Day 5 in the big brother clutch house. Well, more like day 4 because I was banned from the garage over Christmas. Indeed, this is true pain. However, the box is out!
1). The starter top bolt is actually easy. You go to Halfords and get a 11/13 mm offset combination spanner. You stick it in a vice and heat it nice and red, then bend the 13 mm end to give a 90 degree angle. You can then get it over the bolt from the battery tray side, and undo it, 1/8 of a turn at a time. After a few turns, it will go easily with fingers. I will post photos of the spanner later.
2) You then remove the slave, which may be corroded solidly in place. Copper hammer time, it suffered a bit, I will replace when I can get a new one - however for the moment, it works. Unhook the selector cables.
3) Undo all of the really obvious 17 mm bolts, and the random hex bolts. Then you find that the gearbox doesn't move. Hmmm, swear, scratch head. Peruse posts by Chris155 on 156.net, and see that the starter motor has 3 bolts, and there is another hex bolt below the starter.
4) The 8mm hex bolt below the starter yielded to a 1/2 drive hex, with a knuckle joint. The third bolt on the starter is not visible. Hmm. With a bit of prying away the cat heatshield, it is just visible. A swan neck 13 mm spanner gets it cracked, then a ratchet spanner fits well enough to undo it.
5) The box is now moving. Drop the engine so that the box will clear the wheelarch, stick a trolley jack under the diff, and pull the box off the mainshaft. It balances quite well and can be dropped to the floor quite easily on the jack. It is certainly heavy, but not un manageable.
More later, with pictures.