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I started out wanting to do the Ford Escort SOHC M/T 5th Gear swap, but am now entertaining the idea of using ALL the gears from a 97-99 Escort. I zeroed in on this narrow year range based on information gleaned on RockAuto.com. These years use the same M/T rebuild 'n seal kit that works with mine ('93 MX-3 GS 1.8L V6). I first thought maybe I would find out if these Escort G- M/T's would simply mate right up to our K V6's (still curious), then I wondered if I could just swap in all the guts from one into mine (while using the rebuild kit, of course). Any input appreciated, even if just to let me know you took a look here. Don't think there are many of 'us' left here anymore; very lonely feeling~! I am still into this platform since I still love my MX, and I can still remove any/all of my bolts as I own a car that has always 'lived' in Arizona. Ultimately will also be swapping in a (hopefully) JDM Curved-Neck KL-DE 2.5L V6, when I hope to include a rebuilt M/T with Longer gearing. Does this M/T gear swap scheme seem workable~??? [email protected]!
 

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Hey man this place has gotten pretty lonely, but there’s still a couple of us out here. I am currently in the process of rebuilding and swapping a KLDE into a 93’ MX-3. I actually have no idea about the gear swapping to be honest. The best transmission that is bolt on is the Lantis one but I doubt you can find one. We should get into contact with each other though, would be cool to actually know and be friends with someone who is doing the same stuff I am. :)
 

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LOL; says you "Joined 54 m(inutes) ago." Yeah, need some company for these projects. I have been watching the availability of the KL-DE's; seem to be thinning slightly. Not as many vendors are carrying them now. I need to make sure I get one while the getting is still good. Do you have your swap engine already pyro~?
 

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I am in Phoenix, AZ. Where do you live? Yeah a Lantis M/T would have synchro too, but, unobtainium. One thing I am wondering is if I will be able to press out/in a new bearing for the intermediate shaft. I was looking at alternative CV Axles for it I did just swap in an Escort M/T, but the lengths I have seen on RockAuto for Escort CV's look like about 1" too long on Pass side. I think I will have to go with my stock M/T case, with the stock 26+2 spline output differentials. That might be another incompatibility with Escort M/T internals. There IS one new OEM intermediate shaft on eBay, but it is pretty salty; like $168.
 

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LOL; says you "Joined 54 m(inutes) ago." Yeah, need some company for these projects. I have been watching the availability of the KL-DE's; seem to be thinning slightly. Not as many vendors are carrying them now. I need to make sure I get one while the getting is still good. Do you have your swap engine already pyro~?
Yes I have my swap motor. I found a guy who lived about 2 hours from my house and pulled it from a ford probe back in January. Currently still rebuilding it, the pandemic kinda threw everything out of wack. I’m located in Orem UT. So we’re not too far away from each other all things considered. I’ve been down to phoenix a couple times it’s not super far. I’m pretty dumb when it comes to transmission stuff. Although I have thought of installing one of those LSD kits onto mine but I need to grind and weld some stuff which I don’t feel totally comfortable doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I began wanting to do the longer Escort 5th gear swap, but haven't made it to the boneyards yet. Meantime, I bought the last M/T rebuild kit RockAuto had for my '93. Seals, bearings, and synchro rings; I noticed they have more kits now. Circa $130.00. Poking around more on the forums, I saw that it looks like the entire Escort M/T internals will go into my case, and I want the whole set of longer gears. I checked which other cars my rebuild kit works for, and the '97-'99 Escorts (I think just the SOHC's, but I will narrow it down for sure) use it too, so I think my kit should work too. So now, I need to go find one of those M/T's. I have the Harbor Freight 20 Ton press already, and a set of gear pullers, and some other pressing kits. It's hot here now though, so, not sure how soon I will be running out to the yards.
 

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Yes I am pretty close to the lake. How much taller are the ratio's above the stock MX-3's? I almost like the shorter gears in the MX-3's box it makes it more streetable. Only thing that I would do is get gears cnc'd out of some stronger material. I don't think these boxes will last long with more than 250 crank hp. Third gear is especially terrible. Also wouldn't want to be making more than 250 without a LSD unless you were only using it in straightaways. Just saying this cause I assume you'll be adding forced induction in the future. MX3's are so light that I don't really think anything more than 230 wheel would be necessary for pretty much any application, mine is just around 2300 pounds with some weight stripped out of it. Giving it an insane power to weight ratio. There's a guy named SuicideMX3 on Instagram that can offer some valuable information. I've talked to him quite a bit he knows his stuff with this platform and pushes crazy power out of the ZE's.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, for example, I am not interested in a legit KL-ZE because I am not a high rev driver. I almost got a KF-ZE that was listed from a place right here, and would have got it when I got my gobment check, but, someone else who obviously got his $1200 before I did beat me to it. It was just sitting here, month after month. Not many of these cars left in this metro area. I figured I could pick it up for $400 cash. Price was a big issue for me. I am fine though that I missed it really because those engines are similar to the KL-ZE's in that you don't get into the best power until you take up the rpm's really high. I just want a clean JDM KL-DE with nice low end torque. It will fit my driving style the best. The Escort gears seem to be about 20% "longer" on average. I will really enjoy that gear set with a KL-DE curved neck to fit right in where the K8 IM was too. Thanks for the hook-up with SuicideMX3 on Instagram, I will look him up. The only other gurus I know of are NickR on here, and an eBay seller whose ID I can't think of off-hand. But he seems to be totally dialed in to our format too. Most everyone else has moved on to newer and 'better' platforms to keep feeding their adrenaline requirements. I am just happy to have such a great, well built fun car with no rusted bolts which is very easy on the wallet in the case of most replacement parts. I think that because these cars were so well made, aftermarket part makers misjudged how many parts to produce for this market, and now the situation for them and for us is too many available parts chasing too few potential buyers. Truly a buyer's market now for us. Lots of NOS parts available. I love it. Some parts are so cheap I have simply invested in a bunch of back-up parts, and have already put tons of new parts into my car. I plan to stick with my Mazda until someone runs me off the road. Once I get to the place where I can't reasonably fix her injuries, I will pick up with some other newer Japanese car platform. I love the onerous laws that persist in Japan to supply us with inexpensive low-mile replacement engines and transmissions. And I love that some Japanese makers make such great cars with great and reliable components. In general, Toyota/Lexus, Honda/Acura, and I don't know if Mazda or Subaru are keeping pace anymore. I am also seriously entertaining thoughts of picking up a motorcycle too.
 

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Hi: I'm gonna join in because I just bought a U-gly '92 MX-3 GS K8//MT from a high school kid with 192k for $700 and even though it's not an MX-6, this forum is a close as I can find. MX3.com seems be pining for the fjords. Oh, and I'm in Boise, ID, so a western hop and skip from Provo! But my question for you guys, is what have I got myself into? It's meant as a backup DD for me and my son.
Here's what I know is wrong: rear drivers rotor and pad is trashed. Passenger's is OK. PPO cut the springs an inch, and now they rattle. Aftermarket wheels with bad rash. 2 inch cut in the air intake hose, meaning the CEL is on, and the idle is high. Front shock caps are falling apart (cut springs again). Paint is crap. Rattlecanned white over the failing clearcoat teal. How he lasted 3 years in it, I have no idea.
On the plus side, the K8 sounds nice even with the air leak. Steering is tight. Normal HLA ticking. .The brakes work fine even with the bad corner. No rust. None.Seats have the normal drivers bolster tears, but good upholstery and interior otherwise. The A/C seems to be working. Lights all work except brakes.
I should mention I have a Probe GT (for 20+ years...), currently with the engine out, so I'm not completely clueless about the K-series engines, but the MX-3 is a different platform underneath, not the Probe,.
So, thanks for any insights!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sounds like a good buy to me. My K8 has 270k and still has very good compression at all cylinders; only one is sort of low, but not out of spec. I don't put much pressure on my M/T (the K8 can't do much of that anyway), but, is really very good still for all the miles. First thing on my list would be to figure out which springs you could get from a bone yard. Escort springs might be the available thing, I think they take the same struts, so, springs should be similar, I would think. You will enjoy lots of low cost parts available, on RockAuto, and on eBay; I swing both ways. Then I would snag 4 new brake lines for cheap, and get the brakes squared away, with fresh fluid at all 4. I have found front strut caps to have short lives, but they are cheap too, so I keep spares on those. Actually, I have stocked up on many spare NOS parts from Rock, I keep an eye out for the wholesale giveaways. Used to be the Protege guys would keep an eye out for MX-3's at the yards to grab the entire rear-end; a bolt-on opportunity to improve their rides with the passive rear steering, which really seems to work when pushing through curves. In my experience, the Mazdas from the 90's were a quality bunch in general, with a preference for the OBDI's here. Oh yeah, for the sliced intake boot; my fix was a bunch of that stretchy silicone tape; good a new and it has really held up well. I like the car so much I would love to have a spare for only $7 bills; a very nice find. And yeah, MX-3.com is dead; no pulse over there anymore. Too bad. But, I hope the site stays put because there are lots of good threads to search.
 

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Hi: I'm gonna join in because I just bought a U-gly '92 MX-3 GS K8//MT from a high school kid with 192k for $700 and even though it's not an MX-6, this forum is a close as I can find. MX3.com seems be pining for the fjords. Oh, and I'm in Boise, ID, so a western hop and skip from Provo! But my question for you guys, is what have I got myself into? It's meant as a backup DD for me and my son.
Here's what I know is wrong: rear drivers rotor and pad is trashed. Passenger's is OK. PPO cut the springs an inch, and now they rattle. Aftermarket wheels with bad rash. 2 inch cut in the air intake hose, meaning the CEL is on, and the idle is high. Front shock caps are falling apart (cut springs again). Paint is crap. Rattlecanned white over the failing clearcoat teal. How he lasted 3 years in it, I have no idea.
On the plus side, the K8 sounds nice even with the air leak. Steering is tight. Normal HLA ticking. .The brakes work fine even with the bad corner. No rust. None.Seats have the normal drivers bolster tears, but good upholstery and interior otherwise. The A/C seems to be working. Lights all work except brakes.
I should mention I have a Probe GT (for 20+ years...), currently with the engine out, so I'm not completely clueless about the K-series engines, but the MX-3 is a different platform underneath, not the Probe,.
So, thanks for any insights!
Brakes on these are super cheap, you can get a full rotor and pad kit for all four wheels for like 120 bucks on RockAuto from a pretty decent brand. If they cut the springs I'd recommend just buying new struts. This article lists all the interchangeable suspension parts between a bunch of different Mazda and Ford models including the MX3. MX-3/Escort/Protege Suspension| Grassroots Motorsports forum |. That's pretty much all I need to add, valentiner covered everything else perfectly. If you really want this car to handle like it's on rails I'd recommend redoing the whole front end, moog sells a kit right now on RockAuto that I bought and it handles like a rollercoaster ride. I'm going to be getting the KLDE into my MX3 in the next few weeks here, almost done building it. When I do I'll let you guys know!
 

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Thanks, guys (?). Good stuff, and I appreciate your responses. <TL:dr> Just getting it properly drivable first, don't know about performance yet.

RockAuto and Ebay are already my friends :) although I notice it's easier to find some stuff on partsgeek (and a little cheaper direct than through e-bay.

I read grassroots regularly, but hadn't seen the suspension thread...cool. And directly related to what will be the first of many dilemmas with this. See, It's a co-buy between me and my son (26). He's tired of driving our old Jeep XJ, and wanted something different. The MX is about as different a you can get, and he trusts my experience with cars. Hopefully not misplaced. He's never been into cars, or driven an MT, so this is a bit of an experiment. The current plan is take care of the existing issues mostly stock or OEM, than move forward from there. And that's the dilemma. Escort or 323 spring + strut drop-sets would be about $350-450 more than half the price of a car we don't know if we are going to keep. (And there's a Tokico Blue set for 388 right now...tempting but no sprngs.) I'm pretty sure I don't need to go through the rest of the options. Add the PPO putting on 205/40-17s and I have to do something, but ....

I've attached a pic, probably violating rules, but <mods: let me know if I need to move this or delete, please.>
The hood is ajar because I was putting flexseal on the slice. I'll try the silicone tape next...nice tip.
12995
 

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Is the escort different gearing? Or just a different diff ratio? The trans out of an mx6 would be taller than the mx3, same ratios 1-5, but taller diff. Tallest g box I remember was the Kia sephia, but I think they were a different length input shaft
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, I clearly don't know what I am doing yet. The main difference I have seen so far is different spline count to the half-shafts. Honestly, I don't even know what a 'diff' or 'final drive' is. The only thing I THINK I know for sure is that the Escort 5th gear is 'taller.' So, I could be all wet thinking I could just put the Escort internals into a MX-3/Ford Probe shell, and have it work for an MX-3. According to RockAuto cross-referencing, the same M/T rebuild kit works for my MX-3 M/T as well as some Escorts; '97-'99. I'm really just still at square one for this project . . . good thing I am in no rush.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
When I got lowering springs, I bought the Tokiko Blues for the ZX2, and probably other related parts to make it work. It was drop-in for sure. I hated the springs though, so I threw the stocks back in the same struts, and ran with that for a long time. The front of the MX-3 is really too low to be lowering any more anyway; part of the problem. But, wow, I know I only paid like $120-150 for a full set of ZX2 Tokikos. Years ago now, but my timing was good it seems.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
BTW, I have the 4 lowering springs available to ship out, the fronts are a full combo set ready to be installed, with said Tokikos. I am running all stock springs now, with KYB struts up front, and the other two Tokiko's on the rear.
 

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BTW, I have the 4 lowering springs available to ship out, the fronts are a full combo set ready to be installed, with said Tokikos. I am running all stock springs now, with KYB struts up front, and the other two Tokiko's on the rear.
I need a set of lowering springs. How much do you want for them? I'm going to redo all of my suspension in the next couple days. Also this is ready to come out :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
OK; are you interested in springs only, or, the pre-assembled pair of Front Struts with everything needed, in good working condition (Tokiko "Bues" which are actually black) with not a ton of miles on them, rear springs raw (both springs only)? Plus, shoot me your zip code. The brand of springs is ST. Or, I have a different set altogether, can't remember the brand, but they are painted red. I think they are perhaps a bit stiffer than the ST's, but not for sure (I CAN pull them out and put calipers to them to compare thickness vs the ST's); they are all raw.
 
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