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Triumph Vitesse gearbox rebuild time?


Martin mon

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Hi everyone hope you are all well.

I have read all the relevant posts and with your sound knowledge would appreciate if possible a bit of guidance on a vitesse O/D gearbox rebuild.

So my vitesse is very original and been well loved by the previous 2 owners however it's gone round the clock and with suspicious noises I think it's looking time for a gearbox rebuild.....

Good points:

* It's been well maintained in its life

* OD is factory original and operates perfectly fine ( but leaking oil)

* all gears are selected smoothly and feel right never jumps gears and never whine

Bad points

* It hates holding onto the oil so new oil seals needed

* ticking/rumble bearing sound in every gear even with oil topped up ūü§£

* high mileage done 120k - I credit to the well maintained attitude previously!

* has the gear selector wiggle which I appreciate does not help but I don't think that will sort out the ticking rumble but will be sorted on rebuild.

* it has a sound that goes when depressing the clutch which I though was the clutch bearing however on another thread it was advised this can be thrust bearings in the crankshaft (that may be another question later with end float lol)

I have been quoted four figures for a full stripdown and rebuild of the gearbox and OD box but I really want to give this a go myself cleaning, checking and conserving as much of the original parts as I can.

I know this is a billion dollar question but what can I expect?? (Apart from a little cry at some point ūüėÜ)

Is there a difference in the quality rebuild kits??? They are available through a few supplies??

Mechanically minded and up for a challenge I really want to give this a go and any guidance and advise with folk who have walked this path would be greatly appreciated ūüĎć

Thanks everyone 

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Four figures is steep…

The biggest thing to get acquainted with will be measuring all the components and recognising what wear looks like. The components in question are things like thrust washers and gear bushings which won’t come in a rebuild kit. Having a hydraulic press will make your life easier but is not absolutely essential. There’s people on here who have had new synchro rings that’re not round. The County brand one I had from Paddocks in the last year or two was fine though and still running happily.

I found the linked video series helpful for giving me a view of what to expect. The guy does make a mistake or two though (such as reusing the circlip on the front of the mainshaft) so don’t take it as gospel. 

 

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Hi Josef

Massive thank you for the heads up, help and providing the link really appreciate it.

Looks like a job I could do over the winterūüĎć

Will upload some pictures for everyone's future reference to hopefully help others ūüĎć

Thanks again

Martin 

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I don't think the rebuild kits matter much, I recommend you buy all the parts individually so you don't end up wasting money on say a full set of synchro rings you don't need, or poor quality bearings.

Things you'll almost certainly want to replace:

  • Mainshaft bearings - Available again, KSM are making them now in reasonable quality,¬†RMS8NR.
  • Mainshaft tip bearing (aka spigot bearing).
  • Gaskets.
  • Oil seals.
  • Synchro hub springs and ball bearings - Available from Canley classics etc.
  • Needle rollers¬†in laygear.
  • Layshaft.
  • Circlip under third gear - Must always be replaced it's very critical.

Your main issues will be if there are issues with the laygear cluster, they wear through the hardening on the inner bearing surface where the needle rollers run. It's not trivial to find a good used laygear. Similarly, mainshaft tips wear out in the same manner, although reproduction mainshafts are available, just expensive.

Regarding rebuilders, if you decided to pay to get it done, ask what you're getting. If someone is just going to throw a repair kit and some paint at it but ignore wear, it won't last long. Rebuilders who have large stocks of parts are few and far between - basically only two I know of, Mike Papworth and Tony Lindsey-Dean. They might be able/willing to help with parts if you get stuck, but prices won't be that low. Other than that you could buy a used gearbox (or two) and hope it has some useful parts in it, but it's a lottery.

Edited by JumpingFrog
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that circlip on the mainshaft 3rd gear   buy more than one   you cannot reuse if they get spread and removal tends to destroy/distort them 

never ever reuse the little sods  

to understand synchro and how it works heres a good explanation the dog teeth and sleeve chamfered theeth are vitally important they are clean and sharp chamfers 

too much tooth clashing chimbles the tooth form and wrecks synchromesh  "rock over"   

syncho and howi1.jpg

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2 hours ago, JumpingFrog said:

Other than that you could buy a used gearbox (or two) and hope it has some useful parts in it, but it's a lottery.

Yes, and if you do buy used boxes don‚Äôt over pay, especially for an ‚Äėoverdrive‚Äô one. Everything but the mainshaft is the same. Also be aware that some gearbox casings are interchangeable, so something that purports to be a Vitesse box has a chance of no longer being one!

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Hi, congratulations on that mileage - think it must be a record! Unfortunately the downside is that I will be very surprised if either the mainshaft tip or laygear bearing surfaces will serviceable. As previously said renovating these is difficult and you will need professional services to do it....

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And Pete Lewis has given me a new word 

Chimbles

I quite like the Urban dictionary meaning for it
 

Chimbles

  • ¬†
  • ¬†
The small crumbs of ham or cooked meat left after cutting a joint into slices.
Customer: 'Can I have a couple of slices of ham please?'
Butcher: 'Sorry, I have none left but the chimbles'
by TheFamilyButcher November 6, 2010
20
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34 minutes ago, ahebron said:

I quite like the Urban dictionary meaning for it

and when it comes to gearboxes  its due to too much gnashing of teeth  Ha 

when you get a baulk ring let go halfway through a change the crashing noise you experience is the small dog teeth 

trying to chimble away the chamfered tooth form as they clatter over the gear dogs and the sliding sleeve

both need to be /\  not () ie a well defined chamfer around 55deg 

Pete 

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1 hour ago, johny said:

Hi, congratulations on that mileage - think it must be a record! Unfortunately the downside is that I will be very surprised if either the mainshaft tip or laygear bearing surfaces will serviceable. As previously said renovating these is difficult and you will need professional services to do it...

Yea it's a belter to have done 120k (the first owner was a doctor who gave instructions to the next owner how to respectfully change gear) plus it cannot have been a Friday aft/Monday morning assembly in the factory back in 68 ha ha ha.

Feel obligated now to do the strip down and record the findings on here now so we can all see what we find and wow or och at the results ūüĎć

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You have a very special car, given such a history. Most likely the gearbox requires new seals and bearings, though as already mentioned, the main shaft tip and laygear bearing surfaces need careful inspection.

Take care to get good quality bearings, there was some suspect quality over the last few years. Also, care is needed with synchro rings. There have been poor quality replacements. Check the originals carefully, refitting the originals may be better than replacing with newer substandard parts.

The overdrive may only need a new rear oil seal, from what you have said. If you decide on a professional rebuild, I can recommend Overdrive Spares, just off the M6 in Rugby. No connection, merely a satisfied customer.

Nigel

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The difficulty with rebuilding a gearbox yourself, is parts and getting the best fit more than the work. A specialist will have a collection of synchro rings and will try many to get a good fit with your existing parts a kit will just give you 4 random repros, they also have a collection of used parts and old stock that they can source from, which may well be better than new repro stuff. I had mine done by Mike Papworth but it did cost north of 1000 for box and OD but it does work well!

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Im just doing an OD gearbox I found for my Vitesse and its looking good. Laygear and input are good but the mainshaft tip has to be resleeved. I used the excellent instructions in the free to download triumph workshop manual and found the gear end floats a lot too big. However by using parts (thrust washers in different sizes are no longer available) from the 3 other non OD boxes I have collected these are now much better. Ive also picked out the best gears, synchro sleeves and rings but of course this might end in tears due to possible differences and wear patternsūüė≥

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6 hours ago, DanMi said:

A specialist will have a collection of synchro rings and will try many to get a good fit

I remember watching an expert rebuilding my gearbox and doing just that. Trying the synchro rings, feeling them and swapping them round until he had the best fit/bite. It reminded me of "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" where Eli Wallach goes into the gun shop and sorts through the different guns, stripping down to the component parts and selecting the best and making up his ideal gun.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) - Gun shop Scene

Now, if only I could remember how to embed a video in this forum. Anyone care to remind me?

Cheers, Richard

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32 minutes ago, rlubikey said:

I remember watching an expert rebuilding my gearbox and doing just that. Trying the synchro rings, feeling them and swapping them round until he had the best fit/bite. It reminded me of "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" where Eli Wallach goes into the gun shop and sorts through the different guns, stripping down to the component parts and selecting the best and making up his ideal gun.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) - Gun shop Scene

Now, if only I could remember how to embed a video in this forum. Anyone care to remind me?

Cheers, Richard

 

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3 hours ago, Pete Lewis said:

i have a bag full of gearbox thrust washers  a real sort and sift but there must be some that someone needs 

if you need any i need diameters and thickness 

Pete

 

Brilliant thanks Pete I will get in touch when I open Pandora's box ūüėā

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along with a good few gears  baulkrings bushes   etc all going spare 

you dont need anu special tools  just  drift mallet, circlip piers ,chisel  1/2af socket etc. a good vice

if you read about refitting a D type it will tell you to poke around down in the dark to align the hub splines

you just need two good screwdriver/pry bars  you lever the two release plates and this  frees the clutch ring and it all aligns and drops on keep fingers out the way .

many forget   fit the pump cam woodruff  keyway , thats embarising 

some decent string/rope to lift the cluster back in place .

dont forget to fill/ level with EP90 GL4 oil

Pete

 

Edited by Pete Lewis
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I heard Mike Papworth’s method for refitting the gear clusters and pressing in the bearings to the case is to zip tie the whole lot together till everything is close enough together there’s no chance of it falling apart again. Will be trying that one next time.

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i have tried a few ways but now(not as often now) )  on 4 sync boxes mount a dummy input shaft in a vice and drop the case and gears over it so gravity stops the jump of gears and the dreaded  2nd speed   collets continually jump out when you dont want them too 

with it all vertical it all hangs together while you  tap the rear bearing down the shaft and into the case 

you dont have a problem if its a 3 sync much simpler 

Pete

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