Focus Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 20 of 171 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
516 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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 you’re 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.

Story

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 fordparts.com, 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 didn’t want to spend another $1000 on a PCM and wiring plus I didn’t 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.



Installation

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 didn’t 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.



It’s actually something that hasn’t been fully resolved yet… Sort of. The car wouldn’t start! I eventually learned that the cars computers sees the “Starter” 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 won’t 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

I’m working on a very nicely laid out spreadsheet of all the parts that anyone would need for the swap. It isn’t 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 I’m 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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,262 Posts
Oh my goodness man, you actually did it!
 
  • Like
Reactions: GotST?

·
#dailydriven
Joined
·
6,103 Posts
Awesome work man, great job!
 

·
Old Phart
Joined
·
44,595 Posts
"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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
516 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
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?
The pedals are all separate and the clutch pedal is hydraulic driven. I did not have to do any cutting of ANYTHING in the car. The firewall already had studs and a hole for the clutch pedal and the shifter cables mounted right where the old automatic ones were. It was a beautiful fit, really. A PCM (Its a PCM not an ECU on our cars) from a mk3 manual might have been easier but I didn't really think I could find one (Didn't really look honestly). Right now a lot of experimenting is going on with the computers, the tune and the Focccus program to see what can be done. That part is still a Work in progress.

Also, thank you for the love everyone else. It was a long road but it is SO FUN to drive.

Kinda wish this could have stayed in the MK3 section so more MK3 people could see it but no big deal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
Gotta say that this is great to read through and see somebody actually managed to make it work. I asked about it some time ago and was shot down, congrats to you and the work it took, definitely awesome to see accomplishments like this! [twothumbs]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
516 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Gotta say that this is great to read through and see somebody actually managed to make it work. I asked about it some time ago and was shot down, congrats to you and the work it took, definitely awesome to see accomplishments like this! [twothumbs]
Thanks! Glad you liked the story. Yeah, I was shot down twice with two different topics... It was just more motivation to make it work!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,899 Posts
Is this fully operational as an originally equipped 5 speed MK3? Everything works the same and just as good or even better?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,390 Posts
You're the man!!!

Thanks! Glad you liked the story. Yeah, I was shot down twice with two different topics... It was just more motivation to make it work!
Everybody knows a bumblebee can't possibly fly. Except the bumblebee.

If you had asked whether this would be worth the time and money I'd have said "No, just sell the car and buy one with the transmission you want," even though (or maybe because) I once did a similar project.

I'm glad to see you ignored that kind of thinking and did it anyway. The part missing from most calculations that supposedly prove it isn't worth it is the education, satisfaction, and confidence you get from doing something like this. Priceless.

Next time you're looking for a new job, include a link to this thread with your resume. Anyone who would question your judgement for doing the swap is someone you wouldn't want to work for. The ones who will be impressed by your motivation and perseverence are a better bet. [thumb]

~~~~~~~~~~
EDIT:

Have you considered the possibilty of starting a small business to do these conversions for others? If you worked out the cost, maybe even using a new manual trans straight from Ford to save the hassle of hunting down good used ones, added a mark up for your profit, and sold it on focusfanatics you could see whether enough DCT owners would be interested to make it worth your while.

Probably the paperwork alone required to comply with laws in NJ would be enough to kill this idea, but everybody said it could not/should not be done in the first place, so you'd be the one to get past that, too. Maybe it'd be easier in another state, or you could find some established shop to take you on doing the work there. Might be worth considering.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
I wonder if the MMT6 could be done just as easily...
They look the exact same in the Helm manual, as far as the case goes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
Nice work! I would have just sold mine for one though. Time for project # 2....the 6 speed.

I think it's ridiculous in 2014 that the same car that can park itself only has a 5 speed manual available outside of the ST (and soon to be 1.0 EB SFE).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
609 Posts
So your AT console worked fine with the manual transmission? I ask because I'm swapping the emergency brake and console from a car like yours into my 12 SE sport.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,390 Posts
... I'm swapping the emergency brake and console from a car like yours into my 12 SE sport.
I'd suggest that you get the shorter handbrake lever from a 2014 before you put it all back together. IMO it's definitely a big improvement over the longer one from earlier model years, but you should probably check one out for yourself to see whether you agree.
 
1 - 20 of 171 Posts
Top