Lucky to get away with it…

The 109 had its MoT recently and sailed through without any defects, even though the brake pedal is slightly softer than it was (this is because the front brakes haven’t been adjusted since replacing the leaking cylinders, but I thought that having the brakes a little less sensitive might be a good idea for the winter’s wet roads – the brakes still lock up if the pedal is pushed all the way down).

A week or so later, I topped up the gear box oil through the MoD spec top fill cover.  A few distractions during the job caused me to forget to refit the cap, and I didn’t realise until 100 miles later.  there was a bit of a mess of oil under the tunnel cover and oil droplets all over the back of the car, but it was the trail of drips where I park that made the leak obvious.  Thankfully, since I carry a 5l can and a 1l necked bottle of EP90 in the jerrycan locker and the modified gearbox top cover needs no tools for refilling, I was able to refil the gear box by the road side immediately on realising where the leak was coming from.  Amazingly, I seem not to have damaged the gear box, despite it needing over a litre to top up.  A very close call, I suspect.

The new house is nearly ready for us to move in, and I have started to prepare the double garage.  The walls and floor will be painted, plenty of lights and plug sockets fitted and the workbenches made level with each other and tied back to the wall before the Lightweight, trailer, shelves and all my parts and tools are relocated.

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  1. Hello Nick

    Haven’t we been there all of us? Some luckier than others.
    It was good to hear that the gearbox still works.
    Just let the 109 keep on working, and please keep on with the modifications.
    Your blog is an inspiration at least to me.
    I to are nearly finished with the building of a new house, three year project.
    So I understand that you are looking forward to having some quality time in the garage.

    Best regards Jan

  2. Can you give us a photo of the top fill cover? Having made a mess of mine last weekend I’d like to find a better way to add oil to the gearbox.

    Other owners round here suggested an oil pressure pot, to push oil in using air pressure, and another guy made some plastic pump like a garden sprayer.

    My TC and OD both have easy to access top plates, why not the gearbox too?

  3. Hi Criggie,

    The top-fill cover and spring are documented in one of the gear box posts, and the dipstick mod in a following post in the same section. These links will take you to those posts: and . You can get oil cans with hand pumps and long-reach nozzles for filling transmissions, but they’re not cheap, take up more garage space and are not conveniently portable. That’s why i carried out these alterations.


  4. I’m just lucky that a moment’s carelessness didn’t cost me days of work and god knows how much expense of another gear box rebuild, time and money that I can ill-afford just now…

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