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#1 Mark

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 03:47 PM

Hi all

 

Trial fitted the new fibreglass tunnel cover today but as suspected it won't fit now the engine has been moved back to the bulk head so will need a fair bit of fetling. I Initially thought it was catching on the heater flap above the gearbox. Not helped by now having to use glasses for anything closer than a foot away, i loosened the nuts holding the unit in place and getting to the last turn it slipped out of my finger. I am at an awkward angle under the dash and heard the metallic clink as the nut hit the top of the bell housing. Removed the unit fished around under the car for the nut, not there. Chassis rails, multiple exhaust pipes, floor, under the body tub, gearbox mounts, nowhere to be seen.

 

Then the horrible realisation dawned that it had probably dropped through the hole in the bell housing where the slave cylinder sits. This is just below where the nut was removed from the stud for the heater.

 

If I dropped it 100 times it would never have fallen into the hole because of the clutch arm and castings are in the way, but looks like sods law has come into play.

 

I can't see into the bell housing but my thoughts are the nut maybe caught between the starter ring and bell housing, or if small enough slipped past into the void at the bottom of the bell housing.

 

Removed the starter but can just see the flywheel and starter ring.

 

The last thing I want to do is remove the gearbox, so first thought is to have a poke around with a magnet on a bendy wire I have had for years, and then possibly buy one of these endoscope things to see if I can locate it.

 

Talk about one step forward and three back.

 

Mark 


Edited by Mark, 08 June 2017 - 03:48 PM.


#2 oldtuckunder

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 06:10 PM

Ah interesting been there done that! Wish I'd posted about it when I pulled the engine this winter.

 

Whilst playing with the new manifold and carbs at the end of last season, whilst re attaching the throttle cable to the carbs I dropped the small 1/2" pin that goes through the yoke on the throttle cable, heard the ping ping as it dropped and spent 10 mins looking around on the ground for it, but gave up and fitted another. When I pulled the engine after about 100 miles testing I wondered where the hundreds of tiny shiny pock marks around the inside of the bell housing came from, when ping the pin looking remarkably good dropped on the floor! 

 

At rebuild time darn if I didn't do exactly the same thing, but fortunately this time the pin lodged between the clutch arm and the bell housing so I could carefully snag with a magnet on a long shaft before it dropped in!

 

Realising that I had just been very lucky and that this is an accident waiting to happen and fortunately hadn't fitted the tunnel yet, I cut a piece of inner tube and stuck it as a flap to the outside of the bell housing so that anything falling from above engine side should now get deflected down the bell housing to the floor rather than drop through the hole.

 

Whilst there was no sign of damage or marking to anything else If it had stayed in there a few thousand miles rather than a hundred or so I think the alloy bell housing would have suffered a bit!

 

So if you can try and retrieve it!

 

I did ponder what I would do if it had fallen in and I couldn't fish it out, and thought that rotating the engine a few times on the starter would hopefully drop it to the bottom of the bell housing, so if I drilled the drain hole in the housing bigger, and got a heafty magnet it might pick up on the pin inside the bell housing and I could drag it to the larger hole and retrieve. Alternatively drilling a hole through the bottom of the engine/bell housing mounting plate would enable future retrieval and could be sealed with a rubber bung to keep water out.

 

Alan



#3 Mark

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 08:31 AM

My nephew has leant me a endoscope that fits to an iPhone not seen it but my sister will bring it over along with her phone as my iPhone is ancient. Apparently it has an LED lights on the end. Hopefully I will see something. Otherwise I will poke around with a magnet. If I can't find or see anything then I think the gearbox will have to come out. I will do sometimg similar to Allan and put a cover over the hole in the bell housing.

Mark

#4 Nick Jones

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 09:18 AM

Yep, BTDT. That bloody hole seems to have suction......  I actually saw it (1/4" UNF nut from the heater box) go in so I knew for sure it was there.  Magnet (from Geomag toy!) SECURELY attached to a length of wire worked for me, and quite quickly - I was lucky and much relieved - I'd just put the box back on!

 

Much harder to do with the current bell-housing which has the clutch slot in a completely different place.

 

Good luck!

 

Nick



#5 Mark

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 12:12 PM

Success!

 

I was beginning to resolve myself to removing the gearbox, still not sure if the nut had actually dropped into it. I bought an arial type extending magnet as part of a set with mirror, screwdrivers etc. from Maplins similar to Halfords offering. I also bought a small but powerful magnet. I realised the none bendy arial type magnet probably wouldn't be much use but tried it out on a spoon which it dropped immediately. Thinking the magnet was weak, I then realised the magnet had fallen out of its holder. If I had used it I would have had an even bigger problem trying to retrieve that.

 

I can't remember the last time I had a wire coat hanger so used epoxy glue to fix the magnet onto the other end of the ancient magnet pick-up tool I had that was to bulky. The magnet wouldn't go more than an inch into the bell housing without grabbing the flywheel input shaft etc. I used  two layers of rubber heat shrink and insulating tape to dull the sides of the magnet. Poked around inside the bell housing for a couple of minutes with no joy, still wondering if it ha had actually gone in there but knowing I would have to take the box out to be sure, and then 'clang' i felt something grab onto the magnet not sure if it had stuck to the flywheel I pulled it out slowly.  The magnet was sticking to the flywheel but as it got to the opening I could see the shiney nut trapped between the magnet and the flywheel. Fortunately for a changeI had a pair of long nose plier things within reach, so holding my breath, with the other hand poked it into the bell housing and grabbed the nut, started breathing again when it was a foot away from the gearbox.

 

what a relief  :sweat:   

 

Next job is to put a rubber flap over the hole, then get back to what I had originally started, reshaping the fibreglass  tunnel cover to fit. 

 

Mark

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#6 Nick Jones

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 01:44 PM

Result!

 

Nick






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