CVT to Manual Swap - Nissan Versa Forums
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-15-2018, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Hello! I am new here and this is my first posting so please bear with me! Now before you all tell me I'm better off getting a new car... I have read through most of the topics on here regarding this, and yes, the cost effectiveness alone is a good reason not to do this but I am still interested and have some questions and any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Question 1,
I have a 2012 versa sedan base model, so no cruise control, and it has the 1.6, and that oh so reliable CVT which is on it's way out, again... I am looking to find a used manual trans to swap in just to see how easy that alone would be as it's the first piece of the puzzle. I've read that a manual transmission "RS5F91R" from a 2012-2016 will work. Does this sound right?


Question 2,
I have an idea of all the parts I would need but just wanted to double check and see if you guys agree with my list.
1. Transmission
2. Drive shafts
3. Flywheel
4. Clutch
5. Shifter
6. Peddle rack
7. Wiring harness
8. Ecu for manual trans (not sure if there are two ecu's for engine and trans or just one for both)
9. Center console


Question 3,
Will I need to replace or relocate anything in the engine bay to make room for the manual trans?

-Tacoman

Last edited by Tacoman; 05-15-2018 at 06:02 PM. Reason: New info
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-15-2018, 10:45 PM
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i have the same vehicle and out of curiosity, how many miles are on your vehicle when the 1st and 2nd CVT failed? Was the recommended fluid exchange schedule followed using the correct CVT specific fluid?

The only way this could possibly be cost effective is if you buy a totaled versa of the same year that is a manual. I did this a couple years ago on my Honda and then actually converted it back to an automatic due to an issue with the manual transmission that I bought.

Your list looks decent but its the small things that become the MAJOR headaches.

It was an absolute nightmare trying to install the clutch pedal assemble. Only the manual versions had the mounting bracket welding to the firewall and underneath the cowl. Meaning I had to mess with the wiper assembly in order to make a DIY assembly that would securely take the force of the clutch pedal being depressed and whatnot. Then swapping the brake pedal was a process that took hours of being upside down in the footwell all because two little springs would not cooperate. What about the system from the master cylinder to the slave cylinder? I bypassed it by having a custom stainless steel braided line made in order to make the install easier and not have to mess with purchasing a used Honda dampening system.

No idea on the ECU. I had to get a manual ECU because my car was OBDII and they integrated the TCU into the ECU whereas the OBDI had a seperate TCU and all you had to do was unplug it.

You'll need the clutch safety switch, the wiring, probably cv shafts that are specific to the manual. I was able to use the passenger side cv shaft but the manual trans on my Honda used an intermediate shaft as well as a short CV shaft.

Speaking of which, you'll probably need different motor/trans mounts and the angle of the engine/trans will make a difference. I had to pinpoint the location of the passenger side trans mount bolt because if you used the automatic placement it would bind the CV shaft and you end up having to replace them every couple hundred of miles.

Plus the array of various bolts, bushings, and everything else. Its not easy.....
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Last edited by versa122; 05-15-2018 at 10:48 PM.
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-15-2018, 11:16 PM
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Isn't the 2nd CVT covered by warranty also?
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-16-2018, 01:02 AM
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Cheap and plentiful as these cars are it maybe cheaper to just shop for a stick shift unless you get lucky at one of the flood car auctions. Just make sure then to clean all the parts and lube them up including the cvc booted areas where the storm water could get to it.

Not sure if this is a stick or auto, but they seem to always have a "front clip" for sale.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2016-Nissan...53.m1438.l2649

1095 on coparts aka salvage auction.

https://www.copart.com/lotSearchResu...ue&query=versa
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-16-2018, 02:43 AM
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Wouldn't it be easier to convert to the 4 speed auto?
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-16-2018, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan_nc View Post
Isn't the 2nd CVT covered by warranty also?
I have a 2012 Versa sedan, and my CVT transmission was replaced under warranty last year. Nissan authorized that the entire transmission be replaced instead of repairing the old one, and added an additional 12 month 12,000 miles warranty to the new tranny.
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-16-2018, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replys!
My first CVT went out at around 34,000 (just under factory warranty of 36,000) so it was covered, my versa is now just over 68,000. The warranty for my second CVT was unfortunately good for only 12 months/12,000 miles.

The fluid was never changed in my original CVT, or my current CVT until about three weeks ago when I had my passenger side drive shaft replaced due what I thought was a bad CV joint. Turns out the clicking and thumping I was hearing and feeling was just my CVT going bad as the new driveshaft changed nothing. If anything, since the fluid was replaced after shaft replacement, it has gotten much worse as it now periodically will clank into gear (from Park to Drive or Drive to Reverse) and I have lost power in the high end (second band) with more vibration. I called Nissan today to see if they would do a CVT fluid flush and they told me they wouldn't do anything until I get a CVT diagnostic check for $130... They actually told me (and I have heard this before) that CVT fluid changes/flushes are not recommended by Nissan. Not sure why. So I went ahead and made an appointment for Friday. I figure it might get me some answers. If they tell me I need a new trans I'll cut my losses and drive the car till it dies and continue looking into the CVT to manual swap in the meantime, but I also have my eye on some used 5 speed Corollas.

From what I read, the process for a CVT to the four speed auto transmission is just as labor intensive and almost as costly as the CVT to manual swap. The only main parts I believe not needed are the shifter, clutch, and pedal rack. I figured if I'm going through all the trouble, I might as well spent a little more money and time and make it a manual which is cheaper to repair/Service down the road.

A donor car would be the easiest route. Thanks for the links Cobb, not sure I trust buying something I can't see in person but that might be my only good route to get a donor car. Craigslist and FB market place has very little in the ways of junked 2012-2016 1.6 versas. And what I do find is far away or a little too sket for me to take seriously.

-Tacoman
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-17-2018, 12:24 AM
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When the fluid was changed was it done at the dealer with OEM fluid?

If there is one fluid on a vehicle that should ONLY be done at the dealership....it would be transmission fluid. Our shop used Kendall products and the list of which of their fluids could be used on what vehicle was a nightmare. First, its too easy for a tech to read the ticket wrong and grab the wrong fluid....or accidentally pump it out of the wrong barrel. In addition, all of the containers and units has residual fluid from the previous vehicle that was serviced.....blah. Being a Honda obsessed freak, i constantly told people with Hondas to do it themselves or go to the dealership and stay miles away from universal type fluids.

Regarding the recommendation not to flush or change, I would assume the recommendation is not to FLUSH. Alot of Honda transmissions are low pressure units with permanent screens/filters that cannot be serviced unless you physically tear down the transmission. Flushing them creates pressure inside of the tranny that there werent ever meant to handle in addition to forcing all of the debris and wear material into the permanent filter and clogging it which will eventually starve the tranny of fluid and burn it out. I change my ATF (As do most others) by simply draining the fluid, refilling with fresh ATF, driving for 10-50 miles, and repeating the process 2 more times. Works great!
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-17-2018, 12:35 AM
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Well, set your price so you can come out ahead. I doubt there is much of a demand for a rear or side damaged versa 5 speed.

Yeah, the carolla is one avenue or the yaris. I think Hyundai and Kia have a few stick shifts, assuming you are looking for a stick. I think toyota has no problems with their automatics nor honda. Honda spent a lot of time to perfect an automatic transmission.
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