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Escort manual trans

own a 1993 ford escort LX wagon 1.9 L std trans 5 spd. want/need to check, top up/change trans oil. normal fill hole apparatus in conjunction with odometer, is frozen, cannot extricate. Old ford mechanic indicated there is a bolt somewhere on trans can be used for checking and adding fluid but he could not remember location

Do you mean the “normal fill hole” as in the plug with the recessed square fitting? So in other words, this isn’t one of the funny cars with a dipstick, right?

If that’s the case, I’d probably advise not messing with it. Even if there is a bolt you can take out that just so happens to let you put fluid in, unless it just so happens to be at the same level as the fill hole, I think it will be difficult to be sure you’ve got the right quantity in.

Unless you’re having any symptoms or have some reason to think it might be low, changing the gear oil really isn’t critical. I’d say trying to fill it in some unconventional manner resulting in it being over or under filled would be much more harmful than just not changing it. Just wait until next time you need a clutch and have them extract the plug while the transmission is out.

This transmission’s only fill hole is covered by the speedo gear. There should be a single hold down bolt, and you pull the speedo gear straight up and out of the transmission. The gear also doubles as the dipstick. Proper gear lube level is when the lube is half way up the gear.