TRANS­MIS­SION

Fast Ford - - Ff Tech -

Like any Mk2 Mon­deo, one of the ST24’s pit­falls is its clutch. Not be­cause it’s par­tic­u­larly weak (it isn’t) but be­cause re­plac­ing it is a big job, and the cost of get­ting a garage to do the work has been re­spon­si­ble for the demise of many Mon­deos.

Although clutch fail­ure can oc­cur at a rel­a­tively low mileage, it’s more likely on hard-used and high-mileage cars. Check for slip by ac­cel­er­at­ing hard in fifth gear at 2000rpm; if the road speed doesn’t in­crease in line with en­gine revs, the clutch needs to be re­placed.

En­sure the pedal feels smooth and light to op­er­ate: a tired pres­sure plate or springs makes it feel notchy or heavy, while a high bit­ing point means there’s not much meat left.

Dif­fi­cult gear se­lec­tion may also be due to a tired gear­box, es­pe­cially if the ST24 has been around the clock a cou­ple of times. Its MTX75 five-speed man­ual is re­mark­ably tough, but it won’t quite last for­ever. Stick­i­ness, es­pe­cially in third, sug­gests syn­chro­mesh wear. Whin­ing or rum­bling could point to knack­ered bear­ings, although it’s more likely the fault of dif­fer­en­tial fail­ure; lis­ten for groan­ing (which sounds sim­i­lar to growl­ing drive­shafts) along with ex­ces­sive torque steer when driv­ing in a straight line.

De­cent sec­ond-hand gear­boxes are avail­able, of course, as are parts to fix an MTX75. But un­less the ST24 is in par­tic­u­larly great con­di­tion, re­place­ment may well out­weigh the price of the car.

On the brighter side, if you hear click­ing when the steer­ing’s on full lock, it means the CV joints are shot. They’re not ex­pen­sive, but get them changed be­fore they cause dam­age.

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