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Click here for the Ford Type E gearbox

The most popular of the Ford 4-speed rear wheel drive gearboxes were fitted in cars made 30-40 years ago. Over time some confusion has arisen because the gearboxes have acquired the names '2000E' or 'Bullit'.

  Ford gearboxes
The reality is that, around 1966, the Ford Motor Company introduced a 2000cc V4 engined Corsair, initially as a GT and later on, as a luxury spec 2000E. These cars had a 3-gear selector rail, semi-close ratio gearbox to improve the car's performance. The Cortina GT up to '68 and other Ford models that followed had the same gearbox. The origin of 'Bullit' is, the Ford Motor Company produced a competition close ration gear set for these gearboxes and it acquired the name 'Bullit'. The situation now is, regardless of what spec any of these old gearboxes are, they are referred to as '2000E' or 'Bullit'.

Many customers' gearboxes in for a rebuild do not have, as they believed, semi-close or close ratio gears, but the normal wide ratio gears. Cars that had the 3-rail type gearbox were Anglia 105E, Cortina MkI, Lotus Cortina MkI, Cortina MkII to up to '68, Consul Classic, Consul Capri, Corsair, Escort TC, Mexico Mk1 and RS1600 MkI. Depending on the model, a variety of gear changing mechanisms and either the wide, semi-close or close ratio gears were fitted.

The cars that had the semi-close ratio gears in a 3-rail gearbox were Cortina GT MkII up to '68, Lotus Cortina MkI from '66 on, Escort TC, Corsair GT, Corsair 2000E, Escort Mexico MkI and Escort RS1600 MkI.

The Lotus Cortina MkI 1963-4 had close ratio gears. These were for competition use and, at the time, 1000 identical cars had to be produced to be eligible for FIA international competitions. The car could be difficult to drive on the road because of the gear ratios and, when the car gained approval from the FIA, further cars that were produced had the wide ratios like other Cortinas until 1966, when the semi-close ratios were introduced.

The 3-rail gearbox was replaced in many models by the single gear selector rail gearbox - this had an aluminium tailhousing. The cars that had a single rail gearbox with semi-close ratio gears were Cortina GT MkII from '69 on, Cortina 1600E, Lotus Cortina from '69 on, Cortina GT MkIII 1.6 and Capri GT MkI 1.6.

  Ford gearboxes

Possibly the most popular of the Ford 4-speed gearboxes for fitment into modified cars and kit cars is the so called '2000E'. This gearbox had the best of the 3-rail remote gearchange mechanisms. There were early and late versions. The later type had the mainshaft diameter for 2nd gear increased from 35mm to 37mm. Other changes were made to the gear selector rod and the ball on the gear lever.

The wide ratios are 1st 3.54, 2nd 2.39, 3rd 1.41, 4th 1.00.

The semi-close ratios are 1st 2.97, 2nd 2.01, 3rd 1.39, 4th 1.00.

The close ratios are 1st 2.51, 2nd 1.64, 3rd 1.23, 4th 1.00.

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.

The gearbox is completely stripped, cleaned and inspected, including the casings. The parts that are fitted (new, not good used) in the rebuild are; front and rear bearings, front mainshaft bearing, layshaft, layshaft needle rollers, baulk rings, tailhousing bush, front and rear seals, gaskets.

If other parts are found to be in need of replacement the customer will be contacted before proceeding.

To enable customers to easily send their gearbox to us, we can supply a purpose made crate for the gearbox to fit into and, if required, arrange for collection.


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

Depending on the car and the type of engine fitted, the Rocket ratios may be less than ideal for road use.


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.

Straight-cut close ratio gearset, fits on standard mainshaft. Choice of ratios depending on car and type of use.

Straight cut close ratio gear set, fits on standard mainshaft. Ratios: 1st 2.50 ~ 2nd 1.65 ~ 3rd 1.22 ~ 4th 1.00

Aluminium gearcase saves 3.8kg (14.96lbs)
Magnesium gearcase saves 4.65kg (18.3lbs)
Aluminium bellhousing saves 4.62kg (18.18lbs)
Magnesium bellhousing saves 5.84kg (23lbs)
Aluminium tailhousing (2000E type) saves 3.6kg (14.17lbs)
Aluminium tailhousing (MkI Cortina type) saves 3.5kg (13.77lbs)
Aluminium remote gearchange housing (MkI Cortina type) saves 2.5kg (9.84lbs)


  Ford gearboxes

To improve the operation of the clutch the standard pivoting fork and sliding release bearing can be discarded and replaced with an internal hydraulic release mechanism. This replaces the standard front cover on the gearbox and provides a direct acting and positive clutch operation.

Each mechanism is made to requirements to suit the particular flywheel and clutch combination. Hydraulic fittings for the release cylinder and a bleed valve are supplied. Hydraulic lines can be made to customers' requirements.

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