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Thread: Mazda FS5A-EL transmission interchangeability

  1. #1
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    Mazda5

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    Mazda FS5A-EL transmission interchangeability

    I had a code for shift solenoid B stuck open and incorrect gear ratio in 2nd and 4th. I spent some time throwing money at it, replacing fluid, filter, solenoids, and I even tried a new TCM. I inspected the band and finally said "Screw it! I need a new transmission!" I found out really quick that Mazda5 transmissions were expensive. My best deal was $850 for a transmission with 170K miles. Hell no! I noticed that there were a lot of transmissions from 2010 Mazda3 2.0L. These transmissions were in the $300 range, with relatively low mileage. These cars use the FS5A-EL transmission, which is the same model as ours. Despite this, the Hollander interchangeability guide says that they are not interchangeable. I looked up companies that remanufacture them and noticed that they listed both of these cars as being able to use a remanufactured FS5A-EL. https://www.certifiedtransmission.co...tured/FS5A-EL/

    I then looked up part numbers for the engine and found that all Mazda FS5A-EL transmissions utilize the same internal components, part number for part number. Notice I said Mazda. Ford uses an FNR5 transmission that is the FS5A-EL with a few different parts.

    Anyway, I decided to gamble. I bought a Mazda3 transmissions, with 54K miles, for only $321, shipping and tax included. I got it off eBay from a seller named i-80 auto parts. I called them and asked questions and finally bought it on a Monday. On Tuesday, I got an email telling me that they didn't want to send it, because according to their information (Hollander interchangeability guide), it wouldn't work. I assured than I had done my homework and would assume liability if it didn't work. I then received it on Thursday. The mount and the TCM were the only things that were not interchangeable, and they were easily swapped. The transmissions looked identical and even had the same code stamp on the side. I put it in and I am happy to say, "It works!" I am not sure if the Hollander guide said they were not interchangeable due to a mount and a bolt-on TCM, but I can tell you first hand, it works just fine. I did later have to change my TCM, but even with that cost, I still only spent $523, much less and much fewer miles than one from a Mazda5.
    Last edited by Sciko67; 04-05-2018 at 06:22 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered Member

    Various Makes and Models

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    I’m hoping the same is true for the manual 6spd, mine ate itself at 210,000 miles last week and there are no listings for a “5” transmission but there are hundreds of “3” trans listed. $250 and a drive is a tolerable risk, I’ll report back.

  3. #3
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    2012 Mazda 5

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    Did you do the swap yourself?
    Was it hard to do or took long if you did it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sciko67 View Post
    I had a code for shift solenoid B stuck open and incorrect gear ratio in 2nd and 4th. I spent some time throwing money at it, replacing fluid, filter, solenoids, and I even tried a new TCM. I inspected the band and finally said "Screw it! I need a new transmission!" I found out really quick that Mazda5 transmissions were expensive. My best deal was $850 for a transmission with 170K miles. Hell no! I noticed that there were a lot of transmissions from 2010 Mazda3 2.0L. These transmissions were in the $300 range, with relatively low mileage. These cars use the FS5A-EL transmission, which is the same model as ours. Despite this, the Hollander interchangeability guide says that they are not interchangeable. I looked up companies that remanufacture them and noticed that they listed both of these cars as being able to use a remanufactured FS5A-EL. https://www.certifiedtransmission.co...tured/FS5A-EL/

    I then looked up part numbers for the engine and found that all Mazda FS5A-EL transmissions utilize the same internal components, part number for part number. Notice I said Mazda. Ford uses an FNR5 transmission that is the FS5A-EL with a few different parts.

    Anyway, I decided to gamble. I bought a Mazda3 transmissions, with 54K miles, for only $321, shipping and tax included. I got it off eBay from a seller named i-80 auto parts. I called them and asked questions and finally bought it on a Monday. On Tuesday, I got an email telling me that they didn't want to send it, because according to their information (Hollander interchangeability guide), it wouldn't work. I assured than I had done my homework and would assume liability if it didn't work. I then received it on Thursday. The mount was different, and I elected to use my stock TCM, both of which were easily swapped. They looked identical and even had the same code stamp on the side. I put it in and I am happy to say, "It works!" I am not sure if the Hollander guide said they were not interchangeable due to a mount and a bolt-on TCM, but I can tell you first hand, it works just fine.

  4. #4
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    Mazda5

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    It was time consuming. I decided to work around the intake manifold. If I had to do it again, I would have just removed it. I cut my hands on that thing so many times. Getting the driver side axle out was a hassle. I finally used a tie rod separator, wedged it in and smacked it with a hammer. I actually messed the axle up trying to put it back in. I used an engine hoist to lower the old transmission and raise the new one.

  5. #5
    Registered Member Silentnoise713's Avatar

    2008 Mazda5 Grand Touring; 2009 Honda Fit Sport/Nav MT

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    Great post for future reference. Chances are something is slightly different but a lot of things are interchangeable with little to no mod necessary. I do wonder and suspect the 2.0 transmission might have different drive ratios and finale drive ratio. Good to know the TCM are the same, that might be add cost if different.
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  6. #6
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    Mazda5

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    I tried a different TCM before buying a transmission, and it still wouldn't go into 2nd or 4th gear, so I sent it back. My transmission was toasted, but I believe it was toasted because of a bad TCM. (It went into limp home mode, and my wife drove it down the highway at redline.) Even after replacing the transmission, I keep getting shift Solenoid b codes, using my original TCM. The Mazda3 TCM definitely doesn't work. I tried. I got a code saying the TCM was not recognized. I bought another Mazda5 TCM and the codes finally stopped.

  7. #7
    Registered Member DrFeelGood's Avatar

    Mazda 6s Wagon

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    Portland, OR
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    Thanks for the informative post. I discovered this while looking for information on a shift kit for the same transmission
    Transgo Shift Kit
    Last edited by DrFeelGood; 07-26-2018 at 01:03 AM.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2019
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    Hello! thank you for this information.
    I have a Mazda 3 2.3l and my transmission is starting to go bad. I had the TCM rebuilt and it didn't fix my problem. I found a transmission for my car and is about $800. I don't wanna spend that much money, I already spent $300 to rebuild the TCM.
    Few questions:
    1) The transmission you bought came with the TCM?
    2) Did you swap any other parts other than the transmission and the TCM? like CV axle shaft, transmission line pressure?
    3) Which TCM you end up swapping?
    4) What year is your Mazda 5?

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