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Manual conversion first impressions!

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.
1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

Manual conversion first impressions!

Postby Japedo » 23 Apr 2010, 12:24

After getting my ignition problems sorted out and the car running again I have been able to finally try the newly converted manual transmission. Have driven it 300miles so far, and this is my first impression.


- Increased fuel economy. Averaging 8L/100kms as apposed to 10L/100km with the automatic.
- Alot of fun to drive.
- Seems alot faster from 0 to 120km/hr
- I don't think i'll see another flashing arrow again :lol:


- With two large coffees in my cup holder the shifter almost hits them in 2nd, 3rd, and reverse.
- I now need to fix my emergency brakes
- harder to eat, text, or drink "non alcoholic" while driving.
- no cruise control
- wife has to learn how to drive stick now.

I am very happy with the manual transmission so far, car seems to pull alot harder. Only other mod is a manual boost controller. I am also pleased that it is getting better fuel millage.

The used transmission and associated parts I installed had 270kms on it "168miles" however the clutch wasn't originall and still looked fine so I installed it....

I'll update this thread if I have any issues or find any new pros or cons of the manual conversion.

2003 v70 2.5tawd black/black 120miles
2007 nissan altima 2.5 cvt 107miles
2001 xc70 211 miles " collision"/ parts car
1994 850 turbo 315miles 5 speed "stoped fixing it"
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Re: Manual conversion first impressions!

Postby jblackburn » 23 Apr 2010, 13:54


I think manual is really the way to go - it really puts YOU in control of the car, rather than it doing what it thinks is right - it's saddening that cars are getting harder and harder to find in them. Having an auto is nice in traffic, though, I will admit. If my transmission dies on me, I'll do a manual swap to mine too.

My dad converted a BMW 2002 from auto to manual about...jeez, 18 years ago now. It works great, it came straight out of the other car they already owned - the only problem is reverse smashes into the radio knob, so it's been through quite a few of those :mrgreen:
'98 S70 T5
2012 Chevy Cruze LT 6MT

A learning experience is one of those things that says, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."

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Re: Manual conversion first impressions!

Postby whoa » 23 Apr 2010, 13:59

Awesome, japedo. That's a major undertaking. Definitely not in the market for that myself because of stop-and-go commute traffic and also because the San Francisco hills eat clutches.
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Re: Manual conversion first impressions!

Postby Jazzop » 27 Jul 2013, 13:45

Why do you say "no more cruise control"? You may have to replace some components of the cruise control system if yours was designed for an automatic car, but it is certainly possible to have a manual car with cruise control. Mine came from the factory that way.
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