The hole in the bellhousing won't be a problem. There are loads about with the same hole cut in them, albeit mostly for a different reason, getting the remains of an inertia starter mechanism out after it has broken.
Well, I’ve finally flipped. I pulled the engine and gearbox again! Honest I had a real reason for it!!! When she warmed up the clutch judder was so bad I couldn’t face driving her more than seven miles. It felt like she was going to wreck herself. Also the gearbox whine was back, ugh. The final straw was the rubber foot coming off the top timing chain tensioner. I’ve had this happen with the bottom one before so recognized the noise instantly after a short drive. I could have just replaced the tensioner but I thought ‘sod it, it’s easier with the engine out’. So, I pulled the engine and gearbox on Wednesday. Stripped the gearbox on Thursday, reset the input shaft bearing (pretty sure it wasn’t 100% home after feeling the shim move). Pulled out the friction plate from the clutch.
There were two smoking guns for the bad judder on take off:
(1) 3 of the 4 rivets holding the hub assembly to the friction plate assembly were loose? And not just a little, it sounded like a tambourine when you shakes it!
(2) The zinc alloy threaded insert in the front cross member for the torque rod mount was stripped, the bolt no longer present. Pretty sure that was my fault. I noticed the insert spinning when I tightened it up last time.
So, I drilled out the remaining insert and welded a nut in place. Much stronger than before. Fortunately the other bolt hole had a thread cut into a steel insert so no problem there.
I had a choice of two clutch plates. Another AP similar to the failed on and an F&S German one. The F&S looked new and unused, it also had a more sophisticated hub mechanism with springs of varied force and leaf spring clips for lateral alignment.
She put up a hell of a fight when I was refitting the engine. Normally it just slips in. Yesterday took forever, I had to adjust the shifter rod finger a bit to get things in place but I finally won!
I’ve just come back from an extended test drive and I can say I’ve never driven such a smooth P6! My OCD has finally paid off.
Thanks for listening to my whitterings.
Decided I should try and fit the new UJs on the prop shaft I’ve had sitting on the shelf for a year. Didn’t feel like there was anything wrong with them. Turned out I was wrong!
I pulled the shaft from the car and went to my basement lair. Removed the circlips on the shaft side of the yoke, followed by the old bearing cups. Came apart easily. Flange side: another story! Both circlip eyes snapped off on Borge sides, ugh. Pulled out my die grinder and made a small notch behind the groove, managed to remove them with a pick. Next was removing the cups. First try with the club hammer, didn’t move at all. Next with the bench vice. Crack! Vice decides today’s a good day to die (I wasn’t even cranking on it, honest)
So, 12 ton press it is then. I push the cup out one side, other cup comes with yoke, I then realise that it’s full of rust. After trying every Way possible I just take the angle grinder to the damn thing. Amazing thing was, it still rotated when assembled.
So, it’s eventually back together Test drive proved I know nothing as she feels smoother. (She felt pretty good before).