How To Install The “Autostick” Transmission
Option In Your PT Cruiser
If you want to install the Autostick transmission option in a PT Cruiser that did not come with it, here is a helpful guide to assist you in the process.
Several people have completed this upgrade on NON-GT turbo cars and indicated that once the autostick is wired in to your PCM (or TCM on earlier cars) and if you also install the matching autostick cluster, it magically comes to life! This procedure should work on both Gen 1 and Gen 2, turbo and non-turbo cars however differences in wire colors may be noted and finding a non-turbo autostick Cruiser might prove to be a challenge.
There are a few things to consider first.
- You are going to need to replace your current non-autostick cluster with an autostick equipped car cluster. It seems that autostick was available in non-turbo as well as turbo and GT cars. We are not sure just yet what the mileage indicated on your cluster will be after the conversion.
- Removal of the cluster takes just minutes and only a Phillips head screwdriver IF YOU KNOW HOW TO DO IT! It’s actually easy, but if you get in a hurry, you’re going to break plastic parts.
- You will need the complete autostick shifter assembly and at least several inches of the wires from the two connectors that are found on the autostick shifter.
- Removal of the autostick assembly requires you to remove the floor center console. This is a matter of 4 Phillips head screws, removing the rear seat window switch (if present) and having the drivers seat all the way to the rear and fully reclined, possibly unbolting it from the floor will make it even easier..
- You are going to have to connect the two (2) wires for illumination of the PRNDL(Autostick) using the existing connector (or by splicing them in to the existing wiring) as well as the four(4) autostick feature wires which include a ground, a shift up, a shift down, and a cluster wire.
- You will add a new wire to the large cluster connector C1 on Gen 1 cars, this will require the proper copper connector, easily sourced from a donor vehicle C1 26 way connector.
- You will need to add two (2) new wires to the appropriate connector of the TCM (2001/2002) or PCM(2003+). You will require the proper metal connectors, easily sourced from the donor vehicle 38 way C3 connector.
- Basic ELECTRONIC soldering skills and tools will be needed such as an electronic solder gun/iron, electronic solder(rosin core), shrink tube, electrical tape.
- Tools required to remove and install the needed electrical connectors in the large cluster connector and the TCM connector of the PCM.
Parts you will need
1. GT Instrument Cluster with Autostick option. You can source this from any autostick equipped PT Cruiser with the same engine as your car (turbo or non-turbo) however we recommend that you try to find one from the year of your car just in case there are any differences. Of course if you have a gen1 cruiser, you need a gen1 cluster, same is said for gen2 cruisers, you need a gen2 cluster.
2. Autostick shifter assembly, complete with at least 12” (or more) of the wiring. There are two wiring harnesses on the autostick shifter, you need them both with the wiring.
3. Grab one of the connectors off the PCM of the donor car. It doesn't really matter which one, but the white one is going to have the two correct color wires for your upgrade. It’s pins 26 & 27 that you will borrow the two connectors and wires from
4a. (Gen 1 only) Grab the large cluster connector from the donor car. You are going to need to borrow one of the pins and a length of the wire attached to it for the update. It's actually pin # 15, the red wire with white tracer on the 2005 GT that was my donor vehicle. But any of the pins and wires would actually work.
4b. (Gen 2 only) On the Gen 2 cars, this wire goes to pin 5 of connector C3 in the TIPM. See the Gen 2 Autostick wiring diagram for some additional details on the Gen 2 wiring.
Tools you will need(not very many!)
- Standard size Phillips head screw driver
- Small size flathead screw driver
- 13mm socket with ratchet, 6” extension.
- 8mm socket with ratchet, 6” extension.
- Wire cutters and wire stripper
- Electronic soldering gun w/rosin core electronic solder
- Several feet of different color automotive wire, doesn’t need to be very heavy gage.
- Electrical tape and/or small wire shrink tube
Wiring diagrams and connector pinouts
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Removal/Installation of the Instrument Cluster
- To remvoe the cluster you have to disassemble the dash just a little bit. This will take about 10-15 minutes the first time you do it. All you need is a Phillips head screw driver.
- Begin the process by removing the A-piller covers. They just shap off. With clean hands or tool, pry under the top of it where it meeds the head liner and pull it straight out towards the center of the car. It will pop off. It doesnt really want to come off, but it will. Once removed look for any clips that might hae either popped off or been left behind in the body. Do NOT try to take the cluster out w/o doing this first!
- Pull the center section of the knee cover down, it just snaps in place like the A-pillars.
- Remove the left side knee cover, it is held in place with a few Phillips screws
- Remove the window switch assembly in the center console. You can remove them easily w/o breaking the clips by first prying with a suitable tool the top of the switch forward, and then the bottom. It will slide out. Release the red lock on the electrical connector ( it just slide over about 1/8”) and remove the connector by pushing down on the release tab.
- Remove the Phillips head screw located behind the window switch assembly. This screw holds the front cover.
- Remove the HVAC knobs, they just pull off easily.
- Remove the center console cover plate, start at the top, it just snaps in place, work your way around to the bottom then pull it straight forward.
- Remove the two Phillips head screws that were behind the front cover at the top. They hold the dash cap in place.
- At this point you can lift up slightly and forward the dash cap and remove it. You may have to coax it out a bit because the rear has a weather seal that makes a good tight fit. If you do not remove the A-pillar covers, getting the dash cap off is very difficult. It can be done, but often you will break it trying.
- Once the dash cap is off you can remove the cluster bezel. It is just a snap on/off operation. BE CAREFUL TO NOT DAMAGE THE CLUSTER ODOMETER RESET SHAFT AS YOU REMOVE THE CLUSTER BEZEL. The blinker indicator harness is pretty well attached to the bezel, no need to remove it. Just set the bezel on top of the dash while you remove the cluster.
- Place the steering column in the full down position.
- Remove the four(4) Phillips head screws that secure the cluster.
- The cluster can now be gently removed. The electrical connectors are a snap fit. You might find it easy to left the left side a bit first, then a little wiggle from the right and pull it straight forward. Once it is free from the connectors tilt the cluster on its face downward and you should be able to easily slide the cluster out over the top of the steering wheel.
- Installation is the reverse of the steps outlined above.
Removal of the Center Floor Console
- Place the drivers seat all the way to the rear of the car and in fully reclined position.
- Set the emergency brake handle as far up as it will go
- Remove the two (2) Phillips head screws at the rear of the console, they are on top where the cup holders are.
- Remove the rear window switch assembly(if present), use the same technique as described above in the cluster removal process.
- Remove the two (2) Phillips head screws in the front of the console, they are at the bottom of the front cup holders.
- The floor console will now simply lift up, lift up from the rear, you may have to negotiate around seat handles and arm rests a bit. Try not to force it. Loosening the four (4) bolts that hold the drivers seat will make it all the more easy to get the console out.
- Installation is the reverse of the steps outlined above.
Removal of the Shifter (Autostick or Regular) Shifter Assembly
- The shifter is held to the floor by 4 13mm nuts. Remove the four (4) nuts.
- Disconnect the illumination wire connector (on old shifter), on the autostick shifter, peal back the shifter wiring sub harness as far as reasonably possible and cut the wires. You want at least 12”, there are 6 wires total
- Release the tab on the ignition shifter lock. The tab is on the bottom of the white plastic collar that holds it in place on the base of the shifter platform. Once the tab is released, the cable will slide off the base and you can remove the cable from the ignition shifter lockout.
- Use an 8mm socket to remove the bolt that holds the transmission gear selector cable to the shifter handle. Then release the selector cable from the shifter assembly.
- The assembly can now be removed from the car.
- Installation is the reverse of the steps outlined above.
Autostick Electrical Connections
There are two sets of wires on the autostick shifter. The first set is just two wires, they are for the PRNDL illumination. The second set ( 4 wires) is for the autostick feature.
Plug the two wire pair into the existing plug for illumination. If the connectors do not match, swap and splice in the connectors from the donor car. You did remember to cut at least 12” of the wire right? This is why!
For the four (4) wire set, these need to be wired into your existing harness. The four (4) wires are colored as follows(from left to right as pictured below):
- Yellow/Blue stripe
- Green/Blue stripe
- Black (ground)
- Green/White stripe
BLACK WIRE: Attach the black wire to a suitable ground. The radio wires are not far away, you could tap into the radio ground, you could also possible solder on an eyelet and attach it under one of the autostick shifter 13mm bolts being sure to make a solid ground connection there.
GREEN/WHITE: (Gen 1 only) Attach this wire to the pin 15 of the large 26 pin connector at the cluster. This pin is going to be on the top row, 2nd position from the left side of the connector as you look into the female side of the connector. On a GT car (at least in 2005) the wire that is connected here is RED/WHITE stripe.
PINK: (Gen 2 only) Attach this wire to the pin 5 of the C3 connector at TIPM.
The next two wires to connect are going to be the shift up and shift down signal wires. They will be connected to the appropriate pins of one of the connector plugs on the power train control module(PCM). The connector that you will attach them to is the plug known as C3 and is the connector that has the natural colored base (black/natural) of the PCM. This is the 2nd from the right as you are looking at it from the front of the car, over the engine/radiator.
You are going to have to find a way through the firewall for this two wire upgrade. You can either locate an existing body plug, drill the needed hole (and seal it later to prevent water/road debris from entering the dash area) or enter the engine compartment through the existing harness firewall grommet.
YELLOW/BLUE: (YELLOW-TURBO) Connect this wire to pin 26 of the C3 connector on the PCM module. This is the downshift signal wire. (2006 wiring diagram says wire is YL/DG)
GREEN/BLUE: (LIGHT GREEN-TURBO) Connect this wire to pin 27 of the C3 connector on the PCM module. This is the upshift signal wire. (2006 wiring diagram says wire is DG/YL)
Obviously if you get these two wires switched, the upshift will be a downshift, and the downshift will be an upshift.
How to remove or install pins in the PCM connector
You want to take extra caution when you are servicing the PCM connectors. They are actually not very fragile, but they are easy to damage if you are not familiar with their design. Here are some noteworth tips on how to remove and add pins to complete this upgrade with success and without causing yourself an added hassle of some funky electrical problem caused by poor connections at the PCM.
The entire connector does NOT have to be disassembled.
You only need to know how to remove the colored block inside the connector to get clear and pretty easy access to a pin or two and the wire attached to it. In this case it is the white block that you remove from the PCM connector. The block acts as a pin guide and helps to retain the female portion of the pin solidly so that it slips over the correct male pin when assembled and connected.
The white block is held in place by a tab on each side of the block. The tab lock is released by pushing the side of the guide block lock tab in towards the center of the connector. To remove the block, you simply insert an appropriate tool, like a small flat head screwdriver to release the tab lock on one side of the block, then lift up or gently pry with your tool on that side a bit to clear the tab. Then press the other tab on the other side and the block will slide off pretty simply.
A small amount of force might be required to remove the block from the connector. Apply force with care, just be sure the locks are released and it will just slide right off the connector and expose the pins, and the pin position lock.
The back of the connector has a cover taped over it and around the harness of wires. You might find it much easier to get access to the wires by removing the tape. You do not need to and shouldn’t try to remove the rear cover. Without a special connector tool, it can not be easily removed w/o breaking it’s integral locks. They are really not designed to be defeated and trying to often results in you breaking to locks on the cover.
Once you have the guide block off, you can slip out any pin by snipping the wire attached to it several inches back, then just lifting the pin and it’s wire out of the connector. You might have to coax the wire through the back side of the connector and around the bend but it is really pretty easy.
Once you have removed the two pins needed for your cars C3 connector, repeat the process and slip the two new pins into the correct cavity (26 & 27) position.
After installing your pins, replace the pin guide block, it will snap down into place, then push the red pin lock over to secure the pins inside the connector. You push the thick side of the pin lock inward to lock the pins down.
How to remove or install pins in the C1 instrument cluster connector
To remove a pin and wire from the C1 instrument cluster connector you have to slide a small internal (colored red) lock to the side and then use a small prying tool like a small flat head screwdriver to lift off the connector cover, revealing the pin connectors. It’s really quite easy.
To release the pin lock, use a small pointed tool(like a paper clip or ball point pen tip) to slide the red pin lock to one side. You do this on the front of the connector where the female holes are visible.
One you release the pin lock, then it is just a matter of releasing the tab locks with the small screwdriver to remove the pin guide plate from the top of the connector.
This FAQ is currently in draft, some portions need to be verified and/or expanded to include additional pictures or descriptions.