Ford Escort Gearbox

Published by Carl Wilson on

We are one of the largest suppliers of both reconditioned Ford Escort Gearboxes in the UK, we are specialising in gearboxes for cars, vans and light commercials. Many people look for totally reconditioned Ford Escort Gearboxes but can supply new, second hand and even low mileage parts with a 100% warranty and free postage.

The new Ford Escort Highlights

First generation from 1981 to 1990 has a 4 speed MTX-2 and a 5 speed MTX-3 manual transmission that were standard with a 3 speed ATX / FLC automatic transmission optional.

The FLC / ATX were a 3 speed hydraulic automatic transaxle produced by Ford Motor Company from 1981 through 1994. Used in the company’s 4 cylinder powered cars in the Escort, the transaxle had a lockup torque converter, but no overdrive. It was controlled by a throttle or “kick down” cable, and had no computer controls. The FLC was replaced with the JATCO, computer controlled F-4EAT transmission for the 1991 Escort.

Second generation from 1991 to 1996 featured a new electronically controlled 4 speed automatic transmission.

Third generation from 1997 to 2002 featured a 5 speed IB5 manual and a 4 speed F-4EAT automatic. The F-4EAT was a 4 speed, electronically controlled automatic transmission developed in 1990. It was also later produced by Ford Motor Company from 1991 to 2003. It is referred to as the F4A-EL. It shared the same planetary gear set and drive ratios as the Mazda G4A-EL and GF4A-EL transmissions, but used a different final drive ratio. This transmission was the replacement for the Ford 3 speed FLC / ATX and was very similar in design and size; the F-4EAT added a fourth gear overdrive and fully electronic operation. The Ford data plate code is “E”.

The modern gearbox is by far, the most complicated mechanical component in today’s automobile. Newer gearboxes contain mechanical systems, hydraulic systems, electrical systems and computer controls, all working together in perfect harmony which goes virtually unnoticed until there is a problem.

On a rear wheel drive car, power flow on a rear wheel drive the gearbox is usually mounted to the back of the engine and is located under the hump in the centre of the floorboard alongside the gas pedal position. A drive shaft connects the rear of the gearbox to the final drive which is located in the rear axle and is used to send power to the rear wheels. Power flow on this system is simple and straight forward going from the engine, through the torque converter, then through the gearbox and drive shaft until it reaches the final drive where it is split and sent to the two rear wheels.

On a front wheel drive car, power flow on a front wheel drive the gearbox is usually combined with the final drive to form what is called a transaxle. The engine on a front wheel drive car is usually mounted sideways in the car with the transaxle tucked under it on the side of the engine facing the rear of the car. Front axles are connected directly to the transaxle and provide power to the front wheels. In this example, power flows from the engine, through the torque converter to a large chain that sends the power through a 180 degree turn to the gearbox that is alongside the engine. From there, the power is routed through the gearbox to the final drive where it is split and sent to the two front wheels through the drive axles.

There are a number of other arrangements including front drive vehicles where the engine is mounted front to back instead of sideways and there are other systems that drive all four wheels but the two systems described here are by far the most popular. A much less popular rear drive arrangement has the gearbox mounted directly to the final drive at the rear and is connected by a drive shaft to the torque converter which is still mounted.

Escort Maintenance

Escort Gearbox fluid should be changed periodically. Your owner’s manual should give you the recommended intervals which could be anywhere from 15,000 miles to 100,000 miles. Most gearbox experts recommend changing the fluid and filter every 25,000 miles.

Few gearboxes have drain plugs to drain the old fluid. In order to get the fluid out, the technician removes the gearbox oil pan. This is quite a messy job and generally not recommended for the casual do-it-yourselfer. Even if the gearbox has a drain plug, the only way to also change the gearbox filter is to remove the pan. When the pan is down, the technician can check for metal shavings and other debris which are indicators of impending gearbox problems.

In most cases during these gearboxes services, only about half the oil is able to be removed from the unit. This is because much of the oil is in the torque converter and cooler lines and cannot be drained without major disassembly. The fluid change intervals are based on the fact that some old fluid remains in the system.

When the Escort gearboxes is serviced, make sure that the correct fluid is used to re-fill it. Each gearbox manufacturer has their own recommendation for the proper fluid to use and the internal components are designed for that specific formula. GM usually uses Dexron, Fords prior to 1983 use Type F while later models use Mercon. Late model Chrysler products use ATF +3 +4 (Not using the correct fluid for Nexia gearboxes is the most common reason for their gearbox problems.) Toyota sometimes uses Type T which is only available through Toyota and Lexus Parts departments. Honda also specs out their own formula which is available from Honda or Acura parts departments. A gearbox will not work properly or may even slip or shudder with the incorrect fluid, so make sure that you double check. Your owner’s manual will tell you which fluid is required. Naturally, the owner’s manual will try to convince you to only use the manufacturer’s branded fluid, but they will also provide you with the specs for the oil. If the aftermarket product indicates on its container that they meet or exceed the specs for a particular type of gearbox fluid, it is generally ok to use that product.

Watch for leaks or stains under the car: – If there is a persistent red oil leak that you are sure is coming from your car, you should have your shop check to see if it is coming from your gearbox or possibly from your power steering system (most power steering systems also use gearbox fluid and leaks can appear on the ground in roughly the same areas as gearbox leaks.) If all you see is a few drops on the ground, you may be able to postpone repairs as long as you check your fluid level often (but check with your technician to be sure.) If gearbox fluid levels go down below minimum levels serious gearbox damage can occur (the same advice goes for power steering leaks as well.)

Check fluid for colour and odour: – Most manufacturers require that you check gearbox fluid levels when the vehicle is running and on level ground. Pull the gearbox dipstick out and check the fluid for colour and odour. Volante gearbox fluid is transparent red oil that looks something like cherry cough syrup. If the fluid is cloudy or muddy, or it has a burned odour, you should have it checked by your technician who will most likely advise you to drain your gearbox and refill or gearbox tune up.

Be sensitive to new noises, vibrations and shift behaviour: – A modern gearbox should shift smoothly and quietly under light acceleration. Heavier acceleration should produce firmer shifts at higher speeds. If shift points are erratic or you hear noises when shifting, you should have it checked out immediately. Whining noises coming from the floorboard are also a cause for concern. If caught early, many problems can be resolved without costly gearbox overhauls. Even if you feel that you can’t afford repairs at this time, you should at least have it checked. The technician may be able to give you some hints on what to do and not do to prolong the gearbox life until you can afford the repair.

Why some gearboxes can go wrong

  • Symptoms: – Gearbox oil pouring out of gearbox, sometimes with slipping clutch due to oil contamination.
  • Often the gearbox jams and the car cannot be moved. Gears fail and there is no drive to clutch and wheels.
  • Cause: – Hole punctured in the gearbox casing due to a sheared weak rivet on the differential failing. The rivets attaching the final drive gear to the differential are weak and shear off, sometimes after only 30,000 miles on early gearboxes. This a common problem with these gearboxes.
  • *Cure: – Replace weak rivets with stainless steel nuts and bolts, add reinforcing metal plate between the bolts and then fully recondition gearbox. All our reconditioned gearboxes carry a 100% warranty.

Why use us:

  • Many years of engines and gearbox experience
  • Reconditioned Gearboxes ready to fit any make or model of vehicle
  • New Gearboxes ready to fit any make or model of vehicle
  • Used Gearboxes ready to fit any make or model of vehicle
  • Secondhand Gearboxes ready to fit any make or model of vehicle
  • Warranty
  • ’Quick Find’ to search for your part
  • Free Quotations by email
  • Free Postage

How can we assist you?

At enginesandgearboxes.co.uk, we stock thousands of Ford Escort Gearboxes right at your fingertips. You can now search for your own gearboxes online, order new, used or recon, and have them delivered directly to your door without leaving the comfort of your armchair. We also provide a telephone support line on 0905 232 0099, just call one of our sales professionals to help assist you in finding the right Ford Escort Gearbox part. Our online database is the largest state of the art system that is used daily by professional car traders and breakers to locate gearboxes; you can use the same system and save up to 80% off any part.

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Categories: ArticlesFord

Carl Wilson

You won't believe it, I'm native Scotsman. Enthusiast. Car lovers. Almost finished rebuilding my Reliant Saber 🔥

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