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Maintaining Transmission Performance

Optimal Manual Transmission Maintenance Tips

Both the CD009 6-speed and RS5R30A 5-speed manual transmissions are great options to consider for a transmission swap. Despite being solid choices, age can sometimes deteriorate their performance. That’s why proper manual transmission maintenance is so important.

Maintenance goes a long way toward keeping your transmission in optimal condition. However, even when done properly, at some point replacing worn parts is the only way to restore transmission performance.

Here are three important elements for preventive maintenance and eventually restoring your transmission.

Checking the Transmission Fluid

Fluid in a manual transmission should be changed at regular intervals as specified in your owner’s manual. Although seemingly minor, transmission fluid plays a huge role in how your shifter feels and engages. Unfortunately, many owners neglect this simple job which leads to notchy shifting, trouble engaging new gears, and unnecessary wear and tear on transmission components.

Transmission Fluid Change vs Flush

Anyone who experiences grinding between gears or tough gear changes and who is looking to restore factory performance should perform a transmission flush.

If you want to go a step further and improve shifter feel, consider replacing the transmission fluid with a performance product. Pennzoil, Redline, Royal Purple, and Amsoil all offer excellent options.

Clutch Components

Although your clutch is not a direct component of your transmission, its role in shifting is paramount. Performance clutches can improve shifting feel, and response. When combining a performance clutch with a lightweight flywheel that allows you to shift faster, driving experience is greatly improved.

Shifter Bushings

After years of use and the associated corrosion, the plastic shifter bushings located through your shifter linkages begin to wear. The result is a shifter with a sloppy and loose feel. To restore your shifter tightness, replace your shifter bushings and your shifter spring. Afterward, the tightness and precise feel during shifting will surprise you.

Transmission Restore or Manual Transmission Swap

However, sometimes even with proper maintenance and the strategic replacement of worn parts, at some point a manual transmission swap becomes the better alternative than restoring your transmission.

Manual Transmission Swap Kits

The Z32 5-speed and Z33 6-speed manual transmissions are popular choices among car enthusiasts. General information about each of these transmissions is provided in the charts below. If you’re considering a manual transmission swap, these details will come in handy. G Force offers adapter kits for both a 300zx Z32 ls swap and a 350zx Z33 ls swap as well as a Frontier/Xterra ls adapter kit.   

Nissan 300zx Manual Transmission Swap

For a Nissan 300zx manual transmission swap, an affordable alternative to the pricey t56 or weak gm 5 speeds is an ls transmission adapter kit. An ls transmission adapter kit will allow you to mate a Nissan 300zx (Z32) 5 speed transmission to an ls series engine.

300zx ls transmission adapter for a  Nissan  300ZX 5-speed Manual Transmission

Z32, 1990 – 1996

This fourth (4) generation Nissan 300ZX used a Z32 chassis and offered a 5-speed manual shifted transmission.  This transmission was known as a # RS5R30A, 5-speed, manual unit, featuring the new double-cone synchronizers. The 5-speed stick-shift is very strong and a rock-solid unit.


5 speed stick shift diagram for 300zx cd009 ls swap

Final Consideration - Gearing

The last thing to consider about this transmission is the gearing. Gearing plays a huge role in how your vehicle performs. Long gear ratios accelerate slow, but offer higher top speeds and less shifting time, while shorter gear ratios will help accelerate your car faster but force you to shift more often.

When considering gear ratios, the lower the number, the higher the gear ratio. When comparing the ratios between the CD009 and T-56, it becomes apparent that the T-56 offers much longer gears. For those looking to remain in the powerband of their motor on the track or with spirited driving, a CD009 is a great option. However, a T-56 performs better in drag racing applications where the longer gears reduce shifting time.

G Force Performance Products is your go-to manufacturer for bellhousing adapters and flywheels for your GM LS engine or Vortech engine into 300ZX cars, while using its own Nissan OEM Z32 5-speed manual transmission.  

Nissan 350z Manual Transmission Swap

For a Nissan 350z manual transmission swap, an affordable option is an ls transmission adapter kit. An ls transmission adapter kit will allow you to mate a Nissan 350Z (Z33) 6 speed transmission to a LS Series, Gen III or IV, Chevrolet Small Block Engine.

LSX 350z Transmission Adapter for a Nissan 350z 6 Speed Manual Transmission or an Infinity G35 6 Speed Manual Transmission

Z33, 2005 – 2006

The fifth (5) generation Nissan 350z used a Z33 chassis and offered several models of 6-speed manual transmission. Although other 6-speed transmission were offered from 2003-2004 designate, updates in mid-2004 lead to a much stronger transmission offered from 2005-2006 offering triple cone synchronizers in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gear. This transmission, model number FS6R31A, is a smooth and tough six speed.


car illustrations

The FS6R31A will have one of two numbers (CD #1, CD#2) indicating this update.




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