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The amount of work is quite large. It’s not just a matter of finding a 5 speed manual trans and bolting it up. The manual wire harness, ecu, trans mounts, clutch master cylinder, running clutch pedal through firewall, interior center trim change, clutch lines, and on and on. The amount of money and time is a hurdle. I recall users on the 8th gen forum getting quotes of $2500+, and that was 15yrs ago.
You would likely lose less money selling your car and picking up a manual, as the manuals were actually cheaper than the autos.
Well if you go this route, mfactory sells shorter gear ratios for 3,4,&5th... There were 6 speed 1.8 civics made, the trans pop up on eBay sometimes. They were made in other countires but their 6th gear is our 5th gear so theres no fuel savings, just prob shorter gear ratios.
You're better trading in the car for a manual, too much work, time, and money. If you decide to trade in get the SI since it then has 6th, you get more power and vtekkkk, and lsd, and like webby said the 5speeds were only available on the lx trim so you don't have real rims, subwoofer, or sunroof.
The 5 speed is okay, if I shift too fast from 1st to 2nd it'll grind, rpms don't drop fast enough and it's not a close ratio gear box so if you try shifting fast the car will jerk when you let off the clutch because the rpms were too high. This was my first manual car and I love it but there are these quirks. Oh and it was a big learning curve to drive it smooth but someone said if you can drive the civic smooth you can drive any car smooth.