As some of you may know, I recently bought an 04 Ion3 QC with a broken VTi transmission. Instead of replacing the Vti with another possible lemon, I decided to swap in a 5 speed automatic from an Ion sedan. I may have the world's first Ion QC with a 5 speed automatic transmission.
The swap was pretty straight forward. The most difficult part may have been locating parts. I was lucky enough that a local salvage yard had a wrecked but complete 04 Ion sedan. The parts needed to complete the swap are as followed:
AF23 transmission from an 03 or 04 Ion sedan
AF23 torque converter
transmission computer for the AF23 transmission
transmission cooler hoses for AF23 transmission
AF23 front transmission mount
AF23 driver's side upper transmission mount
AF23 bracket for rear lower transmission mount
AF23 transmission wiring harness
shift cable bracket that mounts on transmission(from an AF23 trans)
8 quarts T-IV transmission fluid(the fluid from a Toyota dealership is $5/quart)
2 new axle shaft oil seals for the transmission(same seals for both transmissions)
mounting bracket for the PCM and AF23 TCM)
From doing research, I found that the passenger's side axle shaft for the AF23 was 3/8" shorter, but upon comparison, I found it was actually 1/2" longer than the VTi axle shaft. I reused the VTi axle shaft in the AF23 trans, and all seems to be working well after 1 mile of driving. The driver's side axle shaft is identical for the 2 transmissions.
I won't go into complete details on the removal of the transmission since they can be found in a Haynes or Chilton's repar manual. As far as installing the AF23 trans, here are some pointer that would have made it an easier process for me.
For installation, support the engine with a floor jack and raise the transmission up to the engine with some kind of hoist. I used a come-along attached to my shed's trusses.
Have the torque converter completely seated into the transmission when you atach the trans to the engine.
put a little oil on the stub nose of the torque converter so it slides into the crankshaft easier.
I drained the coolant and removed the radiator hoses to get better access to things
I also removed the radiator overflow container for better access
Putting trans fluid into the AF23 trans is difficult since the dipstick is towards the bottom front of the trans. I used a dipstick tube from another engine and a tip on the top of an oil bottle to put the fluid in.
Once I had the AF23 installed, I had issues getting the engine to start. It may have been a faulty ignition switch since it was about 10 degrees, or it may be necessary to do a passlock relearn procedure(as suggested by 2006 ion2). I have not figured that out yet.
Once the engine started, everything worked perfectly. The transmission shifts through all the gears smoothly, so I didn't need to have the TCM reprogrammed as I thought I would.
Some of you may be interested in the cost of this swap. Total price of all the parts for me was $745.76...a far cry from the $5,000 for a new Vti transmission. The transmission I picked up only had 8,000 miles on it, so it should be ready for the life of the car.
Shut up, and drive, I'm done here.
Congratulations, that is a complex ordeal and one that I guess I would question was even do-able. I am impressed that it can be done and by some one who actually can document it in such a way that others can follow through with the same thing.
I know that I personally would not buy that car with the VTi transmission in it working or not. That transmission design in my mind is not one that appeals to me.
Knowing it can be gotten rid of affordably changes my whole thought process on the probability of ever owning one.
I noticed the re-post this morning and read it as if it was the first time I had seen it. The heart attack I had in August last year did a lot of damage I am just now really beginning to realize took place. I have lost a lot of memories and probably a lot of other things too. While I feel o.k. and am able to do a lot of things I enjoy I also realize that some skill levels have been reduced although it is not obvious to me except as a missing nuance.
I had no idea I read this much less commented on it. It was strange to read something I wrote and have no memory of it.
My lady is beginning to mention those things and it is hard for her to bring it up and for me to realize it. What is lost is lost! Their is no memory of ever having it. The realization is weird.
For me, the auto hobby always has been associated with repair/restoration or modification. I do my own work and always have. That is the joy that I get from it along with the driving. What a job this must have been. I had no idea you could get the different computers to talk to each other and recognize the existence of them. I thought it was amazing that I could install a retrofit electronic fuel injection in a 1980 AMC Spirit automobile and have it be a 5 wire hook up to the car + a diode to eliminate run on. And have it work and a Scan Tool think it is a 1995 Jeep Cherokee. This one boggles the mind, or at least mine anyway.