1995 Sahara auto to manual swap

Plastic Fury

New Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2023
Messages
16
Location
Daytona Beach, FL
I came across a solid deal on a 95 Sahara, 63k with no rust on the tub or frame. Seen it's share of mud and offroad and no maintenance for a long time but overall in good shape. I really wanted another manual but this one is an auto. I had been looking for many months for a decent YJ and when this one popped up, I decided to jump on it with the idea of swapping it. I have manual swapped a couple of cars over the years but never a Jeep. I found a thread with some good info on this forum, so I figured I'd add mine here as well and introduce myself.

I have amassed the parts I need (I believe) to complete the swap. Decided to get a new AX-15 from Novak so I know that one thing should be good for a long time. Got the external slave bellhousing and the slave/master cylinder for the clutch. New Luk clutch and flywheel. I had a manual tilt column I pulled from the yard a year ago and had already rebuilt it for a different Jeep that I wound up not using, so that will work great for this. Clutch and brake pedal assembly along with the transfer case shifter mount assembly from a manual setup. I will be re-using the transfer case but am anticipating needing to pull the tail shaft as I have read they are longer in the auto/TC setup than in the manual. Considering just rebuilding the TC since I have to open it up anyway to do that.

Also doing a lot of maintenance as this Jeep has not seen any love in a long time. Idles and runs okay but leaking oil all over. Found the valve cover bolts loose and two missing in the back, looks like it still had the oem cork gasket on it. So I am going through and cleaning it up and replacing a lot of worn items while I am at it.

Just need to get the wiring changes figured out, found some good info here that should be helpful. I had a 91 4.0 that I parted out and I transferred a bunch of parts over from that one already like the RE Express lift and wheels and tires, etc.

Really looking forward to hopefully getting this thing on the road soon. Great Jeep weather here in Daytona Beach this time of year.

393104373_1012822749792875_5029031432473169155_n.jpg
 
Transfer case should work fine as is. The autos use the long input gear which works fine in the AX15 despite the AX15 coming with the short input gear transfer case from the factory. Somewhere around 1998 or 1999 Jeep shipped the AX15s with long input gears and it was fine. There were no changes to the transmission for that to work. Novak or someone similar says something along the lines of the long input gear will put pressure on the transmission, but that is not true. On the flip side, if you were going manual to auto then you’d either need the aftermarket extended seal or you’d need the factory longer input. Otherwise massive leak out the trans.

The tail shafts are the same on all transfer cases from factory, they used longer or shorter driveshafts. The automatic transmission is shorter than the manual by an inch or two and so the driveshaft was longer or shorter by the same amount. You’ll probably want to do the slip yoke eliminator kit and double cardan shaft since you have a decent amount of lift. The stock driveshaft is very short and only works well on stock height. Especially on 6 cyl manuals because they are the shortest factory driveshaft combo.

Wiring changes are easy. The jumper harness down at the transmission is all you’ll need to manipulate because everything needed for both transmissions is at the connector the jumper plugs into. Ideally you’d find the jumper on eBay and just buy it but they’re hard to come by. I imagine you’ll need to cut the harness upstream of the jumper connector and manually wire it out yourself.

I’m guessing the wiring info you saw was from me discussing with Doop, since this stuff doesn’t get discussed all that much here. If you need any help just ask, but it’s pretty easy.

You can reuse your PCM.

Nice jeep and cool first post.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: DOWNS
I’m guessing the wiring info you saw was from me discussing with Doop, since this stuff doesn’t get discussed all that much here. If you need any help just ask, but it’s pretty easy.

Yes, that thread is the best info I have been able to find. I have searched quite a bit, just wanting to be as thorough in case there is some odd thing I didn't know about as it should be pretty straight forward. You put some good info in that post on what is needed for the wiring, which I appreciate. Gave me a good idea of what is needed. I see it's much more common to go manual to auto. I picked up a manual pcm as a back up plan but I'd hate to swap out the harness as the one in this Jeep is in good shape and untouched except for the radio (unlike my last YJ where the harness was totally butchered). Although, it appears the harnesses are the same until you get to that jumper down by the transmission.

I have been reading that the cam position sensor is a different length as they are different ones sold for auto or manual. I have a CPS from a 91 manual 4.0 here but the plug is is different from that of the one in my auto jeep. I read the auto is too long but I was thinking I could just use a pair of washers to back it up slightly so it doesn't hit the flywheel. I imagine that would work?

I appreciate your reply.
 
No need to touch the whole wiring harness, they are identical and only specific to the engine until you get down to the transmission jumper connector. So you don’t need to mess with the main harness at all. You just need to adapt the wiring that’s down there to the manual reverse switch and ground the wire that would have gone to the neutral safety switch.

Cam position sensors are the same between all models except they changed the sensor and distributor from one style to another mid 1994.

What you are reading about and thinking of is the crankshaft position sensor. They different from auto to manual, 1 bolt vs 2 bolt. The manual was broken into 1991-1992 and 1993-1995. I would plan on buying the 93-95 manual sensor which will plug right in and bolt up. I wouldn’t try to spend any time on the automatic sensor, mainly because I don’t believe it will even fit the bellhousing right. You can use the 91 sensor but you will need to dig through 91 and 95 diagrams to see what wires need to be connected and you’ll need to reduce on some sort of a custom connector you want to use to make it disconnectable. Personally I like the idea of getting the manual sensor for your year the best. Plugs right in, keeps things “stock” for the swap you’re making.

If you can find it, Mopar 56026882 would be ideal.
 
I had read the harnesses were the same, it certainly makes sense from a manufacturing point of view. I was thinking of using the neutral safety switch as a "kill" switch with a grounded toggle somewhere, since I have to deal with it anyway.

Ahh yes, I was thinking of the wrong part. I will look for the 93-95 crankshaft position sensor and will use that one. I would rather go that route as it's easier and looks cleaner as well. I'll try to find the Mopar part but I am sure they are not easy to find anymore. I have been looking for a few Mopar parts just for the quality and have had to settle for what I could find.

I really appreciate your input on this, you have been very helpful here and in the other thread.
 
not all (harnesses) are the same. mine has all the NONE ABS/ and A/C sockets pins inside PDC pin De-populated.
the PDF parts manual is free. and shows all these facts, no need guess.
see PDF icon 5 here, 95 parts cat. < the real deal , look, see only YJ pages. see only LHD (left hand drive) 4.0L no ABS or not. yes AC or not. A/t or M/t ,4wd or not.
page 217, 11 engines harnesses.
pages 222
search words "wiring" shows it all.
other than engine and trans, ABS is the big difference. or 24vdc battery system option,.(ouch) , 7 fire wall harness 1 options.

there is nothing wrong with Rockauto dot come parts, SMP, Bosch, or Crown auto. , ever look there? the dealer here has no WJ parts this old.( some screws that fit on newer jeeps , maybe?) if you must have old parts , 1/2 dead, ebay wins. (electrics)
nothing at all wrong, or use them"ROCK" just to see who makes and sells the parts then ask at NAPA, they can get the same parts seen there.


free parts book are (amazingly here) (in the sticky here)


down load it but the "on line viewer SW" fails on the big books, the on-line view is limited greatly. download it and view it.

i view PDF in firefox or Nitro . do not use adobe, it puts alien junk on PCs. (bundled other apps, you never want)
these are the free books just down load it, (get it and keep it for now, and next time)
 
CKP, manual trans only sensor.
not in stock !

crown and SMP and more make it
many parts, sold as other brands are just SMP , re-badges, SMP is ISO-9000 certified. not junk and most there sensors are even upgrades.

NTK, or Delphi and more.
all top makers of parts, no fake names.


SMP PC-41 M/t tone ring not the same A/T (flywheel and flex plate not the same)

1991 was PC130, and is not the same, oKAY? use the online pages at ROCK and learn the correct parts made 2023.


the sensor CKP is 3 pin 8vdc HALL sensor. (x10 better than the first 4.0L with lame coil pickups and recalls then)
the SMP has upgrades to that sensor.

read how it does this , here. (click view
Features & Benefits:
  • Integrated A/D converter and digital signal processing with a dynamically adaptive switch point improves accuracy and operation
  • Advanced circuitry protects the system from stray electro-magnetic fields and power spikes
  • Custom magnetic circuit programming calibrates the sensor while performance testing for improved timing accuracy between the target wheel and sensor output
  • 100% environmental, endurance and end-of-line testing for Timing, Pulse Width and Signal Amplitude ensures consistent product reliability
it has smart HALL , electronics inside.
 
Last edited:
Finally getting back to this after the holidays and life getting in the way. Pulled the transfer case today and want to pull the auto trans tomorrow. Every time I think I have all the parts, I discover something else I need. I had kept my transfer case shifter linkage from the 91 YJ I had previously. The AX15 I picked up from Novak is the later style and now I realized that I need a 92-95 transfer case shifter linkage. Another part to buy. Just empty every pocket lol.
 
Finally getting back to this after the holidays and life getting in the way. Pulled the transfer case today and want to pull the auto trans tomorrow. Every time I think I have all the parts, I discover something else I need. I had kept my transfer case shifter linkage from the 91 YJ I had previously. The AX15 I picked up from Novak is the later style and now I realized that I need a 92-95 transfer case shifter linkage. Another part to buy. Just empty every pocket lol.
What’s different about the shifter linkage in 92-95? As far as I’m aware all AX15 YJs had the same tcase shifter linkage and they all bolted to the bolt boss on the transmission case.

Edit: I learned something new. Looks like the transmission case on 89-91 AX15 was different or something, because eBay indeed shows the shifter part being different. Interesting. Wish I could see that shifter mounted to a transmission compared to mine. I see the 90° little tab at the bottom, I’m curious how that bolts up.
 
Last edited:
What’s different about the shifter linkage in 92-95? As far as I’m aware all AX15 YJs had the same tcase shifter linkage and they all bolted to the bolt boss on the transmission case.

Edit: I learned something new. Looks like the transmission case on 89-91 AX15 was different or something, because eBay indeed shows the shifter part being different. Interesting. Wish I could see that shifter mounted to a transmission compared to mine. I see the 90° little tab at the bottom, I’m curious how that bolts up.
Yeah, I have learned something as well. I kept the 91 linkage figuring it would bolt right up. It does not. I started poking around the internet and found different info. Some listings say 90-95, some say 92-95, etc. I too learned that they changed something in 92. The Novak AX15 I purchased is the "later" style 94-99.

The first two pictures are of the 91 style transfer shifter resting where it should be. The top two mounting locations line up but that is it. The last pic is the 92-95 style that I apparently need to make it work.

Looking at the picture of the other style, I can see where that lower mount will bolt to the AX-15. The 91 style also rests against the side of the trans and is in the way, I see the later style has a lot less material in the mount and will clear that issue.

418715669_396356462787803_8970505958836163238_n.jpg


418435514_1805977526532819_2710741929864731385_n.jpg


92-95 Transfer Case Linkage.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: ytradio
Yeah, I have learned something as well. I kept the 91 linkage figuring it would bolt right up. It does not. I started poking around the internet and found different info. Some listings say 90-95, some say 92-95, etc. I too learned that they changed something in 92. The Novak AX15 I purchased is the "later" style 94-99.

The first two pictures are of the 91 style transfer shifter resting where it should be. The top two mounting locations line up but that is it. The last pic is the 92-95 style that I apparently need to make it work.

Looking at the picture of the other style, I can see where that lower mount will bolt to the AX-15. The 91 style also rests against the side of the trans and is in the way, I see the later style has a lot less material in the mount and will clear that issue.

View attachment 122398

View attachment 122399

View attachment 122400
Interesting, I have a new Novak trans still in the box for a year that I haven’t even opened yet. And I have a 89 Np231 to mate it to. Looks like I’ll be in the same boat.
 
Interesting, I have a new Novak trans still in the box for a year that I haven’t even opened yet. And I have a 89 Np231 to mate it to. Looks like I’ll be in the same boat.
Looks like Novak has the cure for $178.00
 
Yeah, I have learned something as well. I kept the 91 linkage figuring it would bolt right up. It does not. I started poking around the internet and found different info. Some listings say 90-95, some say 92-95, etc. I too learned that they changed something in 92. The Novak AX15 I purchased is the "later" style 94-99.

The first two pictures are of the 91 style transfer shifter resting where it should be. The top two mounting locations line up but that is it. The last pic is the 92-95 style that I apparently need to make it work.

Looking at the picture of the other style, I can see where that lower mount will bolt to the AX-15. The 91 style also rests against the side of the trans and is in the way, I see the later style has a lot less material in the mount and will clear that issue.

View attachment 122398

View attachment 122399

View attachment 122400
Very interesting, I’ll probably search for some used transmissions to see what it looks like at that spot where the 91 shifter interferes with the bolt boss. 89-91 YJ probably used the XJ AX15 case which didn’t have that bolt boss (which is why I recommend people don’t buy XJ AX15 for a YJ (that and they’re clocked wrong but that’s an easier fix))
 
Looks like Novak has the cure for $178.00
I’d opt for the factory part over the Novak one, simply because the factory one will just work. Novak will require mocking up the shift rod to bend it and in that linkage kit, at least years ago, there were plenty of complaints about how it shifted. Not really sure why, but it was enough to convince me to stay stock and just fix my loose stock shifter up with a new isolator and clip.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Plastic Fury
Well it will be an option at least. Don’t know how hard a factory one may that will work may be to come by.
I’d opt for the factory part over the Novak one, simply because the factory one will just work. Novak will require mocking up the shift rod to bend it and in that linkage kit, at least years ago, there were plenty of complaints about how it shifted. Not really sure why, but it was enough to convince me to stay stock and just fix my loose stock shifter up with a new isolator and clip.
e to come b
 
I’d opt for the factory part over the Novak one, simply because the factory one will just work. Novak will require mocking up the shift rod to bend it and in that linkage kit, at least years ago, there were plenty of complaints about how it shifted. Not really sure why, but it was enough to convince me to stay stock and just fix my loose stock shifter up with a new isolator and clip.
Yeah, I am planning to just find an OEM transfer linkage. I just hate paying $150 for a little bracket, kinda silly. I see one on DeadJeep and I see another on Ebay that will work. Just gonna look around and maybe make a post, see if anybody has one laying in a parts pile that they don't need. I honestly only need the bracket. The shift rod/arm itself, looks the same as the one I have in my 91. In the end, I need it so if I gotta bite the bullet and pay, I'll just have to do that.
 
No need to touch the whole wiring harness, they are identical and only specific to the engine until you get down to the transmission jumper connector. So you don’t need to mess with the main harness at all. You just need to adapt the wiring that’s down there to the manual reverse switch and ground the wire that would have gone to the neutral safety switch.
I was looking at the other thread where you were discussing the wiring needed to ground the starter relay and setup the reverse lights, etc.

For the brown/yellow starter wire, instead of running it to the black/orange Z2 wire, I was planning to run it up through the firewall and into the cab to use as a "kill switch" toggle to disrupt the ground when desired.

The blue torque converter wire I know just needs to be cut and heat shrinked and then pull the TCC relay from the harness on the firewall.

For the keyed power and backup light wire, I have a painless 2 pin male weather pack but with this new Novak AX15 I am not sure which wire is which to match it up to the pinned connector?
 
I was looking at the other thread where you were discussing the wiring needed to ground the starter relay and setup the reverse lights, etc.

For the brown/yellow starter wire, instead of running it to the black/orange Z2 wire, I was planning to run it up through the firewall and into the cab to use as a "kill switch" toggle to disrupt the ground when desired.

The blue torque converter wire I know just needs to be cut and heat shrinked and then pull the TCC relay from the harness on the firewall.

For the keyed power and backup light wire, I have a painless 2 pin male weather pack but with this new Novak AX15 I am not sure which wire is which to match it up to the pinned connector?
You can do that to the starter wire if you please. Just do a good job on it so it doesn't become a problem point.

Yes on the blue torque converter wire.

The wires to the backup switch don't matter. Either wire can go to either pin.
 
You can do that to the starter wire if you please. Just do a good job on it so it doesn't become a problem point.

Yes on the blue torque converter wire.

The wires to the backup switch don't matter. Either wire can go to either pin.
Yeah, I will make sure it's wired up well.

I was wondering if it mattered on the reverse lights, thank you for confirming.