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Modern automatic transmissions are designed for high torques and some tuners want to convert their old vehicles from manual to automatic. But not only because the high torque of a modified engine is often well tolerated, this can also be achieved with a manual transmission, but especially because of the higher comfort. But can the conversion work and is it worth it at all? These and other questions are explained in more detail below.
Automatic transmission - popular in America
convert from manual transmission to automatic transmission
The question of whether older cars can be converted from a manual transmission to an automatic transmission can often be found in tuning forums. The question is often answered in the affirmative and it is pointed out that this is possible with older models, but is not always financially worthwhile. Older car models, such as the D-Kadett or the Golf 3, can be converted, according to forum entries, but there are often enough specimens that were already equipped with an automatic system from the factory. It is a calculation example of whether it is more worthwhile to buy a similar car with an automatic transmission if, for example, the existing vehicle has not yet undergone extensive restorations or changes with an increase in value.
What is necessary for the conversion?
If you want to convert an older car, you should expect an enormous amount of work. A suitable automatic transmission for the vehicle must also be found. Tuning workshops or specialist workshops, but also online platforms and scrap dealers can help here. A suitable automatic transmission is not only necessary for the conversion. Other automotive components, such as the radiator, various pulleys, oil lines, the shift gate, the shift linkage, a speedometer change and the electronics must also be converted or installed. At the same time, the old automotive parts that do not match the automatic transmission have to be removed. Often the complete wiring harness and possibly the rear axle have to be replaced because of the translation. Examples can be found in forums that list further automotive component changes.
extremely expensive for current vehicles
As with the Conversion from automatic to manual conversely, it is extremely complex the more modern the vehicle is. For example, if you own the BMW M5 Sedan (F10) with a manual transmission from the USA and want to install the factory automatic transmission (7-speed DKG), this is almost impossible. Current vehicles have an extremely complex technology and finding a workshop that they can do well will be quite difficult. A changed floor group can already be a big problem and another obstacle is the complete integration of the electronics into the existing electrical system. Almost anything is possible with sufficient technical expertise and financial independence, but the proportionality is hardly given in a modern vehicle. Furthermore, there is hardly a plausible reason to convert a hand-torn M5 to automatic. In this country, the fan base craves for such exotic. A well-functioning modern automatic transmission is quite a comfortable affair and a great piece of technology, but shifting the V8 BiTurbo by hand is simply a highlight.
Is the conversion worth it?
When converting from manual to automatic transmission, several thousand euros can be expected in older cars. It may be more worthwhile to buy a similar car model that already has an automatic transmission. With new cars or newer car models, a conversion is almost not worthwhile. It is advisable to buy a car with an automatic transmission directly or to replace the existing model with one with an automatic transmission. If you absolutely want to dare a conversion, you should have it carried out by a specialist workshop and have a rough estimate calculated. The cost estimate can be used to decide whether a conversion should really be carried out or whether another car model with an automatic transmission should be purchased. Calculation examples can be found on the Internet.
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