Most of you will have heard of the infamous 2000E gearbox. Many of you may already have one in your Anglia if it is a modified. What many of you perhaps do not realise is, that it is possible to fit one of these gearboxes in to a standard non modified Anglia relatively easily without cutting holes or bashing the transmission tunnel about.

So what is the 2000E gearbox? Well it was a box used on many of Fords sportier range of cars from the Lotus Cortina right through to the Escort Mexico. I will give a full list at the end of the article and how to tell if the box you are looking at is the right one. The main advantage of these boxes is that the ratios are more evenly set apart over a standard Anglia/Cortina three rail box. You may have noticed in a standard Anglia that the gap between second and third gears is quite high, and in a fully laden car is enough to lose a lot of momentum. First gear is slightly higher in ratio so enables you to hold in 1st longer for a quick get away. The forth gear in both boxes is of course the same at 1:1. I will again list the gear ratios at the end of this article so you will be able to see the difference. All gears have synchromesh on them too.

Ok then without further ado, a quick list of the items you will need to complete the job.

I should point out this article is for those wishing to put one of these gearboxes into an Anglia retaining the gear lever in the same position as the original 997cc / 1200cc gearbox.

You will need a 2000E box, a 1200 propshaft, and a 1200 gearbox as a donor. You cannot use a 997 gearbox or propshaft. The 997 gearbox, although still three rail, is of a slightly different design internally and few bits if any are compatible. You will also need basic toolkit, no special pullers are required but a Haynes manual would be a good idea in case you get stuck or there is something you are not sure of.

None of this is difficult as such, but you do need to take care as there are a few springs and the odd ball bearing that can easily get lost. There are actually only two ball bearing units plus two sets of needle rollers bearings in one of these boxes. Nonetheless cleanliness is the order of the day. If the units to be worked on are covered in dirt and grease/oil it would be best to get them cleaned down and drained of oil before dismantling.

Photograph No 1: Shows a 1200 Anglia gearbox needed as a donor.
Photograph No 2: Shows a 2000E “bullet” box. Note gearlever position.

We will start by dismantling the 1200 Anglia gearbox down to the components which we will need. Remove the bell housing by undoing the four retaining bolts (see Photograph No 3). You will possibly need this depending on what came with your 2000E. Then remove the top cover and gear lever housing. When removing the top cover take care not to lose the 3 springs and ball bearings which locate just under the cover (Photograph No 5). If the ball bearings don’t lift out, use a small magnet to lift them out and place into a storage container along with all the other nuts bolts etc, you are removing for safe storage.

Photograph No 3: Showing the removal of the retaining bolts.
Photograph No 4: Shows the springs and bearings arrowed.

Before the tail shaft can be removed the gear rail selectors need to be removed. The square headed lock bolts are held in position by lockwire, simply cut through the wire with side cutters, then remove bolts with either 7mm or 8mm spanner.

Photograph No 5: Note lockwire on bolt heads.
Photograph No 6: Pushing out the selectors.

Push out the selector rods towards the rear of gearbox, noting the position of any collars and spacers that may be present. Take a photo or drawing in case you can’t remember. Also remember which rail went in which hole as all three rails are different. The middle rail has a small pin in the end. This is loose, so take care not to lose it as it performs an extremely important job. Looking from the front of the gearbox, there are three holes in which the three rails went. Cross drilled between these holes are the blocker bars. These too should be recovered. They do fall out relatively easy, but they can be pushed out with a piece of wire (see Photograph Nos 7 and 8).

Photograph No 7
Photograph No 8

Now you can undo the five retaining bolts that hold the tailshaft on (see Photograph No 9). Care should be taken to note which holes the bolts come from as some are shorter than others. Slide tailshaft off backwards. All the components we have removed up to now, we will require in re-assembly onto the 2000E box. So now would be a good time to get them cleaned up if they are not already. The next item to remove from the 1200 box before discarding it to the spares bin, is the speedo drive wheel. The 2000E wheel is made from very brittle plastic and is rare to come across one that has all its teeth. If you are lucky enough to find one intact, then great. If not remove the steel one from the 1200 shaft by knocking back the tab washer and undoing the large nut. Before sliding it off, cup your hand underneath as there is a tiny ball bearing under it that acts as a woodruff key. Don’t lose this you may need it as a spare!! Also recover the spacer collar (see Photograph No 10).

Photograph No 9: Showing the removal of the retaining bolts.
Photograph No 10: Note the ball bearing.

This is where it can all start to get a bit tricky. If you are using an early type 2000E box, you are not going to have a problem. But if you have the later type sometimes denoted by the fact it has a reversing light switch, then you will need to follow this bit very carefully.Later boxes had a larger rear bearing carrier than earlier ones. The upshot of this being you need to remove the rear bearing carrier from the 1200 box. This is needed so the 1200 tailshaft housing will fit on. With the larger bearing carrier it will not fit on. Oddly the bearings themselves are identical, it is just the housing/carrier that is different. You should be able to prise it carefully out of the gearbox casing with two screwdrivers/levers. The bearing is a tightish fit on the mainshaft but certainly not a force fit.

Photograph No 11: Shows the 1200 bearing carrier on the left, 2000E later type on the right. Note the larger diameter is about 1.5mm wider.

Well that about concludes raiding the 1200 box for the parts we need to transfer to the 2000E box. Don’t throw it away, but put it to one side just in case you need to use any parts as spares.

Here is a list of the ratios and the vehicles to which the 2000E box is fitted.

Transmission Gear Ratios to 1 Car Year
1 2 3 4
Standard 1200 Box 3.543 2.396 1.412 1.00 Anglia
Ford 4 Speed 2.50 1.64 1.23 1.00 Lotus Cortina 1963-64
All Syncro * 3.543 2.04 1.412 1.00 Lotus Cortina 1964-66
3 rail type 2.972 2.010 1.397 1.00 Lotus Cortina 1966-68
selector 2.972 2.010 1.397 1.00 Corsair 2000E 1966-68
2.972 2.010 1.397 1.00 Escort Twin Cam
RS 1600
2.972 2.010 1.397 1.00 Cortina 1600 GT
Cortina 1600E

* This box is not really suitable as ratio’s are almost identical to the standard 1200 box of the Anglia / Cortina / Classic.

It should be noted that in 1969 all gearboxes except for those used in the Mk 1 Escort range, changed to single rail gear selection. They also do not fit into an Anglia without modifying the transmission tunnel itself due to their larger size.

The earlier Lotus Cortina (63 to 64) gearboxes also had a very tall first gear and you will find, unless you are running a powerful engine, that pulling away from lights etc becomes a chore rather than a pleasure, due to the need to “slip” the clutch to avoid stalling. Also the Lotus Cortina box of 1964-66 isn’t worth bothering with as the ratios are almost the same as the original 1200 Anglia. Ideally the box to have for Anglia’s for road conditions is the box with the 2.972 first gear.

To check 100% the gearbox you intend to buy is the right one, you need to have it out of the car. Select 1st gear. Mark the input shaft and output shafts on the top with tippex or marker pen. Turning the input shaft, count exactly how many times the input shaft turns to turn the output exactly once. You should find it turns 2.972 or almost three complete turns. Always perform this check twice and you must make certain it is in first gear. If it turns 3.5 times walk away. If it turns 2.5 you’ve probably found an Early Lotus box.

Please note: You can also use the same parts from a 1500 Cortina Box too. The gearbox mounting on the tailshaft is different, but this can be easily over come for use in an Anglia, by use of the Milton Race Preparation 2000E cross member.

Well that’s it for the 2000E box.

Warning – The Health and Safety bit

Please note your health may be at risk if you do not take sensible safety precautions. Never work under an unsupported vehicle, do not take shortcuts. If you feel that the task is beyond your capabilities, then employ the services of a trained professional. The Ford Anglia 105E Owners Club nor the author cannot be held responsible for any accidents or injury arising from advice given on this webpage. Safety advice can be obtained from the RoSPA. The advice and opinions given are purely those of the author and not necessarily those of the Ford Anglia 105E Owners Club.