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I own a 2007 ford fiesta ST150, which is a 2L FWD, so obviously it has a transaxle.

I'm generally pretty comfortable working with my car, I'm only an amateur, a shade tree mechanic but I'll happily do any job under the hood, and I like to "learn-by-doing".

There's only one thing I would dare try to touch in my car - the gearbox. Being such a key component that has heaps and heaps of smaller sub-components, and is also in a pretty hard to reach area, I'd be too scared to try and do my own work on without knowing 100% what is inside and how it works.

I want to change this. I want to learn how a manual transaxle works, sparing no details. I want to know everything about it, including but not limited to all the components inside, gear ratios, gear selection, final drive and differential.

I've tried to search around online, but I've only been able to find very simplistic explanations, like "the input shaft turns the output shaft which turns the final drive which turns the wheels".

Where can I learn about manual transmissions/transaxles in excruciating detail?

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    AFAIK the biggest problem is "bearing preload" and adjusting the differential (if present). Both are highly important but can only be done with fancy tools (example: the toolkit for my gearbox costs about €2300) and access to some obscure technical data (friction torque, endplay) that some manufacturers won't release. You will also find that spare parts for manual transmissions, depending on manufacturer, are not widely traded. To sum it up: Gearbox repair is the black magic of car maintenance – Martin Feb 14 '17 at 23:30
  • Go to a library or used book store, I've found extremely technical books on cars there, I think a year or two ago i found a manual on rebuilding manual transmissions, wasn't for a specific transmission, just a more in general manual to show you the steps, tools needed, etc. But i'm sure you could find even more technical books if you looked. Otherwise some good googling could get you somewhere – Iqbal Khan Feb 15 '17 at 15:58
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    You could go and buy an old one from a junkyard and try to take it apart/repair it. Would be hard to test if your fix actually worked though. – Zshoulders Feb 15 '17 at 20:41
  • Buy one from a wrecker. Pull it apart. Have fun. Then dump it. Unless yours is actually broken i suggest you leave it alone. – Sir Swears-a-lot Mar 5 '17 at 9:05

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