K-CARS WITH MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS

K-CARS WITH MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS

Postby K-CAR_WAGON » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:51 pm

Does anyone have any statistics on the years, numbers, and/or percentages of K cars produced with manual transmissions? I have only seen one in person - maybe 5 years ago. It was a wagon in a junkyard, maybe 84-86 range, with a floor mounted shift - but it had already been canabilized too far to be saved. I suspect all the manuals had floor mounted shift.
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Re: K-CARS WITH MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS

Postby 88 aries » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:07 pm

correct all manual K-cars were floor shifted.

combinations

1981-1986 Bench seat with 4 speed or 5 speed bucket seats with console shifter

1987-1989 Bucket seats only with 5 speed manual no bench was no longer offered with 5 speed
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Re: K-CARS WITH MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS

Postby farmertom » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:10 pm

I have a 1988 Dodge Aries coupe with a 5 speed manual. It is the only manual shift k car I have ever seen in person. It has the bucket seats and the console shifter. I don't know the build numbers for these, but I know that they are hard to find now. Its fun to drive, kind of clunky though.

This is what it looks like

Image

Image
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Re: K-CARS WITH MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS

Postby K-CAR_WAGON » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:14 pm

Very nice. General layout looks very similar to my brother's 92 Dodge Spirit with 2.5l and manual. However, I think the one I saw in the junkyard had a bench seat with a different style shifter lever. Manual's are definitely more fun to drive. The only thing I don't like is the foot depressed parking brake setup. Most of my other manuals have a hand contolled emergency brake which can be released slowly and gradually.

I also saw one K car with manual transmission listed for sale locally recently, but unfornuately it had over 250,000 miles.
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Re: K-CARS WITH MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS

Postby farmertom » Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:23 pm

It seems like I read once that the nickname for those bench seat, four speed, floor shifters was the "bus shifter". I guess it was pretty hefty and angled back toward the driver, like one in an old bus would have been. I like having five gears to shift through instead of the long geared 3 speed automatic. I learned in a manual with a foot e-brake pedal, so I never really got used to using it on a hill start, just had to learn the clutch good enough.
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Re: K-CARS WITH MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS

Postby albie » Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:01 am

I did not realize the manual shift cars were so unusual, I have a 1988 2 door , bucket seats and 5 speed. I bought it 13 years ago as a drive to work car and the motor went bad at 182,000 ( head gasket ) it is a little rusty but repairable and has ben sitting for about a year ,after reading this i may just fix it . ALBIE
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Re: K-CARS WITH MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS

Postby 1of10K » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:07 pm

My father liked the '81 Reliant I bought new in '81 so much that he went and got himself a new '81 Reliant Wagon. It had the bench and the 4 speed manual shifter. I remember helping him drive to Illinois from New Mexico after he got it, the shifting was ok, but no where near as crisp as most of the other typical econo cars of the day. The stick gave a couple more MPG, but the automatic on my '81 was much more relaxing to drive.
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Re: K-CARS WITH MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS

Postby capev86 » Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:54 am

yes....most people wanted practicality in their daily drivers by the 80's....automatics were all the rage (and have been since then for the general public). my parent's had an 81 aries wagon base model with the 4 speed on the floor and the chrome handle that curved around the bench seat. the reason they didn't put the 5 speed in bench seat cars is the later transmissions had the shifter mechanism under the shifter (cable shifter) instead of under the floor (rod shifter) so you had to have some sort of console or compartment to cover it.

most of the 5 speed cars had the full console that goes from between the front seat backs and wraps all the way up under the dashboard and has compartments where the ash tray is on the column shifted cars. you are more likely to find a console shifted automatic than a 5spd car. but they make a good basis for a manual trans swap. i hate an auto on the floor.....give me a stick any day. i do like my 86 aries with the auto on the column and having that extra seating space when the occasion calls for it.

the 87-89 520 (and bad boy 555 variant) are good transmissions and can be made bulletproof for super high performance with a few trick pieces available from the vendors. they came stock in everything except L bodies and the axles are different from earlier years

stay away from earlier transmissions and don't waste money on a limited slip add on kit.....replace the whole diff with a quaife (or the obx - chineese knockoff).

the 523/568 came out in 1990 and featured a smoother shifter and improved shifter pattern as well as not needing any upgrades for extreme use situations other than a differential swap. the first year uses the smaller input shaft (and thus clutch) of the 520/555. shifter is also different due to reverse location/operation. the 90's neon had a 578 which is basically an adaption of the the 523/568 and the mitsu 3.0 used the 543 which is a 523 with the mitsu bellhousing.

if you have a dodge 3.3 or 3.8 in your k based car, there was a rare 5spd option for the dodge stratus with the 2.7v6 which has the same bellhousing pattern.
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Re: K-CARS WITH MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS

Postby MoparDan » Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:23 am

farmertom wrote:I have a 1988 Dodge Aries coupe with a 5 speed manual. It is the only manual shift k car I have ever seen in person. It has the bucket seats and the console shifter. I don't know the build numbers for these, but I know that they are hard to find now. Its fun to drive, kind of clunky though.

This is what it looks like

Image

Image

I envy you!! 8)
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Re: K-CARS WITH MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS

Postby jt1911 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:58 am

Hey yall,it's been a while;
Anyway I own an 88 5 speed coupe with bucket seats.It's sky blue which I want to repaint in guv'ment grey.Then I would add the old highway patrol style push bar on the front.I bought it in 04 for $400.00.Even after sittin' for over a year with a tank full of 87 octane Godforsaken 10% ethanol gas, it started right up on the second try.Real Mopars never start on the first try.
I scored a nice set of BBS painted Argent silver 15" wheels today with very good rubber on 'em.They came off a 93 Passat.Hard to imagine the K cars havin the exact same bolt pattern as late VWs.I dig my Aries and soon as I get the A/C workin' again it's gonna go back to bein' my daily driver.
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