Rats ate my gearbox

I've been having a right pain changing gear recently in the old Discovery 300TDI, the gear shift seems to get stiffer the 'warmer' the engine (or gearbox) leaving the gear leave tight and non-centering. I've been putting off looking at it fearing something very expensive, but finally got around to looking last night. Checked the oil levels and they are fine with the oil appearing clear and almost new on the end of my finger. So off with the cover surrounding the gear lever and start my visual inspections before removing the centre console. But hang on – what's happened to all the foam? err and why is it in small shredded bits?

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Don't know how yet, but it's clear rats or mice have got in and shredded the foam for nest use. I'm pleased I didn't find one looking back at me and no sign of droppings either. But I can't help wondering of the small shredded bits of foam rubber have made it into my gear box via the gear lever. Gonna have some fun this weekend taking the centre console out and having a look.

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