<VV> Curly, Larry, and Moe would be proud (Or: the '64 21, 000 mile clutch and tranny issues have been solved)

judynrandy at comcast.net judynrandy at comcast.net
Fri Dec 11 22:46:06 EST 2015

A while back I e-mailed in a question about why the tranny would grind when trying to put it into first and reverse.  Many of the replies were about the clutch.  Part of the solution was that the pilot bushing wasn't pressed in far enough.  After that, I thought I had it licked.  Put everything together again and went for a "shakedown cruise" test drive.  It seemed to shift ok for the most part.  But at the midway point, all of a sudden it didn't want to go into ANY gears.  With much wiggling and jiggling I managed to get it into second, then finally third.  Most of the trip was highway miles.  I did a lot of praying at the three bad intersections I had to go through.  My prayers were answered as somehow I got all three green lights.   Once home, I got it back into the garage.  It was even very difficult to get into reverse with the engine off.  
So, I pulled the drivetrain again.  Removed the said tranny and called Jeff at the Corvair Ranch.  Once there, he looked the tranny over and couldn't find anything wrong with it.  Maybe something with the shift tube.  Well, I removed it plus the shifter and cleaned and inspected it.  The only thing wrong was a case of 50 year old petrified lubriplate.  This wasn't that big a deal as I had to remove it anyway to install a new back-up light switch shift tube tab.  I'm glad I did it that way.  It was a total bear to get installed correctly on the shaft even though I had it clamped in a vise.  The metal was very stiff.  I'd hate to think of what it would have been like trying to do it under the car!    Anyway, if the shifter, shifter tube, clutch, and tranny all checked out ok, what the hey is going on?  As I pondered the problem, I picked up the '64 shop manual supplement and began to re-read the clutch section yet again.  As you all know, the '64 book says something like this:  Repair and service procedures are basically the same as those listed in the '61 shop manual.  Any differences are hereby noted below.   It was very late, I was very bummed, so I decided to read the WHOLE clutch section for gp's.  Then it happened.  As I got near the end, I noticed a paragraph I had previously somehow missed.  It said when adjusting the clevis adjustment, the outboard lever should be between 1/2 to 5/8 of an inch!!!!  OOOOOOPS.  Somehow I missed that paragraph and figured things were to be adjusted according to the '61 manual.  That set the distance at 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch!  Then the puzzle pieces began to fall into place.  The '64 had the bent finger clutch.  The '61 didn't.  The '64 had the midget ball stud for the throwout bearing fork.  The '61 didn't.  Upon re-installing everything, I adjusted it according to the '64 specks and amazingly the problem went away.  (You can stop laughing now, Jeff.)  Yeah, one of the clutch replies said something about "it's probably something really simple".   Little did I realize that it would turn out to be ME!!!    : - ) 
Randy (Cap'n) Hook 
Hopewell, PA 

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