2005 Mazda 3 2.3L to 2.0L swap

Tiny
MARU487
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 MAZDA 3
  • 2.3L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 170 MILES
I know similar threads are out there, but I can't seem to find a complete or definitive answer specifically on the 2.3 to 2.0.

So my questions are:
Can you program the 2.3L ECU/PCM with 2.0L configuration?
Is the calibration file the "firmware" for the car?
Will the 2.0L directly fit the manual transmission and mounting brackets?

I've done a lot of searching on this subject and have read varying opinions and suggestions. So what I am hoping is that there are people that have either done this, or know that it is possible. There are 1 or 2 other choices I am considering, but I really want to know if this is a valid option.

If possible I want to use the same harness and ECU. I have the VXNano and IDS 96.X software, as well as the calibration files for the 2005 2.3L and 2.0L from motorcraft.

I can obtain a 2.0L, 87K for $680 including delivery and taxes. It doesn't have the VVT but based on the research it gets slightly better mpg. I don't care about HP or torque. The 2.3L is around $1500-$1600, hence its beneficial for me to have the 2.0L.

Any links or definitive answers to the 2.3L to 2.0L would be MORE then GREATLY appreciated.
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Friday, September 11th, 2015 AT 9:14 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Stick to the 2.3L it's more trouble than it's worth to put the 2.0L in. The 2.0 doesn'thave vvt so now ther eis an ecu issue with no sensors to operate and you may be able to program the current ecu but it won't work correctly if programmed to a 2.0. Because most places don't have the ability to take out the vvt and all it's sensors/solenoids. Anything can be done With enough money but in this case stick with what you have initially cost more for engine but electronics will drive you nuts.
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Friday, September 11th, 2015 AT 9:46 AM
Tiny
MARU487
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the answer but I am still looking seriously at this option. The 2.3 of that year is known to have issues. Plus the cost of buying the harness and ECU along with the engine is still hundreds of dollars less. I'd rather use that money for a quad-copter or something.

My background is electronics engineering and I currently work in a position where I deal with multiple layers of firmware and software systems for remote monitoring. I also have years of mechanics and engine swaps on older cars in my personal life so this won't be a hassle at all. It's a challenge and a fun one at that.

What I am having troubles finding is information regarding what the calibration file really is? Is it the firmware that lays out the control of the vehicle? Or some other layer? I have started to dig around for the ECU pinouts and so far its extremely similar, so at the most I may have to buy an ECU and do a couple of wire alterations, no biggie
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Friday, September 11th, 2015 AT 9:50 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Calibration is done at the manufacturer in engineering after driving in all types of weather, altitudes etc. I doubt that you will find it. Your only option there is to maybe find a dyno to put a car on to change some of the calibration. Have fun
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Saturday, September 12th, 2015 AT 5:25 AM
Tiny
MARU487
  • MEMBER
Now I'm really confused. So if the calibration file is specific to each vehicle coming off the production line, then why was I able to download the calibration file for the 2.3 and the 2.0 from the motorcraft website?
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Saturday, September 12th, 2015 AT 8:38 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
You asked who makes the calibration or sets it up. The files you have downloaded are for the correct engines but they have to be if you have a stick or automatic because they are different for obvious reasons. The calibration is specific to engine size, transmission and gear ratio other things that can be played around with are tire sizes to a certain degree. If you have the files downloaded then you have all of that. Ihave no further suggestions or answers for you on this subject
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Saturday, September 12th, 2015 AT 9:21 AM
Tiny
MARU487
  • MEMBER
Thanks, very useful info to know. It's a manual so I made sure both files are for the manual trans.

So I guess that's why they call it a calibration file instead of firmware. They perform multiple "calibrations" on several vehicles and then tweak it to suit all of the cars they've built. And I would assume that when an update occurs, it's because of issues that may have come up so they probably do more tests and adjust the file and then release it. Very interesting.

So maybe I should expand on the question about engine size. I read some threads that sort of got hijacked regarding the 2.0 and 2.3 differences. Basically some said it was a bigger bore, others said its a longer stroke, but either way does anyone know if they are the same externally? Where the engine mounts go and the connection to the clutch assembly, etc is the same?

Cheers
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Saturday, September 12th, 2015 AT 9:35 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Because normally only a dealer works with that stuff I would imagine the trans hook up is same but because of balance and engine size the flywheels can be different as well as other stuff. Like I said you can physically look at that or measure it up to your current engine most mechanics don't fool around with that stuff. We don't have time to do it
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Saturday, September 12th, 2015 AT 11:08 AM

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