Earthquake

Here we are with the gearbox fitted to the car. I say here, as we are in McDonalds….We have driven here. Blue is dead…..long live two…My ball(s) and sceptre (pictures) giving way under the pressure of being a mechanic….did I really say that. I’m and Engineer dammit. I have letters after my name to prove it. My workmanship may not be 100%….we shall see. We had a massive crotch failure after I spilt oil over “them”. Another first before we get into it. We have two full on earthquakes since we’ve been here. One off the bucket list. Even though we had one in the UK but these, like everything in the USA are bigger. This was a 5.5…wow!! Pretty big and we felt it in the car. Not far from us and in the middle of the bay just south of Anchorage. So firstly, Thanks to Ed for technical support and use of his shop, Jason for being more stressed than me and providing lot of humour, Andrew for running Julie around to the shops and providing some food now and again, Kathy for cooking for us and Curtis for loaning us his long bearing puller. There are few others who delivered Pizza and sanity for the short periods that I wasn’t freaking out. I was working 10am to 2am almost every day and getting up at 4am again to contact the UK. I’m knackered. The box came apart like they do with the help of Curtis’s puller and much swearing and heavy lifting. The use of Ed’s shop made it much easier. I even managed to do Jason’s timing belt on his pimped up 300Tdi whilst I was waiting for parts. We had some fun with his pully and crank seal. His crank is very tight! I’m not sure that I’ve been paid back for that “help”. Maybe he should read my pay it forward posts. Andrew stole some of our beer and never quite lived it down. The guys made my stress almost tolerable. Andrew and Ed were preparing for a 3500 mile dash to overland expo. Andrew hasn’t been that far, ever ! I wonder how they are getting on? They left yesterday with only 6 days to get there. Pictures of the leaving below along with Jason and his ride.One of the bearings was gone in my gearbox and the reverse gear dog teeth were damaged. The fifth gear running surfaces were worn both on the main shaft and the inner of the gear. Maybe that was due to the metal paste in the MTF94 gear oil. We’ve refilled with Redline MTL now as we cannot get MTF94 here. I hope the pump is pumping it round box……it seemed to be working.That one little main-shaft bearing(pictures) was causing all the trouble. According to Ashcrofts the ones that are supplied the gear-box, that lasted only 14,000 miles, are a “common failure”. So why do they not get a better bearing and only fit those? I think they do indeed have an upgrade for it but its an option! Why is it only an option? It should be mandatory. The bearing is an RHP. We do not have the option fitted even now as its a like for like replacement. The parts were sent for free and all credit to Dave at Ashcrofts for being online all weekend at very strange hours and on a bank holiday. We could have only expected more had they sent a new box. Parts are quicker however. This is considering the box actually now lasts the distance so to speak. I’m still worried. Its not like we had all the tools to do this quickly and easily so I’m still stressed and listening for noises. The chatter is terrible in neutral but normal according to form. However its MUCH louder than before. I’ve asked him for an opinion on that.We managed to do most things twice as you do when you do not know what you are doing. The first “oh shit” moment was the syncro rings. Two are different and we’d fully reassembled the box to an almost no return point and couldn’t get gears. I’d put a syncro ring on wrongly and we needed to take it all apart again to change it round. That meant all the shims needed doing again. ¬†Luckily the different ones are not inside the bearings we’d just pressed on. Phew !!!!Once the box was fitted the clutch didn’t work so we had to slide it back to get to the pressure plate and make sure it was engaging properly. Not easy to do but made easier with the hoist. I’d luckily put the clutch on correctly as you can fit the friction plate backwards. The springs go towards you! They normally have “front” or “flywheel side” written on them but mine does not. Not sure why the clutch wasn’t working. Ed seemed to think it wasn’t priming but the arm seemed very far back so maybe the input shaft was not engaged squarely and it was pressing the plate.Gotchas!!!!You need to fit the gear lever turret before lifting the box in. Not the levers just the turret base as its a RPITA to get it on once its fitted. You cannot get the selector fork into the coupler easily when its in the tunnel so fit it first. Make sure you fit the trans box chassis mount as you fit the transfer otherwise its a nightmare to get it in the little space. The syncro rings and the unique ones. Its pretty easy to tell where they go as the have a slightly different taper on the inner surface. Resetting the selector forks to the correct position is also key. There’s something in the book about¬† that. There’s also some pictures on the web of a correct selector fork position.Blue is now dead….lasted well but seemed to fall apart with all the oil. We now have (blue) two. I wonder how long it will last. Hopefully we never need to use it !I’m sure I’ve forgotten loads of things but to be honest I don’t want to remember most of the experience. Its been pretty terrible made better by the people we’ve met. I’m hoping the box lasts until we are back home….not a lot to ask really after all its cost us a few thousand dollars in the first place and now a few hundred in oils and stuff. Luckily we had the help of Land Rover people like Eddie Angel. He truly is. Thanks.

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