Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Gearbox Refitting - Part 3

Another fruitful session today

Both propshafts are now back and most of the wiring and linkages are back in place as well.

Prior to refitting the rear propshaft Steve recommended that we refurbished the transmission brake because as he said "Any problem we find now will take 10 minutes and it will take an hour later".

Two of the linkages were a bit stiff so Steve knocked out the pins and we cleaned them up with some sandpaper and applied grease and now it's moving easily. A good clean of everything inside with brake cleaner and everything is all silky smooth and should last a good while

Also I popped into what is fast becoming my local corner shop (Bearmach) and picked up some air filter mounting bushes so they've been replaced and things should be quite a bit less rattly under the bonnet as you can see

There's a lot of interior to refit and an AWFUL lot of cleaning needed before the Mrs will let us use it as a camper again, but I certainly feel that we're on the home straight and getting ready for proper adventures.
So What have I learned in all of this ?
  1. Unless you know what you are doing get a reconditioned unit - with that amount of work you don't want to risk having to do it again - this is especially the case if you are paying to have it changed, in that case using a second hand one seems false economy
  2. The flexible rachet spanner set I bought from Halfords haa been invaluable - they are open spanners one end and the rachet on a flexible joint the other - I woudl say a must have bit of kit for anyone's toolbox
  3. I need a decent socket set for those things that the spanners are not good at - mine is too small and cheap
  4. Lifting the heavy bits could be done by one person, but it would be incredibly hard - you really need 2 people for this part of this job to do it safely
  5. Given all that work, Steve was abolsultey right that changing the clutch, fork and slipper pads etc. is a sensible thing to do while you are there
  6. Taking the whole transmission tunnel off would maybe have made more sense than the keyhole job we did. (I've read up on this since I did it)
  7. Rule one of finding an expert to work with was definitely the right thing to do, if you can find one in a LR club or forum you should. If you can't I wish you luck and hope this is useful
  8. Some people may be able to do this in a day, but if you are a newbie like me plan on 3 long and very hard days
  9. And lastly, and most important ENJOY IT ! - It's your Land Rover and working on it should be as much fun as driving it. I really enjoyed my time with Steve


Since writing this I have found that others have found the information useful so I have added a few clarifications.above.

You can find other writeups at these locations

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Gearbox Refitting - Part 2


The gearbox that is - both parts are now in place which is a huge step forwards

However it's not the end of the story and Katy is still immobile as we haven't yet attached the transmission brake and rear propshaft and the front is only held on with 1 bolt

But here it is before being lifted in place and as you can see from the sticker it's a 1:1.410 ratio box not the 1:1.667 one that came out. from the calculations we made using the Ashcroft Transmissions Ratio Calculator which gives us a massive 15% difference of top speed at 3000 rpm - I foresee a lot quieter and more enjoyable motoring to come!

When you put it back it is useful to have it in difflock so you can rotate either of the propshaft takeoff's in order to get the spline from the gearbox lining up. This was a key bit of knowledge from Steve, and something acheived with a pair of molegrips on the selector.

Lifting it was a case of reversing the removal - ropes onto everything we could put them onto (the front and rear propshaft bolts and then lifting from below, whilst also pulling from above, with Steve rotating the gears by turning the propshaft takeoff to get everything engaged.. Just before lifting it Steve applied liquid gasket onto both surfaces so we'd have a good seal when the 2 mated together and then we stated lifting. All went well, there was one last puch needed once the gears were correctly aligned and the whole think slid into place 

As you can see from this one, taken by Dan who turned up just at a useful time to get roped in to helping me lift the transfer box into place, I'm very happy with the situation

The next steps were to start putting the exhaust back in and connect up all the linkages which we managed to do today, and put in the nice new engine mounting bushes which have replaced the old cracked ones.

In putting the exhaust back I was keen to take a good look at why I had ended up with a 2 hole / 3 Hole problem in purchasing a new section and I think the telltale signs of some welding give the game away. the exhaust if not the rest of her is a cut and shut job

There were other successes today. Steve thought I had put the wrong bolt in and when he brought a new one it was identical to the one I had just removed. I must have been paying attention!

Hopefully just one more session to go and it will all be back together and Katy will once more be drivable and we can have some real adventures

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Gearbox Refitting - Part 1

After the long day yesterday I was shattered and stiff!

It was Saturday so only half a day was available with Steve. He said we would do as much as we could this morning, but I needed go get some bits because there were a few parts that were worth replacing whilst we were there because they cost pennies and we would hate to waste all this work by having a cleap part fail.

First was the slipper pads and clips that Steve had assumed would come with the clutch fork, and the second was the engine mounting bushes which were looking split and may a well be changed while we were there.

Old and new Clutch forks - the old one has slipper pads which I needed to get for the new one and has the actuating rod wired in place whch steve said was actually not a bad idea as the plastic clips have a habit of breaking when you put them in - he has a technique mind you so we didn't need to do it that way.

So first stop of the day was Bearmach our local Land Rover parts dealer and located in a very useful place not much of a detour to Steve's workshop

Once I got to Steve's he focused on fitting the new clutch and I worked on transferring parts from the old Gearbox to the new one. Of course Steve was soon ahead of me so came across to complete the work I was doing slowly.

Steve fitting the clutch fork into the newly refitted bell housing

And also helped out with the recalcitrant nuts on the old engine mounting bracket which stood no chance when faced with the full force of his cutting torch. If you read the removal section you will heave learned that I'd been oiling all the nuts and bolts for days before starting and this was the only one we had trouble with so it must have done some good.

It stood no chance 

After that it was remarkably smooth with the main gearbox and clutch going back into place in only about 20 minutes and with the clutch going straight into place first time. Steve's technique with the trolley jack on a steel plate across the pit, and also in raising the front of the engine using another jack and wooden post fitted under the front ofnthe engine made really short work out of what was possibly a very long job.

New Main Gearbox in place!   Now I really hurt!

That's all we had time for today

Gearbox Removal in Many Painful Steps

The first phase in replacing a gearbox is to get the old one out

It sounds simple doesn't it

I had a quote from a friend to start me off 

"I've done a few clutch swop's on l/rs and that is a serious proposition on the driveway!

Gearbox with handbrake, transfer box and low ratio units is a big heavy b****d to try and maneuver when you are lying on your back in a pool of oil.

Big axle stands, trolley jack, etc required and you will invest blood, sweat and the skin off your knuckles.

I also have memories of hiring an engine hoist (reach in through the open door to support the gearbox) and using lots of ex-caving slings and crabs to support stuff! Rewarding when you do it successfully though and it all works."

Seriously Malcolm how hard can it really be ? 

Let's find out ... Here's how we started that's an LT230 Transfer box in the middle and the transmission brake to the right with propshafts leading to the front (left) and the back (right) ... see how much I've learned already :-)

Steve had agreed to provide expertise and facilities and was happy I could do as much as I could so suggested I got underneath and started removing a few bits that would be in the way, and give us some room to work.

First went the rear propshaft and then the front was disconnected from the transfer box. I had been recommended a propshaft nut removal tool by many people on the internet Land Rover forums, but I have to admit now to being unconvinced and it's about 50:50 as to whether each bolt was removed using this tool or just a plain old  pair of spanners. The tool was OK, but if it got stuck it's hard to reposition or remove and replace.

Then the next step was to start disconnecting all the things attached to the gearbox and as many of them were on the top it would be best to remove the centre console and get access from the top so out came a whole load of the interior and we started in from that direction as well and here's the scene of devastation that soon ensued with Malcolm's words ringing in my ears.

The transmission brake which yuo can seein the picture below was then removed, which was a really simple job and some good news for me is the shoes and springs look OK so I get to save some money.

The next step was to remove a section of exhaust that was in the way and then remove one of the engine mounting brackets (which look a bit tired as you can see so we're replacing them), we then added a bottle jack to support the main gearbox so we could loosen off the other bracket and we were finally getting close to being able to get at least the Transfer box out.

Back up on top I had to disconnect some more wire's I found which are just twisted together as a connection and then attach a safety rope to the transfer box which was lashed to a crowbar which was placed across the 2 front seat bases, and another in my hand so I could maneuvre it.

Then with much more sweat and nearly a few curse words it was loose, and then Steve was called away, so I was suddenly left alone with a rope in each hand and a very loose Transfer Box. There seemed to be only one thing to do so I wriggled it off the last inch of gearbox spline and lowered it down onto the boards below with a heavy thud!

Now this all sounds OK doesn't it, but it had taken me from 8:30 until about 4:00 which I suspect is a lot longer than Steve would have taken if I'd just paid him to do the job instead of offering to be his apprentice for the day.

Having removed it I can see the state of the gearbox spline and we both agreed it was confirmed that this job was entirely necessary and probably somewhat overdue as you can see by the state of the gearbox spline that's now showing. We also decided that someone probably knew there was a problem given the goo that passed for oil on the spline we wondered what had been put in there?

Now the hard bit :-(

Steve had another unexpected visitor with a possibly blown head gasket so I was left to get on with removing all the clutch bell housing bolts and connections. In order to get to the ones on top the air filter needed to come out and now I can just how bad the rubber bushes under the clamp plate for it are (of you look closely below you will see one was held in place with a jubilee clip), so will need replacements.

I'd been applying "shock and unlock" , and WD40 liberally to bolts for a few days leadin gup to this work to ensure it had time to fully lubricate the threads and give us a good chance of removing them rather then cutting them. it really paid off when it came to removing the front crossmmeber as you can see from below where all the bolts came out easily leaving us just needing to spread the chassis a little with one of Steve's hydraulic jacks in order to lower it out

I struggled for ages trying to free up the handbrake to remove it and then Steve came back and showed me the correct bolts to undo which made the job a lot faster. The good news was that all of the clutch bell housing bolts came out easily ( I was surprised) and then the whole gearbox came loose.

Knowing how heavy it was I thought to stop here. Soon Steve was back and with both of us and some ropes to stabilise it and then in with a metal plate and trolley jack to take the weight and with one final heave it all came loose, and with a little more manhandling it was all out.

So here it is  in all it's glory, Gearbox and clutch bell housing removed as a single lump. It was now 6:30pm and I admit to being entirely shattered so it's time to go home !

Of course that's only half the job !

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Katy wasn't always Katy

It's been a bit of a slow time in the refurbishment project as Katy is away waiting for the weather to be OK for the gearbox swap she needs

So in the mean time a little reflection on her past

Katy wasn't always Katy

We knew that of course, but who had she been and where has she been ?

We know some of the history because of the useful information that has been provided by John and Toby already, but they have both left a trail of other information that's not too hard to track back and work out some more information from (isn't the Internet wonderful!)

When Toby bought her she was "Another Florence" on the Yahoo Ambulance Group and through that we've been able to get some more pictures of her adventure down through Africa. Here  she is in front of Table Mountain in Capetown where her African Odyssey ended and where she was shipped home to the UK from.

Picture from prior owner via Yahoo groups - if it's yours please get in touch

Since then Toby bought her, but didn't find time or family acceptance to use her and work on her and then John bought her from him and found the same. I can see from the discussions in the forum the various prices discussed, but we've all made deals we were happy with and I'm enjoying working on her so we're all happy now.

And interestingly I find that Katy was to be Florence (Another Florence in fact), but I'm sure she didn't mind becoming Katy and I hope she's enjoying her new identity as much as I am.

So thanks guys for leaving all that wonderful information out there for me to find. it's been fun discovering and if the weather holds we'll have a lot more good news on the blog by the end of the week.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Working Mirrors

It may seem a simple aspect, mirrors work or they don't

Katy's worked in the reflecting sense, but I could see was a large area of her sides and only a sliver of road

A lot of WD-40 and some repeated gently coaxing has finally had a result and they can now be moved

A small. but important feature restored !
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