2003 Swapped in a 6speed , replaced the 5 speed

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2003 Swapped in a 6speed , replaced the 5 speed

Postby Kamloops » Sat May 15, 2010 2:42 pm

i have a 2003 Vibe and my Buddy has a 2003 Matrix XR.

His 5speed tranny died and I suggested he replace it with a 6 speed. The 6 speeds are easier to get used and they do not suffer the problems the 5speeds did.

The swap went without a hitch, did not have to change a thing just bolted right in, only thing he needs is the 6speed shifter knob, but the 5 speed on is fine.

He loves it! Big improvement he said. Car has way more pep.

I am sure if it can be done in a Matrix it would be the same for a vibe, in fact the tranny he put in was from a Vibe

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Re: 2003 Swapped in a 6speed , replaced the 5 speed (Kamloops)

Postby joatmon » Sat May 15, 2010 7:39 pm

for me the big functional difference between the 5 and 6 speeds is the gear ratios. 6th gear in a 6 speed is 0.73 overdrive, and 5th in a 5 speed is also 0.73 overdrive, but the final drive ratio in the 6 speed is 4.53 in the 5 speed it's 3.94. This means in top gear at highway speeds, the engine with the 6 speed has to turn 4.53/3.94=1.18 times faster than the engine with the 5 speed. His cruising MPGs will probably go down a little, but since 1st gear is also the same between the two, he'll probably feel a little more torque on take off.

I have a later year corolla 5 speed in my 03 Vibe , seems to be holding up well

That's good to know for sure that the 6 speed is a direct bolt up. Too bad you didn't have any pictures, our how to change a tranny thread ysed to have some, but the guy who posted the how to must have deleted the pictures from whatever external host they used to be on.

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Re: 2003 Swapped in a 6speed , replaced the 5 speed (joatmon)

Postby SRQ Sid » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:27 am

Hello all...
I am a newby and looking for info prior to buying a Vibe. I am a little confused by this topic.
Let's see: he has the same engine, a new transmission with the same ratios in 1st and top gear (.73 OD), and the same rear end ratio (3.94) that he started with.
How could the performance or mileage be changed?
Am I missing something?

Great site, thanks to all.

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Re: 2003 Swapped in a 6speed , replaced the 5 speed (SRQ Sid)

Postby star_deceiver » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:27 am

Quote, originally posted by joatmon »
the final drive ratio in the 6 speed is 4.53 in the 5 speed it's 3.94. This means in top gear at highway speeds, the engine with the 6 speed has to turn 4.53/3.94=1.18 times faster than the engine with the 5 speed.

More wheel torque with the 6 speed as they don't have the same final drive. His cruising rpm will also be higher.

Welcome to GenVibe, BTW!!!

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Re: 2003 Swapped in a 6speed , replaced the 5 speed (star_deceiver)

Postby SRQ Sid » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:56 am

I realize now that I was thinking of the final drive as a separate unit that would remain in the vehicle as if it was RWD. It is now obvious that the tranny and final drive are together so the new transmission has the new ratio also.
Wicked cool!
I have been lurking here for about 2 days, one of which was needed for just the clutch issue thread! Ha ha.
OTOH, I have learned much and I enjoy the group's insights (and pictures!)
Thanks joatmon for clearing things up.
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Re: 2003 Swapped in a 6speed , replaced the 5 speed (SRQ Sid)

Postby SRQ Sid » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:58 am

Oops. Thanks to you also star_deceiver.
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Re: 2003 Swapped in a 6speed , replaced the 5 speed (star_deceiver)

Postby TONY TAT2 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:31 am

How would tire diameter affect the final drive ?
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Re: 2003 Swapped in a 6speed , replaced the 5 speed (joatmon)

Postby Baltovibe » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:12 pm

Quote, originally posted by joatmon »
Too bad you didn't have any pictures, our how to change a tranny thread ysed to have some, but the guy who posted the how to must have deleted the pictures from whatever external host they used to be on.

If that tranny thread is http://forums.genvibe.com/zerothread?id=21943, then the pictures are still there. Because the external image host does not allow direct linking from a foreign site, you can right-click on the dead image and select view image. The image will appear.

Also, it has been reposted at http://wehavescissors.blogspot....html

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Re: 2003 Swapped in a 6speed , replaced the 5 speed (Kamloops)

Postby mntn-biker » Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:08 am

Kamloops - Do you know if the flywheel was the same from the 5 speed to the 6 speed?
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Re: 2003 Swapped in a 6speed , replaced the 5 speed (Kamloops)

Postby VibeMaugh » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:58 am

First timer... great finding this discussion as my 03 VibeMo's 5 speed tranny is pooping out.

My bro will help me switch out tranny's if I can research what all needs to be done to convert my base Vibe to a 6 spd. I don't want to do this again... 103K easy miles!

I'm seeing the clutch may need to be changed to a 6-sp compatible (all the parts?), but what about the shift cables, lines, axles, cylinders, etc? Are they compatible or do I need to buy new (GT/XRS) ones?

I find it hard to believe I may not get as high of mileage... I like my high 30's/low 40's (but like less changing transmissions).

Much thanks in advance. I can't afford another car this soon.

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Re: 2003 Swapped in a 6speed , replaced the 5 speed (VibeMaugh)

Postby mntn-biker » Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:45 pm

Quote, originally posted by VibeMaugh »
First timer... great finding this discussion as my 03 VibeMo's 5 speed tranny is pooping out.

My bro will help me switch out tranny's if I can research what all needs to be done to convert my base Vibe to a 6 spd. I don't want to do this again... 103K easy miles!

I'm seeing the clutch may need to be changed to a 6-sp compatible (all the parts?), but what about the shift cables, lines, axles, cylinders, etc? Are they compatible or do I need to buy new (GT/XRS) ones?

I find it hard to believe I may not get as high of mileage... I like my high 30's/low 40's (but like less changing transmissions).

Much thanks in advance. I can't afford another car this soon.

The 6 speeds will swap in from I believe:
03-08 Vibe
03-08 Matrix
04-08 Corolla

Cables, lines, etc. all swap out fine. Use your existing flywheel as long as it can be re-surfaced. I contacted gripforce.com about a F1 Stage 2 clutch kit (carbon kevlar disc instead of an organic one) and he said the clutch kit for the 5 speed and the 6 speed are 1 and the same. I went 1 step above oem on the clutch since a number of people have complained about pre-mature clutch failure with the 6 speeds. This may be due to driving style and/or the GT's have more hp and could tend to slip the clutch easier. My clutch on my 5 speed was original and had 93k miles on it and it never slipped and their was plenty of lining left on it when I took the 5 speed out. I am in the process of re-assembling my car right now. Just stabbed the 6 speed on the engine last night and am putting all the brackets and motor mounts on it now. Here is some good reading material for doing the swap:

http://wehavescissors.blogspot....html

Stabbing the tranny on the engine IS A 2 PERSON JOB even if you have a floor jack supporting the tranny for height. I built a cradle out of 2x4's and bolted it to my floor jack to support the tranny and keep it from rocking around which was very helpful during the stabbing process.

Check this thread - this guy on the forum may still have a 6 speed (I found one local for a bit cheaper with less miles on it):

http://forums.genvibe.com/zero...age=1

Good luck to you!

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Postby Neouka » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:15 am

wait, so you do have to change the shift linkages? Everyone else made it sound like that was unnecessary D:

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Re: (Neouka)

Postby mntn-biker » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:51 am

Quote, originally posted by Neouka »
wait, so you do have to change the shift linkages? Everyone else made it sound like that was unnecessary D:

No. Everything is the same.

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Re: (mntn-biker)

Postby Neouka » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:14 am

how does it work then with the extra shift gate on the 6-speed? Or it just mysteriously does?

If you had no problems, I'm probably going to go ahead with this swap as well within a couple weeks. Might go buy the used trans tomorrow, but I still want to get a new clutch and possibly flywheel.

I just had a brake caliper replaced today since one was sticking and ruining my new pads and rotors.. this car is becoming a bit of a money pit right before I plan on selling it, lol..


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Re: (Neouka)

Postby joatmon » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:12 am

Quote, originally posted by Neouka »
how does it work then with the extra shift gate on the 6-speed? Or it just mysteriously does?

no mystery,

the shifter is just mounted on a gimbal, sort of like a universal joint. attatched to it are two cables, one moves when you move the shifter left or right, the other moves when you move the shifter forward or back. If you disconnect the shift cables from the levers on the tranny, you can move the shifter in circles, do figure 8's, whatever. When connected to the levers on the tranny, the cables can only move in ways the transmission allows, and that's what sets the shift pattern. So no shifter mods are required when replacing the 5 speed with a 6 speed.

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Re: (joatmon)

Postby mntn-biker » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:21 am

Quote, originally posted by joatmon »

no mystery,

the shifter is just mounted on a gimbal, sort of like a universal joint. attatched to it are two cables, one moves when you move the shifter left or right, the other moves when you move the shifter forward or back. If you disconnect the shift cables from the levers on the tranny, you can move the shifter in circles, do figure 8's, whatever. When connected to the levers on the tranny, the cables can only move in ways the transmission allows, and that's what sets the shift pattern. So no shifter mods are required when replacing the 5 speed with a 6 speed.

Yeah. What Joatman said. After hooking all the linkage up today, I jumped in and shifted thru the gears (without the engine running) just to see how it worked out. It works.

I will probably have this up and running by the weekend. I decided to replace my front struts, mounts, and boots (the boots were original and were shredded with 93k miles on them) while everything is torn apart. I would have had it together by tomorrow night except that one of the strut to body mount bolts snapped while I was torqing it down to spec. so I had to order a replacement with next day air so it won't get here til Friday

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Postby Neouka » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:37 am

Is there any sort of lockout for reverse on the GTs? I got the transmission today for 700 bucks, and I see how the linkage makes no difference, there's only two levers to control everything. I guess I had that oldschool idea where there was a linkage for each set of gears lol..

Now I just have to get a clutch, maybe a flywheel... then someone or a shop to install it all. I hope the transmission is good, kinda hard to tell when it's just a part on the floor. Looks okay, apparently has 55,000 km/35k mi on it.


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Re: (Neouka)

Postby Herb » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:19 pm

Quote, originally posted by Neouka »
Is there any sort of lockout for reverse on the GTs?

Not as such. When you push left towards 1st, there's a soft stop that you have to push slightly harder to get to the next gate for reverse.

In the case of the GTs, they start beeping as soon as you're in reverse to remind you that you're in reverse instead of 1st.

Would you agree to debris acceptance?

2003 Vibe GT
Mods installed
GM Top and Mid-Gate Spoilers, Cosmo CAI, TWM Short Shifter with Desert Eagle weighted shift knob, TWM Bronzoil Shifter Cable Bushings, Magnaflow Cat Back Exhaust, Unichip, Injen Billet Aluminum Engine/Sparkplug covers and oil cap, Optima RedTop Battery, Lineage Ground Wire Kit
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Energy Suspension Motor Mounts, DC Sports Header

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Re: (mntn-biker)

Postby sideshowalan » Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:45 am

So how did it go. Is the swap complete?
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Re: (sideshowalan)

Postby mntn-biker » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:03 am

Quote, originally posted by sideshowalan »
So how did it go. Is the swap complete?

It is done with the exception of putting the lower splash shield on and getting a 6 speed shift knob.

Stabbing the tranny on the engine IS a 2 person job and was the trickiest part of the job.

Not sure about the clutch I put on it. It is a F1 Racing Stage 2 clutch. Not very forgiving from a dead stop but it is drivable. It isn't very smooth from a dead stop - it kinda sounds like and feels like something is warped as you ease the clutch out but maybe it just needs to break in or this is the nature of it since it is very "grabby". I'm just wondering if the tips of the clutch's pressure plate are not equal. The instructions from F1 did not say anything about keeping them inline, just parallel with the flywheel. I torqued the clutch cover down to spec which pulls the tips in towards the disc. At that point, the tips were pretty much parallel but I didn't know what else I could do at this point. Didn't know if it would be a problem but like I said, I had it torqued down and I couldn't really tighten it anymore to pull the tips in more so this is what I had. I may call gripforce.com today and see what they have to say.

This was my first clutch job/major transmission job so other than this issue, everything else went fine. Would I do it again? I hope I don't have to but I probably would to save $600 worth of labor cost on a clutch replacement job.

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Re: (mntn-biker)

Postby star_deceiver » Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:59 am

Quote, originally posted by mntn-biker »

Not sure about the clutch I put on it. It is a F1 Racing Stage 2 clutch. Not very forgiving from a dead stop but it is drivable. It isn't very smooth from a dead stop - it kinda sounds like and feels like something is warped as you ease the clutch out but maybe it just needs to break in or this is the nature of it since it is very "grabby".

Rip it up and shift shift shift! Break 'er in good!

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Postby richz03 » Sat Nov 27, 2010 11:42 pm

Looks like I will be doing this swap too! Good news since used 5speeds are much more $$$ than the used 6 speeds.
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Postby Neouka » Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:44 am

Swap is done!
I had the transmission sitting in my garage for a couple months, but I finally got unlazy and took it to the shop to do the swap.

Trans is a LOT quieter now, I didn't realize how bad it had gotten. Shifts smoother, still not buttery smooth like my brother's Mazda3 but I think that's just how these transmissions are. Clutch feels lighter and grabs better. Overall the car feels a touch quicker, but you do have to shift a lot more, and it does rev higher on the highway.

Now I just need to get a 6 sp knob to complete it!

Still plan on getting something new in the spring though, lol..


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Re: (Neouka)

Postby star_deceiver » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:01 am

Did you put a new clutch in as well?

Something new??? (I'd recommend an 09-10 Vibe.... )

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Re: (star_deceiver)

Postby Neouka » Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:55 pm

yup, brand new clutch kit. The old one was still good even at 200,000 km, but the new one definitely grabs better.

I don't think I'd buy another Vibe, lol.. I kind of want to take a step up from my current car

Right now the tops of my list are
1. 2012 Ford Focus hatch (mmm, 8" touchscreen navigation, 10 speaker stereo and a bunch of other goodies)
2. 2011 VW Golf TDI highline ... really want a diesel but it's lacking in goodies like the Focus
3. 2011 Mazda3 hatch .. good car for the money, but worse fuel economy


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Re: (Neouka)

Postby star_deceiver » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:10 pm

Quote, originally posted by Neouka »

1. 2012 Ford Focus hatch (mmm, 8" touchscreen navigation, 10 speaker stereo and a bunch of other goodies) - Looks good!

2. 2011 VW Golf TDI highline ... really want a diesel but it's lacking in goodies like the Focus - Diesel , notorious volkswagen unreliability and cost of parts

3. 2011 MazdaSpeed3 hatch ... There, fixed it for you! If you're contemplating spending the $$$ on the Golf then there's no sense in not getting the uberfast model!!!

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Re: (star_deceiver)

Postby Neouka » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:40 pm

I'm waiting to see if the Focus is going to live up to my expectations of it. I've priced out one with all the options I want, and it ends up being a $30,000 (cdn) car. If it's worth it, I'm all for that. It does sound a bit scary to potentially own a 30,000 dollar Focus though.

I'm kinda lukewarm on the VW. The Mk6 Golf looks like a pretty decent car, and no major problems to speak of yet, after browsing VWVortex for a bit. I really, really want a diesel though. How much worse can it be than the Vibe, I did have to replace a manual transmission after 200,000 km!

Don't want the Speed3. It ends up being 10 grand more than a fully loaded Golf TDI, eats premium gas, and a lot of it. I want fuel economy ..

I'm hoping the Focus will clear at least 40 US mpg hwy. The Golf diesel rocks that easy though.


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Postby Bedlam » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:55 pm

lets say i do this to my 2003 5-spd base. With the reverse gear being in a different location; what triggers the backup lights to go on? Is that controlled through the computer so no change is needed and it will just know or is there a sensor that needs to be placed else-ware to pickup the new gear location?
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Re: (Bedlam)

Postby mntn-biker » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:05 pm

Quote, originally posted by Bedlam »
lets say i do this to my 2003 5-spd base. With the reverse gear being in a different location; what triggers the backup lights to go on? Is that controlled through the computer so no change is needed and it will just know or is there a sensor that needs to be placed else-ware to pickup the new gear location?

No need to worry about that! It all happens behind the scenes. Just rip out the POS 5 speed and put in a 6 speed and everything is happy. I did need to remove the speedometer thingamajiggy from my POS 5 speed and put it in place of the plug on my replacement 6 speed (from a Corolla). Must be they sense the speed differently on a Corolla....

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Re: (mntn-biker)

Postby Bedlam » Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:02 am

Quote, originally posted by mntn-biker »

No need to worry about that! It all happens behind the scenes. Just rip out the POS 5 speed and put in a 6 speed and everything is happy. I did need to remove the speedometer thingamajiggy from my POS 5 speed and put it in place of the plug on my replacement 6 speed (from a Corolla). Must be they sense the speed differently on a Corolla....

great to know, thanks! That was my only concern about the swap, everything else seams fairly standard taking the old out and putting the new in. When my stock clutch or transmission finally go this will be first one the list.

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Re: (mntn-biker)

Postby Neouka » Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:03 am

Yup, reverse just seems to work fine, no problems with the lights.

I don't think they had to change any speed sensors on mine, but my 6 speed was from an 05 Vibe GT.

I still find it funny that the clutch outlived the transmission on my car D:


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