Sunday, January 13, 2013

single cab screw up

So yesterday I decide that I need to test the transaxle on the single cab to make sure everything shifts and is good to drive. I fuss with the shifter and get it to shift properly after figuring out that the shifter plate was flipped the wrong way. I start up the truck and push in on the clutch and the engine starts to idle down like it's under strain. So I figure the clutch is out of adjustment, so I climb under and get things adjusted with proper "play". Then I start it up and push in on the clutch and the same thing happens and I start to loose clutch pressure and it smells like I'm burning the clutch. In addition, the tranny won't shift into gear with the clutch pushed in.

I go inside do some reading and I figure out that I must have a bad throwout bearing. Never-mind that it's NEW. I decide to pull the engine and inspect things. I pull the thing in record time because everything is fresh in my mind from hooking all the electrical and fuel line, etc. I drop the engine out and find a disintegrated throw out bearing. 

It seems I installed it BACKWARDS!! Aghhhh I'm an IDIOT! I'm not sure how I managed this and it's actually pretty embarrassing to admit here. The throw out bearing was toast. Luckily, I had a used one and so I installed it…PROPERLY and tossed the engine back in and got everything connected again.

I start up the truck, I have clutch but it's TIGHT! and when I let out on the clutch the engine /truck shudders violently. So I figure that I must have damaged the pressure plate or clutch disc. 

I come inside, do a little reading…aka wasting time trying not to think about pulling the engine AGAIN. I figure out that the used throwout bearing that I just installed is for an old coil style spring style pressure plate and I have a newer diaphragm pressure plate mounted instead. Guess what? Time to pull the engine. I pull the engine AGAIN and this time faster than the time before. Ya gotta love four bolts, four wire connections and a fuel line to disconnect. I mount an older style pressure plate and clutch disc on the back of the engine and start the engine installation again.

Well I put everything back together and started the truck; clutch works and I have all four forward gears and reverse. I back in and out of the grange and it's good to go now! 

Not bad for an afternoon and night of work! I don't think I've ever pulled an engine by myself and done it twice in half a day, so this was a great learning experience. 

What's the moral of the story beside don't be an idiot when you put things together? Well it reminds me of when I was a kid and my Dad told me that working on my own car made me appreciate it more and understand how it works. He's right. It takes making a few mistakes to understand how things are supposed to work and how they're supposed to look when things are "right". It also takes "doing" to have a deeper understanding of things and to gain confidence in your own abilities. I'm not intimidated to pull that engine when there's a problem and I have a knowledge base to pull from the next time I see the symptoms that I saw yesterday. That knowledge base is forged and tempered by mistakes, expierences, and patience. I think this is something that I need to remember in teaching others. 

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