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1995 Transit SWB High Roof 2.6t cargo 2.5 Di

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1995 Transit SWB High Roof 2.6t cargo 2.5 Di

Postby hetman » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:40 am

Greetings, friends! I'm glad to be here, for I have bitten off a bit more than I might be able to chew.... having purchased my first Transit a week ago (decided to go with Ford over Mercedes and VW), I look forward to your advice and shared experiences. I am a car enthusiast and have done work on different vehicles, but I am completely unfamiliar with the Transit, and virtually new to diesels in general. Already having perused the forum a bit, I implemented a suggestion to add 2-stroke oil to my fuel (and acetone too, just to be on the safe side... ;) ) and while flushing the radiator of its no-doubt original engine coolant, I noticed an improvement in sound (decreased) and improved acceleration from idle as well, all within 30 minutes. So... I will continue that. As for the van itself, it has 265,000 km on the clock, which in Poland can mean anything or nothing, as virtually all vehicles imported into the country since 1989 (and possibly earlier) must be considered to have been probably tampered with by unscrupulous people along the way. Having decided on a Transit over a Sprinter or T4 or LT, I tried to select an example which appeared to have been cared for or maintained properly, or at least had a lengthy ownership within one family. I had to assume that any example I came across would need work, and probably lots. However, I wanted an old-school, simple and hopefully reliable diesel van with as little rust as possible, and I have pinned my hopes on the Transit, and in particular this van I chose. Vans exist for lots more money than I paid, but I have no way to guarantee they won't also have problems, so I chose one at the cheaper end of the spectrum, knowing I'd have to dump loads into any van I bought. Be that all as it may, I am now the proud owner of a high top cargo van which was imported into Poland in 1996 as a brand new van, and sold to one family from whom I bought it, which means 23 years in their hands, used as a flower delivery vehicle to florists. So, not much heavy carrying anyway, which hopefully will prove beneficial. I suspect that the odometer was not turned back on this example, and though it has had rust-through in the usual places, the van was repaired and new panels were welded in when necessary and the van is not a basket case by any stretch, currently showing a few problem areas but that can be dealt with. Generally, it was cared for and even garaged, never dented or abused, and the fiberglass top is even undamaged and not leaking. It still bears its factory white paint everywhere save for the patched areas. It's equipped with a factory tow hitch to which steps have been added. It seems to have maintained an extremely high level of originality; I think I will add some reflective tape to be safe, since this is a very slow vehicle and I would prefer to be seen prior to being run down or over or off the road by any number of commercial vehicles and trucks well capable of cruising at 100 mph! I have just bought new tires for the van, and also front wheel bearings because they are audible but not loud. I have also encountered a problem with the main bolts to the front callipers. And I will need to change out the locks in the rear doors; they have been lost and since the family never let the van out of their sight, that was no problem for them but it is for me, as the van is presently on the street! Engine oil has been changed regularly, but not much else. I also put in new Valvoline 15W40 and Ford filter, and flushed the coolant 3 times, but it's still a bit brown - will continue this, but am wondering if I should change the radiator. There was a lot of scale inside. The temp gauge continues to show a bit to the right of centre, but well within the "normal" range; the temperature has not changed versus what it read prior to the coolant flush. I will order new rubber hoses in the cooling system as well, to be on the safe side. I have no way of determining how old the timing belt is, despite the owner's claim that it had been "recently" changed, so I have bought that and a new water pump. Is there anything else to be on the lookout for, or parts to buy? I will almost certainly perform all this work myself, and I'm still waiting for delivery of my Hayne's manual. I am treating this van as a light work van for myself (almost never will be used), and possibly for family trips in the future (me and the bags in the cabin - my sons in the back: not to worry, there are tie-downs welded to the inner panels - just need to buy sufficient straps and steel cable ;) ), who knows. But being a few months shy of 25 years old, it will also be treated as a historical vehicle by me. I"m greatly looking forward to the adventure. As per the spirit of the forum, I will post updates. Heading out right now to pick up new Matador tires for her. :)

.
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Re: 1995 Transit SWB High Roof 2.6t cargo 2.5 Di

Postby Keef » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:14 pm

Nice looking van :D

It looks like the van left the factory as a low roof and has had an after market high top fitted plus extensions to the original low rear doors.

Not a problem but useful to know when you're looking for replacement door lock mechanisms etc as they differ :wink:
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Re: 1995 Transit SWB High Roof 2.6t cargo 2.5 Di

Postby hetman » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:17 pm

Thank you, Keef! Each mile behind the wheel brings added pleasure and memories to my life. The new tires are a world of difference.

Of course I'm very interested in the the history of my van. Would the numbers plate next to the VIN attached to the passenger footwell be of any help in determining how the van left the factory and what happened to it? Could it have been a special order or a stripped down model specially designated for this kind of high roof? In my search for similar vans, I usually come across LWB high tops, and the one in the Ford promotional video from 1995 is too vague for me to be able to discern anything. I have seen pictures of another SWB high roof, and indeed its fiberglass roof has the indentations identical to the LWB version, and mine is different. I'd be interested in seeing pictures of the roof of a regular low roof model above the cab to at least compare if the pressing is the same as the one I have.
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Re: 1995 Transit SWB High Roof 2.6t cargo 2.5 Di

Postby hetman » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:22 am

The van drives much better now with the new tires, as expected, but now I can feel that it needs an alignment. LOL So I arranged one for Monday. The engine seems to be running smoother after the service, and I'm very much enjoying what a marvelous vehicle this Transit is! Today I spent the better part of the day continuing the cleaning process, detailing the upholstery of the seats and also the headliner, in an attempt to rid the van of its horrid cigarette smoke stench. I put my wet vac to the test for many hours today and though detailing cars never used to faze me decades ago, I can see why people pay others to do this kind of work. Nevertheless, the van is my project, so complain I do not, but rather enjoy it and we'll see how many times I"ll have to repeat this process before the van starts smelling showroom fresh. I posted a picture in my last update to show the cab roof from the inside: it is a full 10 inches higher than the drip rail, so this van was built as a medium-roof from the factory, and the rear doors are also medium-roof doors (with fiberglass extensions to the top). The roof of my cab is metal, with the whole fiberglass high roof mold attached to the full length of the van's roof at the drip rail. Why would there need to be a cab roof at all? Not being familiar with the construction process at Ford, I don't know if they built this van with a cutaway cab roof stamping, but all cutaways and virtually all cargo vans I've seen have the full metal divider to physically enclose the cab (as for flatbed tow trucks or similar applications). Mine seems to have been a medium roof van with no metal partition inside, but it did have a partition inside when new, according to the family I bought it from, but it was some sort of flimsy metal barrier which they removed and replaced with a wooden barrier. As I find more evidence of the van's construction via future removal of this barrier, I will report. I am still eager to discover the meaning of the codes on the plate in the passenger footwell, to see what kind of special construction this is. In general, I"m of the opinion that this high-top is very well designed and built, and seems to be of equal quality to what Ford would have produced (and I think they or their subcontractor did produce it).

I dropped by the local Ford dealer again as well, in search of parts: primarily all the radiator and coolant hoses under the hood. Most are not available! I will try aftermarket sources but those are not necessarily going to be of the same quality. Well, better than nothing at all! Why doesn't Ford service and support their own vehicles? It's not even that old. There are thousands on the road each day.
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Re: 1995 Transit SWB High Roof 2.6t cargo 2.5 Di

Postby MinorMatt » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:19 pm

I must admit I haven't read through this all, but that wasn't a high roof from the factory...

The shape inside where the fibreglass meet the metal is wrong, the strengthening hoops are missing and the rear doors appear to be a slightly odd shape. I think its an aftermarket roof designed for a camper
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Re: 1995 Transit SWB High Roof 2.6t cargo 2.5 Di

Postby Jay2018 » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:41 pm

MinorMatt wrote:I must admit I haven't read through this all, but that wasn't a high roof from the factory...

The shape inside where the fibreglass meet the metal is wrong, the strengthening hoops are missing and the rear doors appear to be a slightly odd shape. I think its an aftermarket roof designed for a camper

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Re: 1995 Transit SWB High Roof 2.6t cargo 2.5 Di

Postby hetman » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:05 pm

Thank you all so much for the engagement as well as wealth of information. Somehow I knew I could count on you. I really like "original" cars and vehicles, especially by the time they reach the ripe old age of 25, and thus in my opinion they merit special consideration, and I aim to keep this van as original as possible. So it's important for me to understand how it was originally conceived and built, and also delivered. I'm just at the very beginning of the learning curve as regards Transits (having been an Econoline afficionado and also having grown up in one), so I appreciate your patience.

So, everyone is convinced this is not a factory job, nor even a factory or dealer-authorized conversion? (Once again, with the caveat that I am completely unfamiliar with Ford of Germany products) I also thought that the 100 stamped into the plate, especially in a field denoted as "not used" must have some significance, could mean it's a 100 model. What is the body type on my van, according to the plate? (EBBSAS) What does that tell me? My van also has fields 21, 22 and 23 blank. Is this unusual? Was this van according to these codes a normal medium-roof cargo van? And then cut apart by an outside entity to look like this? Are all cargo vans equipped with a metal divider between the cabin and rear? This is a general question, because it's a matter of administrative decree. In the US, cargo vans with or without windows almost always have come WITHOUT dividers, which seems to be the opposite case as in European makes (even European makes imported into the US, for instance VW, has the metal divider whereas no American producer would produce such an annoyance, except upon customer demand). So, my point is, if my van left the factory as a cargo van, wouldn't it have evidence of this metal divider having been cut out? And the roof of course too. And what about the stamping on top of the cabin? Can someone show me a picture of the roof of any normal Transit cargo van? I'd like to compare what they look like. So far my google results have turned up no good pictures of the roof of our vans, viewed from the top (or bottom).

My van is equipped from the factory with a "high center of gravity" suspension package. I find this interesting, if not compelling suggestion that the van was at least bought with the intention of having a high roof added, but would it have been produced as such by the factory except by special order? Would it have been normal to order a medium-roof van with a "high center of gravity" suspension? It also has a limited slip differential, which I find a very exciting and wonderful addition! I will verify this when I change the gear oil, but that's what the code says.

I really appreciate all the input and help! I'm afraid I've been smitten by the Transit bug, so it's natural for me to want to know as much about its history as I can. The picture below is of me in 1972 with our new Econoline 100 at my family's house in Florida.
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Re: 1995 Transit SWB High Roof 2.6t cargo 2.5 Di

Postby hetman » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:07 pm

CiderAndy replied to me thus in another thread about codes (technical section) and thank you, Andy:

A bit more info, off ETIS:

Build Date: 13.07.1995
Vehicle Line: Transit 1995-2000
Cab Style: Regular Cargo Van
Series: 100S
Engine: Diesel 2.5 (76PS)
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual Transmission - MT75
Drive: LHD RWD
Axle Ratio: 4.56
Emission: 95 EEC Light Duty Truck
Air Conditioning: Less Air Conditioning
Territory: (+)"F"
Paint: Diamond White 73
Interior Fabric: Windrush G-C

Note it says Series: 100S. Maybe that's what the 100 on the data plate is. Originally made for the French market.

...

So my body code translates to regular cargo van? That code specifies medium roof cargo van?
Last edited by hetman on Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1995 Transit SWB High Roof 2.6t cargo 2.5 Di

Postby hetman » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:09 pm

MinorMatt wrote:I must admit I haven't read through this all, but that wasn't a high roof from the factory...

The shape inside where the fibreglass meet the metal is wrong, the strengthening hoops are missing and the rear doors appear to be a slightly odd shape. I think its an aftermarket roof designed for a camper


Thank you. So if the roof was designed for a camper, then that's why the metal part of the cabin is left intact, to support the weight of a bed in that location? That would make sense. And this van never actually made it to the stage of having the interior built and outfitted as a camper? So it was sold to Poland......
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Re: 1995 Transit SWB High Roof 2.6t cargo 2.5 Di

Postby hetman » Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:41 am

I've been looking at hundreds and hundreds of new pictures of all Transits I can find, and I've noticed a rather large variety of fiberglass roofs on camper conversions, so it makes all the sense in the world that my Transit has such a roof installed by a conversion company. Can anyone identify which one? That's not of utmost significance to me, but I believe in the past few months of looking at vans for sale, I came across one other with my style of roof. I actually had been considering installing some kind of windows in the sides, just as campers have, but the jury is out on that idea yet. First things first. I will continue to maintain it, change the axle and tranny fluid soon, and repair the small issues it has, and then fix the rust areas, and then begin to consider what other custom touches I want to add. The possibilities with a high roof are many! I'm excited, and already making excuses to drive the van, for example to pick up my sons from elementary school... :) They love that. So, I am very proud to have a van again in my life.
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Re: 1995 Transit SWB High Roof 2.6t cargo 2.5 Di

Postby Jay2018 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:10 pm

https://www.gumtree.com/p/vans/ford-tra ... 1218900292

That above is probably what yours looked like when it left the factory. Scroll down a bit, it's an old Gumtree ad...

Below is a factory SEMI HIGH ROOF

https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C977057
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Re: 1995 Transit SWB High Roof 2.6t cargo 2.5 Di

Postby hetman » Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:42 am

Jay2018 wrote:https://www.gumtree.com/p/vans/ford-transit-van-120-swb-2.5-diesel-mk5-smiley-only-77-000-miles-from-new-mot-jan-2018-camper-/1218900292

That above is probably what yours looked like when it left the factory. Scroll down a bit, it's an old Gumtree ad...

Below is a factory SEMI HIGH ROOF

https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C977057


Thank you, Jay. Your 2nd link shows a red medium roof van, which is the way mine appears to have left the factory, and yes, after examining the van yesterday while continuing to clean it, I noticed that indeed my roof has been excised with amazing precision. A fiberglass top has been fitted perfectly into the rain gutters, and more fiberglass has been overlaid the joint, and the whole roof of the van has been left intact. It matches the medium roof van, as seen in the pictures of that advert for the red van in your link. I actually posted that picture here before, but here are more, including the doors and all lock mechanisms.
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Re: 1995 Transit SWB High Roof 2.6t cargo 2.5 Di

Postby hetman » Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:50 am

Some pics of the joining of the fiberglass top to the metal side wall. And the lock mechanism for the rear doors as well as the rear door top extensions, which seem to be made of metal. I will put a magnet to them later to see. Whatever they are, they seem to be of high quality construction, and underlying them seem to be factory doors for a medium roof van.

Also, referring to the above-linked advert of the red medium roof van, in those pictures I noticed that it is a cargo van but without any kind of divider between the cab and the rear cargo area. Is this normal? That was my question last week, if such vans were even produced in Europe, or is it mandated to have a divide between the cab and cargo area. In the USA, it's almost unheard of to have such a divider in a regular cargo van. For more serious duty, people use box/cube vans. In general, I'm curious about all the factory versions, and mine had a divider, albeit a metal grid of some kind.
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Re: 1995 Transit SWB High Roof 2.6t cargo 2.5 Di

Postby Keef » Tue Sep 24, 2019 3:33 pm

Luke posted this a while back, it should answer most of your questions

Ford VIN plate.jpg


Box 1 Not used

Box 2 Transmission and clutch
C8 - MT75 5 Speed Close ratio (3.89)
AG - 4 Speed auto (A4LD)
W8 - MT75 5 Speed Wide ratio (4.17)
E8 - MT75 5 Speed Close ratio (3.61)
Boxes 3, 10 & 11 Engine Coding
NSH - 2.0 DOHC petrol
NSJ - 2.0 DOHC (91RON)
NSK - 2.0 DOHC (leaded)
NSF - 2.0 DOHC petrol
NSG - 2.0 DOHC Petrol
4FA - 2.5 70ps Diesel
4FB - 2.5 70ps Diesel
4FC - 2.5 70ps Diesel
4FD - 2.5 70ps Diesel
4HA - 2.5 75ps Diesel TCI
4HC - 2.5 75ps Diesel
4HD - 2.5 75ps Diesel T/C
4GA - 2.5 85ps Diesel T/C
4GB - 2.5 85ps Diesel T/C
4GC - 2.5 85ps Diesel T/C
4GD - 2.5 85ps Diesel TCI
4GE - 2.5 85ps Diesel T/C
4EB - 2.5 100ps Diesel T/C
4EC - 2.5 100ps Diesel T/C
4ED - 2.5 115ps Diecel T/C
4GF - 2.5 85ps Diesel TCI
4HB - 2.5 75ps Diesel

Box 4 Model Type code (too many to list)

Box 5 Front Axle
I - IFS

Box 6 Rear axle type
B - 34 Timken (less LSD)
L - 51a Heavy Sailsbury (less LSD)
M - 53 Heavy Sailsbury (less LSD)
D - 34 Timken (with LSD)
P - 51a Heavy Sailsbury (with LSD)
R - 53 Heavy Salisbury (with LSD)

Box 7 Diff ratio
G - 4.63
J - 5.14
K - 5.83
N - 4.11
L - 4.56
P - 5.13

Box 8 & 9 Not used

Box 12 Suspension
AA- Standard (front) - Standard (rear)
1L - - Improved Attitude pack (rear)
B1 - Soft Ride - Soft ride
O3 - High centre of gravity - High centre of gravity
B3 - - soft ride and high centre of gravity (rear)

Box 13 Brake system and Booster
B - Dual line vertical split w/booster
D - Dual line diagonal split w/ booster

Box 14 Door combination
Too complicated to list here

Box 15 Body colour ( main colours only)
BD - Saffron Yellow
ED - Garnet Red
EM - Radiant red
ES - Paprika red
KD - dark blue
KZ - Ontario Blue
MF - Kaymen Blue
MR - Curiass
MU - Atlantic Blue
ZA - White
ZJ - Moondust silver

Box 16 Trim
Code - Seat - Door - Colour
YCMV - Cordwain PVC - Cordwain PVC - Opal
1BVV - Windrush/satin Cloth - Cordwain PVC - Slate
1BAU - Claudia/Delon Cloth - Delon cloth/carpet - Opal
1BXI - Flash/Angorra - Cordwain/PVC/Flash - Slate/Opal
IB3X - - Flash/angorra/cordwain PVC - Opal
1CA8 - Windrush/cordwain PVC - Cordwain PVC - Dark Lapis/opal
1CA9 - Claudia/angorra - delon cloth/carpet - Dark Denim/Opal
YCQ1 - Flash 2/Echo - Cordwain PVC - Opal
YCMN - Lightening/Echo/Delon - Delon cloth/carpet - Opal

Box 17 SVO (factory use only)

Box 18 Emissions
D - A13/88 Light duty truck diesel
E - 93 EEC car
F - 96 EEC car
G - 95 EEC LDT
H - 91/542 HD Gaseous
K - A14 Swedish (Petrol)
L - 97 EEC LDT
M - 83.00a (15.04)
N - ADR 36/00

Box 19 Wheelbase
2835 - SWB 80S, 100S, 115S, 120S, 150S
3570 - LWB including extended frame

Box 20 Smoke value (diesel only)
This box contains a value in the form of x.xx which
designates the light absorption co-efficient.

Box 21 Overall vehicle width
12 seat bus - 1980
15 seat bus - 1980
High Cube DRW - 2120
EL Van DRW - 2120
17 ST Bus - 1980
Single Cab 4T Float - 2150
Single Cab 4T E/F Float - 2150
Double Cab 4T with Float. - 2150.
Double Cab 4T E/F with Float - 2150

Box 22 Overall Vehicle length
Box 23 Overall vehicle length with tow bar
Box 24 Permitted rear axle load
Box 25 Permitted front axle load
Box 26 Gross train weight
Box 27 Gross vehicle weight
Box 28 VIN number
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Re: 1995 Transit SWB High Roof 2.6t cargo 2.5 Di

Postby hetman » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:29 pm

Keef, thanks again for that info; I saw it in another thread and copied it here. Do you possibly have access to my body code? I"m very curious what it is.

In traffic with a load on Wednesday, my Transit snapped the clutch cable. After pushing it a few meters, the hundreds and hundreds of trucks and cars around me at that intersection prompted a generous man in an old Passat to hook me up and tow me to the nearest workshop, and fortunately they took on my job (probably because I'd called to my friend whose father also operates a workshop, and he happened to know the owner of this shop), and within 3 hours we had it back on the road. My van has the ratchet style pedal mechanism and it had to be altered to accept the only available clutch cable - for the manually adjusted type. But the clutch still feels heavy and low, so I suspect, at only 265,000 km, it is about shot. So I got a new Sachs clutch and flywheel set and will attempt to change it myself this weekend. I'd greatly appreciate any tips on what to avoid, as this is the first time I will have ever attempted to replace a clutch on my own. I have the Haynes manual but is there anything else I should know to make this process as painless as possible? I have basic mechanical skills and some tools, and two jacks and plenty of jack stands. Are there any specialty tools needed? Or anything to adjust (besides the clutch cable afterwards), or is it a simple unbolt, replace, and bolt back together operation?
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