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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!

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