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Ford Capri

Published: 13th Jun 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Ford Capri

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Being an old Ford and one with running gear which can be traced back to the 105E Anglia it’s no surprise to learn that the Capri is one of the easiest classics to maintain at home.

How easy are they to work on?

Being an old Ford and one with running gear which can be traced back to the 105E Anglia it’s no surprise to learn that the Capri is one of the easiest classics to maintain at home. No real special tools are required other than a dedicated spanner to help with the certain valve clearances; a conventional one may foul the carburettor. However, many DIY owners simply ‘bend’ a normal open end spanner. Talking of spanners, Ford switched from Imperial to Metric sizes in the early 1970s. If there is one ‘beyond the book’ job it concerns removing the Pinto engine’s oil spray bar and washing it out and so prevent small debris clogging the oil feed bar and starve the camshaft of oil. If it does then it will wear the cam lobes out in no time. The rear brake drums don’t require any special pullers to aid removal and many of the running gear components are interchangeable with other Fords of that era. Indeed many normal service items are still available over the counter. Note 1: Mileage/time intervals shown are suggested for typical use; frequency will need to be increased under harsh operating conditions. For do-it-yourself maintenance, to obtain long-term reliability and optimum performance, it is wise to attend to most aspects AT LEAST every 12,000 miles.
Note 2: The information in this feature is intended to be helpful, but is necessarily abbreviated. It’s best to consult manufacturer’s literature for full details of each aspect.


NOTE THAT THE BRAKE SYSTEM IS QUITE COMPLEX AND THAT MAJOR OPERATIONS ON THE REAR BRAKES IN PARTICULAR ARE NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED. IF IN ANY DOUBT WHATSOEVER, IT IS WISE TO ENTRUST TO SPECIALISTS At least every 3000 miles or annually, whichever comes first, examine the front brake pads and discs, also the rear shoes, cylinders and drums (remove the drums in order to carry out a full inspection). Renew worn components in axle sets. AVOID INHALING DUST FROM PADS/SHOES – IT MAY CONTAIN ASBESTOS ON OLDER CARS. Assess also the brake pipes, flexible hoses and master cylinder. Check servo operation and the system’s pipework too. Re-adjust the handbrake only if lever travel becomes excessive. At least every two years, change the brake fluid.

Cooling system

ALL YEAR ROUND, use quality anti-freeze mixture containing corrosion inhibitors. Every 3000 miles/annually, examine the radiator, all hoses, the water pump and cooling fan for deterioration. Are there signs of coolant leaks? At least every three years, fully drain the system, extricate the thermostat and reverse-flush prior to re-filling the system with fresh anti-freeze solution. Observe the dilution recommendations of the anti-freeze manufacturer printed on the container although being a cast iron engine basic quality anti-freeze suffices.


Firing order: 1-3-4-2 (No. 1 cylinder at front end of engine). Spark plugs: 1.6: Autolite/Motorcraft BF22 or BRF22 or equivalent (1.6LC, BF32). Gap to 0.025in. (0.64mm.) 2.0: Motorcraft BF32 or BEF32 or equivalent. Gap to 0.025in. (0.64mm.). Check/clean every 6000 miles or annually (whichever comes first); renew every 12,000 miles if they appear worn or performance has dropped off. Note: Tighten plugs by hand pressure plus 1/16th turn ONLY. Apply copper-based anti-seize compound to the tapered threads on assembly. Contact points: Gap 0.025in. (0.64mm.) for Motorcraft distributor (identifiable by its black cap) or 0.016 to 0.018in. (0.4-0.5mm.) for Bosch distributor (with a red cap). In each case, check/clean points every 3000 miles or annually (whichever comes first); renew regardless (and SPARINGLY lubricate distributor) every 6000 miles. Distributor cap, rotor arm and high tension leads: Every 3000 miles, clean and check condition, ensuring that all connections are sound and tight. Timing: Refer to the fixed mark on the engine and the marks on the crankshaft pulley (at two degree intervals). Static timing figures
(regard as a starting point; re-adjust as required after a road test): Mark I/II/III to 1980: 1600, 6 degrees Before Top Dead Centre (BTDC); 1600GT and 2000, 8 degrees BTDC. Later Mark III, 1980 on: 1600, 12 degrees BTDC; 1600GT and 2000, 8 degrees BTDC.

Fuel system

Every 3000 miles or annually (whichever comes first), examine all fuel system pipework. Check for fuel/oil leaks from the petrol pump. Renew the paper air filter element every 12,000 miles (or sooner if visibly dirty; check every 6000 miles). Ensure that the breather system pipework is unobstructed. After the valve clearances and all ignition settings have been checked/set, and with the engine fully warmed up, alternately re-adjust the carburettor mixture/idle speed settings, to achieve the smoothest possible tickover consistent with CO readings of 1.5 per cent ± 0.5 per cent; aim for an idle speed of approximately 800 rpm. Carburettor types varied according to version; please consult manufacturer’s literature for specificrecommendations. Non-GT 1.6-litre models to November 1979 were equipped with a Ford/Motorcraft single choke instrument; later examples were fitted with the Ford Variable Venturi (VV) unit. On the 1.6-litre GT and all 2.0-litre cars, a twin choke Weber carburettor was used.

Sundry items

Every 3000 miles, or annually (whichever comes first)... Examine the steering rack gaiters for splits/leaks. Check the state of the alternator drive belt and renew if worn. Re-tension if necessary so that belt deflection under firm thumb pressure is approximately 1/2 in. at the centre of the longest belt run. Check the camshaft drive belt in a similar fashion and rear driveshaft gaiters.  Examine all electrical connections; inspect the wiring for damage.  Assess the condition/security of all running gear components, steering joints and suspension mounting bushes (including the top front suspension mounts under the bonnet). Check for leaks from/damage to the MacPherson struts and rear shock absorbers.  Inspect the entire underbody for damage, and rectify any paint blemishes.  Examine the exhaust system – back boxes are prone to early rusting on low mileage cars.  Every 12,000 miles, check all hub bearings for wear and lubricate if required.

Cam belt

One of the first OHC engines, the condition of the belt should be checked regularly. The belt should be replaced if found to be worn or damaged (fraying or cracking may be evident), or in any event AT LEAST every 36,000 miles. Access to the belt is obtained by removing the three screws (10mm. spanner) securing the belt cover, then lift this away. Ensure that there are no oil leaks in the vicinity; rectify any that are discovered and renew the belt regardless if damaged or oil-contaminated.


1600, (September 1972 on): Overhead camshaft, in-line four-cylinder ‘Pinto’ type (1593cc). 2000 Mark II/III: Overhead camshaft, in-line four-cylinder ;Pinto’ type (1993cc). 1593cc (high compression), to April 1979, 72bhp 1593cc (high compression), April 1979 on, 73bhp 1593cc (GT/S), to April 1979, 88bhp 1593cc (S), April 1979 on, 91bhp 1993cc, Mark II/III to April 1979, 98bhp 1993cc, Mark II/III April 1979 on, 101bhp

Valve clearances

Check/adjust the clearances on a COLD engine. Disconnect the heater pipe and high tension leads, then release and remove the valve cover’s 10 securing screws (10mm. spanner), allowing the cover to be lifted clear. Ideally install a new gasket on re-fitting. Use a 19mm. spanner on the crankshaft pulley bolt, and rotate the engine so that each cam lobe in turn is uppermost. Check and if necessary adjust the valve clearances while the cam lobe is in this position for each valve. From the front of the engine, the valves run ex-in-ex-in-ex-in-ex-in. The correct clearances are inlets 0.008in. (0.20mm); exhausts 0.010in. (0.25mm.). If adjustment is required, slacken the (lower) locknut (using a 19mm. spanner) and rotate the (upper) adjuster (15mm. spanner) to obtain the required gap.


Engine oil: For optimum engine life, ideally change the oil and filter at least every 3000 miles or annually (whichever comes first). Regular oil/filter changes are essential – particularly as the camshaft feed system is prone to blockages if the motor is allowed to run with dirty lubricant. Drain the oil when the engine is fully warmed up; the sump plug happily accepts a 13mm/1/2in.AF socket or ring spanner. The oil filter is screwed onto the left side of the motor, and positioned low down within the engine compartment. It is not too difficult to reach using a proprietary filter removal tool, should it prove to be tight. Before screwing on a new filter, lightly lubricate the sealing ring to aid refitting and sealing. Use SAE15W50, 20W50 or 20W60 oil. Dispose in an environmentally friendly manner - local councils provide waste oil collection points. Drain/refill capacity (these figures are approximate and for guidance only; please consult manufacturer’s literature relevant to your specific model): Mark I 1.6 litre: 6.6 pints (3.75 litres) Mark II 1.6 litre to 1976: 5.7 pints (3.25 litres) Mark II 2.0 litre to 1976: 7.4 pints (4.25 litres) 1.6/2.0 litre, 1977 to 1985: 5.7 pints (3.25 litres) 1.6/2.0 litre, 1985 on: 6.6 pints (3.75 litres) Gearbox/ differential: Check the lubricant levels at least every 6000 miles/annually, whichever comes first; unscrew the filler/level plug and ‘dip’ the gearbox/axle using a short length of wire. If necessary, top up to the base of the threads in the filler/level aperture (but it’s wise investigate the reasons for a low level, before topping up). Where a drain plug is fitted, drain the oil (when it’s hot, after a run) and replenish using fresh lubricant. For a manual gearbox, use SAE80EP gear oil; for the rear axle, employ SAE90EP gear oil. You can use an oil improving additive if you wish. Running gear: At least every 6000 miles/annually (whichever comes first), clean/re-lubricate the handbrake mechanical linkage. Front wheel bearings: Every 12,000 miles, check/re-lubricate bearings with grease specifically stated as being suitable for wheel bearing use. Other aspects: Every 3000 miles, lubricate the carburettor pivot points/controls, and the accelerator pedal pivot. Every 3000 miles, lubricate the hinges and lock mechanisms (wipe off excess lubricant).

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