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<!-- google_ad_section_start -->How to remove and replace a Ducato 10 gearbox<!-- google_ad_section_end -->
How to remove and replace a Ducato 10 gearbox
Published by rolandbrindley
16-03-2016
Difficulty Level: 3

User Rated:Unrated

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How to remove and replace a Ducato 10 gearbox

Ducato 10 TD gearbox remove and replace, 1993 model.

I did this job on my 1993 Ducato 10TD 1929cc diesel LHD motorhome. RHD models will share most procedures, but gearchange linkages LHD & RHD, column change & floor change, will differ. Earlier chassis may differ in other ways, such as right hand drive shaft &tc.

Tools required

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All nut and bolt sizes are given in inches, the EC contributes nothing but they copy everything the Anglo-Saxons do, hence their metric nuts and bolts fit our imperial tools. The best tools to work with are 3/8" square drive sockets with single hexagon flank drive, I own few metric tools and work mainly with AF and BSW sizes most of which are a good fit. A few nuts and bolts will be tight enough to justify 1/2" square drive sockets or long ring keys. No extractors are needed although a few specialised items will help, such as my short toothless ratchet, SnapOn taper heelbars and ratcheting open end 1/2" flat key.

The tools shown below are NOT necessary!

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You will need a few open end spanners, ring keys and socket sizes 1/4" 5/16" 7/16" 1/2" 5/8" 11/16" 3/4" 7/8" 15/16" AF. 1/2" AF is a bit tight on some 13mm nuts but with old worn tools I get by, torx plug socket T55, hex plug 3/8" AF welded into an old socket, taper heelbars, philips screwdriver, flat screwdriver, heavy lump hammer, long tyre lever, 2 axle stands, heavy trolley jack, light trolley jack, small ratchet block, 9" of light chain. Your jack and axle stands need to be in the 2-ton range to be safe. My heavy jack is a 50 year old Epco 4-ton and the 2 tall stands are 30cwt each.

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If a compressor is available blow the entire unit clean before you start, and dislodge accumulated muck as you work. It will help to keep the floor and your overalls clean as you lay underneath. My cheap 2hp Chinese compressor has done this duty for over 10 years now and is the best 60 euros I ever spent.

Getting ready

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Place the vehicle on a level smooth hard surface, with plenty of working room to the front and left hand side. Working outside will give much more light. Access to the right hand side is not needed. Slacken the left hand road wheel bolts. Chock the back wheels and pull the handbrake firmly on.

Disconnect the red battery positive terminal [5/16" AF nut] and move it to one side. Jack up the front underneath the forward track control arm anchor plates, high enough to place good axle stands under the official jacking points part way down the chassis legs. These points are far enough to the rear to give working room where you need it. You cannot easily do this job if you are surrounded by axle stands in the working area beneath and behind the power unit. The vehicle MUST be very firmly supported with no possibility of rocking off the stands when you are working underneath. A very large trolley jack under the middle chassis cross-member would be a good insurance policy.

It's an advantage if the hard floor under the power unit can be covered with some material that will keep you clean of grit and dirt, and to help the heavy gearbox to be freely slid around. I used some old smooth sheet rubber belt from concrete plant conveyors. This can be swept, mopped or wiped clean whenever contaminated with oil, grease or road muck. Sliding yourself underneath and back out again is much easier with this rubber.

Gearbox removal

Remove the left hand road wheel. I also removed the right hand road wheel, but only to give more light underneath as I was working with a wall close to the right of the vehicle. It is normally unnecessary, and having the right hand road wheel in place will give more security.

Standing on a plastic crate, which you will need for all underbonnet work, disconnect the spade connectors from the cylinder head temperature sender, the reverse light switch, and the dirty air filter warning sender.

Remove the 2 drain plugs [13/16" AF] one from under the gearbox and one from under the crown wheel casing, and allow both to drain completely into a container that will hold 2 litres or so, saving the copper washers with the drain plugs. If you only remove one plug the unit does not drain completely. Examine the oil for colour, contaminants and swarf which may tell you things about your gearbox problems.

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Remove the air hose from the front panel air intake to air cleaner unit, fixed with clamps that unwind with a short screwdriver. This hose can be left attached at the front panel. Remove the air filter to turbo air hose, fixed with worm-drive clamps with a screwdriver. There isn't much working room to unscrew the clamp securing the hose to the turbo intake pipe, I used an open end spanner [1/4" AF] turning one flat at a time. Remove the 3/4" diameter crankcase breather hose from the air cleaner unit outlet, squeezing the spring clamp open with pliers.

Remove the clamp bolt [1/2" AF] from the air cleaner securing band, and wangle the air cleaner unit away from the curved saddle it sits on. For lack of working room I had to separate the two halves of the air cleaner by releasing the 3 spring clips that hold it together.

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Remove the 3 setscrews [1/2" AF] securing the gearchange linkage pillar to the gearbox top, turn it round to give access to the selector shaft through bolt. Remove the nut [1/2"] AF and tap the bolt through to the back collecting all rollers spacers and washers as they fall off. The bolt will pass through a slot in the pillar from where you can collect it. Place all the parts back on the bolt and store for cleaning. Remove the nut at the bottom of the selector rod and remove the selector fork assembly for cleaning.

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The suspension lower ball joint is too large for most extractors to handle. Working at the side, remove the large nyloc nut [15/16" AF] below the joint. Using a short heavy lump hammer strike the lower suspension arm beside where the tapered pin of the joint passes through the hole. A few heavy blows should release the taper. Mine dropped out with one good clout. If stubborn it may be necessary to pry it while striking, using a long tyre lever, or even a fork-type ball joint separator between the joint faces, held by a second pair of hands. Most tapers will release without resort to special extractors, if you can hit them hard enough in just the right place. Few extractors will separate a taper joint without a hammer blow in any case.

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Working underneath remove the nut [15/16" AF] and the large washer and rubber buffer locating the track control arm to the chassis mount. Remove the setscrew [1/2" AF] locating the security plate over the track control arm bolt head on the lower suspension arm. Remove the nut [7/8" AF] beneath the bolt locating the track control arm to the lower suspension arm. This will permit the bolt to be tapped upwards and out of the lower suspension arm. This bolt is fitted into a reamed hole in the lower suspension arm with tight clearance, and removing it can be tricky as it may jam. The bolt head will pass upwards very near the CV joint boot which may be damaged if care is not taken. Slide the track control arm out from the chassis mount making sure the sequence of washers, steel tube and rubber bushes is not mixed up. The length is important for steering geometry and component sequence should be retained.

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Now you have free access to the pot joint and drive shaft. Using a long tyre lever with a curved end, pry behind the pot joint using one of the 4 oil seal housing bolt heads as a fulcrum. Avoid prying against the alloy casting. Turn the pot joint a little as necessary to get best purchase for the lever. Gently pry the pot joint outwards. Located internally by a circlip, it will spring free with moderate pressure. Pull the suspension strut and disk brake away from the car, allowing the drive shaft to be withdrawn completely from the crown wheel casing. Retain the steel circlip and rubber 'O' ring seal that you will find on the drive shaft end.

My pot joint slid out easily, but there can be trouble removing these joints probably due to corrosion inside around the circlip, which must be free to compress a little. Should the joint refuse to come out even with 2 long levers and another pair of hands, then you will have to pull the joint apart. Unhook and remove the aluminium tape securing the pot joint rubber boot to the joint casing, and peel the boot back away from the joint. The drive shaft can then be pulled out of the pot joint, but BEWARE, the inside of the joint is full of grease, and there are 3 needle roller bearings on a spider inside, which have loose outer races and which may drop off spilling bearing rollers everywhere. If you have to do it this way, place a wide clean tray underneath to catch loose rollers, but take care not to let the bearings fall apart. Wrap the shaft end and the 3 bearings up tightly in a plastic bag with a rubber band, to keep them together and clean.

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Working at the right hand end just beside the timing belt casing, using a socket [11/16" AF] on a long extension bar slacken the 4 right hand engine mounting bolts and the 1 mounting nut [3/4" AF] a few turns only. This helps to reduce stress on the bonded rubber engine mount when the engine unit is lowered down to the left during gearbox removal and replacement.

Working under the front chassis, unplug the starter motor wire from the solenoid unit. Remove the thin nut [1/2" AF] securing the red positive cable to the solenoid, found beneath a moulded rubber boot. Remove the bolt [1/2" AF] securing the black negative cable to the top of the starter motor gear case. Using a torx plug socket [T55] remove the 3 starter mounting torx socket bolts, taking the weight of the motor in your hand before removing the top one, and lift the starter motor down. It's heavy.

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Working underneath remove the nut and locknut [7/16" AF] from the clutch cable and loop the cable back out of the way. Remove the rubber cover from the speedometer cable and pull out the cable from the differential housing socket, and loop it back out of the way. Under the clutch housing remove the 3 setscrews [7/16" AF] and remove the sheet metal ring gear dirt shield.

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Working underneath behind the engine, slacken the 2 nuts and bolts [1/2" AF] securing the turbo intake pipe to the gearbox clutch housing. These are very badly placed, and a second pair of hands may be needed above to hold the bolt heads with a socket on a short extension. Replacing them will be even worse! Save the spring washers as they drop off with the nuts into your face.

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The gearbox is bolted through to the engine with 3 hex head bolts [3/4" AF] and 1 socket head bolt [3/8" AF]. Working underneath the rear of the engine, using a long ring spanner slacken the badly placed lower rear engine to clutch housing bolt [3/4" AF], then unscrew it right out flat by flat using an open end spanner [3/4" AF] or if lucky with your fingers. It will be stopped by the bolt head contacting the turbo intake pipe mounting bracket. Leave it where it is, removal is not necessary. Also slacken a turn or so the lower front engine to clutch housing bolt which has a hex socket head [3/8" AF] but do not remove it at this stage.

Working from above using a socket and short extension bar, slacken the topmost rear engine to clutch housing securing bolt [3/4" AF] a turn or so, do not remove it at this stage. It is concealed on some clutch housings inside a cast recess and is easily missed. Using the same socket and short extension bar slacken and remove the upper front engine to clutch housing securing bolt.

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Using a small trolley jack with a protective rubber pad in the crutch, gently take the weight of the engine under the oil pan at the flywheel end to avoid bulging the sheet metal upwards. Using a larger trolley jack take the weight of the gearbox under the clutch release lever and crown wheel casing area, avoid bending the clutch release lever.

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Working underneath remove the 2 bolts [11/16" AF] securing the crown wheel casing to the rear gearbox mounting. Slacken the large rubber mount bolt [7/8" AF] and swing the mount downwards and back out of the way.

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Attach a short loop of thin chain to one of the three gear selector unit mounting holes, using a long enough 8mm setscrew and a flat washer. Place a length of rebar across the gap between the spare wheel recess and the front panel, resting on wood pads to protect the paint. Hook a small chain block or ratchet block over the rebar beside the brake master cylinder, and hook the chain through the loop, taking up the slack, and lay the spare chain out of the way.

It will be possible to do this job without the chain block, but for somebody working alone it has the advantage that the gearbox unit can hang from above and swing freely without support beneath, which would not be possible with all its weight resting on a trolley jack. This enables you to work alone, eases parting it from the engine, and facilitates correct alignment and during refitting.

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Working underneath at the left hand, slacken the 4 right-hand gearbox mount long bolts and nuts [11/16" AF] but do not remove them yet. 2 of these bolts will not slide out due to proximity to the inner wing. Working from above, remove the 4 short gearbox rubber mount to gearbox mount bolts [11/16" AF]. Watch out for a surprise engine/gearbox unit movement as the weight comes onto the trolley jacks and the chain block.

Lower both jacks a bit so you can control height with the chain block. Lower down the entire unit until the 4 gearbox mount long bolts can be removed, and lift off the mount unit exposing the gearbox casing flange. Lower the unit down until there is clearance between the lower edge of the inner wing and the gearbox end flange. Now you have room to part the gearbox from the engine.

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Support the engine with the small jack under the rear of the oil pan. Remove the remaining upper back and lower front clutch housing to engine bolts. The gearbox is not now fixed to the engine except by the first motion shaft through the clutch plate, by 2 hollow dowels around the 2 lower attachment bolts, and by the right hand driveshaft in the crown wheel casing.

Pry apart the clutch housing from the engine, while maintaining the gap between them top and bottom and side to side, as equal as possible. If this gap is allowed to close up at one side or another, the first motion shaft or drive shaft will bind, and the gearbox will not slide out. Also the right hand drive shaft is still held inside the crown wheel housing by the circlip, and the clutch housing will need levering away from the engine block at the rear to release it.

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Energetic joggling of the gearbox while pulling to the left is usually the most effective way of parting it from the engine, once the two units have begun to slide apart. I managed entirely without an extra pair of hands to remove and refit my gearbox, taking my time and thinking each step out rather than applying brute force.

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Lowering the height of the gearbox and engine will be required while things are levered apart, so the gearbox end flange will pass beneath the inner wing. I used a right angle nail puller or utility bar which can be slipped into the widening gap to ease the components apart. In my case when the engine and clutch housing became separated by about 2" or so, they dropped apart and the gearbox hung on the chain block ready to be lowered down onto the trolley jack or the floor.

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The gearbox can now be slid out from underneath for whatever reason you needed to remove it.

Lift off the thin sheet metal plate that is sandwiched between the engine and the clutch housing. This locates on 2 hollow dowels where the lower front and lower rear engine bolts pass through. Make sure it is clean and flat enough for replacement. Tidy up any burrs around the holes with a flat face hammer.

Clean off the gearbox casing and starter motor of road filth and congealed oil. Organise all nuts and bolts and other bits and pieces, cleaning them off and storing them in the order required for replacement. Look at the thickness of the clutch friction plate to gauge wear, and fit a new one if less than three quarters the original thickness. Check the clutch release bearing for smooth free running, work some moly grease under the lip with your fingers. Check the starter motor bendix drive and if necessary clean it up and lightly graphite it before refitting. I coated my clutch cover and ring gear with some rust treatment to tidy it up.

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The gearchange linkage assembly warrants careful attention. The LHD version has a fork attached to the gear change rod and selector shaft with 2 nylon ball joints, 2 steel bushes, and a through bolt, clean and grease them all thoroughly. The 2 nylon ball joints should not require greasing, but I disregarded that and worked into them plenty of moly grease until they were quite free. The bolt through the selector shaft runs in 2 steel bushes with steel and nylon washers each end, clean and reassemble with moly grease. Inside the steering column binnacle are a push/pull cable and a lever bush, lubricate with moly grease or duck oil liberally sprayed down the cable. I intend to spray my underbonnet gearchange linkage with duck oil frequently from now on after I saw how dry and filthy it was.

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Gearbox replacement

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Place the gearbox onto the crutch of your heavy jack, somewhere between the crown wheel casing and the clutch lever arm. In any other place it will soon fall off the jack. Run the jack under the front of the chassis towards the engine flywheel area, lining it up roughly. Bolt the short lifting chain in place with the 8mm bolt and washer, and with the ratchet block hanging from the rebar, locate the lifting hook and take the weight on the chain.

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You will now have the gearbox hanging by the chain from the ratchet block, it will hang very much towards the left rear due the weight of the crown wheel and differential unit and the main gearbox. Move the jack towards the crown wheel casing to level things up a bit. Lift it a with the ratchet block and jack until the alignment of the engine and clutch housing faces coincide.

Working underneath, replace the sheet metal plate that fits between the engine and gearbox, locating it on the two large dowels around the lower bolt holes. This plate will need careful watching, or it will slip off the dowels.

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Grease the right hand driveshaft splines and oil seal surface, and make sure the rubber ring and steel circlip are in position. The circlip must be a snug fit or it will be pushed along the shaft and not enter the differential socket.

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Offer the gearbox up to the engine, bearing in mind that the height of the engine will have to be altered slightly as the gearbox slides home. Both jacks and the chain block will need height adjustment as work proceeds. The priority is to ensure that the driveshaft enters the differential socket properly, and the gearbox first motion shaft enters the clutch friction plate at the same time. This is a juggling act which you can only resolve from underneath, care plays a large part here.

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As with removal, a certain amount of energetic joggling of the gearbox may be required once the driveshaft and first motion shaft are partly engaged. Alignment will be much improved with 2 long taper heelbars pushed through the lower front and upper rear bolt holes, I bought mine many years ago from SnapOn and they have repaid their cost 20 times over since then.

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Once correct alignment is achieved there will still be about 1 inch or so that seems unwilling to go. This will be the clutch centre splines that may not match exactly. Lay on your back and with both feet push hard against the gearbox end casing repeatedly, if the gap between the clutch housing and engine is equal all round it will slide home. Make sure the sheet metal sandwich plate is correctly located on the dowels before going any further.

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Once fully home, locate the lower front engine to clutch housing bolt and run it in lightly a few turns. Working underneath with your fingers, run in the lower rear engine bolt a few turns. If both enter and turn freely, run them right in lightly. Locate the upper front and upper rear engine bolts in the same way. If these bolts will not enter freely it is because the engine and gearbox need to be aligned better. Try lowering the small jack or lifting the gearbox to improve alignment. Once you are satisfied with alignment these 4 bolts can be tightened up enough to allow you to continue with other matters.

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You can now remove the ratchet block to make more working room above the gearbox. Replace the rear gearbox mounting over the gearbox end casing and put in the 4 long bolts and washers, and run on the nuts. With the heavy jack lift up the gearbox until the rear mounting contacts the chassis mount plate. Run in 3 of the 4 short mounting bolts, the last is left off as a water hose clip is located there.

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Working underneath swivel down the crown wheel mounting and locate it over the crown wheel casing, and run in the 2 long bolts into the captive nuts.

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Remove both jacks out of the way, you have finished with them except for lowering the vehicle. You now have the engine and gearbox unit properly located. Tighten up all the mounting nuts and bolts fully, the 4 right hand engine bolts and 1 nut, the 4 left hand gearbox rubber mount bolts, the 4 left hand gearbox flange bolts and nuts, the 2 crown wheel housing bolts and the rear rubber mounting bolt, and the 4 engine to gearbox attachment bolts.

Working underneath attach the turbo intake air pipe to the clutch housing with the 2 nuts bolts and washers. This is more tricky than removal, the nuts and washers go towards the engine and the bolt heads towards the gearbox, but either way is a headache. I worked the nuts with my fingers onto the bolts with the bolt heads held by a loose socket after a long fiddle, and tightened up with a short 1/2" SnapOn ratcheting open-end spanner then a short flat combination spanner.

Insert the speedometer cable into the crown wheel casing socket and fit the rubber cap.

Grease the left hand drive shaft splines, and make sure the circlip and rubber ring are in place over the splines. Insert the shaft end into the differential socket and carefully push it in as far as it will easily go. You will find that an inch or more travel is required. Once again, lay on your back and with both feet push hard against the disk brake, the shaft will slide home until the circlip engages the groove and the pot joint is against the crown wheel casing.

Pull up the lower suspension arm over the ball joint taper and fit the nyloc nut a few turns.

Fit the track control arm into the chassis mount with the correct assembly of rubber buffers and spacing washers, run the nut on a few turns. Insert the bolt plus support plate locating the track control arm to the lower suspension arm, this will be tricky as the holes are reamed and a close fit. Lifting the lower suspension arm with a small jack will help alignment. Once assembled fit the locating setscrew. Tighten up all nuts and bolts except the track control arm chassis nut, leave this one until the vehicle weight is on the road wheels to avoid distorting the rubber buffers. The lower ball joint nut must be especially tight.

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Offer up the starter motor and hang it from the top bolt loosely inserted. Insert the other 2 bolts and juggle the motor into place. Before tightening them up gently lever the motor outwards, the holes are a sloppy fit and if the mesh of gear is too close the bendix drive will scream as it withdraws from mesh, then tighten up the 3 mounting bolts. Place the positive cable terminal on the solenoid and secure with the washer and thin nut, replacing the rubber boot. Bolt the negative cable terminal onto the starter gear casing and tighten up the bolt. Connect the starter trigger wire spade plug.

Assemble the gearchange linkage by sliding the cable socket and fork assembly over the gearbox selector rod until the through bolt can be slipped in, making sure all spacers and rollers are well greased and properly located in sequence. This can be tricky as the cable tower is in the way and while there is an access slot to the rear it fails to line up as intended. Another fiddly job that shames Fiat! Tighten up the selector rod nut and the through bolt and nut.

Refit the air filter unit after giving the element a thorough blow through with your air line, tighten up the hose clamps and have fun with the arkward one at the turbo intake hose joint.

Refit the spade connectors for the reverse light switch, the blocked air filter sender, and the cylinder head temperature sender.

Finishing off

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Make sure the 2 drain plugs are fitted with copper washers and are tight. Remove the gearbox breather [5/8" AF] to fill the gearbox with oil. The reversing light switch is not the place for this unless you like a mess, as the 5th/reverse gear selector shaft is right below and in the way of your oil feed pipe. Remove the dipstick from the crown wheel casing to allow displaced air out as the oil pours in. I made a pressure oil filler using a discarded air suspension unit from a 44ton trailer, into which I pour the chosen grade and quantity of oil, pressurise it to 30psi, insert the feed pipe into the breather hole, and open the tap, blowing in the oil in seconds. There is some discussion regarding oil grade and quantity for these gearboxes. I pumped in 2 litres of SAE140EP gear oil. The level is somewhat above the max mark on the dipstick, which does not worry me, but you don't want it to run out of the first motion shaft onto the clutch, so BEWARE!

It's worth reading the JKTowers article about the Talbot Express gearchange linkage, which uses a very similar gearbox. I agree with his comments regarding the quantity of oil needed, but disagree about the grade of oil he suggests. A gearbox in a loaded van or coachbuilt caravan in a warm climate, needs a heavy duty gear oil of EP type, not a lightweight oil. The viscosity of heavy oils seems to fall off after a few months use, easing the initially heavy gearchange. I also agree with his suggestion to keep the speed down in 5th gear and to change down early on hills.

As an aside, I disagree about the oil Fiat recommend [Selenia] for the 1929cc turbo diesel engine. In all my vehicle engines diesel or petrol, I use Cepsa or Ertoil SHPD SAE15W40 mineral oil formulated for hardworking turbo diesel truck engines up to 600hp, and I never have engine trouble put down to lubrication issues. Bought in 50lt. barrels it's cheap enough to change often. Synthetic oils have suffered from patchy formulation in the past and are also beyond my pocket, so I keep well clear of them. In a cold wet climate like UK condensation and acidic buildup ruins any engine oil within 5000 miles anyway, be it synthetic or mineral.

Reconnect the battery positive cable, refit the road wheel, remove the stands, lower the vehicle down, tighten up the track control arm nut and road wheel bolts, and carefully check that gear selection in all gears is smooth and enters fully. On the road, test for complete entry in each gear by alternately loading then overrunning the engine in each gear on a level road, to force incipient jumping out if it's going to occur. The cable and rod positions can be adjusted inside the steering column binnacle if necessary.

Roland Brindley
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