Well, after being so enthusiastic recently about praising the reliability of the Big Boss, I just encountered a bit of an issue. Of course! No big deal really, but I thought I'd be worth mentioning here.
It's good to show it also because, at a closer look, it seems that it's once again just a little thing that can be prevented with a tweak, rather than a major flaw or a part failing. Therefore, I once again vouch for the toughness of the Boss!
Here goes. The other day I was having fun with the truck as usual when suddenly, towards the end of my run, I started hearing a pronounced clickety sound coming from the gearbox. I stopped it at once and went home, eager to find out what could possibly have happened and imagining at the same time the worst case scenario, such as irreparably damaged gears and whatnot.
Once I opened the gearbox, I was greeed by this:
A small pebble, but yep, an actual pebble, made its way in between the spur and the diff gear. I was surprised and relieved at the same time. Surprised that this could happen, relieved that the simple removal of the rock would solve the issue.
The gears involved were left with a bit of a dent in the teeth where the rock was, but we're far from TRF or racing whatsoever here, so I decided to just give them a nice clean, regrease and chuck them back on. The entire gearbox was due for some TLC anyway.
Here's the spur gear involved. A little mangled, but after all just one more scar, an inner one this time, that the truck will wear with pride.
Upon further examination, it turned out that there was quite some debris at the bottom of the gearbox. I believe that the holes for the suspension shafts were the culprits, since I could see daylight through them from the inside of the gearbox:
I therefore decided to try and solve the cause of the issue by sealing those holes with some heavy compound, thick grease (so that if part of it ever falls into the gearbox, it's just grease and not another foreign body). If this turns to work out in time, I might intervene with something more permanent later.
There may be some other concurring causes to the ingress of debris in my gearbox, such as other hidden "tolerance holes", maybe even some flex, probably wear -come to think of it, I don't know how many other Big Bosses on earth see such extended and consistent use nowadays- but we shall see. As of now, everything is installed back to normal, and with some cleaning and re-greasing and careful spacing of the pinion gear, the truck is now smooth and more silent than before (like I said, it was due for some maintenance anyway).
Just took it for one more test drive and yes, everything is back to normal ✌