93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
5/23/22 3:47 p.m.

I have an 04 Element that I like but I have decide I would like it more with some mods including a manual transmission. An 09 manual Element is being part out in the area. I am grabbing the shifter, shift linkage and clutch pedal for sure. But I am trying to decide if I also need the ECU. I have read that I do need an ECU out of a manual but I have also read that I don't. Additionally I am unsure if I could even use an ECU from an 09 in an 04. Does anyone know K-series stuff well enough to tell me what I need as far as ECUs?

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe PowerDork
5/23/22 3:55 p.m.

4wd or 2wd. Assuming 2wd. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
5/23/22 3:57 p.m.

IIRC You have a cable throttle and an 09 will be drive by wire, so I'm not sure that ECU will work even if you do need one from a manual car. 

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
5/23/22 4:11 p.m.

In reply to wearymicrobe :

2WD

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
5/23/22 4:14 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Yeah I think you are right now that I think about it.

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones Dork
5/23/22 4:14 p.m.

In reply to 93EXCivic :

You need the ECU from an 03-06 manual because of drive by wire, clutch override switch and the cruise control disconnect..  You also need the transmission, mounts. shifter cables, shifter, console. Clutch slave cylinder, hydraulic lines, and clutch master cylinder, clutch pedal assembly, and brake pedal. You will also need to run wiring for the above switches back to the ECU

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
5/23/22 4:25 p.m.

In reply to Steve_Jones :

Cool. The drivetrain is already gone from this one but I will grab what I can. I am getting the console already. I'll ask about the brake pedal. Is it just smaller to give room for the clutch?

I'll probably just bypass the clutch override switch.

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones Dork
5/23/22 4:48 p.m.

In reply to 93EXCivic :

yes, brake pedal is smaller.  The Automatic ECU will be looking to see if it's in P or N, the manual ECU will be looking to see if the clutch is depressed. Only way to bypass it is wire a switch to the dash and press it, at that point, might as well do it right.  This swap is more than you'd think $$ wise, probably $5k or so...

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
5/23/22 5:06 p.m.

In reply to Steve_Jones :

Isn't the clutch switch just for starting the car and just a two pole switch that completes the circuit?

$5k seems high. I am getting the console, shifter, cables and clutch pedal for $210 and I'll ask about the brake pedal. I am seeing the ECU for $100. Mount for $50ish. Clutch and master cylinder for $80ish. $12 for hose. Clutch $200ish. Surely the transmission and flywheel won't be like $4500. What am I missing?

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones Dork
5/23/22 10:31 p.m.

In reply to 93EXCivic :

A used manual transmission will run close to $3k at the moment, and can be tough to find, especially for a 2wd one. Plenty of autos out there, not many manuals. You might get lucky though, so worth doing a deeper search. There are remanufactured ones around, for around the same $3k (go figure). The clutch switch is for starting and canceling the cruise control, so there was some issue there (but I'm going on at least 5 year old memory)

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
5/23/22 10:44 p.m.

Looks like a few junkyards have the transmission for about less than $1000. I didn't see any in Alabama, but many junkyards will ship. Check car-part.com and hollanderparts.com - hollander was how I found the battery for my project Volt for $1300. I think shipping was $250 or so and it worked out really well.

My local pick-n-pull has five Elements on the lot at the moment, but they are all AWD and only one is a manual. I assume the AWD manual trans is no help.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
5/24/22 9:26 a.m.

In reply to Steve_Jones :

Ok gotcha on the clutch switch. One thing I am not clear on, I have seen quite a few people add the TSX 6th gear to the Element box. Is this only because there wasn't a 6 speed AWD or is it because the Element transmission for both AWD and 2WD was unique? Could I use a TSX or Civic Si 6 speed box in a 2WD Element?

Honestly probably not going to get to this this year. Just it seemed like a decent deal for the parts and it was local so I went ahead and snapped them up.

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
5/24/22 9:47 a.m.

Any chance the AWD transmission could be made to work? I've seen suggestions of a block off plate for the PTO and that it might work as an FWD transmission then. Reason I ask is something like the manual AWD element in the yard near me would be $147 with core charge for the transmission. You pull it type place. 50% off sale this weekend.

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones Dork
5/24/22 10:04 a.m.

In reply to 93EXCivic :

I assume because there was never a 6 speed available when they were being sold.  If that is a known swap, might as well go that route vs ending up with just another 5 speed Element for the same effort.

Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter)
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/24/22 10:50 a.m.

To use an AWD tranny as a FWD you do need the blockoff plate. Having researched this myself I found that Honda shows two different plates, early and late. 

I currently have an AWD Element and have considered converting it to the simpler FWD. There is a guy on Youtube who did it and shows everything down to the part number for the block off plate. 

https://youtu.be/VQve0-Kgmcg

To add, my first Element was a 5 speed SC model. I could see the interest in a 6 speed swap as the standard trannys are geared lower than I care for. Like 3500-4000 on the highway in 5th. The auto Elements run about 1000 rpm lower for any given speed on the highway.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
5/24/22 11:05 a.m.
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) said:

To use an AWD tranny as a FWD you do need the blockoff plate. Having researched this myself I found that Honda shows two different plates, early and late.

But does it make sense it make more sense to buy an Element 5 speed AWD box, add a blockoff plate and add a 6th gear versus using a 6 speed box that already exists if one fits. I am not entirely clear if the Civic Si or TSX or RSX box will work.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
5/24/22 2:07 p.m.

Here is what I have learned. The Element uses a different mounting point for the transmission then the Civic Si, RSX, TSX or Accord. The gearset from a 6 speed will fit into an Element box. You can block off an Element AWD to use in a FWD.

What I want to figure out. Could I just fab a mount to use a 6 speed from something else instead of needing to find a 5 speed Element box, take it apart, get the parts to make it six speed and fit it?

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