord SiR-T (F20B) LSD - 3.285 - 1.956 - 1.344 - 1.034 - 0.812 - 4.266
T2W4 - JDM Accord Euro-R LSD 3.285 - 2.090 - 1.481 - 1.071 - 0.812 - 4.266
U2Q7 - EDM Accord Type-R LSD - 3.285 - 2.090 - 1.481 - 1.071 - 0.870 - 4.266 LSD

Personally I went with the M2A4 transmission from a 4th gen (4G) with an aftermarket Quaife LSD. It also has been rebuilt with carbon coated synchronizers.

B. LSD, what is it, do I need it?


If you are not familiar with what a LSD is, stop reading this and go read
this and then read this. Now that you are familiar with what it is, you should decide whether you need one. This again, depends on your budget and also on what transmission you decide to use. If you pick a transmission with an OEM LSD then you don’t have to worry, because it obviously has one already.

If you did not pick a transmission with an OEM LSD, then you have to do some research (no I didn’t research all the trans to see which can take LSD’s) to see which transmissions up above can use an aftermarket LSD, I know 100% fact that the M2A4 can be used with aftermarket LSD’s, which is partially why I picked it.

Now the question arises of "Do I need a LSD?" Honestly, if you are just using your car to drive around town to work/school or where ever you like to go, then no, you don’t really need a LSD. By now you should know what a LSD does, so make your own decision whether to buy one and use it or not.

C. Clutch and Flywheel, OEM or aftermarket?

I see this question brought up over and over again in the multiple forums I visit.
Basically, just like everything else, it depends on your budget and what you want to get out of your car. If you want an OEM feel with a low budget, then get a used OEM clutch and flywheel and you will be happy. But the general school of thought on this topic is that since your transmission is going to be off already, why not upgrade the clutch and flywheel and save yourself the trouble of having to do it later right?

There are a ton of different brands, and a lot of different opinions about what clutch and flywheel are the best. I suggest you get an idea of what you want by either talking to friends who have aftermarket clutches. Maybe driving them to get a feel or do some research online. Here are some websites of major manufactures that make prelude clutch/flywheels. I’m sure there are many others, but these are the ones I have most commonly heard about.


D. Complete Parts List with Prices.

First thing you need to get is Helms Manual (VERY IMPORTANT).
Download here

Here are all the parts you’re going to need with some prices (note: these are estimates, your prices will probably vary).

I got all my parts from the guy on eBay that I bought my transmission from, he happened to be parting out his 98 base 5spd. I got lucky and got a lot of parts cheap and shipped in one big shipment. Altogether shipped I got all my parts for about $1600. As you can tell below, buying this stuff from Honda would be enough to buy a new car.

Parts and Price guide:

What I paid / eBay (average) / New from Honda (If I put a ??? that means I didn’t ask)

Transmission - $975 / $400-$1200 / No Idea, way too much?
Trans mounts-side - $12 / $15-$50 / $137
Flywheel and bolts - This depends on the brand you get, look it up. OEM = $200
Clutch Kit and bolts - This depends on the brand you get, look it up. OEM = $285
Clutch Master Cylinder - $20 / $40-$60 / $139
Clutch Slave Cylinder - $20 / $20-$40 / $90
Clutch Dampener - (I think this comes with the clutch?) $30 / none on eBay / $92
Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) - $20 / $35-$50 / $136
Reverse Switch - $5 / $5-$15 / ???
Hydraulic Clutch Line - FREE / $35-$50 / ???
5spd Starter - (I bought mine new for $135 at a parts store) / $40-$150 / $301
Clutch Pedal Assembly - $7 / $15-$50 / ???
Brake Pedal Assembly - $7 / $15-$50 / ???
Shifter Assembly - $20 / $40-$85 / $334
Shift linkage - $20 / None on eBay / $370
Auto ECU (chipped) or 5speed ECU (OEM) - $50 / $65-$150 /$842
5spd Intermediate shaft (half-shaft) - $20 / $25-$65 / $301
5spd Axles - You can use the same axles as an automatic trans
5spd Gauge Cluster (the auto will work) I kept mine for now / $85-$250 / unavailable*
Cotter Pins (assorted sizes) - check your hardware store
Assorted Nuts and Bolts - check your hardware store
Shifter Boot - $15 / $15-$45 / $48
Shifter Knob - $15 / $20-$70 / $56
Throw out bearing - $63 / $15 / $63
Pilot bearing - $18 / $5 / $18

You will also have to either convert your ECU to a 5spd or you will have to get your new M/T ECU reprogrammed to work with your car by Honda IF you have the red key to your car. If you don’t then you have to get a locksmith to reprogram your immobilizer which costs ~$150.

If you buy a new 5spd ECU you will have to go to Honda and get it programmed to work with your car. This costs about $150-$200

*I say unavailable because they don’t sell it as an assembly, you have to buy the cover, the board, the plastic etc and assemble it yourself.

Now considering that you get used parts, and all of the pieces of the used parts (seals, boots, bearings) are in good shape and don’t need to be replaced, then that should be about 99% of what you need. In my case, we replaced the boots on the axles, throw out bearing, and a couple other small things just to be on the safe side. You could also check junk and salvage yards for all these parts, but take someone with you who knows what all of these parts look like, or see my thread here on preludepower.com with pictures of all my parts when I got them in.

3. DIY or find a shop?

I would have loved to spend a week with my mechanic taking pictures and typing up a super huge write-up with a ton of pictures about how to DIY, but unfortunately I have a full time job, and I just moved so that didn’t happen. But if you have knowledge of transmissions and this type of work and you want to DIY, I will refer you to this website: http://www.mazmo.com/zameoj/swap.htm it tells you where to look in helms and problems they encountered.

Honestly, unless you have all the tools, a welder, jacks, etc, I would get a shop to do it. The guy I have doing mine has never done a 5spd swap on a prelude before, but he has done them on civics and accords and he knows his Hondas. I provided him with the Mazmo write up, as well as this thread (you will have to login) on absoluteprelude.com about some wiring issues with the swap. (Yes I know not all the pics work on the mazmo site, sorry) With my mechanics knowledge and tools + my hefty research and providing him with that info, he’s been able to do the swap (so far) with no troubles.

4. Time to have fun!

Well now your swap should be done and you should be able to cruise around with your newly installed 5spd transmission!!! Don’t stress too much about the swap, remember that in the end you will be MUCH happier with a sleek sexy 5spd rather than that crappy slow unreliable auto.

5. Links and Resources

Write up and info threads:

6. Follow-up and troubleshooting

Reverse Lights: I ran into a few problems with wiring up the backup lights. In the write up I posted it says to use the red and yellow wires, but on my car it actually ended up being the red/white wire was the ground and the white wire was the signal wire I had to use to connect to the M/T reverse switch. I didn’t feel like cutting the old A/T harness off of my car so we instead cut the A/T harness off the auto tranny and cut the wires and spliced 2 clips onto it to connect to the M/T’s clips then cut and heatshinked the rest of the wires together to make it look good and keep everything together.

Wiring the starter cutoff switch on the clutch pedal: This is covered in the electrical write up I posted, but I did it a little differently. We tapped into the original wires under the dash that lead to the starter and ran them to the clutch cutoff switch. My mechanic did some fancy soldering and got it to work nicely. We didn’t cut off the harness from the switch, but instead just soldered the wires to the prongs then filled the whole thing with high temp hot glue to keep them from moving around and keep moisture out.

Idle Problem: I just did my ECU conversion last night and noticed I was having some weird idle issues, IE the idle bouncing between 1200 and 900. I drove it around and when I got back home it had stopped. I’ll figure out if it is fixed or not, and if it isn’t then I will figure out the problem and post it. -Turned out to be a combination of other issues, one being timing was slightly off, and needed to clean out a bunch of other crap. The ECU turned out to be fine. Oh yeah and my water pump was going out.

Here are some pictures of most the parts needed to do the swap so you will know exactly how they look. The parts pictured include:

M2A4 tranny from a 96 VTEC with a Quaife LSD installed
5 speed ECU
Side transmission mount
Rear engine mount
Clutch assembly (Centerforce dual friction clutch)
Flywheel (Fidanza 8lb)
Clutch master and slave cylinders
Clutch dampener
Vehicle speed sensor
Reverse switch
Shifter assembly and shift linkage
5spd Intermediate shaft (half-shaft)
Pedals, which is clutch pedal and brake pedal assembly's

5 Speed swap parts

5 Speed swap parts

5 Speed swap parts

5 Speed swap parts

5 Speed swap parts

5 Speed swap parts

5 Speed swap parts

5 Speed swap parts

5 Speed swap parts

Here is some info from Poet on PreludePower.com

Also here is some good info in a thread RomPirate made:

READ THIS: I have linked many different websites in this article and all information gathered and referred to from those websites is their property. I do not claim responsibility for any of those sites or information therein, but I do claim credit for taking the time and effort and months of reading and searching through TONS of sites and articles to find all this information and bring it to you in one place.

If you link or copy this article, you must give credit to me and credit to preludepower.com for hosting this thread. But above all have fun with your swap and I hope this helped answer any questions you have!

--- Courtesy of Mark aka alpinefr3ak ---








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