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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in need of a new transmission for my 88 GT, and the pickings are pretty slim around here, so I went searching around on eBay and found an 83-84 MTX-III for $130 shipped. That's cheaper than anything I can find in a junkyard around here, only problem is I don't know for sure if the 83-84 MTX-III's are quite the same as the ones that were bolted up to later 1.9's. I know from looking at the MTX transmission info charts that the gear ratios were the same. What I don't know is if they're internally weaker or structurally different in some way. I'm running a 1.6l right now, but in the future I hope to get the 1.9l back in there and I don't want to run into any issues with it.

Does anyone have experience with these earlier transmissions, or have any info on them? Would they be fine to bolt up to later 1.9's with the way the transmission attaches to the oil pan at the bottom?

Thanks for any help.
 

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The early MTX-3 had reverse gear left of 1st, making a sort of bull horn shift pattern since far left and up was reverse, left and up was 1st, left down was 2nd, right up was 3rd, right down was 4th, far right up was 5th. The later years used a double H pattern. I've heard from old Escort racers that the early models were stronger due to that gear design, and I've wanted to put that to the test. It's also more European in design (believe they were designed and/or built in Germany by Merkur, or at least sourced from there).

I've gotten to drive them before, and aside from learning where reverse is, they hold up just fine, and have the same bell housing and bolt pattern as later years if memory serves. Definitely not like the MTX-1 (2 and 3 had the same bell housing to my knowledge).

I have a couple MTX-2's and a 3 sitting in my garage currently (have another 3 in parts that was in my car :p). The 3 is a high geared Tempo model that ran well when I had it in my Tempo. The other MTX-2's are Escort models, one being the mileage one, and the other being the regular. The mileage one is awaiting my turbo build (I can use the higher gearing).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So it sounds like the older MTX-III may work for me. That might be to my advantage, since all the junkyards around here have fallen through in their efforts to locate a GT tranny with the 3.73 final drive. Only thing I'm not totally sure about is the bellhousing fitting over the flywheel. I'm not very well informed about this stuff, but I thought I read something about the older clutches or flywheels being smaller, and I'm not sure if that would factor into it. I've run into some pretty weird stuff trying to match different-year parts together, so I'm wary of anything that could go wrong.

That's funny that you mention them being more European in design, because I was also on the verge of purchasing a NOS Euro CVH transmission from a guy I know, but it ended up that there were slight mounting location differences, the input shaft was too small in diameter, there were all kinds of different sensors, and also his unit had some crucial parts absent, but with a Euro clutch and some modified tranny mounts it appeared it would have bolted right up to any U.S. CVH... with a 3.84 final rive ratio to boot.
 

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The early MTX-3 typically came on EFI and turbo models, which used the larger clutch/flywheel I believe. It was more about location of the starter motor than a problem with clearance in the bell housing.
 
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