Clutch help

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Mr Crick
Sep 7, 2010
People of mud!
I need help, today I encountered a funny clutch problem I've not encountered before on a 60.

Driving home all of a sudden the clutch wouldn't engage, i.e: I attempted to change from 5th to 4th and it wouldn't go into 4th when I had my foot on the clutch pedal. This happened all the way home, I nursed it in 4th (thank the Toyota Gods for the 12ht).

Any way I got home and at a stop with foot on the pedal I cannot select a gear and only get grinding, however I can start the car in gear with the clutch pedal depressed sometimes it will engage and other times it will just grind away with no engagement and jockeys around a bit trying to engage.

So far I've checked the slave and it operates normally in correspondence with the pedal and master (adjustment unknown) and I've bled the slave (hmmm that sounds rough) and there was no air bubbles in the line and there was no improvement to the symptoms.

This leads me to two separate causes one easy one not so easy, I've run out of day light and patience so I guess I'll have a go tomorrow arvo but here is my thoughts and I welcome all input:

1) (easy) the release lever free travel is out of adjustment, however I don't think this is likely because while the pedal was close to the floor previously it shouldn't all of a sudden just jump out of adjustment to that extent.

2) (difficult) the throw out bearing is fuggered. Previously there has been a slight whirring/grinding sound that could potentially be the throw out but I never gave it to much thought because well i didn't want to admit it would eventuate into a problem.

Had this problem in my old fj60 but it was the slave. Iv also had an issue with my 61 where the springs in the pressure plate snapped and i had intermittent gear selection trouble and a lot of noise. Good luck crick.
it sounds like the clutch is engaged and it won't disengage when you push the pedal.

Check or change the easy stuff first--confirm the "freeplay" adjustment per the FSM. Also check the clutch master/slave hydraulics, including the flex hose. It could be that the flex hose is bulging when you press on the pedal, shortening the throw of the slave.

Besides what is already mentioned, I suppose it could be a seized pilot bearing.
After hydraulics are ruled out and are found to be working satisfactorily, the next course of action unfortunately is to drop the tranny and replace the all the clutch components...ugg.

Along with the possibility of a binding pilot bearing that 2mbb mentioned, it could possibly be that the clutch disc grooves are binding on the input shaft splines. This could prevent the clutch disc from sliding and disengaging fully from the flywheel.

Try this:
With engine off,
  1. Put the gearbox in neutral
  2. Remove the clutch inspection cover under car
  3. Have an assistant fully depress the clutch all the way to the floor, or use a piece of wood or something to jamb it to the floor if you are alone.
  4. Crawl under car and try to rotate the clutch disc with your fingers (just the composite disc, not the big metal clutch cover).
  5. There should be a small gap between the clutch pressure plate and the clutch disc and you should be able to rotate the clutch disc with your fingers easily.
IMO, if a clutch has over 160.000 KM on it, the pilot bearing should be replaced anyway as a preventative measure even if the clutch seems to be working fine. A seized pilot bearing can ruin an input shaft tip... and for many Toyota transmissions, new input shafts are no longer available.....= new transmission.
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Previously there has been a slight whirring/grinding sound that could potentially be the throw out but I never gave it to much thought because well i didn't want to admit it would eventuate into a problem.

The pilot bearing could very likely have worn out.
Don't drive the car (shift it) until you replace the bearing/s. The TMS input shaft tip may have been damaged already.

Your symptoms you describe are exactly the same as what I had...though I could still shift with just a little grinding & it "just happened one day" for me too. That whirring noise (for me) was the sound of the input shaft tip spinning loose inside the pilot bearing cone bore... grinding itself down.

My culprit?
Worn out pilot bearing.

Damaged the input shaft tip

Standard spec 6202 replacement pilot bearing could no longer be used because the input shaft tip had worn down and could not longer fit tight inside the bearing.

Nachi 5202zz double row deeper bearing.

damaged input shaft.jpg

Nachi 5292ZZ.jpg

5202 install.jpg
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Thanks gents that's all good advice. I'll report back tomorrow arvo when I will at least know if it's free play adjustment or not.
Tried adjusting the pedal free play this arvo, no luck.
It sounds like the throw out bearing, you can hear it squealing on about half of the pedal.

This one is going to the local spanner, I don't have time to play this game anymore. Maybe it's time for a new ute or's possible I'm delusional from fatigue.
Problem found.

Bruck spring retainer and fuggered pilot

Flywheel's not looking too flash either
Crick... :(
How many miles & years were on that clutch?

Your photo of your clutch disc clearly shows that there is still plenty of clutch material left on the disc before reaching the rivets.

This solidifies my conviction that other components of a Land Cruiser clutch will wear out before the disc does. I think the weakest link in the clutch assembly is the pilot bearing. I also think that TIME wears out the pilot bearing due to the breaking down of it's internal lubrication.

That being the case, the conclusion I have drawn based on the school of hard knocks is that the transmission should be dropped and the pilot bearing should be replaced at least every 100,000 - 150,000 KM as preventative maintenance. Otherwise we end up with this.

At least that is my plan from now on.
Well it's all stamped Aisin and there was no marks on any of the bolts to suggest they've been withdrawn earlier so I'm pretty confident it's the original clutch, it's almost believable given the 12ht doesn't require a lot of gear changes.

It has almost 400,000km on the clock and is immaculate otherwise but it was a tow vehicle for a horse float in a previous life. The pilot is completely shagged and like you said the clutch has a heap of meat on it.
I'd hate to do all this work every 100-150 just to do a pilot though given a new HD clutch is only $400 i think it's earned its keep.
The reason to replace the pilot bearing earlier rather than later is to save the input shaft tip. I doubt new shafts are available any longer for that transmission (maybe it is). The picture above shows that the input shaft tip has been ground down bit. I wonder if a new OEM 6202 pilot bearing is going to fit snug on that as it must.

Once the input shaft tip gets worn and there is no longer an interference fit with a new 6202 pilot bearing (it spins inside). The choices become following:
  1. A 5202-ZZ double row deeper shielded bearing (shorter lifespan because it is not a sealed bearing)
  2. Use a custom machined bronze pilot bushing (limited lifespan, 100,000km Max)
  3. Replace the input shaft (if available & very expensive to do)
  4. Replace the transmi$$ion
IMO#1, all of the choices above should be avoided if at all possible & the only way to ensure that is by replacing the pilot bearing before it wears out.

IMO#2, the alternative 5202-2RS sealed double row bearing has too much internal drag from it's seals to be a good choice for a pilot bearing. The friction from the seals will hinder the spin down of the clutch (notchy shifting) and apply significant additional force to the already compromised interference fit of the bearing. It will promote dreaded shaft slippage.
Dear long as my ass points to the ground I will never replace a clutch in a landcruiser again...
Can someone please please please tell me what that a$$hole 12mm bolt in the opposite direction on the bell housing is for....NOTHING OTHER THAN TO PI$$ YOU OFF!

Now that's over the pilot bearings story is very true but I dropped in to East coast 4wd to get a new rear main seal and they've got new main shafts AM so no big drama if you feel like you want to replace the main shaft.

BTW as is always discussed here the rear main seal was 100% ok and dry as a nun's sense of humour but a lot of oil had collected in a gallery in the bell housing and it was clearly coming from the side plate on the turbo side which you can't normally get at easily. So I checked the gasket and nipped them up and all is well again. I could've sworn the rear main seal was cactus.
Also there is no easy way to get the gearbox back in but if you get it within bolt length range from box to bell go ahead and wind a few threads in so she's nice and secure (STOP do not drag it in from here with the bolts) now in conjunction with your jack and a mate wriggle and lift gently (if at all possible) and eventually you'll send her home no problems.
Be prepared to swap sides and walk away from it a few times it is not an easy task.
Problem found.

Bruck spring retainer and fuggered pilot

And that is why I hate coil springs in a clutch hub. The rubber dampers in the 2F gas engine disc never break up and jam in the clutch. I've replaced many clutches for failed disc springs, but never had to replace a clutch for failed rubber damper.

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