Thanks Truktor for all those pictures.
So I spent a mostly enjoyable 10h to get at the clutch. Everything going text book smooth. Cleaned up the bell housing etc and mounted the new clutch, pressure plate and TOB.
This is when things take a turn. I'm reattaching the engine to the bell and it's in upto the pilot bearing. I can't get the input shaft to pop into the pilot bearing. I think due to the front of the engine sitting high due to it not being able to slide back enough to clear the front engine mounting chassis tube. I did check the pilot bearing with the clutch removed but flywheel still attached, a. It exists, b. Shiny balls. Looks to have been replaced along with the clutch, flywheel about 1000km ago.
Any ideas? I see in one of Truktor's pictures, there's wood under the cross support that runs under the bell housing. The book says to support the bell with wood. I however wedged wood between the bell and this cross support member. I bring this up as I feel the input shaft needs to be tilted upwards to align with the engine, is there play in the gearbox to jack it up a little..?
I know nothing about 404's, only some about my RW1, but a lot about my F250. FWIW, I had a series of pull transmission/ replace main seal events a couple of years ago. Having done this in fairly agricultural fashion many years prior, I figured to spare myself and rent a tranny jack. Came apart easily on the first repair, but could NOT get it to roll back in for re-assembly. After throughly annoying myself, I got wise, and put a level on the engine block/ crankcase, and got a measure for how out of level the engine was relative to the shop floor. I then got a big piece of heavy plywood, some wood strips and shim shingles, and made a runway for the tranny jack that duplicated the engine slope. When one does not have to adjust height as one advances into place, life is MUCH easier; in fact it now just slid right in.
Your observation of angular mismatch corresponds to my similar experience, and looking at the photo, I'd guess this is what is holding you up. What I can't say is how to attack the problem in your particular case, but I think that is what you need to do. Angular mismatch doesn't seem like it should be a big deal, but it is. Note that getting set up with the engine and bell faces parallel and the height (observed where?) is not the only issue, but aligning axis of the travel path with the axis of the static side is also important, if not necessary.
Or possibly it is simply a matter of only using Level 2 language on a Level 5 problem. Anyway, good luck.
Did you center your new pressure plate with an alignment tool? There are cheap plastic tools for this in case you have not. My recollection is that the tool I used (before someone stole it and the toolbox with all my specialty tools!*) was a GM-10. I see them on the 'bay for about $7. A thin coating of grease on the spline helps too.
BTW, I also recall raising the front of the transmission/bell housing to improve alignment.
(*wife said "oh, I left the garage door open so my cat could get in")
Thanks everyone for the insight.
What got the input shaft into the pilot bearing, was jacking up the transmission. The engine slid back and down onto the front engine support then a few wiggles and it was in. I felt the transmission could be persuaded to tilt upward but I was hesitant with just how much. Shoutout to Scott for the encouragement in the transmissions ability to work the flex mountings, thank you!
I jacked the transmission from the main square plate, between two bolts along the front side.
I adjusted the clutch pedal. 35mm of dead play the book says. I fine tuned it while the engine was running for accuracy. I left the bell housing inspection cover off to see the input shaft stop. With the clutch pedal pressed, input shaft spun at about 1 revolution per second.
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