Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum - View Single Post - ATX to MTX Swap Guide
View Single Post
Old 03-14-2008, 07:13 PM   #1
Focus Enthusiast
boosted2nr's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Fan#: 54334
Location: Dahlgren, Va.
What I Drive: 2003 Yellow ZX3

Posts: 158
FF Reputation: 32 boosted2nr Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Thumbs up ATX to MTX Swap Guide

Focus 5-Speed Swap


The Zetec Focus uses the MTX-75 transaxle. The MTX75 is a great little transmission that was used on many different Ford models including the Contour. This is good news for us, because there are a lot of parts available through the Ford dealerships. In some cases, it is even possible to gather all the best parts from the various years of this transmission and built the ultimate MTX-75. Although, ONLY attempt this swap using MTX-75 from the Focus.

For those who inadvertently purchased the Focus with the crap Automatic (I was one of those people) there is a happy solution: the MTX swap. This guide is to help those who wish to dive into this endeavor. **However, there are a couple of points that must be laid out BEFORE you use this guide:

1. I DO NOT claim to be an expert of transmissions, nor am I an ASE certified technician.
2. I DO NOT assume ANY responsibility to those who use this guide. I am also NOT responsible for any damages/charges that may be caused by using this guide.
3. Double check any information given in this guide. Again, I am not responsible for typos.
4. This document, much like the Constitution, is a living document and as such, will be updated/revised periodically.
5. This document is not the end all-be-all authority on this swap, if I have forgotten or mistyped any information contained then PLEASE let me know!
6. This document is given as a GUIDE for this swap not a step by step SWAP. For instance, I will not explain how to remove the old transmission, etc.
7. I also recommend this swap be done by a professional shop.
8. Above all SAFETY FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When attempting this swap, you must be aware that this by no means “easy”. Depending on your mechanical ability, some may want to rely on a professional mechanics help. The swap also requires time, so think about this when before you put down your vital work transportation.

Ok, now that all the doom and gloom is done. This swap was a lot of fun for me to do and was also extremely educational. To me, the more work you do yourself the better you know your car and determine when things are going wrong and when things are going well. Also, Now is the perfect time to upgrade: Flywheel, Clutch, etc. Although, the stock stuff will work fine (in most applications).

Tools List (subject to updating/revision):


1. Haynes/Chilton manual or better.
2. SWAP Wiring Guide (pdf here) All Credit to Gigaherz on FJ for this! Print it out.
3. Plenty of space
4. Money (sorry had to say this)
5. Appropriate strength Jack stands (4 will do, but have 6 for safety)
6. Appropriate strength Jack
7. Mechanics Tool set
8. Clutch Alignment Tool
9. Pry Bars
10. Breaker Bar
11. Torque Wrench (good Quality)
12. Electrical Tools/Materials (Soldering Iron, Strippers ( ), Electrical Tape, etc.)
13. Work bench (or Work Table)
14. OptionalCreeper (save your back)

Parts List (subject to updating/revision):

*Important note: Make sure all the parts are for the correct year transmission. For example: If you buy a 2001 focus MTX-75, make sure the shift cables, shifter, etc. you get/buy are for the 2000-2002.5 focus. Another item to note is that some MTX-75's use mechanical speed sensors and some use magnetic. One more thing, I never installed the clutch safety switch (prevents car from being started in gear) so this guide will not go through that.

Typical places to purchase the parts are in () at the end of each part.

1. MTX-75 Transmission (refer to image 1) (FORD/JUNK YARD)
2. * Manual Focus Shift Selector (refer to image 2) (FORD/JUNK YARD)
3. * Manual Focus Backup Sensor (refer to image 3) (FORD/JUNK YARD)
4. * Manual Focus Speed Sensor (refer to image 4) (FORD/JUNK YARD)
5. * Manual Focus Mount Tripod (on top of transmission) (FORD/JUNK YARD)
6. * Manual Focus Transmission Bottom Mount Bracket (not the dogbone) (FORD/JUNK YARD)
7. !VITAL! Manual Focus Crank Position Sensor (FORD/JUNK YARD)
8. Manual Focus Backup Sensor Pig Tail (FORD/JUNK YARD)
9. Manual Focus Speed Sensor Pig Tail (FORD/JUNK YARD)
10. Manual Focus Axle Mount (on back of engine, near oil filter) (FORD/JUNK YARD)
11. Manual Focus Shift Tower (in cabin) (FORD/JUNK YARD)
13. Shifter (good time to get a short shifter) (VARIOUS VENDORS/JUNK YARD)
14. Shift Cables (with year appropriate connections) (FORD/JUNK YARD)
16. Clutch Pedal Assembly (why not upgrade to SVT pedals ) (VARIOUS VENDORS/JUNK YARD)
17. Manual Focus Flywheel Bolts (VARIOUS VENDORS/JUNK YARD)
20. ** Throw out bearing / Salve Cylinder (refer to image 5) (VARIOUS VENDORS/JUNK YARD)
21. *!* Manual Focus axles (Passenger and Driver) (VARIOUS VENDORS/JUNK YARD)
22. Clutch/Brake Reservoir and Lines (!VITAL! When getting these make sure you get the little c-clips that keep the lines from blowing out when pressure is applied) (VARIOUS VENDORS/JUNK YARD)
23. Manual Focus Starter (VARIOUS VENDORS/JUNK YARD)

*If getting a used transmission you probably will get this part.
** Your better off getting this new.
*!* Not quite sure about this one. My automatic axles worked great for me, but YMMV.



Refer to the Haynes manual for steps requiring dismantling/installing). For example: Step 6. Remove the Center Console.

1. Get all the parts first!!!!
2. Clear Spot for the SWAP
3. Disconnect Battery and Remove (place on cardboard to prevent discharge)
4. Remove Transmission per the instruction in the Haynes Manual ( use Haynes Manual, it should have you remove the axles, starter, exhaust parts, etc.)
5. Remove the auto transmission cooler lines and cooler.
6. On the inside of the car remove the driver seat (makes things a lot easier)
7. Remove the Center Console.
8. Remove the blower box shield and the air directing box (below the stereo bezel, right above floor) (refer to image 5)
9. Remove shifter assembly
10. Under carpet where blower box was there is a two metal plates keeping the the lines from moving, remove this. Again, Refer to Haynes Manual.
11. From underneath the car remove the shifter cables, the grommet is under the heat shield which is above the flex pipe bend. Pull the heat shield down a little to gain access (Careful !!! the shield is VERY sharp!). If it give you resistance check to make sure nothing else is holding the cables inside the car.
12. Back inside the cabin, remove the Brake pedal assembly. You'll notice that Ford kindly left use a hole with a grommet that just so happens to be where the clutch pedal bolts up to.
13. Install the Manual Focus Brake/ Clutch Assembly. Remember to attach the brake connector.
14. Send the shifter cables through, this may be easier going from underneath the car. Tie up cables out of the way.
15. Install the shift tower and shifter (damn you should have bought a short shifter, doh)
16. In the engine bay, remove the automatic brake reservoir (Be careful! Brake fluid will leak out. Brake fluid is very bad for your health, paint, etc. have something to catch this and dispose of it properly) (Note: remember that you'll have to re-bleed you brakes, for safety)
17. Install the clutch/brake reservoir.
18. Remove the Axle mount (behind engine, below oil filter).
19. Install Manual Focus Axle mount.
20. Remove Torque Converter
21. Remove Auto Flex Plate (“an automatics flywheel”)
22. *!*!*!* FREAKING SO IMPORTANT, Forget this next 2 steps and you'll have a lot of headaches) *!*!*!*
23. On the engine, where the bell housing mounts, remove the Crank Position Sensor.
24. Install the Manual Focus Crank Position Sensor.
25. Install Fly Wheel
26. Install Clutch. (use the alignment tool!)
27. Install Slave Cylinder and Throwout Bearing on Manual transmission.
28. Install Manual Transmission. (use Haynes Manual, it should have you install the axles, starter, exhaust parts, etc.)
29. Make sure use the Manual Transmission Starter!!!
30. Also Make sure the tripod is installed.
31. Hookup Clutch Lines. Should be one from Res to Pedal, Pedal to Slave Cylinder, Res to Brakes
32. !VITAL! Install Clutch Line c-clips, otherwise your lines will blow out every time.
33. Fill Reservoir and Bleed, use the Haynes manual for proper filling and bleeding procedures.
34. Install Shift Cables to transmission.
35. Wire transmission harness using the guide in the Tools Section of this Guide.
36. Install re-wired harness.
37. Drain tranny of old Fluid.
38. Fill MTX with new Fluid (use GOOD fluid, I use Royal Purple) per the instructions in the Haynes Manual.
39. In the cabin row through the gears and adjust the cables on the transmission as nessesary. (Depress the clutch while doing this of course)
40. When satisfied, reinstall the center console, driver seat, and other ineterior pieces.
41. Button up the install check for loose connections and other misc items. Be Thorough!!!
42. Reinstall battery and crank it up. Make sure it is nuetral and foot on clutch. Before driving verify proper brake function and no leaks. You may also have to bleed the clutch a few more times.


Hopefully everything worked out correctly and you offically have a Mnual Transmission Focus. Keep in mind that you will have the CEL and even the dreaded “!” on until you have a tune madeup to turn the automatic functions off. Enjoy.

Please let me know if there are any errors or additions that need to be made.

BIG THANKS!!! to Gigaherz on FJ for the wiring doc. All credit for that part is given to him. Without that this swap would be a lot harder!

Last edited by boosted2nr; 03-15-2008 at 11:22 AM.
boosted2nr is offline  
    Reply With Quote