Very nice bud. Been toying with the idea of some blacks as well myself following on from my headlights. On the old Focus I did all the grilles, fog surrounds, mirror caps etc and thinking of doing the same on the Mondy. Defo doin the front middle lip part, tempted to do the other grilles, plastics and wing mirrors too.
What happened with the headlight? Should be able to pick up one from a scrappy for pretty cheap I'd have thought.
Actually upgraded my own headlights recently...was fed up with the HID kit I was running in my black-eyed reflectors so a mate of mine was able to lend me a set of black-eyed genuine xenons. This meant I could have my own off the car and I installed a set of mini H1 bi-xenon projectors to them, and clear indicator lenses while I was at it...and they are possibly my favourite mod that I've done to a car.
I fitted genuine black ST-3 bi-xenons to the Focus and missed them on the Mondeo. When I found out you could get the projector kit for a retro-fit install I ordered up all the parts and was able to take the time with them to do the job right. Light output is so much better than the genuine xenons I was running for a couple of weeks and they look so much better too with the aftermarket shrouds etc.
Would definitely recommend them if you're up for it. Relatively straightforward to fit, easier and cheaper than a set of genuine xenons, and far better results. As usual, I have no pics of the finished article yet and didn't take many as I went along, but here's one to give you an idea...
I think from memory the EGR only opens/functions from up around 2k revs anyway so again, EGR trouble would be my first bet.
You can start by taking it apart and cleaning it out to see if it improves (as mentioned, it can get badly coked up), and making sure everything is refitted properly afterwards.
A blanking plate is another option for the sake of a couple of quid, or can even DIY one if you like. Only thing is, I think your 06 will be a Euro IV emissions, so you'll get the EML on the dash with it blanked off.
Have you run the little diagnostics trick on the instrument cluster to see if it's showing any error codes? Or have your own bluetooth/wi-fi ELM scanner?
Mmmm...can't fully remember, somewhere in the region of £100 new from Ford I think, £10-20 from ebay/breakers used, anything in between for an aftermarket version from a motor factors. Not labour intensive either as it's just behind the clutch pedal in the footwell.
I think you'd have more problems than just reverse though in that case. Seized linkage cable could be ticket so you're right to start with looking there.