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Thread: Clarification on the AR5 Manual Transmission swap

  1. #1
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    Clarification on the AR5 Manual Transmission swap

    At the risk of reviving an old topic, I have been reading about the AR5 conversions (particularly VT Maverick's swap) and I am definitely missing something in this... (and I'm a pretty good backyard mechanic, though relatively new to VX's and TOD in general).

    So if our TOD system is computer controlled, how does using a computer from a standard transmission donor vehicle that did NOT have TOD possibly allow the TOD to remain functional in the AR5 swap? (I'm definitely missing the boat on understanding how this works...)

    While I'm at it, I have a couple of other questions/observations from reading multiple threads and trying to sort this through.

    The desired computer is a 1998 or 1999 or 2000(?) PCM from a standard transmission model Trooper, and located where??? (I've seen it recorded as both under the passenger seat - where apparently the VX PCM resides in model years 1999, and 2000 - and in the center console in front of the gear shift and under the stereo.) It also appears that it should have three plugs that sit side by side in a long row - a red, a white, and a blue/black. Not two long plugs that sit one on top of the other, as is the case of the ECM in the 2001 model year. Furthermore, it should have a label that actually states 3.5 AUTO or 3.5 MAN. (I haven't sourced part numbers yet - but if someone wants to chime in on those, I'd be happy to include them here...)

    Is this JUST a PCM (or body control module, or whatever term you prefer to use) or is it the engine ECM as well? In other words, are they separate units, or are all functions incorporated into a single computer?

    LOL - I'm sure my confusion is GROSSLY evident here - please help me sort this out!

    And kudos to the guys that have done this - I particularly enjoyed VT Maverick's thread with the photos - VERY useful!
    Currently sourcing parts and looking forward to doing this later this summer/fall...

  2. #2
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    Hello, I've not been on this board in quite some time but I just looked in and saw this post.
    The TOD has a separate controller that is located under the passenger seat and works independently of the ECM. The type of ECM or what ever you would like to call it is in the center console, has red, white, and blue connectors, and is labeled 3.5 MAN. I don't have the part number but you can use the one from the Trooper unless it is new enough to have the ECM in the engine compartment. Hopefully this helps and good luck.
    Scott
    There's no 'I' in denial.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for weighing in Scott - yours (and other) input is how I hope to clarify this for the future masses...

    OK - been back over your post a couple of times. Maybe my error is this - is the TOD controller UNDER the carpet? Do you need to pull the carpet up to see/remove it? Maybe my whole problem is confusing the ECM with the TOD controller...(I was assuming - likely incorrectly - that the TOD function was also controlled via the same computer).

    So for a moment I'm going to assume that this is correct and the TOD controller is UNDER the carpet (and thus, I have not yet seen it.) So it drives the TOD system via the transfer case that we are MAINTAINING in this swap. The ECM, (perhaps PCM is a better term - "Powertrain Control Module") however, is being exchanged, as we are removing the 4L30E which is an electronically driven transmission (via the PCM), and so we need to switch to a NON-4L30E PCM in order not to flag a whole bunch of system errors for the absent electronic transmission.

    That sound about right? That would make a WHOLE lot more sense to me...
    So really, to sum it up, any standard transmission 98/99/2000 Trooper "3.5 MAN" PCM would do the trick, then...right? (Located in the center console, with three plug connectors - not the engine bay).

    Interesting to me that they would have a SEPARATE controller for the transfer case/TOD, and a combined controller for the engine/transmission. I'm a big fan of plug and play - "LEGO" - why not have a separate controller for each? I know - I'm sure it saves dollars somewhere in there...
    Last edited by Kuehjo : 04/12/2017 at 07:39 PM

  4. #4
    Member Since
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    Correct, TOD is under the carpet, but you need either a 98 or 99 Trooper ECM; 2000+ went to drive by wire so those ECMs won't work.

    My swap is still going strong after 50K miles, but I'll probably need to do a rebuild on the AR-5 soon because the synchros are going out (tends to "fall out" of 5th gear with no load on the engine). That's no fault of the swap of course, it's just the 150K miles on the AR-5.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
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    Thanks VT_Maverick!

    So the Troopers in 2000 went to drive by wire - but the VX stayed cable-controlled throttle, correct? (I'll have to pop down and take a look at my truck after work today....)

  6. #6
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    What I also find interesting about the separate TOD/PCM setup is why Isuzu never had a manual trans/TOD transfer case option. This configuration really works well together. I guess they just never wanted to add the up feature to the base model. Although, I believe they did offer 4L30/TOD on the S model so why never an AR5/TOD option?

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