Lexus SC400 Manual Transmission Swap Thread

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SC400 Clutch In

This project thread walks us through every headache of swapping a manual transmission into an SC400.

One of the few downfalls to the Lexus SC400 is that it was only offered with an automatic transmission, but a handful of members have removed the stock gearbox in favor of a manual unit. Club Lexus member LoveSCs put together a build project thread detailing every step of the swap and the 42-page discussion is a wealth of information for anyone attempting this upgrade.

If you are planning on performing this swap in your own Lexus SC400, we recommend that you spend some time reading through the entire thread. Not only does the OP walk us through the project, but several other members who tackled the same project shared their own into, so in this thread is input from several people who have gone through the process.

However, with this thread spanning a whopping 42 pages, we summarized the project for those who don’t want to read the whole thing – but who are curious about what all goes into adding a manual transmission to an SC400.

The Introduction

When the OP first introduced the forum to his SC400 manual transmission swap, he laid out the items needed for the project, followed by a summary of the entire swap over the course of the first 7 posts in the thread. That makes getting the full rundown a bit easier, but for those SC400 owners who are considering the swap, the 42-page thread is something that you will want to read to in full.

Here is parts list Also, check the bottom of this post for an excel spreadsheet of parts and hardware and costs:

-CD009 from 2006 350Z with 63k miles on it. It has AZQ CD009 label on it, and CD0 #2 cast in the casing, signifying that it is the latest revision of the CD009

-Collins adapter kit which includes:
670ft lb clutch kit with pressure plateReceived with kit, but I will instead be running South Bend clutch kit NSK1000-SS-TZ with silent disc
Adapter plate
pilot bushing adapter
trans mount
aluminum driveshaft
driveshaft yolk adapter for SC400 diff
bolts and hardware
extended clutch release bearing and sleeve

-pedal set

-new master cylinder, hard line, slave line Went with a Wilwood 3/4″ master cylinder, a hard line from advanced auto that I bent, and a custom stainless braided slave line from Pegasus Auto

-new throw out bearing, bearing sleeve, slave cylinder, and cast iron clutch fork? (I will check the condition of these components when the cd009 arrives) The Collins kit comes with a throw out bearing mounted on an extended sleeve, so you can not use the stock release bearing apparently. My fork and pivot ball look to be in good condition, so will leave as is. Gott a new OEM Nissan slave cylinder

-240sx shifter with BRZ shifter for reverse lockout functionality

-MO-LITH No.2 grease made by Lubriplate. It is Lithium grease with Molybdenum Disulfate, which 350z clutch manual specifies to use such grease type. Got from partsgeek for about $15 with shipping.

-cd009 bellhousing to Collins adapter mounting bolts: (5) M12X1.75-55mm and (4) M10x1.50-35mm bolts

-98-00 SC400 gated shifter trim bezel

-VQ35 reverse switch connector with pigtails from Wiring Specialties

I will be taking lots of pics and making lots of posts of what I will encounter.

Below is a quick summary of the Lexus SC400 manual transmission swap.

The Beginning

After acquiring all of the parts that he expected to need, the OP began his Lexus SC400 manual transmission swap by removing the stock automatic transmission, the shifter and all of the assorted supporting items that come with the self-shifting gearbox.

SC400 Shifter Mess

Overall, this phase of the project was pretty simple, but that is to be expected when you are removing things intended to be in that particular vehicle. It gets a whole lot harder as the project moves forward.

SC400 Stock Shifter

Preparing the Transmission

Once the stock transmission was ripped out of the SC400, the OP prepared the CD009 manual transmission from a Nissan 350Z.

SC400 Manual Trans

He knew that the shifter portion of the Nissan transmission would need to be modified to fit through the available hole in the floor of the Lexus, so he used some parts from a 240Z to help the new shifter sit in a comfortable position next to the driver

Preparing the Car

Once the shifter portion of the transmission had been modified to work with the floor of the Lexus, the OP tried to test fit the new gearbox in the car. Unfortunately, he found that the tunnel wasn’t wide enough and that the firewall was too close to the engine to allow the beefier bellhousing to fit behind the engine.

Sc400 with Narrow Tunnel

To widen the tunnel, the OP put a floor jack into the cavity and jacked it open, slowly stretching the floor to the point where the CD009 fit, but he still couldn’t fit the transmission up onto the engine.

Jack in Tunnel

Unfortunately, he figured out that the only way to comfortably make the CD009 transmission fit was to hammer in the firewall a bit and he couldn’t do that with the engine in place, so out came the engine. With the engine on a hoist and out of the way, the OP modified the firewall so that he had plenty of room and he painted it all black to give it a clean, factory look.

SC400 Engine Bay Painted

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