1998 Ford Contour Transmission Swap

Tiny
REDNECK21474
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  • 1998 FORD CONTOUR
Transmission problem
1998 Ford Contour 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic

I have a 1998 Ford Contour LX. It is a 2.0 Zetec with an automatic transmission. Long story short the transmission has failed. My problem is the transmission tag on the front steel pan denotes it as a F83P-DA and I can not find a used one with the same ID number. I have donor car available it also is a 1998 Contour LX with all the same options as mine the only difference is the transmission does not have the same ID number. Can I swap this transmission in if I change the PCM with it? Is there any other way to make another transmission work if I can't find one with the same ID number?
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Thursday, January 8th, 2009 AT 10:25 PM

6 Replies

Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
Is the donor car also a zetec engine? Both are 2 door or 4 door?

CD4E is the only transmission I see listed for this car regardless.

I'll call one of my suppliers to verify, but I "think" that it's not a problem.

The PCM controls more than transmission and in the event we find the transmission is not interchangeble, I would keep looking for the right one.

Get back to me this morning.
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Friday, January 9th, 2009 AT 5:34 AM
Tiny
REDNECK21474
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Yes, All options are the same with the only exception being paint color.
When trying to locate a used transmission for the swap all suppliers asked for the ID tag numbers and stated that they had to be an exact match to swap. Thus my question.
Since I looked at about thirty different transmissions including my donor car (a totalled rear ended car with good engine and trans) and all were identical externally, I assume the difference is internal electronics. Therefore my PCM would have been calibrated for the F83P-DA and the donors trans to its PCM. I just wanted to verify this before doing the swap as they are lengthy and labor intensive.
So if my theory is correct it is a correlation of trans to PCM and if so then swapping the pcm and allowing it to "read the new car" would be successful since both cars are identical down to the floormats. Lol.
Thanks for your time and help!

Bill Russell
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Friday, January 9th, 2009 AT 8:02 AM
Tiny
REDNECK21474
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Sorry for any confusion but still need the answer as to whether the pcm is calibrated to the transmission per car and id tag. If so then can someone swap the transmission into another car if they also swap the pcm with it?
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Friday, January 9th, 2009 AT 2:17 PM
Tiny
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No confusion, I just can't give a definite yes or no. I spent a fair amount of time talking to my suppliers and other folks to try to give an answer. I stand by my original post, but it very well may work.

See the thing is this is a bit of a frankenstein. I did confirm that there are 4 different possiblilities on this tranny you have. And the tags do have to match.
Based on that, No, it won't work.

If it were a simple thing, I would try it. With the labor to do it. Not me.

The cost of the ones I found were pretty outragous.
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Friday, January 9th, 2009 AT 6:33 PM
Tiny
REDNECK21474
  • MEMBER
Unfortunate for you that prices are high with your suppliers. I cant afford new parts so I buy used when it comes to high dollar items. A transmission at my local pick and pull is 63 dollars tax and all. That is what led to this interchange dilema. But all is well. Heres what I had to do for your and everyone elses knowledge.
First was the tranny swap. Then the PCM. But when I put it back together and went for the first drive (after allowing the engine to run for 5 minutes at idle then 3 minutes at 1200 RPM to allow the computer to read the components) the shifting was irratic to say the least. So back to the pick and pull I went to check the harness and sure enough although all the same color wires were ran to the connector on top the casing they were in different order clockwise. So instead of swapping harnesses I noted the position of each color and headed back here. Twenty minutes later I had cut, rewired, soldered, and heatshrank every wire to the connector. Took it for another drive and presto. Runs like a new one. Now I guess I will never know if it is just the wiring difference or the PCM and wiring difference but on the same token I got out of the junkyard at 102 dollars and that includes the entrance fee. Nevermind the 12 hours labor. Lol
Thanks for what input you gave me and I have to say that the service provided here is worth alot more than the donations you recieve. Maybe not for me but for the real novice out there this could be truly invaluable.
Since my knowledge is vast on many different makes and models I believe I will try to answer a few of someone elses questions while I'm on here. Who knows maybe I can do this in my spare time and make a few bucks myself.

Bill Russell
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Saturday, January 10th, 2009 AT 4:56 PM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
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Awesome BILL!

Nice job!

YEah prices can be scarry. Depending on availability!
I talked to a national distributer of used parts and the shipping was the killer of it. But regardless you did well.

A while back a Saturn post was made about a similiar thing and it wasn't do-able due to wiring issues.I shy away from the unknown, but it is not to say it can't be done.

Glad it worked out, and thanks for the update!
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Saturday, January 10th, 2009 AT 9:54 PM

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