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Thread: 2001 focus zx3 manual trans clunking barely engages Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-14-2013 12:42 PM
FoMoCus It's finished! I took the shift tower out of the transmission, and it appeared fine but I replaced it with the one from my dead transmission anyway. Put it back together, and no change. Then I got underneath and looked at the drivers side cv, and it had popped almost completely out of the transmission, hence the leak. I took the driver's side back apart, and the cv shaft splines were smoothed out on the last 1/8 inch or so. It was barely connected and after it rounded the little bit of grip it had, the transmission was no longer outputting to the wheels. Since only the last 1/8 inch or so of splines were worn, I reinstalled the cv, fully seated this time, and buttoned it all back up. No leaks, and no problems. I didn't even need to change the seal, it was only leaking because the cv was not engaged far enough. I've been driving it the past few days with no issues aside from a little trouble getting into second and reverse due to misadjusted cables. I've adjusted them a few times but I think the cables just need to be replaced.

The car is running great though. All the work has finally paid off. Thanks for all the help and motivation guys!
04-05-2013 11:19 AM
Oblivion
Quote:
Originally Posted by FoMoCus View Post
After doing some research, which didn't take long as you can see, I think the shift tower roll pin broke. When I took the shift cables off the do the swap I did mess with the adjustments on accident thinking I needed to depress them to remove the cables. So I'm guessing that although the gears seemed to select pretty well, doing that mis-adjusted the cables and put extra stress on that pin and it sheared. Since I can pull the shift tower fairly easy, I'll do that this weekend and have a look. If that's not it I'm at a loss. But if that is the case, another trip for Ford's tranny fluid and a cv seal replacement will be next on the list. Ughh..
The shift tower? If you don't know how to remove it: It's REAL easy.
I removed the center of my cabin long ago. I don't use those "cup holders" anyway. I don't have the rear seats in either.

Here's a video showing how to disassemble the shift tower plate (which is like $35 for a new OEM one?):
YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


Good luck.
04-04-2013 09:43 PM
sailor Ughh....

Think a NICE CLEAN pan to catch that pricey fluid would be on my mind at that point, unless the new fluid comes out grungy I might just re-use it....

Absent the seal leak you wouldn't be draining it at all....

Good luck! Let us know how you make out.
04-04-2013 08:16 PM
FoMoCus After doing some research, which didn't take long as you can see, I think the shift tower roll pin broke. When I took the shift cables off the do the swap I did mess with the adjustments on accident thinking I needed to depress them to remove the cables. So I'm guessing that although the gears seemed to select pretty well, doing that mis-adjusted the cables and put extra stress on that pin and it sheared. Since I can pull the shift tower fairly easy, I'll do that this weekend and have a look. If that's not it I'm at a loss. But if that is the case, another trip for Ford's tranny fluid and a cv seal replacement will be next on the list. Ughh..
04-04-2013 07:52 PM
FoMoCus I missed a little bit of a tiff on here I see. I was referring to the transmission fluid though, not the clutch. I bled the clutch but that wasn't the fluid I was referring to. I got the Ford manual transmission fluid today. 21 dollars a quart. So I filled it up, put the battery back in and fired it back up. It started fine, backed out of the garage on its own power, and the clutch felt great. However I did notice a slow drip from the drivers side where the cv axle goes into the transmission. I have that seal but for some reason didn't change it. Anyway, took it for a test drive, after about 3 minutes of driving through the neighborhood I was making a left turn when it stalled out. I restarted it, and the transmission wasn't doing anything. As in, the shifter was in gear, the shift linkage all the way to the transmission is good, and I can shift it by hand from under the hood, but it doesn't grab in any gear. No grinding sounds that I can hear, just nothing. The fluid was leaking out of that seal a little quicker at that point, but no more than a steady drip and with the minimal driving I had done, it couldn't have lost more than a quarter of a quart. If I put it in gear and attempt to accelerate the car doesn't move but the speedometer does climb. So my thoughts are either the drivers side CV axle popped out (which seems unlikely, as the splines on it are quite long) or the replacement transmission went out. Possibly the linkage broke inside the transmission? If that's the case I won't be fixing it again. I've already deemed this job too much of a pain to repeat. If it's something I can fix by any means short of removing the transmission I'll do it, otherwise I'll sell it and hope to break even. Does anybody have any ideas what would cause symptoms like this?
04-03-2013 06:18 PM
tmittelstaedt I can tell you this with both my Focuses - both MTX-75's. When I got both the shifters had a lot of resistance in them. And on one the shifter tended to pop out of 2nd gear With that particular one, the clutch wore out and when I replaced the clutch, I made sure to get every bit of fluid out of the transmission, (since it was out of the car it was easy to tilt it) and I replaced it with the $20-a-bottle Ford synthetic manual transmisison fluid. The change in the shifter feel was like night and day and it stopped popping out of 2nd. I had half a bottle of the stuff left and I put it in the other Focus since I noticed it was a bit low - and shifting also improved although not as much.

I would possibly consider TRYING Amsoil Manual Transmission & Transaxle Gear Lube 75W-90, or the Royal Purple MaxGear 75x/90. But you really have to be careful with the fluids in the MTX-75. ATF is too thin and won't lubricate well, this trans must use a gear oil. But, regular dino gear oils are often high-sulfur and those will ruin the MTX-75 as they will corrode the transmission.

The Amsoil states "protects brass synchros" and the RP gear oil says "it is non-corrosive to soft metals, brass, copper, etc.) in their sales literature. THAT is what your looking for in any MTX-75 fluid. Fluids like Redline MTL and other hypoid gear lubes have high sulfur content and will oxidize the transmission. This has been argued over almost a decade ago since Ford used this same transmission in the Contours and a lot of people raced them. The fact is that Ford has a lot of trouble with the MTX-75 in the beginning because they didn't recommend a special fluid. Ford ended up having their synthetic manual transmission fluid engineered specially to solve these problems.

Frankly I don't understand this interest in the non-Ford fluid. The Ford synthetic fluid can easily last 100K miles in an MTX-75 and at max you use 3 bottles of it. The Amsoil and Royal Purple and other suitable fluids cost almost as much as the Ford fluid you may save $5-$10 a bottle. So for a trans flush that will last easily half the life of the transmission your going to save $15 by using aftermarket fluids that aren't engineered for this trans? WTF is that all about? Is getting the Redline sticker out of the box so you can stick it on your bumper really that important?

You should try dealing with a Chrysler 41TE one of these days if you think paying the premium to Ford for their ATF is that bad.
04-01-2013 04:20 PM
sailor Yah, makes sense - didn't want to start another oil debate!

Got worried about ATF = Brake Fluid though....

Cheers!
04-01-2013 06:20 AM
whynotthinkwhynot Y'all need to leave that alone. I've seen a lot of disparity between fluids that people use in the MTX on here. Some people use synthetic ATF, some people use synthetic 75w gear oil. Of course, there are those who use all sorts of stuff made by aftermarket companies, and then there are those that use Ford synthetic manual transmission fluids like the one recommended for my transmission.

In my 9 years or so on this site, I have not known of one MTX failure due to improper fluid fill. That's just FYI, ok. I'm not trying to get some sort of freaking oil controversy started on here. We have plenty of those threads if you search.
04-01-2013 02:51 AM
sailor
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oblivion View Post
I was also politely replying.

No. Mercon ATF is for the MTX-75, IB-5, and Automatic. Have you not read the owner's manual ever before?
ATF (automatic transmission fluid) is only a DOT (department of transportation) fluid. They are nothing different.
You use ATF fluid (Mercon IV?) for your power steering fluid. If you want to refer to it as DOT fluid: Be my guest.
XT-2-QDX (Mercon ATF) is your "power steering" fluid on a Ford Focus.

The brake / clutch fluid share the same reservoir externally. They have individual components though.
Bleeding the brakes will inevitably bleed the clutch as well. But bleeding the clutch alone will not affect the brakes.

ATF (DOT fluid) is what you use for brake / clutch fluid.
1. By the time my '04 was built, Ford was using the Synthetic Manual Transmission Fluid I mentioned as the Factory Fill. Yes, it's described as such in the owner's manual. This is the fluid commonly recommended here for this transmission over "experimenting" with other brands & types since it's been proven to work well.

2.ATF is a DOT fluid? Please explain how ATF & brake fluid are not different.

3.Yes, I use Mercon ATF for my power steering. hadn't referred to it at all!

4. Bleeding either clutch OR brakes will not affect the other, as long as the shared reservoir is kept filled. Clutch WILL "suck air" first if the fluid level is too low, by design you loose clutch B4 you loose brakes in the case of low brake fluid.

5. Good luck if you want to use ATF for brake/clutch fluid, they aren't compatible!
04-01-2013 02:23 AM
Oblivion
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
Easy there! I was putting my comment politely, as opposed to telling you that you were mistaken!

The Synthetic fluid to refill the transmission, as mentioned by the OP, would be Ford Synthetic Manual Transmission fluid - Mercon ATF would be for an automatic, not an MTX-75.

DOT 3 or 4 you mentioned would refer to brake fluid for the clutch bleeding, ATF wouldn't be involved there at all!

Cheers!
I was also politely replying.

No. Mercon ATF is for the MTX-75, IB-5, and Automatic. Have you not read the owner's manual ever before?
ATF (automatic transmission fluid) is only a DOT (department of transportation) fluid. They are nothing different.
You use ATF fluid (Mercon IV?) for your power steering fluid. If you want to refer to it as DOT fluid: Be my guest.
XT-2-QDX (Mercon ATF) is your "power steering" fluid on a Ford Focus.

The brake / clutch fluid share the same reservoir externally. They have individual components though.
Bleeding the brakes will inevitably bleed the clutch as well. But bleeding the clutch alone will not affect the brakes.

ATF (DOT fluid) is what you use for brake / clutch fluid.
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