Ford Granada MkII Buying Guide

Once a common sight on our roads, the Granada has long offered space and luxury for those on a budget. Here’s how to find a good one

How much to pay

• Project £800-2000 • Good £3500-5500 • Concours £6000-7000 •

Overview

Practicality ★★★★★
Running costs ★★★
Spares ★★★
DIY friendly ★★★★
Investment ★★
Desirability ★★★

Ford sold vast numbers of Granada MkIIs, but very few survive thanks to rust and banger racing. It’s the Ford that’s been forgotten by classic enthusiasts, yet there’s something that’s just so cool about large mass-market 1970s family cars. They’re from an era that we’ll never see again, when mainstream brands dominated our roads and premium marques were a rare sight.

Built for comfort, the spacious Granada is in its element despatching large distances four or five-up, and thanks to a huge boot there’s plenty of luggage capacity, too. Or if you need something truly capacious, just track down one of the now-rare estates – they’re enormous inside. But as with all Granadas, these are worth a pittance, so you won’t need to break the bank to buy one.

Your AutoClassics Ford Granada MkII inspection checklist

Engine

Three basic engines were offered, including a Peugeot-sourced diesel in 2.1 or 2.5-litre forms. Ultra rare now, most diesels were sold as taxis, and while parts availability is good for these powerplants, they’re unrefined, slow and thirsty. More common was the 2.0-litre Pinto, while the Cologne V6 is the most readily available now, as it’s the most collectable. Offered in 2.3 or 2.8-litre forms, the latter came in carburetted or fuel-injected guises.

Pinto engines are renowned for noisy camshafts if they haven’t had regular oil changes. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to get away with adjusting the valve clearances, but if there’s already too much wear you’ll have to replace the camshaft along with its followers. Leave things as they are and the engine will eventually be wrecked.

A spraybar underneath the Pinto engine’s rocker cover is there to lubricate the camshaft. It blocks up, but replacements are cheap, so if a new one hasn’t been fitted within the past 30,000 miles it’ll need one. Check for oil being burned on high-mileage engines, while water pumps fail, too, so look for leaks.

The Cologne V6 is unstressed, and has plenty of low-down torque. However, the oil pump is driven from the distributor by a hexagonal shaft, which can break when starting from cold. There’s no way of telling if the unit is worn without dismantling the engine, but if it breaks in use the consequences are serious – such breakages are rare, though. It’s worth ensuring the sump is straight, because if it’s been used as a jacking point the oil pump will be damaged.

The V6’s fibre timing gear can break up after 30,000 miles; steel replacements are available. It’s also worth doing a compression test, as blown head gaskets and warped cylinder heads aren’t unheard of. Look for 120psi per cylinder on a healthy engine. Corrosion and silt in the water jacket is another common Cologne ailment, so check the condition of the coolant.

While the Bosch fuel injection can play up when the metering unit fails, parts availability is good. If the engine runs badly or won’t start at all, the metering unit may need replacing. There’s also a cold-start sensor on injected cars; this can fail, leading to rough running. A new one is a straight swap.

The Solex carbs fitted to non-injected V6s don’t age well. The standard fix is to fit a Weber unit; it slots straight on.

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Gearbox

Initially all Granadas got a four-speed manual gearbox. By September 1983 the diesel and 2.8 models featured an extra ratio, then by September 1984 all Granadas got five gears as standard. However, throughout production all petrol engines were available with Ford’s C3 three-speed auto.

Second gear wears on the manual boxes, so listen for excess noise. The bushes also wear, leading to a sloppy change, and the bearings wear after 70,000 miles or so, leading to a noisy transmission. If there’s significant bearing noise you’ve got no more than 5000 miles before the transmission gives up altogether. There can also be a tendency to jump out of gear on the over-run – the only cure is to fit another ’box, but used replacements are cheap.

The Ford-built C3 transmission is durable if the oil is changed every couple of years or so. Most V6s have an automatic gearbox, yet four-pot autos are rare. Diffs, propshafts, clutches and driveshafts have no inherent weaknesses, but there’s a rotoflex coupling between the automatic gearbox and propshaft. Although these eventually fail, replacement isn’t difficult and a good-quality Quinton Hazell part is cheap.

Suspension and brakes

All cars apart from the 2.0-litre got power steering. Racks wear out in 60,000 miles, but rebuilt units are cheap. The steering hoses are near the exhaust manifold, so they heat up and perish, leading to leaks.

The Granada was set up for comfort rather than handling, but cars with S trim have stiffer suspension – although it’s still not firm. Dampers don’t last long and suspension bushes perish, especially those for the tie bars and stem ends (on the anti-roll bar); new ones aren’t costly.

The Granada L and GL came with pressed-steel wheels, but alloys were standard on all other models. While the Ghia got 14-inch rims, the Ghia X came with metric wheels shod with Michelin TRX rubber. New metric tyres are very expensive, so many owners have resorted to fitting 14-inch rims instead.

All MkIIs came with discs up front and drums at the rear. Calipers seize up on infrequently used cars, but rebuilt units are cheap. The rear wheel cylinders tend not to last long, yet all brake parts are readily available and cheap.

Bodywork

While all of the outer panels were new, the Granada MkII shared quite a few structural panels with its predecessor, such as the floorpans and inner wings. Original panels crop up regularly, but prices vary wildly so shop around before buying. There’s also a good range of repro items available, which are well made but not cheap, so reviving a heap costs plenty.

Predictably, corrosion has killed off many Granadas, and it’s the usual areas where you need to check first; the sills, valances, floorpans and wheelarches. Also inspect the boot floor, rear quarter panels, door bottoms and wing bottoms. Other corrosion hot spots include the front chassis legs (beneath the bulkhead) and the rear swing arms; again, these areas are eminently repairable.

If there’s a sunroof (only the L and GL didn’t get one as standard), corrosion is likely below the lower corners of the rear window, where the drain channels exit. Also expect rust in the lower corners of the front screen, in the scuttle and inner wings.

Interior

Most Granadas have cloth trim, yet leather isn’t unusual. Hide-trimmed cars can suffer from wear on the driver’s seat, but repairs aren’t costly. Door cards get damp then warp, while dash tops can crack. However, replacement headlinings, carpet sets, door trims and even dashboards occasionally crop up online or at autojumbles.

The electrics are generally dependable, yet there are weak spots. On injected cars there’s an ignition relay that fails; new ones are cheap and a straight swap. The lighting stalks and heater motors can also pack in, but replacements are readily available. If there seems to be an array of faults, it’s probably one of the two fuseboxes throwing a strop; there’s one under the dash and another under the bonnet. Both are readily available.

History

  • 1977: The Granada saloon and estate debut, with 2.0, 2.3, 2.8, 2.8i or 2.1D engines. Trim levels are L, GL, S and Ghia – the latter two for high-performance saloons only.
  • 1978: The 2.8i GLS arrives.
  • 1979: Ghia trim is now offered on 2.8/2.8i estates.
  • 1981: A range rejig sees a new grille, taillights and dashboard.
  • 1982: All cars get extra equipment from April.
  • 1982: The 2.5D replaces the 2.1D in September, and all cars except the 2.0 get a five-speed manual gearbox.
  • 1983: All cars have a five-speed manual from September.

AutoClassics says…

Most surviving Granadas are cherished and used only sparingly, although cars that need recommissioning are far from rare. Because most buyers want a high-spec car, it’s the Ghia and Ghia X editions that have survived in the biggest numbers – although the special editions such as the Chasseur, Talisman and Consort are also highly sought after. Four-cylinder Granadas are now relatively rare, so the chances are that you’ll end up with a V6-powered model, probably with an automatic gearbox.

If you want something a bit more left field, limousines and hearses are relatively plentiful and change hands for very little money because of their specialist nature. Both Woodall Nicholson and Coleman Milne offered these professional cars.

Before you buy, bear in mind that no Granada is fuel efficient; even the diesels return just 25mpg or so, while the V6 cars struggle to give more than 20mpg. Although it’s the 2.8 that everybody wants, the 2.3 V6 has more low-down torque and in some ways is more driveable, so you shouldn’t see the smaller engine as the poor relation. You also need to have some form of security on your Granny; these cars are still being stolen for banger racing.

Specifications

Granada 2.0
  Power 101bhp
  Top speed 102mph
  0-60mph 11.9sec
  Economy 24mpg

Granada 2.3
  Power 114bhp
  Top speed 105mph
  0-60mph 10.5sec
  Economy 23mpg

Granada 2.8
  Power 135bhp
  Top speed 113mph
  0-60mph 9.9sec
  Economy 20mpg

Granada 2.8i
  Power 160bhp
  Top speed 120mph
  0-60mph 9.2sec
  Economy 19mpg

Granada 2.5D
  Power 69bhp
  Top speed 90mph
  0-60mph 17.5sec
  Economy 26mpg

Picture courtesy of MagicCarPics

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