2000 Volvo V70R AWD Manual Swap!

Posted by lucky on 1/30/2014 to ARD Blog Articles

The 2000 Volvo V70R is a great chassis to start a build from since it is already factory equipped with the larger TD04HL 19T and a host of interior upgrades. However there is a down side... They were only available in automatic transmission here in the US. Additionally the M58 AWD transmission that is needed to properly convert the V70R into a manual transmission is somewhat hard to find and can be costly to acquire. As if that wasn’t enough, the engine management system in that chassis is of the vastly more complex ME7 version which further complicates converting from automatic transmission to manual transmission. Fortunately with some hard work and diligence in the code we were able to provide a seamless upgrade for the owner of this R model. Here’s how we did it.

As you’d expect it all starts with taking it apart. We find it quickest to remove the engine, transmission, and sub frame as a whole out the bottom of the engine bay.

Now we remove the axles, bevel gear, transmission, flex plate, and replace the rear main seal while we’re in there.

Installation of the flywheel, clutch assembly, and manual transmission is next and is pretty straight forward. The bevel gear and axles all mount up without modification however the AWD automatic transmission mount is different than the AWD manual transmission mount and the correct part must be ordered. 

The bracket that attaches to the mount came with our M58 so we didn't have to fabricate one this time.

Going together!

While we had things apart the owner opted for a few upgrades including delrin subframe bushings which surprisingly did not add any appreciable noise, vibration, or harshness to the overall driving quality.


Interior work is the hard part simply by virtue of the limited space to work in however the work is straight forward and consists mainly of installing the clutch master cylinder, pedal set, and routing shifter cables and shifter assembly.

Engine and transmission assembly going back into the engine bay.

Additional wiring must be run from the ECU and connected to the clutch positions sensor and the network wiring must be re-routed once the TCU has been removed. Don’t forget to bypass the park/neutral start inhibitor along with wiring up the reverse light switch. The park/nuetral inhibitor is actually not used in early manual transmission cars and this is intentional. The idea is that if the vehicle were to die and become stranded in the road you could use the start motor to ‘crank’ the vehicle off to the side of the road, out of the way. 

Unlike earlier -1998 models these 1999- models are ECU coded per vehicle. So you can't simply swap your current ECU that is programmed for an automatic transmission with an ECU that is programmed for a manual transmission. ECU re-programming is actually quite a bit of work on this ME7.01 ECU as multiple maps need to be changed since the manual transmission loads the engine quite differently as compared to the automatic. Timing maps, boost control, fueling tables, throttle mapping and of course cruise control has to be changed to reflect the new engine/transmission configuration.

With less parasitic loss on the engine we actually get better fuel economy as well as more power to the ground with the ARD Tuning Blue tune on this 19T turbo. Something these Porsche Brembo calipers and rotors will help contain J

It may seem like a lot of work to convert an automatic to a manual transmission but the M58 gear ratios provide for a truly enjoyable driving experience with the power and braking to make even the most tepid curves fun again!


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 Forged Engine build Part 1
 2000 Volvo V70R AWD Manual Swap!

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