Ownership Verified: I'll have some off - 1990 Land Rover Discovery Bobtail

Matt2000

An Unfortunate Discovery
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Nice rig. What tyres are those? They look very aggressive just like the Irok's. My truck currently has fuel off road tires and I have no complaints with them so far.

Sorry, I only just saw your reply. They're Insa Turbo Special Track tyres, they're re-mould copies of the now very old Simex Extreme Trekker and are made in Spain. Another company called Fedima makes an arguably better tyre in their Sirocco but they're more expensive. I've never really had a chance to test them much but I've never had traction issues. Hopefully will get to use them properly in a couple of weeks.

Got a cable from eBay to connect up the second battery and that whole system now works, I just need to cover the terminals again. I also took the centre console apart the other weekend and cut it up with an angle grinder to make it easier to remove, more on that when it's complete.
 

Matt2000

An Unfortunate Discovery
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Right, let's get to it. I had planned to go on an off road play day since the new year, unfortunately I was ill last month so couldn't go but it gave me time to get stuff done. Reconnecting the second battery was one that I got sorted, re-splicing the rear winch rope was another and finally I wanted to sort out the dash. It was a mess with broken old plastic and was mostly taken up with the heater controls that did nothing. So I took those out and this is what it looked like:

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The first goal is to make the centre console easy to remove. It started as the original once-part console that requires the cubby box to be emptied and removed, then the electric window/mirror panel to be removed, then the handbrake needed to be disconnected before the huge thing could be lifted free. I've previously needed access to the gearbox linkages from above and it's a ballache. So I sliced the console with my angle grinder in front of the cubby box. That still mounted solidly with four screws and the main console had three.

There was still a problem, the section at the front that would've originally housed the radio but now housed a switch panel for me hooks under the dash and it was still difficult to remove. So I chopped that off too and planned to make a whole new panel that would cover the entire centre of the dash, tidying it up while still keeping the bank of switches, relay panel and boost gauge in the same place and providing a new home for the switches on the panel. Maybe some high current isolators down the line for the winches too as I'd much rather have them inside than under the bonnet.

I drew the thing up in Illustrator.

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Electric window switches would also be moved forward to reduce the number of cables running down the centre console (it would be zero if I didn't have the CB radio as this old truck doesn't even have a handbrake switch. Cutouts for the relay panel and switches would be traced from the old panels along with the top mounting holes, the centre panel in the drawing is removable and is held on with screws and rivnuts so it can be taken off easily for adding new switches. Voltmeters go above this along with a switch to change between constant operation, ignition operation or off.

I started taking things apart and for reference I took pictures of the switches...
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...before taking the old panel off. These will be directly replicated in the new panel.
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The lower panel was removed and photos of the wiring carefully taken. I have some nice block connectors for these switches but adding new crimp spade terminals seemed like too much of an effort for now...
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Then the multi-tool vibrating saw thing came out and sliced up the dash. I wasn't sure about cutting up the original dash but it was already nasty and had holes cut in it.
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New panel cut out of a spare sheet of aluminium, first holes and folding point marked. In hindsight this aluminium was too thick, it's either 4 or 5mm and was a pain to work with. It's very solid, though.
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Some time later and it's complete. The previous owner used push and pull circuit breakers as switches and while they worked well they were tiny and hard to use, so I replaced them with the two Carling circuit breakers in the centre panel. Much better. I underestimated how much of the panel the edging strip would cover so it touches the window switches, not a big deal.
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With that done it was time to go playing, I'll write about that tomorrow. Remember how I made that centre console easily removable? Well I would be thanking myself for doing it.
 
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Matt2000

An Unfortunate Discovery
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2020 Tesla Model 3, 1990 Discovery 1 Bobtail
I forgot to post yesterday as I was turning the house upside-down looking for the radio unlocking keys for the Smart but here we go. For the first time since November 2017 I went to an off road play day on Sunday, at the closest off road site to me. Incidentally it was the first off road site I ever went to and where I took this picture of my Series III:

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I cleared out the truck on Saturday and got everything neat and tied down. I don't know if I've shown it before but that's a full size 285/75R16 tyre and wheel on the left. It was the best of the old set and I hope I never have to use it because it's ridiculously heavy, I can't imagine trying to haul a flat one covered with mud into the back...

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I had a great day scaring a mate from work and testing the truck out, it was the first time I'd actually been let loose on a site in the wet with these tyres on despite fitting them years ago. I failed to climb one hill due to a big hole but nothing else stopped Bob. Here are some pictures I took as the day progressed:

Stopped for lunch after driving around for about an hour and a half. This is the 'car park' area for 4x4s so it's like the Somme.
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Lunch - the extreme burger. Two patties with cheese, a sausage, bacon, two black pudding (my mate doesn't like it) and an egg. Heart attack in a bun - lovely.
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Stopped towards the end of the day to watch an amazing sight - a 206 with tractor wheels - getting pushed after they had re-attached one of the wheels and then drowned it.


Busted one of the indicators, nothing considering the abuse I gave it and better than the bloke who nearly rolled.
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Back at the car park to drop off my mate so he can go back to his car in the 'clean' car park. Looking good with a coat of mud.
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Most people had gone by this point, it rained all day and the site was a mudbath. Brilliant!
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After leaving the site I snapped another shot for some reason.
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I had my GoPro with me and while it had a disappointing battery life I got some good footage. I intend to fit a waterproof USB connector to the roof. I also forgot to put a card in my dashcam...




The people running the site also got some videos of my truck, including my mate holding on for dear life as I fail to climb the hill. Again these are roughly in order, probably maybe. I've uploaded these as unlisted because they're not technically mine.

Effortless up this hill with undulations. Seeing how slowly I could go is great fun in this truck. Before I turned my camera on.

Matches with 00:48 on part 2 of my videos.

Matches with 10:10 on part 2.

Matches with 11:03 on part 2.

Still some more on the aftermath to come. I've used spare annual leave from today until the end of the week so was out there working on it today, the indicator is now replaced with a spare I had.
 
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Matt2000

An Unfortunate Discovery
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So, the aftermath of a day playing in the mud. There's always something. The last time I took Bob out on the green lanes I noticed that the high and low range selection wasn't quite right, it took a few goes for it to stay in high range. This time it really didn't want to play and kept jumping out. At anything above about 25mph it wouldn't pop back in either and would just grind. Clearly there was either something seriously wrong with the transfer box or the selector.

I got quite a way back home before I'd had enough and stopped. I removed the centre console, giving myself a pat on the back for making this so easy to remove to access the selectors. Once the cover was off I could see that the lever just couldn't move any further to lock it into high range, not sure how this happened but it did. Maybe some slack has built up in the linkage. The forward and backward motion of the lever translates into rotation that couples to link arms via a splined shaft, once the locking screw is removed this can be slid off. You can see the splined shaft on this old picture, it's from Keely but as that gearbox is now in Bob it's the same part.

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I just had to remove the linkage and push the lever forward as far as it would go before refitting, for the time being that will do. I may have to grind away some of the housing to give the lever more travel and compensate for wear, not sure yet as I haven't looked at it. It got me home and that's fine for now. This was the chaos inside the cab when I had finished this maintenance:

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Now that was done and I was confident that the transfer box wasn't going to implode on me I went back to give the thing a quick was in a nearby ford.

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I didn't put anything back together so the tunnel was open, it was like a sauna as the water hit the hot gearbox! Headed home for a quick change of clothes before heading to the local jet wash to clean the chassis and the engine bay, all of the local jet washes are code-based now instead of coin operated and I thought they might get suspicious if I went into the posh shop covered in mud. I left the mud on the bodywork because that's a trophy, the looks you get from people when you drive out of the wash bay with a car that's still filthy is great.

Back home and with some daylight left I washed out the footwells, which had been painted a new shade of clay brown. You can kind of see it in the photo above, these old door seals did nothing to keep muddy water from flooding in.

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I used my wet vac to pick up all of the water, which worked perfectly and would've been spot-on if the filter hadn't fallen off at some point and got soaked. No damage done to the motor, fortunately.

As mentioned, the indicator was changed yesterday. This was my first time taking the front end apart and I was very grateful of pictures from the previous owner who built it. here are a few:

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It didn't fight too much, one of the socket cap screws needs replacing as it got chewed at first but that's fine. The indicators have a notch in them to clear the side bar, I was a little worried about this but my new cheapy belt sander did the job easily. It was all back together in an hour.

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I also checked the winch, I had tried to use it on Sunday but it only wanted to reel in rather than out. The free spool was also sticking. Of course, everything now worked with the hand remote but the little switch that is mounted by the offside headlight is partly dead and needs replacing.

Finally, I wanted to sort out my bonnet catches. I'm not sure if Aerocatch had thought about their products being submerged in gritty water when they designed them, but they were both jamming better than Bob Marley. This is due to the design that has a metal part sliding in a plastic channel, this channel gets all scratched up and binds. Some waterproof grease later and both and moving freely again, this stuff is the Mobilgrease that I've had for years and use for wheel bearings, it's waterproof so shouldn't allow any muck in.

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I also added a couple of holes either side of the pin to let water drain out, the whole thing was full of muck when I was finished at the off road site.

That's about it. Oh yes, I found out that I don't have any inner rear brake pads any more! I wondered what the scraping noise was. I believe I have a set of spare pads and discs, will get that sorted at some point...
 
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Matt2000

An Unfortunate Discovery
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My knob's gone all loose and floppy.


It's getting worse I think, need to take the cover off and see what's going on. Plus I don't remember the last time I topped off the oil, this is the transfer box from Keely so I know it has been done.

Took it for a drive today anyway, surprisingly easy to go from the Tesla to this after not driving it for three months.

Rear pads were replaced last weekend but the pistons didn't look healthy, will see if they're leaking tomorrow and I'll be ordering a repair kit anyway. Discs were scored by the previous pads being down to the metal, don't know if they're bad enough to fail an MOT but one of the axle oil seals is leaking anyway and I have a spare pair so I can do the oil seal, the discs, the calipers, check the wheel bearings and sort out the chewed thread on the diff fill plug all at once...
 

Matt2000

An Unfortunate Discovery
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I found out why my knob was so wobbly.


So let's see...

The transmission knob's connected to the... pivot shaft.
The pivot shaft's connected to the... linkage thing
the linkage shaft's connected to the... second shaft
the second shaft's connected to the... hammer thing. Barely!

It should be connected and then it technically doesn't connect to the selector rod but it shoves it around. Bit strange really. Getting the thing off was a pain in the arm, I'm covered in scratches from reaching through the hole in the trans tunnel to get to the bolts, you can see where they were in the last video.

Looks nice once the parts were cleaned up though. The grub screw was less than finger tight, another drive and I think it would've fallen off and through the transfer box. The quick couple air fitting is the breather.
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Easy to fix with thread lock, it took longer to unblock the end of the noozel on the bottle of thread lock than it did to reassemble this thing.
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Thankfully I've avoided having to drain the oil or spend a fortune fixing it. I'm probably going to change the oil anyway before refitting, I can fill from the top which will be way easier than filling from the normal fill plug.

tenor.gif
 
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Matt2000

An Unfortunate Discovery
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2020 Tesla Model 3, 1990 Discovery 1 Bobtail
I've gone on a full ordering spree to get the things I need to service the truck and overhaul the rear axle, I now have or will soon have:

  • New oil and diesel filters.
  • New power steering and alternator V-belts (the only belts apart from the cam).
  • New pistons and seals for the rear calipers (they aren't leaking but they will be done when the rear axle is apart).
  • New inner and outer oil seals for the axle.
  • New rear discs (again probably fine but they'll be done once the axle is apart as the existing ones are scored and the new ones are taking up space I need...
  • New drive flange gaskets.
  • A tube of Hylomar RTV for all the joints, my old tube of RTV set years ago.
I'm hoping the rear bearings are fine, no reason why they shouldn't be. If they aren't I'll get some genuine Timken ones. The KAM lock Bob has came with a removable rear cover, something I'm very thankful for as Land Rovers really lack it. It'll be nice to get in there and clean out the axle without having to remove the diff first.

Anyway since I had the transfer box open the first job is the change the oil in that, so I had a surge of motivation to get that done after it had cooled down in the evening.

First I drained the oil and was pleased to see that it had a decent amount in there, plus you could still just about see through it as it drained. EP 80w90 isn't very transparent at the best of times so that's good. Very little on the end of the magnet too, not like the chunks people have shown in the videos I've been watching.

The drain pan was useful for catching mud as well as oil as I cleaned up the cover plate before removing it.

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No chunks on the inside of this either, pretty good.

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Terrible attempts to take photos of the gears inside but they're in great condition. Didn't expect any damage after finding the cause of my problem elsewhere.

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If you're interested, the top gears are the output to the front axle (left) and centre diff (right) with high/low ratio selector dog (unsynchronised, currently in neutral), intermediate gears in the middle input on the bottom.
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Matt2000

An Unfortunate Discovery
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2020 Tesla Model 3, 1990 Discovery 1 Bobtail
My RTV arrived and the sump was sealed up, then it was time to fill 'er up. Make sure you drip plenty of EP90 oil over the interior to prevent it squeaking and to give that proper Land Rover smell. I love the colour of this stuff but it bloody stinks.

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The old hose through the top of the transfer box trick, worked great for a quick flush and then 2 litres to fill until it dribbles out of the fill plug hole.
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Top selector housing thing back on, I should've fitted the pin and clip that attach the linkage first as there isn't really enough space after it's refitted. I didn't feel like taking it apart though so stuck with it and got there after much swearing.
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With the linkage moved back to the right place I now have high and low range, all working correctly. The ignition switch is really fucked now though so I'll replace it with the other one I have, hopefully that's better.
 
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Matt2000

An Unfortunate Discovery
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2020 Tesla Model 3, 1990 Discovery 1 Bobtail
While not much has been happening with the Tesla it's been the opposite for the bobtail. Time to get a few more service jobs out of the way before tackling the brakes. First I changed the external winch control switch for a nice shiny one.

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Then the belts were changed as they were a little past their best...

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Oil was changed, this was the first time I've dropped the oil on this 200tdi so I didn't know that it comes out very fast and it quickly overwhelmed the drain hole on my drain/pan tank. It felt like an episode of Roadkill. Nice to get the oil and filter changed though

I couldn't put it off any longer now, it was time to sort the leaky rear brakes and scored discs. Maybe this will teach me to check my pads more often as maybe this could've been avoided... most likely not. I used my farm jack to get it up on stands, sketchy but worked. It looks funny without rear wheels...

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New pistons were here with a seal kit so it was time to strip everything down. I fell at the first hurdle as the old brake fittings seemed to me made from cheese and just rounded off, I had to cut the pipes and then jam a socket on them to free them and this added 'make new brake pipes' to the list.

Pistons were popped out using compressed air and the calipers were cleaned. Old pistons were rusty and had damaged the seals.

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I had bought some red grease with the seals so greased those up and fitted them, easy. Then it was time for the pistons and the dust seals and retainers... not so easy. The Britpart dust seal retainers just didn't want to go in, I got two in but thr other two just didn't want to play and were damaged. Fine, I'll just get some more.

The replacement dust seals were made by Bearmach and were considerably better, they were a more squared profile and just fitted perfectly, this time I had also 3D printed some tools to help me get them in square. The solid PLA had just the right mixture of strength and give to not damage the new dust seal retainers. Apparently I didn't take any pictures of the fitted pistons and seals but this is one of the 3D printed tools.

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Wheel bearings seemed fine so discs were changed, new rear hub seals fitted and then those were re-fitted to the car. Calipers were next but there was only one snag. When I had split the calipers one had the correct square o-ring and the other had a 'normal' round o-ring, which I went and lost anyway. A few days later I had a pair of new o-rings at £5 each from a parts supplier and could put them together again. This is the last time I saw the two o-rings I took off together, someone had obviously replaced one with the round-profile ring in the past and I wasn't happy with it anyway.

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I made some new pipes from copper line, my first time forming and flaring brake pipe and everything went fine. They even bled up fine, although annoyingly someone fitted different sized bleed nipples to either side so I had to switch between a 10mm and 11mm spanner...

With that done I had to re-do the seal on the transfer box as it was leaking, apparently the small amount of RTV I used wasn't enough. I got to use my janky pressure filler this time as I didn't have access from above any more, it's works fine but is very slow and has to constantly be pumped up, I may see about fitting a fill valve so I can use air from my compressor or a cordless inflator.

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Finally the old Halfrauds battery was shagged and wouldn't start the thing any more, fortunately eBay had a 20% off sale last week so I picked up an Optima red top starter battery and a modest 5A CTEK AGM charger to go with it. The new battery isn't as tall as the old one so I ran out of thread trying to clamp it down, nothing a bit of dead tree carcass can't fix.

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It now starts on the button and the rear lock solenoid joins in first time when locking, something that never happened with the old battery.

It's ready for the MOT now, which is booked for Wednesday this week. Just before the new lockdown starts. I don't have reverse lights at the moment for some reason (I bet I knocked a connector off when I was working in the tunnel) but that won't be a fail, I did have to squirt a load of contact cleaner in the horn to get to work though because it was full of crap and that would fail...
 

Matt2000

An Unfortunate Discovery
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Passed the MOT with no advisories. Not bad considering I was dousing the handbrake mechanism with WD40 outside the test centre because it was sticking...

Celebrated by immediately taking the beast for a splash through a local ford, I've really missed being able to do that while it has been out of action.
 

Matt2000

An Unfortunate Discovery
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It's Christmas break so time to have a look at those reverse lights. I suspected that I had done something dumb and unplugged the switch, it's the later style switch that goes to an adapter I made and then to the old style spade connectors. Shorting the connections confirms that nope, I didn't do a dumb, the lighting circuit is fine and the switch itself is bad.

Slight snag is that this style of reverse switch was never intended for this early Discovery and it's impossible to get to without drilling a hole in the trans tunnel where it curves, no way I would be able to get a grommet to fit. So I've come up with an alternative:

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Those are the switch wires for the reverse switch, I'm either going to just stick a toggle switch there or mock something up with 3D printed parts to use this old style push switch.

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I still have a spare from the SIII days, I wanted to fit one and reverse lights but didn't have an angled electric drill to get in there so it never got done.
 

Matt2000

An Unfortunate Discovery
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Made a slightly shaky update video a while back and only just got around to editing it so it doesn't mention the reverse switch but mentions pretty much everything else. Also snuck in a few clips someone else recorded and shared online from the play day in March.

 

Matt2000

An Unfortunate Discovery
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I've drove this quite a few times in April and collected a couple of issues to fix, squealing belts and a handbrake that needed more of a yank than I'd like.

Tightening the belts was easy enough, not sure if they had slackened over time or if I didn't tension them properly the first time. The cable for the handbrake has a threaded section goes through a plate and is held by a nut on either side, it was simple to loosen both off and wind it along to eliminate slack. I tested this later and it's much better, still quite a bit of slack so the pads are OK. They're special pads so I need to see if I can still buy them.

The other project was to fit a gearbox upgrade kit that's essentially a short shift kit. It's been available for years and has always been on my 'to buy' list, I noticed this week that they're out of stock in a lot of places so I grabbed one from the one supplier that had them, before the prices rocket or they become unavailable. Fitting was simple.

1. Remove the centre console. Feeling like a genius again for splitting the console for easy removal.


B. Observe the old retaining plate, bias springs and rubber thing you can't see. Remove them.


III. Pull the gear stick out - mine was stuck in really well and I had to use a long bar to pop it out.


4. Spacer fitted along with the new retaining cup thing, all smeared with grease


E. Fancy anodised cap placed on top to look sexy, it has a recess machined in it for the rubber thing that you can't see.


VII. All bolted down with the new bias springs and adjuster. The adjuster is set up so 3rd and 4th and in a straight line.


7. Put it all back together. You know what this looks like.

I'm not actually sure if I like the way this feels yet, it's definitely a shorter shift but it feels a bit more notchy than I would like. Maybe it, or I, will get smoother over time. I have all the old parts so it's totally reversible.
 
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