Project SC300 Road Racer: Part 19 – Achieving Release, Mounting Problems


Mark, Chris and Ethan Under Lift Looking at Underbody
The moment of truth was here…

Chris, Mark, and the L2 Intern, Ethan, all mustered their strength to hoist the transmission into place.

Chris, Mark and Ethan Attempting to Seat Transmission on Bellhousing
And then the proverbial you-know-what really hit the fan. The transmission wouldn’t go onto the bellhousing.

We poked, we prodded, we jostled, we nudged, and it just didn’t seem to want to fit. Instead of forcing it, we read the instructions a few more times. We tried a few more times. It just seemed… hard. We also didn’t have a proper clutch alignment tool on hand, so one had to be ordered. It wouldn’t show up until the next day. If we were smart, we would’ve ordered the shiny awesome machined billet one that Grannas Racing sells. We’re not so smart. End day 1.

Aligning multiple clutch plates and a heavy-ass transmission with the pilot bearing and the super-tight-tolerance machined bellhousing/transmission dowels is like three-dimensional calculus via semi-blindfolded ballet. It’s not easy. And it still wasn’t working comfortably. Back to the drawing board.

Dial Gauge on Flywheel Measuring Bellhousing Runout
A dial gauge was used to measure the runout of the bellhousing in relation to the flywheel which is bolted directly to the crank. So in essence it’s measuring the alignment of the transmission to the crank via the engine block. Sort of.

Occasionally there are manufacturing tolerance issues and the alignment of all the things can be off. Quicktime sells offset dowels that allow some adjustment of the alignment of the bellhousing to the other things. We figured that it would be just my luck (Dammit, remember?) to have a made-on-Friday engine block or bellhousing that would need offset dowels. Fortunately after some calls to Quicktime we determined that such dowels might be available, should they be needed. But measuring the runout was the way to figure that out.

So, we busted out the trusty dial gauge and turned the engine and measured and measured again and measured one more time just to be sure. What did we measure?

0.005” — 5 tousandths.

What did Quicktime say the spec was?

0.005” — 5 thousandths.

Cue cursing.

After some more phone calls to Quicktime we were assured that everything would bolt up. It just might take some more jiggling. At this point we had run out of time to make our next jZilla Track Days event, so we packed up and went home with our tail between our legs. More or less end day 2 (although some of this is out of order).

A few weeks later and, of course, two days before another jZilla Track Days event, we got back in the shop to try to finish.


T56 Magnum Partially Seated on 2JZ Quicktime Bellhousing
We prevailed! The T56 Magnum started to seat.

After much jostling, nudging, and some swearing and pleading, we finally got the alignment gods to cooperate and we were able to pull the trans onto the dowels with its bolts once we were sure that we weren’t bolting it on crookedly. So, my advice to you is to use a transmission jack and to be extremely patient. And have lots of helpers.

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