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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
UPDATE: skip down for the final recap of the completed project!

Hello all,
I anticipate all types of (good, bad and the ugly) comments to potentially fly from this one, especially being my first post here. Anyway, here goes....

-N00b to the forums, not to the trucks/vehicles in general
-I DO have a shop space
-I DO NOT have a vehicle lift
-I BELIEVE I have all of the necessary tools, (anything odd I'd have missed?)
-I DO have the parts
-I BELIEVE I can do this in 2 days...

Vehicle is a 1999 LRD1, (his name is Rex) ZF was a 4-speed, I hate automatics. I came across a deal I could not pass up for the entire conversion kit from an experienced and reputable LR rig builder that had his vehicle side-swiped and pulled out this kit. It has less than 10K on it, I paid just over a grand including shipping.

Friday morning I am converting Rex to a 5-speed manual. I also have a donor vehicle with a complete and operable drivetrain, recently rebuilt motor, etc. (should I somehow accidentally damage something crucial on the recipient vehicle).

I will post pics, etc. of the process upon completion.

My main question is this:

*if* hypothetically you guys were undertaking this job, what else would you suggest handling "while in there?" I have new U-joints for the driveshafts I will pressing in tomorrow after work and greasing them to spec, etc. to install but didn't have plans to do much more than get in, get out and back on the trails. A motor swap is probably not *too* far out into the future as I have been tuning up the donor one as it has less than 1k miles on her and runs so beautifully, but my current one just barely rolled past 100k miles.

I would do it all at once but do need the thing driving, (read: or the girlfriend will probably leave me... :wink)

Anyway, suggestions, time saving methods and advice warmly welcomed. Cheers, thanks in advance and happy roving!

UPDATE: The beast reawakens!
So a LOT of interesting things arose during this conversion, which was to be expected of course.... I was not able to do it in 2 days. It took me a week all told. The slave cylinder I received was bad, I forgot the toe bearing the first time I installed the transmission...pinched my O2 sensor loom the second time, the R380 I received expected the use of oil cooling lines which the auto obviously neeeded but do not fit for the manual, (so I blanked them with plugs, may connect them later) and then crankshaft position sensor (CkPS) was a bear... The main thing I want to mention that I DID NOT anticipate was the crankshaft position sensor. There is a very different gap for an auto vs a manual. This sensor (for the uninitiated) reads the teeth on the flywheel and your ignition timing is based on the AC signal it sends. So, after I re-seated the R380 transmission and LT230 (as a single unit) the THIRD time, I went to fire her up.
After a few mental repetitions of, "I won't freak out if something isn't right, I wont break anything, I wont throw anything"...
It wouldn't start. It cranked, it wanted to but nothing. But what the F*ck? I didn't change anything in the motor, only the transmission!...Once again I wiped as much grease as possible from my swollen nubs of hands and hit the forums. Bingo. Crankshaft position sensor. I was able to find the gap spec for the D2, (18mm->ZF auto, 9.8mm->R380 manual).

The sensor is different on the D2 but still at least I had a lead. I pulled mine off, (located drivers side, facing transmission bellhousing, single plug, 2 leads, no pigtail) and measured the spacer with calipers. It was ~14mm, not wanting to cut it down before fully diagnosed I "created" a temporary spacer with zip ties, they were 3mm wide each so now our gap has been reduced by about 8mm. Using two of them around the body of the sensor and the bolt, (too long otherwise) I bolted it in and BAM, she fired right up! The idle was still off, it bogged out ~1700 rpm, but I assumed that was because the gap was closer to right, but still off. Either way, success feels good. It was approximately 1:30 am at this point so I rejoiced, showered, had a beer and passed out.

The next day I tried all local shops and none of them A) knew of the difference, B) had any help to offer. Time to figure it out...I found an ebay listing with a photo of the CkPS that had a much thinner spacer, it was also coming from the UK where the manual is far more common. I fit a cut-off wheel to the dremel, clamped the spacer in the vice and cut it down to what it looked like in the photo. Once installed the thing ran great! No more cut-out at ~1700 RPM, lots of power and most importantly I could NOW finally test the transmission past first gear!

Note: the CkPS bolts are 7mm and too long if you cut the spacer down, (don't want them hitting the flywheel) as a convernient coincidence, the 7mm bolts holding the side rear-view mirrors on are the same thread pitch, 7mm head and the perfect length, so I used 2 of those.

Last actual modification I had to make was to the center console, tghe auto shifter is a rectangular platform, whereas the manual lever is square like the diff select with a boot. So I purchased the rubber mat with the proper size hole for $24.95 on ebay and cut a piece of sheet metal. I first made a template out of cardboard, then traced it onto the sheet metal, cut it out with aviation tin-snips and riveted it into place.

Overall, great experience, love the mod and got a lot of power back. I still ordered a "proper" CkPS with the actual spacer but knowing that a single sensor can keep the truck from starting prompted me to want a spare around and I want to compare my cut with the actual spec anyway. If anyone has any questions about this mod feel free to DM me. Anyway, any/all comments welcome, sorry about the now SUPER long post, just wanted to help any one thinking about doing this or planning to from having the same unforeseen issues!

Happy Roving!


7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Quick Update, the transmission, wiring harness, clutch, master cylinder, pedal box, etc. are all now installed. This afternoon will be the first test, will upload pics shortly. Still need to connect/bleed master/slave cylinders and decipher oil cooler lines that the ZF auto used...anybody have any suggestions on the oil cooler lines?
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