I need help with picking a transmission | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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I need help with picking a transmission

Discussion in 'Drivetrains' started by Cheapshotfrenzy, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. Cheapshotfrenzy

    Cheapshotfrenzy New Member

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    Is there a difference between a G5M transmission and a G5M-R? I recently blew the transmission in my 2002 zx2 with the 2.0 zetec and the shop wants to charge me almost $700 for a tranny with 200k miles on it. The cheapest option I've found in a salvage yard near me is from a 5 speed 2wd Escape. Wikipedia lists its transmission as a G5M-R. Or I've heard if I put in a G5M from an older sedan that the gear ratios give me better gas mileage, but I don't know if they'll bolt up.

    To me, this sounds like a good time for a transmission upgrade so if anyone has any suggestions for a beefier transmission that will go into a 2002 zx2, I'd like to hear them. Apparently the G5M has a pretty lousy reputation.

    TIA
  2. madmatt2024

    madmatt2024 FEOA Member

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    Sorry dude, there are no options other than the G series for the ZX2 unless you want to get into serious custom stuff.

    The Escape trans has shorter gearing than the ZX2 one. The sedan one has the tallest gearing and by in large will bolt up. I think one bolt doesn't line up and something to do with mounting the starter is different but it can be made to work.
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  3. Cheapshotfrenzy

    Cheapshotfrenzy New Member

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    So the escape transmission will bolt right in with no needed modifications? And what can I expect in the feel of driving it? I'm not a transmission expert, but shorter gearing will give it quicker acceleration but lower top speed/fuel economy, right?

    What would it take to change out the 5th gear of the escape transmission to give it a more highway friendly gearing?
  4. madmatt2024

    madmatt2024 FEOA Member

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    Supposedly it bolts right in but I don't think anybody uses it, the final drive is a lower ratio so you will probably be over 3K RPM at 65, even with a 5th gear swap. My recommendation would be to just put another ZX2 trans in it.
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  5. Cheapshotfrenzy

    Cheapshotfrenzy New Member

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    Alright, man. I appreciate you taking the time to explain it to me. I found a zx2 transmission with only 150k miles on it down in Oklahoma so I'll road trip down there and pick it up.

    My concern is that I love this little car and transmissions for it are only going to get harder to find. Maybe I'll grab a couple to just sit on the shelf.
  6. madmatt2024

    madmatt2024 FEOA Member

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    How may miles were on your trans when it failed? I haven't really heard of many issue with these transmissions unless they are abused. Tip: When you get the new trans, fill it with Pennzoil Synchromesh fluid instead of the Mercon ATF that Ford says to use. It will shift noticeably better. Also, there were two different sets of gear ratios used in the ZX2 as well. Early 98 and early 99 models have shorter ratios than the one that your 02 came with though the final drive is still the same. You can swap the 5th gear from your old trans into one these to bring the RPMs down on the highway if you wish.
  7. Cheapshotfrenzy

    Cheapshotfrenzy New Member

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    The car was just about to hit 250k miles when the transmission went out. That's a good tip about the transmission fluid though, I'll make sure I ask for that. The tranny I found is from a 2000 so it should be the exact same as the 2002 it's going into.

    I guess I am a little hard on it. I still haven't found the balance of doing a smooth shift without riding the clutch. Especially in the first couple gears it'd lurch when I left off the clutch.
  8. madmatt2024

    madmatt2024 FEOA Member

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    That comes with experience and getting to know the car better. The longer you drive stick the easier it becomes but some cars throw you a curve ball. Most cars I can jump right in and shift them pretty well but every time I drive an 8th gen Honda Civic it jerks when I shift it. I'm sure I could master it if I drove one a lot more.

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