Gearboxes - a precautionary tale

I have just come across a very sad matter concerning a Syncro owner
and his gearbox. He bought the vehicle without any prior knowledge
of Syncros. It was in very good condition and the vendor told him
that the gearbox had been recently reconditioned. Some time after
he bought it, he suffered big time gearbox failure. The box was
dismantled and everything in it was terminally worn, particularly
the crown wheel and pinion. Just about everything was replaced,
including the crown wheel and pinion - at considerable cost

The owner learned of the existence of the Syncro_T3_Australia group
and made contact with me. He asked me to drive his Syncro and give
him an opinion. I did this and it was not a pleasant experience.
It had two very worrying characteristics.

The first was snap steer. The steering was very imprecise, such as
would be experienced if the steering alignment was very off spec.
If a front wheel was run over the broken edge of a bitumen road, the
vehicle would instantly self-steer off to the left.

The second was a harshness in the drive line that I found hard to
identify, one which increased as the speed went up.

He then drove my Syncro and was astonished at the difference between
the two. I assured him that mine was the way all Syncros should
be. This enthused him no end because he had been on the point of
selling it.

So it went back to have the gearbox inspected. The crown wheel and
pinion was conpletely cactus, so worn as to earn the description
of "like it was made of marshmellow".

To cut a long story a bit shorter, it was found to be the wrong
ratio! The workshop which did the last rebuild simply ordered a new
crown wheel and pinion of the same part number as was already in
it. So the rear axle was running at one speed and the front axle
was trying to run at another. The workshop hasn't got to the VC
yet, but that is guaranteed to be a basket case because it has been
trying to equalize the axle speeds.

This is probably an extremely rare occurrece but a shockingly
expensive one. So this is a precautionary note - keep in the back
of your minds that this can occur and make sure that the workshop
gets the correct ratio (ie, matching front and rear) if ever you are
having a C&P replaced!!

Les Harris