Sunday, July 19, 2015

Gearbox Installed

The heater box kicked my butt for about a day. Based on a recommendation from my favorite forum (thanks, Vic), I used rubber insulation instead of the foam insulation. This made all the difference in the world as it was much more compressible and the heater box bolted right up. Happy. In a perfect world, however, I would have liked to get insulation with the same (or smaller) inner diameter but about double the outer diameter so that I had more "slop" in ensuring that the firewall hole that the core pipes passed through were completely sealed.

Rubber (left) versus foam. The foam is more "coarse" if I had to compare.
Rubber installed using glue it comes with (see link). I trimmed it from there.
Passenger side installation. A little buckle on the left side, but as good as I could get it.
I put in new rubber grommets for the speedometer and tachometer cables. Since they pass through the heater box itself, these can be a bit tricky. I used a generous amount of "personal lubricant", just like I used for my attempted windshield install, and threaded the cables through the grommets, then the grommets into the firewall (engine compartment). I then threaded the cables through the heater box. Note that the heater box to firewall gasket (the green one I made) serves as a grommet there.
There are two more grommets, that I have yet to install, that take the cables through the passenger compartment side of the heater box. I don't suspect any trouble with these, though the working quarters will be a bit tighter.

Next it was on to the gearbox. I had been putting this off, for whatever reason, but today was the day. I am happy to report that it went in rather smoothly.

First I wanted to clean up that area of the frame a bit since there were years (decades?) of grease and grime stuck to it. Some Purple Power and a stiff nylon brush and it was much better, though not perfect.

Just after application of the Purple Power.
Not great, but better.
 After that, I re-installed the gearbox mount and jacked up the motor to help me align the gearbox. Though I didn't try the install without jacking the motor up, I would say it is necessary for success as the my motor "sagged" a good 2-3 inches after removing the gearbox.

Jack and plywood lift the engine a few inches to help align it.
Sagging, however, seems to have meant the end of one of my engine mounts. While I was trying to align everything, the engine suddenly shifted and the driver's side popped up about 3 inches. That side motor-mount had given up the ghost and come apart. Thankfully, I had a spare motor mount to use and installed it in short order.

Sheared mount...sorry the lighting is horrible.
Once I had the new motor mount in, I tweaked in the alignment and installed the studs (as opposed to nuts and bolts) that are along the top of the motor. These three, along with the dowel that is at the top, helped align the gearbox clutch housing.

Double-nut method for running in the studs.
After that, I was able to align the input shaft into the clutch. I stood on the passenger's side of the car and reached my right arm down to grab the clutch housing while I used my left arm/hand to guide the back of the gearbox. It helped, of course, that my windscreen was not installed. I think this made it MUCH easier, though, so I'm glad, in hindsight, that I couldn't get that darn thing in!

After a bit of coaxing, it went in. I bolted most of it down to the motor and then attached the rear mounts. Though I bolted the rear mounting plate itself down to the frame, I left the riser that accepts the rubber mounts on the rear of the gearbox loose to allow for adjustment. Once the gearbox was fully seated, I tightened the riser down, then tightened the mounts down. Done!

All in and pretty. You can see the heater box up there, too. Now, let's just hope it all works!

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