Shifting the gearbox

Return of a Legend

Shifting the gearbox

June 3, 2021
min read
Alec and Jan Forman
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“Pray hard,’ Alec said as he looked directly into my eyes, switched on the engine, put it into gear and released the handbrake. He manoeuvred the awkward machine backwards and forwards, shunting it around to face the way we came. Like turning on a saucer.
I nodded and gripped the edge of my seat.
‘Let’s go,’ Alec said.
He skillfully negotiated the sloping dirt track as quickly and carefully as he could. I held my breath and intensified my grip, which as we all know keeps everything from falling, like when you’re flying in a plane.
Alec safely and thankfully reached the point at which the track levelled out, and within a few minutes we were parked alongside the other Land-Rover.”

Excerpt From: Alec and Jan Forman. “Strangers Like Angels: With a Devil or Two to Boot.” 

This work was completed on Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Working hard on that particular day of our adventure, the gearbox of our Series returned the favour as we shifted our focus on removing it from the bellhousing. Stubborn nuts and bolts refused to budge from all awkward angles. 

Alec’s persistence and determination finally brought relief, as the fixtures loosened their grip. To make room within the cab, for the extraction process, the rear driver’s side wheel was removed for better access to the prop shaft. As the Land Rover has sat in the same spot in our back garden, we used three jacks to lift the back end. Again, awkward angles required some customisation to one of our spanners in order to get the right fit.

Finally, with all fixtures fully removed we were able to bring our crane into position above the heavy gearbox. With the assistance of our good friend, Jesse, the chains were strapped on and the reverse process could begin. As the crane sat on the soft ground, Alec placed wooden planks in the path of the crane’s wheels. Inch by inch the two men backed away from the driver’s door and lowered the heavy gearbox on to a wheelbarrow. 

The wheelbarrow was carefully guided to the carport, where Alec’s workbench was waiting to receive the gearbox. It’s amazing to think back to when we first acquired this particular workbench and the locations we have had it. Alec built a lot of our furniture on it when we lived in the UK and when we lived in Mali. While in Mali, it was used many times for water well projects in the Malian countryside, aka “the bush”. 

With the gearbox now resting on an oil tray, ready to be cleaned, Jesse and Alec posed for a photo op of a job well done.

Now removed, what a difference it has made leaving a gaping area as the dismantle stage comes into full swing.

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