S15 – Now With 6 Gears

Since 2010, my S15 has only had 4 gears. After delaying it for so long, it finally has a fresh 6 speed just in time for my roadtrip up to Halfway Hangs.

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Ever since I’ve owned this thing it’s always been a 4 speed. No it’s not an auto. It may be shitty in some aspects, but being an auto definitely isn’t one of them. It had an S14 5 speed box in the car, but 5th gear was destroyed. So from the day I bought the car, I have driven everywhere using 4 gears. Yes it has been a massive pain, especially doing 100km/h sitting at 3,800rpm on the freeway.

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Sometime in late 2012 I had a friend give me a damaged 6 speed box that he didn’t want anymore. I got around to getting it completely rebuilt a few months later but I never put it in the car. Don’t ask me why because I can’t give you an answer. Was I an idiot for not putting it in the car ASAP? Yes. Should I have put it in and driven the car more? Probably.

Skip forward to January this year. I decided I wanted to drive north to check out Halfway Hangs 2015 and I really wanted to take the S15 for a long road trip. I decided I would get the final bits for the gearbox swap (new cross member, 6 speed driveshaft, dual mass flywheel) and get it done.

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I headed to a friends shop so we could put it on the hoist and get it done faster. Two people doing a gearbox swap makes it a lot easier and much faster, especially when you have a hoist.

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5 speed and other bits were out in about an hour.

I put on the new flywheel, used my original clutch and attached the new driveshaft after putting the gearbox in. The spline is different compared to S14’s so one driveshaft is longer than the other.

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A side note to anyone doing this, make sure you have a gearbox lifter. Lifting the box into the tunnel and attaching it is painfully hard. When you are as weak and skinny as me, your arms feel like they are going to buckle. Admittedly there were two of us lifting it, but it still felt like I was trying to lift a tank.

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We left the car on the hoist while I gathered some more bits, then went back to it to finish things off a few days later. We relocated my battery to the boot for a bit more room in the bay and also patched a couple of holes in the exhaust after 3 years of scraping. I put some oil in the box, checked over everything one more time, started it up and went through the gears.

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FINALLY! 6 gears!

All I need to do now is load it up with some tools, clothes for the week and my bmx and I’m ready for the trip up north. Really looking forward to seeing what Halfway Hangs is like, disappointed I missed it last year.

I’ve got over 1,500km driving to do until I get to the track. I’ll be taking spare wheels, a couple brake lines and plenty of bolts just in case something happens.

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I’m so happy the car finally has a 6 speed box, and now that I have it, I’ll be doing way more driving in it this year. No more sitting in 4th gear on the freeway!

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