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Red64

Replacing clutch in my '64

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Red64

My first project for 2013 is replacing the clutch in my '64. It is a 300 HP L75, 4spd., and I suspect that I will have to take it apart to find the clutch diameter and spline type. Are my suspicions correct? Thanks in advance for any input!

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Bromley's Corvettes

Fun project. You should have a 10.5 clutch and 26 spline input shaft. Your fly wheel should be ok just have it surfaced and check all the teeth. You should install a roller pilot bearing while its apart. Best thing to do is get a kit with everything in one box. Have fun with the welded in cross member lol.

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Azmotorhead

Not a fun job. If you dont have a lift it's a bit of a struggle. Bellhousing and trans have to be dropped out at the same time. Which clutch are you planing on going with? Do yourself a favor and whichever clutch kit you go with order both a long and short throwout bearing. Then return the one you dont use. I've been through this ordeal several times and I've just about got a handle on it.

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Bromley's Corvettes

Not a fun job. If you dont have a lift it's a bit of a struggle.

Bellhousing and trans have to be dropped out at the same time.

Which clutch are you planing on going with?

Do yourself a favor and whichever clutch kit you go with order both a long and short throwout bearing.

Then return the one you dont use.

I've been through this ordeal several times and I've just about got a handle on it.

I was being kinda a smart ace lol. Its a huge pain in the ace job even with a lift. The cross member is welded to the frame so you have to fight with the tranny and bell housing to get it out and be real car full installing so you dont mess anything up. I have cut the center out of cross members and made a bolt in piece. On cars that are not all #s matching it does not matter. It makes it so you can just lower tranny down and then go straight up and in. Its not a sat after noon job in your drive way lol.

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Dave64

Doug really knows what he's talking about, but I'd do some research on use of a roller-bearing pilot bushing vs a quality bronze GM pilot bearing. I've used both with success, though did have a name-brand roller bearing go bad. It's not a piece you want to have to replace in one of these mid-years... Dave

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anmracing2

Pilot bearing are good but as long as it is a good quality pilot bushing you would be fine. You'll have to let us know when you plan on getting into this. I would love to stop by and watch/help. We have done a few without the luxury of a lift. Good luck with that crossmember. Hopefully someone has already been into it and did a bolt on replacement......

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Bromley's Corvettes

I can mod your cross member if you want. It makes it was easier.

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Red64

Not a fun job. If you dont have a lift it's a bit of a struggle.

Bellhousing and trans have to be dropped out at the same time.

Which clutch are you planing on going with?

Do yourself a favor and whichever clutch kit you go with order both a long and short throwout bearing.

Then return the one you dont use.

I've been through this ordeal several times and I've just about got a handle on it.

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Red64

Since my '64 is a numbers matching car, I am thinking of trying to keep the replacment parts "similar" to what the car was equipt with. I am trying to spread out what I want to accomplish in my restoration to a 2 or 3 year period. My time frame would be sooner but the ex-wife is taking me back to court for some kind stupidity and that means $$$$$$$$.

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Azmotorhead

If youre wanting to keep it stock then look for a clutch kit mfg by Sachs. Rockauto has a good price on them.

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Vet65te

Red64 - Not sure if you already did your clutch replacement or not but if not, my suggestion would be to avoid the roller pilot bearings. I added one to my 66 Smallblock Coupe back when I did the body-on freshen up. Only put maybe 6K miles on it since the early 90's but found the roller pilot bearing had disintegrated. This was the GM bearing with 17 rollers and the bellhousing 'was' verified for concentricity and since it was all factory parts, it was fine. I went back to the bronze GM bushing, also available through the aftermarket and no problems since.

Posted Image

Mike T.

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Azmotorhead

Not that it matters now Vet65te. but that bearing you had disintergrate is a needle bearing design. Roller bearing type have a ball bearing construction and can take lateral loads better.

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Vet65te

Hi Phil, haven't talked with you in a while, hope all is well. All pilot bearings I've seen, both GM and aftermarket, are the needle style I have in the pic, not ball bearing style. Never have seen one made as a ball bearing style. Mike T.

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Vet65te

Actually, I should have said I've never seen a 'ball' type bearing for Chevys but have seen the 'ball' versions in Pontiacs. I have one of them in my 64 GTO. Mike T

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Azmotorhead

Hey Mike. I hadn't searched for a ball bearing type for a Chevy. but I do know they have them for other makes. My Olds has one as well. I'm curious if the input of your trans, the one that was behind that shelled bearing, has any play in it, Or do you know what caused that bearing to fail? What kind of noise or symptom did you get when that bearing failed?

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Vet65te

Phil - Back around '93 when I went through all the mechanical items on the 66 Coupe, we had the trans rebuilt and at the time I figured that going with the rollerized pilot bearing was a worthy upgrade. The Mr Gasket aftermarket roller bearing was supposedly a 12-roller type and the GM version was something like 17-rollers so I went with GM. No problems seen till I got up near 5K miles and while it continued to shift up and down like clockwork, it had this odd habit of making a bit of a growling/grinding sound. Not while I was in gear but as I was letting up the clutch pedal with the trans in first gear. No other problems to mention, never popped out of gear at any time.

It was only because the speedo stopped working that I finally pulled the trans. The plastic speedo gear had gotten eaten up due to the steel drive gear being slightly offcenter and the only way to correct that was to yank the trans. Just before I pulled the trans down, I had mentioned the growling sound scenario with the friend at the trans shop and he said that most times the trans makes sound 'before' it's in gear is typically due to a pilot bushing problem. Bingo, the bushing disintegrated as seen in that pic I posted. I posted that pic on the Corvette Forum and found a lot of similar stories from other guys who all went back to the old standard bronze bushing. GM bellhousings typically pass the concentricity tests with flying colors as mine did so other than maybe the grease just finally getting displaced, I can't explain the failure. There were quite a few other Vette owners with their own sad stories regarding roller pilot bearing deterioration but no one mentioned how other GM makes got away with using them such as Olds and Pontiacs. So, for future clutch jobs on Chevys, I'll be using the old style bronze bushing.

Posted Image

Mike T.

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Azmotorhead

Thanks for the info Mike. Hope that move will happen soon. Let us know when it does

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Vet65te

Hey Phil, the house plans for the new place in Prescott are complete. It's now just a matter of spiffing up 'this house' and getting it ready to sell now that the market seems to be improving, although only slightly. Time-wise, it's looking like we should be in Prescott this time next year. I'll keep you posted. Mike T.

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