View Full Version : Old transmission repairs

12-20-2008, 10:20 PM
I've seen a lot of things over the years and while I'm sure someone else may have seen this done at some point it was a first for me so I thought I'd share. I bought a complete big twin 4 speed trans at Jefferson the other month. It was still completely assembeled, completely filthy ( that's OK we like em dirty) and completely wore out. The left rear stud had been broke out as so many are and judging by the slop in the mainshaft the main drive gear bushing was totally gone. The filler plug was stripped out and had a wad of paper stuffed in it for a cap. I figuired it had been run dry and burnt up and had payed for it accordingly. This morning I decided to take it apart so I could get the case repaired and begin resurecting it. When I pulled the shift cover off I was greeted by a sticky brown mess colored with flecks of bronze bushing with pieces of bushing shrapnel everywhere. It wasn't until I pulled the starter cover off that I realized what had happened. Evidently at some point someone got tired of adding a quart of oil a day and decided they had a better idea. Repair the case somehow? No. They pulled the shift and starter covers and packed the whole trans with bearing grease! Looks like they packed the starter cover pretty tight and put the rest of the can in the gear case. Made little chores like fishing out the snap ring really fun. I wonder how well that shifted? Bet she was real tough to kick over on a chilly morning too. After completing the tear down I saw that all the bronze was from the main drive gear bushing. It appears that it didn't run to far before that bushing threw in the towel. All the gears , including thier bushings are in great shape. Bearings and races too. Even the main drive gear looks like it is usable once a new bushing is installed. Only parts that went south with the bushing are the main shaft and the big ball bearing, discounting of course some worn out starter parts. speaking of which, anyone know of a way to salvage old one piece kick arms with worn shafts? Oh yea, and the paper wad in the filler? It was a piece torn off an envelope, I can just barely make out the post mark... Chicago, 1954. I can't help but wonder if those old farmers really thought packing a cracked transmission with grease was gonna work?

T. Cotten
12-20-2008, 10:30 PM
Better than banana peels, I assure you!

(No joke, honest.)


12-20-2008, 10:50 PM
maybe they sell the wrong seats in Chicago

Jerry Wieland
12-21-2008, 11:05 AM
Worn kicker shafts can either be cut down and a new bushing made or I have industrial hard chromed them and then reground them to oem size. No longer have a hard chrome guy in my pocket however. Hard chrome is what is done to crankshafts. Has good wear characteristics only and can be built up in thousandths. Original part must have the tensile strength.


12-21-2008, 09:09 PM
Thanks, I thought about turning the shaft down but figured it would need re-hardened or something. Never thought of hard chrome, think the local plater still does that. I'll have to check. I imagine it would be best to turn it true before the build up as it is not a high speed part and small errors in concentricity would not really matter. And I've known some slippery mechanics, but banana peels.....

Steve Slocombe
12-22-2008, 04:00 AM
I've seen quite a few VL and JD transmissions filled with grease after the brass oil seals gave up, but it is not good for them. Also a JD gearbox for sale at, I think, Davenport this year with sawdust mixed into the grease. It was the first time I'd seen it rather than heard about it as a yarn.

12-22-2008, 08:52 AM
A few years back I bought a 45 transmission that had been used on a piece of farm equipment. It was full of grease and had the clutch replaced with a large V-belt pulley, the kicker shaft cut off, and was mounted vertically. Internals were very good!

12-22-2008, 09:33 AM
You've got to give the old MoCo credit. They sure built some strong trannys. That is except for the sportsters.

12-22-2008, 10:54 AM
My Dad owned two service stations before and during the Depression (not this one, not the last one). Years ago he told me about a friend that brought in a used car he'd just bought a few days previously. It was now making a lot of noise. Pop dropped the oil pan and it was packed with bananna peels. Pop said they used bananna peels and sawdust to muffle the noise of a bad bottom end bearing. Kept everything from rattling around and absorbed any noise. He said it was a favorite tactic of shaddy used car dealers. It only lasted long enough to close the sale and watch the car drive away. Probably safe to assume it would quiet down a loose gearbox as well.

As for hard chroming, you might see if there is a GE Service Shop in your area. Many of them have the ability to do metal spray. If you find one, talk to the guy who runs their coating dept. He could put a coating of stellite or a similar hard surface on your worn shaft and then grind it to the proper dimension. They are primarily industrial focus. But if you tell the guy you are restoring an old motorcycle, he just might cut you a deal. If you are anywhere, near Albany, NY, the GE Service Shop in Albany has a metal spray facility.

12-22-2008, 01:18 PM
Hydraulic cylinder repair shops use hard chroming also. They use it on the cylinders rods, like dozer, payloader, cylinder rods etc.. Paps

12-22-2008, 01:30 PM
try north penn polishing & platting 215 257 4945 bucks county pa

12-26-2008, 11:48 AM
I have found there are quite a few places do hard chrome, because it is an industrial processused in many a mahine, and apparatus.