Fast Ford - - Buyer’s Guide Mondeo St220 -

Un­til June 2003, the ST220 was equipped with Ford’s MTX75 fivespeed gear­box, after which it was re­placed by the Ge­trag MMT6 Durashift six-speed man­ual.

Most folk will tell you to go for the later model but the MTX75 (com­plete with re­vised ra­tios for op­ti­mum per­for­mance) of­fers a slightly slicker shift and also leaves room un­der the bon­net for dual air­box in­takes ( deleted when the MMT6 was fit­ted). The six-speed meant a slight power deficit and slower ac­cel­er­a­tion but bet­ter fuel econ­omy and higher top speed, prob­a­bly re­lated to this model’s much-im­proved en­gine ECU (which can be retro­fit­ted to ear­lier cars). Six- speed ST220s also ben­e­fit­ted from a facelifted dash­board.

Both gear­boxes are tough and should cause no trou­ble. The clutch isn’t so strong, gen­er­ally re­quir­ing re­place­ment be­fore 100,000 miles are up. Take a test drive and check for clutch slip, and make sure all the gears en­gage with­out baulk­ing.

For­tu­nately, the petrol-pow­ered Mon­deo isn’t as keen on eat­ing fly­wheels as its diesel coun­ter­part, although the ST220’s DMF ( dual mass fly­wheel) will wear out even­tu­ally, mean­ing an ex­pen­sive re­pair. Beware of vi­bra­tions felt through the clutch pedal, which are warn­ing signs of DMF fail­ure.

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