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Old 10th April 2016, 09:51   #1
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Default Converted my Santro Automatic to Manual!

Hello all,

I would like to share the experience of my wife's 2005 Santro Automatic getting converted to manual transmission.

Car was bought in 2005 when there was very limited choice in automatic transmission. Car ran fine for 70k. For first 5 yrs, it was serviced solely at Hyundai and then at a trusted local mechanic. And in the last service, the mechanic warned that the transmission may be failing. When I drove it, I did notice some power lag. But, my wife kept driving it. One fine day, she started hearing a krrrrrrr like noise. Showed it to the same mechanic and he says it is transmission. He made some calls and told us that perhaps getting parts can be difficult and even if we get them the cost of parts itself would be 70k. On the way back from the mechanic, the car further lost power and could barely reach home (but, thankfully the car did make it home!). In next start the car just didn't move.

Some online research confirmed what mechanic was saying about repairs and associated costs. Wife needed the car, and she won't touch my Safari (the feeling is mutual between my Safari and wife!) so we started shopping for another car with the possibility of exchange. Maruti had 25k exchange bonus. We got offers anywhere from 15k(!!) to 55k for the santro. I thought 55+25 = 80k was a good price for santro. My wife had some other ideas!! Through some referral we came to know about a mechanic who had done some Auto to manual conversions. He visited us, saw the car and told us the plan - he will source the transmission from some used car, flywheel and other parts would be new from Hyundai and he gave estimate of ~20k. He sounded confident. So, we decided to give it a try. In the mean time wife went and bought Celerio AMT without the exchange bonus.

I visited the garage couple of times. Took the attached picture of 'failed' part. The foot in the picture is deliberate to give you idea of the size. Perhaps it is a hydraulic torque converter. In 3 weeks the mechanic did the job and now I have been driving the car for 2 weeks. It runs fine. Unless told, no one can tell that its a converted car.

Only one thing remains - the odometer attachment is different for manual transmission and some sort of converter is needed. Waiting for the part. In the mean time I rely on GPS for the speed.

I hope if this experience will help people with the similar issue. PM me for the mechanic details. If the mods are OK, I can post his contact in the thread itself.

Cheers
-a
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Converted my Santro Automatic to Manual!-be2e58941335456d9407590d05b45406.jpg  

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Old 11th April 2016, 06:51   #2
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Default re: Converted my Santro Automatic to Manual!

Thanks akmits_bhp
I have often wondered if this could be done if my auto box failed (A-Star). My casual conversations with the M A S S have led me to believe that they have zero experience dealing with the automatic transmissions and do not even know how to flush and replace the AT fluid, let alone diagnose and fix problems.

The better option would be if some enterprising mechanic can retrofit the AMT into manuals or even torque converter ATs.

PS - Appreciate the thoughtful 'foot' in the pic., it does really give us a good idea of the size of the torque converter.
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Old 11th April 2016, 07:00   #3
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Default re: Converted my Santro Automatic to Manual!

Thanks for this thread and info.

How many days did the mechanic take to get the car back on track ?

If the car wasnt moving, did you tow it to the garage?

Do you know which transmission box is used?

Can you share the photo of the gear stick? Is that from Santro Or any other car?

And yes, please share the contact details of the mechanic. I am keen to get AT installed in a car like Innova (if crysta gets launched as too pricey). Hopefully, he will be able to do the other way, replace manual with AT.
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Old 11th April 2016, 11:03   #4
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Default re: Converted my Santro Automatic to Manual!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvadg View Post
I have often wondered if this could be done if my auto box failed (A-Star)..
The mechanic was telling Maruti is easier as rest of the stuff like engine position, axels etc. are the same. It seems for Santro, he had to move around things a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanwaramit View Post
How many days did the mechanic take to get the car back on track ?

If the car wasnt moving, did you tow it to the garage?

Do you know which transmission box is used?

Can you share the photo of the gear stick? Is that from Santro Or any other car?

And yes, please share the contact details of the mechanic. I am keen to get AT installed in a car like Innova (if crysta gets launched as too pricey). Hopefully, he will be able to do the other way, replace manual with AT.
All in all, the car was in garage for 3 weeks. But, real work was done for 3-4 days only. Rest of the days, the car was just sitting waiting for a transmission. I did not even pay for the towing. He came with his van and towed it himself. Luckily his garage is just 2 KMs from my home without any cops in between.

I thought there is only one manual transmission for santro. Isn't it?

Attached is the pic you wanted. The mechanic is in Kothrud, Pune name is Sachin phone - 94223 03449

About Innova - you can ask him. I would like to remind that we were in 'nothing to loose if it fails' kind of mindset. You may need to do little more due diligence before deciding on something like changing transmission.

Cheers
-a
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Converted my Santro Automatic to Manual!-9bb18b9a944246cfa9de50b57a028c7f.jpg  

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Old 11th April 2016, 11:52   #5
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Default re: Converted my Santro Automatic to Manual!

This is a nice bit of info. Few questions

1. Was there any reprogramming done on the ECU to accommodate the change from Auto to Manual?
2. Do you have the Auto parts removed from the car with you or did the Mechanic take them?
3. What was the issue with your automatic car exactly? Could a second opinion from another trusted mechanic on team-bhp have helped?

Last edited by GTO : 11th April 2016 at 12:32. Reason: Typo
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Old 11th April 2016, 12:37   #6
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Default Re: Converted my Santro Automatic to Manual!

Very ingenious way to get the car back on the road, thanks for sharing!

A lot of folk face this exact problem with their old ATs; the high import content & lack of AT skill set in the market make the repair / replacement costs prohibitive. Your solution will also work for other AT models (generations of the City, i10 etc.) for which sourcing a cheap MT should be easy.

Since your wife already got a Celerio AMT, do you plan to keep the Santro?
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Old 11th April 2016, 12:48   #7
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Default Re: Converted my Santro Automatic to Manual!

Quote:
Originally Posted by akmits_bhp View Post
Attached is the pic you wanted. The mechanic is in Kothrud, Pune name is Sachin phone - 94223 03449
Hi,

Does this guy do normal servicing / repair work too? Or only AT to manual conversions? Which area in Kothrud is his garage located?

Thanks in advance for my many questions

Cheers,
Vikram
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Old 11th April 2016, 13:46   #8
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Default Re: Converted my Santro Automatic to Manual!

Quote:
Originally Posted by akmits_bhp View Post
Hello all,

I would like to share the experience of my wife's 2005 Santro Automatic getting converted to manual transmission.

Cheers
-a
Thanks for the useful piece of info..

Adding to the other questions already asked by members

- Is it legally permissible to make such a change?
- Did you have to do any endorsement in your RC?

- Lastly, (just out of curiosity) you had mentioned that you were getting a quote of 55K for your Santro. With this change, do you think it will boost the resale value? Especially, as the transmission has been altered by a non-A.S.S guy. I presume that you did this for "let's just give it a shot" kind-of mindset as you had "nothing to lose".


TIA!

Last edited by callvvijay : 11th April 2016 at 13:51.
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Old 11th April 2016, 14:45   #9
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Default Re: Converted my Santro Automatic to Manual!

I think this thread will give a new lease of life to many failed AT's. Thanks a lot to the OP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by callvvijay View Post

- Is it legally permissible to make such a change?

- Did you have to do any endorsement in your RC?

TIA!
I guess the RC does not mention the slush box or the type of transmission. At least it doesn't for Mumbai location.

So how long do you plan to keep the car akamits?


Quote:
Originally Posted by tanwaramit View Post
I am keen to get AT installed in a car like Innova (if crysta gets launched as too pricey). Hopefully, he will be able to do the other way, replace manual with AT.
Man. You got me thinking!

Last edited by @Chaand : 11th April 2016 at 14:47.
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Old 11th April 2016, 15:51   #10
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Default Re: Converted my Santro Automatic to Manual!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWind View Post
1. Was there any reprogramming done on the ECU to accommodate the change from Auto to Manual?
2. Do you have the Auto parts removed from the car with you or did the Mechanic take them?
3. What was the issue with your automatic car exactly? Could a second opinion from another trusted mechanic on team-bhp have helped?
AFAIK no programming needed/done. I think this car is way before ECU needed to know everything happening in the car.
I did not bother about old parts.
Well, we did get second/third/fourth/// opinions. But, as someone mentioned- there is hardly any awareness about AT in the market. Particularly santro which has now discontinued. Also, I forgot to mention, his first attempt was to see if AT can be repaired. After opening it he realized the torque converter is dead and its a sealed piece. And my thought was converting to MT will be more fun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
.

Since your wife already got a Celerio AMT, do you plan to keep the Santro?
Need to ask my wife. I have a feeling that it will be around, perhaps used by parents or me when Safari needs rest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by comfortablynumb View Post
Hi,

Does this guy do normal servicing / repair work too? Or only AT to manual conversions? Which area in Kothrud is his garage located?
He does normal repairs too. His location on map attached. Its a very small setup. I asked if he is interested in expanding. I was thinking I (or crowd-source) can invest some money on a guy who is knowledgeable, enterprising, not scared of failure and honest. He was not very excited. His mathematics was little different. I guess what he meant was that if I expand, costs will go up and then he will loose the advantage. Right now he has some loyal customers.

https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/...s0x0:0x0?hl=en

Quote:
Originally Posted by callvvijay View Post

- Is it legally permissible to make such a change?
- Did you have to do any endorsement in your RC?

- Lastly, (just out of curiosity) you had mentioned that you were getting a quote of 55K for your Santro. With this change, do you think it will boost the resale value? Especially, as the transmission has been altered by a non-A.S.S guy. I presume that you did this for "let's just give it a shot" kind-of mindset as you had "nothing to lose".
Good question. If I visit RTO, perhaps they will tell something needs to be done. I have not done it. And perhaps won't do it. I think its value is up now. Earlier the car was totally dead. A dead car is always worth less no matter how small is the problem. And as you rightly said, we were OK it the experiment failed.

Last edited by akmits_bhp : 11th April 2016 at 16:08.
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Old 11th April 2016, 16:15   #11
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Default Re: Converted my Santro Automatic to Manual!

A truly fantastic initiative. I have an A-Star AT at home and always wonder what will befall me if the AT were to conk off one fine day. The cost also seems to be very reasonable considering the unique nature of work.
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Old 11th April 2016, 17:07   #12
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Default Re: Converted my Santro Automatic to Manual!

Quote:
Originally Posted by akmits_bhp View Post
..He does normal repairs too. His location on map attached. Its a very small setup. I asked if he is interested in expanding. I was thinking I (or crowd-source) can invest some money on a guy who is knowledgeable, enterprising, not scared of failure and honest. He was not very excited. His mathematics was little different. I guess what he meant was that if I expand, costs will go up and then he will loose the advantage. Right now he has some loyal customers..
I am bookmarking this thread. It is rare that one comes across knowledgeable-non-authorised-car-experts. Thanks for posting.
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Old 11th April 2016, 17:20   #13
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Default Re: Converted my Santro Automatic to Manual!

That is one of the reasons why I love team-bhp. You can have such valuable information at your disposal.

I always had this thought about the ATs - what if the AT fails. And now, my friend, you have answered that question. I totally understand that one might need to do more homework converting their expensive ATs to MTs but this post here can be a start.

I have one question though - did the gear stick was changed as well? It should be but can you post some pictures of it. Also, do you see any change in the Fuel efficiency?
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Old 11th April 2016, 17:22   #14
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Default Re: Converted my Santro Automatic to Manual!

The mechanic who used to maintain my old jeep had converted an auto to manual and that too with hyundai santro gear box. Regarding ECU as far as i remember, no re-programming etc needed, it has a separate module for AT which needs to be decoupled.
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Old 11th April 2016, 19:37   #15
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Default Re: Converted my Santro Automatic to Manual!

I think it would be fairly simple and cheaper to convert AMTs to manuals as compared to conventional automatics or torque converters or CVTs as AMTs uses the same gearbox as of the manuals but the gear shifting is done through sensors, pneumatics, etc. Whereas Conventional Automatics use different gearbox. Am I correct in my judgement?
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