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Author Topic: The TSX 6MT swap thread  (Read 60258 times)
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Skippy
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« on: April 04, 2008, 12:02:44 AM »

I don't know how else to start this thread but to say..."yes it works".

For the performance minded people, the last thing we need is a soggy manual transmission designed for fuel economy.

I introduce you all to our new best friend: The Acura TSX 6 speed manual transmission.

So here's how this all came to be.  A friend of mine who moved out of Florida to Arizona was the first to try this.  He had a 5 speed accord and got hold of a TSX transmission for a good price.  Besides that, all he could tell me was "dude...it fits".

The 5MT/6MT swap is as easy as replacing a clutch.  All that is needed for a proper job is a new clutch/flywheel and a TSX transmission.  In all seriousness you could probably go to honda, have your car in for a clutch replacement, and while your tech is out to lunch, take your tranny off of the tranny jack and put the TSX tranny in its place, and nobody would be more the wiser.  Cosmetically they are identical.  The TSX transmission has a lightweight Magnesium case and some sporty fins to dissipate heat, but in a nutshell they look the same.  

The whole misnomer about swapping transmissions was not how they mounted to the engine, but how they mounted to the chassis.  Since the RSX-S and EP tranny bolt up by means of two upright studs on the top of the transmission, they are incompatible with the accord's box style chassis mount.  This mount is nearly identical to the TSX mount, and therefore that's why we can use the TSX tranny, and EP owners can swap to an RSX-S tranny.

Since this thread isn't about clutch choice we won't go there.  Another tidbit of information that would be useful to those wishing to swap is the fact that we can use any clutch designed for an RSX-S provided that you swap over to an RSX-S OEM or aftermarket flywheel.  The accord flywheel is 20.5lbs...heavy.  The RSX-S flywheel is 14.5lbs....quite a bit lighter for the price.  You can also opt to use any RSX-S aftermarket flywheel such as the ACT prolite (9lb) or streetlite (12lb), but honestly for my purposes, paying $100 for two pounds of difference isn't really worth it....plus I'm an OEM freak.

THE NITTY GRITTY ENGINEERING STUFF THAT NOBODY UNDERSTANDS

The following tables are reproduced/modified from Gen7accord.com, and all kudos go to Wcroswell2 and Eccen for providing this information.

Accord 5MT    
1st - 3.267        
2nd - 1.769      
3rd - 1.147        
4th - 0.872        
5th - 0.659      
       
Reverse - 3.583
Final Drive - 4.389


TSX 6MT
1st -3.267
2nd -1.880
3rd -1.355
4th -1.028
5th -0.825
6th -0.659

Reverse -3.583
Final Drive -4.760

Just a brief crash course in gear ratios: The higher the number, the shorter the gear.  The lower the number, the longer the gear.  There's a lot more to it than that, but I'm still learning about this stuff too!

The first table shows the gear ratios for the Accord's 5 speed manual transmission, and the TSX's 6 speed manual transmission.  The TSX and accord share the same first gear size, but that's where the similarities stop.  You can see the differences abruptly in the gear size differences between transmissions.  The accord's gears are noticeably longer than the TSX's.  The TSX gears are close together, with the biggest gap being between first and second gear.  The accord shows a similar gap, but the final drive difference makes all the gears longer.  It's also interesting to note that the accord's 5th gear is the same as the TSX's 6th gear.  The TSX's differential makes every gear shorter, so that's why you'll be pushing out 3500RPM's at 80mph instead of 3000 with the Accord tranny.  

In addition, here are the gear ratios for all Acura K series 6MT's



Thanks goes out to Jalal Zahr over at K20a for this fantastic table.  THANK YOU JALAL!

FAIR WARNING TO THOSE WHO SWAP TRANSMISSIONS

Your speedometer will be off by approximately 10% (Fast) due to some issue with the gearing and what the gauge cluster is calibrated to see.  My rule of thumb is to subtract 10mph from whatever the speedometer says.  When my speedo says I'm doing 90mph, I assume that I am doing approximately 80mph.  This will result in your odometer reading going up faster than it should.  The vaughn class action suit brought about to honda in years past has already discredited the accuracy of honda's speedometers, so this is just something else to add into the mix.  One member of Gen7accord.com by the name of Daich found a solution from an S2000 parts website.

http://modifry.com/products/yj/index.htm

This is the website to purchase the unit that Daich used to correct his speedometer.  I have not attempted to use this device, and have no opinion on its claims or fitness for the purpose (seeing as it's cross platform), but if it works, you can't really knock it!  Any comments, questions, or concerns should be directed to Daich on Gen7accord.com, as he is the only member that I know of who has installed and calibrated one of these devices.  With his permission, I will augment this guide with his instructions for installation and calibration of this device.

ADVANCED MODIFICATION AND SPECULATION

Limted slip differential upgrade:
The TSX transmission can be upgraded with a Quaife or OBX limited slip differential.  This will hamper wheelspin and transfer power better to the road with a minimal loss in traction.  Quaife and OBX LSD's have both been proven to fit in the Accord 5MT transmission, so they should (by series association) fit the TSX transmission.  

Gear/Case swapping
So you've got a TSX transmission, but would like shorter gears??? There are two viable solutions.  The easiest would be to install a shorter final drive gearset which will effectively shorten all gears.  Several options exist.  Final drive kits can be found at JHPUSA.com.  As for their installation, I'm clueless...but you should be able to modify the transmission with the help of a reputable shop or a technically inclined friend.

The second option for shorter gears would be swapping gearsets out with an RSX-S.  I have never seen this done (though it may have been).  Technically speaking, the only difference between the RSX-S tranny and TSX tranny besides the gearsets is the case design.  As mentioned earlier, the transmission housing mounts to the chassis differently, so the question begs to be asked "What if I were to swap internals?".  In conceptual theory, it's possible.  In practicality, it may or may not work.  The closest I'll come to doing this is attempting to swap out my 2nd gear for an RSX-S replacement.  This will make my first and 2nd gear identical to an RSX-S, and improve acceleration slightly in that gear range.  


PICTURES!!!

Here are some pictures from my own install.  I performed my swap at work.  It me about 8 hours to swap the transmission (I had help at the end).  I didn't have a dedicated camera-man so there are only a few pics from my install. Tim was the dedicated camera-man for his install, so he has a few more pictures of the ASP crew (Luis, Chris, and Myself) installing his new transmission.

Here are my pictures:

This picture was taken right after the old transmission was removed.  The old clutch assembly was still in place.


Here is the new clutch assembly.  I installed an OEM RSX-S Flywheel, and an ACT heavy duty street clutch.


Lastly, here's the shot that proves it all happened: The transmission's VIN plate!


Here are the pics from Tim's install.

The TSX transmission received from Cham's distributer


The ASP crew (Luis = Angry Spic, Chris = Angry White, and Skippy = Angry skinny kid with beard).


Me taking stuff apart up top.


The engine cradle is attached.


Me messing with the steering rack.


Me installing the subframe jack.


Luis getting ready to pull the subframe down.


Luis and Chris pulling the tranny.  Me assisting with prybars.


It's out!


Luis installing the ACT clutch.


torque spec!


After that, the install was pretty much the reverse of removal. Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2008, 12:53:53 PM »

You want my pictures from when you did my tranny swap Skippy?
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2008, 07:59:39 PM »

Sure dude, throw them in post #1.
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Steven A.K.A Skippy
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2008, 11:16:44 PM »

Great write up Skippy.  Tons of great information.  I'd also like to add that I would not have my tranny swap if it wasn't for you.

But, I have to say something about the speedo being off.  Since I have been able to pace myself at multiple speeds with my GPS, I have found that my speedo is 20% faster than my actual speed.  The 10 MPH quick and dirty math works just fine, but what I use for fast calculation is that I add 5 MPH ever 25 MPH.  I.E. - when my speedo says I'm going 30 MPH, I'm actually going 25 MPH; when my speedo says I'm going 60 MPH, I'm actually going 50 MPH; when my speedo says I'm going 90 MPH, I'm actually going 75 MPH.  I've tested this numerous times and done the math.  Basically, you are going 15% slower than what your speedo says, or your speedo is 20% faster than your actual MPH.
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2009, 09:35:30 PM »

Hey guys, I was talking to a tech over at my Honda dealer about the speedo issue and he told me the easiest correction is to use the spline(?)/ gear from the accord gear case for your speedo to read correctly. Is there any truth to that?
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2009, 12:24:03 AM »

I'm not sure if that will work, but last weekend I installed the Modifry Yellowjacket.  It is interfaced with my kpro harness so my OEM harness didn't need to be cut.  It took a little bit to adjust, but works like a charm.
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2009, 10:22:42 AM »

I just read my post and realized I was a bit vague. I meant the spline/ gear from the accord vss. And the tech was asst. Svc mgr  Hope that clears that up.
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2009, 12:57:59 PM »

That sounds like an interesting idea but I'd need to see the schematics and determine what I'd need to do in there.
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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2009, 02:13:28 PM »

I'm going to be heading over to the dealer in the next couple of days, so maybe I can ask him to elaborate further. Thing is, he's a domestic tuner and he's tuned Supras as well. Supposedly, that's one of the things they did to correct the issue whenever it came up.
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2009, 08:25:18 PM »

Cool.  I doubt they'll give you the schematics, but I can look them up.  Tell your contact that I'm an Acura employee who has access to honda IN and if he points me in the direction to look, I can find out what to do.  I can then look up the schematics and give a 3rd party procedure on what would need to be done.  I can't post the data in its pure form because it would be a breech of contract for me, but I'll see what I can paraphrase and elaborate upon.
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« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2009, 10:34:23 PM »

Anything you get is always a huge help. I'll see what my guy can do and possibly help a percentage of what you contribute.
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2009, 09:26:25 PM »

Alright. I just talked to my guy today and he said the VSS should be a straight swap. As far as confirming if they are calibrated for their respective transmissions/ vehicles, he couldn't say if it'll work. He even checked with his shop foreman, and he wasn't sure. I guess the only way to find out is to swap in your old VSS and see if that fixes the problem. I tried looking for the parts to cross reference the PN,s but couldn't find them.
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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2009, 12:45:51 AM »

For the amount of time, money, and trouble it would take to go through all that bullshit, the Modifry Yellowjacket would have paid itself off ten times over.
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« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2009, 01:47:59 PM »

Not really. He told me the VSS is mounted on the top of the tranny near the firewall. I would like to do it, but considering I still have drivetrain warranty and I'm broke as hell, I kind of can't. But this would be an option since both trannies would be available to me once I do it.
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« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2009, 11:27:17 PM »

I've switched the VSS, it's incredibly simple. In order to make all of this work, you will need the correct ECU (to read the gear) but in this case you're switching the gear which helps things out. All you do is take out the thing which is a magnet and reads the spline. If you need more detailed instructions on that, I can walk you through it. Sorry this is brief, I'm being yelled at.
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