LGL arrived home safely on Wednesday afternoon on the back of a TCS flatbed along with  Ticino registered T25 camper van. Engine had overheated and blown the head gasket on one of the cycling banks. Who’d have thought a rear mounted air cooled engine could overheat? The driver was on his way to drop it off at a classic VW camper van specialist in the next town from me, so it will get some proper TLC before heading home.

Enough of German cars… lets get on with this one.

The steps are as follows…

  1. Remove the seats, cubby box, seat tray
  2. Remove floor panels and gearbox tunnel.
  3. Remove gear lever
  4. Drain oil from the main gearbox
  5. Disconnect clutch slave cylinder
  6. Disconnect fore and aft prop-shafts
  7. Disconnect handbrake
  8. Disconnect speedo cable
  9. Remove cross member
  10. ….

… at this point the gearbox is ready to be supported and the bolts removed from the bell-housing… a bit a wriggle and it pulls free and can be lowered to the floor.

Yeah well.. best laid plans etc…

When I bought the chassis, I opted for the removable gearbox cross member. In such an event as having to remove the gearbox, I wouldn’t have to remove the seat box and extract the gearbox though the door. I could just simply remove the cross member, pull the gearbox back and gently lower it to the ground. ROFL….

LGL arriving home. Andreas the driver was a very nice guy.


Seats need to come out


Seats and cubby removed


Floor panels and gearbox tunnel removed, exposing the gearbox


Next the gear lever is unbolted exposing the selector shafts


The clutch slave cylinder needs to be unbolted from the bell housing


Easily done…

Next, I drained the oil from the main gearbox… (I didn’t take any photos of this)

I’d half expected to find this in the oil. It’s a broken synchromesh spring. There are 3 set equally on the inside radius of the synchromesh. If one fails then the other two pull the unit out of alignment causing it to jam.

As there’s going to be a lot of being under the vehicle, it’s definitely an overalls day. Every time I touch something underneath, a clod of mud lands on the floor and I didn’t need to be rolling about in it.

£10 from the army surplus shop in Swindon. Bargain.


First I need to declutter this side of the garage and set up the engine crane (the blue thing)


Decluttered and set up. Hmm. Need to remove the steering wheel. I think this is called scope creep!


Steering wheel remove and gearbox strapped up with a 1000kg strap.


… and from the other side


Next I have to remove the gearbox mounts from the removable cross member.


With the crane taking the weight, the cross member is then unbolted and withdrawn.


… and with a bit of wriggling about, the gearbox pulls away from the flywheel housing


But… the handbrake relay fouls on one of the gearbox mounts.


Fortunately, the handbrake relay is easily disconnected and removed. Now the gearbox can move back sufficiently to clear the 2nd cross member.

But… I’d put the strap too far forwards so there was more weight at the back than at the front. With the seat box still in place, this didn’t help as I couldn’t move the strap back far enough to balance things up.

A trolly jack under the rear and a lot of shoving about and I managed to reposition the strap enough to lower things safely taking great care not to damage the brake line on the back of the cross member.

Gearbox on the deck. (Note the brake line on the cross member just above the edge of the bell housing.)

Next the crane was dismantled and reassembled behind the vehicle so I could lift the gearbox onto the workbench.

That’s a much better point of balance but won’t work for the refit as it’s right in the middle of the seat box. I think I will have to use two straps to lift the thing back in.


On the bench and read for a clean and strip down.

Fortunately the synchromesh is just behind the bell housing so I don’t need to dismantle everything. I also need to inspect the clutch release mechanism (the devise with the shaft coming out of it) as this is leaking oil a bit.

Back end of the engine and the clutch

The underside of the vehicle is filthy and covered in dried mud from the tank course. It’ll need a good steam clean when I’m done to get it back to its normal level of cleanliness … but thats for a other day.

I’m definitely going to need help getting the box back in. Today, I had gravity on my side… a bit too much gravity if I’m honest!