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Sidekick Auto Transmission Swap
04-19-2014, 09:27 PM (This post was last modified: 04-19-2014 09:28 PM by TheOtherOtherRootuser.)
Post: #1
Sidekick Auto Transmission Swap
Hi Fixkick,

I have a 1993 Suzuki Sidekick, 193K miles, no issue what-so-ever. It is the 2-door JX model, 5-speed, 4WD.


As I will probably have to rebuild the motor soon (it's just a little weak) I was planning on doing a few mods and building it the way I wanted.

The first was to convert to auto transmission. The 3-speed with lock-up would be fine. I want to be sure I grab all the right parts.

What parts would I need exactly to make sure I have it all.

Any advice would be appreciated. I imagine I have the ECU for a manual and I'm not sure if I would have to switch out ECU or not.
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04-20-2014, 02:02 AM (This post was last modified: 04-21-2014 02:07 AM by fixkick.)
Post: #2
RE: Sidekick Auto Transmission Swap
http://www.fixkick.com/SWAPS.html#Tranny_swap

example 2: see if i missed anything....

http://fixkick.com/
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04-20-2014, 12:43 PM
Post: #3
RE: Sidekick Auto Transmission Swap
The torque lockup is from the 50s I think. I think Packard invented it. Really old design.

I will need to grab the ECU and harness, that makes it a big pain but doable.


I think I will continue as you suggested, find a donor car, and then I can take a lot from it.

Thanks a lot for the great info. Glad to see you're back in business.
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05-12-2014, 09:14 AM
Post: #4
RE: Sidekick Auto Transmission Swap
I have a '97 2Dr Tracker that I installed a '97 VW 1.9 1Z TDi in. I will tell you, this is the PERFECT engine for this vehicle. With it's torque and great fuel economy, I love it. I've been driving it about a year now and I'm really getting tired of shifting gears (it's my everyday driver). I have been considering converting it to a 4 speed auto. When I installed the engine, I did all the wiring myself. It is the computer controlled TDi, not an easy task. I'm just wondering if it's even possible to get the 4 speed auto to operate correctly behind this diesel engine. I did read through the "fixkick tranny swap" and I was aware of most everything mentioned. Any opinion would be appreciated.
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05-12-2014, 12:09 PM
Post: #5
RE: Sidekick Auto Transmission Swap
that 4sp is not designed for the huge torque of a diesel.
and 4sp is has electronic shifting TCM , hidden deep in the original 97s. ECU (PCM)

get 1996 TCM or older
and make the inputs happy.
not only that , the stock shift points would be all wrong.
you need TPS , input, eCT. and tachometer (rpm input) and VSS output (its on tail of trans)

the kick down cable can be attached.
but the load signal, that causes the trans to shift by load will fail because the ECU, output to the TCM is dead.
the ECU sends load data to the TCM and the TCM delays shifting, based on load.

i think a custom tcm would work best here.
or transmission that has no TCM best of all.
the old 3speed matches that. but is even weaker rated torque wise.

I wonder what the TCM would do with a liar box on the tachmeter line, to make the diesel seem like the high reving gas motor.
I small processor can do that easy. and be adjustable easy. even with a POT as input on scaling.

http://fixkick.com/
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05-18-2014, 07:53 AM
Post: #6
RE: Sidekick Auto Transmission Swap
You are the first person I've found that knows any advanced details about this subject. Everyone loves to say "can't be done". ANYTHING can be done.
OK, I already have a VSS set-up because I installed the Jetta instrument cluster in the Tracker, looks factory. I purchased a pulse generator that threaded right on the tailshaft and a pulse converter so that I could fine tune the correct speed. I am aware that '96 had a separate TCM, but it still has to receive certain signals from the ECM. The TDi's TPS is on the accelerator peddle. I'm sure I could rig a bracket on there for the kickdown. Who the heck makes a custom TCM??? I definitely would want the 4speed. If I couldn't get the 4speed to work, I would just stick with the manual. This Tracker is lifted about 8 inches with 33's and I'm still getting about 38 MPG. Want to keep the overdrive. I'm running 3.73 gears and it turns 2400 RPM at 70 MPH.
I tried to post some pics, but the files are too large and it wouldn't let me.
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05-18-2014, 10:04 AM
Post: #7
RE: Sidekick Auto Transmission Swap
yes, it can be done.
one good book is the jeff hartman book. "how to tune and modify engine management systems."
the chapter 17 on the JAG-Rolet, with Bob Norwoods cars, this one on page 180. is a Chev 350 in a 1989 Jag. +L98 , + Motec + super charger 10psi. and 4L80E Tranny.
what some do is, run the old PCM in parallel, fooling it into thinking its running the show and letting it work the Speedo/odometer and tach. and warning lamps.
sure it (stock ecu) will be stuck with lots of DTCs but let it. its not doing much. (unplug the CEL)
yes, the vss adaptor are sold at summit racing.
The Tacho can run of a crank sensor on the diesel, with the correct setup. (and conversions of signal)
in Normoods car the factory PCM was removed but others , keep it.
yes, Norwood used a custom tCM called ACEL/DFI
he programed the DFI ,(my guess it's not made now)
and had to program the Motec to modulate the jag tacho, he said very hard work reverse engineering the tach. and make it happy.

yes the stock ECU , sends data to the TCM telling it, load data. so it can shift by load. (ex. later shifts up hills)
http://www.jegs.com/c/Transmission-Drive...4/10002/-1

they are not cheap.

it be fun to take a stock suzuki with 4sp and cut the TCM wire, called ECU serial, what would happen besides ECU throwing TCM errors? for comms.
page 1. pin 6
pin 4 is the stock tacho signal in to TCM and i know what it looks like. (its just the spark sig, reflected from the coil primary) 4 pulses every 720 degrees of crank rotation.
I wonder what the stock TCM would do with all others working right. all other pins but pin 6
http://www.fixkick.com/tranny/TCM/FSM-TCM-SCH.pdf

VSS2 is easy the tranny tail shaft sensor is still there. pins 2 and 3
Vss1 in the speedo is just a backup for vss1 failures.

im not sure how the jetta tacho works, some are digital >analog needle, others are analog to analog. (in that they average the number of analog spark hits to a gauge.
newer years the PCM sends a voltage to voltmeter tacho. bam easy.
the suzuki is pure analog tach.




wow, 38mpg, nice rig.... real nice. and a fun project


i just upgraded the gallery engine. it resizes most photos , automatically.
what size you got, ill test it.
file size and pixel H &Width.?


4 my guess is lockup will not happen unless the serial line talks right. its a load and speed decision, that. so my guess is the TCC would not lock up. with serial dead.
pure speculation. on serial data...

my be you can find that custom TCM on fleabay cheap after someone gave up on it. (or upgraded, etc)
be lots of fun programming one. Im sure.

all the best to you,

http://fixkick.com/
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05-20-2014, 08:00 AM
Post: #8
RE: Sidekick Auto Transmission Swap
I think the serial data link would be the toughest obstacle and if I was unable to get the lock-up to work, there goes my 38MPG. If I was able to get it to operate perfectly, I just wonder how much the auto would affect my fuel economy??? Anyway, I'll try again on the pics. I'm pretty proud of this rig. I built it to tow behind my motor coach, but it's so damn much fun to drive, it's become my every day driver. It drives and rides like a car because I installed the OldManEmu struts and did some customized on the rear suspension. Plus, this turbo diesel has crazy power and I haven't even started tuning it up yet. In the near future I'm gonna install larger injectors, a better cam, maybe a larger turbo and of course chip out the ECM. Gonna try to squeeze out 45MPG. Wouldn't that be crazy?

Still wouldn't let me add the attachment. Size is 3264x1840 1.18mb
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05-21-2014, 07:38 AM (This post was last modified: 05-21-2014 07:39 AM by fixkick.)
Post: #9
RE: Sidekick Auto Transmission Swap
a serial protocol analyzer works (even a laptop (with 2 serial ports) works. and free software to make it work.
this allows monitor the serial line , to see it talk,

my guess is just number going by, RPM , load , throttle angle, etc. very simple and crude, i bet but takes a working live system.
that is how others crack the immoblilzers on sidekicks in UK and EU.

45 mpg is possible
the car 2 door can be as light as 2000 lbs.
very few cars that light and that much space inside.

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05-25-2014, 12:18 AM
Post: #10
RE: Sidekick Auto Transmission Swap
I had the old sloppy shifter problem, so I ordered the two plastic pieces you recommended. Sure enough, they were SHOT. When I tore into it I found another problem. The spring that holds tension on the lock ring was broken in half. Had to order a whole shift lever assembly. $172.00 from Suzuki.
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