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Old 07-06-2014, 12:28 PM   #1
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Mk3 Manual Transmission Swap

Hey all. As some of you might have seen before on here I have asked about doing a manual trans swap from the DCT to the MTX-75 in my focus a couple of times and most everyone has said done do it.. That it either can't be done or it won't be worth the money. Well, this past weekend I have actually completed the first, to my knowledge, MK3 Trans swap. I did it on an actual good budget too. Here is my story, parts list, install info and PLENTY of pictures.

If youíre just curious about the install and not the story behind it skip to the install section. I know I wrote a lot, SORRY!

If there is a lot of demand for an actual guide on how to do the swap I can write a guide on how to do some of the more major things in the actual swap.


So this whole journey started about four months ago. Me and a couple friends of mine went to a you-pull-it junk yard looking for other stuff and I had always previously thought about doing the swap but I was never convinced it would be cost effective or even possible. That day I thought a lot about it on the ride up and decided that if we could find a focus that had the MTX-75 in it I would take it. After much looking around in miserable, cold weather I found a yellow 06 ZX3 2.0 Duratec focus with the MTX in it and we decided to take it.

After quite a long time of wrestling the transmission out of the 06 Focus and honestly being quite rough with the car we finally got the MTX out about 5 minutes before closing so we loaded it up on the cart and took it out. I was not $130 dollars poorer.

This is when the research started. Once we got that trans I was determined to make the swap work. From here I spent hours and hours and hours pouring over, AllData and the Helm manuals. After spending hours talking to my friends and looking at parts diagrams we figured that the swap could actually work mechanically. What I mean is that, with all mechanical parts the swap could be performed but we had no idea what to do about the computers.

Fast forward to about three months ago. I knew what parts I needed but I really didnít want to spend another $1000 on a PCM and wiring plus I didnít want to actually change the entire main harness. After doing a ton more research I found the Focccus program that people are using for changing things like DRLs, the Windows and other stuff and I started looking into more of the options on that PCM parameters list for the transmission. I looked up a VIN for a manual transmission and got the settings to run in the Focccus and tried it with the automatic and all of a sudden PRNDS went away! After some more tinkering with the ABS module stuff I was able to get all of the lights on the dash to go away.


Finally the day came to do the swap. We tore the car apart and started taking things out. We hit a few snags here, mostly with mounts, and mostly because I was dumb and forgot to research if they were different. After ordering the new mounts we needed from the dealership we worked on getting the actual trans out. This is where things got difficult. We had the trans unbolted but didnít realize that it had hidden studs on the flex plate like a conventional automatics torque converter would have. Once those were out the trans basically fell right out.

Once it was out we replaced the flex plate with the manuals flywheel and clutch and jacked the trans up to be bolted it. It slid right into the car like it was nothing. Easy! After that we bolted the trans up, connected the the axle shafts, put liquid in it and then ran into out next problem. Apparently the shifter tower where the cables connect to on the transmission itself is different and needed to be replaced. Another part ordered. Once everything came in we bolted it all up and took her for a drive! This is where we ran into the last problem.

Itís actually something that hasnít been fully resolved yetÖ Sort of. The car wouldnít start! I eventually learned that the cars computers sees the ďStarterĒ signal from two places. On the automatic is sees a signal from the Transmission Range Sensor that will only send a signal when the car is in Park or Neutral and second signal when the Brake is pressed down. If it does not see both of those signals together it wonít start. On the manual it sees that same brake signal but instead of the signal from the Transmission Range Sensor it sees a signal from the Clutches Neutral Safety Switch. I did not have the wiring pigtail for this so, to see if it started we just grounded the wire we needed. Easily enough, we used the wire that was originally the Range Sensor wire coming from the TCM and grounded that. It was already in the car and easy to get to. I do however plan on actually doing the wiring properly when I get the pigtails. They will be ordered tomorrow.

Parts & Price

Iím working on a very nicely laid out spreadsheet of all the parts that anyone would need for the swap. It isnít done yet but it will be done either today or tomorrow. As far as price goes, I was able to do the entire swap for under $2000. More to come on all of this soon!

Current State

So where am I at right now? Well, the car runs and drives which is good. I had a couple check engine codes and Iím still not 100% on how to program the ABS module properly but I am working with Tom on my SCT tune and see what he can do as well as doing some other experimenting on my own. I am 100% confident that I can make the car run fully stock, just not there yet. Updates will be posted here when they come.

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MK3 Manual Transmission Swap:
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Old 07-06-2014, 12:29 PM   #2
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'12 Sterling Grey Titanium Hatch - Moonroof / Winter Package / DCT / 17' Alloy Wheels
MK3 Manual Transmission Swap:
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Old 07-06-2014, 12:50 PM   #3
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That. Is awesome. Props to you.
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Old 07-06-2014, 12:51 PM   #4
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Very good! Glad to see someone pulled it off.
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:04 PM   #5
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Oh my goodness man, you actually did it!
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:09 PM   #6
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Putting your mind to something that isn't easy and making it work.

I am Kabigon and I approve this message.
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:40 PM   #7
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Awesome work man, great job!
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Old 07-06-2014, 02:39 PM   #8
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I moved this thread to the engine and transmission swap section.
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:23 PM   #9
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"Stickie" status to keep it at the top of the page as additions are made.

This will likely be added to the permanent How To list as it fills out.

Congrats on getting it working.
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:55 PM   #10
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How difficult was it to get a clutch pedal in? Are all three a single assembly? Did you have to cut for the clutch cable (I'm assuming it's cable) and shifter cables? Would this have been easier with a trans for an mk3 mt car with an ecu swap as well?
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