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Fixing my Ford Car – Not Another Ford Repair Manual

One of the main reasons I purchased my brand new ford Fiesta was once the warrantee had expired I would be able to carry out all future repairs myself. I have some mechanical background knowledge of fixing cars. I intend to purchase a Ford manual that will provide me with all the technical tolerances, measurements and settings. Not forgetting the invaluable Ford Motor Company owner’s handbook that comes with ever Ford car, which is a valuable reference guide. My first do it yourself job I needed to carry out on my Fiesta is the break pads. It is very important at this point to put a common misconception to rest. The breaking system on a car is a sealed unit. The Brake fluid reservoir is designed to hold the right amount of fluid. When the brake linings start to wear on the break pads and rear shoes (if fitted), the brake fluid will go below the maximum level. Some garages and individuals will top up this fluid in a service but this will result in a big problem further down the line. As you will read later in this article when the break caliper piston is forced back to accommodate the new thicker break pads the brake fluid will rise in the reservoir if it has been toped up it will over spill. The brake fluid is corrosive. If it comes into contact with either metal or rubber fittings, it can cause major problems.

Even if the level drops in the reservoir suddenly then you should refrain from using the car until it has been inspected and repaired.


The first step is to find a suitable safe area to carry out the repair. It should be level and away from moving traffic. You may wish to cone off the area or use signage to warn people about the repair you are doing.

DO NOT LEAVE THE KEYS IN THE IGNITION AS THIS COULD RESULT IN SOMEONE TRYING TO MOVE THE CAR AND CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY TO BOTH PARTIES. Once a suitable place has been found, it is time to make the car safe. Apply the hand brake and place a chock underneath the wheel. If you are working on the rear then chock the front, vise versa if you intend to work on the front, like we are, then chock both rear wheels. Look in the Ford owner’s handbook for the best place to jack up the car. Once the jack is in place, you need to loosen the wheel nuts. If you have steel wheels and they are covered with plastic wheel trims remove them and then undo the wheel nuts. If you have alloys then the wheel nuts will be visible to the eye. Only loosen them at this point. Once they are slightly loose, jack up the car until the tire is away from the hard standing. Remove all the wheel nuts and place them in a safe place. It is time to lift off the wheel and tire. I always like to place the wheel under the chassis leg as an extra safety measure.

If the car was to fall, it will go no further than the wheel rim. If you have axel stands then you may wish to use them. One further tip is to do one side at a time. You will have the other side as a reference if you forget where a particular clip or spring my go. Depending on what year your Ford car was produced, the break caliper will be held on by either Allen keys or thirteen-millimeter nuts. Once again, check your Ford owner’s manual to check which one is particular to your model. Use a flat bar or screwdriver and force back the piston that pushes the brake pads on to the disc. Remember to unscrew the break fluid reservoir cap. This will allow any trapped air to escape.


Once the piston is pushed back, it is time to undo the break clapper retaining bolts. Put them somewhere safe. Remove the caliper and then dislodge the old worn out pads. I like to smear on copper grease on the side of the pad that comes into contact with the metal parts of the breaking system. Ensure you do not allow the copper grease to go on the breaking part of the pads. Replace the pads like for like and ensure all the parts are fitted in the correct order and are secure. If you are in any doubt, always refer to the Ford owner’s handbook. The brake pedal should be pumped until it becomes hard to depress. Once this is done move to the next side and repeat the sequence. The brake pads are an easy repair and one that most Ford owners can carry out with limited mechanical knowledge and a simple toolbox. Remember always check the Ford manual or owner’s handbook.

My second do it yourself job on my Ford Fiesta was the water pump. This job has some hidden benefits and complications. It is very important to check the Ford handbook and Ford manual to ensure you know what is entailed and that you have the right tools and skills for the job. In the Ford hand book there will be a list of any specific tools needed to carry out this job. I have taken the time to ensure I have them all and for some very specialist tools, I am able to make use of some other instruments I have at my disposal.


The water pump is one of those jobs that will involve removing different mechanical pieces to enable you to remove the water pump. In my case, I have to remove the driver’s side wheel and wheel arch liner; I will have to remove the engine mounting and the timing belt. The first step is to find a suitable safe area to carry out the repair. It should be level and away from moving traffic. You may wish to cone off the area or use signage to warn people about the repair you are doing. DO NOT LEAVE THE KEYS IN THE IGNITION AS THIS COULD RESULT IN SOMEONE TRYING TO MOVE THE CAR AND CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY TO BOTH PARTIES. Once a suitable place has been found, it is time to make the car safe. Apply the hand brake and place a chock underneath the wheel. If you are working on the rear then chock the front, vise versa if you intend to work on the front like we are then chock both rear wheels. Look in the Ford owner’s handbook for the best place to jack up the car. In this case, apply the hand brake. Once you have removed the driver’s side front wheel and the inner wheel arch covers, it is now time to turn your attention to the upper engine compartment. You need to decide if you intend to re-use the cooling fluid. If so then choose a suitable receptacle capable of holding five to six liters of water and antifreeze. Please remember if you have been topping up the coolant level for a while due to a leaking water pump then the cooling fluid will require more antifreeze. Check your Ford owners hand book or manual for the correct amount.


As I have to remove the engine mount, I have devised a bar to stride the engine bay and use nylon webbing as a tunicate so I can adjust the height of the engine accordingly. The other alternative is to either purchase one or check out your local hire shops.

Once this is in place it is time to loosen and remove the fan belt, check the condition, as it is advisable to change any worn parts now. It will save time and money in the end. Replace any parts with genuine Ford replacement parts as they fit better, are made from high quality products thus lasting longer. My Ford car has only genuine parts fitted from new and listening to some of my mates at work, they are forever replacing parts far more frequently than me. I am now able to see the timing marks that my Ford manual have shown me. Once they are aligned it is time for me to loosen the retaining bolts of my defective water pump. My water pump is also the timing belt tensioner so I intend to change the belt at the same time. It is due to be changed in the next service in three thousand miles so no point going to all this trouble now without changing it. Once the water pump is loose I am able to remove the belt from the top part of the engine, I now need to turn my attention to the lower part and remove the bottom crankshaft pulley. This is held on by one large nut. One quick tip is if you place a spanner on the nut prior to removing any parts and just turn your ignition key for a second the nut will undo. This is only my quick tip but you may wish to follow the Ford manual. The whole timing belt is now able to be removed. Take out all the water pump bolts, I use cardboard and draw a picture of the water pump. Place the bolts through the card this way you know where each bolt goes this is important, as they are all different lengths. You need to ensure the flat edge of the engine block is totally clean from old gasket and oil. Use a scraper to dislodge any unwanted bits. I like to use a small amount of grease on the new gasket as it will help keep it in place and help create a watertight seal.


Once the new water pump is in place (and left loose). Replace the timing belt in reverse. Once the water pump is used to tighten up the timing belt, tighten all the bolts to the recommended settings in your Ford handbook or manual.

It is now time to replace all the parts you removed in the reverse sequence. Ensure all bolts, screws and clips are tight. If you have any parts left over you must find where they go unless you have replaced them with new genuine Ford parts in which case they should be disposed of appropriately. Once the car is back together and the fluid reservoir is full, start the engine and run for a while until the engine temperature is showing its normal operational temperature. Keep an eye out for leaks. Once the engine is warm, I like to run the internal heater on hot, full speed. Once the engine is hot and running ok, top up the reservoir to the max level and replace the top. Check again when the car has been out for a run.

My bottom ball joint has been showing some signs of ware and tare, such as my near side front tire has a lot less tread on the inner edge, when I go over a bump there is a loud knocking noise and the steering has gone stiff. I attribute the need to replace this part due to the terrible condition of the road surface leading up to my new house. I did detect some free play in this part during the last service so I now intend to change it and the tire at the same time to keep within the law. The bottom ball joint is a simple quick inexpensive job. Looking at both, the Ford owner’s handbook and manual I will need basic tools and one ball joint splitter. I purchased this at my local DIY store for less than twenty quid.


Tool needed

The first step is to find a suitable safe area to carry out the repair. It should be level and away from moving traffic. You may wish to cone off the area or use signage to warn people about the repair you are doing. DO NOT LEAVE THE KEYS IN THE IGNITION AS THIS COULD RESULT IN SOMEONE TRYING TO MOVE THE CAR AND CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY TO BOTH PARTIES. Once a suitable place has been found, it is time to make the car safe. Apply the hand brake and place a chock underneath the wheel. If you are working on the rear then chock the front, vise versa if you intend to work on the front like we are then chock both rear wheels. Look in the Ford owner’s handbook for the best place to jack up the car.

With the wheel off and the car suitably safe on my axel stands, it is time for me to undo the large nut in the center of the ball joint, this holds the joint to the suspension leg. I now need the new ball joint splitter to separate the lower part from the upper. A few big hits and the lower wishbone became loose and dropped down. I then removed the two securing bolts and the ball joint was detached. I always like to put a little copper grease on the retaining bolts so future removal will be made a lot easier. The new ball joint was quick and simple to fit. Simply re- in act you steps in reverse.


The second part of the job was to change the tire. I have chosen to fit my spare tire and have the old one changed as soon as the car is back together. I did encounter one problem whilst carrying out this repair. I noticed a crack in the brake disc. I read the Ford manual and these cracks are due to the disc temperature being too high. After having thought it through and checking the other side, which was clear from cracks. I decided to check out the caliper on the defective side. The wheel hub was tight to turn.

After checking out the section in the Ford owners hand book and the manual I came to the conclusion the brake caliper was sticking. I removed the two Allen key bolts that held in the brake pads, then forcing the brake piston back I removed the pads. The two retaining bolts holding the brake caliper to the hub were next. The caliper has two slides. I noticed one was sticking. With some fine emery paper, I cleaned it and greased it to prevent any water penetration.

I cleaned the whole caliper and slide mechanism to ensure it would operate correctly. I replaced the cracked disc with a genuine Ford disc. After reassembling the brakes, I pumped the brake pedal until it was hard. The hub was now free to spin by hand.

I replaced the wheel ensuring the wheel nuts where tight. After removing the jack, I once again tightened the wheel nuts and replaced the wheel trim. It was now time to test drive the Ford car and check out my handy work. The car ran like a dream and the new tire was replaced the very same day.


Macpherson Strut replacement My Ford Fiesta has forty five thousand miles on the clock. I have noticed the front suspension is not the way it used to be. I can feel the bumps in the road a little more now. I read my Ford owners handbook and the Ford manual and they both directed me to the front Macpherson Struts that house the front shock absorbers.

Tools needed

After having checked in the manual etc., I noticed I would need just basic tools and one special instrument to compress the springs on the struts themselves. After some internet surfing I found a local car shop who sells the spring compressors for eighteen pounds so I purchased them the very next day.

The genuine ford shock absorbers were very reasonably priced. I thought if the last set lasted this long from new then genuine Ford parts are the best option. They will fit perfectly and complement the cars handling, bringing it back to the way it used to drive and feel.


The first step is to find a suitable safe area to carry out the repair. It should be level and away from moving traffic. You may wish to cone off the area or use signage to warn people about the repair you are doing.

DO NOT LEAVE THE KEYS IN THE IGNITION AS THIS COULD RESULT IN SOMEONE TRYING TO MOVE THE CAR AND CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY TO BOTH PARTIES. Once a suitable place has been found, it is time to make the car safe. Apply the hand brake and place a chock underneath the wheel. If you are working on the rear then chock the front, vise versa if you intend to work on the front like we are then chock both rear wheels. Look in the Ford owner’s handbook for the best place to jack up the car. I have decided to change both struts together so after having secured the hand brake and chocked both rear wheels. I have jacked up the front and placed the two axel stands on the front chassis legs either side. I have ensured I have enough ground clearance to pull down on the bottom ball joints to release them from the front hubs.

This job can be archived in a few different ways. One way is remove the brake pipe and leave the front brake intact removing the whole strut. I prefer to remove the outer caliper and leave the hydraulic brake system un-touched; it will undo enough to slide out of a groove (see below).


One-track rod end from either side will have to be undone. Simply undo the one nut. Place the ball joint splitter we purchased for a previous job and separate it from the suspension leg. I like to put the nut back on loosely for two reasons, one it protects the threads and two I then know where it is for reassembly.

So after having removed the wheel and undoing the bottom ball joint. I undid the brake caliper. Moving under the bonnet you will see a ring of three bolts and one large nut in the middle on either upper inner wing.

These hold the strut to the inner wing. Undo the three outer nuts these are normally thirteen millimeters. Ensure you have the strut supported as soon as they are undone the strut will fall. I use a nylon strap with a hook on the end, this can be tied off and hold the strut in place until you are ready to lift it out of the way.

Once you are ready lift the strut away from the under wing section of the car. Be very careful at this point as the Macpherson strut is heavy. Once the strut is on your bench or garage floor it is time to use the spring compressors. Spread them equally on the spring. Start to tighten them at equal stages so the spring


compresses evenly. I like to use a power tool for this part of the job. It is quite hard to hold the strut and use a ratchet and socket. The power tool makes it an easier task.

Once the spring is to short to reach the top plate it is now time to loosen the top center bolt. Be very careful because if there is still tension it may result in the spring expanding quickly and forcing the top plate off and could cause injury and damage.


Consult the Ford owner’s handbook and manual for advice prior to the spring removal and as always read carefully the manufacturers guidelines for use when using any tools. Once the spring top retaining plate is loose, you can remove the large rubber shock absorber cover. If it is perished then replace it with a genuine Ford replacement part. It will protect your new Ford shock absorber.

Now is time to replace the rubber cover on the new Macpherson strut, then place the spring the same way it was taken off. Next relocate the spring in the top plate. You will see a small section where the end of the spring will slide into the plate. With this in site, replace the center nut and using your power tool to tighten it. Next loosen the spring compressors evenly whilst ensuring the spring stays in place, make sure the top and bottom keeps are located properly. When the spring compressors are loose, remove them one by one. You are now ready to replace the strut. Using your strap to hold it in place locate the top three bolts, re-place the nuts not forgetting the washers. Do not tighten these fully until the underneath is reassembled. Move to the lower section. You will need a long bar to pull down the wishbone, then maneuver the bottom ball joint into place. When the bolt is through tighten the nut. It is now time to replace the track rod end, then the brake caliper and flexi pipe-retaining nut.


(Remember to pump the brake pedal prior to moving the car) It is time to ensure all the bolts, clips, pipes and nuts are tight. Systematically and methodically work your way around the whole strut tightening all of them to the correct torque settings, you will find all these in the Ford manual. When you have completed this task, replace the wheels and tighten. Jack up the car and remove the axel stands. Lower the car and ensure the wheel nuts are tight. As normal be cautious when test driving the car.

I went to drive off from my home this morning and I depressed the clutch and selected drive. As normal, I lifted my foot off the clutch and to my amazement, the car stayed where it was. I revved it but nothing. I tried it a few times but to no avail. I checked a few things and came to the assumption the gearbox was at fault. I had the weekend off so I had the time to do the job and be ready for work on Monday.

I checked at my local Ford dealer and they had a genuine Motor craft replacement Ford gearbox at an affordable price. It was an exchange unit so I needed to take my old gearbox or pay a huge deposit. I preferred to take my gearbox, this way if I need any other parts I could collect them at the same time and reduce the number of trips I need to make. The first step is to find a suitable safe area to carry out the repair. It should be level and away from moving traffic. You may wish to cone off the area or use signage to warn people about the repair you are doing.


DO NOT LEAVE THE KEYS IN THE IGNITION AS THIS COULD RESULT IN SOMEONE TRYING TO MOVE THE CAR AND CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY TO BOTH PARTIES. Once a suitable place has been found, it is time to make the car safe. Apply the hand brake and place a chock underneath the wheel. If you are working on the rear then chock the front, vise versa if you intend to work on the front like we are then chock both rear wheels. Look in the Ford owner’s handbook for the best place to jack up the car. As always, I like to read the Ford owners hand book and Ford manual to check I have the ability to do the job and to ensure I have all the relevant tools. Over a nice cup of tea I read the sequence of gearbox removal and replacement and was satisfied, I can complete the job without any drama.

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The main area of my activity will be the passenger side front. There are a lot of bolts above but most work will be carried out underneath. I have to ensure I have enough room for the gearbox to be slid out once it is detached from the engine block. As always, my first step is to disconnect the battery. Once this is done I can start to remove parts such as the starter motor and clutch cable. Working my way around the bell housing on the upper section of the gearbox, I removed all the visible bolts. It was now time to place an engine-supporting bar. This is to hold the engine whilst the engine mounting is removed.

Moving below I have checked the manual for a visual reference. I now have to remove the bottom ball joint and pull out the drive shaft. At this point, I


remembered to place an oil-draining bowl to catch a few drips. The remaining bolts were easy to reach and it was not long before they were all removed. The gearbox needed a little persuasion to come loose from the engine block. Just as it did dislodge I noticed there was still a thick wire holding it to the engine block. Having checked the Ford owner’s book and manual, I soon realized it was an earth strap. Once removed I placed the trolley jack under the loose gearbox. Once it was all loose, I lowered the jack and pulled out the gearbox. At a glance, the gearbox looked ok, but I also know that all the working parts of a gearbox are inside and hidden. I checked the drive shaft oil seals for wear but they seemed ok. It was my intention to change the clutch, as it is better to do it now whilst the gearbox is out. The last thing I want is to replace the gearbox and in a month or so have to remove it again to replace a faulty clutch.

I drew my attention to removing the clutch. I undid the ring of bolts holding it on to the flywheel. I needed to prize it away from some locating dowels. The clutch cover came away first and then the pressure plate fell to the floor.

As I picked up the pressure plate, I noticed a small split in the metal. On closer inspection, I also noticed on the inner side that faces the flywheel the split went all the way around. I had a can of freeing oil so I gave it a little spray and wiped it with a dry rag. I then inspected it more closely. I placed it back on the first motion shaft of the gearbox. Now in theory, the plate would grab on the splines and when I rotated the clutch plate, the shaft should spin. As I did this the plate spun, however the first motion shaft remained still. It was not the gearbox at all. The whole problem was when I lifted my foot of the clutch to drive away the plate did not spin. So effectively, I had no drive to the wheels. This was obviously a great outcome as a new clutch was so much cheaper than a new genuine Ford reconditioned gearbox. I did as many checks on the gearbox as was possible according to the owner’s handbook and manual.


After having made a visit to collect my genuine Ford three-in-one clutch kit, it was now time to reassemble my Fiesta. I noticed in the Ford manual that I would need a clutch alignment tool. You can do the alignment by eye but I think it would be more luck than skill. I intend to hire one from my local garage for ten pounds. It will make the job a lot easier as the other way means you need to keep lifting the heavy gearbox up and down many times. Using the correct tool ensures the plate is central and the first motion shaft will be lined up first time. It is now time to reassemble the entire gearbox in reverse order. Be methodical and do not leave any bits until later as when the time comes it is annoying to have to backtrack your steps. Once the whole car is back together and it is time to reconnect the battery, make sure the driver’s door is open and the keys are out of the ignition. This needs to be done as when the battery is reconnected the central locking may activate. You may have to re code the Ford radio.

All done it is now time to test my hard work. After a short drive around the block my Ford fiesta is now back to normal. Job done. I have noticed recently that when I start my Ford Fiesta the red Ignition light stays on for a while or until I rev the engine above three thousand revs, then it goes out or so I thought. The other night my daughter rang me to say, she had missed the last bus. I told her to stay where she is and I would collect her in ten minutes. When I started my Fiesta I revved the engine to extinguish the red ignition light but I noticed it does not actually go out it remains illuminated all be it dull. Upon checking my Ford owner’s handbook and Ford manual in the trouble shooting section, it says I need to check my alternator. It should read above 13v across the battery. My reading was just below nine volts. I called my local Ford dealership and they informed me a genuine Ford exchange unit was available and in stock. The guy told me to remove my unit and bring it with me to save me paying a surcharge and an extra trip. The first step is to find a suitable safe area to carry out the repair. It should be level and away from moving traffic. You may wish to cone off the area or use signage to warn people about the repair you are doing.


DO NOT LEAVE THE KEYS IN THE IGNITION AS THIS COULD RESULT IN SOMEONE TRYING TO MOVE THE CAR AND CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY TO BOTH PARTIES. Once a suitable place has been found, it is time to make the car safe. Apply the hand brake and place a chock underneath the wheel. As I was only working under the bonnet, it was not necessary to chock the front or back wheels. As always when working with my car’s electrics, I always disconnect the battery. The alternator is situated on the drivers’ side under the bonnet just by the inner wing. It has two bolts running through the under part of its body and one small bolt on the upper part that not only secures it but is also the adjustment part for the fan belt. The fan belt runs around the bottom crankshaft pulley, water pump, timing belt pulley and the alternator.

I referred to my owners manual and Ford manual as I always do over a cup of tea. I always check not only the sequence but check if I need any specialist tools. Once I am happy I have the skills and tools I need I can proceed with the job.

With the battery disconnected I firstly undone the thirteen millimeter bolt that has a dual role, number one is to hold the alternator in place and the other is the adjustment part for the fan belt. Next, I loosened the lower two bolts just enough to be able to push the alternator towards the engine block. This has made the fan belt loose enough to remove and replace with a new genuine Ford part. I can now pull the alternator away from the engine block exposing the lower two bolts. With these out I simply lifted the alternator up, disconnected the wires from the rear section and it was now time to dismantle the pulley on the bench.


The pulley is better done in a vise. Gently squeeze the pulley in the grips. Loosen the large nut in the center and then remove the alternator. Time for me to go and exchange the unit at the Ford dealer. To replace the alternator and fan belt I simply followed my previous steps in reverse. I checked the voltage of the new Ford exchange unit once it was fitted and it now reads thirteen and a half volts.

voltmeter

I left early in the morning to go to work, when I turned the key, my Fiesta would not start. As I turned the ignition key there was a clicking noise coming from under the bonnet. I will have to use public transport and sort out the problem later in the day. Whilst at work I took a peek at my Ford owner’s handbook and Ford manual. It appears that my starter motor bendx is at fault.

It seems this is not a big job, just a quick visit to my local Ford dealer to collect an exchange unit and then home and swap the starter motor over. I will have to pay a surcharge until I return the old unit. This is a small price to pay knowing I will have a genuine quality Ford part that will not only fit perfectly but also knowing it comes with a full guarantee and it will last a lot longer than cheaper options. It is possible to change only the bendx but I personally think it is better to change the whole unit as all the parts are the same age and have endured the same punishment.


The first step is to find a suitable safe area to carry out the repair. It should be level and away from moving traffic. You may wish to cone off the area or use signage to warn people about the repair you are doing. DO NOT LEAVE THE KEYS IN THE IGNITION AS THIS COULD RESULT IN SOMEONE TRYING TO MOVE THE CAR AND CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY TO BOTH PARTIES. Once a suitable place has been found, it is time to make the car safe. Apply the hand brake and place a chock underneath the wheel. If you are working on the rear then chock the front, vise versa if you intend to work on the front like we are then chock both rear wheels. Look in the Ford owner’s handbook for the best place to jack up the car. As normal, I will disconnect the battery for safety reasons. This is just a quick turn of a ten-millimeter nut and pull off the terminal.

Now I can turn my attention to removing the starter motor, on my particular model of Ford Fiesta, it is not necessary to remove any other parts. As the starter motor is located on the under side of the vehicle I have ensured it is jacked up and safe to work on. I have removed the near side front wheel just to make climbing underneath a little easier. There are some bolts that are easier to reach from under the bonnet, as is the electric cable that goes from the solenoid to the battery. After having familiarized myself with the Ford owner’s handbook and manual, I methodically worked my way around removing the bolts and wires. When these where all removed I wiggled the starter out from the under side of the engine. It does take a little twisting and turning but it will fit trust me! Once removed I could see some ware and tear on the bendx and the solenoid looked a little rusty. This confirmed my decision to change the whole unit. From what I could see, there where no parts to remove from the old Ford starter motor and replace on the genuine Ford replacement starter motor. It was a simple exchange like for like. Ford always seem to simplify things, which was another reason I chose a Ford car verses other makes. It seemed a little harder to fit the new starter motor through the hole. I think this was because I did not want to scratch the paint and gravity was against me during the re-fitting process.


Once the starter motor was in place and one bolt was in place all be it loosely, I could replace all the bolts. Now my dad always taught me when fitting any part on an engine to fit all the bolts loosely particularly, where the part has multiple bots. This is because it is far easier to locate the holes whilst the replacement unit is loose. If you tighten even one bolt it can be very hard to get the remaining bolt threads started. You just end up loosening the first bolt to accommodate the others. Once the bolts were tight on the underside, I moved my attention to under the bonnet. With all the bolts tight and the electrics sorted, it was time to replace the wheel, drop the jack and lastly replace the battery lead. A quick turn of the key and my Ford Fiesta roared into life.

My Ford Fiesta has an annoying noise from the back end. It seems to worsen when I accelerate. It drones at high speed. I looked at the trouble shooting section of my Ford owner’s handbook and Ford manual. It seems it could be a wheel bearing. The Ford owners hand book and Ford manual both advise me to jack up the back of the car and with the hand brake off spin the hubs. I did just this and discovered the driver side wheel was very noisy indeed. In comparison to the other quiet side, there was no doubt I need to change the bearing. The first step is to find a suitable safe area to carry out the repair. It should be level and away from moving traffic. You may wish to cone off the area or use signage to warn people about the repair you are doing. DO NOT LEAVE THE KEYS IN THE IGNITION AS THIS COULD RESULT IN SOMEONE TRYING TO MOVE THE CAR AND CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY TO BOTH PARTIES. Once a suitable place has been found, it is time to make the car safe. Apply the hand brake and place a chock underneath the wheel. If you are working on the rear then chock the front, vise versa if you intend to work on the rear like we are then chock both front wheels as there will be no hand brake applied. Look in the Ford owner’s handbook for the best place to jack up the car


The first mechanical part of the job is to remove the wheel. Then I need to remove the metal cover in the center of the brake drum. This then allows access to the center nut that holds on the drum to the hub. There is a split pin through the center that is held in place by a castle nut. With wire cutters or pliers, undo the split pin and remove it. You can then remove the nut. Next, you need to remove the drum. If you are lucky like me then the drum will come of easily however you may need some persuasion by a rubber mallet or in extreme cases a hub puller.

This may depend on the condition of the outer wheel bearing race/ housing and how long you have left the problem before attempting to fix it. Once the drum is off the car, it is time to place it in a vice or if you don’t have one like me then use the wheel rim. Remove the wheel bearing inner race from the outside edge, turn the hub upside down. There is a rubber seal that retains the grease. Remove this seal and the inner bearing. With a rub of a dry rag to remove all the old grease you will be able to locate the outer wheel-bearing race. With a flat bar or screw driver you need to knock these out. If you do not have a special tool to replace the new outer bearings, I use a large socket just fractionally smaller than the outer race. This works well but you must be very careful to ensure you do not damage either the new bearing or the hub. In the genuine Ford replacement wheel bearing kit, you get all the bearings, grease, split pin, seal and inner and outer race. It is just a case of replacing all the parts like for like. Once the bearing is in place and all greased up, it is time to replace the drum onto the hub. Place the large washer then the locking castle washer followed by the main nut. Tighten the nut and then slacken it half a turn, spin the drum to see if it spins freely. With both hands holding top and bottom of the drum, check for any free play in the bearing. The Ford Fiesta is


fitted with what they call Timken bearings. These do not require to be over tightened so read the Ford owner’s handbook and Ford manual to ensure you tighten them properly. Once it is tight, place the split pin through the center and fold it over. Place some grease in the cover and knock it back into place. Lastly replace the wheel and tighten accordingly. After spinning the wheel to make sure you have eradicated the noise, lower the car with the hand brake applied, then test drive.

My Ford Fiesta has always run perfectly, it never lets me down and is always a joy to travel in. Today started like any other, up early for work, make coffee and drink on the way to work in the dark, cold and normal wet conditions. Today started like any other until I was half way through my journey. At the traffic lights, I noticed the engine was not running as smooth as normal and the car seemed to be shaking. My initial thoughts were maybe bad fuel or the choke may be stuck on. I managed to reach my work place and decided to repair it at lunchtime well at least try to identify the problem. The first step is to find a suitable safe area to carry out the repair. It should be level and away from moving traffic. You may wish to cone off the area or use signage to warn people about the repair you are doing not so easy in a car park. DO NOT LEAVE THE KEYS IN THE IGNITION AS THIS COULD RESULT IN SOMEONE TRYING TO MOVE THE CAR AND CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY TO BOTH PARTIES. Once a suitable place has been found, it is time to make the car safe. Apply the hand brake and place a chock underneath the wheel. If you are working on the rear then chock the front, vise versa if you only intend to work under the bonnet like we are there is no need to chock any wheels.


At lunch time, I quickly had a look through the Ford owner’s handbook and the Ford manual trouble shooting pages. They both seemed to point to an electrical fault on either spark plugs or spark plug leads. There were more serious faults but I always think it is better to look for the simplest first. Having owned this car from new, and it only ever having had genuine Ford parts fitted and I have looked after it very well, I knew it was not a serious fault as you do get to know your own car and how it behaves. I checked the spark plug leads were all on tight. The Ford owner’s manual then advises me to check the spark plug condition. I know I changed these for genuine Ford Motor Craft plugs only two thousand miles ago so I would be very surprised if it was a plug causing the problem. I will check them just to be on the safe side. I am always very careful when it comes to the high-tension leads as they need to be in the right order.

My firing order is 1,3,4,2 and I knew the rotor spins clockwise. My engine is all marked up with tipex so the number one lead has one spot of tipex on it and number two has two spots and so on. I removed number one spark plug and it looked fine so it was replaced and the lead reattached. I repeated this until I removed number three lead and spark plug. The Spark plug was much darker then the others and seemed wet. It appears the problem was here but I checked number four just in case. My dad taught me once to check a spark plug just simply reattaches the high tension lead and hold the plug against the engine block. He told me to use a wooden stick or pliers with rubber handles so you eliminate the chance of an electric shock. Have a friend turn the key whilst you check for a spark.

As my work college turned the key, I watched for a spark, it soon came to my attention on number three cylinder I had no spark at all. I simply detached hightension lead number one and placed the plug from cylinder number three on to


the end. Once again, my mate turned the key. Straight away, there was a strong spark. I drew the conclusion that the high-tension lead was to fault. As I did not have a spare one, I needed to replace all the plugs and leads to enable me to travel home via the Ford dealers where I can collect a genuine Ford replacement set of leads. I intend to replace all five leads. There are four spark plug hightension leads and one lead that go to the coil. Once home, I unpacked my genuine Ford high-tension lead set and laid them out in size order. The shortest spark plug lead was for number one cylinder moving to the longest and furthest away from the distributor cap being number four.

The remaining lead is for the center orifice that leads to the coil. One by one, I disconnected the high-tension leads and replaced them with my genuine Ford replacements that fitted perfectly. Once all four were done, I then located the coil lead and changed that like for like. I then turned the key and my faithful Ford Fiesta ran as good as new once again. In conclusion, I advise all would be do it yourself mechanics to obtain the Ford owner’s handbook and Ford manual for their particular model and year. I would strongly recommend they only use genuine Ford motor parts. There may be cheaper alternatives available but you cannot beat genuine Ford motor parts for quality, durability and piece of mind they will fit first time and last a long time. They also have an excellent warrantee.


My Ford Fiesta is in excellent condition for its age, it is reliable, safe and very economical to drive either in the city or on longer motor way journeys. I really believe fitting genuine Ford parts has been cheaper in the long run as I have had much less hassle during my years of Ford ownership than my friends with European cars. This Ebook is provided by Ford Privatleasing


Not Another Ford Repair Manual