Series 2 auto to manual conversion

Continuing the rolling restoration of my 1969 2+2

Front suspension and rear suspension are done. Now its time to proceed with the transmission swap. The engine is out, and auto transmission is removed. Proceeding with mating the engine to the new 5 speed. I’ve read a lot on the forum about the challenges of getting the slave cylinder and new clutch to operate properly in a custom bell housing. I plan on testing the clutch operation before I re-install the engine with some temporary slave cylinder piping.

I have a question on the transmission tunnel. In a bunch of pictures, I have seen the manual transmission installed with the tunnel cover removed. Was hoping to do that on my car to line everything up but it appears that the automatic transmission cover is welded together and not easily removable in my Series 2, 2+2.

Has anyone had any experience with this challenge? Currently planning on trying to measure the distance from the center of the rear center engine mount to the manual shifter and cut an opening in the transmission tunnel.

Anyone have a better idea?

Thanks in advance.

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When I installed the manual (with overdrive) into my 2+2 I cut a section about 12/14" long by about 8" wide out of the tunnel and re-used it with welded strips to each side of it to retain it. I cut a hole through this piece for the gear lever to come through. Worked for me.