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October 18th, 2007

Working on it

Almost but not quite perfect timing

Fenchurch's first gear has been gradually deteriorating for months - very noisy, and jumping out of gear on acceleration. I received a replacement gearbox yesterday and was planning to fit it this weekend, but when I set off home from work today it went "bang" and nearly bust my finger, so hard did it kick the stick out of gear. The rest of the gears still worked so I drove home using second gear instead of first and slipping the clutch a lot (I'm replacing the clutch at the same time as the box so I didn't care if I burnt it out). It's lucky my dad was able to collect the box when he was near Birmingham on a business trip because my original plan was pick it up myself in a couple of weeks' time when I go down there for Novacon.

So tonight I pumped the water out of the inspection pit under the garage, drained the oil out of the old box (cue several "plopping" sounds as shiny bits fell out), removed the prop shaft, took the front seats out, and removed the gearbox cover. Tomorrow I'll be bussing to work again, then getting on with removing the old box in the evening. I'm planning to do it without removing the engine, despite advice that it's much easier to do it that way, because I'm a cheapskate and don't want to hire a crane for the weekend.