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Automatic Jatco JA5A-EL same as in the Mazda 6?
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sbeltinc
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:55 pm    Post subject: Automatic Jatco JA5A-EL same as in the Mazda 6? Reply with quote

The JA5A-EL 5spd automatic transmission in my 2002 MPV is failing and I'm looking for a used replacement.

I'm finding the 2003-2005 Mazda 6 with the 3.0L uses the same transmission by model number and they are more plentiful and a bit cheaper.

Does anyone know if it's the exact same transmission? I'm concerned the MPV version may be more heavy-duty due to the extra vehicle weight.

Thanks!
Scott
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OBB-MPV
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:40 am    Post subject: Re: Automatic Jatco JA5A-EL same as in the Mazda 6? Reply with quote

The MPV weighs less than 10% over the Mazda6 so I don't see a problem there.

Looking at these two links, I don't see much difference between the two vehicles engines and transmissions, both 2003s. There's obviously an error on the 5th gear ratio on the MPV page and possibly the reverse gear ratio on both pages, but still.

http://www.new-cars.com/2003/mazda/mazda6-specs.html

http://www.new-cars.com/2003/mazda/mazda-mpv-specs.html


What I didn't see was a towing rating for the 6. Seems that the USA owners manuals don't recommend towing although in other parts of the world it's rated 1500kg (about the same as the MPV) according to this link:

http://www.imazda.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10786
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intropiles
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Automatic Jatco JA5A-EL same as in the Mazda 6? Reply with quote

sbeltinc wrote:
The JA5A-EL 5spd automatic transmission in my 2002 MPV is failing and I'm looking for a used replacement.

I'm finding the 2003-2005 Mazda 6 with the 3.0L uses the same automatic transmission parts by model number and they are more plentiful and a bit cheaper.

Does anyone know if it's the exact same used transmission? I'm concerned the MPV version may be more heavy-duty due to the extra vehicle weight.

Thanks!
Scott


hey, still looking 2005 Mazda 6? I am currently selling mine. Make any offer.


Last edited by intropiles on Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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shamusm
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Automatic Jatco JA5A-EL same as in the Mazda 6? Reply with quote

intropiles wrote:
sbeltinc wrote:
The JA5A-EL 5spd automatic transmission in my 2002 MPV is failing and I'm looking for a used replacement.

I'm finding the 2003-2005 Mazda 6 with the 3.0L uses the same transmission by model number and they are more plentiful and a bit cheaper.

Does anyone know if it's the exact same transmission? I'm concerned the MPV version may be more heavy-duty due to the extra vehicle weight.

Thanks!
Scott


hey, still looking 2005 Mazda 6? I am currently selling mine. Make any
offer.


Hmmmm.....I believe they are looking for a transmission, not a complete running car.
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shamusm
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Automatic Jatco JA5A-EL same as in the Mazda 6? Reply with quote

intropiles wrote:
sbeltinc wrote:
The JA5A-EL 5spd automatic transmission in my 2002 MPV is failing and I'm looking for a used replacement.

I'm finding the 2003-2005 Mazda 6 with the 3.0L uses the same transmission by model number and they are more plentiful and a bit cheaper.

Does anyone know if it's the exact same transmission? I'm concerned the MPV version may be more heavy-duty due to the extra vehicle weight.

Thanks!
Scott


hey, still looking 2005 Mazda 6? I am currently selling mine. Make any
offer.


Hmmmm.....I believe they are looking for a transmission, not a complete running car.
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sbeltinc
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Automatic Jatco JA5A-EL same as in the Mazda 6? Reply with quote

2002 MPV ES with 68k miles

I resolved my transmission issue and am posting for others who may have a similar issue.

RE: Mazda6/MPV interchangeability of the FWD 5spd transmission (JA5A-EL / JF506E ).
- Mazda assigns a different part numbers to each although they share many of the same internal parts
- I could never determine the exact differences but since the Mazda6 version is $2k cheaper from the dealer I don't expect they are a direct swap

My problem was that when the trans shifted into 3rd gear it slipped and you couldn't accelerate enough to test 4th or 5th.

1st, 2nd and Reverse all seemed to work fine. If you drove in '2' it was fine but of course you can only go 40 mph tops. Fluid was a bit burnt.

I removed the driver's front wheel and upper/lower trans mount bolt so the transmission end cover could be removed and the High/Reverse drum extracted.
I found my reverse clutch and steels were completely burned but high clutches looked fine (High clutch operates 3rd, 4th and 5th gears). I dissasembled further and the other clutch packs all looked great.

VERY careful inspection showed the high piston had a hairline crack that allowed the fluid to drain from the high piston that rides inside it. This allowed the reverse piston to partially engage the reverse clutch pack when it shifted into 3rd (or 4th/5th) and burned it up.

I found cracks in the reverse/high pistons are very common in these transmissions (check the same trans used in Jags) so I replaced both pistons (with updated versions) + seals and reverse clutches/steels, reassembled and all now works great.

Cost was $120 in parts + $33 in fluid to flush the entire system.

Note: You are able to disassemble the majority of the internal components through the end cover + remove the valve body via the front cover WITHOUT removing the transmission from the car. It is detailed work but far cheaper than paying the dealer $3500 + install cost for a complete replacment I didn't need.

Service manual for the transmission is too big to attach but can be found online for free.


Last edited by sbeltinc on Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:37 am; edited 2 times in total
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ponderosaTX
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:17 am    Post subject: Re: Automatic Jatco JA5A-EL same as in the Mazda 6? Reply with quote

Do you have a link to the online transmission service manual?

I have a 155 page "Automatic Transaxle Workshop Manual JA5A–EL" that I downloaded from the internet but not the corresponding document for a JF506E (which this theard observed is slightly different from a JA5A–EL).
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sbeltinc
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Automatic Jatco JA5A-EL same as in the Mazda 6? Reply with quote

You have the correct manual, it seems the industry refers to this trans in it's various forms as the 'JA5A-El', 'JF506E' or '5F31J'.

I downloaded manuals and parts diagrams off the web using all of the above.

See www.transtec.com/tech_insert/94231.pdf

I ordered most of my parts from: https://www.wittrans.com/Parts-Finder-Result.aspx?Tran=5%20Spd%20FWD&SearchTerm=JF506E
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RedWingsGuy
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Automatic Jatco JA5A-EL same as in the Mazda 6? Reply with quote

sbeltinc wrote:
2002 MPV ES with 68k miles

I resolved my transmission issue and am posting for others who may have a similar issue.

RE: Mazda6/MPV interchangeability of the FWD 5spd transmission (JA5A-EL / JF506E ).
- Mazda assigns a different part numbers to each although they share many of the same internal parts
- I could never determine the exact differences but since the Mazda6 version is $2k cheaper from the dealer I don't expect they are a direct swap

My problem was that when the trans shifted into 3rd gear it slipped and you couldn't accelerate enough to test 4th or 5th.

1st, 2nd and Reverse all seemed to work fine. If you drove in '2' it was fine but of course you can only go 40 mph tops. Fluid was a bit burnt.

I removed the driver's front wheel and upper/lower trans mount bolt so the transmission end cover could be removed and the High/Reverse drum extracted.
I found my reverse clutch and steels were completely burned but high clutches looked fine (High clutch operates 3rd, 4th and 5th gears). I dissasembled further and the other clutch packs all looked great.

VERY careful inspection showed the reverse piston had a hairline crack that allowed the fluid to drain from the high piston that rides inside it. This allowed the reverse piston to partially engage the reverse clutch pack when it shifted into 3rd (or 4th/5th) and burned it up.

I found cracks in the reverse/high pistons are very common in these transmissions (check the same trans used in Jags) so I replaced both pistons (with updated versions) + seals and reverse clutches/steels, reassembled and all now works great.

Cost was $120 in parts + $33 in fluid to flush the entire system.

Note: You are able to disassemble the majority of the internal components through the end cover + remove the valve body via the front cover WITHOUT removing the transmission from the car. It is detailed work but far cheaper than paying the dealer $3500 + install cost for a complete replacment I didn't need.

Service manual for the transmission is too big to attach but can be found online for free.


Not sure if you've followed the MPVClub history of transmission failures, but do you think this is the smoking gun of what is causing the majority of the Jatco tranny failures?

And BTW, how many hours did it take you to accomplish your mini-rebuild?

2003 LX Coastal Blue - Rear Air - 195,000 Miles. Sold 9/27/2013.

1990 Lumina Rust Bucket - 125K miles and rusted out Scrapped 8/05

2008 Scion xB Silver - Just automatic transmission - 60K Miles goaliegirl's ride

2011 Scion xB Crimson - Automatic transmission and Alpine Audio - 25K Miles My ride

2007 Passat Wagon from the in-laws - DW's ride.

Been there, done that.
Went somewhere else, did it again.
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sbeltinc
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Automatic Jatco JA5A-EL same as in the Mazda 6? Reply with quote

I contacted the ATRA (American Transmission Rebuilders Associations) and spoke with a knowledgeable rep who claimed the piston failures were so common he’d replace them even if I couldn’t find a crack in mine. He categorized it as a ‘notorious’ failure with these transmissions.

I suspect the 'shift shock' behavior in these transmissions is the root cause of the failures. The original owner of my MPV had it to the dealer several times for re-flashes so I know it experienced a number of hard shifts which would stress the pistons that actuate the clutch packs (in my case high gear) causing them to have an unnaturally short life. The ‘Accumulator’ should soften the shift and if the timing is wrong >>> Bang

Mazda (and the aftermarket world) claim to have updated the design of these pistons to cure a re-failure although I didn’t find any visible differences. My failure looked like stress educed right at a seam.

Total repair time is only 3-4 hours but I probably have a factor of 10x into researching the issue.

I’m not a professional mechanic or engineer but did R&R at a small transmission shop 20+ years ago to help pay for college. I’ve never rebuilt an auto (or manual) transmission so this repair is doable by a detailed ambitious home mechanic.
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echoleaf
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:24 am    Post subject: Re: Automatic Jatco JA5A-EL same as in the Mazda 6? Reply with quote

So are the pistons what need to replaced?
2003 MPV, bought used in 12/10 with 128k miles.
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darom
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Automatic Jatco JA5A-EL same as in the Mazda 6? Reply with quote

sbeltinc,
Thanks for posting this info - this is very useful. You wouldn't mind putting the parts list that you ordered from Witttrans? I checked the page and the number of available parts/kits is overwhelming.

Did you take pictures while taking apart the 2002 transmission?

Thanks!

2002 Mazda MPV LX
1967 Camaro RS
1994 Dodge 2500 5.9L Cummins
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sbeltinc
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Automatic Jatco JA5A-EL same as in the Mazda 6? Reply with quote

WIT part numbers: https://www.wittrans.com/Default.aspx?

W183338AK SEAL SET $16.89
W183130A (2) REVERSE STEELS $4.95 EA
W183110A (2) REVERSE FRICTIONS (CLUTCHES) $6.96 EA
WA183985A RETAINER PISTON $7.46 (NOT REQUIRED BUT CHEAP INSURANCE)

TRANSTAR PART NUMBERS (BECAUSE WIT ONLY HAD USED PISTONS)

D98966AK PISTON KIT (INCLUDES REVERSE AND HIGH) $60.15

Note my issue was no high gear, 1st, 2nd and reverse worked fine so the exact parts needed may vary for others.

I've now done 2500 miles since the repair including a couple 10k Mtn passes and it's been trouble-free. Sorry no pics but the manual is detailed and all I used.

Scott
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scross
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Automatic Jatco JA5A-EL same as in the Mazda 6? Reply with quote

A few months back I posted links to the JA5A-EL manual(s) at the bottom of the following thread: http://forum.mpvclub.com/viewtopic.php?t=24788

As stated above (and in the manual itself), the transmission you have may vary slightly from what the manual shows, but in general the manual gives an excellent overview of the transmission and how it works. Also as stated above, if you search the internet using the different designations for this transmission you should come up with all sorts of interesting and useful documentation for it, from various sources.
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cbeatti2
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 8:57 am    Post subject: Re: Automatic Jatco JA5A-EL same as in the Mazda 6? Reply with quote

Hi

I was wonder if the shift shock was also resolved with this repair...or is it just something I need to get repaired or tolerate until further damage occurs such as these cracks. I am having problems with shifting most every time (2-3)and (4-5) and unfortunately the re-flash did not help.


Thanks.
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