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2.8L auto to 5spd conversion

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I bought a 2.8L comanche with a seriously leaky tranny, and as I'm pulling this thing, I'm thinking why rebuild it and replace all the seals if I can replace it with a manual, which is what I really want anyway? I hate automatics. Despise them. Simply because I feel like I'm not in control of what the truck is doing. So if I were to replace my automatic with a manual, I need to find out what bell housings I can use, what manual transmissions I can use, and what transfer cases will bolt up to these transmissions, and any particular info on driveshaft modification.


So far I've come up with two transmissions that should work, either an AX-5, or a T-5. I think on Monday I'm going to take a trip down to the junkyard and see what's available in the S10s and Comanches that are down there, and pick up a comanche pedal setup.


Anybody have any more information for me or a link to something? Thanks in advance.

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try to find an external slave bellhousing if you can. older MJ/XJs (up to like 87) and then later model XJs (like 95+) got them. someone else might be able to give you a more precise range.

TJ/YJ stuff will also work, though I believe they rotate the t-case up a bit (which is good for ground clearance, bad if it contacts the floor)

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Don't bother with the S10 junk. Plenty of Jeep stuff out there.


You can use an AX-4 or AX-5(identical except ones a 4 speed, ones a 5). You can get those from behind the 2.8 V6 or 2.5 I4 out of any XJ/MJ/YJ/TJ. 2.8 and 2.5 use the same bellhousing, same transmissions.


x3 on the external stuff. Internal slaves are junk. I don't know about driveshaft lengths, but if you can grab the trans/T-case-front driveshaft all together, that'd be your best bet. It'll be pretty difficult to track down a stock rear, so if the AX-5 is longer than your auto(I think it is), you'll have to just have your current rear one cut down and re-balanced. If you can't get the T-case with the trans, but IIRC almost all AX-4/5s need a 21 spline long input T-case. Try to get a 231 if you can.


Just an FYI(if you don't know already) before/in case you ask. No, you cannot bolt up a T-case to a 2wd trans. You'll need a 4wd one.

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You guys are pretty good. Problem is that the AX4/5 are tough to get at the local pick and pull but I'm sure I can find one given enough time. Problem is I really want to have this done by the first snow, which is normally by the end of October around here.


If I need to I wouldn't mind using a T5. Any idea if the 207 or 231 tcase will bolt up easy to these? I have both TCs laying around in the garage, and the T5 is infinitely easier to find.


The only other question I had is about the flywheel. I know the 2.8L is externally balanced, so I know I have to be a bit particular with getting a flywheel for it. I work at an advance auto parts and apparently we can't get the flywheels. One out of an S10 should work, correct? I

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I have the complete set up for a 2.8 as I have done a 4.3 swap...The tranny is an AX5 and the t-case is 242...It all came out of my 86 Comanche...Tranny has external slave which I also have, plus the master it is all for sale....I live in northern Ontario...the 4.3 came with a 700r4 tranny and a 231 t-case which is a 5 bolt t-case where as the 242 is a 6 bolt...Also the clutch assembly is only about 1000 km old as the 2.8 has died....

the 4.3 set up is longer then the 2.8, therefore I need to shorten the rear DS and lenghten the front DS..

P.S. the 4.3 set up is the 1 with the breather on....

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