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Discussion Starter #1
86 s10, 2.5 auto; swapped in a 5spd manual (T5) from an 89 s10.
Back story - This was done for fun, and intentionally done on the cheap.
There are a few things I didn't think about when doing the swap, now I have a few questions...

First, the 86 has a cable-driven speedo and the 89 trans has a digital output. I knew this, but I have an old phone that was going to leave in the truck and use a GPS/Odo app (it's free). I really didn't care (still don't) that the odo and speedo don't work. However, the cruise control does not work after the swap. From what I gather, the VSS plays a roll in cruise control functioning properly, and the VSS is in the cluster and requires the cable to be spinning. Can anyone confirm that this is correct, or am I off base here?

Second, everything seems to work fine, and I have no codes, but when I decel (approaching a stop light, for example) once I push in the clutch the idle will dip pretty low then come back up to normal. It's never stalled in this scenario, but its gets close.

And finally, I was thinkin about the first problem (no cruise), and thought to my self "what if I move the auto shifter into the drive position? Maybe that's needed before the cruise will work!". Well, when I do put the auto shifter into any gear, I get a CEL, and the code is for VSS. I guess my question here is should I leave the auto shifter in drive all the time? Does this have an impact on the second problem above (idle dropping after decel)?

I'm not really trying to swap in a manual ECU because it costs money, but I guess I could. Also, I was looking at the digital-to-cable speedo conversion box, but it's approx $300 more than I was hoping to spend on this thing. Anyone ever use one of these? Any cheap alternatives? It would solve 3 problems for me (speedo, odo, cruise), so I might consider it. link to the unit I'm looking at: SPEEDBOX™ GPS/VSS to Mechanical Drive Speed Converter (Cable Included)

I would appreciate any and all feedback, suggestions, and advice! Thanks!


EDIT: added url to the digital-to-cable vss converter
 

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98 2.2 Extended cab, 2001 V6 Extended cab Sport Suspension, 2001 V6 Extended Cab 4x4
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You should be able to get a cable drive for the trans. You may have to remove the tail shaft housing to install the gear if the trans has a reluctor wheel and not a gear drive. Some early VSS systems used a gear drive to spin an electric generator to give the computer a voltage to determine speed. Some gave a pulse, and either one your computer needs that info to meter fuel correctly.

So yes the VSS is needed for the cruise, and it could help with the near stall issue as well.
 

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Best bet is to find a T5 tail housing with the cable driven speedo and swap those parts onto yours. Should cost less than the converter box.

Idle is due to ECU programming. It's expecting a different load because of the torque converter.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies.

Is there a way to know which programming is on an ecu? When looking at ebay or rocakauto, there's no reference to auto vs manual trans for ECU's. I see the same part numbers, which is based off of the year and engine only.

I haven't been able to find a T5 tail housing with mechanical speedo near me, but I haven't checked junk yards because I currently don't have the time. I'm relying on FBMP and CL, and there's not much in my area on either platform. On that note, FBMP search function is absolute trash, probably the worst I've seen ever. It makes me angry that people are using that over CL, because it's useless. Just awful.

Anyway, there's a square shaped 4-pin connector that used to plug into the auto trans. Can I feed a signal into one of those pins, or jump two of them, or add a resistor, etc that would trick the ECU into thinking everything's nornal with an auto trans? Just thinking out loud here.

Not saying I don't believe Harley, but I firmly believe in fixing a known problem before trying to resolve other things. For that reason, I believe I'll fix the missing vss first, then see what happens with the idle issue. Now to decide if I want to give the $400 converter a try or wait to find a proper tail housing.
 

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I'm with you on resolving the bigger problem first knowing it may fix some of the smaller problems.

I also agree on FBMP haha I think it's the convenience and it also removes the anonymity for better or worse. It gives such trash search results, though. I have better luck finding truck beds searching for "tailgate" than if I were to straight up search "S10 bed"

I know where there are a couple tail housing local to me in Portland, OR, but I'd be asking more than CL or FBMP typically would. Have you checked eBay yet. It tends to have premium prices, but there are still deals to be found.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
haha! I'm glad it's not just me. I also search for things that are not really what I'm looking for, so that I can see listings for the thing I'm actually looking for. I mean, you'd think the population would collectively stop using such a POS platform if it's that bad? I think the reason you listed is the ONLY reason people use it - you can spy on the seller's profile before deciding if you want to meet them in a strip mall parking lot. lol! The amount of laziness that goes into selling stuff on there also drives me insane. You can't take 3 minutes to vacuum your vehicle before posting a single blurry image of an absolute beater before posting it for at least $3k higher than what it's actually worth? Come on! I could go on about this for a while! LOL!

I haven't seen much on Ebay, but admittedly I haven't spent a lot of time digging on the site. Whole T5's are listed, but they're listed as "82-93", which clearly isn't the case, otherwise we wouldn't even be talking about this. Looking at the pics in the ad and see they have the electrical output, not mechanical. Oh, they're also ridiculously priced, like you mentioned. I should definitely check ebay more often than I do, but I don't enjoy doing that, so I probably won't. LOL again!
 

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Joke on the spies - I use a fake name on Facebook and don't provide any real private info other than location. I doubt it's uncommon. I deleted my original account years ago and simply have this one for buying/selling/groups since forums and CL aren't as popular any longer.

The mechanical tail housings are on my list of parts to try selling on eBay. I'm not sure how much I'd charge at this point (not sure how much the junkyard will charge me for the parts or how hard they are to remove), but I should be able to beat the eBay prices for you as a trial run if you want to go that route.

Best deals I'm seeing on eBay:

This guy converts your electronic housing and provides the correct speedo gear and a new clip for $200 + shipping both directions - T5 S10 Mechanical Cable drive Speedometer Conversions | eBay

Or can buy just the housing for under $200 - T5 NWC Rear Tail Housing Camaro 5 Speed USED Mechanical Speedo New Bushing /Seal | eBay
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the info, Harley. Most of the housings that are under $200 are for Camaro's which have the shifter in the wrong spot. However, there are a few available that would work. Do you happen to know if the tail housing can be swapped with the trans still in the truck, or does it need removed?
 

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You're right on the Camaro part. Guess eBay got the better of me when I searched for S10 and gave me Camaro parts. Shows me how well I read late at night.

I've only taken a T5 apart on the bench. The good news is they are super light and I'd not be too afraid of benching one out of a truck on my back.

Regardless I think there should be enough room if you take out the crossmember and let the trans angle/hang down. It's not super bulky once the shifter is off, from my memory.
 

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You're not kidding about the T5 being light... I've picked up an NV1500 by myself, not something I'd want to do again. The T5 is much lighter.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The T5 is very light. Makes them really nice to work on!

Harley, half the ads on Ebay suggest all t5's fit anything that needs a t5, so I wouldn't expect you to dig into the description while grabbing a link quickly to help out an internet stranger :) It's another example of poor advertising, but it's not as bad as half the stuff on FBMP.... you know how I feel about that lol!

Let me know if you want to ship a tail housing to the east coast. I'm afraid to look at what shipping will be, but if it's reasonable I'd definitely consider it.
 

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I'll grab one in the next week or two and get you a weight. My guess is around 6-8lbs, which should be in the $20-30 range at worst.
 

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Boozebag
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I went through this before. It was a while ago, but as I rememebr, the tail housings are not a direct swap. You will need a “conversion”gear for the output shaft. i will see if i can find it. I saved it in my eBay saves.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Mad Max, I thought I had read that somewhere as well, but haven't been able to find info on it, so I thought I was mistaken. Thanks for chiming in here.

edit: here it is: T5tech1
Also a handful of threads about this on the HAMB.

I'm starting to think I should use the converter box, if for no other reason, just to void the headache. While I enjoy keeping this project cheap, the value in the converter box is starting to make a lot more sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
almost forgot!
Harley, Hold off on grabbing on that housing unless you had planned on getting one anyway. I'd like to confirm I can get all necessary parts before buying any one of the components. I'm also currently on the fence again :)
 

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Boozebag
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Since I've already skrewed with this issue, contact this guy. He's a good source for the conversion. I'm pretty sure it's not just a "swap the tail shaft" situation.
Although I could be wrong, I think you will find this is the way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks, Mad Max. Nice find!
I'm crazy busy with work, so I haven't had much time for this :(
Hoping to put in some work on the truck this week, but we'll see how that goes.
 
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