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Mazda 6, 1st Generation – Ford Fusion 2.3L Engine Swap

Applies To:

2004 – 2008 Mazda 6 2.3L

Vehicle In This Guide:

2006 Mazda 6 / 2.3L engine / 5 speed manual / 96,000 miles

Introduction

Update 3: More tweaks to the article. Added info on the intake camshaft & timing wheel/cog which seems to be causing some confusion.

Update 2: Added a FAQ sections for all the common questions about this swap. Also made some minor tweaks to the article.

Update 1: It has been over a year and 17,000 miles since the engine swap and the Fusion motor is still running great. I’ve added some more info to the guide – about timing covers, intake camshaft timing cog, and the cylinder head temp sensor.

Today we are going to show you how to swap your broken Mazda 2.3L engine with a cheaper and often times lower mileage Ford Fusion 2.3L engine. If you don’t know by now, the Mazda 6, the Ford Fusion, and the Mercury Milan have the same exact engine (with few minor differences). Why would you even want an engine from a Ford Fusion? Well, it’s about $1300 cheaper than the Mazda part.

The car in this article is a 2006 Mazda 6 with the 2.3L engine that has a rod knock. A search for the replacement engine turned up some interesting results – on average, a used 2.3L Mazda engine was around $2000 with over 100,000 miles on it. The same engine from the Fusion was priced between $700 – $1200, depending on the mileage. The engine that we are going to swap in this article came from a 2006 Ford Fusion, had 46,000 miles on it and cost $1,100. If you shop around you can land a great deal.

You may be wondering where to buy these engines. Obviously you can’t just run over to your local Napa or AutoZone for something like this. Your first and best option is to use www.ebay.com. You can check out photos of the engine, look at the sellers feedback, and contact them directly. Most of the time they will list “freight” as the shipping method, meaning that the engine has to be shipped somewhere that has a dock. If you’re a home mechanic, don’t worry, you can still contact the seller and ask if they can ship to a residential address. Some will agree to do this, especially if they are located within a few hours from you.

Your second option is to use www.car-part.com. Most auto salvage yards list all of their inventory on here so you have a lot of options. Unfortunately you can’t see any photos of the engine and you will have to call the yard and workout shipping and payment.

Ford Vs Mazda

Remember the part about a “few minor differences”? Here they are.

Ignition setup – In 2003 – 2004 the Mazda 6 had spark plugs, spark plug wires, and one ignition coil-pack that drove the four spark plugs. In 2005 the Mazda 6 used two versions of the ignition system, the old style spark plug wires plus one coil-pack and also a new individual coil-on-plug system. Note: these coils were the round style. In 2006 – 2008 the Mazda 6 2.3 exclusively used the coil-on-plug system and the coils were the square style. The Fusion 2.3 used the square style coil-on-plug system.

Intake Camshaft – While the actual intake camshafts looks very similar between the Mazda and Fusion 2.3, there is one very small but very important difference – the timing wheel/cog that is at the end of the camshaft. The 2003 – 2005 Mazda 6 had five teeth on the timing wheel/cog while the Fusion and 2006+ Mazda 6 had six teeth. Not only is the number of teeth different but so is the layout. Below you will see a photo of the Fusion timing wheel/cog. I have also included a layout diagram of the differences between the Fusion, the 03-05 and the 06+ Mazda 6 & Mazda 3. 2.3 timing cog 2.3 timing cog

Note #1: The timing wheel/cog is pressed on to the camshaft and is able to rotate if you put enough force on it.

Note #2: A couple of people in the comments section have found that the JDM Fusion 2.3 engines actually have five teeth on the timing wheel instead of six. In addition, they found that the timing wheel was clocked differently and as a result had to be rotated 1/8 of an inch counterclockwise. The air intake ports on the JDM engines are 1/4 inch taller and will not seal correctly with the stock intake gasket, leaving a small gap. Check out the comments by Steve Krause and Zane for all the details.

Oil Pan and Oil Pressure Sensor – The Mazda 03 – 05 2.3L engines had a tube for the oil dipstick on the side of the oil pan. The dipstick was routed to the outside of the engine. The later 06-08 Mazda engines routed the dipstick through the inside of the engine and out the top through the valve cover. All the Fusion & Milan 2.3L engines have the dipstick routed through the engine. The oil pressure sensors are different between the Fusion and the Mazda so they have to be swapped. Physically they look the same but they function differently. If you use the Fusion oil pressure sensor it will cause the oil light to come on.

Valve Cover – The early Mazda engines had metal valve covers. The later 06+ Mazda and Fusion 2.3 engines use a plastic cover with a hole for the oil dipstick.

Crankshaft Pulley and Crankshaft Position Sensor – The Mazda 2.3L and the Ford 2.3L have different crankshaft pulleys (number and layout of the timing teeth don’t match) and different crankshaft position sensors (one is three wire and the other one is two wire). The Mazda 6 2003 – 2005 also used a different crankshaft sensor than the Mazda 6 2006-2008 (sensors have different mounting points).

Front Timing Cover – Because of the different mounting points for the crankshaft position sensor, the front timing covers are different between the 03 – 05 and the 06+ Mazda 6 (See Brian’s comment at the bottom of the page). The Fusion uses the same timing timing cover as the later (06-08) Mazda engines. In addition the 03 – 05 timing cover has oil passages inside of it that are not present on the later 06+ Mazda and Fusion timing covers.

Cylinder Head Temperature sensor – The Ford version of the 2.3L has a cylinder head temperature sensor located on top of the engine.

What does this all mean? Basically, if you have the newer 06-08 Mazda 6 with the coil-on-plug setup then swapping to a Fusion engine is a breeze – the parts that you have to reuse from your old engine are the crankshaft pulley, crank position sensor, and oil pressure sensor. If you have an older 03 – 05 Mazda 6 then there is more work involved – you will have to reuse and swap your ignition system (spark plugs, wires, and coil pack), intake camshaft (because it has a different timing cog), crankshaft pulley, crankshaft position sensor, oil pressure sensor, front timing cover, and camshaft position sensor.

In all cases, when you are doing a 2.3L engine swap, you need to open the valve covers on both of the engines and inspect/compare the timing cogs on the intake camshafts. If the layout of the teeth on the cogs is different between the engines then you know that you will have to swap the intake cams.

You will want to reuse your Mazda wiring harness. It is also a good idea to stick with your Mazda intake manifold and the throttle body.

Frequently Asked Questions

What year of the Fusion engine can I use for the swap? – The Fusion used the 2.3 engine in years 2006 – 2009. Any of those will work. When searching for a Fusion engine you may see some places mentioning production date pre or post Dec 06. Either will work in this case. If in doubt, go for the newest engine that you can afford.

Will a Fusion engine from an automatic work with my manual car or vice versa? – It is the exact same engine with the exception that for manual cars there is a pilot bearing that is installed in the rear of the crankshaft. So if you have a manual Mazda and you got a Fusion engine from an automatic car you will need to install a pilot bearing. Don’t bother transferring over your old pilot bearing – it is a $10 part and should probably be replaced anyway.

I have a 2006 or up Mazda 6. Can I swap in an older (03 – 05) Mazda 2.3 engine? – In a nutshell, no. Older Mazda 2.3 engines have timing covers which contain oil passages. These oil passages are not present in the timing covers of newer (06 and up) Mazda 2.3 engines. See nojodas67’s comment for more details.

Will the Fusion 2.3 swap work on my Mazda 3 2.3 car? – It will but you will need to swap oil pans in addition to all the other items. Finally, the alternator will mount with only 3 bolts. See Joel’s comments for more details.

Will the Fusion 2.3 engine work in my turbo Mazdaspeed 3 or 6? – No. The Mazdaspeed engine has a totally different cylinder head to accommodate direct injection. The Fusion engine block lacks, among other things, machining for the turbo oil feed and return lines.

Overview

The car in this guide is a 2006 Mazda 6, which means that we have to reuse the Mazda crankshaft pulley and crankshaft position sensor. As far as engine swaps go, this is probably one of the easier swaps that you can do because there is so much room to work with. There are several ways of removing the engine from the car. You can drop the sub-frame and lower the engine from the bottom. Some people take off the front bumper and radiator and slide the engine forward. The last method is to use an engine hoist (crane) and lift it out. Personally, I hate working with the sub-frame and since I have an engine hoist, going from the top is my preferred method.

While this guide covers cars that are equipped with the manual transmission you can still follow along if you have an automatic. There are a few different steps that you have to take that will be covered in this guide.

Finally, there is more than one way to take out this engine – you do not have to do all of the steps in the order that is written here.

How to Swap the Mazda 2.3L with the Ford Fusion 2.3L – Removal

1. Put the front end of the car on jack stands.

2. Remove the bottom engine cover, aka under-body cover.

3. You will need to remove the hood. It’s held on with four bolts at the hinges. Its not that heavy and if you have long arms you can even take it out by yourself. Also remove the top plastic engine cover – it is snapped into place so just pull on it to remove it. mazda 6 hood removal

4. There is a lot going on in the photo below but its all fairly easy to remove.

  • a – disconnect the MAF sensor.
  • b – disconnect the variable air duct (VAD) control solenoid (green connector).
  • c – disconnect the small vacuum hose from the air-box.
  • d – disconnect thecrankcase vent tube at the valve cover that goes from the valve cover to the accordion.
  • e – the air-box is also snapped into place at the bottom so all you have to do is loosen the clamp on the accordion tube and pull on the air-box to lift the whole thing out.
  • f – finally, disconnect the battery cables. Remove the battery and the battery tray.
mazda 6 engine bay

5. Later on you will have to unfasten the power-steering pump and the ac compressor so you need to remove the serpentine belt. Use a wrench on the tensioner and rotate it clockwise to create slack in the belt. The easiest way to get to the tensioner is from the bottom of the car through the wheel well. mazda 6 2.3L tensioner pulley

6. Drain the coolant. On the bottom of the radiator there will be a drain hole. Turn counter clockwise and have something ready to catch the coolant. Remove the cap from the coolant over flow reservoir to help the coolant flow easier. mazda 6 coolant drain

7. Okay, so you have the battery and air-box out of the way. Now it’s time to remove a bunch of hoses and tubes.

  • blue – depress the locking ring and disconnect the brake booster vacuum supply tube from the intake manifold. You can also disconnect it from the firewall and rotate it around, leaving plugged into the intake.
  • yellow – this is the fuel line. Held in place with a quick-disconnect. Make sure all the fuel pressure is relieved before removing this! You can relieve fuel pressure by taking out the fuel pump fuse and starting your car. This will use up all the remaining fuel in the lines. You can also just leave your car alone for a few days and the fuel pressure will decrease on its own.
  • green – this is the evap tube. It has quick disconnects on both ends (one at the throttle body and the other one at the firewall). Remove the whole tube along with the purge solenoid valve (has the black plug – disconnect the cable from it first).
  • cyan – small coolant line, disconnect from the radiator side and you can just leave this connected to the engine.
  • red – coolant line. Provided that the coolant has been drained, remove this hose completely as it just gets in the way.
mazda 6 fuel line evap line

8. There are two wiring harnesses in the engine bay. The main harness which will stay with the engine as its lifted out and the secondary harness that is connected to the injectors and the transmission. This secondary harness stays with the car so you will have to disconnect a few connectors before moving it aside. Look below and disconnect the appropriate plugs on the harness. mazda 6 harness removal

9. A few more things to remove here.

  • a – the shift cables are held in place with weak “paper clips”. Press back both sides and rotate the metal clip up. Then just pull up on the shift cable to disengage it.
  • b – there are two bolts holding the shift cable bracket. Remove these and you can then move the shift cables (with the bracket) aside.
  • c – two more plugs that you have to disconnect in order to free up the secondary harness. Also remove the bolt that secures the blue grounding cable.

If you have an automatic transmission you will have a selector lever cable instead of the shift cables. You will also have two lines for the transmission fluid that you will have to disconnect (have something ready to catch the fluid that leaks out). mazda 6 shift cable removal

10. You can see in the photo below that I have the shift cables out of the way. Couple more things do to:

  • green – move the secondary harness out of the way.
  • cyan – undo the clamps and disconnect the heater hoses. There will be some coolant left over in these so have a cup or something else to catch the fluid if you dont want to make a mess.
mazda 6 heater hose removal

Mazda Fusion Engine Swap – Exhaust Manifold Removal

11. There are two bolts that secure the bottom of the exhaust manifold to the exhaust pipe. Remove the nuts on the bolts. Its a very good idea to spray these with rust penetrant first, let that soak in and then remove them. mazda 6 exhaust removal bolts

12. Remove the the top heat shield from the exhaust. (5 bolts) mazda 6 heat shield

13. Now that the top heat shield is out of the way you can remove all of the nuts that are holding the exhaust manifold to the engine. mazda 2.3L exhaust manifold removal

14. The final step is to remove the bolt for the exhaust manifold support bracket. You can then lift the manifold out of the engine. There is not a lot of clearance so you may have to take out the manifold at an angle. mazda 6 exhaust manifold support bracket

15. Disconnect the main wire harness from the fuse box. There is a quick connector on the left and two nuts holding the cables on the right. mazda 6 wiring harness removal

16. Now that the wiring harness is free, go ahead and move it over to the engine and out of the way. Your engine bay should now look like this. I have the heater hoses out of the way, all of the wiring harnesses out of the way, and finally the shift cables are out of the way. In this photo the fuel line and the brake booster tube are still connected – if you followed the above procedures, you should have removed these already. mazda 6 2.3L wiring harness removal

17. You’ll want to remove the slave cylinder and move it aside. There are two bolts holding the bracket and two bolts holding the slave cylinder. Automatic transmissions do not have this part. mazda 6 slave cylinder removal

18. You will want to move the power steering pump out of the way. It is held by 3 bolts. Undo the bolts (you don’t have to remove them completely) and move the power steering pump aside. Use some wire or cable to secure it. mazda 6 power steering removal

19. With the power steering pump out of the way you can now remove the coolant hose (green) from the thermostat housing. mazda 6 thermo stat housing

Mazda Fusion Engine Swap – Removing The Axles From Transmission

20. Almost finished. You will want to remove the half shafts (axles) from the transmission. In order to do that you need to disconnect the tie rod and top control arm from the knuckle. This will allow you to swing the knuckle out and give you room to slide the axles back out of the transmission. mazda 6 half shaft removal

21. Use a crow bar and gently pry out the end of the axle. Once the axle is out you can move it aside and rest it on the sub-frame. The picture below is the driver side axle. mazda 6 axle removal

22. This is the passenger side axle. You will save some work if you can disconnect the axle (cyan) from the intermediate shaft. If you can’t, remove the two bolts that secure the intermediate shaft (green) and take that out of the transmission. mazda 6 passenger side axle

23. Technically you don’t have to do this step with the engine in the car but since we want to create plenty of room, the alternator is coming off. Its held on by three bolts. You will have to disconnect the electrical plug as well. mazda 6 alternator removal

24. Remove the A/C compressor from the engine. It is held on by three bolts (one not shown in the photo). You do not have to disconnect any line, just set it aside. mazda 6 ac compressor

At this point all the essential items have been removed / disconnected. The only thing left to do is to remove all of the mounts that are holding the engine and transmission. If you want even more room, you can remove the intake manifold (which I did as you can see in the following photos).

25. Let’s get this engine out. You’ll want to disconnect the torque strut. Either remove the bolts on the strut (cyan) or the two bolts that secure the bracket (green). mazda 6 torque mount

26. Remove the bolt from the front engine mount. mazda 6 front engine mount

27. Remove the transmission mount. There are two bolts and two nuts holding everything together (one nut not shown). Before you do this, make sure the engine is hooked up to and supported by a hoist otherwise it will drop. mazda 6 transmission mount

28. You can now slowly lift up the engine at an angle.
mazda 6 2.3L engine removal

mazda 6 engine removal

This is what you are left with. I highly suggest covering up the exhaust, and all the lines at the firewall. I would also cover up the splines on the half shafts, just to prevent them from getting damaged during re-installation. Use something like an old cable to secure the power steering pump and the A/C compressor. mazda 6 empty engine bay

Mazda 6 2.3L empty engine bay

Mazda Fusion Engine Swap – Transferring parts from the old engine to the new engine.

1. Remove the Mazda crankshaft pulley from your old engine. If you have an impact that can get the bolt off, great. If not, then you can make your own breaker bar using a couple of pipes from Home Depot. Use a flywheel holder tool or wedge something in the flywheel to keep the crankshaft from moving as you loosen the crankshaft bolt. I know the home made breaker bar looks ridiculous but trust me, it is very effective. mazda 6 crankshaft pulley removal

2. Before you can remove the crankshaft pulley from the Fusion engine and replace it with the Mazda part you have to line up the crankshaft and the camshafts correctly. In case you did not know, the crank pulley on this engine is not keyed so if you end up taking the pulley off, you will need some tools to keep the crankshaft and camshafts in the correct positions. The tools consist of a timing peg, a camshaft alignment plate, and a M6x1x50 bolt. mazda 6 2.3L timing tools

3. The first step is to remove the Fusion pulley. On the engine, locate a small bolt on the back of the engine. This is where the timing peg is installed. Remove this bolt. mazda 6 2.3L engine access plug

4. Using the crankshaft bolt, rotate crankshaft clockwise until the number 1 cylinder is in the top dead center position. There is a small hole in the crankshaft pulley and when it is in the 6 o’clock position, you have your top dead center. At this point, install the timing peg. If everything is done correctly you should not be able to rotate the crankshaft in the clockwise direction with the timing peg installed. mazda 6 2.3 timing peg

5. Install the M6x1x50 bolt through the small hole in the crankshaft pulley. mazda 6 2.3L crankshaft timing

At TDC, the camshaft slots should should both be horizontal. Allowing you to install the camshaft alignment plate. mazda 6 camshaft timing marks

6. Install the plate and it will keep the camshaft in place as you remove the crankshaft pulley. mazda 2.3L camshaft alignment plate

You can now remove the Fusion pulley. You will have to keep the crankshaft from spinning – do not rely on the timing tools to hold everything in place. They are not designed to withstand the torque that is required to loosen the crankshaft bolt. You can wedge something in the flywheel to keep the crankshaft from spinning or buy or make a flywheel holder tool.

Once you have the Fusion crankshaft pulley off, install the Mazda pulley, use a new bolt and washer,and tighten to 74 lb-ft + an additional 90 degrees. Again use something to keep the crankshaft from spinning – do not rely on the timing tools. Remove all the timing tools. Rotate the crankshaft 1 and 3/4 turns and reinstall the camshaft plate and timing peg. Try to install the M6x1x50 bolt – if you can install it that means timing is correct. If you cannot install the bolt then you will have to redo the procedure.

If you have an older 2003 – 2005 Mazda 6 you will need to transfer additional parts as discussed in the beginning of the guide.

Installation

1. Lower the engine in the engine bay and tighten:

  • Front engine mount bolt – 85 lb-ft.
  • Transmission mount nuts and bolt – 46 lb-ft.
  • Torque strut bolts – 66 lb-ft.

2. Install intake manifold (if removed).

3. Install the A/C compressor and tighten to 18 lb-ft.

4. Hook up the coolant hose to the thermostat housing.

5. Install the power steering pump and torque the bolts to 18 lb-ft.

6. Install the alternator and tighten the bolts to 35 lb-ft.

7. Install the slave cylinder and bracket. Torque to 16 lb-ft.

8. Install the rest of the coolant hoses.

9. Install the shift cables and bracket.

10. Install exhaust manifold. Tighten the exhaust manifold to cylinder head nuts to 41 lb-ft. in a cross pattern (in two stages). Tighten the two exhaust pipe to manifold nuts to 30 lb-ft. Tighten the bracket to 15 lb-ft. Tighten the heat shield bolts to 89 lb-in.

11. Hook up all the wiring harnesses.

12. Hook up the rest of the tubes and hoses.

13. Install the axles.

14. Connect the upper control arm and the tie rod to the steering knuckle. Tighten both nuts to 35 lb-ft.

15. Install the battery tray and battery.

16. Install the air cleaner assembly.

17. Make sure you filled up all the fluids and start it up. The end.

Post-Swap Notes

After everything was swapped over I took the car out for a test drive and noticed that the engine wanted to stall when the car was stopped. I had to keep my foot on the accelerator pedal to keep the rpms up. After driving for a few mile the problem went away and the engine idled correctly. My guess is that the throttle body was re-learning.

You may be wondering what to do with the cylinder head temperature sensor that is installed on top of the Fusion engine. You don’t do anything with it. The Mazda harness does not have an electrical connection for it. Just leave it in place and cover up the opening in the valve cover with the Mazda rubber cap.

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128 Comments
  • Completed this engine swap ’06 fusion motor to ’05 6 with automatic transmission, so everything had to be swapped (crank pulley, crank sensor, timing cover, oil pan, intake cam, valve cover, and all ignition stuff). Because the crank pulley and sensors are different the crank sensor mounts in different spots, which means you have to swap the front timing cover. I swapped the oil pans while doing the timing cover. I used permatex gray on both covers. I found and downloaded a factory manual , which helped with torque settings and setting timing. The studs for the alternator had to be removed from the fuzion motor. Torque converter bolts are loosened through the starter hole.
    Just an observation, with the timing cover off i was able to inspect the guides and tensioner on my motor with 117k and the new one with 55k. 117k motor showed 6 teeth out on the tensioner and only 3 on the 55k.

    Thank you for putting the guide together and hosting, I wouldn’t have bought the fusion engine without it, which saved me quite a bit of money.

    • Brian,

      Thanks for that valuable info on the different crankshaft position sensors. I looked up the parts and sure enough, the mounting points are different between the two sensors which would explain the need to swap timing covers.

      • I followed this guide to swap a 2011 fusion 2.5l into a 2004 mazda 3 2.3l. Engine runs awsome so much more torque. I swapped everything listed plus the little heater hose connector box mounted above the tranny as that was different. No cels except for intake cam timing. Didn’t use the timing tools my bad. But it still purrs like a kitten.

    • My mechanic did a swap between a 2010 mazada 6 with a Ford Fusion engine. Everything OK except not getting pulse to the injector. Swaped ECU and same results. Any information on this issue?

    • I have a 05 Mazda 3 2.3 I swapped with a 06 Ford Fusion I had to switch coils oil pan,crank pulley timing cover ,cam few other things
      Problem I am having the Mazda crankshaft position sensor is different from the Ford Fusion so what do I do because the mount points are different. So what do i do use the ford sensor and will my Mazda ecu recognize the sensor? I don’t know what to do and suggest would be great

  • Hi Thomas,

    Did your car has Automatic or Manual Transmission? Your words gave me confidence to swap my ceased 2.3L engine from Mazda 3 2005 using Ford Fusion one. The only thing I was wondering is about the transmission and would greatly appreciated if you could reply.

    Thanks.

  • I had a question,im doing the engine swap as well.im putting a 2008 fusion engine 2.3 into my 2005 mazda 6. I know i have to change the intake cam,but i noticed that the intake cam sprockets are different as well.the fuzion one has the teeth a little more spread apart then the mazda one.do i put the fuzion intake cam sprocket on the mazda shaft, or do i leave it how it is and put the mazda sprocket with the cam on the fuzion engine.

  • Just take camshaft from Mazda engine and put it on Fusion engine …make sure you have tools to lock crankshaft and camshaft together I made my ….
    I did this swap no long ago , let me know if you have any question I did in 2007 mazda5

  • so i want to make sure i did this correct. when i went to swap the intake cam i noticed that the chain and sprocket for the intake cam were different from the fuzion engine. So what i did was take the intake camshaft from the mazda engine and took out the sprocket where the chain goes, after that i put the fuzion intake cam sprocket on the mazda camshaft so that the chain and everything would fit since both cars use different size chains. Is this correct. Long story short i used the mazda camshaft only, but i put the fuzion sprocket on the mazda camshaft so that the timing chain would work.

    • Yes, if you had read the guide carefully, that is exactly what you have to do: replace the intake camshaft, and only the camshaft (not the sprockets, chains, etc).
      Make sure you follow the timing procedure carefully and use the proper tools.

      • one last thing to make sure im correct. i noticed that the timing covers are different. the fuzion does the variable timing inside the head, while the mazda does it through the timing cover. Since i have to swap the covers i noticed that the passageways inside on mazda cover for variable timing isnt needed because the fuzion engine does it inside the head. So what i did was seal the passageways on the mazda timing cover to prevent any possible pressure lost in the timing cover. is this okay to do ?

        • The 2008 Mazda block does not send oil through the timing cover passage. You will not lose oil pressure there. Just put the Mazda timing cover on the Fusion engine, the oil will pass through the block up to the head via the head gasket and to the VVT solenoid.

        • If it makes you feel better, you can always block that hole or verify that the passage does not go anywhere. Try to blow air into that hole with an air compressor and see if it’s blocked, it should be. If you hear air escaping somewhere in the engine, then just block the hole. (you can use a rubber stopper, a piece of gasket material, a piece of cork, etc.)

  • so i blew air into the hole and leads up to the vvt solenoid. I noticed as well that mazda and fuzion engines have the hole but for the mazda engine the whole is little higher up on the head, which alligns with the oil passages on the mazda timing cover. The fuzion engine also has the hole but its a little lower than the whole on the mazda engine. When i put the fuzion timing cover on the fuzion engine i noticed that the hole is completely sealed shut. The problem im having is that since the timing covers are a little different, when i put the mazda timing cover on the fuzion engine, that hole is not sealed shut, it stays exposed. I do not want to loose pressure with the vvt solenoid.

    to make it a little clear my mazda is a 2005. im putting a 2008 fuzion engine on it.

  • Hi, nojodas . I have a 2006 mazda 3 2.3L with independent coil system. I bought it drove it 2 weeks and the engine blew on it. 🙁 . I dont have a lot of experience with engines but i spent hours on end learning. After trial n error with 2 engines so far i decided to wait for the “right” engine at our local autowrecker. Could you please let me know which one that is?. So ive read through all your posts and i figure the timing plate cover option is a bit hard for my exp level. Obviously the mazda 2006 2.3 is an easy match. Could you tell me which other mazda years/models also which ford years / models im looking for? I want to avoid messing with the timing or to have to replace the intake camshaft . Please explain with necessary detail, if any, what should i “hunt” for to get my car on the road as easy and as soon as possible as considering im a beginner. Also ive had sum people advising me to take the harness and PCU from the donor car. What do u think about that? Thanx a milion in advance for sharing your knowledge with all of us on this forum.

  • i ran into a complication, i noticed when comparing timing covers that the oil passage is different and i get that, but when i look at the fuzion block where the timing cover goes, theres a hole where the fuzion timing cover seals up that goes with the vvt,but when i put the mazda cover on it, it leaves the hole almost exposed. What does that mean ? is my vvt going to stop working, because the fuzion timing cover covers it up completely like blocking it, but the mazda timing cover doesnt has that on the cover so it leaves the hole completely open. help please ?

    • Your concerns are well warranted, however, I’ve not heard of anyone having an issue with their VVT not engaging or losing oil pressure after swapping timing covers and NOT blocking the hole, so I stopped doing it. In my first few swaps, I’ve blocked this hole because I had the same concerns as you, but it did not seem to make the car run any better or worse if I did not block the hole. I’ve done over a dozen of these swaps and blocked that hole 2 or 3 times only. You can go ahead and block the hole if you like, for your own piece of mind.

  • I have 06 mazda 3, 2.3l manual tran. I have 05 2.3l motor with manual trany, I want to install. What parts do I need to swap out cam sensor etc.

  • Hi i have a quick question. I have a 2004 mt and i bought a 2006 At of which i am mounting the manual tranny on all i need to do is change the cam,oilpan and timing cover do i need to change the harmonic balancer due to the tranny change and what should i do as a result of the different crankshft postioing sensor plug as i would like to use the original 2004 harness more questions to come

  • Hello
    I bought a 2007 mazda 6 & found out that the engine was swapped. I have some timing issues, how can I find out exactly what engine I have based on the serial number? The dealership is not helpful. On the Seri number sticker is written 2.5 so I would like to know if it’s a later model mazda 6 or fusion engine. Also, if it is a fusion engine in my mazda do I need to swap the mazda ecu for a fusion ecu? Will the later model ecu plug right in or do I need an adapter? Appreciate you response. Thanks.

  • Hi just swap engine for ford in my Mazda didn’t no had to key to hold crank an didn’t swap any internal parts didn’t know an now woke start can’t comm. With the com an tcm no start no crank need help asap

  • Ok I’m looking to do a swap from a 2004 Mazda 6 2.3L 4Cyl to the 2007 Ford Fusion 2.3L 4cyl. The shops in my area ask if the production date is pre or post Dec 06. I don’t want to give away what I’m doing for fear they will raise the price, but I can’t find anywhere what the difference is. Any advice? Will either switch or do I need to have the pre Dec 06 one? Thanks

    • Yes, for some reason the part number for the engine assembly changed between 2006 and 2007. What are the differences? I honestly don’t know. I do know that all the specs are exactly the same between the two years. So I am positive that either year will work. I’ve heard of people using the 07 engine and I used a 06 for this guide. Just be aware that since you have a 2004 Mazda 6 that there is more work involved when doing this swap (read the comment above yours).

  • I know the Ford Fusions and Mercury Milan are the same, have you done the swap with the Milan? I’ve got a great deal on a 09 Milan. Yes I know we have the older Mazda that requires a little more work. I’ve done several engine swaps but mostly older cars that don’t have the computer and emisson stuff. Usually newer cars I use the same engines for the swap, just can’t afford the Mazda one.

      • Charlotte, NC… but if you’ve done several of these swaps and always used the fusions like your comment says why would you offer a Mazda engine knowing you can get good money for it? Just curious

  • I wasn’t offering it as a gift but I was going to give you a good price for it, before I listed it on Ebay; or I was just going to put it on the shelf until I found a pre-2005 Mazda to put it in.
    I was hoping I didn’t have to go through a lengthy explanation but the question is understandable so here it goes: There are basically 2 generation of these motors, I call it “early” and “later” versions, and the cutoff was in mid 2005. In the early version, the VVT is fed through an oil passage that runs through the timing cover, so it is critical that these oil passages are piped correctly and leak-free on early model Mazda’s. On later versions the VVT is fed directly through the head, so there is no oil flow within the timing cover at all. So basically, you can put an early model timing cover on a later model Fusion engine, but not vice-versa. So I cannot install this engine on 2006 or newer Mazda’s that requires the larger crank wheel and updated crank sensor. Well I could and I have done it once (installed a 2004 engine on a 2006 car), but a slight modification is required, I have to plug an oil hole in the front of the head; the engine ran well and had good oil pressure. It never gave a CEL, but when the ecm calls for the VVT solenoid to open, it does but without oil pressure the intake valve timing does not change, so it basically renders the VVT inoperable.

    Most people will not ever feel the VVT solenoid when it kicks on anyway, but I’d just rather put this other “early version” engine I have in the correct model year car; it does have low miles after all and I just got it back from the machine shop with a fresh valve job; it has 185 psi. on all 4 cylinders.
    Most of the dead or knocking Mazda’s I’m buying now are 2006 or later, so I could either sell this engine to someone that can use it NOW, or just sit on it until I find an early 2005 or older Mazda to put it in; it makes no difference to me. I currently have 3 later Fusion engines on the shelf, and 2 dead cars to put them into, so this is just another extra engine for me.

  • When I say offer when you can get good money I mean that is $1500 difference between the Mazda and Fusion engines, so no matter what kind of a deal you give thats a big “offer”. And yeah I know the difference between the earlier and later versions thats why I’m trying to figure out if the Milans match up. I’m trying to save some money, I don’t mind the extra time for me it’s not like I’m paying someone else’s labor it just how much longer I drive my back up while I do the swap because I do love the Mazda and would love to get back behind the wheel of it. So I guess I’ll ask the question again has anyone tried the swap with a newer Milan engine? I know Mercury, Ford, and Mazda are the same but has the swap been done successfully? I love this form shows how to the the swap with the Fusion but curious now about the Milan. But by all means if you want to sell the 03 Mazda engine for the price of the Fusion I’ll take it, less work for me.

    • Leslie, the Milan is just a re-branded Fusion. As in the case of the Fusion, any 2.3L out a 2006 – 2009 Milan will work and everything about the Fusion swap applies to the Milan swap.

    • Although I have not bought a Milan engine, I don’t imagine there would be any difference between the Milan and Fusion swap. I just finished another Fusion swap last night.
      About the Mazda engine, I’ll sell it for $1,000. The last time I shipped an engine across a few states, it cost a couple hundred dollars to ship; no sales tax and no core charge so it sort of evens out vs buying locally.

  • Can you please tell me which hole I need to plug? I am about to put a 2004 Mazda 3 engine into my sons 2006 Mazda 6 and I’m afraid it will not run after. PLEASE PLEASE help with any info you can.
    Thanks

  • I have done many of these swaps from many year Mazda6’s (2002-2008) and always used Fusion engines. Depending on the year of your Mazda, on some older cars there is some more work and modification involved. I did the first swap by pulling the engine out the top like you did; on all the other swaps I removed the front bumper assembly, headlights and core support with cooling attached. It’s a heck of a lot easier to do it that way since the engine can come out the front, instead of the top; and there’s no need to disconnect the suspension on either side, since neither axle will have to come out. Also, the engine goes in all complete, including serpentine belt. Just disconnect the electrical wiring and set aside, disconnect the exhaust after the manifold, remove the starter and the torque converter nuts, remove the engine to trans bolts. Support the engine, remove the front engine mount (passenger side) and start pulling the engine. I don’t want to take over your guide but you may want to update your instructions and/or pictures. I will be writing a thread that hopefully becomes a sticky with pictures, when my schedule allows.
    John

    • Thanks for dropping by Nojodas67. One thing to watch out for when taking off the front end is that the ac lines have to be disconnect. To properly do that the person would have to evacuate the refrigerant that’s currently in the system then when everything is reassembled, pull vacuum to remove any moisture and then recharge the system. In addition, there is a good chance that the o-rings in the lines may need to be replaced to prevent any leaks from forming.

      I’m not bashing this method at all. My point is that there are multiple ways to do this swap and each one has its pluses and minuses. Just depends on what you want to tackle. I’m sure people will find your thread helpful – more information is always a good thing.

      As for me, I have not done the swap by pulling the front end off so I can’t really update anything since I don’t have any new info or pictures.

      • That’s a good point too but if the person doing the swap does not have a recovery pump to evacuate the system, then he/she can take it to any shop and have it evacuated, then return to the shop when the work is completed to pull a vacuum and recharge with your own refrigerant. That should not cost more than an hour’s labor charge, and will keep the tree-huggers happy as well. I have not had to replace any of the o-rings yet. Believe me, it sure beats having to remove the alternator, power steering pump, A/C compressor, exhaust manifold, intake manifold, starter, torque converter bolts…all while the engine is still in the car. I’ve done it both ways and pulling the front clip is much easier.

  • I removed the entire thing and removed the transmission from the engine outside. But the torque converter stayed with the engine and now I can’t remove it. I removed the nuts and tried to gently pry it but it won’t budge Andy ideas?

    • The center quide shaft of the torque converter that goes into the flywheel is a very tight fit, so the torque converter has to come out straight. So if you pry on one side of the torque converter you have to apply an equal amount of pressure with another prybar on the opposite side. So with the engine sitting up and the cyl. head at 12 o’clock, put a pry bar between the torque converter and flywheel at 4 o’clock and another pry bat at 8 o’clock and gently pry out on both at the same time. If it still doesn’t budge, then try prying at 6 & 12, 5&11, etc…until it comes loose.
      Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

      • Ya it was just a tight fit! Thank you! I now need to go get the engine, I started disassembling first and have everything taken apart. I’m conflicted between buying a JDM engine for $800 with 50k miles or a fusion one for about $700. I really want to find one that will require the least amount of work. But I don’t know exactly what engine I have, the one pre 05 or the 06 and up. In the article it shows that the o5 has 5 pegs on the camshaft but mine actually has 6 so I guess I’ll just get whatever engine has 6 pegs so I don’t have to replace that.

        • You have the 06 and later engine. If you get a Fusion engine (6 pegs) you will not have to swap camshafts but you still have to swap the crank pulley and reset the timing.

          Whereas, If you get the JDM, it will just be a drop-in. But you should still count the teeth on the crank pulley to make sure they are the same or it won’t work. Take a picture of your crank pulley with you at TDC when you go look at the JDM engine, so you don’t go through all that work for nothing.

          Good luck and let us know how it works out.

          • The crank pully for the jdm engine is different than mine, it has teeth all around the pully and mine has two sets of teeth I don’t know exactly if it’s a different size pully or just looks different. Any how I’m thinking I’m going to have to replace it with the original. How do I go about readjusting the timing though? That’s the thing that really gets me nervous. And thanks for all the help I really appreciate it!

  • We are currently trying to swap a 2010 fusion 2.5 into a 2003 mazda 6 that has a 2.3. The swap went smoothly, however we cant seem to have the car keep a spark. We are being told by everyone that we need to go have the mazda ecu tuned so that it registers the new engine. Have you come across this at all?

    • What did you mean by “everyone”? I’m sure “everyone” has never done this swap and they are just guessing. I’ve done many of these swaps successfully (like many other people here) and I can tell you with 100% certainty that the ECM does NOT need to be programmed.
      You need to make sure you are using all these parts from the Mazda: throttle body, crankshaft pulley wheel, intake camshaft, timing cover, etc. not the Fusion parts. The ECU gets spark signal from the crank sensor and the cam sensor.
      Check your steps again and make sure none were skipped or done improperly.

  • Hey I have a 2006 Mazda 3 wondering if its the same swap? Also My car has a manual trans do I have to get the engine from a car with a manual or will one from an auto work? Pilot bushing issues etc? Are the oil pans the same as well? Thanks!

    • Your Mazda 3 has the 2.3 right? If so, then it should be very similar since the 2.3 in the Mazda 3 is the same as the Mazda 6 and of course the Fusion. Your 2006 has the coil-on-plug ignition so you should not have to swap the intake cam (not 100% sure on this so open up the valve cover and compare the timing cogs). Your 2006 has the oil dipstick going through the inside of the engine so the oil pans should be the same. Crank pulley and sensor will have to be swapped.

      As for manual vs auto – it doesn’t matter. If you get an engine from an auto you will either have to reuse your original pilot bearing or buy and install a new one (that’s what I did since the fusion engine in this guide was from an auto and I had a manual).

      If you do end up doing this swap can you let me know how it turns out? I’m curious what, if any, difference there are.

  • Am in the middle of swapping out a 2.3 ltr from a Mazda 6 2008.it amazes me the people out there,junk yards reman engine companies and so on, tell you that ONLY a mazda engine will work in a mazda and vice versa for fusion.I had ordered a Mazda motor from a big reputable company because I was told by them I had to.long story shorter, when I removed motor, from the top, I saw FORD stamps all over it including ford part numbers.doing a little digging found this site and pleasantly surprised. I canceled the motor order, waited 3weeks for my refund (cost of motor with shipping was $3075.) And ordered a newer, lower mileage fusion motor (34k) for only $1350!!!!! Did EXACTLY what you did for the crank pulley, sensor replacement and SUCCESS!!! Also I bought a auto tranny motor and have a manual, Installed pilot and perfect fit….Because of your website you saved my customer thousands of dollars.much appreciated for this post.

    • That’s a hell of a success story! Thanks for sharing. As for the Ford stamp, it’s not just on the engine, its everywhere – brake calipers, suspension component, etc…

  • Ok I did the mazda/fusion swap. Have you heard of the intake manifold not lining up causing a vacuum leak to all ports? It seems as if the manifold needs to be shifted up but can’t because of the alignment pin and bolts? Any help would be great.

    • I’ve been following the fusion swap for a long time both on the forums and through doing my own swap. I have never heard of anyone saying that the intake manifold does not line up. I’ve looked at photos of fusion and mazda 2.3 intake manifolds and both have the mounting holes and alignment pins in the same positions.

      You say it needs to be shifted up – lengthwise, how much are we talking about? Can you see a gap or something? Do the bolt holes and the alignment pins line up so that you can at least bolt the manifold down? Maybe your intake manifold gasket needs to be replaced?

      Not saying that it’s impossible but it just doesn’t add up. What year is your mazda and what year is the fusion engine?

  • Hello, my head gasket went in my 06 Mazda 3 2.3l from what I can tell the 06 Mazda 6 and 3 engines are identical, am I correct? If so that would mean that this swap would work out the same as yours? Your advice would be helpful, and would save me paying 4400$ plus labor for a new motor

    • If your problem is just a head gasket, assuming it has been diagnosed properly, you should just have the head gasket replaced, not the entire engine. I have rebuilt these engines entirely, they’re not hard to do. But to answer your question, the engines are not identical, the crank pulley is different. You will be able to do the swap just like in a Mazda 6, but you will need to use your old crank pulley, your old intake camshaft if they are different, and re-set the valve timing.

  • I know this is years later from your comment but I had a question. Since you have experience with these engines do you know what the difference is between the Mazda engine with coil on boots and the one with a coil pack? I found a cheap jdm engine but it has a coil pack instead of coil on boots. Will the engine be an easy swap or is there other significant differences between them?

    • I’m not familiar about JDM engines. I know that used engines that are made for Japan market are not the same as the ones produced for the Americas, however, I don’t know exactly what the differences are.
      Sorry, I couldn’t be of more help.
      You are better off finding a low-mileage Fusion engine, which are readily available and much cheaper than Mazda engines, then do the swap following this guide.
      Good luck.

  • Hello you seem to be extremely helpful and nice. I have a very simple and easy question to ask I have a 2004 Mazda 3 2.0 with bad automatic transmission what years transmission interchange 2004-??? Ford models transmission can I use Focus Fusion???? Thanks a million kind Sir.

    • I’m not sure your question is a simple one. I’m not sure what years will interchange with your transmission, I’ve only had experience with changing engines. You can try car-part.com and use that website’s search/interchange program to find a used transmission for your car.

  • I really need someone’s help. I have a 04 Mazda 3 and bought an 09 fusion 2.3 engine. Went to do the swap and nothing is mounting how its supposed to. Oil pan is different so ac compressor wont fit. Block is slightly different so alternator wont mount. I’m at wits end

    Stuck in fl. Bought this engine and pretty sure they WONT give me a refund. Can’t swap my oil pan because its cracked, and probably wont find an oil pan on short notice. Alternator doesn’t mount up properly, due to slight differences in the block. Tried google and found someone who seems to have had the same problem and supposedly mounted alternator minus one bolt but info was vague. If ANYONE can help me email me please. Running out of money for this and have to get back to NYC for xmas.

    • I have never done the swap on a Mazda3, but I’ve done about a dozen Mazda6’s. I know that the Mazda3 has a different crank pulley, alternator bracket and the A/C compressor is mounted under the oil pan, instead of on the starter side. Anyway, how bad is your oil pan? You could try welding it. Any welding shop should be able to repair it, look for a local welder.
      As far as the alternator, can’t you just use the Fusion alternator? You can just splice the wires, it will basically perform the same function.
      I don’t have the car in front of me, but another idea would be to just install the Fusion motor with it’s own accessories (if you got it complete), then swap out the parts once you get home.

      I wish I could be of more help, but if you can find a welding shop locally, I’d go that route. I was thinking JB weld for the oil pan, but I don’t think I would risk it for the long trip back to NY.

      • Got it!! Deleted A/C compressor temporarily. Alternator mounts with only 3 bolts. Timing was a bit of a headache. Driving home as we speak. Thanks for everything.

        • Glad you got it figured out!! Make sure you use pure synthetic oil ONLY in that engine and change it at 3k intervals…tha t’s the key to keeping these engines running for a long time.

  • Thanks for the write up, my wife’s ’03 6 got out of time enough that the valves and pistons came together in 3 of 4 cylinders. My father in law is a long term customer at several salvage yards and was able to source a Duratec out of an ’07 Fusion with about 90k miles for $300. We just finished the swap this weekend, but we now have to replace the crank pulley seal as it started weeping oil after we got it back together.

  • I dont know I hope this thread is still active, I am stumped!!!
    I have a 2006 mazda 6 2.3 the motor is shot, so I found a 2004 mazda 6 2.3 to put in it.
    I looked at this thread and it says just switch the intake cam, timing cover and crank pulley,
    thats fine and I have done that except I am looking at the timing cover from the 04 and on the inside of the cover it has 2 holes, one toward the top like where the engine mount is and one above the crank looking at the 04 engine it has those two holes and looks like it is an oil passage to feed the timing chain tensioner.
    Now looking at the 06 timing cover which I have to swap onto the 04 engine it does not even cover these holes on the 04 block let alone accomidate a passage to feed the timing tensioner. so I thought well maybe I could use the 04 timing cover and remount the crank sensor by making an adaptor plate to reposition the sensor.. hmm cant do that cause there is no room on the timing cover..
    Geeze I am stumped and do not want to just put the newer cover on the older engine and possibly have no oil pressure or oil going to the tensioner etc.
    If anyone has the answer please respond, I would so appreciate it.
    Thanks

    • Your assumption is correct. You can install a newer version engine (2006 or newer Mazda or Fusion 2.3L) into an older version Mazda6 car (2003-2005), but NOT the other way around due to the different oil passages.
      In the early version engine, the timing cover supplies all the oil pressure to the chain tensioner as well as the VVT solenoid. In a newer engine, the oil is delivered internally through the block and directly to the head through the head gasket, not the timing cover. So, you can bolt an early version timing cover on a later version engine, but NO OIL will travel through the oil passage in that timing cover, the oil is delivered to the tensioner and head internally.
      I’m afraid you have no choice but to sell that motor and source a 2006 or newer Mazda or Fusion motor.
      Depending on where you’re located, I have a 2009 Fusion motor with just 12k miles I am about to list for $1400 shipped.

  • I’m Sorry if this has been answered but I just finished my swap to a fusion engine in my 2004 Mazda 6 now it idols really rough and I can’t get it to raise in RPMs for about 3 minutes and the tach just around a lot when I let off the gas the intake cam was the same and I swapped the timing cover oil pan and crank sensor and I get a P0340 code once it warms up even a bit it runs great lots of power and idols fine so what might I be missing?

    • So problem solved one its a jdm motor and I have the receipt for it. The problem was the cogs are the right ones but they were out of adjustment. A little tap of the hammer using a punch and done. Car runs perfect no light or anything. I did have to reset the light but every issue is gone.

        • Wow…I thought the cog ring was permanently affixed to the cam, but that would just make too much sense.
          Thanks for letting us know though, I never would have imagined it being done this way…Now I know that there’s yet one more thing that can go out of alignment and fail on these POS engines. That is just AS BAD a design flaw, as having cam and crank gears without Woodruff keys. I have rebuilt many brands of engines in the last 30 years and when I first learned of this particular 2.3, I remember saying, loud enough that my wife heard me from inside the house, “What the #$%@ were the morons that designed this pos thinking?”

  • Comparing a 2004 to a Fusion engine (2006 or newer), I HIGHLY doubt the intake cams are the same. The only way they could be the same is if your Mazda6 has been swapped for a newer engine already. Everything about the two camshafts look the same, the only difference is the number of cogs on the end of the camshaft; 2003-2005 Mazda’s have 5 cogs, late 2005-2008 Mazda6 AND all Fusion 2.3’s have 6 cogs. If the timing covers were in fact, different, then I can say with certainty that the camshafts were different too.
    I also know for certain that the ISC (idle speed control motor) hardware AND software are different, from Mazda and Ford. Even though they may look exactly the same, you must use your old ISC. There are just four 8mm-head bolts that hold the ISC/Throttle body onto the intake manifold.

  • This post is great information, as my 2005 6i 2.3 just started knocking, and yesterday I found out that what I thought was valvetrain chatter was in fact something much worse. My mechanic thinks its a piston pin so therefore I need to either rebuild the existing or swap with a long block. I’m thinking Long block the easier of the two.
    @nojodas67: how can I tell if I have the older 05 vs the newer? I know it has a single coil pack for all spark plugs but should I look for anything else? VIN digits etc…?
    ,
    Cheaper is always better, so thank you for starting this particular post. I am very appreciative!
    Joe

    • Hi Joe,
      First off, you are welcome…it’s nice to be appreciated. I’m sure Artem (who started this guide feels the same way).
      About your car, before you either rebuild or swap your engine, first verify that you in fact have a spun bearing, it could be just a bad VVT gear, which will cause the infamous valve-train noise in these cars. To know for sure, run your engine with one spark plug wire disconnected, one at a time. If the noise goes away, then you have also identified which rod journal is damaged. If the noise DOES NOT go away, then your problem is most likely just an upper end noise like a bad VVT gear, or a leaking timing chain tensioner, which are replaceable without removing the engine NOR the cylinder head.
      ,
      Anyway, if you do have to pull the engine, it does not really matter which version engine you have, you can use a Fusion motor for any year Mazda6; but if you have the later version Mazda there will be less work involved with the swap, as already explained in the guide. Easiest way to tell is pull your valve cover and count the cogs on the end of the intake camshaft (5=earlier version, 6=you’re in luck).

      I’ve also re-conditioned 2 of these Mazda 2.3L motors and it’s quite simple. If your engine has just started knocking, you can just grind your rod journals and install undersize rod bearings (.075 undersize), and new std main bearings for about a couple hundred bucks, you’ll need to replace the bad conn. rod with a new or used rod, as they are not re-buildable; If you are careful during disassembly and do good prep work before putting it all back together, you can even re-use your head gasket, and head bolts (I’ve done it several times without fail); you should replace the chains and tensioner always, though.

      If you plan on keeping the car for a while, then a low-mileage Fusion engine might be the way to go, but you’ll spend about $600-$1000 on a low mileage engine, it’s up to you.
      Good luck.

      • As I figured my guy had already checked for the VVT issue. I have found a 06 milan 2.3, 67k, 12/12000 warranty. for $850 delivered, and their local.

        Anything I need to replace on this motor since I have it out of the car, i.e timing belt, water pump etc…?

        Assuming the Quote below covers what needs to be swapped between the two motors, I will need Timing cover gasket, Valve cover gasket, and intake and exhaust. Is there anything else I should have on hand to make the process go smoother?

        • $850 is kind of high for a motor with so many miles, especially if you don’t know how it was maintained, if any oil changes were skipped, etc. For that amount, you can have your crank reground, put all new bearings in it, new timing chains, valve job done on the head, all new rings, seals and gaskets. You’ll basically have a new engine again.
          Go to car-part.com and try to find a motor with lower miles, they’re out there.
          ,
          About what needs to be swapped, I already explained to you that it depends on what version engine you have; I’ll say it again, that to know for sure you have to physically look at your intake camshaft cogs and crank sensor, why guess?

          You mentioned timing belt, there is NO timing belt…these engines have 2 chains. A good idea is to replace the front crank oil seal and thermostat while the engine is out. Other than that, there is nothing else that you’ll need to do extra, besides what was already outlined in the guide.

          Gasket material: timing cover and oil pan just use permatex or similar product, no gasket needed, just make sure mating surfaces on both parts are thoroughly cleaned and free of oil or grease. Valve cover gasket (actually it’s a rubber ring), intake (rubber rings) and exhaust gasket (reusable)…I’ ve always just used the ones that came with the newer engines and never had a problem.

  • I just completed an engine swap on an ’04 Mazda 6, using a 2.3 from an ’06 Fusion. Everything went well, thanks in large part to this website. Thanks for sharing the info.
    ,
    I did find something that I haven’t seen mentioned on here (or maybe missed it?). The spark plugs between the ’04 and ’06 engines are different. When comparing the heads, the spark plug wells on the ’04 have a deeper bore and less thread length than the ’06. The ’04 spark plugs also have shorter threads. They’ll screw in to the ’06 block, but I assume the electrode will not reach as far into the combustion chamber as it should. I kept the factory ’06 plugs in place for now, but am wondering if there is a difference in heat range between the ’04 coil-pack and ’06 coil-on-plug system.
    ,
    This also causes a minor problem with the spark plug wires. Since the plugs are slightly higher (due to the shallower bore), the boots do not fully seat into the ’04 valve cover. This may be resolved by using the plastic valve cover from the ’06, but I’m not going to bother with changing it.
    ,
    There was some mention on here that the Fusion engines have a beefier timing chain. My ’06 chain and sprockets were exactly the same size as the ’04 engine.

  • Thanks for this excellent guide. I changed out an ’06 Mazda3 2.3 with a thrown rod to an ’06 Fusion 2.3 with 17,000 miles this last weekend. Got the long block for $675. Switched out all the external parts (oil pan, H2O pump, oil filter, tension pulley, alternator, crank pulley, and all sensors and even the valve cover) so that the Fusion motor now has all the Mazda parts on it. Only 2 issues in changing out parts: had to punch the hole in the middle of the valve cover for the temp sensor and only 3 bolts for the alternator.

    When I checked the timing on the Fusion motor I noticed a couple of things. With the timing plug in place the #1 piston was not at true TDC but of by a couple of degrees. (checked this with a screwdriver sitting in the spark plug hole and looking at the crank journal.) When I removed the peg and turned crank to true TDC the timing hole in Crank pulley lined up beautiful. I put this down to a probably China made peg I ordered off Amazon. With the crank pulley timing hole aligned and the crank at true TDC the camshaft timing tool would not fit into the camshaft slots but rather they were both off by 1 or 2 degrees (the same amount for both shafts). If I took the crank just past TDC the tool fit perfectly. I know that if I tried to move them by 1 tooth it would be too much and since the motor was in such great condition and had been running I reasoned that this 1 or 2 degrees was OK.

    The motor fired and ran smooth and quiet immediately after the install. (sounds like this was pretty quick but actually had about 16 hours in the project.) I let the car idle about 10 minutes. Cleared a crank/cam position sensor code which was the only code showing. Then the motor started knocking pretty bad. I thought it was a bad motor (even though it only had 17,000 miles on it) so I put it back in the shop. Pulled the valve cover and oil pan again to try and diagnose the noise. Timing hadn’t slipped and was still the same as described. Couldn’t feel or see any play in the rods or pistons. Lifters all worked nicely. Rolled it over many times and checked for valves hitting pistons but nothing there. 2 hours later put it all back together and fired it up again. Ran smooth for about 10 min. Then it started to bog down on the idle a little and the knock started again. I let it run and listened to it.

    Started to sound to me like a loud pre-ignition knock rather than a mechanical knock. Shut the car of and then restarted. Same thing. Runs smooth until it starts to slow idle and then the knock comes. Unconnected the #1 injector wire (sounds like it is coming from #1 cylinder) and knock went away. Ran smooth then starts the knock. Tried the injector again and sometimes it goes away sometimes it just lessens considerably. Drove it and it has good power but the knock will develop if it lugs down or I accelerate hard. It has thrown the crank/cam sensor code again.
    ,
    Any thoughts

    • It’s common on these engines that when the VVT gear goes bad, it sounds like a rod knock. I had a knocking engine in a Mazda6 a while back, but I was not convinced that it had a thrown rod, so before I swapped the motor, I disabled the VVT gear. There is a write up about how to do it (on the car) in the Mazda6 club forum, but I’ll have to search for it. If you think that may be your issue, let me know, and I’ll look for the post.
      About the cam sensor code, these engines will throw a code if the VVT gear has play in it. So next step would be to disable the VVT gear (at the end of the intake camshaft). Basically you remove the valve cover, remove the four torx bolts that cover the VVT, and insert a piece of plastic or wood to prevent any movement of the VVT actuator), put back together and run the engine and listen for the knock. VVT is a source of A LOT of the problems with these engines and should NEVER have been implemented. This same 2.3L engine is in the Escape, Focus, and Tribute vehicles, but these do not have the VVT gear at the end of the intake camshaft, and I have not heard of them knocking or blowing up prematurely, like in the Mazda vehicles with VVT.

  • Thanks to Steve Krause I have adjusted the cog on the intake cam so the Fusion engine matches the Mazda engine. Had to spin the cog about 1/8 inch. Went back through all timing steps and have found that the crank pulley has slipped a few degrees clockwise. I guess that’s what comes from reusing the crank bolt and washer. Now I must realign the pulley. I purchased a new bolt and washer to solve the jumped timing issue. Trying to do this work at my son’s house so don’t have access to my compressor and impact wrench. Anyone have a great idea on how to hold the crank in position while I loosen the crank bolt with a breaker bar? Don’t really want to drop the oilpan again to get at the flywheel.

  • In the guide I would also include that jdm heads have 1/4″ taller intake ports that stock intake gaskets will NOT seal on. It will leave like a .010″ air gap at the top of all 4 cylinders which means a huge vacuum leak! You need to make a gasket out of rigid gasket material that fits the jdm engine, but has enough overlap that the stock orings will seal up against this new gasket.

  • Hello, Just wanted to thank you for all of the helpful information. I just swapped the fusion engine into my wifes Mazda5. Basically the same as you described with a few more components to swap. I have put 75 miles on the car with out any problems.

    • To swap the fusion engine into the Mazda5 I reused the following things from Mazda both cams, valve cover, oil pan, dipstick, crankshaft pulley, oil filter housing , timing cover, thermostat housing , thermostat, fuel rail and injectors, intake and exhaust manifolds, flywheel, and wiring. I removed the engine out of bottom of car letting engine and trans together on the cradle. I would highly recommend this way. Very simple and quick way to remove engine. I used an 06 fusion engine from local yard. I paid $700 for engine with 61k miles.

  • Thanks to this great site and great folks, I just finished the 09 2.3 Fusion to 04 2.3 Mazda 6. All swapped over fine following the information on this site. Grandson drove it to work just a few minutes ago. It had about 10 mile on it when I sent him on his way. No check engine lights yet. Hopefully none will appear. Flushed the cooling system and will change the oil in about 100 mile. Including gaskets, rear and front main seals, and all liquids it cost a total of approximately $1100.00. As part of the cost, we bought the 09 with 60k mile for $750. Cheapest locally we could find.

  • I have a 2005 Mazda 6 2.3 that I am trying to find an engine for. I called a junk yard that has a fusion engine and they told me that it is not close to being the same they said the block and cylinder head is not the same. I am scared about getting an engine that will not work even with the changes that are stated here. Please tell me if there has been anyone that could not make this work.
    Could you tell if all the 2005 changes would need to be made if I have a coil on each plug I think this was one of the changes for 2006
    Thanks Rich

    • Ok… I think this needed to be said for everyone’s benefit. There is NO DOUBT that this swap works, as there have been many success stories about it, not just on this forum but on many… many other forums such as Mazda6, Mazda3, Mazda-Forum, MazdaSpeed, etc. The only reason that most of those people have been able to get their cars back on the road is because of the low cost of the Fusion engines. A used Mazda 2.3L with low miles can run upwards of $2,200, and that’s for a “used” engine; whereas a late-model Fusion/Milan engine can be purchased for around $500-900 depending on the miles.
      ,
      This website was intended to help the little guys get their cars back on the road, and not for Salvage yards to make a killing on used Fusion engines too. So, for everyone that’s reading this, most Salvage yards still think that this swap is not possible, so PLEASE do not prove them wrong, otherwise we can all count on the cost of used Fusion/Milan motors to triple in price, especially since all salvage yards are now interconnected; the word of this swap (along with the price hike) will spread like wildfire.

    • rich the fusion motor will work it is the same engine but heres the difference you need to swap your intake cam!!!!! and all your major sensors and the timing cover and crank pulley. you are putting all your mazda parts on the fusion. all of the major sensor parts. the easy way is take your motor out when you have both motors on the ground swap all the major and misl. parts you are making your mazda read the motor by the timing and all of its mazda parts. for me to swap my motor i did it the hard way. i took the whole front off so i could pullthe motor forward with the hoist. and i put the motor in without swapping parts!(dumb ass) took me about two days taking old motor and putting new one and about another day to swap all the parts. because i had the motor all ready in the car. so it made it a bit more difficult so swap parts with both motors on the ground and you should be ok! not a pro but i def, am a mechanic and it is possible and the fusion is the cheap perfect way to get a running motor that works in your mazda. i am trying to find people in orlando that want to do this swap because i had fun doing it. and it was well worth the time, $ , and wait!!!

  • I want to thank everyone that put this great blog together without it I would have sold my car. The detailed information made the job doable for my mechanic. I used car-parts.com to find my fusion engine and what an amazing find that I was able to purchase. The engine was a 2006 fusion engine with 7,600 miles on it. One part of the change over that was a surprise is that my 2005 engine had 6 teeth on the cam but my mechanic still changed it. Basically my mechanic used most of my mazda parts so it looks just like the original engine. He did try and use the fuel system from the ford engine but it will not work so do not try. When he used all my mazda fuel system it started up very quick. I have about 50 miles on it so far and it runs great so quiet and the check engine never came on once it was started. I just want to say if anyone does this change find a mechanic that is not in a rush. He told me that it would be ease to goof up the timing and the change could turn out very bad. So if anyone one needs a great mechanic I know where to find one in upstate NY.
    Thank you thank you

  • Just finished my grandsons 2004 Mazda 6 engine swap with a 2007 Fusion 2.3 . Thanks for a great guide. It wasn’t 100 percent complete bit close enough that with the assistance of Nojodas67 the job went smoothly! He is a wealth of knowledge and savy with these swaps!! Also got the engine from him! Having never done one of these I practiced on the old engine! Only changed the parts you stated and used pre coil on plug ignition and sensors and front cover. No mention was made regarding using fusion VVT so timing chain teeth matched but Nojodas67 mentioned it before I had engine in car!! One more thing I removed entire front end of vehicle as he suggested. A real time saver as only takes about one hours to remove and than everything is so much easier to work on and a/c compressor, alt., power steering pump and belt is done on the engine hoist. Yes need to recharge a/c but no big deal!! Thanks again Happy Wrenching and Nojodas67 for saving us a ton of money and guiding me and grandson thru a fun project. Bill

  • Well just finished my swap of the 2006 Fusion motor in to my 2004 Mazda3 and it runs great! It started instantly and has run perfectly. As stated here I switch over the front cover, valve cover, oil pressure sensor, oil pan, intake manifold. I didn’t switch the cam because it was like new compared to the one in my old Mazda motor so I pressed off the timing cog from fusion intake cam and replaced it with the Mazda timing cog. I have about 50 miles on it so far and its running super. But I do have an error code (P0500) which I know is the error code for the transmission speed sensor. Its messing with the trans, speedo and power steering. So I have a little investigation around the sensor to make sure I didn’t damage the sensor or wiring in the swap somehow. I bought the car not running so it could have came with the faulty sensor. Anyway the motor swap went really smooth due to the info here and I just wanted to say thanks!!

  • Hey guys before I tell you my experience with engine swap , I would like to thank you for all the help that I received here…also every question that I had was answered same day so thank you again ..

    My experience ..

    2007 Mazda 5 2.3l engine had a knock on cyl. #2
    2007 Ford Fusion engine with low km was my replacement engine …..

    My major concern was, if I can make this work, due to some reading I did here and else ware, I was confident that it can be done and it can ….

    So I striped everything down from new Fusion engine

    What do you need to swap from your old Mazda engine to Fusion engine . .

    NS 2014-08-11 00:52
    Valve cover
    Oil pan — totally different A/c compressor is bolted on it.
    Camshaft — even if 2007 Fusion I was hoping that cams are the same but no, late o6 production on Mazda engine.
    Timing cover — exactly the same , but I took my anyways ,I had to get to chain tensioner to swap cams.
    Crank shaft pulley—make yourself a locking tool or just buy it.
    Crankshaft sensor —- looks the same but..
    Knock sensors —- they look the same, but I did not want to take a chance , hard to get to it later
    Fuel injectors—- connections are definitely same but Fusion ones were black in colour, my were green so I used my.
    Oil cooler — Fusion does not have one
    Alternator —well I wanted to use my but I discover that top bolt I have no place to put it, on my Mazda engine is on casing of the water pump ,which is part of the block and it is casted that way . …. So you can leave it with three bolts or just get Fusion alternator, which I did not get yet so I cannot tell you if the belt is going to be the same .if you leave it like I did, it looks ugly I have to admit ….
    Pilot bearing— My Mazda is manual and Fusion was automatic so you need one there.

    I believe that is it ….so to clarify, engine runs in my car no problem, can it be done yes it can be , is it easy, depending on your skill, in my opinion not at all , but one thing is for sure its time consuming ..

    NS 2014-08-11 00:54
    *Also head is identical but block is different due to top bolt on water pump, so technically internals are the same but
    block is different….

    Is it worth it….well its up to you but I will think twice before I do it again, resealing timing cover and oil pan ,also worrying about timing plus everything else took too much time,
    ,
    If I just went and bought 2007 Mazda engine with 90 00km at local scrap yard, it would cost me $1280 tax in .

    Fusion engine 59km $600 even
    New intake many fold gasket $20
    New exhaust many fold gasket $22
    New valve cover $20
    New oil cooler/filter gasket kit $29
    New pilot bearing $10
    Sealer/silicon for oil/timing cover $15
    Used alternator $60

    I put few days of work to swap everything and to make my own tools, I saved $400 , but I lost few more days so time equals money so you decide which one is more valuable to you.
    Definitely fun project …..

  • I have read this whole article, and found a lot of useful and success stories , now i am going to order a fusion motor , but would like to get just a little clarity , what i have is a 2006 Mazda 3 with the California emissions , is that making a difference to any thing i have been reading in this forum , thanks for the help

  • I have been reading this tread because I have had the engine swapped in my 2005 Ford Escape by a garage an hour and half away from me because I could not find an engine closer to me. When I got it back I noticed that the dipstick was now located in the valve cover instead of separate from the block. Also, it had square Coils instead of the round Coils. The other thing that I noticed was that there was an electrical socket in the valve cover on the timing chain end of the engine that was not connected to anything. After some research and thanks to this thread, I have learned that this is the VVT electrical connection. The original engine did not have VVT, so the harness and the computer would not be setup to power the VVT.

    The engine seems to run okay, but is it okay to run it without the VVT connected? Am I loosing any performance by not having it connected?

    • Yes, while you are not getting peak performance out of this engine, that escape never had vvt originally anyhow; nontheless, you’re not losing any horsepower either.
      You probably paid too much for that engine though, non-vvt motors are normally less expensive. Instead of searching for an Escape motor, You could have bought a 2.3l Focus engine for less and they are much easier to find than salvaged 2.3l Escapes. I know all yards will tell you that a focus engine will not work in an escape, but they are identical. I’ve even swapped in 2.0l Focus engines in 2 escapes and I did not notice any significant power difference, and both Escapes ran great.

  • I just completed swapping a 2006 Fusion engine into a 2008 Mazda 5 and thought I would share my experience. Many thanks to HappyWrenching and nojodas67 and everyone else for all the info available on this page.

    Things I had to swap:
    Crankshaft Pulley- 5 uses 2 belts, Fusion 1, also different sensor wheel
    Oil pan and oil pickup- 5 oil pan has mounting for AC compressor, 5 pan is deeper requiring the pickup from the 5 engine
    Oil filter housing- 5 has cooling plumbed to top, Fusion does not
    Oil Control Valve- connector was different
    Flex plate- have not seen this mentioned, but the Fusion one went a good 1/4″ deeper into the bell housing
    Valve cover- didn’t have to, but didn’t want the extra hole from the Fusion cover

    I also swapped intake manifold and throttle body, pcv valve and oil splitter, and timing cover. None of these were mechanically necessary, but were in better condition on 5. VVT actuator on Fusion engine was bad, so I used the 5 actuator and the Fusion timing gear.

    I pulled the engine out the top with a lift, but not the transmission. Removing the wipers and cowl made more room to maneuver. I had to remove the crank pulley before lifting the engine out to have space to seperate the engine and transmission.
    ,
    The torque converter pulled out of the transmission as I swung the engine over, had to use a pry bar to separate the flex plate and tc. I also had difficulty keeping the tc seated when putting the new engine in. Had everything lined up, tightened up the bell housing bolts and could not turn the engine. Loosened the bolts and was able to turn the engine again. Pulled the engine back out, made certain I got 2 clunks when seating tc, was very careful to keep tc seated while positioning and bolting in engine, tightened bolts slowly and evenly around the bell housing, and was able to turn engine when all bolts were tight.
    ,
    I ran into an issue with the Fusion engine. When I pulled the valve cover to check timing I found oil sludge. As deep as the 2nd knuckle on my index finger in some areas. It took a lot of time and 20 cans of carb cleaner to clean the sludge out of the engine. It would probably have been more time efficient to have repaired the 5 engine than clean the sludge from the Fusion engine.

    The new engine fired right up, idled nicely, and drove exactly like the old engine. I idled the new engine for about 30 minutes, drained the oil and changed the filter in hopes of catching any sludge floating around in the oil. The filter did pick up a few chunks of sludge, and also some metal flakes that I’m assuming came from the oil filter housing. I saw no flakes in the engine as I was cleaning it, and all the rods are tight. I put in a quart of marvel mystery oil when I refilled the oil and plan on changing the oil and filter again in about 500 miles.

  • Thank you for the great guide! After developing a rod knock I replaced the 160k mi engine in my 2005 Mazda 6 with an 51k mi 2008 Fusion engine. The process worked great thanks to the information in this guide and the service manual. The spark plugs for the Fusion engine are different (more reach, more threads) so I am using that type now. At initial start-up, the idle was surging and I got an engine code indicating a crank sensor malfunction. It looked like the sensor was bumped, so after checking the sensor and wiring I adjusted the location of the sensor to better line up with the 9th tooth. That fixed it. Took another day of driving for idling rpm to calibrate itself. Now it runs perfect!

  • So I swapped a 2007 2.3l fusion into my 2008 Mazda 6. Purchased the car 4 years ago with 120km’s on it put 3000 on it crank bearings went(yes I always change my oil before its due and according to Mazda that’s every 8000 I do it every 5000kms.) Covered under my warranty I bought from the dealer and they put in an engine from the wrecker with 120000 on it. Well 179000 3 years later same problem. My friend and I took on the task and successfully installed I 2007 ford fusion engine with 148000 on it that I got from the wrecker for 500$.
    ,
    Long story short I’ve put about 3000kms on it and it seems to be lacking power. When I had the last engine it seemed to hit a power band at 3500 rpm. When we changed the crankshaft sensor between engines we just lined up the marks from where the heads of the bolts were on the sensor and it runs very smooth but I’m wondering if that is the cause of the lack in torque I guess to say it and if so what is an easy way to see the improvement as there is no timing marks for a timing light or anything. Would moving the sensor clockwise looking at the front of the engine (crank pully side) cause timing retard or advance and has anyone done this and seen improvements?
    I know between ford and Mazda they say the specs on the engines the ford has more power but we are talking 4hp more for the ford and you don’t notice horsepower gains until you hit 50+.
    Any help appreciated.

    • First thing that comes to mind is your VVT may not be engaging, you should definitely feel it kicking in above 3500 rpm’s. You didn’t clarify if you’re feeling a lack of power at all RPM’s or only above 3500 rpm. If the latter is correct, then I would start looking at the VVT to be suspect. I once suspected that the VVT in one of my many Mazda’s was not advancing intake valve timing, so I spliced a test light at the VVT solenoid and ran the wire inside the car and to the test light, and went for a drive. The bulb lit right above 3500 rpm and under acceleration, but I noticed NO difference in power. I then took off the timing cover and removed the VVT gear. After disassembling it, I was able to verify that it was damaged and heavily scored inside. I bet during VVT engagement, the engine lost all the oil pressure supplied to the VVT, but it was not enough to trigger the oil warning light; it was just a matter of time before the rod bearings suffered the all-familiar fate with these engines. They NEVER should’ve incorporated an oil-pressure driven VVT system into these engines; 9 out of 10 engine failures have been due to VVT oil pressure leakage, which will eventually result in a bad bearing or two, and rod knock.

      • Well I got the new actuator in and the cars runs very well ,however I can’t seem to get rid of the p0016 code. the crank position is right on. When installing the cam alignment plate, it slides right in the exhaust cam but the intake cam needs wiggled with a wrench to slide in(maybe a 1/64 inch).

        Code is gone after a slight crankshaft sensor adjustment. Thanks ..

  • Hey fellas thanks for the write up and all comments. I recently swapped out my ’06 Mazda 6 2.3l for a Ford 2.5l out of a 2011 Ford Escape. Worked like a charm super easy. (I’m a roofer lol)

  • I swapped an 08 Fusion 2.3 engine into an 06 Mazda 6. Car would run fine initially but then barely run after about 30 minutes. Thought is was timing – so redid timing with proper tool kit and checked everything.

    Had the car diagnosed – found out it was the catalytic converter. For any of you with similar problem, a new cat converter may be your solution.

    Appreciate the forum. Hope this helps someone.

    • Thanks for following up on this. Although I’ve heard of many cases where the cat was so plugged up that the engine would not run or run poorly due to a large restriction in the exhaust, I didn’t suggest looking into that because the car was supposedly running ok prior to the swap.
      Early to mid 2000’s Nissan 2.5L engines, had cats with ceramic medium material (instead of platinum) that would deteriorate prematurely at around 50k miles. The cats were part of the exhaust manifold in proximity to the exhaust valves, so upon deceleration, the ceramic powder would get sucked into the cylinders and grind the cylinder walls to a larger size, thus at around 50-80k miles, these engines would lose compression rapidly, shortly after the cat began to deteriorate. Nissan refused to offer any type of relief for owners and so just like the thousands of failed Mazda 6’s, I also rebuilt many Nissan Sentra and Altima 2.5L engines, because of this other catastrophic design flaw.
      Manufacturers should do better testing before rolling out a new product to the market, rather than having the consumer do the testing for them.

  • Thank you for all your info on this page! Just finished putting a 2008 Fusion 2.3 in my 2004 Mazda 3 2.3 manual 5 speed! Couldn’t have done it without this link! Runs perfect and hope to get it back on the road this week (gotta get it passed by the California smog nazi’s 1st, lol).

  • Just finished an engine swap in 2008 Mazda 6 with spun #4 CR bearing. Purchased a 2012 Fusion eng. with 59k miles from a salvaged car for $350. Had damaged timing chain cover so I used the Mazda TC cover. Also used fly wheel, intake manifold, valve cover, coil packs, plugs, all wiring harnesses, cooling hose bracket next to the EGR controller, oil pressure switch, crankshaft ft pulley and position sensor. Removed cylinder head temp sensor and another sensor connected to fuel rail that Mazda harness had no plug for. Had to fabricate an adapter plate in order to use the 2.3l intake on the 2.5l eng due to the larger orifice size on the block. Big thanks to the Author of this post. Saved me lots of time and headaches.

  • What I want to know, is what are you guys doing to your motors to have to replace them, and what makes you think it won’t happen again if you’re putting the same motor in its place?

    I stumbled on this page and find it informative, but I have a Fusion, and replaced a motor in it because the previous owner took it to Jiffylube and they didn’t put oil in it. The result was a motor with a hole on each side of the block (about 6 weeks later). I bought the car for $700 (with newish tires and 122K miles, nearly perfect interior and minor exterior scratches), found a motor for $1100 w/ a 5 yr unlimited warranty, and have enjoyed the crap out of it since Dec.

    • Craig,
      I know this page is getting pretty darn long and has hundreds of posts, so you probably missed the answer to your original question, which has been addressed at least a couple of times already. To sum it up: we are swapping the Japan-built 2.3L (found in Mazda cars) which are notorious for premature (and catastrophic) timing chain and VVT failures, which renders the whole engine useless; and replacing them with Mexico-built 2.3L (found in Ford Fusion/Milan sedans), which have a much thicker timing chain that doesn’t seem to stretch as easily as the Japanese version of this engine.
      Again, It is NOT the same engine; it’s a similar design shared by Ford and Mazda (which used to be married), but each manufacturer chose to use different timing component materials.

  • I have successfully swapped an 09 Ford Fusion in to my 05 Mazda 6 and it has been about 100 miles so far with it. When I press the clutch pedal, the rpms go below 1000 and when I take it off it goes to about 1500. Also, as of 2 days ago it starts when it wants to meaning I’ll start it, look under the hood to see if everything is connected then get back in my car and it will start and sometimes it just won’t no matter what. And also my check engine light has been on and it reads idle air control system revolutions per minute higher than expected. Is there anything I can do to fix these problems? Please let me know if someone has had similar issues

    • Unless you are absolutely certain that the valve timing is DEAD-ON on your engine, then look for a vacuum leak, that would be my first educated guess.

      FYI: To Properly check the valve timing on these engines while on the car involves: lifting the front of the car, removing the right front tire, removing the valve cover, and inserting the correct timing tools. If you don’t do ALL those steps, you HAVE not checked your valve timing.

    • Depends on a ton of different things. Could be done in a weekend. Might take several weekends. Might take longer. Skill level, preparation, tools, parts, assistance, problems, 2.3 to 2.3 pretty quick, 2.3 to 2.5 takes longer, etc,.

      Mine took almost two months cause it was the first time I’d done it, I was doing it by myself, I wasn’t working on it full time, and then I ran into problems which cost me three weeks of diagnostics and troubleshooting to resolve.

  • Thanks everyone for participating in the discussion of this guide – especially nojodas67. It has been many years since I’ve completed the swap and I am pleased to report that the Mazda 6 with the Ford 2.3 is still going strong at 217,000 miles! That means that the donor engine has 171,000 miles on it. I’ve just recently replaced the plugs, pcv valve and hose and the upstream O2 sensor. The engine still runs smooth, does not burn oil, and gets great gas mileage. Despite the car being plagued with rust, the Mazda 6 has been my most reliable car to date.

    I feel like this topic has been thoroughly discussed and has started to morph into something else – swapping 2.5 into other models, etc. In order to keep things clean I will be turning off the comments and encourage people to post their questions on dedicated forums. Thanks again to everyone!

  • When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and
    from now on whenever a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the
    same comment. Is there an easy method you can remove me from that service?
    Appreciate it!

  • I have a 2008 mazda 3 2.3 and was going to do the 2.5 swap what year fusion do I look for ? Would I have to swap intake cams if so what do you do about the cam bearing from getting wiped out ?

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