Recommended mechanics and transmission specialist in London?

Mr_Red

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Sep 26, 2017
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Hi folks,

I am by no means an experienced mechanic and I recently bought a fairly low mileage HDJ80. I would like to find a good mechanic, who is experienced with these sorts of vehicles. I need them to be able to do a thorough inspection of the vehicle and tell me what alterations, or repairs need to be made to bring it to a state where it is capable of doing long distance overlanding trips reliably.

I'm also having some problems with the transmission and would like to get that looked at as well. Can anyone recommend any transmission specialists in London, who would be capable of repairing or rebuilding an 80 series manual gearbox?

Cheers!
 

Chris

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What's the issue with the transmission? There are some problems on older 80 boxes that you really just have to live with given the design of the box. Put some pics on and we can help with an appraisal unless you fancy a drive up to the East Midlands.

Low mileage sounds a good start though. Welcome along. There are some good stickies on the 80 section about inspecting these old warhorses.
 

frank rabbets

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As Chris says most likely the standard poor gear change on the early boxes. Unfixable because of poor synchromesh design. Some rebuilders have attempted to fix these boxes and put them back together wrong and still unfixed.
 

AndycruiserguyLomas

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Welcome along Mr Red, There are 3 variations of the manual box so it would help if we had a few more details.
We can help you along the way as there is a wealth of experience and expertise on here,
 
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Chris

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A simple change of oil type can actually alleviate quite a few gear box problems. But we're getting ahead until we know what the faults are.
 

Mr_Red

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What's the issue with the transmission? There are some problems on older 80 boxes that you really just have to live with given the design of the box. Put some pics on and we can help with an appraisal unless you fancy a drive up to the East Midlands.

Low mileage sounds a good start though. Welcome along. There are some good stickies on the 80 section about inspecting these old warhorses.
Hi Chris,

Sorry for the slightly vague description. It's a 24 valve 1995 model HDJ80 VX, I'm not sure what the gearbox model is exactly, but I understand that everything is stock and unchanged.

The problem with the transmission is difficulty getting into 1st and 3rd gears. Also I hear a thud/slam sound after changing gear unless I lift the clutch slowly and carefully. I knew all the faults when I bought the car but I still hope it was a good price (£5,300 for a 174,000 miler) despite the potentially expensive repair bills.

I am also really keen to learn from the experienced folks around here such as yourself and would be more than happy to make the trip up to the Midlands if you'd have the patience to look at the car and talk in lamens terms to someone who really needs to get up to speed on mechanics.
 

Chris

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Well, we're always going to be guessing without seeing it in the flesh, but the clunk could be anything from a prop joint to rear trailing arm bushes. We'd have to eliminate these things one by one. That should really be one of the better gearboxes though. Most mechanical stuff can be fixed. They're bolted together quite simply.

There are some simple things you (you, we, us etc) can do such as bleed the clutch slave cylinder. That can make a big difference. A look at the gearbox oil might reveal some clues. I had issues with 2nd gear and now I run mine on half gear oil and half ATF fluid. That improved the change no end.

You're always welcome up here so we can have a look around it for you. I know we have other members down in London and it seems that they all say there's a shortage of people who offer work on Cruisers. The problem is that there's a right way to do things and then there's guessing. We've seen enough guesswork on these to know what to expect.
 

AndycruiserguyLomas

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I knew it would be a 95 24V.. First thing I'd do is check the condition of the trailing arm bushes and that all the bolts are tight and then I'd drain the gearbox of whatever is in it and re fill with ATF. The ATF still lubricates the same but gives the synchro rings an easier time.
Failing that fit a later type box out of a late 96 onwards Amazon model and all will be perfect.
 

frank rabbets

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That is the unfixable problem you have. I rebuilt one with all new synchro cones etc etc and it was just the same. The cones are like a clutch and rely on friction for a smooth gear change. By definition the standard oil is either too thick or the cones are the wrong design. Thinner oil would allow more friction and create a smoother change. You may get a little chip of metal come out when you drain the oil. One of the dogs was machined slightly off and breaks off. There are dozens of others to take the strain so that's nothing to worry about.

Back in the day cones used to wear out and result in clonky gear changes and it was a regular job to change them.
 

frank rabbets

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This thread has renewed my interest in to putting thinner oil in my 95 80 with stiff gear change. What are opinions please as too thin an oil could actually wear the cones out. How dramatic is the result ? My temptation was to use a modern "thin" engine oil but I've not tried anything yet.
 

Mr_Red

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I am in uk
Sep 26, 2017
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London
Well, we're always going to be guessing without seeing it in the flesh, but the clunk could be anything from a prop joint to rear trailing arm bushes. We'd have to eliminate these things one by one. That should really be one of the better gearboxes though. Most mechanical stuff can be fixed. They're bolted together quite simply.

There are some simple things you (you, we, us etc) can do such as bleed the clutch slave cylinder. That can make a big difference. A look at the gearbox oil might reveal some clues. I had issues with 2nd gear and now I run mine on half gear oil and half ATF fluid. That improved the change no end.

You're always welcome up here so we can have a look around it for you. I know we have other members down in London and it seems that they all say there's a shortage of people who offer work on Cruisers. The problem is that there's a right way to do things and then there's guessing. We've seen enough guesswork on these to know what to expect.
Yes it's true, I haven't been able to find anything other than MOT centres and the like down here, which is understandable as London is not really Landcruiser territory. Would you be able to give the old girl a good look over and help me determine what needs to be done to get it mechanically expedition ready? If so I'd love to drop by!
 

Chris

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Of course, it was a genuine offer. I am 'between' jobs at the moment so happy with anything that fills the days. I've just finished a complete front end rebuild for one forum member so obviously keen to get filthy again lying on my back looking at another 80 ha ha.

I'm just off Jnt 29 of the M1. It's a way, but an easy cruise.
 

AndycruiserguyLomas

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Well, we're always going to be guessing without seeing it in the flesh, but the clunk could be anything from a prop joint to rear trailing arm bushes. We'd have to eliminate these things one by one. That should really be one of the better gearboxes though. Most mechanical stuff can be fixed. They're bolted together quite simply.

There are some simple things you (you, we, us etc) can do such as bleed the clutch slave cylinder. That can make a big difference. A look at the gearbox oil might reveal some clues. I had issues with 2nd gear and now I run mine on half gear oil and half ATF fluid. That improved the change no end.

You're always welcome up here so we can have a look around it for you. I know we have other members down in London and it seems that they all say there's a shortage of people who offer work on Cruisers. The problem is that there's a right way to do things and then there's guessing. We've seen enough guesswork on these to know what to expect.
Thats just the era of the dodgy synchro cone angles Chris. I had the 2nd gear synchro ring replaced in my 95 box and it did improve things fractionally but it wasn't anything like the box in the "Amazon" models. The whole 2nd gear isn't interchangeable into the older box.
I'd try the ATF change first, if it works its happy days for a few quid.
 

Chris

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Sorry Andy I meant that it was out of range really of those early boxes - which hopefully you wouldn't find bolted to a 95. But as we've said times many, these trucks have all had a lot of history.
 

chapel gate

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This thread has renewed my interest in to putting thinner oil in my 95 80 with stiff gear change. What are opinions please as too thin an oil could actually wear the cones out. How dramatic is the result ? My temptation was to use a modern "thin" engine oil but I've not tried anything yet.
I use red line mt90, probable the best gearbox oil you can buy. Made a noticable difference. It also seems to be cleaning out the gearbox, the first change was black, the next is due in about 10 thou so will be interesting to see what it will be like.
So the parts are not interchangeable from a 97 gearbox with a 95? Anyone compared part numbers?
 

bandsnbrakes

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I use red line mt90, probable the best gearbox oil you can buy. Made a noticable difference. It also seems to be cleaning out the gearbox, the first change was black, the next is due in about 10 thou so will be interesting to see what it will be like.
So the parts are not interchangeable from a 97 gearbox with a 95? Anyone compared part numbers?
No they are completely different the cone sizes and angles are changed as is the part numbers
 
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AndycruiserguyLomas

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I use red line mt90, probable the best gearbox oil you can buy. Made a noticable difference. It also seems to be cleaning out the gearbox, the first change was black, the next is due in about 10 thou so will be interesting to see what it will be like.
So the parts are not interchangeable from a 97 gearbox with a 95? Anyone compared part numbers?
Was compared years ago when my gearbox was mended. if they had been interchangeable they would have been interchanged.
 
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Mr_Red

Active Member
I am in uk
Sep 26, 2017
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London
I knew it would be a 95 24V.. First thing I'd do is check the condition of the trailing arm bushes and that all the bolts are tight and then I'd drain the gearbox of whatever is in it and re fill with ATF. The ATF still lubricates the same but gives the synchro rings an easier time.
Failing that fit a later type box out of a late 96 onwards Amazon model and all will be perfect.
Would a scrapyard be the best way to get my hands on one of those, or do you know of any dealers who specify in spare parts for Landcruisers?
 

Chris

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Specialist Landcruiser breakers :whistle: ?

It's been said several times already. Try changing the oil to 50 /50 ATF. Swapping the gearbox is a big and expensive undertaking. I've done several myself and not something I'd rush to do and you have no guarantee whatsoever that the box you get will be a good one.
 
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