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Ford Focus 1.8 Td Di Gear Selection Problem


myutopia
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My car had been Ok for sometime, although this moring after it had been sat cold for a couple of days seemed quite stiff changing gears.

It needed a little more effort to get it into gear (any gear). I managed to get to work ok but after driving a couple of hundred yards and stopping at a junction, 1st gear just didn't seem to do anything, I could pull away ok in second and after another couple of nudges 1st seemed to start again OK,,, but after a few more gear changes and a mile or two later, 1st, 3rd and 5th were non existant, no grinding noises unless I pushed the stick very hard(I got a very low grind) and eventually managed to limp home on just 2nd and 4th gear which were the only gears I could feel the stick slotting into, 3rd and 5th if it tried to engage would either pop right out or just not sem to slot into.

I noticed this thread but it seemed to draw numerous conclusions

http://www.fordownersclub.com/forums/topic/36924-problem-selecting-gear-1999-focus-18-tddi/

Although there seems to be some bite in the clutch it is a little high before it engages, but does engage and has never shown any signs that it could be slipping so I've never worried about it.

Has anyone had the same problem, is it likely the gear box is on the way out or could it simply be the clutch, the fact that ot's all 3 gears on the top row and the bottom including reverse is fine is making me think it's the gearbox.

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Looking at it from above the only issue I can see around the gearbox seams to be the gear shift retainer looks split and the spring has also seperated.

DSC 0003

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Had a fettle with it this morning.

removed the airbox so I could reach the gear lever better and could manaually shift it into gear.

It would bite when manually put into all forward gears but not when using the gear stick, then i'd get 2nd and 4th and only the others at a push.

Pretty sure it is just the cables so will probably try and get that replaced.

Does anyone know if these have to be like for like or can MK1 Petrol engine cables be used in a MK1 Diesel?

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Have you checked your gearbox oil level lack of will cause these symptoms top up until it starts to dribble out of the hole this would be one of my first places of call .

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Opened the fill plug, although it is facing up hill on an extremely slight slope, nothing at all came out.

I might buy a litre and top it up just to see if it makes a difference, if it fixes it then I suspect that the gearbox has a leak as there does look to be some around the seam between the gear box and the engine casing

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  • 2 months later...

Was the cable, once I could get a hand onto the gear box I unclipped the cable and it just flopped about, got the part off eBay for £40. Took about 2 hours to do. Spent probably 90 minutes getting the centre console out and putting it all back together. Fitting the cables themselves wasn't too bad. If your finding some gears engage and some don't then it's probably the same issue. Local dealer quoted me £100 brand new. Wasn't just the cables I got off eBay but the leaver also

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Thanks for you quick response, I am finding that 1st 3rd and 5th are a problem to find, almost as if the whole 'H' of the gearbox has moved forward and neutral is where 1, 3 and 5 should be. If I select reverse and pull it into position hard, the 'H' appears to move back into place and all gears are available as normal.

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You haven't had the cables off by any chance have you what you describe is like when the linkage has been disturb after a clutch change but on the focus the only thing you could do which could cause a similar problem is to have the cables reversed .

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Can you get a look at the gear selector within the car (gear stick) to see if anything is worn or come adrift there or where the cables are on the box that one of them hasn't popped out of place like you state it started all of a sudden could be that something has worked loose come off if I remember correctly when I did my sons clutch the spring lock on one of the cables came adrift and caused a similar prob re did it and it was ok and still is ..

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Everything you've desribed is the same as my TDDI.

started playing up one day, the next day 1,3,5 wouldn't enagage and I also nursed it home in 2nd and 4th.

If I remember right I had to take out the air intake filter housing to be able to reach down to the gearbox and unclip the cables to try and work it manually, but beware, when buying replacements, the TDDI and TDCI gearboxes are different and so the cables are a different length... this is comparing my 2003 TDDI to a 2003 TDCI.

For the parts alone I was quoted £100 for a brand new set (Don't know if that included the gear stick), found a second hand parts dealer nearby and he quoted £20 but he only had a set suitable for a TDCI (find a decent second hand parts dealer near you, you will get good free advice and he will know someone who will do it for you too if you don't fancy it yourself).

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