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4 speed / 5 speed swap

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Old 06-22-2010, 07:15 PM   #1
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Default 4 speed / 5 speed swap

Hey everyone, new to the site and a new owner of a nice 91 Civic Hachback Std. I really like this car. The only drawback is the 4 speed transmission, if it had an overdrive it would be perfect, it isn't setup for the freeway without an overdrive. I found a 5 speed at a salvage yard from a 1990 civic wagon. It's a cable transmission like mine. Can I replace my 4 speed with this 5 speed, unbolt one and bolt in the other? Will I have to replace the shift linkage or can I use what I have? Thanks for any information you may have to offer. Once I clean it up a little I hope I can post a pic.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:56 PM   #2
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I dont remember there being a 4SPD manual for those years. Unless you are talking about an Automatic, then it is a a 4SPD, however it does have Overdrive. 4th would be the Overdrive gear.

You shouldn't have a problem doing a swap either. All D series trannies will bolt to all D Series motors. Last I checked anyhow.
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Old 06-22-2010, 08:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Wax Hands View Post
I dont remember there being a 4SPD manual for those years. Unless you are talking about an Automatic, then it is a a 4SPD, however it does have Overdrive. 4th would be the Overdrive gear.

You shouldn't have a problem doing a swap either. All D series trannies will bolt to all D Series motors. Last I checked anyhow.
ahh the 4 speed...


there was a 4 speed manual available only in 88-91. it was in the std hatchback...

other options for the STD included... NO tach.. NO rear wiper... NO passenger side mirror... and a black trim panel on the hatch instead of a red reflective one.

all this is tell tale sign from the outside of a STD.

the 4 speed is a dead giveaway if you didnt know the other options.


parts you need are... a 5 speed trans from an 89-91 car... NOT AN 88

the 88s had a different spline count on the input shaft.

you original axles will fit...from what im told...

personally... i used a set of SI axles with a set of SI spindles. the SI axles and spindles have a different spline count on the outer cv joint. they are the perfered method because if for any reason down the road you want to swap to a B series... you need to use these hubs because the 4 speed axles will not fit the B trans... thus any other axle wont fit the hubs.


you can reuse your clutch as long as it fits the input shaft on the trans... remember about the spline count...

if you happen to pickup an 88 anyway... there are options... you can go on and pickup a flywheel and clutch and pressure plate for an 88... OR and this may sound strange... you can keep your original flywheel and pressure plate.. and change the clutch disc to that of an 86-89 accord.

those are your options. choose wisely...
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Old 06-22-2010, 11:22 PM   #4
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Good looking out Chris, thanks for the update.
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Old 06-22-2010, 11:49 PM   #5
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i heard that you cant just swap trannys cause some guys did it and he decelerated in 5th gear
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:57 PM   #6
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You discribed my std. to a tie, basic bare bones. So an 89-91 will bolt right up, I thought it might. Aaron, what do you mean by decelerate? The motor does'nt have enough power for an overdrive? A 5 speed transmission was optional for a Civic std. in 91, the only model that a 4 speed came standard. Thanks for the info.
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:07 AM   #7
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yeah, the 4 speed tranny is geared for the low powered motor in the std, the five speed is geared shorter needing more power the the 4 speed which has longer gears, there for when you shift to 5th gear there is not enough power to accelerate.
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:12 AM   #8
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I wonder what 5 speed Honda used when someone ordered a 5 speed as an option. I can't amagin a 5 speed geared just for a Civic Std. model.
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