Engine - 98 spi engine/trans into 97 wagon | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Engine 98 spi engine/trans into 97 wagon

Discussion in 'Engine Swaps' started by 1993tracer, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. 1993tracer

    1993tracer FEOA Member

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    I may be looking at this swap to replace a valve seat damaged 97 engine. I know about the fuel rail change needed ( sounds like its pretty easy), but the trans I am concerned about. The 97 has the kickdown cable, the 98 doesn't, so I suspect the computers are different.

    any info would be very helpful.
  2. 04Svt

    04Svt FEOA Member

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    The transmission shouldn’t affect the engine. Just swap the fuel rail and all should be well.
  3. novanutcase

    novanutcase FEOA Member

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    Will he have to cap off the return line back to the gas tank?

    John
  4. 04Svt

    04Svt FEOA Member

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    No , he has a 97 with a return fuel system . The engine he will be putting in is return less , so to make it work properly to his year he would take the fuel rail off the 98 and put his one from the 97 onto the 98 engine.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
  5. novanutcase

    novanutcase FEOA Member

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    Aha! Gotcha!

    John
  6. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    And while the computers would be different, between a 97 and a 98, you would just leave the computers alone. The 97 computer will work with the 97 transmission.
  7. 1993tracer

    1993tracer FEOA Member

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    I was hoping to swap both the 98 engine and trans into the 97 wagon. So can I also swap in the 98 trans? I don't know if the transmissions have seperate computers to go with them or if the main comp under the console controls both engine and trans.
  8. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    At some point, and it may have been between 97 and 98, the nature of the control for the transmission line pressure changed. On the earlier cars it was a cable that was connected to the wheel for the throttle where the throttle cable also connects. On the later cars it was an electrical control, via a solenoid inside the transmission. The control of the line pressure is vital to having shifts that dont slip; at high throttle openings; and that arent harsh when gently accelerating. The later type of control requires a computer (and a compatible wiring harness) to do the controlling. It therefore cant be interchanged with the earlier type of cable operated line pressure control. Not only are the computers and transmission module functions different, but the transmission has to have the extra solenoid in it & the extra wire in the harness.

    In the 91-93 Escorts, the transmission control module was separate from the computer; and located above the driver's left foot. From 94 the transmission control module was included in the computer inside the console; though line pressure was still controlled via the cable. Then from 97 to 98 there was another change to the computer, to accommodate using a solenoid on the transmission valve body to control line pressure.
  9. 1993tracer

    1993tracer FEOA Member

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    Thanks for all your help.... I throught the computer would be a problem. So the computer under the console has to go with the transmission.
    I guess the next question would be can I use the 98 Computer with the 98 engine and trans in the 97 chassis ( that has the different fuel system). I'm thinking probably not.
  10. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Only a distant 'Sort of'. You would need to make all of the changes to the wiring harness, in several locations around the 97 car; so the car would have the exact wiring as if it were a 98.
    To scope this out you could start with a copy of the EVTM for both the 97 car and the 98 car, and compare the wiring. The EVTMs are highly specific to the year of the car they cover.
  11. 1993tracer

    1993tracer FEOA Member

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    That's what I was figuring. I think I'll see if I can pick up another car cheap with a bad tranny and swap and sell it. I'v seen a 2002 on craiglist that should be a good candidate.
  12. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Good Luck. I stick with the 2nd generation Escorts, since they have what I consider to be much better commonality across the years 91-96 than do the 3rd gen Escorts or the 1st gen.
  13. 1993tracer

    1993tracer FEOA Member

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    Yes, that certainly appears to be the case. Also, Ford started cost cutting where ever they could so there are a number of little things better on the 2nd gen over the 3rd gen.....IE Fold back side mirrors that don't break off, upper door frames painted black to match trim, light on the vanity mirror, light for rear hatch, sound and thermal insulation on the hood, tokiko struts, more control over HVAC because compressor operation can be chosen by driver ( compressor is on at all HVAC position except floor heating only on 3rd gen... this is just stupid), underhood light. The only real improvements of the 3rd gen over the 2nd gen are the rear suspension (control arms doen't tend to break at the frame mount), air bags and better overall engine ( after they fixed the valve seat dropping issue). I had a 93 lx that had all these features which my 98 Se doesn't have.
    denisond3 likes this.
  14. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    You can wonder if the planner who got the extra features nixed, got a bonus for his "cost-cutting".

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