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1993 Mondeo Ghia

Auto: Faulty Speedo Linked To No 4Th Gear?

16 posts in this topic

So picked up the Mondeo today (Mk1 2.0 Auto); straightaway spotted the bouncing speedometer, which only settles properly around 50-60mph, and even then it over-reads by more than 10%.

Then on the motorway, I realise I cannot shift out of third gear - the Overdrive/4th gear just isn't there!

Guessing the bouncing speedo is a faulty cable - could this also be causing the gearbox problem?

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I wouldnt have put the two together to be honest.

Was it a private sale?

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I think the speedo is electronic. The sender is probably in the top of the gearbox. I also doubt the two issues are linked, but a gearoil change and filter clean often do wonders for an auto box.

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Thanks for replies - yes it was a private sale. I wouldn't have linked the two problems either, but a bit of digging on the Internet suggests that auto box problems (lumpiness and missing gears) can be linked to speed sensor glitches (or in the case of the 93/94 Mondy defective speedo cable), as the 'box relies on the speedo reading to make shifts correctly. In any case, the bouncing speedo needle is a fairly sure sign that the cable is defective.

Turns out the cable is obsolete - possibly the reason for the sale to me! :-(

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Rather than the cable it could be the plastic cogs that drive it from the gearbox. I think your only source is going to be scrap yards.

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Mmm' hadn't heard of the cogs before - not the most technically confident myself - can see some fair sized labour charges ahead of me just to diagnose it :-(

Would love to transplant a manual 'box in, as the rest of the car is a peach - again, I can see the cost of that being even higher though.

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Often it will cost you 150% of the cars value to transfer it to manual (sadly).

How much did you buy it for?

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It was £450. Test drive was only on town roads, hence my ignorance of the missing 4th gear - schoolboy error on my part. Spotted the wobbly speedo needle, but didn't imagine it'd be a big job. The seller lives in London, so there's a chance he didn't know about the missing gear, but that's pretty irrelevant now.

Update on parts - the original Ford speedo (one-piece) cable, is obsolete - superseded as part of a recall in the 90s by a two-piece cable, fitted as standard to Mondeos from some point in '94, and still available as two parts for £39+vat EACH, so thick end of £100 just for the parts.

Add at least one hour labour for fitting, which requires the removal (breaking off or drilling-out) of a clip behind the dash to make it fit.

Tried to find out whether my car ever had the recall, but dealers can't tell me due to the age of the car. Basically, until the mechanic takes off the old cable and sees whether it's one or two-piece, I can't be sure whether the recall was done in the 90s (not that Ford would entertain a claim all these years later - I have asked that already!).

Gonna have the 'stat replaced at the same time, as the temp gauge takes ages to warm up from cold, and constantly wanders between the lower extreme and middle of the "normal" range during steady driving.

It's gonna cost me, but that's the risk with "bangernomics" - in this case, I think the car is worth it...

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Definately is a risk, but then you could have a more reliable car than one you could pay 10 times the price for!

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Speedo cable replaced by Ford by the later Mk1 version - speedo now working as it should, however it didn't solve the 4th gear issue.

Phoned a couple of gearbox specialists hoping they'd have a look, and praying it was a sensor - one just told me to scrap the car, and the other said it probably needed a rebuild, which would be silly money.

THEN, on my way home this morning, on the motorway, in the pouring rain, it started slipping into 4th gear - initially swapping between 3rd and 4th every few seconds, but after about 20 or 30 seconds of that, it stayed in 4th gear!

Furthermore, driving through my village up to the house, the box was changing gear much smoother than before. It does seem like the box had been in some sort of limp mode (though there was never any warning light).

Can anyone reinforce my hope that my problems are likely to be a dodgy sensor that was righted by standing water? Thoughts on which sensor it may be would be extra helpful!

Cheers

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sounds like the gearbox could do with maintenance, an oil change should help?

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Thanks. That can only help, and I'll make that my next job.

Any ideas how the rain and standing water may have temporarily cured the problem? The undersides of these cars obviously didn't have the amount of plastic shield and other sealing that modern cars have.

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I think if anything it was coincidence, I dont believe there is any way it could have been a fix for it...

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Was nattering today to a guy at work who was a mechanic in a previous life - he also thinks there's a good chance that an oil & filter change on the box could sort it. Have booked it in for that on Monday, along with a diagnostic for a reduced price of £20 - will report back after then! Cheers

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Good luck! heres hoping for a good result!

Make sure the garage write it down as a gearbox change, and not just an engine change!

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Things are definitely sounding more positive than they did at the start. I'm wondering if because the car had been used around London and never got into 4th gear, it is taking a while for it to get used to the idea again. With your driving it the thing is starting to loosen up a bit which is allowing it to change into 4th.

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