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chevy1500z71 12-23-2011 08:28 PM

quick clutch install question
So im changing the clutch on my 94 dodge cummins truck. somebody changed the clutch before me and they put a needle bearing in in place of the stock pilot bushing. the needle bearing came out in peices, probably never got any grease. So the problem is that the portion of the input shaft on the trans that accepts the pilot bushing is all grooved up and not strait anymore. Not the end of the world but id sure like some suggestions from you guys, im sure many of you have run into similar issues. Im heading to the machine shop tomorrow to do the flywheel, maybe they can help me out?

and another quick question, last time i did a clutch on my chevy i put a needle bearing in instead of a bushing which im not really concerned with, i dont expect clutches to last forever in that truck and i put grease on the bearing unlike whoever did the clutch in my dodge, but what do you guys prefer? I would think the bushing would be the way to go on my low hp daily driver truck , wouldn't it outlast a bearing?

any advice would be greatly appreciated.

matts37chev 12-23-2011 08:38 PM

if the shaft is all beat up, I would think a bushing would be more forgiving
but it will still have to be kind of in spec.

I would go get a bushing and test fit, it
if its to sloppy, you may have to replace the shaft

chevy1500z71 12-23-2011 09:19 PM


Originally Posted by matts37chev
if the shaft is all beat up, I would think a bushing would be more forgiving
but it will still have to be kind of in spec.

I would go get a bushing and test fit, it
if its to sloppy, you may have to replace the shaft

its beet up, i have a real good feeling that a brass bushing will fit over it with no slop, its just a matter of low actual contact area. maybe bring the piece with me to the machine shop and have it turned down and get a different bearing. when i lived in south florida there was a small bearing place in the industrial park that i could walk in and get just about any size bearing for anything, bearings is all they did. i wonder if Im gonna find a place like that up here in central florida?

sbchevfreak 12-24-2011 08:56 AM

This is very common. The needle pilot bearing is a factory replacement part, that is what the truck came factory with. Make sure you pack the new one with grease, or properly oil the new bronze bushing.

You need to remove the input shaft, and take it to a competent machine shop. Have them find a ball bearing with the proper sized ID on the center (to provide an interference press fit on the pilot, IIRC about .006" interference), break the outer race and balls off, press it on the pilot and lathe it to the original pilot size. This way you still have a hardened surface for the pilot bearing to run on. I have done this MANY times, it was the preferred method of repair for trucks off warranty when I was working for Dodge. Once done, it almost never has to be done again.

chevy1500z71 12-24-2011 10:34 AM

well that sounds like a great option but its Christmas eve and i was already lucky enough to have the flywheel turned but now the shop is closed, i wish i had known this earlier. this clutch needs to go in today, Im starting a new job on Tuesday and need my truck, not to mention I'm supposed to be visiting my old ladys family on Christmas and nobody's gonna be able to give me a ride or let me borrow a vehicle.

Am i going to run into any trouble down the road if i just run the pilot bearing with everything as is? I test fitted it and it was an acceptable fit. If i Really need to do this i can do it on monday... id really like to not be stuck at home twiddling my thumbs on Christmas over a truck part tho lol.

sbchevfreak 12-24-2011 12:06 PM

Can you post a pic of the damage? Unless it is extreme, a properly oiled bronze bushing should be okay untill you can do it right. Smooth any rough protrusions w/emery cloth, as to prevent the pilot tearing up the new bushing. When the pilot is damaged, you HAVE to use a bushing, or you will destroy the new bearing VERY quickly, and cause more damage to the pilot. Take the bushing, seal one end w/your thumb, and fill the bushing with clean motor oil. Then, press your other thumb on the top and squeeze together. When the oil is seeping through the sides of the bushing, you are done, and ready to install.

chevy1500z71 12-24-2011 02:56 PM

i went to the hardware store and got a brass bushing and made my own bushing, its longer then the original so it covers every bit of the end of the input shaft which pretty much eliminates the problem. so no more issue there

New problem, i went to put the pressure plate onto the flywheel and it wont tighten up. the pressure plate is just so far away fromn the flywheel, i think its because i had to machine so much off of the flywheel because it was in such bad shape. so theres no way to get this pressure plate to sit down against the flywheel. i have tried everything, i have a bolt broken off in the flywheel now. I dont know what to do at this point, do i need a new flywheel?

chevy1500z71 12-24-2011 09:10 PM

well i feel like an idiot. the bolts for the pressure plate aren't threaded all the way up. now that the flywheel is thinner i need bolts that are threaded all the way up is all. **** like this always happens when im in a rush and trying to save money, my original plan was to get new hardware anyway. i always end up doing stupid things like this when im working in the driveway as apposed to on a lift, i forget to check all the details because im so miserable under the truck i just want to get it done lol. I cost myself so much time and effort today for nothing! now im gonna spend all Christmas trying to remove a broken off bolt in a flywheel... great :( lol oh well, as long as it gets done.

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