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Hello everyone,

I just bought a second hand Mondeo MK3 2004 2.0L Petrol Manual transmission with 78.000km driven.

I've noticed that shifting gear is sometimes extremely stiff when I start it up in the morning. This morning I had to really put force to put the car in reverse. After a few shifts it gets much better to the point where it feels normal. Is this a common MK3 problem?

First thing I thought of is transmission oil, but as I don't know much about cars I thought I'd enquire here first. Should I go to a Ford dealer to get it checked out or are there steps I can take to diagnose?

Many thanks!
 

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Mondeo Lover
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871 Posts
its a common problem with the mk3, alot of of us have solved/made better by using the gearbox oil used in a mk4.

the stuff that will most likely be in the box now is 75w 30

the better stuff is castrol syntrans 75w FE

the box takes around 1.75l to fill.

(this is all based on the mmt6 gearbox if thats what you have)
 

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Clever Clauggs
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Try put it into a forward gear then neutral then reverse sometimes it works easier.

As above try new type of oil i put this in

Castrol Syntrans Multivehicle 75W-90 Fully Synthetic MTF 75W90 2 x 1 Litre 2L

as adviced by Opieoils castrol online supplier--http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Castrol-Syntrans-Multivehicle-75W-90-Fully-Synthetic-MTF-75W90-2-x-1-Litre-2L-/162380724810?hash=item25cea53a4a

http://applications.castrol.com/oilselector/en_gb/c/recommendation?vehicleType=cars&manufacturer=ford-(eu)&model=mondeo-mk-iii-(2001-2007)&modelType=mondeo-2-0-(2001-2007)

Put your details into ford etis site it will tell you what gearbox/ transmission you have

probably 5 speed mtx75 or 6 speed mmt6 https://www.etis.ford.com/vehicleRegSelector.do;jsessionid=vKrVPdBJMQO5HaI1w4eJbEjHtNCbJZLxezC-5kPn.eccvas1900l
 

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I've noticed that shifting gear is sometimes extremely stiff when I start it up in the morning. This morning I had to really put force to put the car in reverse. After a few shifts it gets much better to the point where it feels normal. Is this a common MK3 problem?

First thing I thought of is transmission oil, but as I don't know much about cars I thought I'd enquire here first. Should I go to a Ford dealer to get it checked out or are there steps I can take to diagnose?
This is typical of the earlier gearbox oil. You don't really diagnose the problem so much as change the oil and see if it works.

in extreme cases it can get to the point that you have to hit the gearlever to get it out of first gear. This makes driving smoothly rather difficult.

You don't have to go to a Ford garage - an independent is fine; actually you probably get your choice of oil at an independent where the Ford garage may only offer you Ford-branded oil (which is probably not too bad if they will use the later oil but if they will only use the stuff that was used at the time that the car was produced it will 'go off' in a similar time again).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK thanks guys. How difficult is it to replace this oil myself? Is there any guides or videos online that explains this procedure?

Also, just so I'm not confused: is the transmission oil the same as the gearbox oil?

Many thanks!
 

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Clever Clauggs
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4,583 Posts
Transmission same as gearbox ,

Need a size 8mm hexagonal allen key to undo the front top fill plug first

once you know you can undo this,have a tube long enough to fit in the

fill hole,then with oil tray ready at the back of the gearbox undo the bottom

drain plug,replace drain plug.

Just fill till it overflows out,

my mtx75 .5 speed took 2 litres of 75w-90 gearbox oil.

 

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Clever Clauggs
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I'd suggest for now you select the gear engine off, then start. But I would wonder if some work has been doe in the past and the box filled with the wrong oil ('standard'oil is cheaper and often what garage have lying about). Changing as above will make a big difference.
 

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TwoSpanner
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182 Posts
I've just changed the oil in my 6-speed following this fairly good guide: http://www.stdrivers.co.uk/forum/topic/27851-gearbox-oil-change-guide/. I used the Castrol oil which I got from Opie Oils. Several places where you enter you reg and see what's required all recommended the 75w-90, which I ignored in favour of the advice here.

Changing the oil is fairly easy but I cannot emphasize enough the difficulty in getting the drain plug out, you will need a crowbar or similar. I don't have a garage lifter so had to do it on the floor and the bolt was a real pig to crack. I did as shown, spanner on a hex bit, but in the end had to lie under the car and literally stamp on the spanner and it cracked straight away. The oil that came out was reddish with a slightly acrid, but otherwise sweetish, smell. Reminded me a lot of ATF actually. Filling is doable with a hose but the oil is thick and it would have taken a long time, it was much quicker, if messier, to quickly place the tip of the pull out spout of the 1l bottles into the filler hole and squirt it in. It won't run in by itself easily so there is little risk of over filling by accident. It was fairly cool yesterday so in "summer" it might be different.

The difference is immediate, much smoother changes, and the engine sounds slightly more...refined/purring, but it is still notchy. I need to wait for a frosty morning to see if the outright refusal to engage reverse or first without starting from 6th gas gone away.

For the £40 for the 3x1l bottles (I washed a bottle through to swill it out, lots of black bits came out), hours swearing at the gear box designers and lying on the floor and back ache it was still worth it. Hopefully my shoulder can recover now from all the strain of gear changes now. It's being serviced today and I'll ask them to check the linkage adjustments, but I don't believe this is a factor.
 

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I Love Diesel
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2,426 Posts
Nice one.

I have been putting off this job for the best part of a year now (already bought the hex bit, oil and a funnel). I have to grip the gear knob so hard I have a callus forming on the palm of my hand. Really must sort this out.
 

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TwoSpanner
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@twincarbs - I feel your pain...albeit mine is in the shoulder.

Sadly the oil has not eliminated the problem. I couldn't get into reverse earlier, BUT, I could go into 1st without too much effort and then reverse, which is an improvement, normally I have to start at 3rd or even 5th. Halfords say they checked the linkages and had no problems changing gear (which is not a surprise, it was all warmed up by then) so it would seem to suggest the problem is in the gearbox. I do not have the space, time or resources to get it off let alone dismantle it. Recon is an option I suppose...or I can live with it.

Your mileage, no pun intended, may vary.
 

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Little Megger
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Might be worth greasing the gearbox end of the cables* - it's quite a mechanism and never normally gets looked at.
*I don't mean the cables themselves-I mean the selector mechanism the cables attach to.
 

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TwoSpanner
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I hadn't thought of that, thanks. I've had the rods off under the stick, couldn't get them off gear box end, don't seem to come off the same way and wasn't filling to apply to much force, might have to settle for a drowning with WD40. I'll have a look tomorrow, rain and chocolate overdose allowing.

Been out a couple of times since the service, gear changes are generally much slicker, almost a joy in fact, but reverse/1st you can still feel something, some resistance. On the flip side, I got the panels around the stick off along with the gaiter (sp?), can give them a good clean now.
 

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TwoSpanner
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182 Posts
I got the rods off, the one connector is unlike the rest and has a press in release button that doesn't help a great deal. The white/grey disk on the other rod can be levered off with a screwdriver, it's not as hard or as scary as it seems and both go back on easily. Both of the joints were bone dry, put of a bit of the gearbox oil on.

I have moved the levers on top of the gearbox by hand with no rods connected, the lumpiness is definitely there, specifically in the left/right lever (this is the up/down movement between 1st/2nd, 3rd/4th etc).

I couldn't get a good look without removing the battery and disconnecting the air filter box (as opposed to swinging it out the way), but I wonder if there is a shoulder arrangement between where the two levers are rubbing past each other like there is on the stick? I've coated everything in WD40 but I can't feel any difference.

I'll report back in a couple of weeks, I'll have done a few 100 miles by then on holiday.

Happy Easter/chocolate fest everyone.
 

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Little Megger
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I oiled, then greased, pushing the grease into the gaps using fingers, then oiled again. (just to be sure)
 
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TwoSpanner
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It's mixed, but overall good, results. I've done around 800 miles, much of it motorway (fast enough to get waved at by an unmarked police car...it was a Skoda too :blush:), A-roads and some winding Devon country lanes, lots of shifting between 3rd and 5th. I've had 2 or 3 instances where it would not go into reverse, the one I remember clearly is in the hotel car park in the morning (so it had been sitting all night) and the dash thermometer said it was 10c outside. In all cases I could go straight into 1st without too much effort and then into reverse, so the improvement seems to be permanent. I consistently found that outside stop-start driving, moving between 3rd-6th, even block changes, were much slicker than before the change, little less so if block changing from 5th to 3rd and braking hard at the same time. I do find this car does not like changing down gears at high revs (previous cars I could change down and jump to red line without issue) yet is happy to change gears up when near idle (I can do 40mph in 6th no problem for example). 1st and 2nd continue to require a bit of a push at times but, warmer weather not withstanding, there does still seem to be an improvement. I've not had to panic halfway across a junction when I can't get into 2nd or back into 1st and had to slip the clutch in 3rd to stay alive!
 

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I Love Diesel
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I have to say that with the arrival of just slightly milder weather, the problem has all but gone away for me. I have MOT to get through now so, as usual, this job will drop down the list.
 

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Dash cams, catch 'em out :)
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I have to say that with the arrival of just slightly milder weather, the problem has all but gone away for me. I have MOT to get through now so, as usual, this job will drop down the list.
Im so glad I caught up on this thread.
Reading about your MOT reminded me to check on mine. Its out on the 23rd of this month!
I'd completely forgotten about it. I better get on the phone to the garage tomorrow and get it booked in before it's too late.
 
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