I also fitted the supplied new Trail Gear block off plate for the crawl box to replace the old factory pressed steel one. I suppose it will never be seen once installed, but i'll know it's there
I fitted a front output flange to the rear of the transfer case so I can fit the double cardan knuckle joint from my spare front propshaft at the rear as I will be deleting the center bearing.
I also stripped, cleaned and regreased my low range gear lever which will be re-used on the crawler box. The grease (if it was grease ) was more like sandy cake mixture. 19 years of accumulated crap...
With the transfer box complete, I'll start on the mods to the cab floor next to make the hole for the twin sticks.
Here is the crawl box gear stick lever that I cleaned up yesterday to fit the modified shift rod. Just enough clearance for heat expansion
Tonight was floor pan cutting time. I took the measurements and found the twin sticks shift center point to be 235mm from the rear of the G52 gearbox.
Marked that out on the floorpan then took the metal support ring that comes with the twin gearstick boot to mark out the hole to be cut.
Drilled some holes for the access points for my jigsaw blade.
The support ring for the shift boot has an ID of 100mm, so that is the maximum you can cut the floor width wise. Hope that is enough clearance for movement of the transmission during use off road. We'll have to see
I cut through the floor with the jigsaw, then filed the edges off and painted the exposed metal.
With that done, I drilled the four holes to be used to mount the rubber boot to the floor pan and used four fine thread self tapping screws to cut threads in the floor steel. I also applied foam rubber weatherstripping to the edge to seal against the rubber boot when installed.
So last night I decided to install the dual transfer case setup back onto the transmission. All filled with enthusiasm I picked up the transfer cases and carried the setup to the Hilux (bloody heavy, must weight ~35kg now at least).
I put it down on the floor and then lay down beside it and tried to man handle it into position under the Hilux. After about 10 minutes of awkward positions and swearing I managed to get it up onto two blocks of wood. $&it this thing is heavy when you are lying on your side.
At this point I realised there was no way in hell I could lift this dual transfer case setup into position, line it up and slide it together on my own.
There was no-one to help me, and I figured out that even if there was, two people would battle in that space. Time for another plan
After 20 minutes or so lying on the floor under the Hilux working through various mental scenarios I came up with this solution
I drilled a hole through my spare top shift block off plate, fitted an 8mm threaded rod through the hole, then drilled another hole in a piece of 8mm steel plate. I then bolted the top shift block off plate to the rear transfer case in position and placed the other 8mm steel plate over the hole I cut for the twin sticks. I then placed a a nut on the threaded rod, and hey presto, threaded rod vertical jack is born !!
This contraption worked really well and allowed me to lift the transfer case with ease on my own and into position (just a hell of a lot of nut turning though )
I replaced the oil seal on the transmission output end, greased the 21 spline transfer case splines and bolted the transfer case to the transmission. Took a while to get the top 2 bolts in as you have virtually no room to move the socket wrench.
I then removed the block off plate and threaded rod lifting assembly and bolted the twin stick shifters in place.
So that was that at 11PM last night. I woke up this morning feeling a bit buggered from all the contortionism under the Hilux last night
Tomorrow I will contninue to connect all the plugs and the cross brace.
I then filled the transfer cases with 80W90 GL5 gear oil, it took about 2 liters.
Since both propshafts were off I decided to do a test run. I started the engine and then put the Hilux in gear to run the boxes. Ran then both individually, and then combined. They ran really smoothly, with no strange noises, so that was a good sign
I re-checked the oil level after a while and topped up about 200ml of oil.
With the underside work done, I turned to the cab. Since all the seats and vinyl mats were out, I decided to replace the vinyl with carpets. I had some offcuts I had from the last carpeting of the house.
First I installed a layer of 10mm SVA 45 foam rubber from Sondor which I bought yesterday. This should help reduce the noise in the cab and heat transfer through the floor. I covered the whole floor area and the firewall interior.
Next was cutting up the carpet to fit the interior. It was "just" wide enough to make it side to side. This took a while to get all the cutting and fitting done in the front.
With the front carpet more or less in, I installed the gear lever boots and knobs, and re-installed my compressor and difflocks air pressure guages.
Then it was time for the front seats. This job is a real PITA ! Since these seats are out of a Renault I have to bolt them to the top of the rail mount in front which means having to slide a nut in under the seat like a contortionist with 2m arms needed .
And here is the final result of the interior - worked out great !
Now I have to finish carpeting the rear of the double cab, but that will have to wait since we have no power all day tomorrow due to planned substation maintenance - Cannot even call it a blackout anymore, now it's a "previously lit area"
Next week, Propshafts !
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