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Click here for the Ford Type E gearbox.

We rebuild some types of Ford gearbox, either rebuilding the customer's own gearbox, or we can supply some units outright if required.

The Ford models are Anglia 1200, Classic, Corsair, Cortina all models, Escort MK1 and 2, Capri all models except V6 types, any sports cars fitted with the same gearbox.
It is 30-40 plus years since these cars were made and some confusion has arisen because these gearboxes have acquired the names '2000E' or 'Bullet'.

The reality is that around 1966 the Ford Motor Company introduced a 2000cc V4 Corsair as a GT or a luxury spec. 2000E. It also had a semi-close ratio gearbox to improve the car's performance. At the same time the Cortina GT and 1600E had the same ratios as did other Ford models that followed on. In all there were ten models that had the semi-close ratios.

  Ford gearboxes

The origin of 'Bullet' is the Ford Motor Company produced a competition close ratio gear set for these gearboxes and it acquired the name 'Bullet'.

The situation now is regardless of what spec. any of these old gearboxes are they are generally being referred to as '2000E' or 'Bullet'. We have found many customers' gearboxes in for a rebuild do not have, as they believed, semi-close or close ratio gears, but the normal wide ratio type gears.

There were three types of gearbox fitted to the cars listed. There is a three selector rail type that had a variety of gear changing mechanisms during its production life. A single selector rail type and a smaller gearbox with a single selector rail and only fitted to 1.1 and 1.3 Escorts. There were three sets of gear ratios used, wide, semi-close and close.

  Ford gearboxes

The wide ratios are 1st 3.54, 2nd 2.39, 3rd 1.41, 4th 1.00 and were fitted to Anglia 1200, Classic, Corsair, Cortina, Escort and Capri.

The semi-close ratios are 1st 2.97, 2nd 2.01, 3rd 1.39, 4th 1.00 and were fitted to Cortina GT, Cortina 1600E, Lotus Cortina MK1 (late), Lotus Cortina MK2, Capri 1600GT, Capri 2.0 V4, Escort T/C, Escort Mexico OHV, Escort RS1600.

The close ratios are 1st 2.51, 2nd 1.64, 3rd 1.23, 4th 1.00 and were fitted to early MK1 Lotus Cortina and are specifically designed for competition use. In order to comply at the time with FIA homologation rules 1,000 identical cars had to be made for eligibility in international events. The ratios were ideal for this use but were not well suited to road use, the later cars that had the semi-close ratios were a useful improvement.

If, for example, a car with semi-close ratio gears was revved to 6,000RPM in each gear the difference in speed compared to wide ratio gears would be :

1st gear + 6MPH ~ 2nd gear + 9MPH ~ 3rd gear +1 MPH ~ 4th gear same MPH


  Ford gearboxes

If, for example, gears were changed up at 6,000RPM the RPM drop between each gear is:

Wide Ratio Semi-Close Close
1st – 2nd 1949 1938 2079
2nd – 3rd 2416 1851 1499
3rd – 4th 1775 1684 1122

As can be seen the comparative drop in RPM between wide and semi-close is similar for 1st – 2nd and 3rd – 4th but the drop in RPM between 2nd – 3rd is almost a 25% improvement. These ratios are the most practical for use with a performance type road car.


This was fitted to Cortina MK 3/4/5 1.6GT and 2.0 and 2.3 V6, later type 1.6 and 2.0 Capri, Escort Mexico OHC, Escort RS 2000. Most have a detachable bellhousing but there are some usually fitted to Sierra with an integral bell-housing.

Some confusion has also arisen with this gearbox because it has acquired the name 'Rocket'. The Ford Motor Company produced for competition use a close-ratio gear set and was given the name 'Rocket. This has become frequently used to describe the type E gearbox regardless of the ratios fitted. Again, we have found with many customer gearboxes in for a rebuild, they have the standard gear ratios and not as they thought the 'Rocket' ratios fitted.

Standard ratios are : 1st 3.65 2nd 1.97 3rd 1.37   4th 1.00
Rocket ratios are : 1st 2.54 2nd 1.66 3rd 1.25   4th 1.00

As an example, if a car with Rocket ratios was revved to 6,000RPM in each gear, the difference in speed compared to the standard ratios would be:

1st gear +13MPH ~ 2nd gear + 10MPH ~ 3rd gear + 8MPH ~ 4th gear same MPH

If, for example, gears were changed up at 6,000 RPM the RPM drop between gears is:

Standard Ratios Rocket Ratios
1st – 2nd 2208 2079
2nd – 3rd 1825 1482
3rd – 4th 1621 1200

For road car use the Rocket ratios are generally not suitable. The standard ratios with a less than ideal 1st gear are more practical.


We can depending on parts availability upgrade a wide ratio gearbox to a semi-close ratio specification.

Modifications can be made to change the standard 1st gear from 3.65 to 2.98 and reduce the original wide gap between 1st and 2nd gears. This modification retains quiet running.

Depending on the type of competition, a range of ratios with straight cut gear teeth and either synchromesh or dog engagement are available for all types.

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