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-   -   How-To: Focus MTX-75 Duratec clutch, Phantom Grip, and Poly mount install (

sutyak 06-19-2008 10:06 PM

How-To: Focus MTX-75 Duratec clutch, Phantom Grip, and Poly mount install
8 Attachment(s)
06/21/2008 - Adding brake/clutch bleeding instructions and photo of Exedy clutch

Additional details and pictures may be added later.
If you feel I missed something or am incorrect please PM me and I will update this thread.

There are different ways to perform this install, and I am not suggesting this as the best.
I respectfully request any comments on the brands I have used to be kept to PM or another thread.
Many steps can be done in a different order than I have laid out here.


Loosen front lug nuts
Raise front of vehicle and support by jack stands on the frame rails (or use a lift)
Remove front wheels
Remove battery and battery tray to expose the driver's side motor mount and shift linkage
Remove air intake assembly
Remove exhaust manifold
Remove driver side wheel well splash guard

Remove axles:
Note: if you are removing the axles completely from the hub assembly, then you do not need to remove the calipers or struts.
Remove brake line clips from struts
Unbolt calipers and hang off something out of the way, taking special care of the brake lines
Unbolt tie rods
Unbolt sway bar end link from strut
Separate ball joints from hub using a chain and long bar (see pic)
Drain the transmission fluid by removing the star-bit fill plug and then the drain plug.

Driver side axle:
Loosen the 3 bolts of the strut mount but do not remove
Pry axle from transmission using crow bar or special tool if available
Supporting the strut/axle assembly, remove top 3 bolts of strut mount and carefully remove strut/axle assembly together
You could alternatively remove the axle from the hub assembly, leave the strut attached, or remove both as 2 pieces.

Passenger side axle:
Remove the 3 bolts from the intermediate shaft support
Unbolt 3 strut bolts and carefully remove strut/axle assembly. This will be heavier and more awkward that the driver side, so a friend supporting the axle from beneath is very helpful.
You could alternatively remove the axle from the hub assembly, leave the strut attached, or remove both as 2 pieces.

Various accessories:
Disconnect the speed sensor, located on the back side of the tranny where the exhaust manifold is located.
Disconnect the reverse sensor located on the top of the tranny.
Remove all wire brackets/grounds attached to the tranny. Note which bolt goes where because there are different length bolts in the tranny.

Support the engine from above, such as with a hoist or crane.
Unbolt the starter (2 bolts). It is not necessary to completely remove from the engine bay.
Remove the driver side motor mount center bolt first. (pic)
Disconnect the shift cables from the transmission: the tips are a simple push-button release, and the clips release when the sleeve is pushed back towards the firewall.
Remove slave cylinder line from bracket.
Remove the black shift cable mounting bracket. Maybe not necessary but provides additional wiggle room.
Remove the retaining clip from the slave cylinder hose and pull out of the tranny. Brake fluid will pour out, so wrap in a rag and raise to a higher part of the engine bay out of the way.
Remove the driver side motor mount "post". (3 bolts)
Break free the transmission bolts (do not remove). The tranny is supported by dowel pins, so it's not going to just fall out.
Remove the lower "dogbone" motor mount and bracket which connects the tranny to the crossmember. *The engine can now move freely front to back, so be careful of surrounding objects such as the radiator fan.
Remove the steering wheel shaft bolt (10mm) inside the car, behind the gas pedal.
Support the crossmember with a jack at the center, and either side with jackstands because it will tilt forward.
Remove the 6 crossmember bolts and move the crossmember a few inches away from the tranny for additional room.
Optionally leave 1 bolt in the crossmember on the passenger side and swivel the driver side out of the way.
Take care the steering rack and lines are still attached to the crossmember!

Remove tranny from engine:
Support the transmission. A hoist will work much better than a jack.
Remove the bolts holding the transmission to the engine and carefully lower.

Remove clutch, pressure plate, and flywheel:
Remove the 6 pressure plate bolts, one turn at a time in a star pattern.
The pressure plate and clutch will come out at the same time.
Remove the 6 flywheel bolts (11mm).

Slave cylinder:
Remove 3 bolts and pull.

Lie transmission face-down (drive shaft pointing to ground)
Remove bolts holding together both halves of the transmission. Do not remove any other bolts. Remember or mark where the black bracket bolts go.
Separate the halves of the transmission, expecting fluid to drip out.
Lift differential from tranny. It is not bolted in. Replace bearings and seals as necessary. This is not covered here.

Ring gear:
Support differential in a vise.
Remove 10 bolts holding ring gear to differential.
My ring gear came right off with a tap of a rubber mallet, and back on just as easy.
You may need to use a gear puller to remove the ring gear.
To install a different ring gear, it may be necessary to heat/bake the ring gear prior to attaching to differential.

Phantom Grip:
Support differential in a vise.
Drive out dowel pin. This will sever the small roll pin retainer and it must be replaced.
If using the "gold" springs, the PG until should fit with no modifications to the spider gears.
Make sure there is a clearance of .015"-.030" between the spider gear and PG.
Center PG unit and hammer the dowel pin back in place. Replace the roll pin.
Remove rectangular retaining clips with a small flat head screwdriver. Remove small retaining clip dowels.
There is now tension on the spider gears.

Phantom Grip "green" upgraded springs:
Secure the PG in a vise.
Close vise just enough to be able to remove the small rectangular retaining clips.
Open vise and remove gold springs.
Place green springs in unit and position in vise.
Close vise enough to replace retaining clips. You may need to drill out the holes in the retaining clips.

Spider gear modifying:
If it is necessary to remove material from the spider gears, I highly recommend having them machined.
If you do not have access to a mill, you can use a table sander, angle grinder, bench grinder etc.
A simple trick to see if your grind job is flat is to rub it on a piece of sandpaper.
Any spot more shiny than the rest will be a high spot and not allow proper contact.
Repeat grinding carefully until entire surface is shiny from the sandpaper test.


Note: Thoroughly clean any mating surface that will be sealed with RTV. I prefer acetone to clean and high-temp black RTV for sealant.
Allow the RTV to dry per the instructions on the tube before exposing to fluid. (probably 24 hours)

Install new slave cylinder, using a small amount of RTV to form proper seal to transmission.
Keep face of the slave cylinder clean, as it will be making contact with the pressure plate fingers.

I highly recommend a second set of hands when assembling the transmission.
Apply a thin layer of RTV to one side of the transmission halves.
Laying the transmission halves flat, facing each other, slide the pieces together.
The tricky part will be keeping the differential, magnet ring, and shift fork rods in place while sliding together.
Replace all bolts holding together the two halves.

Flywheel/clutch/pressure plate:
Install new flywheel.
NOTE: if installing a non dual-friction flywheel into a 2.0 Duratec, you will need shorter flywheel bolts from a 2.3 Duratec. (see picture)
If reusing flywheel bolts, clean bolts and reapply loc-tite.
Tighten bolts in 3 stages: 37, 50, and 83 ft-lbs
Install clutch disk and pressure plate, taking care to center the clutch disk. If the clutch disk is not centered you get to do this part again.
Tighten pressure plate bolts to 21 ft-lb and use loc-tite.

Transmission to engine:
I found it very easy to install the transmission using a hoist (chain fall).
I highly recommend this type of hoist if attempting install without assistance.
Apply a (very) small amount of grease to the input shaft where it mates to the clutch disk. Do not get grease on the pressure plate fingers.
Raise the transmission and align with the engine. Take great care and use slow movements.
Note: there is no special alignment spline on the input shaft as on other transaxles, making it much easier to align the input shaft tot he clutch disk.
Install transaxle bolts and tighten.
Install passenger tranny mounting post. (3 bolts)

Install passenger motor mount:
Place mount in position and finger tighten the 4 outer bolts.
For an aftermarket poly mount, install the locking washer on the post first, then the lower poly half on the bottom side and other half on top side.
Raise motor+tranny so post raises into the center of the motor mount.
Tighten center nut (or long post for poly mount), and then the outer bolts.
The stock center nut does not get installed on the aftermarket poly mount.

Install crossmember and steering shaft bolt.
Install rear motor mount.
Install starter.
Fill transmission with 2.1 quarts of Motorcraft Synthetic fluid, part number XT-M5-QS (around $18/qt)
A pointed container tip will make filling it a breeze.
If you don't have one, use a tube and funnel.

Attach slave cylinder tube and clip.
Attach remaining brackets.
Attach shifter cables. Lightly grease the shift lever nubs.

Install axles and struts (if removed).
If axle is still attached to the hub, do not attach assembly onto ball joint until axle is fully seated.
The driver side axle requires a retaining clip and will require much more force to install than the passenger side.
If this clip is left out, the transmission can leak. It is suggested to use a new retaining clip. I reused mine.
Attach ball joint to hub. Using the chain+bar method will make this easy. I prefer a subframe connector from a 2003 Mustang Mach 1. :)
Install exhaust manifold.
Install air cleaner assembly.
Install battery tray and battery.

It will be easiest to bleed the brakes before reinstalling the wheels.

Bleeding the brakes and clutch:
Keep the brake fluid level above the MIN line on the reservoir. If the level falls below the MIN you must start over.
I used Prestone synthetic brake fluid. You'll only need the small bottle unless you're fully flushing the system.
Start at the bleeder furthest from the master cylinder.
For manual bleeding:
Have a friend come over. I have found this works best with an 8-month pregnant wife.
Your friend will pump the brake pedal until stiff and hold pressure on it.
Open the bleeder valve just enough to allow fluid/air to escape.
When the brake pedal reaches the floor, your friend must immediately tell you and you must immediately close the bleeder valve.
Repeat this pump-hold-bleed-floor-close process until no air comes out of the valve.
Repeat for each valve.
To avoid a mess attach a rubber hose to the bleeder nipple. Brake fluid will remove paint, so avoid a mess if you have painted calipers etc.

Bleeding clutch:
Your slave cylinder line probably has a lot of air in it after replacing the clutch.
Expect this to take a while. You'll feel as if you are making no progress, and your wife/friend will make that clear.
Repeat the pump-hold-bleed-floor-close procedure for the clutch pedal.
For many times, the clutch pedal will not get stiff at all, but still hold it to the floor and release air from the bleeder valve.
Repeat until the fluid runs clear and no air is left in the line.
If you went with the Exedy stage 2 like I did, expect it to be much stiffer than stock.
It will be stiff at the top, and then push in quickly towards the middle of the travel.


Images available in 8 megabit versions on request.

All photos here:


The setup
Special thanks to my friend/coworker Dan for the chain fall

MTX-75 Transaxle fluid
Tranny and fill plug

Axle removal
Driver side
Driver side
(reinstall photo)

Stock passenger motor mount
Poly motor mount
Shifter lever and motor mount post

Dog-bone mount

Crossmember unbolted

Tranny hanging on chain fall.
Do not use that copper colored bolt to attach to.
I adjusted later and used a more forward bolt.

Tranny removed, displaying stock Duratec 2.0 pressure plate and dual-mass flywheel
Dual mass flywheel
Duratec 2.0 block
Exedy Stage 2 vs stock dual mass flywheel
Exedy Stage 2 installed
Exedy Stage 2 clutch disk vs stock
2.0 flywheel bolts vs shorter 2.3
Exedy stage 2 clutch disk

Tranny face down
View after removing back half
Tranny gut shot
Inside bellhousing. Slave cylinder in center. Just a little dust.

Ring gear removal

Installing Phantom Grip
PG unit
Dowel removal
This little roll pin will get sheared in half when dowel is removed
Modified spider gears
Green spring install
Gold springs vs Green springs
Green springs in unit
Rectangular clip
PG installed in diff
I welded the dowel pin in place. This is not part of a typical install.
PG and diff installed in transaxle

Bing 06-19-2008 10:26 PM

nice work! damn it's so complicated...

illinipo 06-19-2008 10:57 PM

one nitpick: I wouldnt use RTV on the case, I would go with an anaerobic sealant. the RTV will never cure there since it is not exposed to air.

edit, sorry about the comment about the brand. didnt see your request at first.

...ok one more little nitpick, not a major problem, but I wouldnt put the ring gear up in the vice like that, and having it holding up the diff like that too. that is a good way to warp it. But, im sure its fine.

jetrinka 06-19-2008 10:58 PM

Wow rep is freaking deserved here. Very very nice writeup man. This needs to go into the how-to section asap

starfuryt550 06-19-2008 11:05 PM

wow, amazing write-up!!

Egz 06-20-2008 07:28 AM

I'll have to see this when I get home because the pics are blocked. But a brief lookover looks good on the procedure.

But out of cursiosity, why the PG? For a couple of hundred more, you could have installed a Torsen, and not force your spider gears into working in ways they weren't designed.

sutyak 06-20-2008 07:50 AM

8 Attachment(s)
Since it seems I'll keep getting questions about the PG, I'll address why I went with it.
I had my decision narrowed to the Torsen or the PG, with the Quaife being far too expensive for my needs.
I really just wanted additional straight-line traction at the drag strip.
I contacted PG and requested a discount if I provide a how-to, which I would have done anyway if I ended up liking the unit.
They sent me the PG unit free of charge, including the stronger spring kit.
That made the decision pretty easy.
This is also why I welded the dowel pin. If the PG doesn't work out I have no intentions of rebuilding that diff again.
I spoke with the folks at PG over the phone, and they are quite confident in their product.
That being said, I'd like to keep this thread as a how-to and not debate of which brand is better.

It will probably be a couple months before I can provide a decent review on all the parts used in this how-to.

Berol 06-20-2008 08:28 AM

Mad props for this thread.

I think everybody on this board with a manual owes you rep.

HyBalz 06-20-2008 08:48 AM

How much material did you need to remove from the spider gears? Did you change final drive gear ratio? You didn't say why you removed the ring gear.

sutyak 06-20-2008 08:57 AM

8 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by HyBalz (Post 2188566)
How much material did you need to remove from the spider gears? Did you change final drive gear ratio? You didn't say why you removed the ring gear.

Not much material needed to be removed. Maybe .02" from each.
I purchased a second stock differential so I could have the PG installed before I even started the project.
That way the only thing required would be swapping the ring gear from my stock diff onto the one with the PG installed.
Also, about holding the ring gear in the vise: that ring gear is a beast. Holding it in the vise for a few minutes won't hurt it at all.

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