I see this question pop up from time to time. Can I put a dsm tranny in my car? The answer is, YES, but there is a catch
. The shift levers are slightly different between the csm and the dsm. Also be sure to get a tranny from a 90-92.5 dsm as the 92.5-94 fwd turbo cars use a different diff that require larger axles. This means the 89 turbo axles and intermediate shaft will not work with the later model turbo trans.
We'll tackle the hardest part first. One of the shift levers is held onto the tranny with a pin. Don't even attempt to drill this thing out, even with the tranny out of the car. I've also read that other members have had success with driving the pin out by leaning the tranny over and supporting the lever and whacking it with a hammer and a punch. This may work but I didn't try it. I chose to cut the factory welds with a dremel tool and a black cutoff disc. Cut all the way through the welds but stop when you get to the shift lever. There is a weld on the bottom as well thats a little harder to get to but it can be done.
This is the lever we will be cutting off.
Once you have cut through both welds on the top and bottom tap it with a hammer to see if it moves. If the cuts are deep enough it should shift and then come off with very light taps. Do not bang on this thing with the hammer, if it doesn't move cut the welds a little deeper and try again. Once its off this is what you will see.
Now do the same for the csm lever. My tranny was bad so I just took my angle grinder and a 4 1/2" cutoff disc and cut the entire shaft off and then hauled it off as scrap. The 1.5L 4 speed manual and the 5 speed manual both share identical shift levers as the KM210 that came in the turbo colt and mirage. They will have an "L" stamped on them.
pic of the bottom weld
If you notice on the dsm tranny you can tell exactly where the old lever was as it will be discolored underneath. I also ground off the remaining weld so that the csm lever would lay flat for welding. Be careful and do not just buff the entire top because you need to know exactly where the new lever needs to be. Only grind the places where the original welds were.
Now remove all of the old weld from the csm lever, top and bottom.
Position the csm lever on the tranny and line it up. Like I mentioned earlier you can tell exactly where it needs to be. This pic was actually taken before I buffed off the welds but you get the idea. Once you are happy with it tack weld it in place.
Flip the tranny so that you can access the bottom weld and clamp the lever on tight with a pair of vice grips. Now you can go ahead and weld the bottom.
Once the bottom has been welded flip it back over and weld the top.
Now shoot it with some paint to keep it from rusting. Noticed I taped off the pin that the cable attaches to.
The rest is very easy, you simply unbolt the other shift lever from the csm tranny (two 12mm headed bolts) and bolt it onto the dsm tranny. Make sure you don't lose the little square plastic piece.
Here is a comparison between the csm and dsm levers. The csm parts are also marked with an "L". You can see the dsm lever on the left is slightly different/longer.
From the top you can see the angle of the bend is also different, again the dsm lever is on the left. You can also see the square plastic piece that I mentioned earlier. Its pictured on the csm lever on the right (you can barely see it on the bottom). Its missing on the dsm lever, it should go on the short pin on the bottom.
The last thing that you need to do is to swap over the actual bracket that holds the shift cables to the tranny. Make sure you have one of the rubber coated metal bushings on both sides of the bracket where the bolts go.
The dsm actually has a small bracket that the cable bracket bolts to.
Discard it because the csm cable bracket bolts directly to the tranny.
Thats it, now your F5M33 DSM turbo tranny is ready to bolt right in. The 1.5 and 1.6 cars share identical shifters and cables so don't worry if you have a 1.5 car.