Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Year, New Parts

Before we start, this is the stuff the Eagle's nightmares are made of:

So anyway, the scariest part of the rebuild is over. I’m speaking, of course, about the valve body. This is the hunk of metal in the bottom of the transmission that has a bunch of holes and channels milled into it. The holes are home to valves and springs and such (first photo), that together with the channels, direct transmission fluid under high pressure to do its various jobs such as actuating clutch bands and so forth.

one of the many pics I took to document how the various things were supposed to go back in
If it sounds complicated, it is. It’s also extremely exacting. One false move and the whole thing can be ruined. Also, cleanliness is paramount. Seeing as how my workstation is outside, I had to be vigilant about particles of any kind getting into the works while it was all open to the elements. Luckily I was able to do most of it in one day, so the chance of making a serious mistake was reduced.

Here’s the completed valve body, shoehorned into a gallon-size bag, to keep out the dust of the urban desert, as well as any moisture, during the wait to return to its home. We don’t get much dew around here, but you can’t be too careful with this stuff.

The front and rear clutches are also completed. This rather dry but short and informative video shows part of that process. Inside the clutch pack is a stack of alternating friction discs and steel plates. Most of the old friction discs in both clutches were worn almost completely clean of friction material (see old vs. new below).

new one is on the right, obviously

new/old frictions and steels. you can't see it, but the friction disc on the bottom right is actually concave from being warped by heat
this is the inside of the rear clutch, freshly cleaned and reassembled with new rubber seals, friction discs and steel plates
The condition of the clutches would probably have led to erratically-timed and sometimes nonexistent shifts toward the end. Some of the steels were also warped and scorched with rainbow-looking patterns on them. Some really brutal heat was going on in there. I’m considering adding an auxiliary transmission cooler later on, but we’ll see. Whatever else can be said, this transmission gave all it had, and died with its boots on, a faithful soldier till the end. Of course, to paraphrase Gen. MacArthur, old transmissions never die, they just get rebuilt.

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