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Terry Haines

Focus Towers DO fail....

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Owners may think the later Focus tower will cure gear loss...well it will not.Apart from being a later design it can still fail as can early towers with 'the bolt', This is why(refer to pic).

The fork lever in the pic is the Focus type,the early one was one piece but the Focus is two parts spot welded together.One half takes the roll pin used in place of the bolt,the other is the lever that moves the forks.

It can fail in 2 ways 1)The roll pin can break as the bolt can..only good point is no bolt head to fall in the trans but you still loose gears 2)The spot welds let go( as was the case in a tower that came to me from SZ a couple of years ago) With the welds gone the lever will still not move the forks...again ,loss of gears.

On the 'keyed mod' to the Focus tower this cannot happen as both halves of the lever are locked to the shaft....no loss of gears. On the exterior of the Focus tower the top part can rise if not correctly locked on shaft..our mod will also take care of this issue.

Later Focus tower also had a redesign with a quadrant weight so the top part cannot move.This late quad tower can only be used with a later cable bracket on the trans and Focus cables. Moral is a Focus tower can still fail...without being 'keyed'. Should also note that the material of the two parts of the Focus lever is sintered and very hard...does not take weld very well and only cures one of the two issues as the pin can still break.The key stops ANY rotation load on the pin so the key is a 100% sure way of no gear loss.

 

towerlatelever.JPG

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....and for background.The first 'Focus' style tower was on late Cougar MTX's and 'warranty' Contour MTX's, also on the Euro BAT MTX's...then the same set up...but with 'ball cable ends' ,was used on the first Focus MTX's....

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...in this pic you can see the 4 small spot welds that can and do fail. As I said, one part of the assy has the hole for the pin which needs to move the lever on the other part ...If the welds go as in the pic....no gears. My key system locks both parts as a single assy with no loads on the welds or pin..The part could be broken as in this pic and I could still key it and use the broken parts and it would work as new...It's a great 'system'!!

 

 

 

towerlateleverbroken.JPG

 

 

 

 

....how 'good' do you feel about all your gear shifting effort going thru those 4 little spot welds eh???

 

..Be it Contour,Cougar or Focus...ANY one of those with a 'late' style tower can break...just like the pic....

'Slam' those gears now eh!!!!

 

 

:drive1: :drive1:

 

:nono:

 

 

:nopity:

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Terry your keyed fix only makes sense...... It's so simple and the only way to really make this part work reliably.

 

my 2 cents,

AF

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...thanks. ANY MTX75 should have it...even without any tuned engine etc. We all know it will fail and let you down...at the worst time & place. I even did the one on my own Jag X Type!..

 

This should be the #1 upgrade on an MTX car, even with a total stoc trans and can be fitted without trans removal.

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Guest KAOS_2.5M
...thanks. ANY MTX75 should have it...even without any tuned engine etc. We all know it will fail and let you down...at the worst time & place. I even did the one on my own Jag X Type!..

 

This should be the #1 upgrade on an MTX car, even with a total stoc trans and can be fitted without trans removal.

 

 

even more important than getting that glass diff outta there?

 

I do agree though, it seems like common since for ford to have designed it more like your method first. they could have simply put four descent sized splines on the shaft and four notches on the inside of the steel plates and it would have been cheap to produce and had the same effect as your key way method.

 

stupid american car makers, WTF

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Guest KAOS_2.5M
it would have been cheap to produce

 

...nope, and yes, before the diff job...

 

 

think about how many of those probably broke and resulted in whole new MTX75's being replaced under warranty?

 

casting/machining a few splines and changing the shape of two pieces of stamped steel would probably have saved them money in the long run.

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...the parts are PM/sintered and to do a matching spline on the shaft etc would be very expensive and give assembly issues. Assembly after I carry out the keyway mods can be very tricky....and would not be accepted when the tower is being built up...

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...for those that doubt the need for this mod on Focus towers..Quaife in UK sell a kit. Has a couple more features than our keyed tower but still retains your existing unit and you change parts.Couple of problems as it will only work on the later style quadrant type weight and last time I checked in USA the list price for the kit was $1093 (don't you love that weak $!)..

They show the kit on the UK site but last I checked it was POA so I have no idea what it will now cost...

 

www.quaife.co.uk/Quaife-Ford-Focus-MTX75-gearchange-turret

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...thanks. ANY MTX75 should have it...even without any tuned engine etc. We all know it will fail and let you down...at the worst time & place. I even did the one on my own Jag X Type!..

 

This should be the #1 upgrade on an MTX car, even with a total stoc trans and can be fitted without trans removal.

This can be done w/o Pulling the trans. Thats a good thing, but it is something you have to do, not a mail order deal right?

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I need your tower sent to me to strip down, m/c etc and reassemble. Towers are not cheap and the early types are now obsolete. I tried cores once...never got the old units back so I won't work that way any more...and nope, the reassembly is not a diy job once the parts are modded...

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.....info for X Type Jaguar owners. The MTX75 tower on the X Type Jaguar is the same as the late 'Focus' with the quadrant weight design. It can still be removed with the trans in place but the engine package is a bit tighter than the Contour/Focus etc...as you will see from my own engine/X Type pics..the tower has more in the way and in the second pic you can just see the red part of the white cable end connecting to the quadrant lever on the tower....bit tight!!!

 

 

jagtower1.JPG jagtower2.JPG

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...a quick thought for those who have DIY a later style Focus tower in place of the 'ally' type.

When you took off the ally tower did you notice one of the bolt locations has a hollow dowel? This locates, on the ally tower, on the cut out in the 'cage' of the tower. It locates the tower in its correct position so the engagement with the forks is smooth. The Focus style tower is used with a LONGER hollow dowel that sits proud of the mating face. The hole in that location is bigger for the dowel to sit in. Good policy to change to the longer dowel if you fit a later tower or it could shift position..Just a thought.I don't think parts suppliers know that the conversion needs this dowel...

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LOL ... I was just looking at the Jag pics and now I know there is a bunch of Engineers sitting around in a secluded room just thinking about how much stuff can be cramed into a space and how much loot that can be made from service to it... :lol:

 

Probably a few bean counters in there with them.....!

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Guest KAOS_2.5M
LOL ... I was just looking at the Jag pics and now I know there is a bunch of Engineers sitting around in a secluded room just thinking about how much stuff can be cramed into a space and how much loot that can be made from service to it... :lol:

 

Probably a few bean counters in there with them.....!

 

 

he11, thats what I thought when I popped the hood on my 'tour.

 

took me a minute to figure out HTH I was supposed to get the plugs out of the back bank without taking the freakin manifold off.

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Focus style tower...WORN OUT!!

 

 

OK, as so many prefer the later Focus style tower let me give you some more info!!

 

Right now I have an MTX75 in the shop from a Focus, trans has covered about 102,000 miles. The later style tower is shot.

Most all the wear and moving parts,incl the plastic X shaft bearings,vertical shaft bearings etc are shot with a lot of slack and lost movement.The lower centering spring on the vertical shift shaft has started to 'walk' past its spring retainer and was almost unwound and could have dropped into the trans/gears.

This one is so bad we will be fitting a new (but KEYED) unit.

FWIW those who throw rocks at the early style 'bolt' tower are off base..It's better made and engineered than the later type , OK, so the bolts do go, but with our keyed mod it makes a far more robust unit than the later Focus style tower...

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Well as I said to you Bill this is the first time I have seen the weld let go on the cross shaft of a late style tower/turret. which again brings up the following points...

 

The late tower does have weakness, both in the roll pin (Vs 'The Bolt' type), the spot welded 2 part selector arm and now part of the welded assy. Also should add that if you use this type of tower now and need replacement cables you are stuck. The only Contour/Cougar shift cables now used will NOT accept the ball type Focus cable ends and the Focus cable assy is too short for a Contour/Cougar. Some years ago it was the 'upgrade' to fit, but we have moved on from there. The better , more robust and better designed unit is the early ally tower, even with 'The Bolt' it can be 'keyed'(as can the later type).With all the current shortfalls of the 'late' tower I'd stick with an early type. But you Bill, we can fix your tower.

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Ive got a 98 Contour SVT and the same thing just happened to mine. The shifter linkage broke in the same spot. (As seen in you previous post.) Any help on trying to fix this?? Thanks

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A weld repair in that area is out of the question as the plastic bearing/bush for the cross shaft is just behind the break...I have a spare 'bare' unit but I think the 'pin end' and the ball end tower are now obsolete. Best I would advise is get hold of an early ally tower, have it keyed etc and use that. Do you have pin or ball cable ends on your broken unit?

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Well I think its a pin end. Im sorry if i sound dumb, nut this is just not one of my areas of expertise. I dont even know what the unit that broke is called or how it would have even broken. The next question is not only how do I repair it but how do I get it out? Does the trans have to be completely torn down or can I just unbolt the unit from the top of the trans? thanks terry

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...if its the pin and not the external lever and the trans is in gear it will not lift out of the case.Has to be in neutral for it to disengage with the 3 shift forks.If that is the case,in gear and bin broken, only way is to pull the trans, open up the cases, push the shift fork back to neutral position then the tower can be removed. This was the main reason for me designing the 'Keyed Tower' mod..All MTX's need it.

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Well the car is in neutral so it should lift out. I see you are in michigan. I live in ohio. If I took it apart and brought it to you, is this something you could fix? Aslo I hear that you rebuild these trans. What do you usual charge for these? My 2nd and 3rd syncros are wipped. It grinds into second always and grinds into third when it gets warm.

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