Double K *beep* *beep* U-R-T-I-S

In what has turned out to be the most difficult portion of the rebuild so far, I’ve actually completed my T90 transmission rebuild. A few weeks ago, I got the lower end of the transmission rebuilt, getting 44 needle bearings in place and fighting with trust washers to get the cluster gear into place. The other problem was reverse idler shaft and countershaft not going in at the right angle. To keep the shafts from spinning and working their way out, a plate slides between two keyed slots in each shaft. As you can imagine, getting the a flat slot on two round shafts that are press-fit into a cast iron case is not easy. Especially when the reverse idler is installed after the input shaft is installed and the cluster gear is installed, but in order to get it out, you have to remove the input shaft which gets held in place by an oil collector complicating everything.

After the third attempt, it all worked out and the plate and shafts were installed in a satisfactory way. Building the second/third and output shaft cluster was an adventure. The synchronization assembly that makes moving from second to third smooth and non-grindy utilizes a central clutch hub sandwiched between two blocking rings that catch little springy keys to line up the hub sleeve and the second and third gear when shifting between the two. The rebuild kit I bought came with two new springs for the clutch, but they were WAY too stiff and didn’t allow the keys to depress enough to allow the sleeve to transition without digging into the keys themselves. The old ones were still fairly springy and seemed to provide just enough resistance to keep things together without hindering the sleeve, so I had to build the assembly twice. If that wasn’t enough, there were – you guessed it – more needle bearings!

One thing that is interesting about the T90 is that the input shaft is fixed in place in the front of the case, but the output shaft is essentially free floating and requires that the transfer case sandwich it into place against the needle bearings inside the input shaft. To keep things together I used a length of safety wire behind the second gear and tied up against some bolts that I entered into the front. I think I might change this and put the safety wire through the output shaft and string it through the transfer case mounting holes to allow me to finish assembling the top end shifter.

For now, I’ve got the shifter temporarily held on with some washers and wire between the top of the case and the shifter platform, but it’ll do for now. I’ve got to find an alternative to the crushed roll pins that kept the shifting forks into the rails. I removed (and probably shouldn’t have) the shifting forks and had to un-damage roll pins to remove them. Unfortunately, that left the end of the roll pins too brittle to put back, especially dangling over the spinning gears. Once the shift forks are installed, I’m ready to bolt up the top slightly more permanently to wait for final installation behind a newly rebuilt engine.

Next step, finish up the shift cane assembly, then turn my attention to finishing the frame stuff that I’ve skipped or need to go back and finish. I’ll get the knuckles torn apart again and then put back together with proper sealing. Steering will be installed, brake lines filled and bled, suspension greased up, and the rear engine crossmember and draw bar will need to be prepped and painted before installation. Should be just enough to keep me more than busy while I wait for Hayden to get here.

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