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Car: Ford | Fiesta | CX (Mk3) | All Derivatives | Hatchback

iB5 Conversion

The iB5 gearbox

I have sold the gearbox I used in the previous Zetec installation, it was from a Fiesta Si 1.6 and had close, low ratios. The low ratios proved to be just too low for road use when combined with a 2.0. My route forward is the upgraded FWD light duty gearbox called the iB5.

The iB5 features a revised release bearing/input shaft, the neutral return spring is in the gearbox and the starter motor is at the rear, which leaves more room at the front of the engine.

The particular model I have chosen is a close-ratio item from a 2000 Escort 1.8 GTi

Fitting isn't the nightmare I imagined, before I purchased the gearbox I checked to see if the CV joint splines were the same and the gear linkage rod - these were so the only thing I have to concentrate on is the mounting. I have still got the Focus driveshaft extension and mounts from the gearbox, so at a later date I will install equal length drive shafts but for now the drive shafts will be the same as the last installation.

The Escort transmission bracket

After a quick clean I mated the engine to the gearbox, only 8 bolt holes lined up which was no way enough and negated the benefits that the Focus two piece sump offered. The solution I had to this was to fit part of a gearbox mounting bracket from a 1997 Escort. The lug on the front of the Focus sump needs machining flat to the block face so that the Escort bracket can be bolted in place.

This bracket will be required for all Zetec's, not just the Series 3.

The above left photo shows how the bracket bolts to the block with a single bolt. From here this links the engine to a further 2 mounting holes in the gearbox. The bracket has been shot blasted and powder coated ready for the engine installation.

Custom Gearbox mount

The final problem is the actual mounting brackets themselves. Luckily after rearrangement of some of the mounting studs the rear Fiesta bracket mounts into place as it should. The front poses a minor problem, a new bracket needs to be made up to link the Fiesta bracket to the bell housing.

As the photo right shows how a bracket needs fabricating to join the existing Fiesta item to the two studs on the bell housing. See below for the completed bracket.

© Mark Stewart, Friday 15th June 2001
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