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I am looking for a Chrysler TC with a manual trasmission for a high school physics / auto shop project. I am a physics teacher in a high school in Cicero Illinois, just outside of Chicago. The engine does not need to be in working condition.

Does anybody have any leads?

Could a TC with an automatic transmission be converted to a manual transmission? I saw an automatic Chrysler TC with a blown engine listed on the internet at an inexpensive price. Is swapping an automatic for a manual a difficult job?


Larry Houle

Morton East High School

Physics Teacher


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Hi Larry,

It has been done. One of the expert mechanics that watches out for us TC owners frequents this forum,(Hemi Dude) and when he sees this I'm sure he will give you a whole bunch of how & why.(he has done it).. I believe an experienced mechanic, with all the parts laid out could complete it in 1 or 1 1/2 days. Good Luck, Lou

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You can also get a lot of help from members of SDAC in Chicago. Shelby Dodge Auto Club. Join Turbo-Mopar.com to get in touch with them. They have a VERY active chapter in Chicago. You might have to restrain them from rebuilding the car themselves so your students have a chance.

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Larry, This sounds like an excellent project! I would reccomend you doing the conversion yourselves, that's what shop class is all about wink.gif. Once you find a 'project' TC, a couple trips to the junkyards should net you a 523 transmission which is the one I used in my conversion. The axles from an automatic TC will fit directly into the 523. Heck you may get lucky and find everything you need all on one donor car. You might also check Craigslist in your area, there are plenty of $300. 90-92 Dodge SHadows with 5spds that would be perfect donors.


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  • 1 month later...

Just so you all may know. I have offered to give them a fairly complete 89 TC as well as a manual 5 speed transaxle. I'll be throwing in some other parts. If there are additional parts they need, it would be GREAT PR for our TC America club if we (you) were to offer parts to them too. They will need headlamps, a grille and a complete rear bumper and 2 rear tail lamps. All those parts are gone from this car.

Your help will be greatly appreciated.

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Hey Guys,

I agree with Hemi. It would be great to help out and have as an end result the backround of an electric TC. Oh boy a "Plug in TC" to ride around in.. Good Luck to all, Lou

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LouZ</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Hey Guys,

I agree with Hemi. It would be great to help out and have as an end result the backround of an electric TC. Oh boy a "Plug in TC" to ride around in.. Good Luck to all, Lou </div></div>

What are they putting in the water at your place Lou crazy.gif? Eletric TC? Where'd that come from?


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Let me explain more details of the Electric TC project. More pictures and posts will be added as the project progresses.

Part One – Find a Donor Car and Transmission

The donor TC will need to be modified from an automatic transmission to a manual transmission (the engine does not need to work or even be in the car). As we all know manual TC's are expensive, few and far between. Hemi has told me about his experience swapping out an automatic for a manual. The electric car would be even a simpler to make this swap because the electric motor controller would take the place of the clutch. The clutch pedal will not have to installed, just the manual transmission.

Part one of the project has been completed will much thanks and credit due to the help Hemi Andersen gave me. I emailed him out of the blue this summer a long email describing the electric TC project. I asked him if he thought I was crazy or not. He told me I was not crazy and it sounded like a great project.

Donor car and donor transmission have been located. PART ONE DONE. Currently arranging for transport of TC and some parts from California to the Chicago area.

Part Two - “De-Ice” the TC

My physic students with auto shop students will "de-ice" the car (remove the Internal Combustion Engine) Basically -- Remove engine, radiator, exhaust, and replace with electric motor controller, 9” electric motor, and 144 (or more) volts worth of batteries. As parts are removed they will be disposed of as scrap or be made available to be reused depending on their condition. I will list parts as they become available

Part Three - Electric conversion / Rebuild as Electric car

Batteries will be located in a few locations, the engine compartment, the spare tire compartment, the rag top storage area and the trunk. All these locations will need to have their volumes documented and analyzed for the best distribution of weight. Insulated battery boxes will need to be built and mounted in the car. (the rag top storage area will be able to be used to sore batteries since we will not have a rag top. The donor car currently does not have a rag top)

I am in a local electric car club The Fox Valley Electric Auto Association http://fveaa.org/ I am currently helping a member (actually he is teaching me) convert his 2001 Beetle to electric. His Beetle is now on the road with only a few cosmetic and options to complete.

The pictures in the next post are the engine compartment of the Beetle. an air bags that was added to each of the rear springs to support the extra load of the batteries. The current batteries available are lead acid and will add about 900 pounds to the vehicle. The next generation batteries, nickel metal hydride, Fireflys, or lithium ion will be lighter and be able to store more energy. Currently these batteries are very expensive and not available to the public. (Toyota Prius uses nickel metal hydride batteries. Toyota will only sell batteries to a Prius owner if they are replacing damaged or failed batteries)

You might be asking, why do I want to do this to a TC? Well, for a couple of reasons.

One, the Chrysler TC is a cool car. It has style. The members in the The Fox Valley Electric Auto Association have a number of electric vehicles, mostly pick up trucks and economy model cars.

There is one member that has an electric Porsche 944 very cool. The TC is even cooler. It would draw attention by itself and then the electric drive system could show off what could be done.

Secondly, as a teacher I am always looking for things to hook my kids interests. I showed my kids the movie "Who killed the Electric Car?" last spring and they started to ask about building / converting a car. My rocket club members asked when are we going to start. Not if but when. So I started looking into the electric car project, joined the FVEAA, and started searching the internet for donor cars. A good donor car has a manual transmission, front wheel drive, is not to heavy (2700 -3100 pounds before De-Icing), not to expensive (most cars with a blown engine are inexpensive), and minimal rust. The TC has the right weight characteristics and the manual transmission can be added. Also the TC is way cooler than the typical electric car, a Ford Escort, Dodge Neon or a Saturn.

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The attached three photos show the electric bug before completion.

The interior is missing and the location of battery storage can be seen under the back seat and in the hatch back area. Both areas had the floor cut out to install insulated battery boxes.

The engine compartment before all the wires are have been tucked away. Two red batteries can be seen and below them you can se part of the same color red electric motor that powers the front wheel drive bug.

The red balloons were added to each rear spring for added support.

I reloaded the pictures. The pictures were to big on my first attempt.

I will email the photos full size to any one that wants them. Just message me your email address




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We have locally about a 1968 electric car. Someone tried to make it go again and messed it up a bit. The owner now has it pretty much together. 1 more piece to the engine controller, batteries, & wiring should complete it. He has been talking to me, I in turn was talking with others, namely the electric car club down in the Triangle in North Carolina. I think a "plug in" TC would be super cool. Lou

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