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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have committed to a 2.5L swap into my 2009 2.3L manual hatch. Reason for needing an engine is here: https://www.mazda3forums.com/122-stock-issues/766546-oil-filter-cap-failure-leads-seized-engine.html


I sourced a 2012 2.5L from an Escape. I am trying to follow along various DYI's but given that I am not a mechanic some things are over my head. I did brakes, oil changes, suspension, a singe cam swap once on a Golf, but never did any tranny, engine removals, clutches or other engine work. Hoping there are more experienced folks that can help out.


I am using the following resources as the roadmap (No particular order). KUDOS and Thanks to the folks before me. I would not have attempted this if it was not for these fantastic people that documented their knowledge for others.


http://www.happywrenching.com/mazda/6/mazda-6-and-ford-fusion-23l-engine-swap.html
https://www.mazda3forums.com/61-powertrain-2004-2009-mazda3/758761-tonyguns-2-5-swap-experience.html
https://www.mazda3forums.com/61-powertrain-2004-2009-mazda3/764362-2-3-2-5-lessons-learned-2019-a.html
https://www.mazda3forums.com/61-powertrain-2004-2009-mazda3/692793-how-mazda-ford-2-5l-swap.html
https://www.mazda3forums.com/61-powertrain-2004-2009-mazda3/764604-2007-mazda-3-2-5l-swap-question.html
https://www.mazda3forums.com/61-powertrain-2004-2009-mazda3/647562-04-2-3l-swap-2-5l-successful.html
https://www.mazda3forums.com/123-modifications/587650-06-2-3l-10-2-5-engine-swap.html



My notes on Engine removal:
  • Entire front end is unbolted - went ok. Some don't do it but I decided I wanted the extra working room. Already paid for itself dealing with all the coolant hoses and electrical clips under the Intake manifold.
  • Removal of the coolant hoses -> bit of work as the hose dries onto the plastic ends....I damaged one of the hoses trying to get it off :(
  • Disconnecting the wiring from the engine - that is a pain! Some clips are so hard to get at the release tab! And those clip-in clips that hold the wiring in place are such a royal pain to remove! I spent multiple hours just unclipping. NOT fun at all. Did not count, but I'd guess in total there are about 20 or so connectors, and another 20 of those wire clips to deal with. Under 10 or so grounding wires to remove. I have a few more clips that I have to get to under the engine.
  • Shifter linkage -> How exactly do you remove it? I can't see anything that unclips. Do I just force the end of the cable off the little ball? ANSWER: They just pry off.
  • Clutch actuator (don't know the proper name) -> Do I remove just the two bolts that hold the actuator in place and remove it off the tranny casing or do I actually have to remove the hard line and keep that part on the tranny case? (Sorry not sure why image rotated 90 deg and how to fix it) ANSWER: Removing the bolts worked, No need to disconnect the line.
  • The hose going into top of Manifold (other end into the master cylinder it looks like) -> Is that just a vacuum line and How does that come off - can't figure how that connector works. I can't see any levers or things to push. (Sorry not sure why image rotated 90 deg and how to fix it). ANSWER: Held in by an O-ring, so pulling/prying straight up worked.
  • Exhaust manifold -> Do I need to remove any of the heat shields to get at the bolts? Or is all that done from under the car? ANSWER: Yes, Need to remove heatshield to remove the exhaust manifold. No joint exists in the donwpipe that can be undone like other cars (and the donor engine).


Engine removed:





Random Observations:
[*]Intake Manifold -> Both original and the donor engine intake manifolds are very dirty with oil/exhaust residues.


Mazda 09 2.3L vs 12 Escape 2.5L Observations:

  • Exhaust manifold - Both heads have the same size ports (was expecting 2.5L to be bigger like the intake). Manifold has different shape & different material.

  • Oil Dipstick - longer on Ford.
  • The thing on the side of the block Ford does not have a sensor in it and Mazda does. I guess I'll be swapping this. Anyone know what the sensor is?

  • Front Engine Cover, other than the engine mount bracket (that has the extra stud on it), I can't find any differences. Not planning on swapping but will remove the extra stud.

  • As others have stated, water pulley are different size and need to be swapped.

  • Ford's PVC valve and hose is different. Since I'm using the stock 2.3 intake manifold I plan on using the Mazda's hose. I will buy a new valve just in case as it is hard to get to replace later. Purple valve is Ford.

  • The thermostat cover pipes are different. Mazda's are longer, Ford is shorter. But I'm not changing them. UPDATE: Ford's won't work as the hose kits the alternator. Turned out the angle is also different. Had to swap out to the Mazda one.

  • Oil filters are different. Since the Mazda cartridge cover wrecked my current engine (see https://www.mazda3forums.com/122-stock-issues/766546-oil-filter-cap-failure-leads-seized-engine.html), I'm using the old school can that comes on the Ford. Will use the Mazda sensor.

  • VVT Solenoid plug points the other way on the ford (towards center of valve cover). Plan to use Ford's unless existing wiring won't reach, then will swap for the Mazda one.

  • Oil Pickup is different (Mazda goes deeper than and in a slightly different location). Mazda is the thin one, Ford is the thick one. Last picture shows a caliper set to the Mazda height, so it shows how much shallower the ford one is.



  • Spark plugs look the same but part numbers are different. I'm going to take a chance on the Ford ones (buying new ones). Ford on the left.
  • Coil Packs. Mazda is 3-pin square ones, Ford is 2-pin round ones. Plan on using Mazda ones due to existing harness and use of the Mazda valve cover.
  • Injectors are different (black on Ford, Blue on Mazda). Plan on using the Ford ones.
  • Valve Cover is different, well covered in the above links so not covering here. I am buying a new Valve cover gasket and re-using the Mazda one.
  • Oil Pan & Intake manifold is different, well covered in the above links so not covering here.
Other Side projects that I need to deal with:


  • Side motor mount was ripped in half - looked at it many times but I guess you can't tell with engine's weight on it. So replacing all the mounts
  • Clutch and flywheel look done so might as well replace now

  • My front heat shield is completely disintegrated (you can see the insulation-like scrap on the side of the pipe. Will be replacing with new shield.

  • Could not stand the salty residue on the block. So spend a day wire wheeling, taping, de-greasing and painting the head, block and oil pan.
Next up

  • Move all the components from old engine to new and prep for re-install
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
This week I prepped the new engine:

  • I used a tap to clean the threads in the block and wire-brushed all bolts to prevent damage and cross threading. Turns out about 10% of the holes did have significant salt residue in there. Make sure to blow out the little bits out with one of the compressed air. (I used one of the cans used for keyboards)
  • I cleaned any gasket surfaces with steel wool.
  • New parts I bought:
    • valve cover gasket (mine was really hard and cracked during uninstall)
    • New PVC valve (because it is hard to get to later)
    • oil filter
    • motor mounts
    • spark plugs (donor engine specs)
    • clutch kit and flywheel and flywheel bolts
    • new bolts for exhaust related parts (mine were really bad, replaced with stainless)
    • new crank bolt
    • new rad hose (since I damaged one of mine during uninstall)
    • new AC belt (had to cut mine off)
  • Swapped the oil pickup and oil pan (see diffs in fist post)
  • Kept ford cog (same as my 2.3L)
  • Kept ford VVT (connector points the other way - see diffs in first post). Re-used the ford's VVT gasket and it fit without issues into the 2.3 valve cover (with new gasket)
  • Swapped the water pump pulley
  • Before I messed with timing, I added sever reference marks on the flywheel side....just in case
  • Bought a pulley holder on amazon but it did not work. So don't buy this:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VFJZ4CV/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    It would not fit into the pulley slots. So I had to improvise so I propped a prybar on one of the teeth. Risky yes....but it worked. No damage to teeth. I had help, one person holding the bar and keeping an eye on teeth, the other wrenching the bolt.

  • Make sure you position the crank sensor according to manual (middle of 5th tooth counting counter clockwise while the timing bolt is still in). No one mentioned this before and for a newb like me, this was not an obvious step (I was just going to bolt it where the holes fit). I found this alignment procedure in the manual by accident when looking for torque specs for bolts. I scribed the midpoint using a small scredriver.
  • Had to swap out the thermostat housing to Mazda's. The one on the Escape ended up not working (top pic). It was shorter and at a different angle making the hose hit the alternator.

  • Intake Manifold gasket. Bough one off e-bay. It came with a paper gasket.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/202719161810
    It was not a 100% fit. At the bottom, it was a little constrictive relative to the manifold (ie, protruding into the air flow) so I filed it down on an angle to make it more a funnel into the larger ports on the head.

    I also using a blade cut the paper gasket to make it larger as well, also on an angle to make a smooth path into the ports. I don't know if you can tell on the pic, but the top is after making the gasket larger (it is more circular) than the bottom port (which is more oval).

    This picture shows now the smooth flow into the head's ports, where before it was a like a step with a speed bump. Only the bottom needed the modifications, sides and top were flush.

    Lastly, given the thick paper, you have to go back and re-toque the bolts after waiting a bit. It seems to compress and every time I rechecked the torque, the bolts burned more meaning the gasket kept on compressing and releasing the torque.
  • Finished engine:

  • Tunnel heat shield replacement (side project): As you can see, mine was disintegrated beyond recognition. I was not able to slip it in over the downpipe/exhaust manifold without breaking the new part, so I had to remove the downpipe/exhaust to get the new shield on the car.

  • Clutch & Tranny Assembly: My donor was from an automatic and my Mazda is manual. As such, I did not have to remove any pilot bearings just put a new one in. I did not replace any of the main seals as they looked just fine on the new donor engine. My Sachs clutch kit came with the wrong clutch release bearing - had to go back to the store and exchange for proper one. My car had the one with the ears on it. Other than that, all assembled just fine.
  • Engine is back in the car! Now have to go through and connect up all the hoses, electrical connections, axles and other bits....maybe this week I'll get to finish and see if it starts.
Connections:

  • While connecting the starter, I noticed the PVC hose not connected in the back of the Intake Manifold. It is hard to miss and easily forgotten. So write that down on your list to check before you put on too much stuff back.
  • Turns out the VVT on the 2012 has a different connector, not just that it points the other way. Wanted to swap out the VVT, but that won't work as they are totally different. NEED HELP SOLVING THIS. I do not have a connector off the donor motor wiring harness. Mazda's on right.
    UPDATE: After some research and trail and error, I bought a (Motocraft WPT1251) connector and it appeared to be correct one. I spliced into the existing harness. I oriented the old connector and new one the same way and made sure the wire went to the same pin.
Final check and starting:

I did once over and spotted a few connected that were not all the way in and a few hoses who's clamps were not on. This was due to me trying figure out where things go and did not connect fully in case I needed to re-route things (especially around the wires/hoses that tuck into the radiator support). So do a final check! Filled coolant reservoir with water as I want do a flush (since old engine used green coolant and donor engine had orange coolant).



I then checked the clutch, and if was very soft and would not come up. I guess all the moving around created air in the system and I had to bleed that.


I cranked the car over a few times with coil packs disconnected and after it started up the first time. No smoke, no drips, no engine lights. I ran it for a while to make sure fan kicked in, went up and down the street no issues.



So once a drain the coolant, I can put the bumper, lights and hood back on and see how it goes over time.
 

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This is good stuff. I have subscribed to your thread and will see if I can assist with some of your queries. The documentation you're providing is valuable. Pics, pics, and MOAR PICS!

Can't wait to see how this turns out.
 

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Yes!! I have the 2.3L with "spotty reliability" quoted by shipo..
I already did the oil filter housing conversion, but if my motor ever blows up, I won't hesitate to swap in a 2.5L and will definitely use this thread
 

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It's actually pretty easy. I'm still in the process of completing the car, but the 2.5 is running in my 2005 3s. Biggest thing I can say is remember what goes to what. I'm used to dropping small/big blocks in chevys and oldsmobiles, so the wiring was a little different for me, but I labeled everything with tapes and numbers so it wasn't too bad.

Question: did you change the exhaust(?) camshaft or swap the timing cog? I don't see anything about that in the post. The 2.5 has a slightly different shaped cog that the sensor picks up. The cog has to be the original one so the stock ECU can recognize the timing. Wanna make sure you do that before putting it in all the way.

Also, There was a timer tool I had to use. Now, forgive me, it's been about a year or so since I swapped, so I don't remember exactly what it was. It was basically a purple rod that fitted into either the crank or cam to properly bench time it when the take the camshaft out.

I found that I had to use the stock oil pan and use the new valve cover, which means I have two dipsticks. The reason I had to use the Ford's valve cover is because the Variable Valve Timing Solenoid did not fit with the old cover. But mine is a 2005 changed to 2010, so you might be different.

The intake manifold was fun. I dunno about your newer one, but I had to remove the locating dowels in the stock intake manifold so that I could shift it just a bit. The ports on the intake are just slightly bigger and the stock manifold would't cover it completely.

Let me know if I'm just beating a dead horse or if I'm helping any!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Let me know if I'm just beating a dead horse or if I'm helping any!
A lot of these point you mentioned do not apply to my 2009. That is one of the reasons I started this thread, as it is actually easier than the older years that almost all other videos and threads cover. It was overwhelming for me at first, but doing an 08/09 and maybe an 07 is easier as there is less to do. Your point's aren't a waste, will probably help others in the future.[/QUOTE]


Biggest thing I can say is remember what goes to what. I'm used to dropping small/big blocks in chevys and oldsmobiles, so the wiring was a little different for me, but I labeled everything with tapes and numbers so it wasn't too bad.
Agreed. I started to label things, but given the amount of it, I gave up just get things moving along. I may regret it shortly....



Question: did you change the exhaust(?) camshaft or swap the timing cog? I don't see anything about that in the post. The 2.5 has a slightly different shaped cog that the sensor picks up. The cog has to be the original one so the stock ECU can recognize the timing. Wanna make sure you do that before putting it in all the way.
I just got to working on the engine part this week and about to update the thread with it. No need to mess anything on the '09. The cog is the same between '12 Escape 2.5 and '09 2.3.


Also, There was a timer tool I had to use. Now, forgive me, it's been about a year or so since I swapped, so I don't remember exactly what it was. It was basically a purple rod that fitted into either the crank or cam to properly bench time it when the take the camshaft out.
Yes, Still needed when swapping out the crank pulley. I bought one of these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YVLA0DG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


I found that I had to use the stock oil pan and use the new valve cover, which means I have two dipsticks. The reason I had to use the Ford's valve cover is because the Variable Valve Timing Solenoid did not fit with the old cover. But mine is a 2005 changed to 2010, so you might be different.
I did change the valve covers and oil pans. The Fords VVT fits fine into the 2.3 cover using the fords VVT gasket. I still end up with one dip stick.


The intake manifold was fun. I dunno about your newer one, but I had to remove the locating dowels in the stock intake manifold so that I could shift it just a bit. The ports on the intake are just slightly bigger and the stock manifold would't cover it completely.
I used one of the adapter plates from e-bay and it was a bolt on for me.


https://www.mazda3forums.com/61-powertrain-2004-2009-mazda3/647562-04-2-3l-swap-2-5l-successful.html
Here is the forum that really helped me years ago, in case you didn't have it already.
Yes! One of the resources I have been using! Thank you!!!
 

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Thanks. Didn't think there was any interest on here, but since you asked, I added "MOAR" pics.
Those are awesome. Many thanks!
 

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Glad everything is going pretty well, and glad that this seems like a little easier swap.

I'm sure you'll be fine with the wiring connectors. Most are different size/shape, and located so that you can figure it out relatively well. Also, you seemed to take quite a bit of pictures, so that'll hopefully help ya out (I didn't).

I opted out of using the adapter plate mostly for the reason you stated above and price. I didn't want to spend the approx $100 (I think) for something I knew I could make work by shifting it and using RTV to seal it. So far so good.

Unfortunate the tool you bought didn't work. Mine worked just fine. Curious.

I haven't flashed the ECU yet, and I haven't taken mine on the road yet. It is still sitting on stands. I plan on upgrading the suspension since it's halfway take apart anyway. So I can't say much after you swap it in. But please feel free to ask anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My adapter plate was $35, so not significant. How did you move the dowels? That seems like a big and difficult job and don't see how you'd do that.... maybe push out the metal bushing in the intake manifold, make the hole bigger, reposition the bushing and fill in the empty space with JB weld?



I was planning on using stock tuning, but if the car runs well and a tune is cheap enough, I may consider it. I would not dyno tune mine, but go for a mail reflash if available. I'm running a K&N cone filter instead of all the air box boxes.... Got any links/info on the flashes?
 

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I believe there were ideas of mail-in company's in that thread I posted that you said you were using. The reason why a flash is recommended (not exactly necessary) is that the fuel ration has parameters. The 2.5 just right on the edge of those parameters. For the most part, it will run fine. I've heard of some people experiencing issues every once in awhile until re-flashed.

Yes, I removed the locating dowels then just used the larger holes to shift it. I think I might have had to enlarge them to get it seal correctly. I didn't use the dowels anymore and didn't fill in the extra space. Just made sure I had it tighten down and RTV.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thank you - I thought that there may have been another thread with more specifics on the ECU tuning options for the swaps...I guess not.

I just updated my original thread with this weeks updates....engine is finally back in, now connect everything back up. But I'm stuck!

Turns out the VVT on the 2012 has a different connector, not just that it points the other way. Wanted to swap out the VVT, but that won't work as they are totally different. I do not have a connector off the donor motor wiring harness to splice like other posts suggest.

Searched the internet for a while and I found just one blog that listed a potential part number:
https://walter-motorsports.com/technical-information/f/nc-mx-5-25l-swap-info (Motocraft WPT1251)
But from the picture of this plug on amazon, I'm not that convinced. CAN ANYONE CONFIRM?

UPDATE. Searched Rockauto and for my donor motor (2012) they VVT and connector look like the one from my Mazda: https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=5413713&cc=1501934&jsn=2413&jsn=2413

So I searched the next year (2013) and the connector come us as WPT1251 (matching the blog post): https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=3971931&cc=1503981&jsn=2616 I guess I'll but this one and see if it works.


Not sure why the VVT on my donor is different.... late model year change?

Also, can't find any detail on splicing, there are 2 wires, does it matter which one goes where on the wiring harness? Would not want to wire it backwards like an electric motor that spins backwards instead of forwards. CAN ANYONE CONFIRM WHICH PIN GOES TO WHICH COLOR WIRE ON HARNESS?


Mazda's VVT on right in the picture.


The plug on wiring harness:

The plug on the Ford's VVT:
 

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There are several swap threads on this forum. Did you review any of them? About a year or two ago, one member made an outstanding cross-reference list of which year & parts combos work best. Again, it's here (somewhere) and it may be a great guide for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
So I bought a (Motocraft WPT1251) connector and it appeared to be correct one. I spliced into the existing harness. Since no one was able to help me with the connections, I oriented the old connector and new one the same way and made sure the wire went to the same pin. I guess it seemed to have worked.


I did once over and spotted a few connected that were not all the way in and a few hoses who's clamps were not on. This was due to me trying figure out where things go and did not connect fully in case I needed to re-route things (especially around the wires/hoses that tuck into the radiator support). So do a final check! Filled coolant reservoir with water as I want do a flush (since old engine used green coolant and donor engine had orange coolant).

I then checked the clutch, and if was very soft and would not come up. I guess all the moving around created air in the system and I had to bleed that.

I cranked the car over a few times with coil packs disconnected and after it started up the first time. No smoke, no drips, no engine lights. I had some smoke coming from the exhaust manifold. Thought it was a leak but I had no smoke from the tail pipe. After about 10 mins it moved to front of engine. I think it is just the engine paint or anti-seize on the bolts getting burned off a bit... I ran it for a while to make sure fan kicked in, no issues.

Drained the water, put in the G05 (donor engine spec coolant), put the bumper, lights and hood back. Went for a short ride and all seemed to be good. Time will tell. Maybe it had a little more grunt mid-range, top end seems about the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
There are several swap threads on this forum. Did you review any of them?
Thanks. Yes I have read many forums and YouTube videos (and I have posted the links to all the resources I used in my posts). If I am asking questions in my thread, it is either because it was not covered in other threads or my case is different. Also, many threads assume mechanics or people with more knowledge than I and some things are common knowledge to them but not me as I lack the experience. This is my first engine removal, clutch change project ever.



I would have not even attempted this project if it was not for the great folks that shared their knowledge and experiences before me. So KUDOS to all of you that came before me and I hope my thread helps build up the knowledge sharing library for others.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Been searching the internet for over an hour and can't find the answer... what antifreeze (coolant) to run.


Original 09 2.3L uses the green Dexcool FL-22 rated stuff. The Ford Escape 2.5L uses G05 orange stuff.



I am thinking of using what the donor engine wants - any thoughts?
 

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Glad to hear you have it up and running. I swapped mine a few months ago. I read you didn't remove the timing cover. This made me concerned that you did not install the two diamond washers that need to be installed whenever the timing pulls is removed. Without these there is increased risk of your timing slipping and valves hitting pistons. The 2.3 didn't have them but the 2.5 did. You can replace one of them when swapping just the pull, but the other one is not accessible without removing the timing cover.
 

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Been searching the internet for over an hour and can't find the answer... what antifreeze (coolant) to run.


Original 09 2.3L uses the green Dexcool FL-22 rated stuff. The Ford Escape 2.5L uses G05 orange stuff.



I am thinking of using what the donor engine wants - any thoughts?
I recommend using what the donor's engine used. The coolant application is for the engine and not the vehile.
 
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