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Thread: Original gearbox bearings

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    Original gearbox bearings

    I have took apart my transmission which was supposedly rebuilt by a professional in the early 80's. The car has sat with only about 100 miles on it since the. It had a issue that the PO said was a broke second gear. What I see is a damaged syncro ring (2nd) and I cannot find the springs and detent balls for the 1/2 syncro hub. Maybe they fell out when I previously drained it or during disassembly but I never saw any sign of them. It was loose in there before I took it apart. My question is if it was freshly rebuilt maybe I only need to replace a couple of parts so I was wondering if the bearings were original or not - to see if they were replaced during rebuild. They seem fine and are "Steyr" (made in Austria) brand. I have seen a brand RHP or something was original at least some of the time. Was Steyr an original supplier and are they a quality bearing. Opinions?

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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: Original gearbox bearings

    I really doubt those are original. Quality is probably fine, but I would inspect them carefully.
    If a rebuilder was sloppy enough to leave out essential parts, then the rest of his work is suspect too, IMO. Plus, the process of damaging the 2nd gear synchro may have shed particles into the oil, which could do invisible damage to a bearing race or ball.

    The term "professional" just means they got paid for their work. I have seen some extremely poor work done by "professionals", often bordering on flat-out criminal. Just to illustrate my point, this bearing was in a "rebuilt" differential

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    Re: Original gearbox bearings

    Quote Originally Posted by bammons View Post
    I have took apart my transmission which was supposedly rebuilt by a professional in the early 80's. The car has sat with only about 100 miles on it since the. It had a issue that the PO said was a broke second gear. What I see is a damaged syncro ring (2nd) and I cannot find the springs and detent balls for the 1/2 syncro hub. Maybe they fell out when I previously drained it or during disassembly but I never saw any sign of them. It was loose in there before I took it apart. My question is if it was freshly rebuilt maybe I only need to replace a couple of parts so I was wondering if the bearings were original or not - to see if they were replaced during rebuild. They seem fine and are "Steyr" (made in Austria) brand. I have seen a brand RHP or something was original at least some of the time. Was Steyr an original supplier and are they a quality bearing. Opinions?
    You just happen to be located in the same town as Rivergate Restorations and Will is a wealth of information regarding LBCs! Good luck on your rebuild.
    Rut
    Rut, '60 Bugeye, '70 MGB, '62 TR4, '66 TR4a IRS, '67 TR4a IRS, '68 TR4a IRS, '72 TR6

    When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life. John Lennon


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    Re: Original gearbox bearings

    The PO's father restored British cars and had someone who rebuilt transmissions for his rebuilds, having said that I am aware that a rebuild might have been only replacing synchro's or just the item causing the problem. I may hate myself but I think I will assume the bearings are new and replace only a few items that should be replaced. But if Steyr was an original supplier then I would go thru it as if it had never been worked on. I am doing this work myself so that I can learn something and to avoid having a "professional" do a job with parts like in your picture. I may be in over my head but it will at least be "my bad" if something goes wrong.

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    Re: Original gearbox bearings

    Rut - Like many I am retired now and as they say "I am living on a fixed income" so to speak and to avoid paying significantly more to have some else rebuild it I decided to try to learn something and do it myself. Isn't that more fun? I am aware of Rivergate but have not had any dealings with them.

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    Re: Original gearbox bearings

    Yes, I think it's a lot more fun!

    People make a big deal of transmissions, but they really aren't that hard to rebuild.
    See http://www.nonlintec.com/tr4a/transmission/#resources for some helpful resources.

    I also doubt that your bearings are original. I think mine were original, or at least very old: Timkens marked "Made in England."
    Steve Maas
    1966 Triumph TR4A, undergoing restoration: http://www.nonlintec.com/tr4a
    1952 MG TD, restoration completed 2014, sold 2016: http://www.nonlintec.com/mgtd
    1960 Austin-Healey "Bugeye" Sprite, sold 2010: http://www.nonlintec.com/sprite
    1967 Porsche 912: http://www.nonlintec.com/porsche

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    Re: Original gearbox bearings

    I don’t see why it matters if the bearings were original or not. Inspect them and replace as the inspection dictates. Original bearings could still be fine. Bearings with only 100 miles could be garbage if they corroded and pitted over the last 39 years. One exception is the needle bearings in the counter-shaft. Replace those as a matter of course.

    Also, if the synchro ring is broken in only 100 miles, either the tranny was not rebuilt properly or you are not getting the real story on the mileage. I have rebuilt a lot of tranny’s, and never seen a broken synchro. That is not common and is reason to give the box a very critical look-over. The top-hat bushing is likely broken to allow the synchro to break.
    John

    1955 TR2

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    Re: Original gearbox bearings

    Quote Originally Posted by bammons View Post
    Rut - Like many I am retired now and as they say "I am living on a fixed income" so to speak and to avoid paying significantly more to have some else rebuild it I decided to try to learn something and do it myself. Isn't that more fun? I am aware of Rivergate but have not had any dealings with them.
    Good morning...Im in the same boat and I was not suggesting to have Will rebuild your gearbox, just letting you know you have a very good resource near you.
    Rut
    Rut, '60 Bugeye, '70 MGB, '62 TR4, '66 TR4a IRS, '67 TR4a IRS, '68 TR4a IRS, '72 TR6

    When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life. John Lennon


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    Re: Original gearbox bearings

    I wiped out/cleaned the cases yesterday a despite it looking like very little in the bottom I did find a lot of brass particles when I started wiping it out. CJD - My thinking was why replace a couple of hundred dollars of bearings if they are brand spanking new? The 2nd gear syncro was not broken just the lobes were wore/mashed down whereas the others are brand new looking. Remember I said the springs/balls in the syncro hub were missing. So good for me that I decided to wipe down the inside first before I started washing the case I guess prudent action would require me to replace everything due to brass particles.

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    Re: Original gearbox bearings

    I am generally ready to tackle anything, but transmissions are a little tricky. I would not discourage anyone from trying, but after doing engines, suspensions, carbs, (I think the only thing I haven't tried on an LBC is to rebuild a differential) the transmission is the only one I tried a couple times without success and probably wouldn't try again. I read the manual, VTR and Buckeye Triumphs sites numerous times before and during, bought a rebuild kit from John Esposito and had his advice, double and triple checked floats and gaps, talked to a retired BL mechanic on the second rebuild, he said "transmissions can be tricky, too." Still didn't like second gear first time around, and wouldn't go in at all the second time.

    Motors are a piece of cake comparitevely. There is for the most part only one way everything goes back together. The TR transmission has lots of little washers and spacers that it is easy to get out of order or turned around the wrong way, it can still fit together and bench shift if you do it wrong, but may not work once you get it on the car.

    I pull them out and take them to a shop, save a out half the labor. Not trying to be discouraging, but go in with your eyes open. Driving some of tbe bearings can be a little tricky too. There is also a clip people complain about, but,just showing different people, different experiences, I didn't find it to be hard at all to take on or off.

    Sounds like you are taking your time and trying to do it once, do it right.

    Good Luck

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    Re: Original gearbox bearings

    Triumph trannys, like most British cars with the same style tranny, ie: Jag, are not really that hard once you give it a try. Follow a manual closely, measure tolerances and make sure bearings feel smooth a noiseless. I pulled a GT6 tranny after I crashed third gear, pulled out and reassembled using a second tranny in less than 8 hrs and was driving next morning. Friend crashed his second and third gear in a MK7 Jag by backing out of barn with handbrake on. He pulled engine and tranny and I dismantled tranny, checked and ordered parts in an hr. Remember these cars were made for the average gentleman to work on and be done quickly for racing. Automatics are a different story but doable.
    Larry K
    58 Jag 3.4 MK 1 auto under restoration, 57 Jag 3.4 MK1 manual ,
    03 Cooper S, 2011 Cooper S Countryman, 2011 Land Rover LR4 HSE LUX, 1964 Valiant V200
    Also had , 68 Cortina 1600E, 64 Spit 4 & 80 1500, 73 GT6 3, 71 XJ6, 79 XJ6, 86 XJS V-12, 53 XK120 OTS.

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    Re: Original gearbox bearings

    Might want to contact Steve Yott at Silver Lake Triumph Centre in SE Wisconsin. He has developed a technique to machine the tranny case. I have stayed away from transmission repair so I do not know exactly what he does. He rebuilt my OD transmission, and engine a few years ago, works well.
    ex spec5 Mark

    63 TR4 Surrey
    50's Cooper Alfa Sports/Racer

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    Re: Original gearbox bearings

    Quote Originally Posted by bammons View Post
    CJD - My thinking was why replace a couple of hundred dollars of bearings if they are brand spanking new?

    I understand what you are saying, however, age has nothing to do with a rebuild. Especially when "brand new" is actually a rebuild from the 1980's. I have retained bearings with tens of thousands of miles, and trashed bearings new out of the box. You inspect them and treat them appropriately for their condition, no matter the age. In TR boxes, which often sit for many, many years between uses, corrosion is the number one killer of parts. If you picture where the oil filler plug is on the box, and then note the position of your bearings, you will find that the bearings are dry when the box is not turning...with the exception of the counter shaft needles, which are a weak design point on the original boxes. Anyway, how many steel parts can you leave dry for 30 years and expect no corrosion? They may be perfect and you can save a few bucks...but they also may not!?!

    Here is a thread you may find interesting:

    https://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/...earbox-Rebuild
    John

    1955 TR2

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    Re: Original gearbox bearings

    CJD - I want to thank you for the link to your thread. Tomorrow I will begin examining all the internals and as I now understand it I can mock up some assembly to check clearances. Your thread will be very valuable to me. Right now I believe everything to be in good shape with the exceptions listed above but having your tutorial will help. Reading the shop manual for me is hard to understand (Haynes manual is much easier). Your tutorial made me understand the relationship between the clutch and gears and how one problem can cause other consequences further down the line that the average person can understand. So have you had the opportunity to see how shaving the top hat bearing worked our?

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    Re: Original gearbox bearings

    The tranny with the adjusted top hat ran great until I sold the car locally to Pat. Maybe he'll check in sometime and let us know if it's still purring away?!? If you have any questions during the rebuild, post pics and we'll help out. The manual is essential for the correct order of disassembly/reassembly...and will save you having to back up for forgotten parts, which I have had to do many times! It doesn't give many details about inspecting, though.
    John

    1955 TR2

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