Restoration Impossible: Linking the Transmission to the Engine

With the frame, front suspension, differential and rear suspension nearly completed, we decided we wanted to add a significant amount of weight to the chassis.

Why did we need to add weight? Without any weight at the rear of the chassis, the rear suspension sat up high enough to cause unnatural suspension angles and too much deflection. That would most likely inflict permanent damage to the roto-flex couplings.

The easiest way to put a significant mount of weight into the chassis was to mount the engine, gearbox and driveshaft onto the frame.

First we would have to install the clutch and flywheel and then mount the gearbox to the engine. While a little tricky to wedge the engine/transmission combination into a bare Elan frame, it is said to be nearly an impossible task with the body mounted on that frame.

Before mounting it all on the frame, we had to put the whole assembly together. We couldn’t find the correctly sized clutch installation tool in our tool box. However we made a temporary tool to center the clutch disc onto the flywheel. We wrapped the end of a socket extension with black tape until in fit first into the pilot bearing hole correctly. Then we wrapped additional tape further down on the extension. This would then center the clutch disc itself. This is a quick and cheap way to easily solve this dilemma.

We realized the tin that goes around the bell housing was missing a piece. Rather than wait and source one, we were able to quickly fabricate it from scrap metal we had laying around the shop.

Next we bolted and torqued the clutch to the flywheel and the flywheel to the engine.

From there we would configure the throw-out bearing and make sure we had a pilot bearing installed. We then easily mounted the transmission to the engine and added the whole assembly to the chassis.

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roblamoreaux New Reader
12/13/17 8:13 p.m.

I got my clutch alignment tool from the local parts store. It is a standard Ford unit.  I never could fit the engine when it is attached to the transmission, so now I leave the transmission in and remove just the engine.

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
12/31/17 8:13 a.m.

roblamoreaux. That would have been good to know. Thanks for the tip. We have a whole box of clutch alignment tools that we couldn't find. When queried my son admitted that he had borrwed them and not returned them yet.

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