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Ex Royal Mail 55 escort van [ help ! ] gearbox issues !


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Hi All Newbie member here !

i Bought a 2002 1.8D mk6 Escort Van [ ex royal mail ] i always loved these wee vans just liked the look of them and they way they drove even the none turbos i actually preferred ! [ less the hassle ]
Anyways i bought it on Thursday i actually had it delivered from a fair distance about 200 miles and the friend who collected it for me said there seemed to be a problem with getting 1st and 2nd gear [ no crunching ] just refusing point blank to go into them almost as if they wernt there to begin with !
Now the van had been parked up for alomst a year out in the elements ! so ive done the usual i.e new coolant, oil, filters etc new battery and so on , but im now getting worried about this gearbox problem
I know nothing about this set up on the escort i.e the selector, pushrods, and gearbox ive never worked on the 1.8 D endura
i have tried to do a bit of research but just keep getting focus or fiesta comming up on google and nothing really listed here about gearbox problems so im at a complete loss !!!

so this is the problem in details

1. It wont go into 2nd gear at all
2. It will go into 1st but you have a hard time getting it in there
3. 3rd & 4th are ok but fairly stiff [ even when warm ]
4. 5th gear is grand as is reverse but again stiff

ive done the clutch adjustment [ 6mm allen bolt on pedal ] as biteing point was close to the floor .[ now its mid range and good n strong]
the gromets on the cluch cable by the box were the cable meets the pull rod are worn but not so much they would be causing this, ive added a few new washers to compinsate until i get a new cable.

i stripped back the gear stick housing in the cab to the extent the black box selector is exposed as is the ground ! just incase there was something stopping it from going all the way over .

so im now suspecting either the selector box itself? the gear linkage [ pushrods? ] gearbox oil ? or is it a fecked gearbox ?

could anyone shed any light on this or have they had the same problem and managed to get it sorted ?

also would anyone have any point to point how to on adjusting the linkage ? were it meets the gearbox ?

can the selector box be rebuilt or fixed if its the cause ?


To note it has had new front lower wishbones fitted along with the anti roll bar bushings , could the gearbox selector pushrods ben damaged ?

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sounds like it needs the selector setting up correctly, it can be adjusted with the pinch bolt on the rod that goes in to the box,

need 2 13mm spanners to crack off the bolt and a small screwdriver to move the rod,

mark it first so you can put it back if need be, from memory you need to put it in 5th on the box

and gearstick with the pinch bolt loose, try that and see how you get on.

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Thank you Supersport , have been at a complete loss as to what way to sort this !


so jack it up both sides ,

mark were it is at the moment [ in neutral ]

then crack off the pinch bolt [ dont fully loosen ] and then put it in 5th [ gearbox & selector ]

fully loosen pinch bolt and adjust while its in 5th

then tighten it all up .


is that the above way ? or am i reading wrong ?

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Hi Guys thanks for all the help here is the update


i disconnected the push rods as advised after marking them ,

I managed to get a hold of the haynes book of lies too

I followed the book and advice given above and centered off the gear selector

locked it into forth and disconnected the lower push rod selector and alined the gearbox reciver rod as discribed in the haynes book of lies

it worked BUT !!

second gear is shot , i took it to a mechanic fried of mine who doubled checked over what i had done as with the above advice and haynes it was correct but the sincro is gone in the gearbox for 2nd gear so gearbox replacement is needed.

Ive managed to get a hold of a complete van same colour and spec [ 1998 Red 55 van ] but NOT a royal mail van an original irish van so engine has not been abused as much and it drives grand . [ bar needing the 2 sills welding or replacing ]

So im going to just do this one up i.e transplant all the good bits off the 2002 van to the 1998 van and have the sills repaired .

cost wise it works out cheaper than replaceing the gearbox from the 2002 van with the 1998 van gearbox , and body work wise its actually in better condition as we dont use salt onthe roads down here in the republic so less rot all over compaired to the 2002 van .


So i have a new question

the 2002 van has a digital odometer were the 1998 van has a clock odometer in the instrument cluster [ speedo dials ] can i straight swap them over ? or are they not compatable ? they both seem the same bar the digital odometer .

Can this be done or is it a whole ecu change etc due to imoblizer etc i.e is it worth the hassle ?

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You could swap the odometer over if you want. The digital one looks better though.


The MTX75 gearbox is notorious for the syncromesh going. Happened to one of mine that after I could not gain 1st and 2nd; even when I took the box apart. I ended up fitting another one I had spare. Luckily before that as the RS2000 has a higher torque figure, I could pull off from 3rd gear from rest.

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