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Old 09-20-2021, 07:08 AM   #1
Rembrant
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Default ‘52 Flathead crankshaft end play

Hi folks,

I finally pulled my transmission last night (S10 5spd) on Flathead bell housings. There had been a scraping noise when the clutch was pushed in, but it would go away and be smooth and quiet with the clutch out while driving. I thought it was the throw out bearing and I have one on order, but yesterday the sound got a little worse and was present not only with the clutch pressed, but also with the clutch out, however a bit less noisy. So I drove the truck home and jacked it up and pulled the trans. The ends of the three pressure plate fingers were worn down quite badly and looked like they had been hitting the front edge of the throw out bearing (the not rotating part) and thus making a scraping sound.

However, things got worse when I pulled the main bell housing and pressure plate, etc. You can see where the flywheel has been wearing into the dust shield that the starter is mounted to. That sounds like pretty bad news to me…here I thought I was going to be changing a throw out bearing or at the worst a clutch and pressure plate, but by the looks of this the clutch action is pushing the crank forward and making the flywheel contact the dust shield.

Is that a bad thrust bearing, or a bad crank, or both?
The engine starts and runs great. No smoke, no other issues to speak of.
Darn it.

Thoughts or comments good or bad?

Last edited by Rembrant; 09-20-2021 at 07:14 AM. Reason: Spelling mistakes
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Old 09-20-2021, 07:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: ‘52 Flathead crankshaft end play

Sorry for the spelling mistakes I’m working from my iPhone today…
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Old 09-20-2021, 07:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: ‘52 Flathead crankshaft end play

The amount of end-play on the crankshaft should only be about .004 to about .008 or so (writing from memory here - not at home). You should be able to check that with some large screwdrivers or pry bars and a magnetic-base dial indicator. (to see if the crank is moving more than that).

If it is moving more than the .008 number, then with the thrust surfaces of the crank are worn, the thrust surfaces/material on the rear main bearings are worn . . . or some combination of both. I'd check this first.

I'm also wondering why your clutch fingers are so worn? I'd think about the only way that could happen was if the throw-out bearing was constantly rubbing on the fingers (no free play) or if the fingers didn't correctly contact the throw-out bearing. I'd surely try to figure out what was going on here as well.

Good luck!
B&S

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Old 09-20-2021, 07:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: ‘52 Flathead crankshaft end play

The crankshaft and rear main thrust face affect the shaft end play. There used to be some main bearings available that had a .010" thicker thrust face but I don't know what is available in the modern era. There should be no more than .006" if I remember correctly.

Check your starter ring gear, If it has moved off its normal seat area then it might rub.

Excessively worn crankshaft thrust faces indicate some hard clutch use at some point in the past. Larger trucks with the 11 inch clutch can be found with end play problems and so can race car set ups where clutch use is heavy.
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Old 09-20-2021, 07:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: ‘52 Flathead crankshaft end play

Oh the starter ring gear is removable? That hadn’t occurred to me and the flywheel is still on the engine. I’ll pull it tonight and have a look. That actually makes more sense based on the sound I was hearing.
If you guys are saying that crankshaft end play is only a few thou then something would have to be drastically wrong here as it would have to move a long distance by comparison to hit the dust shield and wear into it.
I tried prying back on the flywheel and couldn’t feel it move, and I don’t really have a way to push it forward.

This thing has a full 11” clutch in it, but with the S10 5spd I don’t know what the clutch is from…I don’t think the S10’s had 11” clutches.

There was also a fairly crude pilot bushing installed. I was able to pull it out with my pinky finger. Looks like the splined section of the trans input shaft was rubbing on it as well.

More layers to this onion I think…
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Old 09-20-2021, 08:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: ‘52 Flathead crankshaft end play

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l think a 11 inch is overkill the end play will ware the bearing being softer . Have a hard look at that ring gear. I had that happen. I presume this is a pick up? 11 inch would be for a F6 maybe F5 get a 9 or 10 inch flywheel pressure plate and disk ......
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Old 09-20-2021, 08:50 AM   #7
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Default Re: ‘52 Flathead crankshaft end play

Most 4-speed transmissions had the 11-inch Long type set up. 3-speeds had the 10-inch Long type clutch. Canada did do things a bit differently but not really all that much in the clutch department. The 11-inch is as heavy as they get. A lighter clutch gives quicker rpm response and generally less pedal pressure.
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Old 09-20-2021, 01:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: ‘52 Flathead crankshaft end play

T-5 trans input shafts are excessively long- Just worked with an installation where the trans input shaft was pressing the crank forward! Check length overall Newc
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Old 09-20-2021, 01:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: ‘52 Flathead crankshaft end play

Check that it isn't the PP bolts rubbing on the starter plate.
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Old 09-20-2021, 01:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: ‘52 Flathead crankshaft end play

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rembrant View Post
...

This thing has a full 11” clutch in it, but with the S10 5spd I don’t know what the clutch is from…I don’t think the S10’s had 11” clutches.

I think most S10 T5's used a 9.5" disc
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Old 09-20-2021, 02:32 PM   #11
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Default Re: ‘52 Flathead crankshaft end play

I have an 11" clutch on my Olds engine which was purchased as an Astro Van clutch. 4.3 Engine '85-90.

Al Hook
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Old 09-20-2021, 02:43 PM   #12
Rembrant
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Default Re: ‘52 Flathead crankshaft end play

I just got home so I'll pull the flywheel in a little while. Have a couple chores to do first.

I see that I can't upload pictures on here. Are there any sites that will host pictures these days that you can link to?

If the ring gear is pulled off its seat on the flywheel that sure would explain a lot...and it would certainly make me feel better if it's only the flywheel and not the crank. There was a clicking/scraping sound with the clutch pressed, but then yesterday after a brief stop I started it back up and it started scraping constantly...clutch in or out.

Anyway, I'll let you know what I found out after I pull the flywheel. Thanks all for the comments.
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Old 09-20-2021, 03:15 PM   #13
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Default Re: ‘52 Flathead crankshaft end play

Here are some pictures...just learning how to use the forum...
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Old 09-20-2021, 05:53 PM   #14
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Default Re: ‘52 Flathead crankshaft end play

I suspect the flywheel ring gear is causing your wear pattern.
If the crank was moving in that much I believe the rods would get bound up while it was running.
That looks like a fair amount of a groove cut into the starter plate .

Tommy
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Old 09-20-2021, 06:21 PM   #15
Rembrant
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Default Re: ‘52 Flathead crankshaft end play

You guys were right. The ring gear is off...way off. I didn't realize until I took this all apart that the starter bendix pulls forward...the same direction that can pull the ring gear off the flywheel. In any case, it was certainly pulled off...one side much worse than the other. The largest gap is more than a quarter inch, assuming the ring gear is supposed to be seated on that shoulder.

The homemade pilot bushing is/was also an issue...you can see where the transmission input shaft splines wore into the bushing. Every now and then, I wasn't able to get it into reverse because the trans was still spinning with the clutch pressed. If I can't get a bearing for it, I'll have to have a thinner bushing made up, or counter sink the area where the snout of the trans input splines sit. Any thoughts on that, good or bad?

Still...the crank must still have a little bit of end play movement in it. I assume the ring gear was making the noise all along...the pressure plate would push it ahead far enough to just "tick" against the dust shield. That one specific start yesterday pulled the ring ahead far enough it started rubbing constantly.

Now to make a list of parts to order. Any suggestions on the best place to call that will have everything in-stock?
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Old 09-20-2021, 06:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: ‘52 Flathead crankshaft end play

I agree with the ring gear might be scraping the starter plate. The bushing picture looks like the input shaft is to tight against it. What kind of adapter are you using?.......Mark
You also type much faster than I do!.... there are pilot shaft bushings available that will leave room for your spline shaft. Still like to know what kind of adapter your using.
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Old 09-20-2021, 07:54 PM   #17
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Default Re: ‘52 Flathead crankshaft end play

The adapter "kit" is just a homemade plate as far as I can tell.

There are two sets of holes in the flywheel, I assume the slightly smaller diameter set are for a 10" pressure plate? I assume this flywheel is an original one as it has the Ford script stamped on it. Did they typically come drilled for both 10" and 11" pressure plates?
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Old 09-20-2021, 11:45 PM   #18
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Default Re: ‘52 Flathead crankshaft end play

I've never seen one drilled with 2 drillings from the factory. You can have a machine shop make a proper pilot bearing out of "oilite" material so it will clear the input shaft.
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Old 09-21-2021, 05:54 AM   #19
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Default Re: ‘52 Flathead crankshaft end play

I suggest finding a method to observe the crankshaft end play. Judging from the appearance of the pilot bearing there has been continuous, substantial, forward pressure applied to the thrust surfaces. I would not worry about .010 but the rod side clearance and piston pin clearances can be exceeded leading to potentially serious engine damage when excess end play exists.
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Old 09-21-2021, 10:56 AM   #20
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Default Re: ‘52 Flathead crankshaft end play

A person really should try to shim the trans back enough to gain clearance on the pilot. A plate of specific thickness would be a way to go but it would take some time to whittle out a proper spacer plate. JWL is right about that crank end play. Make sure it doesn't have too much. It may have been set up in a bind due to the long input shaft.

Steel on steel can be tack welded in a few spots to keep the starter ring from moving. It can make it a b!tch to replace though. There may be other ways to go on that. It's not real common to have them come loose. It just depends on the fit. Most rings have to be heated pretty well to get them on there due to the interference fit.
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