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SC400 1998 vvti 5 speed conversion

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Old 01-13-15, 08:36 PM   #1
Mastana
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Default SC400 1998 vvti 5 speed conversion

I'm anticipating a 5 speed swap and before I pay for it. I have a couple of questions before i do it. Sorry if I ask obvious question i am only 18 years old. LOL I know the swap isnt going to make the motor lose reliability but im curious about will it take away ride quality? Will it drive the same in terms as in smoothness? Will i lose anything ill miss? Will i miss anything? Am i going to regret it? Anything else i should know before i do it please let me know thanks
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Old 01-14-15, 12:08 AM   #2
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It will be involved to swap in. For the 290hp/300lb-ft VVT-i engine it is a toss up between the W58 5-speed (factory rated at lower maximum torque but capable of withstanding more power for a time) and an R154 (factory rated for 1JZGTE turbo engines and able to withstand much more torque than they put out stock).

For your car's power level I'd recommend an R154 or similar alternative gearbox mentioned in other manual swap threads. Smoothness? An R154 can be quite smooth when in good shape after they have warmed up to their own optimum temperature (usually after about 10min of driving from cold). The internals of those gearboxes are a bit notchy when cold but it's to be expected with such a robust performance gearbox designed almost 30 years ago. I daily my SC300 with an R154. It's quite normal and uneventful when driven quietly. More than up to the task when driven aggressively. Reverse has no synchro and requires using a forward gear first. If you've driven a Mustang V8 with a 5-speed or a T-56 manual in a GM V8 car it's similar: beefy feel compared to the lighter feel of the W58. The shifting is also better done in a rigid fashion as if you had a gate shifter-- really not an issue and very quick to get comfortable with.

Your A650E automatic shift solenoids need to be removed and secured somewhere on the undercarraige to remain plugged in for signals the VVT-i ECU wants to see.

Not sure what else you'll lose. Check Cartmill's '99 SC300 VVT-i W58 swap threads for more details.

It's worth noting that the gearing in your factory A650E is suited to the 3.26:1 rear end you have. With either a W58 or R154 you will do better with a Supra TT Auto 3.77:1 or 92-97 SC400 3.92:1 rear ratio to better preserve your acceleration.

Unlike the 4-speed automatics in the 92-97 SC400's your 98 5-speed automatic is actually a good deal better from the factory.
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Old 01-14-15, 12:57 AM   #3
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Congrats on the Sc. At 18, I had a 92 Camry LE. I'm 25 now and love my car. Can't believe I found a 1998 in this condition, rare color and Miles, in Chicago! (Though it was not originally from here)

I say go for it and if you do, let me know how you like it. I own a small business and use this car as my daily and delivery vehicle, in style .

I was going to do a swap once I bought another daily, but I've decided to beef up my stock 5spd and just build a high compression, N/A engine. The vvti is pretty damn beasty. I do hate how the tranny sucks up some power here and their, but if you're looking for powerful shifts, start in low and go up. Big difference performance wise.

Also if you don't mind, does your model have the winter package? (Snow setting, heated seats) Mine does and makes for a safer and more cozy ride in this brittle and snowy Chicago weather.
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Old 01-14-15, 06:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KahnBB6 View Post
It will be involved to swap in. For the 290hp/300lb-ft VVT-i engine it is a toss up between the W58 5-speed (factory rated at lower maximum torque but capable of withstanding more power for a time) and an R154 (factory rated for 1JZGTE turbo engines and able to withstand much more torque than they put out stock).

For your car's power level I'd recommend an R154 or similar alternative gearbox mentioned in other manual swap threads. Smoothness? An R154 can be quite smooth when in good shape after they have warmed up to their own optimum temperature (usually after about 10min of driving from cold). The internals of those gearboxes are a bit notchy when cold but it's to be expected with such a robust performance gearbox designed almost 30 years ago. I daily my SC300 with an R154. It's quite normal and uneventful when driven quietly. More than up to the task when driven aggressively. Reverse has no synchro and requires using a forward gear first. If you've driven a Mustang V8 with a 5-speed or a T-56 manual in a GM V8 car it's similar: beefy feel compared to the lighter feel of the W58. The shifting is also better done in a rigid fashion as if you had a gate shifter-- really not an issue and very quick to get comfortable with.

Your A650E automatic shift solenoids need to be removed and secured somewhere on the undercarraige to remain plugged in for signals the VVT-i ECU wants to see.

Not sure what else you'll lose. Check Cartmill's '99 SC300 VVT-i W58 swap threads for more details.

It's worth noting that the gearing in your factory A650E is suited to the 3.26:1 rear end you have. With either a W58 or R154 you will do better with a Supra TT Auto 3.77:1 or 92-97 SC400 3.92:1 rear ratio to better preserve your acceleration.

Unlike the 4-speed automatics in the 92-97 SC400's your 98 5-speed automatic is actually a good deal better from the factory.
He's including a w58 5 speed ill prolly wont have the same gear ratios the 5 speed A650E but eventually I can upgrade the tranny. But thanks for the information I appreciate it.

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Originally Posted by SC400Zulu View Post
Congrats on the Sc. At 18, I had a 92 Camry LE. I'm 25 now and love my car. Can't believe I found a 1998 in this condition, rare color and Miles, in Chicago! (Though it was not originally from here)

I say go for it and if you do, let me know how you like it. I own a small business and use this car as my daily and delivery vehicle, in style .

I was going to do a swap once I bought another daily, but I've decided to beef up my stock 5spd and just build a high compression, N/A engine. The vvti is pretty damn beasty. I do hate how the tranny sucks up some power here and their, but if you're looking for powerful shifts, start in low and go up. Big difference performance wise.

Also if you don't mind, does your model have the winter package? (Snow setting, heated seats) Mine does and makes for a safer and more cozy ride in this brittle and snowy Chicago weather.
My car was originally from florida so it doesn't have the heated seats, but it has the snow mode lol.
Im thinking about doing im hesitating.
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Old 01-14-15, 12:09 PM   #5
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get a good swap kit. get a good trans. tie up all the old auto stuff so the ecu is happy. do the nsw saftey switch bypass and it should run and drive pretty well. you don't have to change the rear end but one from a 5spd would be a better match or even the older sc400 one is pretty good. there will be people lining up to trade with you as your rear end is the ratio people like for 6 speed or highway monsters. If you are going lsd the auto tt one is a perfect match as mentioned above by Kahn and you can always sell yours to get some money back. the vvti v8 has some grunt to it so it might not feel that bad just the gears will seem sort of long until you change it but its not a big deal really.
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Old 01-14-15, 06:59 PM   #6
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DO IT! And post your swap in great detail on here lol. There's been a handful of guys who've done the W58, but I havent seen anyone do the R154 swap on a 98+ (although it can be done as there are plenty who've done it on 92-97's).
If you use the search feature you'll find a few threads about swapping a manual into a W58. I think I'm keeping track of literally everyone since I'm planning on doing a manual swap myself if I dont sell my car.
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Old 01-15-15, 06:54 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by scENFORCER View Post
DO IT! And post your swap in great detail on here lol. There's been a handful of guys who've done the W58, but I havent seen anyone do the R154 swap on a 98+ (although it can be done as there are plenty who've done it on 92-97's).
If you use the search feature you'll find a few threads about swapping a manual into a W58. I think I'm keeping track of literally everyone since I'm planning on doing a manual swap myself if I dont sell my car.
I want to do it but my ECU is going to throw a CEL and that is going to annoy the life out of me since my sc is my DD and I want to keep it for as long as I can.

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Originally Posted by Ali SC3 View Post
get a good swap kit. get a good trans. tie up all the old auto stuff so the ecu is happy. do the nsw saftey switch bypass and it should run and drive pretty well. you don't have to change the rear end but one from a 5spd would be a better match or even the older sc400 one is pretty good. there will be people lining up to trade with you as your rear end is the ratio people like for 6 speed or highway monsters. If you are going lsd the auto tt one is a perfect match as mentioned above by Kahn and you can always sell yours to get some money back. the vvti v8 has some grunt to it so it might not feel that bad just the gears will seem sort of long until you change it but its not a big deal really.
True my major concern is the CEL believe it or not lol, I live in NJ and I have to make sure all my lights work for emissions and inspection
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Old 01-15-15, 10:42 AM   #8
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Default SC400 vvti Manual CEL problem

I was wondering if anyone did a sc400 manual swap and make the CEL go away ? I live in NJ and they are big on inspections, and its my daily driver so i want it to feel like its factory.
If so how, because i am anticipating on doing one thanks.
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Old 01-15-15, 12:41 PM   #9
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There is a thread on here where its been done without a CEL I want to say. the trick was to pull the couple of sensors off the auto trans that the ecu talks to and leave them plugged in to the harness and then secure them out of the way somewhere. the ecu only knows if they are plugged in or not, not if they are actually doing anything.
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Old 01-15-15, 03:28 PM   #10
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Ok, Do not start a thread with almost the exact same title in another section after I specifically said there is a thread which shows that info. please search for the thread, it is not difficult.
for example I searched v8 vvti manual swap and got this.
http://www.clublexus.com/forums/sc-4...-finished.html

Cartmill's thread:
http://www.clublexus.com/forums/perf...ode-p1780.html
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Old 01-15-15, 10:51 PM   #11
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^ Yeah its definitely doable as per the links above, its been done in the past. Someone with some experience in car electronics will be able to get rid of most/all the CEL's no problem.
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Old 01-16-15, 03:20 AM   #12
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^^ Ali beat me to it. Those are the threads. As I recall it has something also do to with getting the VVT-i ECU to register "neutral" or "Drive" as well as getting reverse backup lights to come on. But the transmission trick is physically removing the shift solenoids from the A650E (meaning it can't be used by someone else afterward unless those solenoids are replaced) and leaving them plugged in and tied up somewhere on the chassis. Indeed the ECU doesn't have the ability to realize those solenoids aren't actually doing anything. It just wants to see them.

As you'll read, OP, I believe Cartmill was successful in the end in eliminating his CELs. It's just more electrical work than with non-VVT SC's.
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Old 01-20-15, 07:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KahnBB6 View Post
^^ Ali beat me to it. Those are the threads. As I recall it has something also do to with getting the VVT-i ECU to register "neutral" or "Drive" as well as getting reverse backup lights to come on. But the transmission trick is physically removing the shift solenoids from the A650E (meaning it can't be used by someone else afterward unless those solenoids are replaced) and leaving them plugged in and tied up somewhere on the chassis. Indeed the ECU doesn't have the ability to realize those solenoids aren't actually doing anything. It just wants to see them.

As you'll read, OP, I believe Cartmill was successful in the end in eliminating his CELs. It's just more electrical work than with non-VVT SC's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by scENFORCER View Post
^ Yeah its definitely doable as per the links above, its been done in the past. Someone with some experience in car electronics will be able to get rid of most/all the CEL's no problem.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali SC3 View Post
Ok, Do not start a thread with almost the exact same title in another section after I specifically said there is a thread which shows that info. please search for the thread, it is not difficult.
for example I searched v8 vvti manual swap and got this.
http://www.clublexus.com/forums/sc-4...-finished.html

Cartmill's thread:
http://www.clublexus.com/forums/perf...ode-p1780.html
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali SC3 View Post
There is a thread on here where its been done without a CEL I want to say. the trick was to pull the couple of sensors off the auto trans that the ecu talks to and leave them plugged in to the harness and then secure them out of the way somewhere. the ecu only knows if they are plugged in or not, not if they are actually doing anything.
Thanks guys for the help its greatly appreciated ill look into it.
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Old 03-13-15, 12:35 PM   #14
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Ali SC3 - I have a 1998 sc400 and just had the supra auto tt lsd trd diff installed, did I read correctly from you respond that I could use that diff If do the 58W manual swap? Or would I need to replace that diff?

If I need to replace it what diff would you recommend?

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Old 03-13-15, 02:57 PM   #15
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the auto TT diff is a great ratio for the 5 speed manual transmissions. the w58 and even r154 will be well matched to the 3.76 gear that is in there. you will notice acceleration will be faster than with your old differential which was the 3.26 that comes on v8 with the 5 speed automatics in 98+ only.

basically you did the right thing by switching the stock 5 speed auto diff to the tt auto diff since you did a 5 speed swap, you shouldn't need to change it at all, just enjoy!!

hold on to your original diff though, alot of the 6 speed manual guys are looking for those 3.26 diffs nowadays as the 6 speed needs that lower ratio to be like factory.
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