Converting an automatic to manual is major job, as you have to add the
clutch pedal and gear linkage, the gauge cluster, various wiring. Then
there's the question of the engine itself. You could consider any of the
VTEC engines from recent Honda Accords or Acura models eg the 2001-2003 RSX.
Then of course, you'd need to
- replace the crappy 89 brakes with better stuff off later models. (you do
want to be able to stop...)
- rebuild the suspension with new ball joints and bushes
- add better springs and shocks.
You might consider getting a manual trans and engine, rebuild it with a
turbo or supercharger.
But really, if you want a manual, its far better (and a whole lot less work
and money) to start with a manual vehicle.
Yes. Don't even think of using an automatic in a converted vehicle. Learn to
drive manual, and
a) you never have to worry when (not if) the transmission will cost you an
arm and leg
b) you'll use less gas in a manual than an automatic driven the same way.
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