Leading on from the last post where I had built up the loan gearbox with new input shaft and diesel bell housing and just needed to fit to the van…
I was quite proud of myself as far as the logistics and organisation of tools and other components were concerned. The work I was undertaking was away form home and as a result away from the comfort and safety of my reasonably extensive tool collection. I had thought long and hard about the process I needed to go through to remove the gearbox a week or so before, and I had done the same for the installation of the new gearbox to make sure I was suitably equipped for the task. The barn I was working in wasn’t a million miles away from home, but best part of an hour round trip would have been remarkably frustrating if I found myself lacking a socket or spanner.
I arrived at the barn in my smart car with the gearbox in the boot just after 9am on the Thursday morning. The day was pleasant and had a nice summery feel to it which put me in a good / positive frame of mind.
The appearance of some very inquisitive cows in the barn opposite put a smile on my face before work commenced. I was quietly confident that I should be able to fit the gearbox without assistance by positioning it on two trolley jacks and elevating them once slid into position. In my head it was that simple, but the reality was proving quite the opposite. A friend had offered to help in the afternoon if I was struggling, but I hoped not to have to bother him. However, after two hours on my back, my shoulder blades becoming increasingly sore, and my eyes aggravated from dirt particles, I had to concede and take him up on his offer.
During my two+ hour battle in trying to get the box into position, I had noticed that the steel gearbox mount at the front of the box looked like it was never going to match up correctly with the bodywork. This got me thinking that maybe, just maybe the petrol and diesel mounts were different length. I couldn’t verify this during my struggle, but as lunchtime approached, and I had to scuttle back home to collect my friend, I thought it wouldn’t do any harm to collect the other mount and match it against the one on the box I was trying to fit.
An hour later, I was back at the barn with Simon. A quick shifty under the van confirmed my suspicion was correct. The mounts were subtly different. The box needed dropping, wheeling out and the mount swapped over. After best part of four hours my positive mood had started to ebb, but my friend was as positive about the install as I had been at the start of the day. This proved infectious as we both set to work. Within minutes the gearbox was in position and nuts and bolts were being tightened up. Ancillaries on, drive shafts connected and the van fired up and rolled off the ramps by 4.30pm. I was pleased that it had all come together so quickly, but I still needed to drive the van to find out if it was good or not. My three week September holiday hinged on this box being a worker.
I loaded the van with all tools, ramps, trolley jacks etc that had been used throughout the day, and Simon jumped in the passenger seat. We set off from the barn towards home leaving my smart car behind. I was very mindful of the feel of the gear lever and the selection of the gears as we moved from quiet country road, to the increasingly busier city roads of Derby. By the time we got home I was confident that if there were going to have been any issues, they would have been picked up during the half hour drive home. Suffice to say I was buzzing, and for the first time in months I could start looking forward to a holiday in the campervan. I knew that both Kev and Simon were partial to a splash of whisky, so that evening I dropped by with a bottle for each. Kev for the loan of his gearbox, and Simon for his much needed assistance.
Anyways, we decided to have a family get together at our local park, Calke Abbey to celebrate Wolfgang’s resurrection on the Sunday. Weather was great and all enjoyed.
Roll on September 🙂