Sloppy manual shifter, 2001 Ford Focus (5spd, SPI)

The shifter on my Focus is sloppy, where it does not guide you during shifting. It was challenging at first to shift from 2d to 3rd without a noticeable gate to guide me, but with practice, it's fairly easy.
1st 3rd 5th | | | |------------ | | | 2nd 4th Rev
1st to 2nd, easy 2nd to 3rd, find it (trust the force, Lou) 3rd to 4th, straight back 4th to 5th, all the way over, up
Going from 2nd to 3rd is interesting, because I have to shift to about where 3rd is and feel the slight gate that remains, then shift it all the way in.
What isn't happening in the shifter?
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Louis Ohland wrote:

Why not do what I advised in your thread about a failing VSS? Go Google!
Replacement of the gearlever centralising spring has been covered in this NG a number of times in the past.
I won't go to the trouble of telling you how to fix this as I know that you only break things when you attempt to work on Fords :-)
Chris
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On Thu, 03 May 2007 17:46:28 GMT, Chris Whelan

Hmm, wonder if this topic relates to the shift on my 2001 Focus diesel wagon [ estate? ].
That is when stationary, neutral into first has to be strong armed.              neutral into second always stiff. At random, from time to time, any shift is sticky and sometimes hard to locate. PS. The clutch appears to be OK.
John Hewitt, Malaga, Spain
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snipped-for-privacy@arrakis.es wrote:

Nope, totally unrelated to the problem the OP has.
Sounds more like a hydraulic problem with the clutch release mechanism. Have you tried bleeding it?
Chris
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Chris Whelan wrote:

From Focusowners.com: "Went out to my car this morning at 11:45 to find my gearstick had gone all floppy Confused
Worked it out that the gearlever return spring had sheared, phoned Sky Ford who were shutting at 12, picked up the part at 11:55, done by myself at 12:05, the total sum for the part 3.06 and a return to the springy gearlever!
Does feel wierd when that spring breaks, was hard to find third gear"
http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b324/FOC_jay/Focus/GCS2.jpg
Chris, I searched the web and groups for "gearlever centralising spring" and "gearlever return spring" bring very few hits. Are you sure this was covered?
"      Re: flabby gear change It sounds definately like the spring around the gear lever has broken.Remove the gaiter from the housing (sprung plastic fit),unscew the bolts holding the gear lever and lift it out. Remove the broken spring and fit new one.That's when I started to have a bad day. I could not figure out how it was fitted. When I finally did I felt rather stupid because it is simplcity itself. Have fun. Tony Anderson."
http://forum.ffoc.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?tA50
Is dead.
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Louis Ohland wrote:
[...]

Absolutely sure! I've posted the information in this NG at least twice.
If you use Google Groups to find alt.autos.ford.focus, then search within the group for "gear lever", the first hit it returns is this:
http://tinyurl.com/2ly2u4
HTH - Oh, don't break anything :-)
Chris
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Chris Whelan wrote:

Computers do what you tell them very fast. Unfortunately, they only do what you ask, not what you meant. I'll print this out and give it to the mechanic Tuesday.
It's been discussed here before, so information will be in Google Groups.
Basically, you do it all from inside the car. Remove the gear lever knob, unclip and remove the gaiter from the centre console, undo the screws that secure the centre console. (Hidden at the front under the loose covers in the cupholders, and at the rear by a plastic plug.) Lift the console out of the way and give to wife/girl friend/partner to clean it :-)
You can now see the mechanism and spring. Note how the spring fits. It's quite clever how the spring does more than one job; you will see what I mean when the new spring is fitted and you waggle the lever about.
There are four large Posidriv screws holding the change mechanism to the car. Undo these and the mechanism pulls apart just enough to get the broken spring out, and fit the new one. It is not advisable, or necessary, to pull the mechanism completely to bits.
Reassembly is the reverse etc, etc.
Spring is a fiver or less and is improved over original.
I did mine, having never seen how it fitted or read about it anywhere, in around 15 minutes. Good luck.
Chris
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How surprising, my local mechanic used the newsroup message that I gave him to replace it without ever seeing one before, yet the Ford dealer couldn't even try.
He agreed that once you saw a working spring in place, it made sense. But all he had was the broke spring and imagination...
It is so nice to have a stiff stick once again. I suppose that performance issues enter into this somehow...
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Louis Ohland wrote:

But he couldn't replace a VSS!

I'm sure it must be ;-)
Chris
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Chris Whelan wrote:

The difference between the mechanic and the dealer is that the mechanic at least tried to do what I asked, the dealer didn't even look. As to not replacing the VSS, the mechanic did a smart thing after what he tried didn't work. He stopped.
This is the same shop that replaced the alternator with the frozen mounting bolt. They are not shy when it comes to applying a little body english. However, since I'm paying for Paris Hilton's lawyers, I can't afford to fly you here to do it for me.
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Louis Ohland wrote:

Dealers here don't have a great reputation, but they would never turn down the chance of some work. I suppose the difference in the UK is that you are never too far from the next dealer. I live about 35 miles from the centre of London; I have five dealers within a 16 mile radius of me.

*Nobody* could afford to!
Chris
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Essex Ford always insist that you pay for diagnostics first - that will be 80 + VAT!
For Essex Ford to replace anything budget for 200 before you even phone them up. No wonder the dealers haven't got a good reputation.

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Alan wrote:

TBH, Ford dealer's charges are pretty much in line with other makes. Some of them are downright incompetent, and that it the most frustrating thing.
I have to say that I have built up a good relationship with the dealer I use, Inchcape (Wokingham), and would recommend them.
Chris
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Chris Whelan wrote:

Uh, they didn't turn down work, but the "work" they did was either wrong, incomplete, or they just didn't start. I suspect that they looked at the problem solving flowchart and couldn't find the words that I used, so therefor there was no possibility of a proper diagnosis.
Goes back to my thoughts on a mechanic (practical experience) versus a technician (theoretical "knowledge").
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Chris Whelan wrote:

It would be helpful if someone remembered what terminology was used in the thread to make a shorter search.

Now I know what to search for. Thanks much.

I'm used to the magic touch, where I have dark powers forbidden to mortals. Besides, I learned after both front and rear brakes went out on my S-10 that having the wrecker drop it off at the local shop is MUCH easier than trying to diddle it myself. Quicker, too.
As to Fords, my F-150 alternator was starting to pack it in, so I checked if I could even start the mounting bolt. It was froze hard, so off to the local mechanics. I got my money's worth. They didn't loose too much blood... Busted a socket getting it out. But they got it out, mounted the new alternator, and off I went again...
Advice to the world - after ten years, brake lines corrode. If one goes, replace both.
Radiators can be cheap or good. Choose one.
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Louis Ohland wrote:

The biggest lie since "I'll respect you in the morning" is the 100K Mile service interval - bolts and screws have corroded and something simple can turn rather ugly. I have my jar of anti-seize compound and use it when I work.
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Wow.
Brings a whole new meaning to sloppy 2nds.
(quickly ducks).
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