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Nylon Timing Gear – Ford Essex Engine


Since doing the gearbox on the Scimitar things were generally running well… until one day on the M25 when the throttle stuck wide open, Engine revved up to max and sounding like it was thrashing the life out of itself. I limped off the motorway by turning the ignition on and off and coasting. Free’d off the throttle at a layby and continued the 30 miles to home.

I Replaced the faulty throttle cable the following day but the car refused to start briefly spurting to life and then dying, Simple checks revealed the rotor arm was not turning but the starter was…! The timing gear had shredded its teeth leaving them all in an pile in the sump.

So I now I really have to eat a small slice of humble pie and admit I should have replaced the timing gear earlier and indeed was advised to change it by VIv at least once…! Its a well known weakness with the Ford Essex Engine and its one you Ignore at your own risk

The following photos show where the car is at present old timing gear cleaned out, new one on.

Chafed Throttle Cable

Missing teeth

Horrible mess

Excess amounts of blue silicone sealant courtesy of a previous owner!

Sump removed

Old one removed

Refitting the backplate

New steel gear

About to fit the timing cover

Going back together

bottom end view

a running engine, but not running right…

I was very lucky to get away with no serious damage, to the valves The head studs had pulled pulled out a bit but swapping for a new set of Unleaded heads has fixed this.


Gearbox / Overdrive Work


These photos show the geaprbox and overdrive coming out to change the clutch release bearing. While the gearbox was off the leaking tailshaft was resealed, the gear linkages were also setup again. I also had a couple of replacement bushes made up for the bottom of the gearstick/pivot arm as the old ones were pretty worn and disintegrating and replacements dont seem to be available.

Also while the gearbox was out the solenoid and oil filter were changed in the overdrive. I but forgot to take any photos of this!

Refitting the tailshaft cover:

Speedo drive gear, not sure why I took this photo as we never did anything to it.

Box on the bench after refitting solenoid and filter.

On the way to refitting

New release bearing goes in.

As a result of changing the worn nylon bush and setting the link rods up correctly the gear change itself is much better, previously it had been difficult to engage first and reverse.  There has been a big improvement as a result, It seems likely though that there is still room for more improvement, as the selector forks could also be worn, there was certainly a lot of metal swarf in the filter and visible in the oil drained out of the gearbox.