So, with some time to kill whilst the fuel pipe is being modified to accept the 1/8″ BSP sensor, I decided to get the car over the pit and move on with the gearbox removal / exchange.
This being the first time I’d properly looked in the pit in the 5 years we’ve been here, it was a bit of a shock… there was a total of 750kg of old soil, rotted wood pallets, remains of an old bonfire or two and some discarded oil seals and bearings in the bottom that had to be cleared. 750kg as that’s what the weighbridge at the tip said when it was all dumped…!
The whole operation was carefully managed by our faithful assistants of course… In the end, I cleared out the bottom with a couple of kilos of caustic soda and we now have a functioning, clean pit that even has a proper sealed floor.
Realising that the extractor manifold downpipe / first section of horizontal exhaust would need to be removed, I started above ground and dropped off the inlet manifolds and released the exhaust manifold from the studs. Fortunately, the sliding fitting into the main exhaust section came free easily and the manifold lifted away without problem.
You can see where the head ports are miss-aligned with the exhaust path by the soot deposits so I think a bit of Dremel work before reassembly might be on the cards to smooth things out a bit.
In the car, the gear lever surround was lifted away and the centre console removed to allow access to the gear lever and tunnel closing panel. The two screws were slackened back and the lever removed to be cleaned up. All good so far…
Next, the propshaft was marked up with a centre punch against the overdrive output so it could go back in the same orientation and then the flange split away. The main exhaust mounts were removed in the centre section and the transmission jack put in place. Oil was drained from the box and the filter removed from the overdrive and cleaned up. there was a bit of sludge in the mesh and a few deposits on the magnetic washers but nothing major so it was replaced and stripping continued.
The weight was taken up on the transmission jack and the rear crossmember support nuts were removed.
This allowed access to the difficult to get to bolts / studs on top of the box at the engine end and, eased access to disconnect the inhibiter switch connections. All good so far and with the starter removed and lowered onto the jack, I removed all the fasteners between the engine and box and separated the two away with the aid of a lever. The clutch slave cylinder was left hanging and will be replaced along with the nylon pipe and pipe between the clutch master cylinder and the reservoir. The engine was supported under the sump with a trolley jack and a block of wood to spread the weight a bit.
The gearbox was dropped away which left access to the clutch cover plate, which was in pretty good condition and the friction plate was perhaps half worn or less. I guess these will clean up and go back in the spares cupboard as “used but good”…
As can be seen, there’s some oil on the engine back plate though the flywheel and clutch were dry.
I removed the flywheel with a impact gun and pulled it proved to be sound with no wear on the dowel or elongation of the holes; good news! The spigot bush was barely worn but again, a new one will be fitted on reassembly. I have ordered some new ARB screws for the flywheel to give it the best chance of staying in one place… Must check the new torque figure for them!
I removed the engine back plate to source the oil leak and it seems it’s coming from the top screw of the seal carrier. On removing this, I found a spring washer rather than a copper sealing washer but also, a little damage to the surface of the carrier that I draw-filed away, making a flat surface for a new copper washer. I used some Loctite 577 on the threads and around the washer then torqued up the screw – hopefully, that’s the end of it now..! There was a smear of oil coming from the core plug at the back of the cam however, barely enough to register a run and certainly not worth smashing it out to replace and reseal it…!
I noticed that the speedo cable sheath was damaged when the gearbox was out – Chris Witor has a LHD one in stock so will put that on the order list too.
Under the floor is as clean as the rest of the car – there’s no rust anywhere and, whilst the box is out, I’ll give all the box sections a good filling with Dynax S50 and the area above the gearbox, plenty of Waxoyl on all surfaces.
With the aid of a mate, I split the gearbox from the overdrive and swapped it over to the new box from Mike Papworth. At Mike’s suggestion, the 2nd gear switch will be left off the new box and the wiring modified to suit. I ordered some 80W gear oil on line, also a suggestion from Mike, as it seems just about impossible to find here in the stores.
Chris’s box of parts arrived yesterday so the weekend looks like being a little busy, starting with the Waxoyl and Dynax…