Don’t try this at home…


A few weeks ago, when I first announced I was doing the swap, I posted this:

I’ll state the obvious. If you are thinking about transmogrifying your MCS automatic into a manual, you are most likely INSANE. Certifiable. Seek help. Seriously. The only rational way to do this, is to sell your car, and buy a different car with the right transmission.

I stand by that quote, for most people. This has NOT been a trivial endeavor. It has taken a ton of research, probably 100 man-hours of actual work (so far), a team of MINI experts offering ideas on how to make it work, electrical troubleshooting / custom wiring, and deep work with advanced scanning and coding tools (AutoEnginuity, INPA, NCS Expert).

No rational person should attempt this, really. But, sometimes, you just gotta flex your GPness. As Wellzy said, no sane person attempts to rebuild their own automatic transmission. 

I was pretty confident it would work, but ONLY because I had access to some brilliant MINI mechanics, access to the right software tools, 8 years of MINI DIY experience on this car, and the time and tenacity to make it work.

When I’m done, there will be a reasonably complete body of knowledge about it on my blog. But I do not intend this to be a “cookbook” for folks to apply as if this were an easy thing to do. It’s the MINI equivalent of a major organ transplant, brain transplant, neurosurgery, circulatory system reconstruction, and psychotherapy, all rolled into one project. It hasn’t required the fabrication or engine building skills of some other advanced MINI projects (like turbo / twin-charging), but the addition of all the electronics and coding changes, and the many differences between the MCS Auto and Manual config, have made it one of the most advanced projects I’ve encountered. (Jan still wins with his Racecar-In-A-Box project ).

Even with this now figured out and documented, it still won’t be easy. You have been warned. Now go put your hand on that hot stove, anyway. But don’t come crying to me when it burns. 

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