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Old 08-11-2010, 09:29 PM
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Clutch will not release no matter what I do?

Just rebuilt a 232 6 cyl engine in a 73 Javelin AMC with 3 speed manual transmission. Had to get another crank shaft, had it reground, and had the flywheel resurfaced. I installed a new clutch disc, pressure plate, throwout bearing, and pilot bearing. Everything about the engine is great but when I tried to shift into first gear it was a real struggle, and with the clutch pedal pushed all the way in, the car wanted to creep forward. ( I had no trouble with the clutch before the rebuild.)

I had the clutch pedal free travel already adjusted to the 1 1/8 inches that the factory specified. When that did not work I tried adjusting the free travel between 2 1/2 inches and 1/4 of an inch and everything in between and nothing worked. Adjusting the free travel seamed to have no effect on it at all. I tried pushing the clutch in all the way down 25 times to settle the parts but that did not work. I check the adjustment of the transmission shifter and it was ok.

I played with it for two days and never could get the transmission to go into gear so I thought maybe I warped the clutch when I installed the engine. I pulled the engine back out and checked all the clutch parts for sameness (old and new parts), flatness, warpage and it all looked good. The only difference I found is when I pushed the clutch discs on the transmission spline, the old clutch (Fenco) had 1/2 inch of spline showing and the new disc (AMC) had 3/4 inches of spline showing.

I am at my witts end trying to figure this out. Would appreciate any ideas.

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Old 08-11-2010, 10:18 PM
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HotRodMan,

I think the trouble is in the crankshaft. The pilot bushing is hanging onto the input shaft of t he transmission causing the input shaft to keep spinning.
Try disconnecting the drive shaft from the rear end. With the engine OFF and the transmission shifted into second gear.
Have a friend step on the clutch and hold it to the floor. You at the same time try and turn the drive shaft from under the car. The drive shaft should turn easily if it takes both hands then the input shaft is hanging up on the pilot bushing.

Good Luck

Scholman(retired)
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:21 PM
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Pilot bearing check with calipers?

That is a wonderful idea and something I had not even thought of. Before installing the pilot bearing into the crankshaft I test fitted on the end of the transmission shaft and it turned freely. I did notice I had to use a lot of muscle to pound it into place. It protrudes out of the crankshaft about 1/16 of an inch but the old one did also. I put a socket on the end and hit it with a big hammer and that was as far as it would go in. Small amount of grease on pilot bearing.

Is it possible the inside diameter could have been reduced after it was installed?

Also I have the engine out of the car and would like to find the problem before I put it back in.

I have a set of calipers, could I measure the inside diameter of the pilot bearing, the outside diameter of the transmission shaft and figure it out that way?

What is the clearance supposed to be between the transmission shaft and the pilot bearing?

Thanks loads, great suggestion.
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HotRodMan
Also I have the engine out of the car and would like to find the problem before I put it back in.

I have a set of calipers, could I measure the inside diameter of the pilot bearing, the outside diameter of the transmission shaft and figure it out that way?

What is the clearance supposed to be between the transmission shaft and the pilot bearing?

Thanks loads, great suggestion.
Don't know if calipers would reach in far enough or would be accurate enough. You would have to use the calipers all the way around. Since the engine is out I assume the transmissionis out also. Why not bolt up the bell housing and transmission. No clutch discs or pressure plate. Put the trans in gear. See if the tail shaft will turn by hand and how much resistance it has.
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:03 AM
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Best method to repair pilot bearing?

The transmission is still in the car, but I like your idea of testing the fit with no clutch or pressure plate.

The next question is if I am getting some resistance, what do I do to fix the pilot bearing? I have never run into this problem before. This was a brand new pilot bearing that I test fitted on the shaft before installing and lubricated both the pilot bearing and the end of the transmission shaft.

Thanks for the suggestions, I was at a loss for ideas.
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:12 PM
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If you have the Clutch alignment tool, try that in the Pilot bushing to see if it closed up. I wondering if the Clutch disc thickness is different by the 1/2" & 3/4" spline measurement you described or installed backwards.
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:31 PM
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whole lot of terms being thrown around here.

Is this a pilot BUSHING or pilot BEARING? Please for our sake do not use the 2 terms interchangeably. If you "pounded" a bearing in with a "big hammer"; theres your problem
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Old 08-12-2010, 01:43 PM
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Clutch install and parts

Sorry for the confusion, this is a solid pilot bushing.

The new clutch disc facing is only slightly thicker than the old one. The 1/2 to 3/4 difference at the spline was cased by the way the clutches were designed in the center portion of the clutch only.

I am sure the clutch was not installed backwards. Protrusion of the clutch faces the transmission.

Thanks for the replys.
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Old 08-12-2010, 08:32 PM
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Possibly have figured out the problem

OK, because of everyone's help on this board, I think I have finally figured out what the problem is. I am so grateful for everyone's suggestions.

I measured the output shaft on the transmission, and compared that to the alignment tool, and the alignment tool was .002 larger than the output shaft.

When I put the alignment tool into the pilot bushing it would only go in about half way. I put a drum sander on my Dremal tool and honed out that pilot bushing until the alignment tool would go all the way thru the bushing and come out the other side. Never could find a spec on the pilot bushing clearance, .002 seamed right so I went with that. If that's not right someone let me know and I will start all over with another pilot bearing.

I will re-install the engine tomorrow and let everyone know for sure if this has fixed the problem.

Thanks again for all the help.
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Old 08-13-2010, 07:12 PM
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I am not sure what you are calling the 'protrusion' on the clutch . But I have seen people who 'knew' what they were doing put the clutch disc in backwards . The 'spring hub' in the center of the disc has to be towards the transmission .
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Old 08-13-2010, 07:23 PM
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I think for the nominal price of a new pilot bushing, I'd pullthe "bound up" one and try installing a new one, I use an old piece of input shaft to install , that way it seems easy to keep things straight. just my 2 cents

dave
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Old 08-13-2010, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2old2fast
I think for the nominal price of a new pilot bushing, I'd pullthe "bound up" one and try installing a new one, I use an old piece of input shaft to install , that way it seems easy to keep things straight. just my 2 cents

dave
Easy way to "pull" the bushing is to fill it with thick grease and then start your lineup tool into the bushing and give it a hard whack with a hammer . Hydraulic action forces it out . Repeat as necessary .
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:52 PM
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Are you sure the disk is not in backwards.
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:06 PM
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Finally fixed the problem

OK, I finally figured out what the problem was. It turns out I had done everything correctly with the installation. The clutch itself was at fault. I discovered this by placing three clutch discs, flywheel side down on a table. The old Fenco clutch, the new AMC clutch and a Chevy clutch for comparison. The old fence clutch had about 1/4 inch clearance between the clutch and the table, the new AMC clutch had almost no clearance, and the Chevy clutch had about 1/2 inch clearance. The new AMC clutch was the one giving me problems and was the only clutch with no clearance so I figured this must be the problem. I sent the old Fenco clutch to a company in Nashville, Tennessee for a re-build, installed it and everything works fine now.

There is one more option that I discovered. A company in Fort Wayne Indiana makes a 9 1/4 to 10 inch conversion kit for this car. I bought one and will keep it for future use but was afraid to put it in because the edge of the clutch only had a little less than 1/8 inch clearance from the pressure plate. It would seam if that clutch ever went out of center just a little bit, it would drag on the pressure plate and cause problems. I had so many problems already I did not want to chance it. In the future this may be the only option.

Has anyone ever used this conversion kit?
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:27 PM
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On the conversion clutch, there is no way for the disc to get that for off center unless the pilot bushing was missing, even bushing wear would not allow it to go that far. 1/16" clearance would still be more than enough, the spline fit is tight enough and the input shaft can't get off-line due to being held at both ends. Don't be afraid at all to use it.
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