Monday, May 30, 2016

Operation: Steve Austin

Just like the Six Million Dollar Man, it's time to rebuild the transmission.  I got a start on the third motion shaft (mainshaft) today.  The Haynes manual is pretty detailed about reassembly instructions, so I followed those.

First up - 2nd gear.  I cleaned the gear, loaded the roller bearings up with assembly lube, and installed it on the shaft.

Then, mounting the assembly in a vise with soft jaws (just like the manual says), I began the fight of my life.  At least, that's how it felt.

The next step is to install the thrust washers and the locking collar that holds the gear in place.  There are two little pins with a spring between them that holds the collar.


After fighting with this for an hour, I figured it out.  The trick is to push one pin in (which pushes the other pin out, but more on that later), line up the thrust washers under the pin, line up the collar with the thrust washers, install the collar on the shaft, and push one side of the collar down to cover the pin you pushed in.  Then, you force the other pin in and push down on the collar until it clicks into place.  Once the collar's all the way in place, you rotate it to lock it in place with the pins.

This is impossible.

So I did what any desperate man would do--I cheated.  I modified the collar a bit by giving one of the retaining teeth a slope to allow the collar to slide over the pin.  The tooth I modified is the one that sits over the pin I was trying to push in, of course.  It's hard to describe, and I didn't take a picture of the modification (but I did something similar later, and I took a picture of that).  The modification lets the collar slide over the end of the pin as you push it in.

Eventually, success!

Next up on the docket is to flip the shaft over to install 3rd gear.  Similar to 2nd gear, I cleaned it up and lubed up the roller bearings (which let them stick to the shaft, by the way). This time, though, there is a single spring loaded pin that gets installed before the gear is installed.  Then, the gear slides into place.  Note that you cannot forget a single roller bearing, or you'll have no bearing at all after a short time.  There's lots of them.  I didn't lose any, twice.


Like I said before, I modified this retaining collar to give a tooth some slope to allow it to slide over the pin as the pin is pushed in.  The modification doesn't take away any strength since the collar is twisted to lock it in place with the pin.  The pin I modified is just before the 12:00 position.

It was quite a bit easier to install (heck, given it was impossible before, anything's easier).  The other key was having one of these.  It's a little cheapo pick that I nipped off the end.  The curved section lets you get it under the collar and push in the pin.

In the end, result!

That looks like the hardest part, until I get to the next hardest part... rebuilding the 3rd/4th synchro assembly.  It's got three spring loaded balls that I can't wait to lose all over my garage.

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