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Karrier WDS

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Gearbox re-fitting

The method adopted for re-fitting the gearbox was as follows:


First the cross members were loosely bolted to the feet of the gearbox. (Cable ties identified their original locations - Front, Near-side and Rear Near-side)

Next the mounting brackets were bolted to the chassis.


The gearbox was wheeled under the chassis on a high-lift pallet truck and lifted into position.

IMG_3141.thumb.JPG.25e5554f0fa725fe79c593c77b4ef54d.JPGWith a bit of wiggling, all the supporting bolts were driven home.

With the gearbox in its final resting place (or so I thought) attention turned to the transmission brake. With shoes and linkage reassembled as it was taken apart, the pivot pin of the forked brake adjusting rod was fouling the rear cross member. Drawing the brake shoes forward on their pivot pins overcame this problem but created another: now the brake shoes did not sit correctly in relation to the brake drum. Something was wrong.


Consulting the photographs, I had put everything back exactly as I took it apart. Despite that, it seemed that the cross members might be the wrong way round. My brackets were positioned [ ] The parts book showed ] [ Next a rummage through the 1977 recovery photographs. The back cross member was clearly visible in a rear 3/4 view, confirming the orientation should have been ] [


Cradle still in-situ after removal of gearbox


From the parts list - not orientation of cross members in top right view


The only 1977 photograph that shows a cross member clearly

I was not prepared to drop the gearbox out of the chassis, so decided to change the brackets one at a time with the gearbox in-situ. The rear mounting bolts securing the gearbox to the cross member were withdrawn. With the weight of the gearbox supported by a chain block and strap the rear cross member was removed, turned and replaced. The process was repeated at the front, then all four mounting bolts were refitted. One consequence of this work is that the gearbox is now around 1½" further towards the rear of the chassis compared to when I took it apart.

This makes sense of a few things: 1) It was not possible to get full travel of the gear lever in its quadrant or to fully engage all gears 2) removal of the front driveshaft was extremely difficult with scarcely any free movement 3) the rear driveshaft had a lot of movement in it, as if the front bearing had collapsed, but, after withdrawing the shaft, the self aligning ball bearing was intact. It appears that the shaft was so far forward that the bearing was not engaged in its housing.

Hopefully there will be no further surprises when I come to reconnect the drive shafts. But that is a long way off...


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The clutch required to come apart, as it was seized. Disassembly was in the following order: drive coupling, clutch stop cross bar (with leather braking ring), pedals and pedal shaft. It is clear that a previous owner did not possess a 1 3/4" Whitworth spanner;  the use of a hammer and cold chisel had caused significant damage to the retaining bolt.



Next the sequence was spacer collar, retaining nut, stop, operating bridle c/w bearing giving access to the large serrated spring adjusting collar. A spanner to fit this was laser cut from 6 mm steel. The parts book makes no mention of a locking grub-screw for the spring adjuster; once this had been discovered (the hard way!) things came apart readily.


Spring adjuster coming out. When I started dismantling, the engine was stuck with the grub screw at 6 o-clock. 

Adjuster free. Cautious removal with intermediate fasteners in position. Didn't want a loud Zebedee-like "Boing!" and the spring disappearing into the darkest recesses of the workshop.

The large aluminium cover fits into a register in the flywheel rim. This was tight. Going round with a hammer and hardwood block caused a crack to open up between the cover and the flywheel. Thereafter a lot of patience and WD40 and the cover was persuaded to come off.

The clutch cone and centre were slid off the crankcase revealing a brand new lining material which a little red warning label advised might contain Asbestos. This lining was about 8 mm thick and bonded to the cone. It was clear that the lining was too thick as the clutch cone protruded about 1/2" from the flywheel face. Indeed this took up much of the clearance in the aluminium cover such that there was scarcely any movement available to disengage the clutch.

The clutch cone was sent to Bristol Friction Services who were able to remove the existing lining and replace it with a modern non-asbestos material. They then put the cone up in a lathe and ground the lining back to the original dimensions.


Clutch cone with new friction lining 


Fully engaged in the flywheel just a little but proud, but plenty of room for de-clutching.

I had considered a leather lining. The parts list suggests leather was used, however the pattern of rivet holes in the cone, which is a little over 17" diameter, shows there was only a single joint. This would have been a large piece of leather, suggesting a man-made material was originally fitted. By way of comparison, the clutch lining in my Albion-engined Barford and Perkins D4 roller is in three pieces.


Leather-lined Albion clutch cone for comparison.

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