Ford gleefully states that its Transit model is “the backbone of Britain” and when you look at the sheer number of these vans on the road, you’d be inclined to agree. However, they can only do spine-like things if they’re up-together and in fine fettle. Happily, that’s where we come in.
We’ve already compiled a guide on one of the most popular Transits, namely the 2006 to 2013 diesel model. And in doing so, we have learned all kinds of little quirks and idiosyncrasies of this most popular of commercial vehicles. And given that you’re a hands-on van-driving type, we figured it would be best for us to share them with you. So, here are our Transit insider tips…
If you’ve racked up the miles and you need to change the timing chain, you should know that you need to change the cover as well, so make sure you order one up. If you’re wondering why, it’s because the cover is bonded on so well that it will warp and/or break when you remove it. Built tough, as Ford says.
Ford loves whacking a dual mass flywheel in its products, and the Transit is no exception. Before you worry about having to change it, you can check on its health as follows. Place your thumbs on the clutch face of the secondary mass at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions and try to rock it. It shouldn’t have anymore than 3mm of play in it. The same goes for when your hands are at 6 and 12 o’clock. You should also be able to ‘rock’ it. It shouldn’t move any further than five teeth though, and there should be zero noise. If there is, something is awry.
The Transit is a simple beast in some respects, as the thermostat can be changed independently of the housing. It’s easily accessed, too. So, if you have any overheating issues, this is a quick, easy way to check if the thermostat is at fault.
If you’ve got no heat in your cab, we have some bad news. The complete fascia of the dash has to be removed in order to get access to the blower motor and matrix, there is no quick way around it we’re afraid.
On models with a self-adjusting clutch, the adjustment mechanism is incorporated into the clutch pressure plate and can be reset without using any special tools. With the plate on the bench, compress the diaphragm spring with a M14 bolt, suitable washers and a nut, then move the adjustment disc fully anti-clockwise. Hold the disc in position whilst releasing the diaphragm spring, and you should be set.
Replacement of any of the bulbs in the headlights requires the complete headlight to be removed. Don’t panic though, as it’s not the nightmare job you may be expecting. Simply undo the two mounting bolts, pull the headlight forwards to disengage the lower retainer, and disconnect the wiring plug. You then have quick access to the bulbs, and you can give the light units a clean while you’re at it!