[ROVERNET - UK] 2000TC Gearbox trouble & Lucas #40660 dist.

Fletcher gofanu at usachoice.net
Sat Jul 29 07:45:02 BST 2006

Hi guys-
My first post, though I've been lurking a while. I'm in NW Pennsylvania, 
4 dead 2000, 2SC, 2TC

"Gordon Harrower <griffo at comcast.net>
The symptoms, which emerged 
abruptly, were an inability to shift into 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gears.  The 
shop to which I brought it seemed intimidated by the whole thing, but 
offered the theory that the rubber spacers in the gearshift were worn, 
causing excess play in the mechanism."

In my experience - 40 yrs fixing British, incl a bunch of Rovers, this problem is due to the failure of the third motion shaft bush on which are located 2nd & 3rd gears. In fact, I bought (real cheap) my first 68TC in 72 because it had just this problem. The one piece bush has a thrust washer machined in the center of the bushes for the two gears. When it breaks up, the gears and synchro hubs are no longer located endwise on the shaft. This lets all sorts of interesting stuff happen, in a random manner. Like when you try 2nd gear, 2nd moves forward away from the synchro, pushes 3rd forward, pushes 3/4 synchro forward, and therefore tries to engage 3rd & 4th at the same time as second. It can do things like kick itself out of 3rd when you come off the gas, auto-selecting 2 or 4, whichever is least desireable. Or, it won't go into some gear(s) as you experienced. All this changes depending on where the fragments are, and what the loads on the gears, selectors, and detents are. The forces on the linkage from all this cause the various detents to fight each other, and the end movement of the gears makes multiple synchros try to synch their respective gears all at once, which can't happen. Very exciting! When I drove mine home in very hilly terrain, I could usually get 1 & 4, but 2& especially 3 were difficult, and the car had had no maintenance in about 45000 miles, hence had little power available. I met or heard of a number of cars with this trouble; when I bought the new parts for mine I was told that the new bush was of improved spec because of this problem - it sure cost a lot! That may mean that most cars had it replaced (and cured) if they had many miles.
The various rubber bushes in the linkage will cause all sorts of sloppy, but won't do this. Nothing for it but to pull the gearbox I fear.

The Lucas distributor mentioned a couple of days ago is listed as "Humber new series 1 and 2, Super Snipe, 1959 (later)" in the Lucas master catalog. Will likely work in most 6 cyl applications, but not quite the correct advance curve for anything else.

Fletcher R Millmore

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