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Project Tomcat, Gearbox Time – Part 4

This is dragging on a bit, but the end is in sight.

The other weekend I had a friend help me reinstall the gearbox. It went fairly smoothly, just with the usual limitations on space making it a bit of a pain to wriggle into place.

A bit of wiggling and jiggling got it to slot into place. It appears the clutch centering tool did its job again.

With the gearbox back in its home, there were a few other jobs to attend to. One of them was to check the heater hoses. OEM replacements are NLA and have been for years. There is a group buy with the Rover Coupe Club to replace them with a moulded silicone set, but it’s cost-prohibitive for me since I’m trying to slow the spending snowball down.

Thus, the plan was to use some T pieces and generic hoses to make a replacement. I got most of the way there before deciding it was too ugly and scrapping the lot. The moulded OEM hose above my monstrosity. If I just had one more 90 degree it would’ve been better, but I didn’t.

I thoroughly inspected the original hose and found a couple of areas of concern. One end the hose had burst, and the previous owner had just slipped the hose on a bit further.

There was also a small cut in the hose further up. The rest of the hoses although old were in good enough condition I’m happy to reuse them for now. I did cut that section out and joined a fresh piece of hose to it. It’ll be cut to length once the heater pipe it goes into is reinstalled.

The hose was then refitted. I wish it was just a normal pair of hoses without the moulded ends and joining section, but it wouldn’t be Rover if it was.

The speedo cable was next to install. This was a pain. There is a clip that holds the cable into the speedo drive, but the rubber boot needs to go over the clip without pushing it out of place. I had a lot of trouble with this until I removed the speedo drive and installed the cable and boot out of the gearbox.

Then it was a case of installing the drive into the gearbox again, making sure to locate the retaining slot correctly. I found it easiest to do this from under the car (mainly due to the height that I have the car lifted to).

Next I reinstalled the rear mount bracket, clutch cable and starter. I sourced a new lower bolt for the starter since it was completely missing. It turns out the crank position sensor cable has a bracket that is meant to be attached to the starter bolt that was missing, so that’s now secured properly.

With the gearbox mostly installed it was now time to reinstall the upgraded shifter linkages. I had installed a kit to rebush the U-Joint and poly bushes on the steady bar.

I found it easiest to install the round front bush on the steady bar (loosely so you can lift the bar up), and then the UJ before installing the bushing at the rear. It’s a bit clumsy otherwise.

I had to change the orientation of one of the bolts through the UJ as the longer threaded section was catching on the gearbox casing. It’s very tight though.

With the front installed, there are two bolts to install in the rear of the linkages. Remember to fit the plate to the bush too.

Tighten the round bush on the front and that job is done.

I couldn’t help but jump into the car and see how it felt. It’s very direct with little to no free play. I’m looking forward to smashing through gears with it.

Before the gearbox could be filled with oil I needed to install the drive shafts. The short passengers one was all good, just a quick clean up and a new retaining clip was all that it needed.

It popped nicely into place

The drivers side though, needed some work.

The main thing was that the splines on the very end had been damaged, but there were other warnings signs, such as the boot having a single zip tie on it, while the big end was being retained with hopes and dreams.

Not that it mattered, it’s not like it had any grease in the joint (and no signs of it having ejected the grease)

The retaining collar was all beat to shite too. I’m glad I didn’t choose to run this joint.

I split the outer joint off, leaving just the tripod. No, I haven’t cleaned it, this is how little grease was in it.

The tripod is retained with a circlip

Once the circlip is removed, the tripod can be removed from the shaft with a puller.

The new tripod was then hammered into place, and the circlip refitted.

The boot was cleaned up, grease pumped into the joint, and new bands were used to secure the boot in place.

The old retaining clip was removed

And a new one popped into place

The shaft was then slid into place and the inner joint clipped into the diff.

Now it was time to fill the gearbox with oil. I chose to use Penrite Trans Gear 75W80 this time as it’s cheaper than the Honda MTF I used last time but meets Land Rover MTF94 spec.

It was pretty easy to fill. I just popped the pump from my filler bottle right into the oil bottle and pumped about 2.3L of fluid in until it started to run out.

Now it’s playing the white paper game, where hopefully I will come out tomorrow and see no oil on the paper.

Before wrapping up for the day I gave the heater pipe and battery tray a good going over with the wire brush and then rust killed them. I’m prepping the pipes as I still haven’t secured a replacement yet, and I can’t have this car off the road taking up garage space much longer, so I will refit the original pipe for now and swap it out later when I have a replacement. Hopefully it won’t fail in the meantime.

The battery tray is pretty bad, with a couple of decent holes in it, but the main part is solid and it still bolts down OK. Both got a good coating of black zinc paint, in the hopes it will protect them.

They’re drying now, but will be refitted soon. Then it’s just a case of waiting for the replacement lower coolant hose to arrive from Greece, and I should be able to have the car rolling again.

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