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The oldest Land-Rover Series 3 around - gearbox rebuild underway


mat_the_cat
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On 11/16/2022 at 7:25 PM, DeanH said:

@mat_the_cat can I ask where you're based? I fancy a series 3 but I'm aware I'm looking at them with rose tinted glasses. Would be great to have a ride in one to get me thinking rationally again.

Ever driven a tractor? It's like that only slightly faster and the heater is a small asthmatic creature genetically engineered by Lucas who lives in a box and blows at you through a straw.

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As luck would have it a friend of mine, who's rebuilt a few of these boxes, was in the area and very kindly agreed to give me a hand today. I'd only got to the stage of removing the seat box, so this morning we lifted the gearbox out.

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Then set to stripping it down. It turned out it wasn't actually a problem with the selectors, but a spring was broken (and another missing) on the 3rd/4th gear synchro assembly.

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The one at the 5 o'clock position is still intact, the one at the top has broken and shifted round 90 degrees, and the third one is missing completely, and must have dropped out during a previous to me oil change. But the good news is no gear damage and negligible wear, and even most of the bearings are reasonably OK. So nothing to suggest a hard life.

Partially apart now, and ready for bits to be cleaned. Many thanks to @Talbot for assistance, advice and good company. 

20221118_170031.thumb.jpg.ea7f080444226c1c6ac0698dcc1178af.jpg

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I had this issue too, but only one spring had broken and it was still shifting OK. I managed to replace it with some long reach pliers via removal of the selectors. A bit of a fiddle but doable.

I would like to have done what you're doing, particularly as I think I have some leakage of ep90 from the gearbox to the transfer case, but I didn't have the balls :-)

Sent from my VOG-L29 using Tapatalk

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6 hours ago, mjrose78 said:

I had this issue too, but only one spring had broken and it was still shifting OK.

What made you realise there was a problem, if it was still shifting ok? I think one of mine must have been broken for a while, and when the second failed it caused the two parts of the synchro assembly to become decentralised, and bind up to prevent gear engagement.

I've made a little more progress today, as I split the transfer box from the main 'box and stripped the gearbox down to the casing. To separate the two, you first have to pull the transfer box intermediate shaft out and remove the intermediate gears to access two of the fixing nuts. The shaft was fairly tight, and required a spot of heat before prying it out.

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I cleaned up the bellhousing, as it looks like the engine real main seal was leaking into it. Once clean I replaced the layshaft front bearing...

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...held in place with a spacer plate...

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...and then the input shaft bearing. Spot the mistake! Fortunately not a disaster though.

20221119_182208.thumb.jpg.cb8df515bec3ea58e0ce7cd269364e68.jpg

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  • mat_the_cat changed the title to The oldest Land-Rover Series 3 around - gearbox rebuild underway
What made you realise there was a problem, if it was still shifting ok? I think one of mine must have been broken for a while, and when the second failed it caused the two parts of the synchro assembly to become decentralised, and bind up to prevent gear engagement.
I've made a little more progress today, as I split the transfer box from the main 'box and stripped the gearbox down to the casing. To separate the two, you first have to pull the transfer box intermediate shaft out and remove the intermediate gears to access two of the fixing nuts. The shaft was fairly tight, and required a spot of heat before prying it out.
20221119_170210.thumb.jpg.3f548859816cbf3d6b7d04aec0ecd339.jpg
I cleaned up the bellhousing, as it looks like the engine real main seal was leaking into it. Once clean I replaced the layshaft front bearing...
20221119_180439.thumb.jpg.5fc5cb69bb992f8db2397309026d0687.jpg
...held in place with a spacer plate...
20221119_181334.thumb.jpg.16b0d11f91f91ad85f274a6c4240304f.jpg
...and then the input shaft bearing. Spot the mistake! Fortunately not a disaster though.
20221119_182208.thumb.jpg.cb8df515bec3ea58e0ce7cd269364e68.jpg
Two bits of the broken spring fell out of the box when I drained the oil! A quick Google told me what the issue was; it seems fairly common. You can just about see the two intact springs in the photo below. ba8d804cd994163d0f41068a745ae32b.jpg

Sent from my VOG-L29 using Tapatalk

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Rear seal always leaks. It is a question of keeping it to a small leak rather than a big one.  I liked my ser 3 box for gear changing. Had a ser 2 box.  They said it was stronger.   Probably only because it had less syncro to fall out.

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I realise that I have forgotten to fit the housing retaining studs, but I'm not happy with the input shaft bearing. The play seems just the same as the original bearing, but noisier! I've dribbled a bit of EP90 in there, but still sounds rough to me.

I've replaced the layshaft rear bearing and corresponding race in the gearbox housing:

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Also the reverse gear gate springs (one had already broken).

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I've started to inspect bits for wear - all gears look really good:

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The rebuild kit came with 1st and 2nd gear synchro rings, so I'll replace those anyway, but the 3rd and 4th synchromesh is all one assembly, and another £200 or so. So I was keen to see what that was like.

4th gear looks good...

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...but 3rd doesn't ☹️

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That may explain why it was fairly easy to beat the synchromesh on changes to 3rd. Question is, am I expecting too much? It was perfectly drivable, just not driving perfectly. 

I've reached a bit of a delay anyway  as my circlip pliers aren't big enough to remove the rear mainshaft  bearing housing, plus the uncertainty over the input shaft bearing. 

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12 hours ago, mat_the_cat said:

studs, but I'm not happy with the input shaft bearing. The play seems just the same as the original bearing, but noisier! I've dribbled a bit of EP90 in there, but still sounds rough to me.

Can you make a valid assesment like that though, there is a twist applied to that ballrace with just the input shaft in place?  What about trying it with the output shaft and that needle roller bearing that goes between input and output shaft in place, ie with the shafts properly supported?

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2 hours ago, Asimo said:

Can you make a valid assesment like that though?

Good question - I just don't know. I don't know what clearance the bearing is designed to have so may well be acceptable.

It's more the fact that it doesn't feel as smooth as the layshaft bearing beneath it. I actually have to temporarily attach the layshaft to it, to check for end float so I can do a similar video.

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After a bit of research I've established that there is a fair amount of clearance by design in this bearing, which probably means the original was reasonably OK. This video shows a similar level of float, which backs up what I've read elsewhere.

The only slight question mark is over why the new bearing is noisier than the old, when rotated by hand. I think I'll make an assessment when it's bolted back together.

So, only to the mainshaft rear bearing. This is in a separate housing, which is held in by Loctite, and a circlip. With the aid of heat, the housing was removed and cleared up ready for the new bearing.

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Bearing in and secured.

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I then needed to warm up the gearbox housing, to push the bearing housing back in.

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Again, this is loctited in, partly to prevent oil leakage. 

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Bearing housing in place, and circlip securing it.

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The seal is a metal cased type, which I've known to seep oil between seal and housing, so I've used a thin smear of sealant to help prevent this.

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That's now all the bearings fitted to the gearbox, so the next stage is to strip down the mainshaft, and replace the synchro rings. I found further proof that this is likely to be the same age as I am, with a gearbox casting date of October '78.

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4 minutes ago, somewhatfoolish said:

this gives me hope the latter isn't a silly idea.

Or (depending on how well it goes) confirms that you should get a specialist to do it :lol:

So far though, it's all been pretty straightforward engineering, and you can see how it's all supposed to work which is useful. I was a bit worried initially about whether it would all go back together in the right order, but I'm trying to be methodical about it.

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22 hours ago, mat_the_cat said:

I'm trying to be methodical about it.

Hmmm. It wouldn't totally surprise me if I'd managed to lose the odd washer, but I needed to temporarily refit the layshaft, to check the end float, and could I find it? No!

I figured that it was probably more important than a missing washer, and I eventually remembered where I'd placed it for safekeeping. I fitted it in the gearbox, and there was too much movement fore and aft. I've got a 0.405" spacer currently, so will try the next size up, 0.425".

The input shaft also needs a thicker spacer, as there's about 10 thou float where I need none. Spacer is 0.19mm, so a 2.15mm one should do nicely. 

I've replaced the front output bearing in the 4x4 selector housing...

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...followed by the seal.

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The rear output seal fits into the speedo drive housing, and has clearly been previously fitted with care and attention.

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Unfortunately I then promptly did a similar job, so will have to order a new seal :lol:

I did however re-seal the speedo drive..new O ring, lip seal and gasket.

20221127_150842.thumb.jpg.72dda2836d6d36ec5ba1e565fa99a4fc.jpg

I've had a look at the mainshaft, and identified some wear in the 2nd/3rd gear bush. There's between 14 and 16 thou clearance versus a maximum of 7, so I hope I should notice a difference once replaced.

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Tonight I finished off the 4x4 selector box, ready for fitting to the transfer box.

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The dog on the left links the front and rear output shafts to select 4wd. The shaft which operates this is spring-loaded, so that when a pin is lifted (pushing the yellow lever down), 4wd in normal high ratio is engaged.  The upper shaft is linked to the high/low gear selector in the transfer box, so that whenever low ratio is selected, 4wd is also engaged. All this selection mechanism is lubricated by an oil slinger, so no appreciable wear. 

The 4wd selector box was slid onto the front of the transfer box, and the low ratio 4wd selector shaft slid into the selector fork.

20221128_210131.thumb.jpg.995a8b0f052227986b776ae4d2133a1b.jpg

I replaced the seal at the end of this shaft, and also the small O ring on the pin which allows high ratio 4wd to be engaged.

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There is a little bit of rusting on the ends of the shafts, but I've smoothed this off and greased them.

Finally, the dust cover was fitted over the ends of the shaft.

20221128_211554.thumb.jpg.45058e00b8974f7f1d0c10d5b690b022.jpg

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