Monday, April 27, 2015

Oh, And...

Good before and after for my instrument cluster...not much work if you are thinking about doing it yourself!
***LATE BREAKING***
Not that it's really all that important, but I just noticed an interesting differnce between these two pictures, outside of the obvious...the tachometer yellow and redlines are differnt. I assume the first picture, being from my Mk2, is a Mk2 tach. In the second one, I must have refurbished my Mk1 tach from the black car, hence the 500 RPM lower redline. In my quick image research for this, I also found that the Mk3 speedometer goes to 120 MPH vice 110 MPH, which supports the strongest engine of the line. On a side note, I had previously determined that the coolant temperature guage was different between the Mk1 and Mk2, with the Mk1 having "breaks" in the white bar while the Mk2 was a continuous line (like shown below). Just more subtle changes in the car line.

Before...installed.
After...though not installed.

I Have No Idea What I'm Doing...And That's Okay With Me!

Continued the dismantling of the transmission tonight. A bit of progress, including finding some more damage. I've been trying to follow the workshop manual as best a I can, but special tools (they are all named after some guy Churchill...must have been someone important to the Brits) are called out and I'm leery to be too aggressive and break something. Though whole transmissions seem to be readily available, the internals; not so much and part prices add up quick.

Anyway, the first thing was to pull the counter-shaft and this was easily accomplished after removal of the peg bolt. The counter-shaft cluster gear just kinda falls into the bottom of the gearbox, awaiting liberation after removal of the main shaft stuff...decidedly more difficult.

I deviated from the manual here and kinda took prisoners as I could. The main shaft bearing pushed right out with some mild coaxing from a drift punch...thankfully. Wish I could say the same for the input shaft!
Mainshaft bearing (center) out. The gear is the rear side of the 1st/2nd Hub Assy.
With the main shaft bearing removed, I was able to have some movement room on the main shaft gears. I was able to tilt and otherwise get out the damaged 3rd/4th synchro assembly.
Damaged assembly just prior to removal. Synchro ring already removed.
Once this was out, further dis-assembly pretty much stopped. I did remove the reverse gear, shaft, and actuator, but this was relatively easy. I have a feeling this may be a pain to put back in due to the obvious adjustment opportunities on the actuator, but we'll see.

The part of the main shaft where that the needle bearing "surrounds".
I did locate some additional damage. There is a Torrington needle roller bearing that looks like it should ride inside the input shaft and have the male end of the main shaft mount inside of it (that's a bit racy of a description!).  In the picture directly above, you can see where I think it should fit over the main shaft. I say "think" because in the picture below (the reverse view of the above pic), you can see what is left of said needle bearing sitting inside of the input shaft.

Needle bearing husk? Inquiring minds want to know!

What's left of the needle bearing after removal.
My concern is that the total destruction of the needle bearing tells me one of two things. Either it wasn't put in there in the first place / installed horribly wrong OR that the clearances/tolerances of the gearbox are so bad that it literally ate the bearing up. I'm hoping its the first because I think I can fix that. The second option may lead me to look for a new gearbox.

That was the extent of my "excavation". Some quick pointers from my favorite forum and I'm just going to go for it with the main shaft circlip. They should not be re-used, so I don't care if I destroy it as longs as I don't destroy anything else on its way out.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Facing My Fears (Unrelated)

As with most people, I tend to only be afraid of things that can actually kill me. I don't like climbing under the car when the jack stands are low and I don't really care for heights. A generous friend of mine granted his middle-son's birthday wishes and took him and several of his friends (my son included) to an adventure park today. This is where you climb around in the tree tops, sometimes as high as 45ft above ground. However, based on the kids' age (and thankfully), we were limited to around 25ft.
Harnessed-up, ready to go. He was much happier than this picture implies.

"Of course, my friend, I will help you with the kids and ensure their safety and fun and be "the other parent" who helps you out to make sure the birthday goes off good!" Of course, that meant that I would have to follow these boys along on their fearless trek in the tree tops.
Pretty much high enough, thanks. Perspective is hard here...this is about 20ft.
Truthfully, I didn't look down that much and it wasn't too bad. There were times, however, like the tight-rope, that I was none-too-happy. The zip lines were A LOT of fun and made the other not-so-fun stuff more than worth it.
The tight-rope. Yup, almost fell here.

This one was around 15ft up...not too bad...I'm behind my boy.
As a side note, there were four levels of "fun" at the park...yellow (easy), green (middle), blue (moderate) and black (hard). Reminded me of ski slope ratings and, without looking it up, may be just like them. Based on the kids' age, we were limited to yellow and green. Let me tell you, the green was good for me. Call me a wimp or whatever you want, but there you go. I probably could do blue, but only if I didn't have to worry about anyone but me. Black...yeah, good luck to you!
The gang...post adventure.
All-in-all, a good time. I don't think I've ever had adrenaline run through my body for that long, so I'm pretty worn out tonight. Everyone had fun, returned home safely...important stuff.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Transmission Disassembly Begins

I started tearing apart the tranny. So far, I haven't done anything that isn't easily reversible, but tonight I found some damage that will need to be addressed.

The release lever came out with no problem and the clutch housing separted without issue. The throw-out bearing doesn't look too good, however and its rotation feels like there is a bunch of sand in there, so it will get replaced.
Release lever and throw-out bearing. Note the scrape damage on the right from the clutch.

Dirty, but off.
With the entering argument that I've never had a gearbox apart, my initial (and cursory) inspection of the internals did not reveal any damage. The driveshaft and output shaft both turned smoothly and there was no fore-to-aft play, though I did not engage any gears.

Turns out there was fluid in the bottom of the case, but probably not as much as there should have been. I figured this out when a bunch leaked out all over my bench (but not onto the garage floor!!). The lower portion of the gears of the countershaft were submerged enough to pick oil up and transfer it around to the other gears.
Bell housing removed. Note the rust on the drive shaft. Lack of use, I'm thinking.
I was able to get the rear nut off with no issue (once I figured out a good way to stop gearbox rotation) and, after some more-than-expected coaxing with a mallet, the rear extension as well. I couldn't get the speedometer gear-thing out, but I didnt try very hard and I'm not too worried about that.
Securing the transmission from turning to loosen the drive shaft nut.
Rear transmission extension.
Tonight I performed a more intensive inspection of the gearbox and was able to find some damage. While I am not convinced that it is the source of my noise (this is the 3rd/top synchro hub and my noise is in first gear), it is obviously not good and will require replacement.
3rd/Top gear synchro hub.
I also wanted to get the clutch off, but the motor turned as soon as I tried to loosen a bolt...duh. Couldn't come up with a quick way to prevent the motor from turning (I don't have a socket as big as the crank pulley) so I stopped for the night. Guess I'm going to get to learn how to tear apart and rebuild a transmission!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Caught Red Handed...Maybe

I did some further investigation of the cause for the groove in the clutch release bearing. Turns out all I had to do was point my camera at my clutch. Outside of the fact that this is the strangest looking clutch that I've seen and that a new one is also about double the cost of the MK2/3 clutches, I have concluded, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the two items in questions were coming into contact.
The damaged release bearing...definitely salvageable. Haven't looked at the tan stuff yet; contributor?

The clutch with the rounded off bolt heads.
With that questions answered, could it be the cause my noise problem in the video in my previous post?  My doubt that this is the cause (outside of it looking like "fresh" damage) is that it only occurred in first gear when driving. When I pushed the clutch in (you can hear that in the video in the immediately previous post) or pulled into another forward gear the noise was gone. I would think that the clutch or the release bearing would not move fore-to-aft based on gear selection, but I'm not too sure. The motor is still in the car so I reached down into the passenger compartment to snap this picture...haven't gotten my hands on it. Any thoughts/opinions would be very much appreciated.

Beyond my doubts, my gut tells me that I have my smoking gun here...now I have to solve it. I'm concerned about the interference fit where there shouldn't be one, of course, though I'm at a loss right now on what would have caused it. Like I said, I didn't think there was a whole lot of fore-to-aft play in clutch attachment and transmission/engine mate-up. Guess we'll see!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Aren't Transmissions Supposed to Have Oil in Them?

In conclusion of my last post, I finished up the instrument cluster. Very happy with how it came out, especially the combination of the wrinkle coat and the chrome gauge rings, even with the blemishes between the tach and speedometer. The Brits knew what they were doing in that department. The only new part you see in the picture is the pull knob for the fascia light; oh, and the ignition switch (but not it's attachment ring). Everything else is original and 40+ years old. I do need to get a new flasher warning lens (green and goes in the hole between the tach and speedo) as the old one is chipped and cracked pretty badly.

Very proud of this...and yes, that is Curious George peeking from behind because, you know, he's always curious. And how many car blogs include Curious George?!
I started transmission removal yesterday and worked from after dinner until around 9pm. Got everything disconnected except for the propeller shaft. I didn't quite understand how it connected front to back (didn't realize you had to unbolt at the rear, also) and the part of the manual on gearbox removal wasn't very clear about that fact in my opinion. Lots of grease and grime everywhere, so I'm sure there is an oil leak somewhere that will need fixing (from a British car?! Shocking, I know).

Starter pulled away from flywheel. Yes, those are metal shavings in bottom. Both starter teeth and flywheel teeth are rough.
The first step in the manual, however, was to jack the car up, drain the gearbox oil and remove the seats and carpet. That's easy enough. Except, of course, when you drain the gearbox of oil...and nothing comes out! Uh oh. With that, the time and the fact that I couldn't get the propeller shaft out of the way, I stopped for the night.

The "drain" plug. Nice job, drain plug...couldn't even drain anything! Guess that's not your fault though, huh?
Today, after picking the family up from the airport (no more bachelor life for me), I got under the car and disconnected the prop shaft from the differential and then slid it back into the transmission tunnel. After some coaxing, jacking up the tranny to support its weight and some choice words, the gearbox was on my lap in the passenger's seat. The thing is heavier than I thought it would be, but still easily a one-man job.

In all its glory. Wonder if there is silver-colored metal in there somewhere? The gasket you see looks so good because it came with the repair kit that I got from SpitBits.
Something obviously rubbing on the release lever, explaining some of the metal shavings. As I write this, I have no idea what that tan-colored stuff is on the right.

Gearbox mounts. Guess it's a good thing I got new ones of these, huh?
I couldn't find anything obviously wrong that would explain the first gear noise (you can hear it below, especially between 0:10 to 0:15 and 1:24 to 1:32 or so). Any ideas on the source would be greatly appreciated, though I got a response today that said that first gear on the old gearboxes are loud because the teeth are cut "straight" vice angled (as you can see in the picture below). While I understand this would make for a potentially louder gear noise, I don't think it's enough for what I am hearing <hint, hint for comments or comparisons for others with a 3-rail, non-synchro first gear gear box.> Also, this is an unedited video and my very first time driving a Triumph Spitfire, so please be easy with my rookie 3-point turn.

However, the gearbox seems to rotate smoothly. Also, there was a good coating of oil covering all of the gears so, while it probably would have eaten itself eventually if I took it out on the road, I'm confident my few trips around the block were okay.
My first adventure into a transmission. Wish me luck! So dirty!
Overall a successful weekend. I am into shift work, unfortunately, so there will again be sporadic work on the car for the next few weeks. This time, though, I'm working the day shift so that will be better. I may play around with the thing tomorrow after I get home, but if I do anything it will only be more inspection...and maybe some de-greasing!

Monday, April 13, 2015

More Nice Weather

I'm starting to get spoiled...it was 60F today...for over 2 hours!!

Not a whole lot of work these last few days. I did drop the family at the airport on Saturday so they could go south (yes, Florida) for some spring-break action and to visit the extended family. I'm staying here to work...for real and on the car. I hope they have fun because, having lived in Orlando for a few years at the start of my naval career, I didn't much enjoy it. Too damn hot. Unfortunately, real work has been a drag and has been consuming a lot of my time. Also, it looks like I'll be working over the next weekend, so...yeah. Overtime will be nice!

I had my pick of the litter and started refurbishing my gauges to put on the freshly wrinkle-painted dash insert.
Break it down.
They cleaned up pretty well and I applied some paint. The one switch in there is the "facia illumination" switch. Having not actually operated said switch, I imagine, unlike modern cars, the headlight switch (on the column) and the dash lights are separate...odd, but another reason to love these cars, I think.
Exterior painted a flat grey (or is it gray?). Inside white for light "brightness".
The above picture is after painting the interior of the gauges white. I used Rust-Oleum with their "comfort trigger". Holy cow, that sucked. The comfort trigger is horrible. Maybe I wasn't using it correctly or something, but the paint came out heavy and uneven. Never buy that again. But, this is the inside of the gauge...doubt I'll see the inside of it, so good enough for me.

Today I worked on putting in some dedicated 20A service for my MIG welder and also to run some power around the garage. I have only two outlets on each side and towards the front. One outlet is my GFI near the breaker box, but the other is taken up by a little fridge and chest freezer. I need more drops so, there you go.
What will eventually be the welder supply outlet. The plug underneath is for a generator...professionally installed, that one.
Otherwise, not much else. I am going cycling with my cycling club tomorrow so there won't be any progress. I have an exam to take for work on Wednesday (damn nuclear power...we have to take 4 hour exams every two weeks! I guess nuclear power is pretty important though...screw that up and...yeah) and then start shift work on Thursday. So, hopefully I can get some gauges put together Wednesday night and then continue work until the weekend. The family returns either Saturday (current) or Sunday (trying to change flight) so that may or may not give me an extra day..we'll see!

Oh, and on a finishing note, I have decided due to title reasons, consistency reasons and just plain old making up my mind, I am going to restore the '66 as she sits, vice using the '64 body as a swap. In the long run, this may be the worse choice, but either way I have to cut some major body parts off of either one. The '66 needs the sills replaced (which are brandy new on the '64 and I can steal, I think), especially inside and also some A-pillar work and trunk work. The '64 needs the drive shaft tunnel welded and significant work on the firewall. So, because I have a good title for the '66, (vice a bill of sale for the '64) I've decided to go the Mk2 route. Also, because I'm such a stickler for trying to be true to the Mk2, I've already devoted time and money to taking the Mk1 engine and converting it more completely over to the Mk2...namely to provide for a working heater.

Anyway, that's the plan. The '64 body will (if all goes to plan) be moved to the backyard (with the help of some co-workers) as a "surprise" for the wife before she gets back since I know how much she love's seeing that blue tarp in the driveway every day. Of course, little does she know that the '66 will be moved out there soon after. Of course, this opens the garage back up. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Spring Has Sprung

While it wasn't necessarily a nice day today (cloudy and threatening rain) it was NOT cold. Work will be done.

I started with trying to get the steering rack, specifically the inner tie rod, apart. Couldn't do it. The locking nut just wouldn't budge. Put up a question on my favorite forum and one response was that the thing is really tight and requires some heavy lifting to get it loose. I didn't revisit it today.

I found that I really like the wrinkle paint from VHT and decided that's how I wanted to go with the gauge cluster. I stripped down the metal plate to bare metal and degreased it (the paint demands a properly prepared surface) with some citrus cleaner.

Prepped and ready. It's pizza night...hence the mozzarella cheese.
Then, I hit the back with some Rustoleum primer and let that dry. Next, following the instructions on the can, I painted it up. You are supposed to do 3 coats (side to side, up and down and angled) with 5 minutes of waiting between each coat. The stuff goes on pretty thick, but that's the point to make it wrinkle good.

After the last coat, I took a hair dryer to it to get it to wrinkle up. The can says to cure it in a 200F oven, but I watched some stuff on YouTube that talked about a bad smell and the wife, I'm sure, would not appreciate that. But, the hair dryer (also found on a YouTube video about a TR3 dash) worked fine for me; I just hope not heat curing it in the oven won't impact its toughness.

Full view
Close-up around the ignition switch hole. Picture not that great, but you can see the effect.
There were a couple of spots that didn't come out too great (the top between the tach and speedo). Not sure if I didn't clean it well enough or what. The wrinkles are also much tighter than I expected, but very close to the wrinkle paint on some of the stuff that came off the car (center support, steering column support). But, all in all, I am happy with it and hope it's in keeping with the spirit of the LBSC!

The "messy" spot.
I then moved on the leaf spring that came off the '64. Tore that apart (no broken bolts, if you can believe that!) and cleaned it up a bit. Nothing too major. I need to clean it up more, paint it, get new buttons and put it back together. I already have the bushings but you know how much I like getting those things out. Beat on it, heated it up, beat on it some more...nothing. I'll try again later.

That was about it. I went for a bike ride after that (I fancy myself a cyclist at times) and of course the rain finally made good on its threat. So, a planned 15+ mile ride turned into something just shy of 10. Too old to play outside in the rain anymore.

Thanks for reading!