Indeed Toby, I should have had a little ride in the Alfa but my V6 was watching and she can get jealous
Did you find your way to the A34 OK?
Yesterday work ended with me finding the slotted nut was very tight and my special tool broke under the strain. Well, the tool proper did not break but the welds on the nut gave out. My bad
This evening I made a MK2 version of the tool by sacrificing a cheap 22mm socket and cutting slots in it.
The nut was still FT even with this tool and even with my long breaker I could not move it. I then had a bit of an idea and remembered that ages ago I'd bought a cheap electric impact gun from Aldi for some silly price and had never used it.
It got used this evening with complete success
It made the nut appear hand-tight!
That done, it was a simple enough task to press the pinion shaft out from the bearing inner races and one outer race happy drifted out using a drift and hammer (with care) but the other inner race would not move as there was insufficient land for the drift to work against. I needed to make up a mandrel to press it out and made a remarkable discovery. I had an old Peugeot 106 wheel bearing laying by the press and this turned out to be exactly the right size to work as a mandrel to press out the troublesome race
What a stroke of luck...
Next task is to install the new bearings on the pinion and reassemble generally. I need to get a torque wrench that will go up to 150 Nm as the tightness of the slotted nut will be setting the pre-load on the bearings and I reckon having the right pre-load is critical here.
Barring any showstoppers, weather permitting, the car should be back in running order by Sunday
I'm very happy this evening...