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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm about halfway through my auto->manual swap for a 2012 Focus. I'm about to drop the auto tranny and for the most part, I'm following the removal procedure from the FSM. It calls for disconnecting the exhaust pipe at the flange where it connects to the flex pipe/manifold assembly in addition to the bolts holding the bracket just upstream of that flange. The bracket bolts are easy but the nuts at the exhaust flange are completely rusted. I went straight to the heat and torched them to cherry red before even attempting to remove them. I hit them with PB Blaster but they still just rounded over when I put a wrench to them so I'm going to have to cut them off. However, I'm wondering if they even need to come off. I can see that you need some flexibility in the exhaust so you don't stress these components when lowering the engine a bit to aid in removal of the transmission. However, between the flex in the flex pipe and removing the bracket bolts, it seems like I should have enough give to lower the engine several inches at least. Should I just go with that or resort to the zip wheel?

A couple observations/tips on the process thus far:

1. The FSM doesn't call for removing the intake manifold and I tried avoiding it at first. I could get a wrench on the flywheel nuts but it was cumbersome and the first one was really torqued hard and I couldn't get it to budge so I opted to remove the manifold for more room. It is only 6 easily accessible bolts, some wiring harness clips and a couple of vacuum hoses (I had already removed the throttle body) to get it free - maybe 15 minutes. This gave a ton of extra room to work on the flywheel nuts. I used a large pry bar in the flywheel teeth (to immobilize it) with my right hand and a wrench in my left hand to remove the nuts. I also found that you can just advance the flywheel by pushing on the teeth with the prybar. No need to use the crank pulley bolt and it's nice that you can be right there looking at the next nut to remove as the flywheel rotates.

I should also add that taking the intake manifold off allows for an easy look at the condition of the intake ports and valves. So, I can see there's a nice thick layer of carbon deposits on most of the valves. I'm torn as to whether I should clean them up now while I have the intake off or just leave it alone for now and concentrate on the swap. At least now that I've removed it once I know it isn't much work to remove it so I should be fine saving it for another day.

2. I have had a nagging issue with a hard to find low speed grinding/vibration somewhere in my drivetrain. Even the dealer misdiagnosed it when I had the car in for recall work and asked them what was causing it. They said it was warped rotors which I doubted as it seemed more likely that it would be a dragging pad if it was brake related. I went ahead and put new rotors on but this made no improvement. Prior to this I had tried new motor/tranny mounts and also checked out the wheel bearings. I had suspected that it could be the RH axle carrier bearing but couldn't detect any issues when just turning the wheels with the front end jacked up. Knowing I had plans for the transmission swap and that the axles were different on the manual, I had been avoiding just replacing the pricey axle prior to doing the swap. Well, when I pulled the axle last evening, I found there to be a nice grindy carrier bearing so I think I have finally found the source of this issue and it will be corrected with a nice new axle/bearing assembly.

3. I was able to get a manual tranny and 95% of the other parts I need all in one fell swoop from a doner car at a nearby salvage yard. They gave me both the clutch and brake pedal assemblies as part of the deal. However, the only apparent difference in the brake pedal assembly is the size of the pedal/pad. So, to keep from having to remove and install the brake pedal and associated switch/wiring, I just traced the pad from the doner assembly onto a piece of cardboard and transferred it to the one still on the vehicle and in a couple minutes, had the extra width removed with an angle grinder/zip wheel. The rubber pad from the doner vehicle was all I needed and it fit perfectly.

My clutch assembly only came with one of the switches. At first I wasn't sure why there needed to be two separate switches but it looks like the one that detects the clutch pedal being depressed is the interlock that keeps the engine from starting until the pedal is down. The other switch is called the clutch position switch and may be more than just an on/off type switch. It engages when the clutch is up position. This has something to do with the cruise control - it may be that the cruse turns itself off not only if you hit the brake but also as you start to engage the clutch. I haven't yet seen a way to maintain the cruise control operation unless you also swap out to a manual PCM and wiring harness and that is probably due to this switch. I very rarely use cruise so that's no big loss for me. Unfortunately, however, the switch I need is the one it did't come with but it's only a $7 part at RockAuto so I have that on order.

So, other than the rusted exhaust nuts, everything has been going smoothly. I'll post more updates as things progress. I'd appreciate any other tips from others who have done the job.

UPDATE: It came out fine last evening without unbolting the exhaust.
Focus DPS6 Transmission Removed.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Progress update:

Here are few tools I had to fabricate or modify for the work. First is a flywheel holding tool. I traced a portion of the new flywheel onto a piece of cardstock then transferred it to a scrap of 3/16" steel plate and cut it out with a zip disc on an angle grinder. Wasn't perfect but didn't have to be. Drilled a hole in it and with that and a bolt and a bunch of washers, it worked nicely bolted up to the bell housing - the flywheel didn't budge a bit as multiple teeth were engaged (probably could have gotten by easily with about 3 teeth).
1206191859a.jpg


Next is the alignment tool that came with the Luk clutch kit. The kit is great but the smooth portion of the alignment tool is much smaller than the recess on the engine side that it fits into so everything just flops around. A bushing of the right size would work but instead, I just wrapped electrical tape around the end until it was the right diameter. It may be hard to tell from the image below but the increased diameter portion of the tip of the tool is made of electrical tape. A dab of grease over this tip allows it to slide in and out of the recess in the flywheel.
1206191904.jpg


Next is the transmission jack. I bolted a piece of plywood to the top of a scissor jack and another piece of wood to the base for stability. After taking some measurements, I added some additional scraps to wedge the tranny to the proper angle in two directions. Worked well but if I were to do it again, I would make the plywood platform the absolute minimum footprint that works to avoid it getting caught up on other components as the tranny is being jacked up. In addition, I couldn't slide the tranny/jack through the wheel well opening due to lack of vertical clearance. I would have had to jack the front end up another couple inches to do that and possibly remove the control arm as well. Instead, I slid the jack and tranny into the cavity separately and had to horse it onto the lowered platform once in that space. That was a bit tricky as you can't lift much lying on your side. The fresh oil spot on the concrete is evidence that the transmission fluid was not fully drained from the unit prior to this installation as it leaked out of one of the axle openings when I was maneuvering it onto the jack. I'll try to get the rest of what's left drained before I fill it.
1207191218.jpg


Here is the transmission all bolted up. The splined shaft and the bellhousing dowels lined up rather easily and once you get that first bolt threaded in, you're pretty much home free with the rest of them.
1207191730.jpg


Here is the final result of a good bit of work on the inside. The hardest part about the shift lever and cable install was the cable flange nuts at the firewall, the right hand side one in particular. The stud for that nut has almost zero clearance due to the A/C and heater housing. A ratcheting box wrench is about the only tool that could possibly fit to get that nut back on. Obviously the trim on the doner car was silver where on mine it is gold but I think this will be a subtle hint that this car was not always a 5-speed.
1207191731.jpg

Bleeding the clutch went a lot easier than I expected, having read a lot of posts about others who have had trouble getting air out of the system. I just ran about a 3 foot length of clear tubing (1/4" inside diameter works perfectly) from the slave cylinder bleed nipple up into the fluid reservoir (make sure the end is submerged in fluid). When I opened the valve, it bled most of the way on its own just by gravity. Then I pumped the clutch pedal about a dozen times slowly to get the last few small bubbles out. Clutch pressure is nice and solid after closing the bleed valve.

I'd say I'm about 2/3 of the way into the job (around 15 hours so far) and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel as all the hard parts are done and it's mostly just bolting things back on. I've done the entire job solo so that doesn't seem too bad. What is notable is that I haven't had any tasks where I was really stuck on anything for a very long time. Everything has progressed pretty smoothly - not to say I haven't learned some lessons that would make it easier to do a second time. At any rate, it's not done yet and the moment of truth is yet to come. There's always some risk when you're using salvaged parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Another update: Got things to a point where I could take the first test drive this morning. Started right up and drove/shifted great. As expected, I have the 3500 RPM limit and the DTCs/lights for traction control as the auto-PCM doesn't know how to play well with all the other systems when it doesn't see an auto TCM connected. I'll fix that by swapping out to a manual PCM that just arrived yesterday.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Any luck with pcm? I’m at about the same point here
Yes, check out my updates at the end of this thread. I've been driving it with the manual PCM for over 1000 miles now and it is like a new car. Easily worth the $ and effort and if I were to do it again, I would go the same route on installing/programming a manual PCM to finish off the job.
 
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