No pictures this week, sorry! There wasn’t anything worth taking pictures of.

Gearbox issues

My main goal over the long weekend was to get the gearbox back together, which didn’t go as planned. I started on the mainshaft, and got all my tolerances right, thinking I would be good to go. I’d done a test fit with a spare new snap ring (I bought several, for this purpose). However, as soon as I fitted what I’d planned to be the “final” snap ring, I noticed it wasn’t quite snapping in. I gave it a few taps, and in it went.

However, third gear now refused to turn, which of course is a large issue. After removing that “final” snap ring, I measured it up and found it was 15 thousandths of an inch larger than the test one! It didn’t help that I was a few thousandths under-spec for the third gear and bronze bush tolerances (this is fine with modern oils and proper maintenance).

Unfortunately, that was my last snap ring, and they’re not reusable once they’ve been removed (since the removal procedure stretches them). I’ll order some more snap rings, and take it as a lesson - thankfully they’re cheap (AUD 20c per snap ring).

Steering box (again)

I noticed the steering box had a slow oil leak, which is traditional for Land Rovers but still not something I was happy with. So I took the end cap off, being very careful not to spill any of the steel bearings. I noticed that I’d forgotten a paper gasket between one of the shims, and that there was no sealing compound - I normally try to avoid sealing compound since it’s so painful to clean up, but it’s clearly needed here.

This was fine until about a week later, when I was fitting up the accelerator pedal, and accidentally turned the steering wheel with my back while extricating myself - only to be greeted by the sound of ten steel ball bearings dropping out of the end of the steering box (which I’d foolishly left open) and another ten from the “top” race into the interior of the box.

I think it’s possible to rebuild it in situ, but it’s a fiddly process and I’ve decided I may as well get new gaskets instead of trying something half-arsed - so now my steering box rebuild (take two!) is also waiting on parts.

More small things

Since I wasn’t tied up by the gearbox rebuild this long weekend, I took the time to work through a long list of “odd jobs” that cropped up, including:

  • Vacuum line
  • Blanking plates around the passenger’s side footwell
  • Various other small body panels
  • Mounted the ignition coil (temporarily - might need to rotate it since the polarity isn’t marked. Thanks Lucas!)
  • Finished clutch release unit after I screwed up the oil seal last time
  • Tightened down the front differential pinion nut
  • Tightened down all of the miscellaneous bolts I’d left finger-tight and gave the engine it’s first-ever oil fill. It now cranks much more easily.
  • Set up the accelerator pedal
  • Attempted to reassemble the handbrake levers and linkages, but was thwarted by some missing bolts and one small-but-important part I’d neglected to clean and paint
  • Attempted to tighten down the exhaust header to the manifold, but was again thwarted - I had a really hard time trying to get the bolts to all engage at the same time. I strongly suspect this is why studs were used from the factory (as well as for the higher load-bearing ability).

Engine starting

Given the above mishap with the gearbox, and all of the work I’ve done this weekend on the small things needed for starting the engine, I think I might be better off tying the engine down for a first start instead of using the gearbox as the rear engine mount (as it’s designed to be). This will give me a chance to start the engine sooner rather than later.