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Cobbler's's Talbot Express - More Gear Linkage repairs

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All joking aside, Insa Turbos are actually pretty decent remoulds. Used them on a Defender for years and they gave no trouble and unlike yours didn't require lumps of pig iron welding on the rims to bring them into balance. Having also driven a few 4x4s on mud terrains I can confirm that your arse will be biting chunks out of the seat base the first time you tackle a roundabout in the wet. 

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They feel nice and "bitey" on tarmac in the dry, certainly seem a soft compound. I'll make sure to go very steady in the wet, You're far from the first person to say this. I wonder why they're so crap?

I think there's 4 wheel weights in a row on the worst one, It only seems a lot to me cos I'm comparing them to low profile car tyres where there's 25g on each wheel. Still can't work out why the first bloke didn't want to balance them, he was leaning on a flipping balancing machine while saying it, the second place had them all sorted out in no time at all.

 

 

 

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The general belief is remoulds are still badly made from recycled sandals and fag ends. The internal ribbing in mine were identical which looked as if they were single manufacturer which ties with what I've heard about Insa Turbo that they are choosy about the donor carcasses. To be honest, that kind of weight on even a new mud terrain isn't out of the ordinary and I've just had a Uniroyal done on the car which was 95g on the piss.

Basic mud terrains have zero concessions to road holding so no water dispersing sipes or grooves to channel  water away and reduce aquaplaning, just big flat blocks. Think a kind of slick tyre, just one with big gaps to grip soft mud or rocks but which then aren't designed to remove water when on tarmac.

 

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Ran this up some old manky roads and it does seem to plod along OK  but I've hardly gone green laning in it. MPG is 17/18, which is within 10% of normal, which seems impossible considering how much speed these tyres have knocked off.

It stops pretty well in the wet, I couldn't lock the wheels up so I'll take that. My arse does twitch a bit on wet winding bends, but there genuinely hasn't been anything to make me feel wary

other than what people have said.

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The front tyres flick muck up the side of the van and somehow cover the wing mirror glasses in shit so I can't see behind me, but when I'm in first gear going up Winnats pass with half a dozen cars behind me it's probably for the best.

 

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Right so, gearchanges have been getting a bit more cumbersome on this as of late. These vans were designed to be LHD column change, so when they converted them to RHD with a floor shifter, they made some ridiculous setup to turn the gearchange through eleventy degrees,

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It's all very compromised and it all wears at each pivot, and the angle at which it directs force onto the selector rod that pokes out of the gearbox is wrong so it wears that bush out too.

I've not got a lot of money to spend at the moment on account of not earning any money at the moment, so I thought I'd see what I could do for free or cheap to tide me over.

I noticed the selector rod that comes out of the box was wobbly and loose and stiff. I can get JKtowers man to rebush this collar for £50, but I figured it wears oval, so all I really need to do is turn it 90 degrees and I've got another "fresh" wear face, plus put a new O ring in it.

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It all came out easy enough - the thread pitch is 1.5mm, so I need something a quarter of this (0.375mm) to use as a shim.

1293277227_2019-05-1115_02_19.thumb.jpg.97b9c7215cd907f4668a0caf6b05969e.jpg

This airfilter box will do:

595918664_2019-05-1115_01_48.thumb.jpg.08fc568c8631e2e09ec49d253c640e4a.jpg

So some vernier action and scissors later I had a shim:

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 a new slightly thicker O ring and some fresh grease, I refitted the lot. My calculations were correct, and it's rotated the bush more or less exactly 90 degrees:

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Gearchange is improved, but still not brilliant, so I took a video of all the mechanisms while I went in the cab and waggled the stick;

 

No fucking wonder I can't get gears, the whole bastard engine is moving half an inch side to side! That explains why 2nd gear is a right nightmare to get when turning left sharp too.

Unfortunately, this means spending £70 on some engine mounts so it'll have to wait while I sell my other van. 

In the mean time I'm going to DIY rebush the idler relay too. Again JKtowers man will do this for me for £60, but I just need a long bolt, some bushes and a cheap chinese adjustable reamer so I should be able to do it for about a tenner.

 

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In between other stuff today at work I took off the relay thingy to strip it, clean it up and see what I needed to order. The plan was a couple of oilite bushings to replace the plastic ones, then ream them out to suit the unthreaded section of a long M10 bolt, instead of the M8 that's here.

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It came off the van quite easily, I thought I'd be on my back scratting around but it's about a 15 minute job from on top.

Cleaned in the parts washing sink, I really inspected it and there's really very little play in it side to side, but there's about 2mm of endfloat.

474426059_2019-05-1213_00_45.thumb.jpg.18ce7cef4ddac7609c7b7436bf592160.jpg

Stripped down you can see what we've got:
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Basically the nylon bushes need replacing. I didn't realise there was a central collar, but it makes sense. That collar is what the bolt tightens against and it stops the whole thing crushing.

I couldn't immediately find new nylon bushes, but I can get oilite ones roughly correct, however really, all I need to do is sort out the endfloat.

I gave the parts a 15 minute wazz over in the media blaster, because why not?

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I masked the balls off, they're still in good fettle, the cups on the link rods aren't ace, but they're not too bad really.

So since I'd blasted them I etch primed and gave them a coat of "custom crackle black" which is basically a mega thick coat of sprayable stonechip shield immediately followed by a coat of satin black. The paints react a bit and it leaves a pleasing finish.

 

729449079_2019-05-1216_41_35.thumb.jpg.b358d6eceb0c0e246f2883863549c18b.jpg1761106053_2019-05-1217_26_37.thumb.jpg.254d509c00dde0cc8a0fbc3212a6ce50.jpg

On the right you can see a washer, that's another "spacer" to fix the endfloat - I opened the hole of an m8 repair washer out to 12mm so it fit over the central collar, and then sanded it down to the right thickness. Obviously I only had a stainless steel washer, so it took absolutely bastard ages even with a belt sander. With the spacer in one end, it all pivots freely but had basically no endfloat at all.

 

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With it all together, there was still very slight side to side play, but basically sod all. I cheated here - I stretched some 5mm O rings over the (12mm) central collar. With plenty of grease on, these are pushed down into the housing by the nylon collars and take some of the axial load. Not all of it, but with them there's no perceptible play whatsover.

When refitting all this, I noticed the pivot bolt under the gear stick was loose. It's got fresh copper grease on so somebody has been here not too long ago. I tightened it up and the whole mechanism bound up, so somethings amiss here too. That can be the next job.

I'm very pleased to report that even with baggy engine mounts, the gearchange is now absolutely transformed, for a total of £nothing.

While I was at all this, I noticed the passenger headlamp glass was misting up a bit.

RHD lamps for these are unobtanium, so I was keen to sort this before the reflector was ruined - I was going to remove the glass, dry it all out and reseal it. However, when taking the headlamp off the van the glass fell off the front, I managed to catch it on my foot and save it from breaking thankfully, otherwise it'd probably be getting a pair of 7" round lamps bodged on.

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Overall the reflector is pretty much spot on, so I stuck the glass back on with some neutral cure sealant and I'll refit the light tomorrow. I probably should have a poke at the drivers side light too because I really could do without the lense falling out and smashing.

 

 

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Yeah, they're the same light, It's a DAF 45. There were none available at all for years, but they recently started making LHD ones again.

Apparently swapping the glasses over will work to convert the light to RHD, but luckily I didn't have to do that.

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I've had a sneak peak at next year's revised Driving Theory Test...

Q: Why should you have your tyres balanced when replaced?

a: To reduce strain on suspension components
B: To ensure proper control of the vehicle
3: To make sure your fridge doesn't pop open and all your beer goes everywhere
IV: All of the above

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