1 2
tuna55
tuna55 SuperDork
7/10/11 9:18 p.m.

I have never been in a position to replace an auto with a manual or visa versa. All of the autos I have owned have swapped with other autos and ditto for the manuals.
Where am I going with this?

Read this: http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/off-topic-discussion/help-need-to-discuss-dd-replacement-quickly/37073/page1

Yeah. That's my thought. Let's have a thought experiment, the engine is a Duratec 3.0 V6, the transmission is the CVT.

Bolt it up:

I don't know what's common between the 2.5, but wikipedia makes them sound like the same engine with a different bore. The bad part is this line "A slightly modified version for the Ford Five Hundred entered production..." - a 500 is basically the same drivetrain as the Freestyle. I wonder what slightly means. Does anyone have any idea what manual transmissions which bolt to that engine that would be "good"? According to wikipedia again, the list of cars is:

Jaguar S-Type
Lincoln LS
Mazda MPV
Mazda 6 Mondeo ST220

I think all of those save the MPV had a manual transmission option, but the LS is RWD.

The 2.5 has:

Ford Mondeo
Mercury Cougar
Mercury Mystique
Jaguar X-Type

All of which (I think) had a manual option.

So, does anyone know which of these options sounds like a good plan, physically?

Wire it up: The freestyle has an electronic throttle body. It won't even let you rev it past 3.5K in neutral and only slowly at that, so I know it's watching the transmission and the Freestyle isn't available with anything else. Any Ford engineers here? Is it a resistor I have to apply across pins x and y to trick the ECU in to thinking there is a tranny ECU which is perfectly happy and in drive, or is there a crazy PWM signal that's VIN specific and rotating frequency?

Control it:

Pedal assembly for a hydraulic clutch from Tilton? Ford Mondeo pedal assembly? I know it's going to require fab work for a pedal, but can it be that bad?

Spin the wheels:

Tranny width vs axle length? Spline counts? Anything like that?

A thought experiment, yes, but I don't think there is any group of people anywhere who could actually think this through rather than tell me I am nuts.

Oh, and don't bother to tell me that I'm nuts... please. No naysaying unless you bring data.

Toyman01
Toyman01 SuperDork
7/10/11 9:25 p.m.

Oh, you're nuts, don't doubt that for a minuet. I've seen what y'all have brought to Lemons.

It sounds like a challenge. Would you be better off swapping the entire drive system including ECU? Then you won't need to "workaround" the other stuff.

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
7/10/11 9:46 p.m.

I'm 90% sure the 500 is based on an old Volvo chassis, which did come with a manual. So if you do some digging you may find a bolt-in pedal. As for the throttle, if the engine control is separate from the rest of the car then ditch it for another 3.0/2.5 setup with a throttle cable.

Ranger50
Ranger50 Dork
7/10/11 11:25 p.m.

You are going to hit a roadblock with the electronics. With all the CAN bus crap in the cars now, a mouse can fart 500 miles away in your general direction, have a frequency wave knock out "a" module, and take the whole bus system down. Which then leaves you "stranded". The days of analog "reprogramming" went out in the early to mid '00's. You have to know digital signals to get where you want to go. Then therein lays a different problem in getting the original source code to reprogram a module, either through a deliberate hack or reverse engineering.

The rest is gravy compared to the electronics. Like the clutch pedal. Remove brake bolt and nut. Use as a template to make that bolt "moveable". Hang pedal off "new, moveable bolt", doesn't have to be fancy. Mount clutch master and reservoir in a good location allowing them to work properly. Bleed and go.

It is just like the Chrysler LX body cars...They only came with the updated MB 722.8/NAG1 auto trans until the Challenger came along. Working Starparts over, can net you everything to swap to a T-6060. Now you just have to reprogram the PCM to ignore the auto trans functions and "like" the new manual ones instead.

Strizzo
Strizzo SuperDork
7/11/11 10:27 a.m.

you might be able to get it to bolt together with a mazda6 v6 trans (had the 3.0 duratec, called something else for mazda), might even be able to use the 6 pedal parts to get your extra pedal, if not possibly fusion pedals? they were available with a stick but only with the 4cyl 2.3....

depending on the track width, you might be able to use modified CVs from whatever car the donor trans came from. keep us posted, sure sounds interesting

Schmidlap
Schmidlap HalfDork
7/11/11 10:36 a.m.

A lot of the Contour/Mystique/Cougar guys replace their 2.5L Duratecs with the 3L, using either the manual or the automatic. The intake manifolds and the front end accessory locations are really the only differences between two engines. The blocks are pretty much identical on the outside, except for one flange that gets ground off of the 3L to fit the 2.5L alternator location, I think (I may be wrong though, it's been a while since I thought of doing the swap on my Cougar). Basically what I'm getting at is that bolting the MTX75 manual trans from the Contour/Cougar to your 3L should not be a problem (don't use the Focus version). There are custom axles made for the Contour guys who have turbo'd the duratec, available from The Driveshaft Shop I think. They should be able to make you slightly longer versions with different splines on the hub side to work with your specific application (you'll have to supply the overall length you need). Look at www.contour.org or www.newcougar.org for lots of info regarding bolting the manual trans to the 3L.

As Ranger50 said though, you'll be on your own regarding the electronics. I know a lot of people who swap manuals into auto cars can get around the electronics with resistors in place of sensors, but I don't know how the sensors on the CVT interact with the computer. I'd talk to a few of the aftermarket Ford ECU programmers to see if they can tell the computer to ignore the trans. I doubt it, especially for something that doesn't get modded often, like the Freestyle, but it's worth a shot.

On edit: is yours FWD or AWD? That might make a difference, I'm not sure where the transfer case (for lack of the correct term) goes in the system, though I'm pretty sure the X-Type AWD uses the MTX-75 manual, just like the Contours.

Good luck,
Bob

failboat
failboat Reader
7/11/11 10:38 a.m.

MPV (1st gen) actually could be had with a manual, but they are rare as E36 M3 now. I am not sure what shared that trans, or if it was a 4wd only option. It had a true high-low range transfer case on the 4wd I know that.

the Auto trans on the (3.0l) is the same as found in the Z32 300zx. hence why theres a guy who swapped a Z32 twin turbo engine into his MPV. Because race van. http://dswens.com/mpv-tt.html

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
7/11/11 10:56 a.m.

Don't the SHO's use MTX75s? If so..... you could also use a Mazda H-Type behind that thing.

tuna55
tuna55 SuperDork
7/11/11 11:51 a.m.
Schmidlap wrote: On edit: is yours FWD or AWD? Good luck, Bob

FWD - that is the only easy part.

How hard is it to get the lengths of the shafts before I begin? I wouldn't want to have it all waiting on some custom shafts. Is this something I could just cut and sleeve and weld? My next door neighbor has a lathe...

tuna55
tuna55 SuperDork
7/11/11 11:58 a.m.

The Taurus X also used the auto trans, and they are around on car-part for like $800, not too bad. I like manual transmission, but you're right about the added electronic stuff and pedal wackiness. On the bright side it would be the best Ford Freestyle (cue Clarkson) in the world.

The Contour trans is like $400, but that difference would easily be eaten up in pedals and junk for the clutch.

I am totally not convinced that I can just swap the ECU from the Freestyle with one from the Taurus X though, what about the VIN and all of the other junk?

Ranger50
Ranger50 Dork
7/11/11 12:40 p.m.

If Ford is like Chrysler, you would have to start with a blank PCM. If you don't, you will forever have a CEL/MIL from the VIN mismatch. You then have to watch out for CAN bus compatibility. but even with a blank PCM, the VIN dictates the programming inside, unless you can load the program first then apply a VIN....

Wally
Wally SuperDork
7/11/11 10:34 p.m.

If your going to start swaping things around why not add one of these too

MrBenjamonkey
MrBenjamonkey HalfDork
7/12/11 2:06 a.m.

Honestly man, this screams "dump it" to me.

There are a lot of people haulers out there with reliable transmissions and I would not want to be sitting on that CVT in 1800 miles. Unless you really love it, the Freestyle's probably not worth the trouble.

tuna55
tuna55 SuperDork
7/12/11 3:46 p.m.

In reply to MrBenjamonkey:

I do really love it, and there is basically no competition that is meaningfully any better... unless you've thought of something else.

pigeon
pigeon Dork
7/12/11 3:48 p.m.
Wally wrote: If your going to start swaping things around why not add one of these too

I approve of this message - I have that sweet Yamaha-designed V8 in the Wife's XC90 and it makes nice noises and hauls that large vehicle around with authority.

tuna55
tuna55 SuperDork
7/12/11 5:29 p.m.
pigeon wrote:
Wally wrote: If your going to start swaping things around why not add one of these too
I approve of this message - I have that sweet Yamaha-designed V8 in the Wife's XC90 and it makes nice noises and hauls that large vehicle around with authority.

Ready for blasphemy? I really wouldn't even want to add any power. It has enough to merge and it gets near 30 mpg - I am totally fine with that.

tuna55
tuna55 SuperDork
7/13/11 12:01 p.m.

My Ford engineer buddy seems to think there are lots of similarities electronically with the Taurus X tranny. That being said I am considering buying the transmission core from the Freestyle and re-engineering the CVT at home.

alfadriver
alfadriver SuperDork
7/14/11 11:33 a.m.
tuna55 wrote: My Ford engineer buddy seems to think there are lots of similarities electronically with the Taurus X tranny. That being said I am considering buying the transmission core from the Freestyle and re-engineering the CVT at home.

Vehicle wise, Taurus X = Freestyle.

Powertrain wise, well, not so fast.

It's possible to reporgam a module from another car that runs a 6 speed auto and the same 3.0l Duratec so that the VIN and the trans flash will be correct.

Dealers can do that- it's not really super hard.

What is hard is the manual trans part. Yes, Mazda did a 3.0l Duratec with a manual, just like they have done a 3.5 and a 3.7 engine. But by no means can you swap the modules from a 6 to a Freestyle, and expect it to start. Security features to prevent that exact thing from happening work really well.

And re-calibrating the original module to be manual vs. auto isn't possible unless you are a Ford calibrator. I don't mean to be dismissive, or condesending, but the work it takes to convert, and drive well is a LOT. Not very hard, mind you, but way more than any aftermarket tuner would be capable of doing (based on what I've seen they are capable of).

Forget about an aftermarket computer, too- again, to prevent theft, the car will only start with an ECU that is matched properly with the car, which means Ford module, matched at the dealer. Sadly, that one last thing will pretty much prevent any dealer helping you do a non-CVT swap.

Very sadly, the only realistic think you can do is fix the CVT or upgrade to a used Taurus X (since you like that body). And I really like the 3.5l in the X.

Between security and anti-tampering laws, engine and/or powertrain swaps are very hard without the right tools.

tuna55
tuna55 SuperDork
7/14/11 12:20 p.m.
alfadriver wrote: It's possible to reporgam a module from another car that runs a 6 speed auto and the same 3.0l Duratec so that the VIN and the trans flash will be correct. Dealers can do that- it's not really super hard.

Thanks for speaking up, Eric. On this note (because at this point you've convinced me that the manual swap is a poor choice), what would I need to buy? What service is it I need from the dealer? Can I just tell them I have a replacement ECU that needs to be reflashed and give them my VIN etc?

I am guessing a transmission and an ECU. CV shafts the same? Mounts the same? Engine interface points the same? I presume there is a different dipstick routing, because they hide the CVT dipstick under the air inlet so nobody tries to add ATF to it.

alfadriver wrote: Very sadly, the only realistic think you can do is fix the CVT or upgrade to a used Taurus X (since you like that body). And I really like the 3.5l in the X. Between security and anti-tampering laws, engine and/or powertrain swaps are very hard without the right tools.

What's so special about the 3.5 that's not special about the 3.0? The Taurus X is outside of our price range at the moment. The one redeeming feature that I know of is that the Taurus X's all had the side impact airbags whereas not all (and not mine) Freestyles did.

alfadriver
alfadriver SuperDork
7/14/11 12:42 p.m.
tuna55 wrote:
alfadriver wrote: It's possible to reporgam a module from another car that runs a 6 speed auto and the same 3.0l Duratec so that the VIN and the trans flash will be correct. Dealers can do that- it's not really super hard.
Thanks for speaking up, Eric. On this note (because at this point you've convinced me that the manual swap is a poor choice), what would I need to buy? What service is it I need from the dealer? Can I just tell them I have a replacement ECU that needs to be reflashed and give them my VIN etc? I am guessing a transmission and an ECU. CV shafts the same? Mounts the same? Engine interface points the same? I presume there is a different dipstick routing, because they hide the CVT dipstick under the air inlet so nobody tries to add ATF to it.
alfadriver wrote: Very sadly, the only realistic think you can do is fix the CVT or upgrade to a used Taurus X (since you like that body). And I really like the 3.5l in the X. Between security and anti-tampering laws, engine and/or powertrain swaps are very hard without the right tools.
What's so special about the 3.5 that's not special about the 3.0? The Taurus X is outside of our price range at the moment. The one redeeming feature that I know of is that the Taurus X's all had the side impact airbags whereas not all (and not mine) Freestyles did.

Well, the tool that is needed is the dealer's flasing hardware- I can't recall what it's called these days, but what we have is called MCS, which I don't know what the acroynm means. It's capable of re-flashing the module so that if you need a new modile, the VID and TRID part of the module can be re-flashed, as well as any PATS or calibration changes.

last I saw, they were at least $10k. Probably a lot more- dealers only need one, so to them, it's not all that too bad.

IF (and that's a huge if) you could swap the 6 speed trans from one 3.0 to another, it's requires either an ECU re-flash to match the car, or an ECU reflash of the original to match the trans. Neither are all that trivial. I honestly don't know if the 3.0l 6 speed came in the Freestyle, but if it did, it would be a lot easier. Still, if it did not, I don't think you'll find a dealer willing to help you thanks to anti-tampering laws.

It will fit, though.

the 3.5 is a totally different engine than the 3.0l- nothing is common. More powerful, cleaner, smoother, etc. And the 6F that comes with it is a lot better than previous transmissions, IMHO.

Swapping powertrains in modern cars is really tough. heck, even when we do it for prototypes, it takes a while to debug....

Unless you can find a non-CVT Freestyle, it's going to be a serious challenge. As in the multi thousands it will cost to fix the CVT will be easier on you.

JackWatts
JackWatts
7/27/11 12:12 p.m.

Greetings, and great forum here. I stumbled across this thread and ended up sucked into a Javelin build, who woulda guessed?

I'm a recovering car nut who has given up on driving (for now at least), and ran across with while researching some transmission options for my Freestyle. Some things I should mention though to clear up some misconceptions: the CVT in the FS has proven to be pretty durable and reliable, Tuna's experience notwithstanding. There are a lot out in the field with 150-200K on them and still going, so this is not a transmission guaranteed to fail early like an early Honda Odyssey or GM CVT. This seems like a case of bad luck compounded with a sketchy remanned unit. I'm at 105K with zero issues. That said, I'm at the point where I can sell the car while it still has some value, or run it into the ground; and as Tuna as said, this car is really hard to beat when factoring in fuel economy, space and cost. In short, I really dig the car.

While I love the CVT, repairing it isn't easy due to parts availability, lack of people willing to work on it and the special tooling involved, so if/when I do have an issue with it, I wanted to have a plan. In searching for options I came across this thread. In an ideal world, this would mean swapping in a MT into this thing, as this really would be 'the world's best Freestyle'... I have some thoughts on that, but that's probably for another time. There is another option which should be relatively painless and low-cost. This is made easier since Tuna's car is FWD--otherwise, you'd have to convert the car to FWD (not hard at all to do, you'd just lose the capabilities of the AWD).

Here are my thoughts: install a 6 speed AWF-21. This is the Aisin transmission from the Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego MY 05-07. This car is basically identical to the FS, with a slightly different dash, a trunk, and a 6 speed transmission. I've poured through the owner's manual and some parts lists, and have a pretty good idea of what would need swapped (the factory manual includes all of these vehicles together).

First off, then engines seem to be identical, down to the flexplate. Even if there were some funny casting differences on the block, Five Hundred engines can be had for almost free. Still, I think it's really unlikely--the difference should just be in the mounting. The only difference seems to be in the ECU. So, with that in mind, here's what I've compiled as a parts list, along with some common salvage prices:

-AWF-21, ........................$500.00-$700

-lower mounts (X2).....

JackWatts
JackWatts New Reader
7/27/11 12:20 p.m.

ooops...that reply button is a little sensitive! back to the parts list:

-AWF-21............................$500-700

-lower mounts (x2/new)....$100

-upper mount.....................$180 (cheaper used/rebuilt available)

-shift cable........................$50.00

-engine ECU.....................$50.00

-reflash* $50-250

If you have a J2534 pass though cable, you can do the reflash yourself, software download is $50.00 or so. If not, you can take it to the dealer. Alternatively, if you want to cut the dealer out entirely and not deal with the reflash at all, you could pull the ECU, transmission, instrument cluster and ABS module from a donor car. That should be all you need for VIN continuity. That seems unnecessary, though.

That should be it, unless I'm missing something really obvious. The transmission ECU is integrated into the transmission. If anyone else has any thoughts, please fire away!

Thanks,

JW

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
9/21/16 7:49 a.m.

Lately things for the Accord have been getting... crowded. I took all four for a few rides, and three boys for weekly rides to suit various schedule issues, and it's super obvious that the seating arrangement isn't working.

Back to this. Suppose I just bought a $900 dead-CVT Freestyle, a donor automatic, and megasquirt. Is that something which can happen? I know pretty much nothing about MS, but it stands to reason that the engine is ready to go. Tell me what I would lose by doing this in terms of vehicle functionality.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 PowerDork
9/21/16 7:55 a.m.

Umm....

Megasquirt is kind of a pain. At least for me.

I'd also assume that you would lose all gauge function as well.

South Carolina still don't have inspection, right?

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
9/21/16 8:09 a.m.
Dusterbd13 wrote: Umm.... Megasquirt is kind of a pain. At least for me. I'd also assume that you would lose all gauge function as well. South Carolina still don't have inspection, right?

Indeed gauges would be useful!

Correct that we don't have inspections. I don't have to pass any sort of test, other than the wife test.

I mean, if it came right down to it, and we said "just swap in motor XYZ that's plug and play supported by MS and change this sensor and that one" I might even consider that.

Basically, I want to build a reliable minivan with modern safety and everyday reliability for $2K. If that's not possible, fine, I'll continue to fold the kids into the Accord.

1 2
Our Preferred Partners
0xejOmsrcDyJbCs87oIWPFTl3xpOMHX2FYDDmI5ZAvlfPQwgsonVWlz5I1RquADF