Mud, water and rust in my Discovery 300TDI Gear Box Selector

Been having a problem for a while changing gear, it's ok when cold, but as it warms up the darn thing gets stiffer and stiffer. I'm starting to get arm fatigue and debating if the Discovery 300TDI should go in the bin. After a lot of suggestions from forums etc I decided that it's either a broken gear box (likely to be too expensive to repair), or a selector problem. So with my 'hoping its the selector cos it's easier to fix' hat on I stripped out the centre console, drilled out the rivets holding the rubber membrane and peered into the top of the gear box.

Not quite sure what I was looking at I stuck a good ole finger down the hole, which came out covered in water, mud, and rust. A soup of nasties that should not be sat on in the gear stick housing. So off with the housing. It was full to the top with this stuff. Not good.

Discovery 300TDI gearbox selector housing full of water

Time to dig a bit deeper. With the housing off a good slug of gross, muddy water came out leaving a sludge of rust, mud and small stones. After a good deal of cleaning it finally looked more like the gear selector.


I used up half a can of WD-40 just to loosen the compacted mud and rust. But at least it's all gone now. Last step was to pull the gear lever out and check the bush, ball and general yolk condition.


Thankfully it's not too bad. A lot of scratches from small stones, but after a bit of light sanding it looks as new. Nylon bush was in good condition. When reassembled there is perhaps too light a movement now – perhaps a sign a new bush/yolk is required.

Moral of the story – if you pay a shed load of cash to someone from a reputable garage to put a reconditioned box in for you – go check their work. All they did here was leave off a single metal gasket around the gear selector housing allowing mud and water to get in. Simple mistake, damn annoying to fix. Oh and no – they refused to offer compensation or an apology. Seriously bad form.

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Mud, water and rust in my Discovery 300TDI Gear Box Selector by Adrian Hollister is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

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