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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All - I have a '06 v50 t5 awd with the 5sp auto trans - I quite like the car, but am finding myself wishing more and more that I'd held out and kept looking for a m66 equipped car. Does anyone have any experience swapping a manual into an auto car? From a cursory search it seems like an arduous process, but I'm wondering if anyone here has done this or can point me in the right direction?
 

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No one has swapped a P1, at least not posted online. My shop claims they know of one but I suspect that is just a rumor. Myself and many others on here have come to the conclusion that a manual swap is not worth the time and cost involved. Basically it's only financially viable if you have a wrecked 6MT (might need to be AWD too) to steal parts from.

http://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=53702
 

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Anything is possible with money. But this is 95% impossible to do.

I spent about 2 years doing the research and collecting parts.

First off, the parts list... You're going to need the transmission, the pedals, the cables, different front axles, and a few other goodies. Unless you're buying an entire wrecked M66, it's going to add up quickly.
But the biggest issue is tuning. Long story short... You will have to leave the ECU for an auto trans in place, tricking it to think it's always in Neutral. You will then have to have a custom tune written for that ECU or run a standalone to adapt to the M66. BUT, there is a very high chance that car will go into limp mode (or throw an immobilizer) once it realizes it has power deliver when in Neutral.

Here's the real kicker. If you want to maintain your stock ECU, you will not be able to run any of the aftermarket performance tunes. Shark, Elevate, Rica, etc. are all set with your VIN, your ECU, and the transmission the car came with. ARD is the only company who 1. claims they have a software for M66 conversion, and 2. could then add a performance tune on top of that. Unfortunately, this M66 conversion has only been installed on one EU spec car and there were no responses about it. Also, ARD does not have the greatest track record with performance tuning P1 Volvos.

At the end of the day, you're looking at roughly $3500 for parts alone (that's finding things used and cheap), plus labor, plus trouble shooting, and running a high risk of the car not being driveable afterwards. $3500+ is not justifiable on these cars which are worth ~$6k a most.

If you want a manual, do what I did. Sell your car and spend a few grand to upgrade to something newer and manual. I know that sucks to hear, if you saw my S40, you would know that I had a hard time accepting this news as well. But I'm happy I made the change.
 

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Just to confirm your instinct, the M66 is a pleasure to drive. But, I'd have to agree with myname - unless you just cannot bare to part with your auto t5, I'd start sourcing out a M66 T5.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
First off, the parts list... You're going to need the transmission, the pedals, the cables, different front axles, and a few other goodies. Unless you're buying an entire wrecked M66, it's going to add up quickly.
A wrecked m66 car just showed up at a pick n pull near me which is one of the things that got the gears turning in my head.

But the biggest issue is tuning. Long story short... You will have to leave the ECU for an auto trans in place, tricking it to think it's always in Neutral. You will then have to have a custom tune written for that ECU or run a standalone to adapt to the M66. BUT, there is a very high chance that car will go into limp mode (or throw an immobilizer) once it realizes it has power deliver when in Neutral.

Here's the real kicker. If you want to maintain your stock ECU, you will not be able to run any of the aftermarket performance tunes. Shark, Elevate, Rica, etc. are all set with your VIN, your ECU, and the transmission the car came with. ARD is the only company who 1. claims they have a software for M66 conversion, and 2. could then add a performance tune on top of that. Unfortunately, this M66 conversion has only been installed on one EU spec car and there were no responses about it. Also, ARD does not have the greatest track record with performance tuning P1 Volvos.
I'm not (yet) familiar with p1 electronics, what prevents an ECU swap?
 

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cluster, immobilizer?
From what I've heard, the car won't even start with a different car's ECU.

If it were that simple, there wouldn't be the complications of writing an ECU tune for manual conversion. Not like the good old days with 850s.
 

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So upsides and downsides here - Using VIDA you can install a new ECU into the car. It will require a license to access vida, and then a $65 ECU file download fee. The laptop pulls the data from the car and sends it to volvo. then you go and download the ECU file and while downloading VIDA compares the information sent and received with the actual car to ensure it is accurate and correct.

Here's where things start to get questionable - I saw in VIDA that youc an physically edit the car's data involved, specifically, what type of tranny it has and a few other things. I do NOT know if that is the data that is pulled to send to VIDA or not due to their own personal SQL server they have set up on your computer.

Also here's an interesting prosepect due to an error I received while updatin ghte software in my car - Interesting concept, you find someone with an T5 M66 (make sure its the same AWD or FWD that you have), and then connect VIDA to their car, send the data, and then when you download the file, connect it to your car (with the new manual transmission ECU in it) and it should upload all of the same data into that ECU then when you need the VIN matching to start it, reconnect your car car to VIDA and make sure it says M66 and then redownload and repay for hte software update for the ECU and it should have your VIN with the M66 in it.

There are multiple ways to attempt this, but it seems like the price list makes this a challenge. But the ECU (as long as you have a correct one) should work given a flash from VIDA

Unfortunately, there might be a CEM update needed in there as well since the CEM and ECU regularly talk to one another. But in reality it is not impossible. Just depends on how much money you have.
 
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