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Imprecise gear selection can be a problem; often it's simply due to the linkage having been incorrectly set up, after a clutch or gearbox change.
Check too for noisy bearings within the transmission. A noise which sounds like a worn gearbox may actually be caused by break-up of the centre of the clutch driven plate; alternately press and release the clutch pedal to confirm. Other potential problems can include wear in and failure of the pinion shaft bearings, also the differential side bearings.
The suspension and steering should be carefully examined. Check specifically for worn rear radius arm bearings, another MoT failure. At the front of the car, look for splits in the drive-shaft gaiters, also those on the steering rack and balljoints. Damaged gaiters allow lubricant out, and let water and grit in, wreaking havoc with the components within.
It's important to examine the brake system as well. Note that Fiesta front discs can wear out within 30,000 miles. The inner surfaces of the discs can be seen from beneath the car without removing the road wheels.
Front wheel drive, four-speed, all-synchromesh.
Front: MacPherson struts with coil springs and integral shock absorbers (plus anti-roll bar on 1298cc and XR2 versions).
Rear: Coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers, plus trailing arms and Panhard rod, also an anti-roll bar.
Diagonally split dual circuit hydraulic, with standard-fit vacuum servo-assistance on 1298cc and XR2 versions; optional on 957cc and 1117cc variants, front discs (ventilated on XR2), rear drums.
Rack and pinion.
Everyday use insurance for the 957cc versions is about as inexpensive as it gets. However, the XR2 and Supersport can be difficult and expensive for young or otherwise high risk drivers. Agreed value 'collector's' policies are available at reasonable cost through some specialist insurers (although some of these limit annual mileage).
Mkl Fiestas which still have a tidy, original interior are now rare but worth finding - restoring rough upholstery to original is tough. It's also becoming less easy to source second-hand trim components in good condition. The driver's seat usually suffers first and the top of the rear seat backrest can also disintegrate in time.
Let's Call It Fiesta - the autobiography of Ford's Project Bobcat, by Edouard Seidler, published in 1976 by Haesner Publications, also published by P Stephens.
XR (covering all XR Fords), by Jeremy Walton, published by Motor Racing Publications Ltd.
Fiesta XR2 and XR2i (The Enthusiasts'Small Ford- origins and development), by Martin Lambert, publisher Compendium Publications.
Model-specific handbooks, workshop manuals and parts lists, publisher Ford Motor Co.
Ford Fiesta Owners' Handbook/Service guide, by Colin D Barge, publisher Haynes Publishing.
Ford Fiesta 1976-82 Owners' Workshop Manual, by Kenneth Ball, publisher Autobooks.
Fiesta Workshop Manual 1976-83, publisher Autodata.
Ford Fiesta Service Guide and Owners' Manual, by Lindsay Porter/Peter Wallage, published by Porter Publishing.
Ford Fiesta 1976-80 Shop Manual, by Sydnie A Wauson, publisher Clymer Publications (US).
Repair and Tune-up Guide for Ford Fiesta, published by the Chilton Book Co (US).
Historical information on the 'Bobcat' project - a look back at the model.
Abbreviated information on all Fiestas, including the introduction of the Mkl.