This week has been fun. I set out earlier this week to replace the gearbox oil in the transmission (it requires this funky 90-weight stuff that typically goes in transmissions for motorcycles and scooters).
Once home, I jacked up the side of the car to get to the transmission oil’s drain bolt. It’s tucked way under the middle of the car.
Initially, I couldn’t see the bolt to refill the oil, so I paused and checked the books to make sure that, yes, there is a bolt through which you refill the gearbox.
Naturally, there is — it’s on the side (the passenger side). The gearbox oil poured out and I let the car sit for a few days since it was getting late, and I didn’t want to pour “cold” oil in a hot transmission.
Fine. Yesterday (Thursday) I started the task of refilling the transmission. It’s actually easier (and safer, I think) to get to the bolt by removing the carpet and tunnel cover from inside the car. One by one, the screws and bolts were removed, and the tunnel eventually came out.
That’s when it hit me.
Removing the tunnel revealed bits of engineering from a foreign land an ocean away, parts that had been manufactured and assembled decades ago, and components that had propelled this little car (and its passengers) across many thousands of miles.
For a while, I just sat there and looked at the transmission case and propeller shaft, with its U-joint. Rarely does one get to see such sturdy mechanical bits while sitting inside the car.
There is a certain beauty to the grease-covered metal. There is a story in every little pebble and leaf caught up in the now-exposed chassis. And even a few spider webs speak to the history of the Triumph.
And though it sounds sappy, I’m honored to be working on such a neat, historic, sentimental vehicle.