A Series IIIA MInx update

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WoodinMinx
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A Series IIIA MInx update

Postby WoodinMinx » Mon May 30, 2016 9:37 pm

Its been several months since my last post.

What started last October as a casual project to simply "get the clutch and brakes renewed and drive it around once in a while" has turned into a full-on restoration. But on a shadetree mechanic's budget.

My work today involved pulling the gearbox/bellhousing off the fully repainted engine to see where the heavy grime/oil had been coming from. Part of it may have been from the 1.5" expansion plug in the rear of the block that had corroded to some paper-thin foil and weeped rusty sludge from time to time. But the more likely case (since the clutch was dry) was the input shaft seal at the front of the gearbox.

Luckily I found an original red-cover Service Manual some months back on ebay.co.uk. This is an absolute gem of a resource for these orphan cars. Unlucky for me is that pretty much the entire gearbox needed to come apart just to replace that seal. Which led to a cycle of events.....

The gear selector (top cover) removed no problem.
The selector fork shafts I drove out as per the manual with a long steel dowel - no issues.
In order to remove the front cover, the layshaft (intermediate shaft) has to duck down out of the way for the input shaft to pass forward out of the box. So I drove that shaft out of the box as per the manual, but since my steel dowel wasn't the same diameter as the layshaft (3/4") the roller bearings one by one decided they didn't like clinging with oil anymore inside the layshaft cluster and started dropping into the sump. So even though the front plate and input shaft could now be removed out the front, there was no way I could hope to "flush" the rollers out the drain, so out came the main shaft so I could retrieve all of the little b@stard bearings......

As I said before, these cars were built with incredible simplicity and smart engineering, so as I grumbled as I got wrestling with now a four hour ordeal to change a $5 seal, I had to sit back and marvel at this tiny but stout gearbox and the ability to properly degrease and make everything shine.

The powertrain is going to look great. Alpine Green on the engine components, every bolt head semi-gloss black and the gearbox and bell housing just the way there are: bright unfinished alloy for the tailpiece and bellhousing and the gearbox left in factory iron black. New Payen head gasket, British-sourced paper gaskets for much of the bottom end, custom cut gaskets using FelPro material from NAPA for others.

Had to find a new timing chain tensioner as the original spring arc design unit had broken in two - but it was still running on the lower arc of spring steel. Other than that, everything is slowly going back together.

I'll send along some photos in the coming days.

Enjoy wrenching on our cars as spring turns to summer.

David

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Re: A Series IIIA MInx update

Postby ImpBarn » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:28 pm

David. Sounds like you are deep into it. The gearbox is a marvel of elegance. Make sure to check all the bearings before just putting it back together. Now would be the time.
Eric S.

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