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How serious is this ?

Paul H

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Vitesse Mk2 with Overdrive 

Just refitting the plastic gearbox cover and decided to fit 2" bolts to the bulk head which will in turn line up with holes in the plastic gearbox cover , then wing nuts and the seal is made - Ive glued in 1" foam to the bulk head section of the gearbox cover . 

Working from the engine ( the heater is out ) I was fitting one of the retaining nuts and it dropped - and although Ive found one nut which could be the culprit there is a chance it went into the hole where the clutch release / slave cylinder is.

Pretty sure the nut was stainless so no use with a magnet - Ironically Ive done this before when changing the slave cylinder as one of the nuts fell in . Luckily retrieved with magnet stick .

If the nut ( m5 size ) has dropped in what are my options ?

UPDATE found the culprit stainless nut - so learnt my lesson, the clutch slave area is now covered up with a cloth now.

Would still like to know what the outcome would have been if lost in the clutch cover 



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Check the other nut is definitely non magnetic.

If it's non-magnetic then something VERY sticky on the end of the magnetic stick.

Plus, car endoscope, £8.00 (might get one myself!)


What damage can the nut do? 

It will probably rattle and become infuriating. My daughter dropped a 6p down the door frame of a Ford I had. Rattle became unbearable, had to get rid of the car!

Was it you having trouble with the rubber gasket not deep enough? I've had to double gasket on my plastic cover.




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Hi Doug - thanks for endoscope link - will buy  one and see how good they are .

RE Gearbox cover the chassis rail / floor section seals are  ok . The issue is the bulk head section - loads of gaps for hot air to get into the cabin. Taking Pete's advice I covered the front section with 1" foam . This will allow for the 3 x  2" bolts ( 1 at the top and 1 either side ) to be secured to the bulk head then through the foam and plastic gear box cover , Penny washer and wingnuts will then tighten everything up removing any gaps 


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in depertate times a hole saw through the bottom of the clutch housing can aid retrieval ...the plan is never use stainless. !!!

hi flux magnet on a old speedo cable gets most things...magnetic. 

glad you found it .

hope youre pleased with the giant foam idea  !!!

cheap and works well 



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There is a possibility of the nut laying between the bell-housing and the ring-gear. The nut then being picked up by the ring-gear and then flung in to the clutch cover. But, this is very much a worst case scenario. You may be able to use the starter motor aperture to remove the nut. However, have a good look around first. Look on the chassis rails for the nut as that's where most end up.

I agree it is important to insulate the cabin off from the engine bay as its not just hot that can get through. There is the possibility of both engine and exhaust fumes also being present in the hot air.


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Been there paid for that.

Peugeot 405 Turbo Diesel.

I was working on the gearbox end of the engine and dropped a socket.

After much looking and swearing I assumed it had rolled off under something else in the garage

A few days later driving up country about 2 1/2 hours from home the front of the car makes a horrid noise jumps a bit then more horrid noise so I pull over.

Big hole in the diff and oil everywhere.

Call AA and get towed further from home.

Get the car home a few days later and strip the gearbox down. Sitting in the diff was the socket.

It had dropped into the bell housing and sat there happily for a few days till it decided to meet the ring gear which chucked it though the side of the bell housing into the diff and it then forced the spider gear shaft out the side of the diff which I assume caused the noise I heard and the oil to leak out

Here in NZ back in 2000 those gearboxes were not that common so I had an ace engineer weld it all back up and I reassembled it flushing the gearbox and diff several times.



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I had a heater nut drop into the bell housing on the Vitesse last year whilst fitting a modified tunnel cover. Didn't see it go in the hole but just heard a metallic clink. First thought was it had bounced off the chassis or gearbox and onto the floor. After lots of searching, the nut couldn't be found. Then the horrible thought that there was a slim chance it could have dropped through the hole where the clutch lever arm pokes out. Having recently fitted a new gearbox the last thing I wanted was to take it out again still not certain if the nut had dropped in there. Borrowed an endoscope and mobile phone but the field of view was to narrow, like looking through a key hole and it couldn't be directed, it just wanted to follow the contour of the bell housing.  As a last ditch effort after poking around with a standard magnet on a stick, which was to bulky, I bought one of the extra strong magnets. It was so strong I had to insulate the sides as it just kept grabbing onto the flywheel. Just when I was thinking of giving up I heard a clang and slowly withdrew the magnet. It had found the nut which was now sandwiched  between the magnet and face of the flywheel. I was just able to grab the nut with long nose pliers and pulled it out on the end of the magnet. After posting this on SIDEWAYS forum, it seems this happens more that you would imaging. I have now fitted a rubber flap over the hole.



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On 3/31/2018 at 1:53 PM, Anglefire said:

Or there is this one from Amazon which is at least in the country! https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Endoscope-Inspection-Waterproof-Smartphone-Laptop-3-5m/dp/B01KX0XUXA/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1522500726&sr=8-6&keywords=car+endoscope

No idea how good it is - I have one which I bought a few years ago and its a bit Meah. 

They're generally fairly poor quality; I have one, a 10mm on a 5m cable and it's rubbish. I needed to check cable access behind a ceiling recently and when the camera was pushed through existing cable holes, you could make nothing out at all other than blurry shadows. I actually bought it to check the insides of antique musical instruments through the soundhole - looking for woodworm! - and unless you massively boost the light, the leds are too poor to allow you to see much.

Having said that if it's only to look for a fairly large nut in a recess somewhere, it may do the job. I wish I'd 'borrowed' one of the big professional-standard ones I used to have at work... :)

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