Right.... so here we are.
A Ford dealer took a look at the car this morning and pretty much said the same thing. They knew what it was before even taking it for a test drive so that pretty much says it all.
The quote from them is £1400+ to do the work; that's labour, an entire clutch assembly with DMF, and replacing the two bearings inside the gearbox. My problem with this route is that once it's all put back together, the only warranty i have (gearbox wise) is the two bearings they are replacing. Three months down the road should a different bearing inside the box go, I would be back where I am right now. I have contacted Ford Customer Care with my concerns and raised a case. I'm not expecting any major breakthrough with them but if they can work out an arrangement with the dealer that I can have the assurance of a 12 month warranty on the gearbox once the work has been done then I think that would more than suffice. [Cost breakdown is £673.20 for labour, £745.14 for parts]
On the other hand, I have gotten a full quote from the recommended independent garage that did the test drive on Tuesday and interestingly enough it is £1400+. The difference with their quote is the Clutch kit is LUK from Eurocarparts that comes with an optional lifetime warranty for an extra £30 and the gearbox is being overhauled by a another company which comes with a 12 month warranty. I spoke with the guy that would doing the overhaul and he explained the process to me as completely stripping down the gearbox, cleaning all the parts under pressure, and replacing all of the bearings as a minimum. They inspect all of the components and if they think anything else needs replacing they replace it. So the warranty is for the entire functionality of the gearbox once they are finished with it. His take on it is if anything goes wrong within that period, it's because of something they should have noticed during the overhaul. [Cost breakdown is £390 for labour, £582 for gearbox overhaul, £466.56 for clutch kit and oil]
Armed with this information and based on the experience you lot have with these cars and "Ford vs Independent" what do you think the best move forward would be?
As for selling/part exchange, I think I will lose out on the same amount it costs to fix it or even more. No dealer is going to miss the bearing noise when they inspect it.
Thanks again for any input you guys can offer.