Automatic to manual swap | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Automatic to manual swap

Discussion in 'ZX2 1998-2004 2.0L DOHC' started by Kevin Rogerson, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. Kevin Rogerson

    Kevin Rogerson FEOA Member

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    i have an 02 zx2 the transmission is slipping in 1st gear. How much of a hassle is it to swap to a manual? Is it worth it. I just want to put a manual zx2 transmission on the car.
  2. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Hopefully someone with a ZX2 will answer. I think some of our members have done it. My Escorts are all the 2nd gen LX kind, and with them, a trans swap would also involve some wiring changes, plus having the different shifting mechanicals (which may require having a donor car to take those parts from). And if you live where they have emissions testing, that may complicate your life, depending on how the local jurisdiction views changes.
    With mine, the CEL light would come on if the trans control module didnt see results from the automatic transmission when the module would call for gear changes. That CEL coming on is an automatic 'fail' where I live in Virginia. Also the switch to turn on the back-up lights is located on the top of the automatic transmission, and is very different from the switch on a 5-speed that turns on the back-up lights. That same switch on the auto trans is the one that prevents that starter from working unless the shifter is in Neutral or Park. This function doesnt exist on the 5-speed. Where I live in TX, the inspector doesnt care if the back-up lights come on in reverse, but they sure do care where we live in Virginia.
  3. Kevin Rogerson

    Kevin Rogerson FEOA Member

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    I wish someone with a zx2 would reply too. I am not worried about wiring but I have heard that there is a spacer plate that is needed and I want to make sure the bolt pattern is the same.
  4. 4cylinder

    4cylinder FEOA Member

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    this is an easy swap to do an can be done in one day if you have the skills. Expect at least 2 days though. Day one for removal of auto parts, day 2 for install of mtx parts.

    The main things you will need which people always overlook are:

    - the crank sensor housing for the mtx
    - the wiring ends for the connectors leading from the trans used when replacing the atx wiring ends
    - the correct mtx ecu for the application. 98-99 for 98-99 car and 99-03 for 99-03 car
    - the motor mount for the top of the trans. This has a provision to hold the clutch hose

    I have done this swap for many members, for myself and for many cars i have sold. If i have any auto cars i get with bad trans i just do the swap as it is less time and money to do the swap than it is to rebuild the auto trans
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
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  5. Kevin Rogerson

    Kevin Rogerson FEOA Member

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    do I just use a manual from the same year car and the bolts will all match up for the transmission?

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  6. 4cylinder

    4cylinder FEOA Member

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    you will need an ecu from a 2000 - 2003 manual trans car. If you can find one, an s/r ecu would be a nice one to get
  7. Bas1c973sco

    Bas1c973sco FEOA Member

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    Typically both types of transmissions have the same bell housing that mounts to the block.


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  8. Bas1c973sco

    Bas1c973sco FEOA Member

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    4cylinder Is it the same premise for the sedans? I have a 97, is it safe to assume the ATX’ are interchangeable between styles?


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  9. 4cylinder

    4cylinder FEOA Member

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    no, atx is different for 97
  10. Bas1c973sco

    Bas1c973sco FEOA Member

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    For the year I mean coupe to Sedan and vice versa.


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  11. 4cylinder

    4cylinder FEOA Member

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    no, ATX is different for 97 sedan
  12. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    There is no 97 coupe.
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