Bravo/ courier 98-03 2.5td gearbox issues and general reliability

Submitted: Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 20:37
ThreadID: 97946 Views:16126 Replies:3 FollowUps:2
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Hi everyone,

I'm trying to do research on Mazda bravo/ Ford courier 2.5td Utes from 98-03 (fitting my price range of 12k) I know they had trouble with the gearboxes but i haven't heard why or how (if possible) to drive to avoid the problems. I plan on towing the camper for 12 months next year doing 30,000km max. camper will weigh roughly 1 tonne fully loaded. How will a bravo go towing the camper. A dealer told me not to use 5th to save the Gearbox, which to me seems useless as staying in 4th to tow would have to use more fuel.

Uses will be 90% blacktop with the occasional dirt track to a free camping ground and of course the Gibb River Road and hopefully the Bungle Bungles.
will be driving for fuel economy 90km/h with a good set of standard size tires no roof rack and only a bull bar and 240 blitz lights. hope to have a tub with a steel create to the shape of the cab or a fiberglass canopy.

Have you owned one, did you like it? Can you share any issues you had? What was your set-up (tire size, roof rack etc) and the general heaviness of your right foot and your general fuel economy.

Also any help of the gearbox and towing would be great. Can you get the gearboxes rebuilt stronger?

Cheers Sean
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Reply By: madfisher - Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 20:43

Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 20:43
The advice the dealer gave you is spot on, tow in 4th if you want your gearbox to last. I do slip into 5th on slight downhill gradients, but as soon as the foot starts to go down to maintain speed its back to 4th.
A lot of people have found you use less fuel at half throttle in 4th then 3/4 throttle in 5th.
Cheers Pete
AnswerID: 494661

Follow Up By: Justahobby- Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 20:45

Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 20:45
Hi pete,

What do you tow with yours? Do you know what sort of fuel economy your getting?

Thank you for your advice so far.

Cheers Sean
FollowupID: 770303

Follow Up By: madfisher - Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 21:00

Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 21:00
Sean We actually own two Jacks but the advice on all 0verdrive 5 speed gearboxs is standard fare. Its because 5th gear is not on the main shaft qand its a small cog and bearing. Treat it as and overdrive. My boat is what I mainly tow which weighs around 700kg, and about a half doz times a year I tow about 1.40 ton of firewood home.
The v6 petrol man Jack will do about 15l/100 if I stay around 90/95. The auto Jack up around 18/100. But get over 100 and it all goes downhill.
By the way I just sold my old jack with 203000ks on it and the box was still perfect.
We have had couriers at work and the only issues with the Td was head troubles.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 770304

Reply By: Witi Repartee - Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 21:05

Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 21:05
I had two of those in NZ. I was a rep for a rural supply company. I normally towed a heavy tandem trailer, loaded with a tonne or more. I did around 250,000 km in each ute. One had a warranty problem with an incorrectly shimmed diff....once replaced gave no furthur problems. The other rattled a turbo loose from the manifold at 120,000km...again fixed by the dealer. I drove hard over windy hilly country roads and couldn't kill them. As I had a company fuel card I had no idea of fuel economy. I liked them and respected the service they gave for the flogging they got.
AnswerID: 494664

Reply By: Member - Witchdoctor - Monday, Sep 17, 2012 at 18:19

Monday, Sep 17, 2012 at 18:19
I have an 04 2.5td never really towed anything of substance, the gearbox has been rebuilt twice. Third gear is my problem, the rebuilder said he rebuilds 8-10 Courier boxes of this vintage every month. The guy said there is a fault were the shaft mounts on the gearbox housing i think.
The truck has only done 170000 K's, first rebuild was at 80000K's. The truck is very well looked after with servicing as per the book.
Great truck but i'm now looking at a different gearbox or a engine gearbox combo or get rid of it.

AnswerID: 495105

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