Every car mechanic, be they a professional or an amateur, can give you a list of jobs they don't particularly like doing on cars. Regular readers will know that gearboxes and exhausts feature prominently on my list.
August started brilliantly* for me, with the rear exhaust box of the ScAAB finally succumbing to rust and requiring replacement.
Finding a suitable part for a resonable amount of money was the first hurdle, as the local motor factors wanted over £100, with GSF and ECP quoting around £75.
Thankfully, EEC only wanted £50 for their clone of the OEM exhaust. So I ordered one through their ebay shop
and two days later a chap in a Tuffnells shirt appeared at my doorstep carrying a bloody huge box. The box contained this :
Massive and heavy, as befits a quality* Swedish* automobile !
Unfortunately, removing the old exhaust wasn't as simple as I expected. Trying to undo the clamp with a feeble 3/8" ratchet resulted in this :
With the clamp off, I realised that corrosion had effectively welded the stubby pipe connecting the rear box to the middle part of the exhaust. Using brute force, I ripped the rest of the rear box off said stubby pipe, which then had to be sliced with a cutting disc and chiselled off.
Bloody hell ! At least, it gave me a chance to try my new 1mm cutting discs - I used to snub those, but after positive reviews by fellow 'shitters decided to give them a try. I now concur that they're excellent !
With the ScAAB back to its normal, quiet self I decided to address another of its issues.
Remember what I wrote back in February about the gearchange ?
...an incompetent moron (other than myself !) had been there before and had decided to remove the reverse lockout tab that also acts as the 5th gear selection guide. Great work !
Not a difficult part to replace, but it costs Â£25 which is a bit rich for a flimsy bit of plastic. I'll see if I can make do without it. I give myself a couple of weeks (and a dozen missed gearchanges) before I bite the bullet and pay.
Well, the problem irritated me for the best part of six months, but I remained reluctant to pay £25 for the lockout tab.
During a recent visit to the scrapyard, I spotted a condemned, manual 9-3 and decided I had to act ! I removed the part, put my best poker face on and asked the (chronically disinterested) yard owner for a price. "Fiver", he mumbled from behind his desk. Within seconds, I had handed him the relevant banknote and run out the door before he changed his mind.
I must confess that the phrase "refitting is a reversal of removal" has rarely been more inappropriate for a job... Under 60 seconds to remove the tab, nearly 30 minutes to install and re-align the mechanism so you can actually get 5th and reverse while driving.
With the box finally working as intended, I returned home triumphant, making sure I selected 5th as many times as I could !
Unfortunately, bad news were waiting for me at home. Mrs.F reported that something was seriously wrong with her Polo - she knew it was serious as it "whined like a superbike in 5th".
A test drive confirmed she was right, and a gear oil top-up made little difference. Yup, it's gearbox replacement time. The Loopoo may be gone, but 085 box karma has still gotten me ! Bugger !
So where do I find a good 085 with a 1400cc differential ratio ? Nothing on ebay, plenty of 6N2s in the local scrapyard but the boxes are £100, you need to remove them yourself and there's no way to tell if they're any good. Argh !
A difficult decision, so I decided to go for a walk in the countryside, to clear my mind.
Ah, look at the pheasants in that field ! How quaint ! Hey, what's that black thing over there by the hedge ?
Yep, it's Mrs.F's old Polo that had been festering there for 18 months. It was completely rotten when it was parked up, and time hasn't made it any better. To our amazement, it started straight away with a new battery and extracted itself from the field with no issues. Wow !
It was then transported the short distance to Fraud Garages where a dismantling marathon began yesterday morning...
...continued through the day...
...and was concluded at dusk, with most useable parts removed from the car and safely stored.
Further gearbox shenanigans are planned for next weekend, so stay tuned for more VAGSHITE action !