Managed another hour in the garage so decided to tackle the gearbox input shaft, again, because it’s been an nagging problem and could get expensive in the long run.
The problem has always been the rusty input shaft. With the car being sat in the weather, with no engine fitted and no deck lid covering it, rust has set in. My first clean up of the shaft, with a wire brush, gave me hope, it looked like it was only surface rust but I wanted to check the splines for smooth movement, by using the friction plate on the clutch. This is important because no one wants a sticky clutch!
Time to pull the engine out of the corner of the garage, easy job due to leaving it on the wheels I used to move the body around, during the house move. I’ve left the engine in the same condition I got it in because I just don’t have the space to work on it yet and it’s in good condition because it was running before it was removed.
Off comes the clutch, 13 mm socket and working diagonally on each bolt a little at a time the clutch assembly is removed. Lucked out here it’s nearly new with little wear on the plate.
Try to move the friction plate onto the input shaft, on the gearbox and of course it doesn’t go on at all!
Time to have a good close look at the input shaft and I can immediately see the problem. Due to sitting for a long time in the weather one side of the shaft has rusted more than the other so the splines are blocked and the teeth are thicker, so getting out a junior hacksaw blade I lightly removed the problem from between the splines.
Checking with the clutch friction plate again, my fix was halfway there. The clutch went on a little but got stuck almost right away, so it’s another chance to get my needle files out (great tools to have). Working with the flat file I cleaned up the tops of the splines, giving the shaft a good clean with a small stiff brush afterwards.
Making progress, the clutch goes on fully now but is very sticky on the splines so out comes a little copper grease (don’t know if this is perfect for the job but only thing to hand at the moment) using a small amount and rubbing after with a rag, the clutch now moves freely for the complete length of the shaft.
Time to refit and see if the engine can go on.
Replacing and aligning the clutch is an easy job, no need for an alignment tool here, and lifting the engine with a trolley jack, just a little fiddly by myself but on went the engine, a little stiffly due to some paint clogging the holes on the gearbox but nothing major. I temporarily fixed the engine in place with some nyloc nuts I had to hand ( will replace later)
Had to remove the starter motor for now but will replace when I get the right bits to fit the engine properly.
Next job, strip the engine down to the block ready to clean up and service.