….that it works, I discover that it only half works. The gearchange mechanism was created and assembled on the bench and, on what I now realise is an early gearbox. The car has a later gearbox. The difference is that the synchromesh fandangoes were changed at some point and there’s a note in the workshop manual to say that with the new synchromesh, it might be noticed that there is a requirement for a bit more muscle to shift the gears. The selector is as good as gold and on the box in the car is even easier than the box on the bench but, the gears are almost impossible to engage without fear of bending or breaking something. Morris Motors actually sold a longer gear lever to help with the leverage! I’m not going down that road. The later synchromesh might be better but I’d rather a slower change (which I’m used to) than heave-ho’ing on the gear lever. It all looks very nice though….
And another couple of views; this first being the nearside ‘shifter’ lever..
…and the offside ‘selector’ lever:
The brake adjustment lever was a bit of a close call but I got away with it. Just to finish about the gearbox palaver; luckily, I had a couple more gearboxes but only one older one and this was so early that the selector and shifter rods didn’t appear on the ‘export’ side of the box – thus preventing the whole scheme from working. So I’ve had to go back to the box that I used to mock-up the whole malarkey. It’ll need a good flushing out to get rid of the swarf produced during the development but at least I know it works. I’ve ordered a couple of new seals – one for the output shaft and one for the clutch end of the box as they were old leather ones and a bit dry. You may recall the rollers that fell out on to the bench when I was fiddling about and didn’t notice the layshaft trying to escape – I got them all back in without dismantling anything so that was a bonus. The good thing that’s come out of all this is that I’ve found a bell-housing with a reversing light switch so I can have a bit of fun with that – a stylish, totally-original-one-of-a-kind period reversing light that says ‘REVERSING’ across the lense is hoving into view.
And now I’m getting a bit fed-up with the gearbox and I want to move on to the front brakes. Learned Counsel is determined to have his chassis ‘rolling’ by Christmas and I need to be pretty close behind. I set the date for December 28th and I can still do it if I pull out the stops. I revisited the rear wheel bearings this morning and I think that I may be able to get away with re-fitting them. Since they were cleaned up – there’s still a bit to do – they’re feeling and sounding quite good so I may get lucky again. Then there’s the steering to fit; the leaf springs need painting, the brake drums need painting and the hub studs shortening, the engine has to come out for the change of gearbox..
Of course having said December 28th…