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oh crap!

It's June 2016, this was going to be a triumphant article about fitting my engine back in its repainted shell.

I should have known better! The engine went in ok, the gear linkage was one of the first things to be attached, but when it came to later trying the gearchange, after everything else was bolted in, the lever wouldn't move. Something was up, oh crap indeed!

Lancia Delta engine installed

Because this bodyshell looks so good, I was extra careful putting the engine in, and I had cleaned or replaced many items to make the engine look original. The car has a short throw gear change, but with everything bolted up I couldn't move the lever at all.

I thought I would wait until the clutch was bled up, and I could use the clutch to relieve the tension.

At the gearbox end of the gearchange, the lever was solid, something was very wrong, there was nothing for it, I would have to remove the gearbox. As you know this isn't easy, so I decided to drop the engine out again.

removing integrale gearbox

I removed the gearbox end cap to see if anything was obvious, nothing showed, and the lever was still solid, I was really annoyed, the motor would have to come out.


I removed the propshaft and exhaust, let go all the mountings and dropped the engine on its trolley. I was so depressed I didn't remove all I should have, so I pulled some wires, scratched a little new paint and did a little damage dropping the engine.

This depressed me even more, but I wanted the motor out before tea time. I got the unit on its trolley and out, I went home vowing never to look at the car again.

So obviously I was back down the lock up early next morning, it was Sunday so all was quiet, I set about removing the gearbox and final drive from the engine.

When I was happy the gears changed ok, it was time to put it all back.

Putting a gearbox on a car can be tricky, putting a gearbox back on a Delta is difficult. With the clutch already in place, the release forks, final drive and clutch centre all have to line up, like an eclipse of the sun, this doesn't happen very often.

At every point I tested the gearchange again, to see if anything was locking it up.

integrale gearchange fault
lancia delta gearbox removal

With the engine on the trolley, I undid the bellhousing and diff and pulled the units off. I tried the change lever and it moved a bit, it was still stiff, but no longer solid.

I turned the box over and the change rods looked very dry at the cover end, so I dropped some oil down them and worked the lever, it freed up some more. So I kept oiling and turning the change lever until it worked as it should.

But I don't think that was the problem, I'd replaced the clutch on this engine, and I'd somehow got it stuck in 2 gears, or out of mesh with the diff, the lever was solid until I took the box off.

Anyway, that's beyond my knowledge! I can squirt oil and wiggle levers, so that's what I did.

A stiff lever

I was getting tired by now, I'd removed the 'box again and it would not line up installing for the second time. So I decided to let gravity do the pushing,  I turned the motor on its end and gently lowered the 'box down onto the engine. This allowed me to wiggle the clutch into place and locate the release lever properly. The final drive was wiggled into place also.

This did work, the splines lined up and the clutch lever located properly,

before I put all the cover bolts in I tried it with a bar, and checked the cylinder location.

All his time I kept changing the gears, to check there wasn't a problem any time in the installation sequence that locked the changer up. It did all work, you may ask if I put the little metal shield under the bell housing, I think you know the answer!

lancia delta slave cylinder correct
integrale engine on end
delta clutch release
lancia spec joint sealer

I lifted the gearbox assembly with the crane to slide the item into place. The clutch release lever pulls the clutch to release it, so the release forks locate in 2 links on the release bearing. The release forks must be placed in position to go into these links when the box is pushed home.

The final drive which has 2 concentric gears which must be lined up, then the clutch centre must line up with the gearbox drive. It all came apart ok, so should go back easily, yeah right!!

I did eventually get the gearbox pushed all the way in, but the clutch lever wasn't right. You can see above the slave cylinder is too far from the release lever when placed in position.

You can't see the release lever locating because it's inside the gearbox, so it has to be done by feel, and you don't know wether it's worked or not until the gearbox is bolted on and you can test the release lever.

This hadn't worked.

So all that's left to do is put the end cap back on, seal this with the correct Loctite and dog it up.

I nipped up all the bolts, and put the link plates under the engine, then checked the changer again, all seemed ok. I filled up the gearbox oil also, and installed the change link cover.


Just turn the engine back level, well that was tricky! But it went down in the end, and luckily no damage.

Next job is to put the engine back in the car again, that'll be the next report. Fingers crossed!

A correct fit of the slave cylinder

This is the Lancia spec sealer, £££££!

Letting gravity help me out

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