Saturday, 26 September 2009

I think my gearbox is cursed

I set off this morning trying to do a simple job. Merely remove a dammaged speedometer drive cog, and replace with one from a spare gearbox.

By the time I'd finished, there was a trail of distruction round the workshop, it was dark outside, and Bitsa was on her 3rd transfer box in as many weeks.

Nothing would remove the old cog - it seemed glued to the shaft.
I hit it from various angles, attacked it with a selection of improvised pullers, and tried various other dodges before finally wielding the gas axe over it.

That got it off, but a slight slip of the wrist saw me nick the rear bearing on the back of the transfer box with the gas... so I needed to change the bearing.

A lot of huffing, puffing and further burning of pretty much everything including my fingers, saw the defenct bearing removed. So I just needed another bearing, and with the truck imobilised, I had to conjure one up on the spot. Simple I thought - I've the transfer box I took off a couple of weeks ago - the front bearing had failed, but the rear bearing was fine. So I got the old transfer box out of the scrap pile.

The bearing shifted about 1/2" down the shaft and stuck.
The shaft was floating round in the box, and it was almost impossible to get it held to hit the shaft back throught the bearing. In desperation, I cut the shaft in half inside the box with the gas, which left me the bearing on a bit of shaft I could get in the vice. With the bearing sat in the vice, I hit the shaft out of it. And with my final blow, managed to hit the bearing case rather than the shaft... destroying the roller cage.

Oh dear.

I still had one option left - there was an old gearbox from NOG kicking about. The main box was shot, but the transfer box was fine. I thought about extracting the bearing from it, and gave the matter a brief attempt. It didn't seem keen to shift, and given this was my last chance, I didn't feel inclinded to get too carried away, or get the gas out again.

So, I fitted NOG's old transfer box to Bitsa. Ironically, NOG is now running Bitsa's old gearbox and transfer case, which was all sat spare and in good order when her box packed up in March.

Still, I have got a working speedometer now. And it reads much higher than before - the old speedo drive must have been slipping before fusing with the output shaft on its demise...

In other news, I've still no roof on, topless week 3 comming up. Who say's we don't have summer in England. We just have it at a time most people would expect Autum.
HMRC have also finally cashed my cheque and sent me a receipt for the first batch of waste oil. I'm clearly unusual - the receipt in question has the reference no - WASTE002/09, which means I presume means that I'm one of two people currently burning waste oil as a motor fuel legally. (I now know of four or five people doing it undeclared, which is rather a different question... it seems old Pugeots run quite well on it cut 50/50 with diesel).

Friday, 18 September 2009

Oh, joy...I'm Ill and the gearbox is playing up again.

Bitsa has been clocking up the miles this week - I've been helping cart bales for some friends near Ashborne, and so she has been flogged over the hills at great speed there and back after work a couple of nights after work this week.

I'm now officially ill and in bed with a nasty cold - I'm hoping it will have shifted tomorrow, but I'm not exactly feeling sure about that. If it does shift, I've yet another transfer box problem to fix tomorrow - the handbrake drum and output flange have somehow un-done themself and are making a bid for freedom.

I'm also feeling inclined to fit my second fuel filter for the waste oil, and along with it a second fuel pump. I'm still having problems with air being drawn in from whichever line is closed off, and I suspect a system with two fuel pumps may be the answer. Watch this space.

The roof is still off, as the weather is staying fair - I don't know how long its going to last, but so far I'm not complaining... its over a week since it first came off now.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Waste oil is go...

I've actually got a system for running waste oil in Bitsa that finally works.
Its not finished yet, but I've driven from Glossop to Macclesfield almost entirely on the waste oil.

The system currently comprises a temporary fuel tank for the waste oil, two shut off valves (one for diesel, one for veg), and a 't' connector between the pipes prior to the lift pump.

The main snag now seems to be the filter - dispite the fuel being heated a bit (the incomming line is wrapped several times around a Series 3 heater matrix, as a temporary appology for a heat exchanger), I'm having trouble with the engine starving under high power demand. It runs like normal, and then suddenly dies, probably due to a lack of fuel. I knew that the capacity of the filter was on its limits with diesel (its got a 2.25D filter, rather than a 200tdi one), and when it needs changing, performance drops somewhat.

In an effort to remedy this, I went to the scrappies on Saturday, and aquired a similar CAV filer. The main difference is that on the bottom it has a substantial coolant driven heat exchanger. Apparently they were standard fit to a few pegueot diesel's at one time (they later switched to electrically heated filters, which I am avoiding, given I've only a standard 16acr alternator). I've also been to Partco, and found that there is a larger "long" version of the normal 2.25D filter, that should improve flow rates a bit. I'll report back once this has been fitted...

In other news, I've done a deal on a rear tub as the current one is "life expired". Expect to see a rather tidyer Bitsa on the roads shortly. She will also have twin tanks as the new tub is rear fill (this means I can ditch the tempoary fuel tank in the back, and do all the waste oil plumbing propperly). I suppose this also means I get to fabricate a new exahust, as the current system has the silencer where the rear tank would live. Current thinking is to either alter things to the Series 3 109" setup, with the exahust exiting under the rear passenger corner of the tub, or possibly a much shorter system, with the silencer mounted under the passenger floor, and the tailpipe emerging forward of the rear axle. While talking about "deals" I've agreed a swap of my decent spare truckcab back for another one (somthing to do with belt mounts a mate needs), and then I can finally replace the one that is falling to bits on the back of the current cab(not before time either - the glass now falls out if I hit a big bump). Mind you, I've been hetroving in style this weekend, as the summer has finally arrived, (nearly in time for Autum), and the sun is shining. There was still a howling gale blowing across the Cat and Fiddle summit when I came back from Buxton on Sunday night mind you... the nights are drawing in a bit too.

Mechanically, the oil leaks seem to be increasing, and I think I'm going to have another attempt on the oil filter/block gasket - this seems to be the source of at least some of the leaks. A lot of the rest is an open breather, which I intend on plumbing into the inlet manifold - however I'm mildly concerned at the rate it is breathing - I think some sort of restrictor may be needed to stop it emptying the sump into the inlet. I supose this reflect the general state of the engine, but then it has been quite a long way, and it still goes, so I don't really care. I will do once it doesn't start mind you.

I'm eyeing up a dead 300tdi disco a mate has bought... if it gets broken, the engine is mine, and that means the turbo may just find its way onto Bitsa. The 300 manifold is almost certainly the best option for a 200tdi in a 109", and I can do a 300di conversion on somthing else(or just ebay the engine) and get my money back...

Thursday, 3 September 2009

The weekend - 2

I spent a good deal of Monday playing with waste engine oil.

Bitsa now has a tempory fuel tank for waste oil, which is fed via a shut off cock to the lift pump. The main pipe from the diesel tank has also gained a shutoff cock.

With the engine warm, it idles sweetly on waste oil, but it seems to suffer from starvation if you try and drive it - I got about 500 yards before the engine started dieing, but after a bit of cranking it would restart and idle again. The next stage in the experiment is to try warming the oil, so it passes through the filter much faster - I did build a rather bodgy heat exchanger, but I've yet to plumb the coolant side in. If that doesn't help matters, I think I'll need seperate fuel pumps and a larger filter (the standard one is on the small size for a 200 anyway).

It does however run fine once warm with both fuel cocks open - the level in the waste tank has dropped a bit - I think its running about 10% waste to 90% diesel given the amount of waste used... not a massive saving, but still worth having. I took her halfway round west yorkshire like this, with no problems, although she was a little slower to fire up than usual after being stood for a couple of hours... if I'd knocked the waste tap off a couple of miles before parking up, I expect she would have been fine.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Last weekend - 1

I had somewhat of a Landrover weekend over the bankholiday.

Some of the stuff I did falls into different areas, so I'll put up some seperate posts, as and when I can be bothered.

First job on Saturday was to get the brakes sorted, as they were a little past their best. New shoes all round, new seals in the front cylinders, and a bit of work on the adjusters: - result, lovely pedal.

I then spent a happy hour repairing a bottom spring mounting plate for DaveH - it had been bent (how on earth do you do that), and had a massive crack hidden in line with the bend - on warming it up to straighten it out, the crack became rather more than visible.
I got it rather warm with the gas, beat it flat with the big hammer, ground the crack out, welded it up with a few decent runs with the stick welder, and then ground it back down smooth... turned over, and did the same the other side. Shouldn't be possible to tell its been repaired now.

Then I went to Holmfirth to meet Dave and return said spring plate. I there go introduced to a right sheddy 88" with an MOT, and a lot of hole in the chassis... more on this in a subsiquent post...