Surgical Procedures

It has been a mixed day in the workshop today:  The 5 speed gearbox conversion for the Scimitar has proved to be a good solution and I have been doing the preliminary design work on the adaptor plate as well as liasing with the transmission supplier and the propshaft supplier in order to start collecting all the right bits.  There are two input shafts available for the type 9 transmission and the shorter one of the two should allow an adapter plate to be made which is a straight fit with no modifications to the box.

I’ve also been attending to a stricken Land Rover Discovery which came home on a transporter with no drive.  The propshafts and final drive assemblies are evidently fine so the problem is either with the clutch, the gearbox or the transfer box.  Not wanting to commit to large expenditure on an old vehicle the owner would very much like to know which before he starts spending any more money.  We decided that the solution was to insert an endoscope into the gearbox and have a look at what is happening on the screen of a laptop.  To which end I have been working in the owner’s driveway with my old work laptop in the vehicle and a portable generator assisting the tired old laptop battery to get the job done.

I should add an aside at this point:  You know for certain that you are in a mature and stable relationship when your better half buys you a petrol generator for Christmas and not only is it just what you wanted but it’s also a “proper present”.

It’s not easy to find a way in to a Discovery gearbox with an endoscope – particularly since working on the driveway, I could find neither the strength nor the leverage to move the gearbox drain plug which (albeit in a confined space) seems tight enough to have been welded in place.  Maybe it has – I noticed whilst working under the vehicle that the front propshaft has previously been loose at the flange and some kind technician has indeed welded it into place.  The solution for inserting the endoscope proved to be the gear lever hole: Centre console removed, rubber gaiters at one side and with the laptop balanced precariously, the poor old Disco barely winced as I inserted the surgical – looking instrument before starting it’s engine.

It’s a good thing that I know what the inside of a gearbox looks like because suspension of disbelief is a certainty when looking at one at the other end of an endoscope but with a little patience the mainshaft cluster hove into view; or should I say “the remains of the mainshaft cluster”.  It’s the gearbox which is the problem I’d say.

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