Hoiked the car up onto the axle stands last night to “quickly” check the gearbox and diff oil levels, which I’ve kind of sort of been meaning to get round to for rather a long time

I even had the right tool from Laser but for some reason it didn’t fit the drain plugs Had to shave off around half a millimetre each side for it to go in. Either I picked up the wrong one or my car’s “special“.

Diff is full to the lip with horrible, dirty, smelly oil … but at least it’s full How often should it be changed if there’s no indication of it ever having been done, or is it just a case of top up and forget about it unless it leaks?

Gearbox was rather dry, but twenty minutes and about one and a half can-fulls of those little old-fashioned squirty oil cans later, it too was happy Noticed that the gearbox actually has a lower drain plug too – whereas I’d thought they were all top-up only, like the diff. Any merit to dropping the oil and filling with fresh or is it best just leaving alone?

Still undecided if I’m going to start with the polish on the car before going to the CF Show this weekend … I spent an entire meeting at work mulling it over. If it rains, no-one will be looking at it anyway and if it’s sunny everyone will be looking at the shiny Escorts with all their stickers and stripes and things Think I’ll just leave it for now rather than starting it, getting halfway through, then staying up till mad o’clock in the morning rushing to get it done


EDIT 29/05/2008: 

dangerousdave: As for oil, i think with a car of your spec and relatively low milage the diff oil will be fine, only change it if its really really dirty like engine oil! Same for the box really, unless its crunchy or hard to change gear, again just run as it is, you wont damage it at that power level, hell dave managed to get to and from the essex meet and fred drove the car around for a week i think before they put any oil in the box at all


me: Cheers Dave I suspect the diff oil will get changed whenever the axle comes off then, and I’ll keep an eye on the gearbox level. I think it’s just gently weeping rather than gushing, as it only seems to appear out the back of the box then gets sprayed on the underside when it reaches the joint on the propshaft – if nothing else, it’s a good underbody protectant  Funny you should mention the “mild” spec of the car … it wasn’t until I stripped down the carb and re-assembled it that the secondary throttle actually opened when you put your foot to the floor


dangerousdave:  …sounds like every rwd ford i have ever come across, in fact your lucky that the pinion oil seal in the diff isnt weeping too, they all seem to weep from the 2 same places on every car, my box did with all new seals and gaskets