The process of a manual transmission swap in early Volvo models up to 1999 is a pretty straight forward conversation; Acquire the manual transmission swap parts, install them, and finally install a manual transmission ECU. That�s basically it. Starting in 1999, inter-module communication and ECU�s that were specific to each car, prevented the easy swapping of ECU�s back and forth as we knew it from years past. However with necessity being the mother of invention it wasn�t long until some tuners figured out how to do this in later model cars. This week�s article will focus on what it takes in the various years between 1999- and present models if you�re looking to swap out your slush box for a bolt action transmission!
The first chassis to receive the ME7 engine management system was known as the P80 chassis and refers to S70, V70 models from 1999-2000, as well as the C70 from 1999 to 2004 for that particular model. For these cars the manual swap is actually not too far off from earlier cars. Aside from the obvious need for the proper hard parts (i.e. manual trans, clutch, master/slave cylinder, etc�) you simply need to have your ECU converted to manual trans by a tuner who knows how to do it (Ardtuning.com can help you there ;) .
There is a bit more re-wiring required in these models so let�s address that one item at a time.
1. The Automatic transmission has, what in the old days was called a park/neutral switch, and today is called a gear position sensor. This sensor controls both the neutral/park starter inhibitor as well as reverse light switch. The neutral/park inhibitor will need to be bypassed by connecting the green/red to green wires.
2. Reverse lights are also controlled via the gear position sensor so connecting the blue/grey and blue wires to the reverse switch on the manual transmission will resolve that.
3. Removing the TCU will result in a break in the network communication wires so the in/out network wires to the TCU need to be jumped. This is generally quite straight forward as network wires are always white and green and twisted together. Simply connect green to green and white to white and that�s it!
4. For those who want to retain cruise control, the clutch sensor will need to be added in and wired as well. Since the clutch sensor wiring doesn�t exist in auto trans cars it will need to be added. Review the schematic page on Matthews Volvo site for details.
P2 conversion 1999-2004
For P2 models from 1999-2004 including the S80, S60, V70, and XC90 the process is very similar and includes everything discussed for P80 models but has a few differences as noted below.
1. Reverse lights will need to be hardwired from the reverse switch on the manual trans all the way back to the reverse lights themselves. Since P2 models are full multiplexed cars with dual CAN bus networks the reverse light signal is sent to the CEM which then relays that via the CAN network to the REM which is actually in charge or the reverse lights. Most folks will simply wire the manual trans reverse light switch directly to battery power on one terminal and then run a wire all the way back to the reverse lights on the other terminal. The reverse lights are powered by the Blue wire at the rear light housings and can be tapped off the REM relay #4
2. The CEM controls the start inhibitor for P2 cars so the gear position sensor will need the yellow/black wires connected to ground.
3. Cruise control can be made to work but again the clutch sensor and wiring is not installed to auto trans cars so both the sensor and the wiring will need to be added and connected to the ECU.
P2 conversion 2005-
For 2005+ models the conversion starts to get sticky as multiple systems need to be recoded to work correctly. Without proper coding systems like DSTC, 4C active chassis, as well as others may start to show limited functionality as information from the transmission module is suddenly missing. If your tuner is local to you then system recoding is likely not an issue however for non-local folks complete system retuning will be a challenge. Consult your tuner for more info. If some limited functionality doesn�t bother you then conversion for these cars is effectively the same as earlier P2 cars.
P1 conversion 2004.5-
P1 manual swaps for models like the C30, V50, S40, C70 start to get even trickier mostly due to the Lin bus network using primarily serial communication rather than switched inputs to designate gear selection like park, neutral, or drive. This isn�t to say that P1 manual swaps can�t be done but it takes considerable work to do it cleanly. My advice to most folks is to simply grab the wiring and modules from the high speed network from a proper manual car and install to your model. Then recode the ECU for manual trans file and it doesn�t get much cleaner than that. P1 models suffer all the same issues with reverse lights, etc.. but can be easily overcome with a network swap from a donor car. So for those interested be sure to consult a proficient install shop and tuner as it�s quite a bit more complicated than previously discussed models. We�ll be finishing our first P1 manual swap later this spring so look for an update at that time!
P3 chassis 2007-
P3 is a larger untouched market currently and while time will certainly change that, the work to do a manual conversion has been slow. We�ve only seen two of them done so far and with less than spectacular results. Time will tell for sure how much work will be required but look for an update this summer as we partner with our friends in Canada on one of the first one�s we�ll be working on!
ARD strongly suggests taking the time to review the schematic on your car before under taking such a large project. Volvo schematics are quite in depth and fairly straight forward to understand. With that said the information provided here is to help guide you along the way, some changes between models is to be expected so be sure to consult with your tuner before starting so you don�t have too many surprises along the way! For those who would like more info or perhaps an article on interpreting Volvo schematics post up in the comments
Robert Lucky Arnold