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Old 11-19-2008, 10:53 PM   #1
jeepinwi
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Default 2004 Ion 3 QC Transmission swap

I'm about to buy a 2004 Ion QC which I assume has the dreaded CVT transmission. I'm getting a great deal on the car with 84,000 miles, but the transmission is bad in the car. Instead of replacing the CVT trans with another CVT lemon, what would be involved in swapping in an automatic trans from a 2004 Ion sedan(normal auto trans)? That is the Aisin 5 speed auto, correct?

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Old 11-20-2008, 01:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: 2004 Ion 3 QC Transmission swap

yes, it's the aisin 5 speed auto, you'd need the appropriately programmed TCM and the trans, the torque converter might be different, but other than that, it should be easy to swap them.

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Old 11-20-2008, 09:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2004 Ion 3 QC Transmission swap

I'm hoping the swap is easy since I don't want to turn down this car! The Aisin 5 speed auto can be bought for about $300 for a low mileage unit. Many have the torque converter included. Now I wonder if I'll need different driveshafts, wiring harness, or other parts?

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Old 11-20-2008, 09:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2004 Ion 3 QC Transmission swap

Well, a little more info to add for the swap. The driver's side axle shaft is the same but the passenger side shows different part numbers. Turns out with the VTi trans, the passenger side axle shaft is 37.875" long. The Aisin trans axle shaft is 37.5" long. Same spline count for both axle shafts.

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Old 11-20-2008, 09:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2004 Ion 3 QC Transmission swap

CV axles have play to accommodate a small amount of variance in distance, but just to be sure, call saturn and get both P/Ns, the aisin is a pretty basic transmission, the GM ones, however, have a harness. I believe the aisins only have one or two wires going to it, anyone with an aisin know?

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Old 11-20-2008, 10:07 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2004 Ion 3 QC Transmission swap

I've been browsing car-part.com for the past hour, and parts are cheap for the car. An Aisin transmission computer is only $35. A new passenger side CV shaft is $70. If I need a flywheel, that runs about $20.

Even if I have to throw a bunch of parts at it, I'm still way ahead. I'm getting the car for $2900, and the trans issue is the only flaw in the car. Everything else is like new.

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Old 11-20-2008, 05:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2004 Ion 3 QC Transmission swap

Cmon people. I'm sure somebody has some input to help me out here. If I'm the first one doing this, I'm sure it will be helpful to many others down the road. How about shift linkages on the Aisin 5 speed? Is everything controlled electronically or is there mechancal connections? What kind of wiring does the Aisin 5 speed trans have?

I'm picking up the car tomorrow and am probably stopping at the salvage yard to get a transmission with torque converter, trans computer, and passenger side driveshaft.

Any other parts you guys think I might need?

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Old 11-20-2008, 06:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2004 Ion 3 QC Transmission swap

if you have questions on if something's the same, compare part numbers, you can do research on your own, nobody that I know of has done this, and since the transmissions are unique to this car, nobody else will know this, either, but someone should be able to clue you in on the wiring.

...
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trifecta dealer for the U.P. and WI. There is no two door ion. Proudly driving one of the last saturns produced before gm killed the brand.

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Old 02-03-2014, 12:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2004 Ion 3 QC Transmission swap

I know this was posted over 5 yrs ago now, but if you or anyone else who might have done this swap can let me know how successful it was, it be really helpful to me. I bought a 2004 Saturn Ion QC and of course, had the same transmission problem. Can't find m75 anywhere, so I'm starting to consider doig a swap for a different transmission at this point, as my car also shows no other problems and looks new

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Old 02-04-2014, 08:35 PM   #10
col_dude190
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Default Re: 2004 Ion 3 QC Transmission swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabbion04 View Post
I know this was posted over 5 yrs ago now, but if you or anyone else who might have done this swap can let me know how successful it was, it be really helpful to me. I bought a 2004 Saturn Ion QC and of course, had the same transmission problem. Can't find m75 anywhere, so I'm starting to consider doig a swap for a different transmission at this point, as my car also shows no other problems and looks new
This swap has been completed MANY times by several owners thanks to the groundwork and research done by jeepinwi. Jeep's full thread can be found here:
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=130775

I myself completed one of these swaps on an '04 ION 3 QC that I picked up on craigslist to use as a commuter car. The swap is very straight forward, everything is plug and play.

The biggest thing with this swap is finding a junkyard that will sell you all of the parts that you need to complete the swap. Many yards don't want to be bothered dealing with items like transmission mounts and wiring harnesses. Once I found a yard that had everything I needed and would sell me the whole package, everything else with the swap was easy enough. I did have to repair my engine/transmission harness using the old CVT harness that I removed from the car as two of the needed connectors had been cut off by the junkyard.

One thing I will add is that several of the users who have completed these swaps (including jeep) have said that the CVT shift cable is compatible with the Aisin M43 with the proper adjustment. However, I had issues adjusting the CVT to the appropriate length. Thankfully my junkyard included the shift cable from the donor sedan, so I was able to swap the cables out easily. So if you can get the sedan shift cable tossed in, it certainly doesn't hurt to have it onhand if you have issues.

Otherwise the swap is pretty easy, and definitely worthwhile to save a great car for a lot less money than dropping in another faulty CVT.

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Old 02-15-2014, 12:59 AM   #11
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Default Re: 2004 Ion 3 QC Transmission swap

I just did this swap and it was as easy as it is described, I was able to use the stock m75 shift cable, one think I would like to clarify, you will need the bracket that holds the cable, as well as the small metal bracket that links the cable assy to the transmission shift selector, the small metal brackets look the same and are the same length but they are notched differently, and they are "clocked" 180* different .

I did not have to adjust anything with the shift selector, nor did I have to change the drive shaft,

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