I took Percy to Carl at Globe Transmissions a few weeks ago for a diagnosis on his gearbox problem and I wasn’t expecting good news.
On the way to Bethnal Green, Percy’s gearbox actually got gradually better, starting to change gear automatically and dropping the funny business of pulling away in third or refusing to change from first. In fact, it improved so much that I was tempted to turn back and go home, but I knew it was a temporary reprieve and the problems would probably return once I got home.
Carl took off the sump and it wasn’t good, the fluid was clearly burnt and there were bits of metal swimming around in the tray. Percy needs a ‘new’ (reconditioned) gearbox. It was either a reconditioned box from Carl or looking around for a second hand one from garages and ebay, but I’m very risk averse and wouldn’t touch an ebay gearbox with a barge poll… you never know what the condition of a second hand gear box from another 20 year old taxi is going to be like. So, we stumped up the cash for a box from Carl, which was actually very reasonable.
I got the sense that Carl and Elsa much prefer to work on old gearboxes like ours, as Elsa was explaining to me that newer cabs now need laptops plugged in to diagnose the problem, and she was having a hard time explaining to a customer that he needed to resolve other problems with his cab that were not related to the gearbox, in order for the warning light on his dashboard to disappear.
I left Percy in Carl’s safe hands and returned a week later to collect him. Carl took me for a test drive to show off his handy work and the box was smooth as velvet and he had even installed a kick down switch for us, which we didn’t have before. He also tried to replace Percy’s speedometer cable for us, as it rattles in the cold and leaves your exact speed as a bit of a guess, but he didn’t have a new cable so he just tightened and straightened it for us instead for free. How kind.
So, Percy lives on….