Ford Cortina Gearbox

Enginesandgearboxes.co.uk is undoubtedly the UK'S leading in new, reconditioned and used supplier online; we undoubtedly have the largest stock of Ford Cortina gearboxes in the UK. We provide fully guaranteed second hand gearboxes parts direct to your door at discounted prices and all have a 100% warranty with free postage, we constantly strive to help our customers save huge amounts of money on Ford Cortina gearboxes every day.

A Cortina Gearbox

The Ford Cortina is a mid-sized family car built by Ford of Britain in various guises from 1962 to 1982. Right from inception their gearboxes first started off as 4 speed manual all-synchromesh, newer models with a high specification on the 2.0 litre models had the option of automatic gearbox, and with the 2.3 V6, it was the only gearbox offered.

Cortina's synchronised gearbox

Top and side view of a typical manual gearbox, in this case a Ford Cortina. Most modern cars are fitted with a synchronised gearbox. Gearbox gears are always in mesh and rotating, but gears on one shaft can freely rotate or be locked to the shaft. The locking mechanism for a gear consists of a collar (or dog collar) on the shaft which is able to slide sideways so that teeth (or dogs) on its inner surface bridge two circular rings with teeth on their outer circumference: one attached to the gear, one to the shaft, when the rings are bridged by the collar, that particular gear is rotationally locked to the shaft and determines the output speed of the gearbox. The gearshift lever manipulates the collars using a set linage, so arranged so that one collar may be permitted to lock only one gear at any one time; when "shifting gears," the locking collar from one gear is disengaged before that of another engaged. One collar often serves for two gears; sliding in one direction selects one gearbox speed, in the other direction selects another. In a synchromesh gearbox, to correctly match the speed of the gear to that of the shaft as the gear is engaged, the collar initially applies a force to a cone-shaped brass clutch attached to the gear, which brings the speeds to match prior to the collar locking into place. The collar is prevented from bridging the locking rings when the speeds are mismatched by synchro rings. The synchro ring rotates slightly due to the frictional torque from the cone clutch. In this position, the dog clutch is prevented from engaging. The brass clutch ring gradually causes parts to spin at the same speed. When they do spin the same speed, there is no more torque from the cone clutch, and the dog clutch is allowed to fall in to engagement. In a modern gearbox, the action of all of these components is so smooth and fast it is hardly noticed. Reverse gear, however, is usually not synchromesh, as there is only one reverse gear in the normal automotive gearbox and changing gears into reverse while moving is not required. When you take apart and look inside an automatic gearbox, you will find a huge assortment of parts in a fairly small space. Among other things, you see :

  • An ingenious planetary gear set
  • A set of bands to lock parts of a gear set
  • A set of three wet-plates clutches to lock other parts of the gear set
  • An incredibly odd hydraulic system that controls the clutches and bands
  • A large gear pump to move gearbox fluid around


Older Cortina manual gearboxes you will find a lay shaft, collar and folks. A manual gearbox, also known as a manual gearbox or standard gearbox (informally, a "manual", "stick shift", "straight shift", or "straight drive") is a type of gearbox used in motor vehicle applications. It generally uses a driver-operated clutch, typically operated by a pedal or lever, for regulating torque transfer from the internal combustion engine to the gearbox, and a gear-shift, either operated by hand. Other types of gearbox in mainstream automotive use are the automatic gearbox, semi-automatic gearbox, and the continuously variable gearbox (CVT).

A manual gearbox like the Cortina, also informally known as a 'manual', 'stick shift', 'straight shift', 'standard shift', or sometimes '5-speed' is a type of gearbox used in motor vehicle applications. It generally uses a driver-operated clutch, operated by a pedal or lever, for regulating torque transfer from the engine to the Cortina gearbox, and a gear-shift, either operated by hand.

With heavy driving or even general long term usage your gearbox will not last forever. Should you come across any type of gearbox problems then we are the people to help. Contact us for specialist help our if you need a new, reconditioned or second-hand gearbox.

In many modern passenger Ford Cortina cars, gears are selected by manipulating a lever connected to the gearbox via linage Cortina or cables and mounted on the floor of the automobile. This is called a gear stick, shift stick, gearshift, gear lever, gear selector, or shifter. Moving the lever forward, backward, left, and right into specific positions selects particular gears. An aftermarket modification of this part is known as the installation of a short shifter which can be combined with an aftermarket shift knob or Weighted Gear Knob.

A sample layout of a 5 speed gearbox marks N for neutral, the position wherein no gears are engaged and the engine is decoupled from the vehicle's drive wheels. In reality, the entire horizontal line is a neutral position, although the shifter is usually equipped with springs so that it will return to the N position if not moved to another gear. The R marks reverse, the gear position used for moving the vehicle rearward.

Manual gearboxes generally offer better fuel economy than automatic torque converter gearboxes. Increased fuel economy with a properly operated manual gearbox vehicle can range from 5% to about 15% depending on driving conditions and style of driving.

As you can see gearboxes including the Cortina gearbox is a complicated car part necessity for your car to function. Our breakers shop around for the best deals on any Cortina gearbox part - so you don't have to do all the hard work.

Simply tell us the type of gearbox you require and we'll do the rest - totally FREE!

Why a Cortina gearbox can go wrong

Symptoms: – Gearbox oil pouring out of gearbox, sometimes with slipping clutch due to oil contamination.

Often the gearbox jams and the car cannot be moved. Gears fail and there is no drive to clutch and wheels.

Cause: - Hole punctured in the gearbox casing due to a sheared weak rivet on the differential failing. The rivets attaching the final drive gear to the differential are weak and shear off, sometimes after only 30,000 miles on early gearboxes. This a common problem with these gearboxes.

Cure: - Replace weak rivets with stainless steel nuts and bolts, add reinforcing metal plate between the bolts and then fully recondition gearbox. All our reconditioned gearboxes carry a 100% warranty.

Cortina Maintenance

Because clutches use changes in friction to modulate the transfer of torque between engine and gearbox, they are subject to wear in everyday use. A very good clutch, when used by an expert driver, can last hundreds of thousands of kilometres (or miles). Weak clutches, abrupt downshifting, inexperienced drivers, and aggressive driving can lead to more frequent repair or replacement.

Manual gearboxes are lubricated with gear oil or engine oil in some Cortina cars, which must be changed periodically in some cars. Some manufacturers specify that changing the gear oil is never necessary except after gearbox work or to rectify a leak.

Gear oil has a characteristic aroma due to the addition of sulfur-bearing anti wear compounds. These compounds are used to reduce the high sliding friction by the helical gear cut of the teeth (this cut eliminates the characteristic whine of straight cut spur gears).

Cortina Gearbox fluid should be changed periodically. Your owner's manual should give you the recommended intervals which could be anywhere from 15,000 miles to 100,000 miles. Most gearbox experts recommend changing the fluid and filter every 25,000 miles.

Few gearboxes have drain plugs to drain the old fluid. In order to get the fluid out, the technician removes the gearbox oil pan. This is quite a messy job and generally not recommended for the casual do-it-yourselfer. Even if the gearbox has a drain plug, the only way to also change the gearbox filter is to remove the pan. When the pan is down, the technician can check for metal shavings and other debris which are indicators of impending gearbox problems.

In most cases during these gearboxes services, only about half the oil is able to be removed from the unit. This is because much of the oil is in the torque converter and cooler lines and cannot be drained without major disassembly. The fluid change intervals are based on the fact that some old fluid remains in the system.

When the Ford Cortina gearboxes is serviced, make sure that the correct fluid is used to re-fill it. Each gearbox manufacturer has their own recommendation for the proper fluid to use and the internal components are designed for that specific formula. GM usually uses Dexron, Fords prior to 1983 use Type F while later models use Mercon. Late model Chrysler products use ATF +3 +4 (Not using the correct fluid for Cortina gearboxes is the most common reason for their gearbox problems.) Toyota sometimes uses Type T which is only available through Toyota and Lexus Parts departments. Cortina uses their own formula which is available from Ford parts departments. A gearbox will not work properly or may even slip or shudder with the incorrect fluid, so make sure that you double check. Your owner's manual will tell you which fluid is required. Naturally, the owner's manual will try to convince you to only use the manufacturer's branded fluid, but they will also provide you with the specs for the oil. If the aftermarket product indicates on its container that they meet or exceed the specs for a particular type of gearbox fluid, it is generally ok to use that product.

Why use us

We are the gearbox specialists, it's all we do, and we do it well and we are the best at offering any make or model of gearboxes.

  • Many years of engines and gearbox experience
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All our automatic and manual gearboxes are available new, second-hand and remanufactured or reconditioned to the highest standards. All our gearbox components meet or exceed all original manufactures specifications, and most of the time the Ford Cortina gearbox components are sourced from our car gearboxes list. You can buy with confidence from us, knowing that you have the best quality Ford Cortina gearbox with the best warranty protection. We have an extensive network of industry contacts to ensure you find what you are looking for.
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