James Herriot's got nothing on me. (1 Viewer)


Free Member
Aug 29, 2014
Ramsgate, Kent
Funster No
Swift Kontiki 600
First year under our belt!
I thought I'd check the gearbox oil level, as you do, because older 5-speed Ducatos are somewhat prone to the odd problem in that area if things are not kept an eye on.

There's a (not very) helpful close-up picture of the gearbox in the owner's Manuel, indicating the whereabouts of a dipstick in the top of the offending item. There I was with my LED torch, trying to see down to the gearbox around the spare wheel and numerous huge pipes and cables, bobbing my head around like a horny pigeon. Can't find it. I lowered my majestic frame onto the ground and looked underneath the engine. Can't see anything like a dipstick and too fat to get any further in, for to see behind the gearbox.

They wouldn't put it in the back of the gearbox, would they? Nobody would be that stupid!? A point of the torch past the nearside front wheel, through the driveshaft hole in the side of the engine bay, and... there it is! At the back. A thin four-foot long arm is required then.

Lacking a thin four-foot long arm I decided to see if it was actually reachable from the top. Oh look, there's that spare wheel again. In the way. Out it came, shiny torchy, much reachy reachy on tippy toes, got the bugger! Got it out, wiped the oil off with the bit of kitchen roll I had pre-prepared (eh? How often does that happen??), back in, back out, and... well, it was quite hard to tell actually. Reached down to the bowels of the engine bay again, dipstick in, dipstick out, carefully back up to civilisation and... it's spot on, and clean as the day it went in.

This is a good thing for two reasons: 1) The gearbox has lovely clean oil and I can stop fretting about it, and 2) I am now fully qualified to assist should we encounter a cow on our travels which is in the midst of a difficult birth.
Last edited:


Jan 15, 2014
Scottish Borders
Funster No
Without at present
On and off for many years.
Thanks for the smile. :)

It's not the getting the dipstick out in that situation but putting it back in that concerns me :)

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