How to swap an Mtx75 into an Atx 99-02 Mercury...

How to swap an Mtx75 into an Atx 99-02 Mercury Cougar
By: Crispy
So you made the same mistake as I did and bought an Atx cougar. You want a manual
and you think you can do the work yourself or you need a parts list to get started. Well, I
don’t think you could have found a better howto anywhere on the net or anywhere else
for that matter. I put more then 2 years of preparation into this and it still was very
difficult. I’m here to make it easy. Trust what you read here as fact. I will list references
at the end of this text that will more then establish my credibility.
First, you need to understand this is very, very expensive. You cant really cut corners.
Some smart shopping may help you. Going to the junkyard will also save you big
money if you can be so lucky as to find an mtx Cougar. Without further ado… Il list the
parts needed. I will elaborate later on all these parts. This is meant as a shopping list after
you read this entire text
Part name
MTX75 Transmission
Clutch Slave cylinder
Left half shaft
Right jack shaft
Clutch Master Cylinder
Clutch Pedal Assembly
Clutch Hydraulic line upper
Clutch Hydraulic line lower
Clutch fluid supply line
Mount-fender side
Mount-tranny side-left
Mount-tranny side-right
Mount-cross member side-right
Shift Tower Assembly
Shift boot
Bolts- Clutch to flywheel
Friction Modifier
Shift cables
3 quarts Mobil 1 synthetic ATF
Vehicle Speed Sensor-mtx
100ohm resistor
Axle Nuts
Cost-List price anyway
$1600?new $~700used
Disc $100.21 Plate $103.20
$112.48 Net $89.98
$72.97 Net $54.73
$29 regular $99 leather
Net $2.88
$47.78 Net $35.84
$6.44 Net $4.83
Part number if available
F7RZ-7550-AA & F7RZ-7563-AA
Radio Shack
Now I will begin to talk about each of these parts in detail. There are nuances and stories
behind each one. Here goes nothing.
Tranny. Some thought needs to go into this. You can pick up a used one for say $700.
However, you are a complete moron if you buy a used tranny and install it in a car
without having it at least looked at by a technician. You don’t know how that person
drove that car… you don’t know how ground those gears are. You need to make sure its
going to work before you go bolting it up. This is also an excellent time to do a Quaife
or any other internal modification. Leo Capaldi has 4.5 final drives available. They are
worth every penny. His contact info is at the end of this document. If you decide to get a
new tranny, you should look into obtaining one of the European mtx75s. There are
versions over there with much better gear ratios.
Clutch. What can I say here, you need to make this decision on your own. I will say
that the cheapest way to go is stock. You need to obtain a pressure plate and a disc.
That’s its. The Contour SVT clutch is actually cheaper then the Cougar clutch. Id
recommend going with that clutch. Remember that if you don’t get a clutch kit you need
to buy a throw-out bearing/slave cylinder combo. Read more on that later. Overall,
pick a clutch that is right for your driving. Also, if you have never driven a clutch, I
recommend nothing else but stock.
Clutch slave cylinder/throw-out bearing. This is an area of confusion for many
including myself at the start. On the Cougar, the throw-out bearing and slave cylinder
are one and the same. If you purchase a clutch kit, you should get this with the kit. If
you purchase just the disc and pressure plate, you will need to buy a throw out bearing.
Flywheel. This is an excellent opportunity to install an upgraded lightweight flywheel. Its
important to make SURE that the aftermarket flywheel is compatible with the clutch you
select. If you decide to go with stock, I recommend the Contour SVT flywheel. It is
again… cheaper then the Cougar flywheel and it is lighter. If you get a used flywheel, it
MUST be resurfaced and balanced prior to installation.
Left Half Shaft. This shaft must be changed to mtx length. Be sure to get a shaft with
the ABS ribs on it if you have ABS. Aftermarket shafts are also an option. Drive Shaft
Shop has some for the Cougar. A junkyard shaft should be thoroughly inspected before
installing. It may be nesasary to repack the bearings and replace the boots. A
remanufactured item from the auto parts store may be cheaper in the long run.
Right side jack shaft. The right side half shaft IS the correct length. It can be used
without issue. However, there is an intermediate shaft that runs from the diff to a bracket
on the back of the engine. You must replace this shaft. The bracket need not be
replaced. This is a junkyard possible item. It is tough as nails and basically imposable to
break so don’t worry about getting a used one.
Clutch Master Cylinder. This is a must. DO NOT get a used part. Its not worth it… if
this part leaks, it will leak out ALL of your brake fluid meaning you loose clutch
disengagement AND your brakes. It will be loads of fun trying to stop when trying
desperately to get the tranny out of gear. This item will come attached to the clutch
pedal assembly if you order a brand new one from the dealer. This is the way I
recommend going.
Clutch Pedal Assembly. It is possible to obtain this from the junk yard. It removes via
6 bolts and a few clips here and there. It’s a pain though… I recommend ordering the
entire assembly from the dealer as it comes with the Clutch master cylinder and the brake
hose that goes up to the brake fluid reservoir. Make sure you take my part number with
you. Most parts counter guys can find it in the computer. This is a mandatory part… the
brake pedal is also integrated into this and there is NO way to stick a clutch pedal to the
bracket in the ATX. You need this entire assembly and it represents a significant savings
since it comes with so many other parts you need.
Clutch Hydraulic line-Upper. This is a hard line that runs between the clutch slave
cylinder and master cylinder. It’s nicely fabricated and should be purchased new to avoid
leaks. It is cheap so that is really the only way to go here.
Clutch Hydraulic line-Lower. This is the same as the upper. They connect to each
other. You need both. Again, it’s very cheap so just buy it new.
Clutch Fluid Supply Line. This is simply a piece of brake hose that runs from the brake
fluid resivoir down to the master cylinder to supply it with fluid. You can simply
purchase brake line of the correct diameter from the autoparts store for this one. Make
sure you secure both sides with stainless steel hose clamps. If you purchase the Clutch
pedal assembly I spoke of earlier, you get this part with that assembly.
Transmission/engine mount-Fender side. This mount bolts to the fender on the left
side of the car. It then bolts to the Mtx transmission. Its expensive but very necessary.
I’ve found that most junkyards don’t save the mounts on cars… so this may be a dealer
only part.
Transmission/engine mount-tranny side-front of car/left of engine. This piece is a
solid steel mount. It bolts to the tranny one the front of the car side/left of the engine
side. It is mandatory.
Transmission/engine mount-tranny side-rear of car/right of engine. This piece is also
a solid steel mount. It bolts just like the font part. Also completely mandatory.
Transmission/engine mount-crossmember side-rear of car/right of engine. This is a
rubber filled steel mount. I believe there is an SVT version of this mount that is slightly
stronger. The best place to get this may be the web… compare prices with the dealer.
Either way, the atx mount is completely different can will not work here.
Shift tower assembly. This is the sifter itself, the tower into which it mounts and the
little brackets that hold the shifter cables. May be a junkyard part… the dealer will
defiantly be able to order it as a unit.
Shift boot. The mtx shift boot will snap right into place where the atx shifter bezel used
to sit. There are several options as far as materials and styles from the dealer. They have
a el-cheapo one for $5 and a leather svt style one for like $100……
Bolts-Clutch to flywheel. Metric bolts. I just took the flywheel into the hardware store.
Make sure you buy grade 8 bolts. Don’t use cheap bolts here please… you don’t want to
know what happens if they break. Make sure you select the proper length also. It is also
possible that the dealer can find the bolts you need for this.
Friction Modifier. Part of the infamous “tranny cocktail”. It’s said to provide better
shifts in all whether. One bottle added to your tranny fluid should be all you need.
Crossmember. This is a bad one. The mtx has a triangle shaped bracket on it. The atx
does not. Some have suggested that its possible to fabricate a mount point and have it
welded up. I don’t think that is wise. I don’t want mounts breaking off. I used a real
mtx crossmember for my swap. They are expensive… almost everywhere you look they
are $300 or more. I got lucky and got mine from a wrecked Contour. I’m starting to
think it may be better to use the atx crossmember and simply have a bracket welded to
it… You will have to figure that out on your own though… my recommendation would
be to make the front mount SOLID via urathane or urathane inserts and just leave the
back off and take it to a shop and have them weld the bracket in. This way the engine
will not roll in transit. Besides… solid mounts are best anyway.
Shift Cables. Be careful with junkyard cables. Make sure they move freely. New
cables may be better. I believe the SVT has different cables… slightly better by some
3 quarts Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF. This stuff is the best. Buy it use it love it. Simple.
You only fill 2.5 quarts but you obviously need to buy 3.
Vehicle Speed Sensor-MTX. So you want to actually know how fast you are going?
You need a VSS for the mtx… its NOT the same as the atx. I will explain later on how to
wire this up.
134Kohm resistor. This is what will bump our redline from 4500 to 7000… not bad for
a .12cent part. You don’t have to get EXACTLY 134… just close.
Well… that’s the parts list. You need all of it. Everything… don’t ask me why, or come
up with some crazy solution as to how you don’t need it. I guarantee you need everything
listed here.
Tools. You need a lot of things to do this right. A lift would be nice!!! It can be done
on jack-stands though. You will need screwdrivers obviously. A set of metric sockets in
shallow and deep well, 8-18mm should be fine. You will need a set of metric open end
wrenches, 10-18 should work. It wouldn’t hurt to have some standard sizes available
also since there are some standard fittings. 8mm can be used with 5/16” no problem as
can 19mm and ¾”. They are both basically identical. You will also probably need ½”
drive for a few things. Some of the suspension and motor mounts are very tight and
need some “persuasion” to get them to give. Using a 3/8 ratchet to break big bolts loose
is NOT easy. I suggest using a breaker bar whenever a bolt is too tight to prevent
damage to ratchets. A ½” drive impact wrench is almost a nesesity. Some bolts simply
will not come off without an impact. I would NOT attempt this without a good high
torque impact wrench. Obviously, impact sockets should be used with an impact wrench.
The half shaft axle bolts are one place where the impact should defiantly be used. You
may not even get them loose with a breaker bar but a good twin hammer impact will have
NO trouble. The axle nuts are 1 ¼” so you will need that socket… most people do not
have this size. You can get one at the autoparts store for cheap. A good crowbar is also
nesasary for when things get stuck. There are some Torx screws on the car too. It would
be a good investment to obtain a set in 3/8” drive. Obviously pliers and set of side
cutters(dikes) are needed too. Basically a good mechanics tool set… I mean… if all you
have is a set from K-Mart you probably don’t have what it takes. If you don’t have a lift
then you MUST have a floor jack. Do not attempt this with a scissor jack unless you
don’t like living. An engine/trans support brace is also needed. You can make
something work if you don’t have access to one though. Basically a bar that goes across
the strut towers and then has a way of attaching to the engine is what you need. You
need to be able to raise and lower then engine in the bay as well as hold it in place. I
think the old method of using a floor jack under the oil pan is too dangerous for this. It
will also make it extremely difficult to line everything back up… Basically, you really
should at least rent a support kit and forego making something else work. You will
possibly need a drill and a 2” or bigger hole saw also. More on that later. A drip pan
will be needed to drain the trans fluid into. There are 13 or more quarts in that tranny so
make sure you get one big enough. You will also need a rotary tool. A Dremel or the
equivelent will work. You need a rotary file bit for cutting metal. Maybe more then one
bit too. Almost forgot, you MUST have a tourqe wrench. There are some bolts that
MUST be tourqued to spec. DO NOT attempt to guess. Do you know what happens if
a flywheel bolt comes out at 6000rpm? Well… it has enough velocity to got right
through whatever metal it happens to hit first… maybe even hitting YOU. Its possible…
and scary too… just bite the bullet and barrow or rent a toruque wrench if you don’t have
one. A variety of other tools I’m forgetting are probably also required. It should be
obvious that this requires a complete mechanics tool set. Ill try to update this if I think
of anything else.
Phew. Now… onto the actual procedure. This is where all the meticulous planning
comes together. Its vital that you check and recheck your parts and materials to be sure
you didn’t forget something. You don’t just storm right into this sort of thing. I took 2
years to plan this and I still stormed right in forgetting a lot. There are some things you
can do BEFORE the day of the install that will make life smoother. Ill start there.
Go to the spray off carwash right down the street with your engine as cold as possible.
You can do this step in your drive way too if you don’t mind oil all over it. Make SURE
your engine is COLD. If you have an open intake, you must cover it. Use a plastic bag
like a Ziploc and some duct tape to make a water tight seal. If you have an unsecured
electronics like an amp wire then cover those too. Get a can of Gunk engine bright or
whatever your favorite engine degreaser happens to be. There is a product called
something like Steam Premium or the like that works quite well. If you don’t know
anything about this then just buy Gunk. It’s the old reliable. Now… follow the
directions on the can and spray the engine bay off carefully to not direct water any place
it should not go.(use good judgment here, I cant explain this all). The reason for doing
this should be obvious. The engine bay is usually filthy dirty. You don’t want to get
sand and grease all over everything including yourself while you are doing this. This 10
minutes of preparation will save you much time later. Not to mention your clothes and
tools will be better off.
You can safely and without adverse effect install your clutch pedal assembly before
anything else. The only thing is, you should NOT depress the clutch pedal until the
master cylinder has fluid in it. It wont hurt the first time… and maybe not even the 10th
time, but dry moving the cylinder can cause the seals to fail. Simply don’t “play” with
the clutch pedal until its truly hooked up. Remove the stock pedal assembly first. There
is a white clip on the brake pedal that secures a needle that goes up to the brake master
cylinder through the firewall. That clip can be removed carefully with a small
screwdriver. There are four bolts I believe 13mm securing the bracket to the firewall.
There are also two bolts that go directly up into another bracket. Remove all these bolts
and then attempt to slide the pedal assembly OFF the brake cylinder needle. It may not
fit… you may need to temporarily disconnect the steering linkage. To do this the wheel
must be placed dead strait and the key must be in the ignition and the ignition moved to
the unlocked position. It will not come out without unlocking the steering column… it is
a security feature. It is secured with one 10mm bolt. Remove the bolt completely and
slide the little tab up and away. The linkage pulls up and off the steering gear. It doesn’t
look like it moves but it does. The linkage is collapsible so just pull up hard. With the
linkage arm free the pedal assembly will move out of the way easier. It fits… just keep
trying and DO NOT bend the brake needle too much… it will cause the cylinder to leak if
bend it too much. So just take your time. There is a rubber plug in a hole that looks like
tear drop under the dash in the firewall. Get it out of the way as the clutch master
cylinder will fit there. Take your hole clutch pedal assembly and try to slide it into
place. You MAY have to remove the master cylinder to get the pedals in. Keep trying, it
should fit. Tighten the bolts back up you took out. Put the white clip back on the brake
pedal. Make sure the brake pedal is working. It should be very hard to push down more
then one or two times. You can test it when you are done. Attach the steering linkage. If
you didn’t move the wheel it should line up easily. If you moved it…. Turn it knock to
knock and to make sure you are dead center. The post is triangular and the it must be
precisely lined up and slid down ALL THE WAY. Make SURE its engaged all the way.
If its not… well… loosing your steering will make you learn to make sure things are done
right. You will know when its all the way in… it will look like it did when you took it
off  CHECK to make SURE your steering is right before you go driving around.
Don’t take chances with brakes or steering.
Well, now you have your pedals in and saved maybe 1 hour from the actual day of the
swap. Just remember to not go pushing the pedal. Now, we will address the swap itself
step by step… in great and possibly boring detail.
Pull the car onto the work surface. The surface should be concrete and be swept clean
before the car moves there. Plug any drains that are in the area. If parts fall, they WILL
fall into the drain every time… Set the hand brake, and put the tranny in D. Leave it
there. If you have the impact you don’t NEED to break the wheels loose now, but it IS
good practice to break them loose on the ground. So, do that now. Loosen the front lug
nuts. Now, raise and safely support the vehicle on jack stands. Get the vehicle as high
as is safe. Use a block of wood to chock the back wheels front and back for further
safety. You don’t want a car on you. Cars can and do fall off jack stands. Take the
safety steps to prevent this especially if you are on an incline. Pull both front wheels.
They may get stuck. If they are stuck, use pentrating oil around the area where the wheel
touches the rotor, and on the inside where the axle nut is. Let the oil work in for a few
minutes and it should break loose. A propane torch can also be used if its REALLY
stuck. Heat the wheel not the hub/rotor. As a LAST resort, a large chisel can be used
between the wheel and rotor.
Wheels off up on jack stands now. Pop the hood and disconnect the battery. Pull the
negative battery terminal, and tie it off away from the post so there is no way it can
reconnect. Depending on what intake you have, you will need to remove it. Basically I
leave that up to you. Take all intake parts out of the car up to the throttle body. Now
you have easy access to remove the battery and battery tray. Make sure you set the
battery on something non conductive wherever you put it. If you set a battery on a
concrete floor the charge will leak right out in a very short time. The battery tray and
bracket come off with several 10mm bolts. Some go directly down and some go into the
fender area. After removing the battery tray its time to attack the starter. It has a 10mm
nut on a post holding the solenoid signal wire. There is also a 13mm holding the 12+
lines. I recommend putting the nuts back on the posts after removing the wires, so as to
not loose them. There are two 13 mm bolts holding the starter to the tranny. Use an box
end wrench with a bend on the head upside down to get at them. You may have to attack
the rearmost bolt from the underside of the car. If you find that you cant get the bolts
now… its okay. You can get them later. Now is also the time to drain the trans fluid as
it takes a while to leak out. Pull the dip stick out slightly to allow pressure to release
Now, you need to attack the ball joints. Spray the bolts with oil and let it sit in. Also
spray the bolts on the sway bar end link and tie rod end. This is a good time to mention
something vital whenever working on nuts and bolts. NEVER hit the exposed end of a
bolt to drive it out of a hole. Doing so will almost always mushroom the end of the bolt
and make it impossible to get a nut back on it. Instead, take the nut or preferably an old
nut or spare nut and thread it onto the bolt about 3/4 into the nut. This will give you
something to hit with a hammer to drive the bolt out. This also prevents the bolt from
being damaged by the hammer. The nut will probably get all blown out but that’s okay,
nuts are cheap and easy to find and replace, bolts are not always this way. Remove the
nut from the tie rod end and use either a tire rod end remover(rent from auto parts store)
or the nut on bolt method. Remove the sway bar link from the strut, 13mm. Use an
18mm on the ball joint bolt. It’s really quite tight. It may take a breaker bar or impact.
After removing the bolt, you have to pop the ball joint out of the bottom of the spindle.
This isn’t easy really. Spray lube around that area… Use a crow bar to attempt to force
the spindle up and off the ball joint. It will take some time and effort. It may help to
take the floor jack with a block of wood and put it under the rotor. Jack the hub up
WITHOUT touching the control arm or ball joint area. This will take the pressure of the
springs pressing down off the control arm joints. It should make it eaiser to pop loose
the ball joint. Its okay to hit the control arm with a dead blow hammer as long as you
don’t bend it, use judgement here. Crow baring seems to work best between the balljoint
and the hub. Make SURE to not cut the ball joint boot. IF you pop the seal it will need
to be replaced. Use the 1 ¼” socket with the impact to remove the axle nuts. Do not
discard the nuts right away… you may need them later but they will NOT be what is
installed on the car. That’s why you bought new ones. Spray oil into the area behind the
nut. Around the splines of the half shaft essentially. They tend to get stuck and the oil
may help. Try to push the half shaft out of the hub. DO NOT HIT THE END OF THE
HALF SHAFT WITH A HAMMER. Put the half shaft bolt on the half shaft and tap with
a ball ping or other steel hammer trying to break loose the shaft. You can also use a
punch of appropriate size in the hole in the end of the half shaft to knock it out. The
shafts may pop right out… but sometimes they seize. After getting the shaft out of the
hub, its easiest to use some wire to lash the strut assembly to the front of the unibody
someplace. This is just to get it out of the way since it’s heavy and cumbersome.
The left side half shaft is held in place by a snap ring. It may pull right out of the diff…
it may not. If it will not pull out easily, use your crowbar between the diff and the inner
half shaft end. Rotate the shaft while doing this to attempt to find the weak spot in the
ring. You need to work the snap ring around out. Be paitent… there is no need to pry
hard, you are not trying to bend the ring out… you are trying to posision it so it will pop
out easily. Be sure to NOT pry against the diff seal. You are removing the tranny
obviously but there is no reason to damage the seal. There are fins around the edge of the
tranny that can be safely pried against. The right side shaft is secured to the engine
bracket by two 13mm bolts. Use a 20” or better extension to reach them easily from the
wheel well. After pulling both nuts the entire shaft will (jack shaft and all) slide out of
the diff easily, no clip on this side .
This step sucks. You need to disconnect the power steering lines. Pull UP on the resivoir
and find the lower hose that goes down to the rack and pinion. That hose must be
removed from the resivoir. You need to get some sort of plug for both ends. A bolt can
be pushed into the rubber hose safely and effectively. The resivoir will require a nipple
style automotive plug. Look to the parts store for this… they make life much easier and
MUCH less messy. The other line you need to remove is the on top of the pump. It’s
the large one in front of the right side engine mount on top. Use a open end wrench to
hold the large nut looking piece to keep it from bending. Use another open end wrench
on the compression nut to free the line. Now… because of gravity fluid will pour out of
both ends once you get this removed. Fashion some sort of plug for both sides. Push the
lines down best you can toward the rack and pinion. You may have to wait until its time
to remove the crossmember.
Now, you need to prepare to drop the crossmember. This is where the engine brace must
be installed. I’m not going to cover any other method of holding up the drivetrain since I
don’t think any other method is safe or effective enough to even use unless NO other
option is available. Install the brace per instructions supplied by the brace. In general,
make sure you don’t crush anything (wiring harness on the left side of the strut tower).
There is a nice hook on the front of the engine under the plastic engine cover. Three7mm screws secure the engine cover. The hook WILL hold the weight of the engine. On
the back of the engine, there is a screw hole in the head. The hole is on the back of the
head nearest the right strut tower. Use your finger to find the hole (hehehe) to make sure
you have the right one, there are two at least and one has NO threads in it. In this hole, a
bolt of appropriate thread can be installed and a hook somehow attached to the bolt. It
may take some ingenuity but it works. It can be VERY difficult to reach the screw hole
I’m talking about… take your time… make sure you don’t bind up anything.
After you have the brace installed and tension removed from the mounts you can start
removing them safely. Start with the front mount. Use a 15mm on the large bolt that
runs through the center of the two mounts. You will probably need a breaker bar here.
Do the same to the rear mount. If the bolts don’t come out easily after being unscrewed,
you probably have too much or too little tension on the brace. You need to remove both
mounts from the tranny now, I believe they are 13 mm bolts. Now you should remove
the mounts from the crossmember. The rear must be removed for sure. I think you can
leave the front on. The left side trans mount must also be removed. Remove the four
nuts from the tranny side. Removed the 3 bolts from the fender side. One topside two
lateral. The rearmost may not come out because the nut on the backside in the fender
well may spin. If this happens put a wrench on the backside. (Duh)
While on the ground, look for the a/c accumulator canister. It’s on the left side in a
bracket attached to the crossmember. It’s a black bottle the size of a 1-liter pop or so.
Loosen the bolt that is in the strap that clamps it to the crossmember. Break it loose so
that when you drop the crossmember the bottle will stay with the car. Topside again…
unbend a metal coat hanger and cut it into two 10” strips. Insert the strip into the knobs
in the top of the radiator that go through the core support. This will keep the radiator
from falling down when remove the brackets from the bottom side. Now, you can
remove those brackets, 8mm here iirc. If you haven’t already done so, disconnect the
steering linkage under the dash. Refer to the clutch pedal section for instructions on this.
Now you need to remove part of the exhaust. I usually take it off at the cat back joint
and, the first point with bolts AFTER the two header banks come together. This way you
don’t have to remove as many bolts. These bolts may be VERY seized with heat and
rust. Use your pentrating oil and let it soak in. It’s a good idea to do this at the start
actually. You may find that a 15mm slips on the bolts, if that is the case a 14mm may be
hammered onto the nut. Worst case, the studs will spin. If this happens you have no
choice but to cut the bolts off. Using a hacksaw will probably work but will take all day.
A die grinder/angle grinder with a cut off wheel is far better. Even a dremel tool with a
good diamond cutoff wheel will probably do the job. When replacing the bolts, go with
stainless and some anti-seize to prevent this from happening again. You may also have
to replace the gaskets. In fact.. im going to add that to the parts list. Remove the two
bolts that secure the power steering cooler to the car. Let it simply dangle down for now.
At this point, the crossmember should be ready to drop. This is far easier said then done
unfortunately. You see, there are four bolts holding the crossmember up. The one on
the rear left side happens to like to sit and spin on most cars. If this happens, you will
need to cut a hole in the floor board from the inside of the car in order to get a socket on
the nut whish is INSIDE of the uni-body. It MAY be possible to use an impact to get it
to come loose without getting a socket on the nut. Its worth a try anyways. Now, if you
can’t get it to loosen without spinning. You need to go inside the car and crawl under the
dash. Pull back the carpet. You will probably need to remove the plastic kick panels on
the left side to get the carpet to lift up and back toward the drivers seat. Now, you need
to attempt to guess where you need to drill the hole. There really isn’t a way to KNOW
where the nut is on the back… you just have to make a good guess at it. Look at the
pictures from my installation to get an idea. Use a large hole saw… at least 1.5” After
you drill the hole… use your finger as a guide to see where the nut is. Remember… the
metal will be sharp and HOT so don’t touch the edges.. just find the nut. You may have
to drill a second hole, I did. I THINK it’s a ¾” socket that fits on this nut. You must
use deepwell here too. Have a bud hold the nut and attack the bolt from below. They
are 13/16”. Use ½” drive on these bolts, they are big and need the trourqe of a breaker
bar or impact. Do not remove the bolts all the way now, just get them broke loose. Now,
look things over. Look at the crossmember and try to find wires or anything else still
attached to it. Spend a little time now and save a lot of trouble later. When all looks
good, have you an some help get under the crossmember and hold up on it while you and
he remove the large bolts. The crossmember is heavy… don’t let it crush you…its about
60lbs or more I figure.. maybe closer to 100lbs. Have an assistant guide the power
steering lines down and out of the engine bay area. Don’t worry, they fit.
Now your crossmember is out. At this point if you have sufficient good help, you can put
them about the task of moving parts over to the mtx crossmember. The lower control
arms obviously need to be moved over. They are self explanatory. Its always good
practice to Loctite any bolts that should NEVER fall out… like these. Use judgment
when using Loctite. Its good in most cases on suspension parts that would be disastorous
if they were to come loose. If the stock nut is a nylock, you really don’t NEED Loctite..
but a drop wont hurt. The rack and pinion need to be moved too. DEFINATLY Loctite
those bolts that secure the rack and pinion. The A/C accumulator bracket must be moved
over also. This all should be self explainitory. If its on the atx crossmember it needs to
go to the mtx crossmember.
Next is the trans itself. If you haven’t already done so, get the starter out of the car.
Unplug all the electrical connections from the atx. There are two up top and two on
bottom. Disconnect the atx shifter linkage from the trans. Tie back the linkage out of the
way for now. Now comes the messy part. The atx has lines going up to the radiator for
cooling of tranny fluid. They need to come out. Disconnect them from the radiator and
the trans. Make SURE you use a wrench on both the compression nut and the bulkhead
nut. You don’t want to spin the bulkhead nuts out. After this is done, clean up the mess
and put the lines in the trash pile .
Now, you need to remove the tourqe converter from the flex plate. To do this… you
must remove the rubber cap in the oil pan. It will come out and allow you to see the flex
plate. Use a big flat blade screwdriver to turn the flex plate by jamming it between the
case and the teeth of the plate. Go slow and try to not cut things up too much. There are
four nuts to find. Use a 13mm on each. MAKE SURE YOU COUNT FOUR. Now, the
trans should be ready to come out. Use a 13mm on all the bolts that connect the bell
houseing to the engine. Leave the top TWO bolts in for now. There is one 15mm bolt in
the front. Make sure you get them all… search high and low… some even go through
the oil pan. The trans is now ready to come out of the car. If you are so blessed as to
posess a trans jack, use it under the tranny to support the weight. The atx weights A LOT
more then the mtx… A LOT. If you don’t have a trans jack, get yourself a dolly or a
skateboard or something to that effect and put it under the atx. Now, lower the car down
as much as you can. I used a lift when I did this so I was able to lower the trans right
down onto the skate. IF you have wood blocks or something to hold the front end off the
ground just enough that nothing but the trans dangles down to the skate that would be
ideal. Be careful, take you time and don’t do anything stupid like let the car fall down on
the ground. Remember that without the crossmember there is NO place up front to jack
from. You have to use the drip edges directly behind the front wheels where the bolt is in
the fender. Alternately, you can use the unibody rails as long as you put a 2x4 on the flat
across them first because a floor jack will bend them.
At this point, one way or another you have the tranny safely supported. Remove the final
two bolts and tug a little on the trans. It should pop free. If it binds up anywhere, you
may have to adjust the engine brace and let it tilt down. Once its loose… either lower
the trans or raise the car. Basically do whatever it takes to get that piece of crap out of
Now its not quite half done~~~!!!!! Woo hoo! Go ahead and jump inside the car now.
Its time to remove that cursed atx shifter. You need to start by removing the center
console. There are some screws down in the little glove box area. There are some
screws behind the ashtray/cig lighter also. You may have to remove the center kick
panels to get at them. I don’t exactly remember to be honest… Anyway, there is a set
screw in the shifter knob, back that out and the shifter knob will pull strait up and off the
shift post. It has some wires going to the O/D switch. Unless you plan on using or
selling the knob just pull hard to rip them out because there is no disconnect…. Its very
strange really. The e-brake should already be all the way up. The gear indicator panel
pops out of the console. It will lift up and off. When that area is open, lift up on the rear
of the console and pull the vinyl e-brake boot off the handle. It’s a balancing act I know
but it will come off. Just focus on getting the rear of the console up high and toward the
front of the car and it will lift off. Set the console aside someplace outside the car.
Remove the atx shift tower from the car. There are 4 nuts on the underside of the car iirc.
You will have to remove the heat shields from the exhaust tunnel at least back that far.
You need them off anyways to get the shift linkage for the mtx in. Unplug the electrical
connector from the shifter and set the shifter in the pass side. You may need it later.
Now its time to figure out how the mtx linkage goes in… this is not fun. There is a little
rubber door covering the tunnel that the cables go in. Pop it out and toss it. Now.. you
need to try to run the cables through that tunnel from INSIDE the car. Never mind the
bulkhead on the cables, there is no way to attach it without gutting half the interior. You
need to concentrate on pushing the cables through the tunnel with out them getting stuck.
You may need to poke and push them a bit. Use a flashlight to help you. They fit… they
don’t look like they do but they do. Make sure you stager the ends so they don’t bunch
up too much. After the linkage is through you can install the mtx shift tower in the same
place as the atx was. There is no adjustment on the connection of the linkage inside the
car. Just pop them on and slide the barrel looking pieces into there places in the tower.
They rotate to lock into place. In the engine bay, tie the cables UP and out of the way
Now you can attack the flex plate. Either use an impact or jam the flex plate to keep the
crank from turning. Remove the bolts and set them aside, keep them clean from dirt.
The real fun begins now. You need to remove the bearing from the crank. Its pressed in
and wont come out easily. You can try a pilot bearing puller.. but everyone that has tried
has just broken the jaws… Your best bet is the rotary file. Cut a notch into the bushing.
BE CAREFUL. If you cut to far you will get into the crank itself. Take it close and just
break out the rest. You need to actually remove a piece of the bushing to get it to come
out. A notch of about ¼”or better is needed. So make two cuts about that far apart with
the rotary file. Use a tool to pry out that piece you cut. You may have to hit it with a
chisel and hammer. Once you have a notch, you can hit the edges of the bushing to try
to bend it inward on itself. It may also help to try to get it to spin inside of the crank.
Once it spins its only a bit more work before it will come out. Be careful doing this.
Don’t use excessive force. The crank is forged steel but the bearings don’t like the loads
you are putting on them. Btw. Whoever told you to just grind it flat is kind of nuts, just
get the damn bushing out of the crank and do this job right.
Once you have the bearing out you are on the home stretch. Install the flywheel. Hand
thread the bolts as much as you can and tighten them in order. Obviously, do on side
then the opposite then the bolt 90° to that one and then opposite of that. Repeat until all 8
are brought up. Use a TOURQE WRENCH for final tightening. Trouqe them in the
same order as before, and check the torque THREE TIMES so you are SURE you didn’t
forget to bring one up. Now you can install the clutch. The disc goes in first and then the
pressure plate. Make sure you use the clutch alignment tool that came with your clutch.
If you didn’t get one… you need to do it by hand. You should be able to have an
assistant hold the disc to center while you install the pressure plate. Make sure the
screws you got are the correct length. You should have tested this before the day of the
install. Apply Loctite to these bolts. They are only torqued to 23ft/lbs.. so they need
something else to hold them. Its VITAL that you are certain the pressure plate is
bottomed out onto the flywheel before you tighten the bolts. The dowel pins on the
flywheel may hold the pressure plate away from the flywheel some. It’s okay to tap the
pressure plate with a dull chisel to set it all the way onto the dowels. Bingo, clutch
successfully installed. Oh yes, make sure you follow normal circular tightening order
just like the flywheel.
You can now take a moment to install the slave cylinder onto the transmission. Make
sure to CLEAN the surface on the trans side. NOTHING can be there… use brake clean
or carb clean. The slave cylinder has a seal on it. It may be advisable to apply some
RTV to the seal before installing to ensure a good seal. I’m not 100% sure what ford
recommends. You may want to ask a technision at the dealer what they think. Tourqe
the 3 bolts VERY EASILY. They only need to be snuged up. Consult tourqe specs for
sure but they DO strip out quite easily. This is obviously BAD when it happens. Helicoil
city baby. Take it easy and use a ¼” ratchet to keep you from overtigtening if you don’t
have a small enough tourqe wrench.
Now go check out the crossmember. It should be all ready to install. Check everything
else now too. Just make a good once over of everything and think about everything that’s
going on. Make sure of everything… just take some time… that’s usually what helps to
find potential problems.
The tranny should be ready for install. This is usually accomplished by someone getting
under the car with the tranny on their chest and hoisting it up into place. I know this
sounds bad but I’ve done it 10 or so times now… its not that bad. The more people you
have helping the better. Make sure the tranny is in neutral. The large counterweighted
piece should be in the center posision and the smaller selector should already be there.
Just check to be sure. Hoist the tranny up into place. If it doesn’t clear the fender area,
lower the engine more. It will clear. Have someone else push the tranny toward the
right. Whoever is on the bottom should just try to hold the weight up so that the shaft
doesn’t bind. After some time it will slide up to the alignment pins. You may need to
either push hard or tap LIGHTLY with a dead blow to get the pins to go in. DO NOT
use the bolts to bring up the tranny. The tabs WILL break off if you use them to bring up
the trans. Once you bring up the tranny you can safely install the bolts. One bolt on the
top will safely hold the tranny in place and give the man on the bottom a chance to
breath. Install all the bolts CAREFULLY. Start at the top and work down and NEVER
use the bolt to close the gap. Use a pry bar or hammer or people pushing to get the trans
to sit flush against the engine. I can’t stress enough how important it is to not stress the
tabs. Be especially careful with the bolts that go through the oil pan. Those tend to pop
the oil pan causing leaks if you bring them up to much.
Well, now you should have the tranny all up and ready to rock. Install the 3 studs into
the top of the trans. Use a 8mm, or 5/16” to bottom the studs into the case. Take care not
to strip them… just bring them up. Install your new left side engine/trans mount. Install
the 3 bolts into the chassis. You will probably have to hold the nut on the backside of the
center bolt. The others should come up nicely. Be sure to tourqe them up tight, use a ½”
drive to do it right. Mounts should NOT come loose… that would be bad em kay. You
may find you need to raise, lower, kick, pry, prod, or just all out push on the engine and
trans to get them to line up with the mount. Use your engine brace to bring up the
engine and trans into where is LOOKS like it should go. Take care not to crush anything
here… go slow no rush. The 3 studs will go up and through the holes in the mount if
you have everything lined up… if not keep trying… it will eventually line up. Put nuts
on the studs but DO NOT tighten them yet. Just bring them up to the Nylock section an
no further. This is also an excellent time to install the starter, that hole in the trans is
BEGGING for something to fall into it.. If something does… get it out.. pronto. Try to
use the access door in the oil pan if nesasary.
If it hasn’t already been done, you should now move all the parts from the old
crossmember to the new one. Make sure you put the crossmember side tranny mounts
on BEFORE you install the crossmember. Also, and only because I forgot this somehow
when doing mine, don’t forget to install the swaybar BEFORE you go installing the
crossmember!~!!!!! You have no idea how difficult it is to get it in while the
crossmember is installed…. Don’t ask.
Now that things are mostly in their place… its time to muscel the crossmember assembly
into place. You can use a piece of 2x4 wood with another piece screwed to it, to make a
sort of a crossmember jack. Take the crossmember assembly and lay it down flat on the
ground. Now take a 2x4 and place it WITH THE WIDTH of the crossmember… like the
way the half shafts run. Now, keep it parallel to the axle line and find the ballence point
of the crossmember. That is the point were neither the front or the back of the piece are
touching the ground. In this posistion it will jack up and not tip over as easily. Now,
take a pencil and scribe a line onto the 2x4 on each side of the crossmembers main bar.
What you need is a way to keep the crossmember from moving once you put it on the
ballence point. What you will end of with is 2 2x4’s screwed together. The piece on the
top will have two notches cut out for the crossmember to lay in. Get it? Ill try to get a
pic. Esentially after you cut the wood you will screw together FOUR pieces… its going
to look like this from the top down |||||\ \||||||||||||/ /|||||||| The blank spaces there are
where the crossmember will lay. Use a jigsaw or whatever else you have to cut along
the lines you marked on the wood earlier. Screw it all together and you will have a pretty
nice crossmember jack 
Use your new tool to raise the crossmember into its approximate place. You will have to
force it past the exhaust a bit… take care to line up the steering also. As you push up the
crossmember, you must also take the time to run the power steering lines up and through
the back of the engine area. Take care in routeing, pay close attention to where they are
before you remove them and this will be easier. The power steering cooler can also get in
the way a bit. The shifter cables can also get in the way, tie them up over the trans. The
blue crossmember bolts go into the back. You MUST have all the bolts in before you
tighten anything. Bring them all up and THEN tighten them. Give them all you have
with a ½” drive or an air impact. Don’t be stupid and strip them out but they should be
very tight.
Now you can install the mounting brackets to the trans. The back one has a screw that
can be hell to get at. Give it time or use a u-joint. An open end or 12 point box end
wrench will work… albeit very slow… After you have the mounts all installed go ahead
and try to put the large bolts through. You may find that you need to pry and prod the
engine or move the engine brace adjustments to get it to line up. Once this is done,
bring up the 3 nuts on the left side mount. Go back now, and re-tighten all the bolts to
spec. Check twice at least.
You should now be able to safely remove the engine brace. Don’t forget to remove the
hook from the backside of the engine… don’t laugh but mine was accidently left on my
engine for like 3 months. I’m fairly sure S0uLfly has the other one still too….
Reconect the power steering lines. Try to loose as little fluid as possible obviously.
Reattach the cooler to the crossmember. You can now also connect the shifter linkage.
The linkage just snaps onto the trans side. Make sure you get the bracket onto the trans,
two 15mm nuts I believe. This will ensure proper routing of the cables. Once the cables
are snaped into place, use a flat blade to pop UP the little red boxes on each linkage.
Have an assistant hold the shifter dead center. There is a tool to hold it dead center but I
do not have the part number… I don’t even know if the dealer will sell it to you even if I
did. Anyway, hold it center. Eyeball the left right of it, but look to the reverse lockout
block for a reference to up down center. The shifter should clear the lockout knock just
barely, but enough so that it wont hit on a 4-5 shift obviously. When you have it dead
center, make sure the trans is in neutral. This is when the large weighted piece on the
linkage is in center posistion and the other side is also in center position… You actually
can help but to have it in center because its spring loaded, but check to be sure. With the
red boxes poped up, you should be able to move the cables(with the shifter) without
moving the trans parts at all, that is unless you REALLY move the shifter a lot… the
adjustment is for dead center only… When you think its right, lock down the red boxes.
You may have to use a pliars or channel locks to get it to lock in. You will know when it
locks down into place firmly because it will sit flush again. Now, sit in the car and try
the gearbox out. Don’t push or pull too hard but go through the gears and make certain
you can hit reverese without lifting the lockout. Every gear should go in easily without
too much force. Have an assistant do this and watch the trans side of the linkage. Make
sure the heavy weighted piece is falling completely into place.
Excitement is building  We are getting close. Now is the time for the little things.
You should be able to safely install the halfshafts now. Take care not to damage the diff
seals when inserting the splines into the diff. The splines can be coated with a bit of ATF
if they are too tight going in. You may even have to push on them a bit. Try not to let
the half shaft pull out of the end… it can and will come all the way out and that can tear
the boot… be careful and if it does pop out it can always be pushed back in . The right
side should slide in VERY easy. The left side with the lock ring may take some
convincing. NEVER hit the shaft with anything. Use only your hands on the inside part
an push. It may help to turn the shaft a bit too. Try it in neutral and in a gear… usually
neutral works best though. Don’t forget to install the 13mm nuts onto the bracket for the
halfshaft on the right side.
Now you can install the half shafts into the hubs. Coat the half shafts with anti-seize.
Brush it on and give it a nice even coat. No globs, they will just ooze out everywhere,
just a nice even layer on the splines is what you want. You may also want to use a wire
brush on the hub side to clean up the spines a bit. They sell toothbrush size wire brushes
that are ideal for this. You may want to anti sieze this side too a bit. Sometimes they can
be very tight going into the hubs. There are some tricks you can do to help you get them
in. Be careful though, the threads on the hub ends are very fine and will bugger up easy.
If the shaft will go into the hub but not all the way, but its out enough to get a few threads
of a nut on it, you can take an old half shaft nut and put it on upside down. You will
maybe have to break off the washer and the tabs so you can get a socket on that end.
Make sure you can hand tighen at least 3 threads of so… at least so its good and in
there… now take your impact and use it and the nut to pull the shaft into the hub… do
not tighten it all the way… just enough so that a nut right side up with the washer on it
can get good threads. You may also be able to use a nut right side up from the start, it
just depends on how tight a fit you have on your hub really. Use the impact to bring the
nut all the way up. Spec is around 190ft/lbs which is VERY tight and will require you to
basicly lean all your weight on a ½ tourque wrench to achieve. A good impact will have
a published max torque, remember though that most impacts have much more tourqe in
reverse so check carefully… basically its impolsible to strip the nut or shaft so give it
your all. If you don’t have an impact you will have to remember to re tourqe the axles
with the car on the ground since one side at least will just spin if you try with a wrench…
and impact will work fast enough to override that.
Now with both shafts in you an reassemble to suspension. Reinstall the ball joins. You
will have to really push down on the control arm to get it to line up but it will go.
Push/pull on the strut to get it to pop into place. Tighten the bolt and nut to spec to lock
in the ball joint. Connect the sway bar end link and the tie rod. The sway bar end link
has a “nut” on the back side that you can put an 11/16” wrench on to keep from spinning.
The tie rods do not have this.. they may sit and spin in which case you can either try to
put a bunch of weight on them from the top and hope the catch or you can use an impact.
The impact should bring it up nicely. No need for super force here, just tighten them up
as much as you can and let the nylocks hold them.
Now you can reconnect the steering. Refer to the earlier mention of this procedure. Test
the steering to be sure. Reconnect the bumper support bars to the crossmember. 8mm
bolts here. With the half shafts in, you an now add the trans fluid. The drain plug is in
the front. You will need a funnel with a hose on the end and some sort of tip to fit into
the fluid add hole. Its strange but its at a 90° angle. Add 2.5 quarts of ATF and half the
bottle of friction modifier. Don’t worry, it will mix later. If you removed the battery
tray, you can reinstall it now. Place the battery back into place and reconnect the positive
at least… leave the negative safely off for now. Reinstall the exhaust pieces you
removed. I recommend new gaskets obviously but they should be able to be reused.
New stainless steel hardware while expensive is also a big plus. Anti seizing them will
ensure easy removal next time. A bit of lube on the rubber hangers make them install a
bit easier.
Now you need to address the fact that without the tranny there to tell the eec that its in
park or neutral, the car will not start. To do this, look for large electrical connector that
used to go into the tranny. Find the black and yellow wires and join them together with a
good butt end connector. Tape it off with electrical tape and make it neat. Don’t go too
far we just want the car to start for now. With the trans full and the lines to everything
reconnected, you can test start the car. First put the wheel on though because our
floating rotors can tear up your pads without them on. Just put two nuts on and snug
them up. Reconnect the battery and hop in. Turn the key to on for a second and let the
eec have a second to itself to take it all in. Start her up. Umm… I shouldn’t have to say
this but you should have your foot on the clutch. Shift to 1, release the clutch like a
normal launch… you shouldn’t need to give it gas… but if it by some miracle stalls give
it a little. Let the clutch out slowly and you should be fine. Go through the gears… 1-23-4-5. Hit the brake to stop the wheels and try out reverse. Once you verify that all is
well, turn the car off and disconnect the battery again.
Now its finishing touches mostly. Reinstall the center console. Try to see if the ignition
will let you remove the key without the atx shifter pluged in. It may or may not. I don’t
really know right now why it does or doesn’t work in some situations… or worse yet why
mine didn’t work before and works fine now… I really cant say.
Now you need to get rid of the 4500 rpm rev limiter. At the same connector as you cut
and spliced before, cut the white wire with a green stripe and the green wire with the
yellow stripe. Use solder to attach the resistor to each wire on one end. There is no
polarity on a resistor.(well.. there sort of is but it doesn’t matter here) Bingo, no more rev
limiter. You have no idea how long this took for me to figure out. I played with the
shifter for days and stared at wireing diagrams until my brain poped and I finally realized
the error of my ways. Just do this like I’ve said and reap the rewards of my labor 
Now on to the vehicle speed sensor. Take the sensor and cut the connector off it.
Connect a 3’ length of wire to each. Red for the () wire, Black for the () wire, and some
other color for the () wire. Use electrical tape to wrap them together up to 2’ or so.
Install the sensor into the trans. It lines up then screws right in. Just hand tighten it. Run
the wires up to the BIG electrical junction on the left side strut tower. Here are the
connections we need. Splice into the LARGE green wire with a yellow stripe. You may
have to peel back the loom a bit to see the wires. Use one of those clamp on plastic
connectors that cut into the wire and contact it… this will give you an easy conection
without actually cutting the wire. This is your 12v+ connection for your red wire. Now
you need a ground, you can experiment if you want with finding a good ground wire
somewhere in that block of wires but I didn’t… I used a ring end terminal and attached it
to another chassis ground under the battery tray. Now you need to find the electrical
connector that used to attach to the atx tranny’s VSS. Cut off the connector and strip
back the white wire with a blue stripe. Cut back and tape off the other wire. Splice in a
length of wire that will comfortably run from here up to the work area on the strut tower.
Tape this all off and maybe put it into some loom for neatness. Tie wrap it all up nice
and neat. Neat wires save problems later. Now look at the electrical block on the strut.
Look to the side that goes back into the car not up to the engine. Look for a white wire
with a purple stripe. CUT the wire so that you can splice into the piece that runs back
into the car… the one that is closer to the strut tower. To this wire, splice the wire you
ran up from the OLD VSS header, AND the wire from the NEW VSS. Ignore the other
end of the white and purple wire you cut…. It now goes to nowhere. You are basically
splicing 3 wires togther here. Clean it up and tape it off. Make sure you either solder or
uses solderless crimp type connectors… don’t be lazy and twist them togther or use wire
nuts... they don’t work on cars.