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I decided to do a little test to make sure the clutch is disengaging. It isn't...

 

ARSE!

 

Reliant clutches are generally quite fierce by modern standards, more akin to an ON/OFF switch for drive, and need to be adjusted properly for the best action.  Did you conduct the disengagement test at the bell housing lever or was it via the pedal?  Connecting the pedal will give the best feel for what is or is not going on.  Mine is ancient and rod operated.  It is very sensitive to wear in the various pivots, rigidity of brackets or bent rods. Presumably later Reliants have a cable operated clutch.  I can't recall my Rialto's clutch layout. I cannot imagine that Reliant went all sophisticated and hydraulic for the Fox.  No doubt further fiddling will enable you to come to a diagnosis which can be cured with the engine in-situ. 

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"I shall have to buy a Morris now."

 

"That's not how it works!"

Soon as I heard that on the video I snorted out loud and got some funny looks from the other half.

Then I pondered the potential hilarity of us all sending dollywobbler Morris parts in the post as all it takes is 'Hubnut' and a stamp apparently. Then I realised we would all probably send him random Morris parts and not stay model specific.....

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I adjusted up the clutch. No joy as yet, but I have got a pedal that is starting to feel more like a pedal, so that's progress.

 

I had started trying to wire up the engine for a trial run, albeit still with no cooling system, but after a brief cough of starter, I'm just getting the clack of the solenoid now. Might be a lack of juice in the battery, so it's on charge while I have some dinner.

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Bother.

 

In a way I hope it's the gearbox and not the engine that's causing the problem. How free does the engine feel when you turn it by hand?

 

Stating the bleedin' obvious, earths & neutral? I'd be more inclined to say the gearbox is the fault as the engine was fine when it went in.

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sorry, should have been a little clearer. Does it turn over nice & freely by hand now it's in the car & mated up? It does sound like something - clutch, flywheel isn't sitting right and catching bellhousing, or the gearbox is knacked.

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No, it doesn't. It's a bit clicky, then absolutely will not turn any further. I adjusted the clutch up earlier, and that had a strange feel to it too. I suspect the engine has not successfully mated with the gearbox, which is a bit baffling, as all the nuts/bolts are in...

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Was it the same before you adjusted the clutch?  Perhaps the actuation arm or thrust bearing is catching on something e.g the clutch plate assembly.  Unless you spot something obvious and fixable from the outside, the delightful Fox is going to give you further gearbox and/ or engine removal practice.  Apart from pivot pins dropping and catching on rotating bits or allowing misalignment of the actuation arm, I can't visualise anything else which would cause the problem at the moment.  I'd be surprised if you've managed to assemble engine to gearbox/clutch yet somehow knocked the clutch plate out of alignment.  Normally they won't go together properly if that happens i.e. bolts seem to be unduly difficult to tighten and one is forced to investigate.  A video spread over several days with tea and grapes to help retain your sanity would nevertheless be most welcome :-D .  

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That's the annoying thing. I hadn't tried to turn the engine before pissing about with the clutch, as I didn't have enough oil in stock to refill the engine, so didn't want to turn it. I'm going to try freeing off the front engine mounts and loosening the bellhousing nuts/bolts (there's a mixture) and see if anything suggests itself before parting everything entirely. The gearbox was turning just fine before we fitted the engine, as was the engine.

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I'm flummoxed as to what else I think could be the problem.

 

Sticking my neck out a bit, it's not the bendix on the starter motor being too long is it? Or needs a pre-engaged type?

 

I have my suspicions about the starter. It needs to come off to separate engine and gearbox, so I'll start with that.

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Favorit estate has gone. Will TWC tow the crane back to your place?  Thought not.  Reliants can be so awkward when it comes to major engine work.  The Foxache may become a battle of willpower.  Good luck with the heaving.  Rather you than me. 

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Yeah, that's f*cked.

D0vHfwgWwAAS_Z4.jpg

 

Guessing it got biffed when trying to fit the engine.

 

Had help from the ladies - Mrs DW and my best mate Andi. A strong pairing. George the cat supervised.

 

If I can salvage the clutch, I think I'm going to have to remove the gearbox and mate it to the engine outside the Fox. I think it should be possible to lift the Fox and fit the engine/box from underneath, though I will need to remove the front anti-roll bar. As has been pointed out, I no longer own a vehicle capable of transporting an engine crane, and don't want to buy one just for one job. 

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Wasn't that the clutch kit you were warned not to fit because they can be a bit rubbish?  I'm sure you mentioned that in a vid.

 

For fitting, would it be easier to leave the engine in, jack up the rear, remove/disconnect the propshaft and install the gearbox that way, then reconnect/refit the prop?

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I think even with a better clutch kit that could have happened to it too. Looks like the gearbox input shaft was in and the engine shifted as it was being mated up. Thus ripping the arm off that plate.

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Wasn't that the clutch kit you were warned not to fit because they can be a bit rubbish?  I'm sure you mentioned that in a vid.

 

For fitting, would it be easier to leave the engine in, jack up the rear, remove/disconnect the propshaft and install the gearbox that way, then reconnect/refit the prop?

 

I think the chance of disaster is so large that no, that isn't an option. Not sure I fancy trying to wiggle a gearbox on while it's on my chest.

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Just bend the duff spring back into shape, it'll be grand. Just don't touch those finger nuts (not unless you put the back exactly in the right place as it'll affect how square the cover plate is)

Doesn't it look like those nuts may need to come loose a bit to have half a chance of getting those springs back into place? One looks like its making a bid for freedom already.

 

(Also every chance if they do make a bid for freedom, they'll never get back into place again!)

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A lot will depend on that spring springing back to shape when forced back to where it should be.  If it has been permanently distorted then a new spring may be required.  Your usual detailed photos/videos of each phase of attempted clutch repair will help to get it sitting properly if bits have to be undone.   

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