The Ford Gearbox – some words of caution
By Greg Bray
Be careful when driving your Lotus 7 up onto your trailer. Making sure that the rear cross bar of the trailer is low enough to clear the gearbox drain plug, so it doesn’t hit the bar. Because the plug will and does break the casing, because it’s thinner than you think.
Ford Gearboxes used in Elans and ‘7’ run all the intermediate gears steel on steel with oil ways on the main shaft. They can only take the oil level so low before the gear seizes on the shaft which I’ve had a number of times. The car only wants to drive in one gear, and move forward in neutral.
Other gearbox manufacturers either have a bronze bush or a caged needle roller bearing and therefore can take the low oil without seizes. Fords are the only manufacturer that I know that did it on the cheap without bearings in gears.