Sat 16 August 2014
Guess it's about high time to add something on the domain. I will probably not be a very regular poster but who cares. Today I spent the day taking one of my cars apart. I've had the gearbox in for an overhaul previously (Yay, getrag M32 chocolate fireguard gearbox) but forgot to tell them to renew the clutch as they were at it. A couple of weeks after getting the car back from them the clutch started slipping more and more. I parked the car away until I could have a look at it. I hauled it up yesterday and discovered a oil dripping from the bottom of the bellhousing so I got worried that it might be the crank seal or clutch slave cylinder leaking.
On the Opel Astra H you need to remove the subframe in order to drop the gearbox out. This sounds a lot worse than it actually is, they've really thought about how to make it easy to work on. To drop the subframe you need to unbolt the steering column, free the control arm and steering rod ball joints and the sway bar links. Suspend the radiator package at the top and then it's pretty much only six bolts holding it in place. I might have forgotten a few steps but it really is pretty easy. Being a bit ghetto and not having a proper garage means you have to come up with solutions to lack of proper tools.
(This is not the actual car, this photo is from earlier when I worked on the other one) 45x45 wood with a few grooves makes for a make shift engine support since the only engine mount left in the car will be the passenger side one. Driver side, front and rear mounts are removed. Once the subframe is dropped out of the car you get a nice surfboard in the garage :-) Guess I should take more pictures as I go along.
Electro hydraulic power steering is pretty neat and self contained. :-) I got the gearbox out, but didn't take any photos of it. The oil on the bellhousing seems to be engine oil that had run along the engine block as the clutch package was in good order and dry as a desert. The weird thing is that the pressure plate has about half of the springs depressed for some reason. Never seen that before. In any case I have an uprated Sachs sports clutch and pressure plate waiting to go in the car.