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
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.
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
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
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!