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W58 Excel Conversion  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 04-19-2006 06:48 pm
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Judson Manning
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Before you get any bright ideas of following in my footsteps, I can positively state the Conversion Components Kit is well worth the money!

Today I was able to road-test 13492 with not only the 907/910 hybrid engine, but with a Supra 5sp transmission and 912 bellhousing.  A casual observer would notice my JH is morphing closer and closer to a Lotus Excel.

Over many years I have been able to assemble the parts for this project.  You can save money when you have time, but there are no guarantees.  Your experiences may vary....

The transmission is from a 1987 Non-Turbo Supra (W58 w/ extra-back shift position) bought off Ebay that I had rebuilt locally.  During the rebuild I had my machinist form the input shaft to match the Esprit/JH pilot bearing (common Chevy .590").

Various internet sources were able to fabricate a 8-1/2" organic clutch with springed Toyota center for less than $100.00.  The stock JH pressure plate was retained, but the JH clutch fork needed considerable modfication to work with the Supra throw-out bearing.  A custom hing-point for the clutch fork, clutch cable bracket and transmission mount were fabricated from various bits of steel stock.

One of the easiest things was the driveshaft I had fabricated locally.  I updated from the early 'small' driveshaft flange to the 'larger' style used in the later JH 4sp and all 5sp transmissions.  This change allowed my driveshaft shop to use a Volvo yoke to make it all fit together.  Total cost was about $200.00.

As others have noticed, even with the 'extra-back' position, the shifter is still 1"-2" too far forward.  I was able to graft a JH 4sp shifter to the bent Supra shifter to solve this problem.

Unfortunately, the shifter simply throws too far as it hits both the front and rear of the tunnel cover (~1/4").  A possible fix would be modifying a 'short-throw' shifter designed for the Supra.  Without this 'fix' the W58 feels less 'slick' than a properly rebuilt JH 4sp.

First gear is slightly lower than the JH which makes starting from a dead-stop a bit easier.  2nd and 3rd gear are almost identical to the JH 4sp, but the HUGE difference is 5th gear.  This isn't your daddy's Getrag close-ratio box!

The .78:1 O/D is NOT performance oriented, rather it's designed for highway cruising.  If you drive to a lot of events on the interstate this is a gift from above.  

Overall driving impressions are mixed but generally positive.  My wife will appreciate the lower revs, and I'll have piece of mind knowing I can get replacement parts.  If I can fix the shifter, I think I'll be pretty happy with the conversion.

 

Attachment: DSCF1120.640.jpg (Downloaded 351 times)

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 Posted: 04-19-2006 07:23 pm
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Ron Earp
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How'd you road test that thing? I got your dizzy! 

Seriosuly, that is cool.  Might be a very god thing for a lot of 5sp users and maybe me too, although that overdrive gear is tall.   

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 Posted: 04-19-2006 07:33 pm
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Judson Manning
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nah....you have 'old faithful' my untouched stock points distributor.  My car runs an Ex-Esprit Lucas 45DM w/ Magnetic p/u piped directly to the MSD input.  Unless, there is a problem, then we run back to 'old faithful'.

I did learn the hard way the magnetic p/u wires need to be shielded from little things like the starter and alternator!  70^ BTDC is NOT a good place for ignition!

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 Posted: 04-20-2006 08:46 am
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Harkes
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Well done Judson! i'm about to mate my W58 to my 2.2L engine this weekend and i could surely learn from what you did with the gear stick lever. My W58 came with the Toyota short shifter, which is dead straight. looks very good, but won't fit according to my calculations and just like you experienced.

the cable bracket i hadn't thought about, but your solutions seems to work well and i'll copy that if you don't mind.

when you depress your clutch and your T/O bearing travels towards the pressure plate it will surely go over the toothed shaft; doesn't it then become wobbly?

we discussed this before, but mine T/O bearing looked same as yours and when i depressed the clutch then it became wobbly, which is why i sourced the Conversion Components nose cone with the extension. I'll make pictures which show the matter.

please send me some pictures of the gearstick lever mods if and when you can.

Oh and BTW...your engine surely can use a gbox that can actually handle the extra horsepower. i'm sure the 4sp would give in after some time of abuse whereas the W58 can handle up to 300BHP! The 5sp overdrive makes it a real nice cruiser, and when you feel the need for speed..shift back to fourth..and have a blast..  :)

Cheers, erik

Last edited on 04-20-2006 08:46 am by Harkes

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 Posted: 04-20-2006 11:45 am
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Judson Manning
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We're all in this together, and I'm happy to share my experiences.

The 87 Supra stick is actually bent back 1-1/2" then up, which is pretty close to what we need.  I just cut both the Supra and JH stick to match the stock JH profile.

The JH t/o bearing cannot be used on the stock W58 nose-cone.  It's ID is slightly  larger than the W58 nose-cone and exactly why CC includes one in their kit.

At the fullest extent of travel, the Supra t/o bearing extends over the splines about 1/8".  It turns out I don't even need that much travel to get full clutch engagement.  With the clutch fork geometry I ended-up with my clutch pedal only needs to travel about 6" and that puts the t/o bearing nowhere near the splines....VERY surprising!

A note of interest....I recently heard the JH t/o bearing is becoming NLA.  Can anyone confirm/deny this rumor?

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 Posted: 04-20-2006 12:00 pm
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Harkes
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thanks Judson,  i don't have the toyota T/O bearing and indeed the JH T/O ID is too large (has little play). I do have the CC T/O bearing which is obviously bigger than the Toyota T/O and needs a little more travel.

I'll check for clearance of T/O and pressure plate and how much pedal travel i need for fully engaging of the clutch.

we'll have to work on the stick that i'm sure. i'll you know what we end up doing.

can't wait to saturday!

erik

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